There are many teams who come to the Tour de France who will go home without a stage win, unhappy and promising changes. Today, the Liberty Seguros Team climbed out of that abyss and claimed their first win of the Tour.
Spain's Marcos Serrano won from a long breakaway that, in the end, finished over 10 minutes in front of the peloton. These stages with long breaks aren't the most exciting ones (I've slept through most of the last two days' stages), and they're practically designed for breaks to take off within 50k of the start. And so long as the riders in the break aren't anywhere close to the leaders, they're allowed to go. Yesterday, Lance finished over 20 minutes behind the stage winner, and today he was over 10 minutes behind. How can he do this and remain in yellow? Every member of the break is so far behind Lance in the overall standings (some of them by several hours) that 20 minutes doesn't mean a thing. It also gives the Discovery Channel Team a bit of respite from the hard work of winning a grand tour.
Tomorrow's stage is another perfectly suited to a breakaway, so I expect to catch up on more sleep then. Saturday, however, is shaping up to be the last exciting stage of the Tour, as Lance goes for a stage win in the individual time trial. Sunday's largely ceremonial ride onto the Champs-Élysées is for the sprinters - Lance will just try to stay out of trouble and probably sip a glass or two of champagne along the way.