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July 16, 2008

Some people aren’t allowed to get international Websites on their work computers. Here’s how explains the points and jersey classifications as they stand now…

12:33 – Classification Leaders: Part 04 (White Jersey)

The former leader of the youth classification, Andy Schleck (CSC) suffered a collapse on the final ascent of stage 10, finishing 28th, 8’59” behind Leonardo Piepoli and a little over six minute behind Riccardo Ricco. The Luxembourger slipped down the rankings in the race for the white jersey from first to fifth after the stage to Hautacam.
Ricco was ranked fourth but now he leads the category that’s open to riders born after 1 January 1983 by 1’49”. Second is Vincenzo Nibali of the Liquigas team and third is currently held by the young Belgian Maxime Montfort (COF).
Ricco is the only rider eligible for the youth classification to be ranked in the top 10 of the general classification (ninth, 2’29” behind Evans).
12:26 – Classification Leaders: Part 03 (Polka-Dot Jersey)

The winner of stages six and nine, Riccardo Ricco claimed the lead in the climbers’ category after finishing stage 10 in sixth place. Until then, he’d only collected points for first place at the Tour climbs that featured double points as they were the final ascents of the stage and ranked category-two or higher. The Saunier Duval-Scott rider now has 77 points, 12 more than the former leader, team-mate David De La Fuente.
Gerolsteiner’s time trial specialist Sebastian Lang is ranked third thanks to the points he acquired during a long escape in the ninth stage. He has 57 points, all of which were earned on the stage to Bagnerre-de-Bigorre.
Bernhard Kohl (GST) is closing in quickly on the polka-dot jersey, rising up the rankings from eighth to fourth with 56 points, 10 more than Frank Schleck and 15 more than the winner at Hautacam, Leonardo Piepoli.
Ricco also leads the youth classification but he will wear the polka-dot jersey in stage 11.
12:24 – Classification Leaders: Part 02 (Green Jersey)

Oscar Freire started the 10th stage four points points shy of Kim Kirchen’s lead in the category that is dubbed the sprint classification. The Spaniard is a renowned sprinter but the Luxembourger has earned his points with good results in sprints, time trials and stages more suited to climbers. An escape in the early part of the stage to Hautacam enabled Freire to add 12 points to his collection.
The Rabobanker was in the green jersey for stage 10, but it was only because Kirchen was still clad in yellow. Freire will wear green again today while the former overall leader will be back in his Columbia team colors for the first time since stage five. So far this year, Kirchen has led the points classification for six days and the general classification for four days.
Freire has 131 points, Kirchen 124 and the winners of stages two and one, Hushovd (C.A) and Valverde (GCE), respectively, are ranked third and fourth with 105 and 96 points.
12:17 – Classification Leaders: Part 01 (Yellow Jersey)

Only one second separates the riders ranked first and second overall after 10 stages of the 2008 Tour de France. Cadel Evans (SIL) is the fifth Australian to wear the yellow jersey – after Phil Anderson, Stuart O’Grady, Brad McGee and Robbie McEwen – and he’s achieved this despite suffering a fall in the ninth stage.
“So far, so good.” That should be part of the sound-track for the Evans’ fourth Tour. It’s all about consistency for the Silence-Lotto rider who has finished in the top 10 in four stages so far. Frank Schleck has been equally impressive with three top 10 stage placings in the first 10 days. His 46th place in the time trial of stage four, finishing 2’14” behind Schumacher (while Evans lost 27 seconds) was the one sign of weakness from the winner of the stage to L’Alpe d’Huez in 2006.
Garmin-Chipotle’s team leader Chrisitian Vande Velde is ranked third, 38 seconds behind Evans. Austrian climbing specialist Bernhard Kohl was impressive on the stage to Hautacam, finishing fourth, a result that lifted him up the GC rankings from 13th to fourth!

From time to time I’ll give some letour info. I will attribute it as such so you’ll know that it’s coming from people at the side of the race. And also so that when they screw up badly (as they do once a stage) you’ll know that it wasn’t my mistake. 🙂