Today is the day that we will separate the men from the boys at the Tour de France. In today's 10th stage, the first real mountain test in the Alps, expect Lance Aremstrong and his Discovery teammates to come under attack.
First and foremost, the German T-Mobile team is not only placed well to apply pressure, they're also hungry to place one of their riders at the top of the general classification. Jan Ullrich, Alexandre Vinokourov, and Andreas Kloeden of the T-Mobile squad, are all legitimate contenders for the overall title, and today might be the day that one (or all) of them strike out for the top spot.
Vinokourov, the Kazakh champion, is 1 minute, 2 seconds behind Armstrong.
Ullrich, the 1997 Tour de France winner and a perennial runner-up (5 career second place finishes), trails by 1:36.
Kloeden, last year’s runner-up, is 1:50 behind.
Other notables include American Floyd Lanids, a former Armstrong teammate who now rides for Phonak at 1:50 behind Lance. Ivan Basso of Team CSC, third place finisher last year, is 1:26 back. His teammate, American Bobby Julich trails Armstrong by just 1:07.