Bend's own Chris Horner was looking good with 1K to go, but sadly the peloton caught the breakaway (Horner & France's Sylvain Chavanel) at the 200 meter mark and my least favorite rider won another freaking stage. (All photos from here.)
Horner (in the yellow helmet) was looking great, but the peloton (which you can see in the background) was just too quick today.
Spain's Alejandro Valverde, who took the white jersey (best-placed young rider) after winning Stage 10, abandoned the race today with a persistent knee problem. Too bad for him, he was looking so good in the mountains. Lance's teammate Yaroslav Popovych is now the leader in the competition for the white jersey, meaning Team Discovery Channel has two leaders' jerseys in its camp.
Valverde abandoned at the feed zone today, and was shown crying in the team car. Certainly a sad way to go.
In other Discovery news, Manuel Beltran, who crashed hard yesterday and abandoned the race, is fine after being observed overnight in the hospital with a concussion.
Here's Beltran getting up after yesterday's fall.
This picture has nothing to do with today's stage, but I'm glad someone got the shot so you can see how to stretch your legs without getting off the bike.
And this guy was on TV earlier in the week running alongside the peloton with this larger-than-necessary Texas flag. (Okay, so clearly the flag isn't the only huge thing the guy's got going on.) And if you can't read it, his jersey says "TEXAS" on it. I love the looks on the faces of the Discovery Channel guys, who are clearly amused by it.
Otherwise, today was a day to sleep through. Which I did. Again. (The weekend stages will keep me awake, I'm sure.)
(L) Another good descriptive photo - Lance is checking out his stage map. (R) Basso better make a move in the Pyrenees if he wants to get onto the podium again this year.