97th Tour de France
Stage 9 - Morzine-Avoriaz to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - 204.5 km (126.8 mi)
13 July 2010
And now we're really just down to two men who have a shot at this Tour de France. Just as we'd started predicting, as soon as they placed 1-2 in last year's race, the 2010 Tour is going to be a showdown between Saxo Bank's Andy Schleck and Astana's Alberto Contador. After joining forces to drop all their rivals and catch the breakaway in the final kilometer, they have distanced themselves far beyond the rest of the field. It isn't even a fair fight anymore.
Just look at all the pre-race favorites now left far back, choking on the Alpine dust of the two young men dueling for the maillot jaune. The road up the Col de la Madeleine -- the first hors-categorie climb of this year's race -- was a slog that cut many an elite name down to size. It is a who's who of carnage scattered along the edges of France's highways and byways. Nobody has been spared... but at least these guys have been more lucky than their fellow favorites, Frank Schleck and Christian Vande Velde, who have already crashed out of the race....