With his typical display of sound and fury signifying nothing, Jan Ullrich rumbled to a victory in today’s 8th stage of the Tour of Germany. American Bobby Julich was a close second at 11s, but the man in the driver’s seat was Julich’s compatriot Levi Leipheimer, who lost nearly a minute to the German underachiever, leaving him 31 seconds up on Ullrich for the GC lead at the end of the day, a lead he will almost certainly retain through tomorrow’s flat finale.
An interesting note on today’s stage: Ullrich’s personal coach Rudy Pevenage was not allowed to ride in the T-Mobile team car that followed Ullrich during the TT. “In the races leading up to the Tour, Rudy sat in the team car during time trials. But not during the Tour or afterwards – that is what we agreed on,” explained Team Manager Olaf Ludwig. Unbelievable. Do you think Carmichael and Bruyneel get into these pissing matches? Just another reason why, during his win on Stage 7, I can guarantee you the words “Man, I wish I was still riding for T-Mobile” never crossed Cadel Evans’ lips.
On this side of the Atlantic, American Tyler Ferrar, 21 years young, nipped former winner Jelly Belly’s Dave McCook to take the win in the USPRO Criterium Championships Tyler will no doubt rock his Stars and Stripes jersey proud at all the…oh, wait. Seems Cofidis, following their long tradition of dominating all other French teams by importing the best foreign riders they can find, has signed the American phenom, meaning that unless Criterium International counts as a crit, chances are he’ll never put the damn thing on.
And man, if the rumors are true, Erik Zabel doesn’t fool around when he changes teams…