Friday's flat 200-km Stage 6 through wine country came down to another riotous mass sprint taken, surprisingly, by Tom Boonen, a Belgian of Quickstep-Innergetic who much prefers to be escorted toward the finish with a more orderly lead-out than he was provided. But Boonen ham-and-egged it, Robbie McEwen-style, for his 10th win of the season, his first of this Tour. Say goodbye to the sprinters for a while. On Saturday the boys must get over a serrated colossus called the Col de la Colombiere. Boonen, Thor Hushovd and their ilk will be more concerned with making the time cut than winning the stage.
I know today's stage went to Thor Hushovd, the ripped Norseman whose Christmas-ham-sized quads quivered under the green Lycra of Credit Agricole as he accepted bouquets from the podium girls in Joigny.