You would think that after three weeks of racing, everyone in the Tour de France peloton would just go home and sleep for a few days. In reality, the cycling season is still in full swing and almost everyone will race again this year, some of them as soon as next week.

This year’s very suspenseful Tour de France finally has a virtually-guaranteed winner! With a technically perfect time trial performance this afternoon, Floyd Landis more than overcame the 30 seconds that separated him from the yellow jersey and, barring any unforeseen tragedies in the Tour’s final stage on Sunday, will become…

After three weeks of drama, the winner of the 2006 Tour de France will be decided by the Stage 19 individual time trial. Floyd Landis is the clear favorite to take the stage and the yellow jersey, but there's a lot more to this time trial than meets the eye.

You know, maybe Floyd Landis and Oscar Pereiro are on to something here. The men currently sitting in first and third places overall both overcame seemingly insurmountable deficits to rise back to the top of the leaderboard, and the massive amounts of time they lost may actually have helped them get back into the race.

Oh, how quickly things change at the Tour de France. Yesterday, even by Lance Armstrong's estimation, Floyd Landis was the odds-on favorite to ride into Paris in yellow. Tonight he's more than eight minutes behind after cracking on the final climb of Stage 16 to La Toussuire. And a week ago, Oscar Pereiro started Stage 13 more than 28 minutes behind in the overall classification and finished with the yellow jersey. Now, after losing it for a day, he's back in it again!

If everything goes your way, riding conservatively can be a great way for a super-strong rider to win the Tour de France. Considering that Floyd Landis appears to be much stronger than any other overall contender in this year's race, this strategy might very well work for him. The risk with being conservative, however, is that you may not have enough of a time buffer to absorb the consequences of a bad day, a crash, or a mechanical problem.

The rest days during the Tour de France are a chance for riders to gather their thoughts, replenish their energy, and look forward to the racing yet to come. For the most part, riders stick to routines they have developed over years of racing. There is a rhythm to stage racing, and it's best not to disturb it.

It's normal to see dirt and grease on the underside of a bicycle after a long ride or stage in the Tour de France, but after today's stage there was there was road tar stuck to the paint jobs, and that's a bad sign because it means the roads are melting in the heat.

You have to be a little crazy to break away from the peloton more than 125 miles from the finish line on a day when the temperature’s in the mid- to high-90s Fahrenheit, but today Jens Voigt and Oscar Pereiro were handsomely rewarded for their efforts. Surviving a long-range breakaway…

Even though today's Stage 12 didn't cross any major mountain passes, finished at a lower elevation than it started, and raced most of the stage in a ripping tailwind, the stage was anything but easy. The heat has made the 2006 Tour de France much harder than it may otherwise have been, and the strain of staying hydrated is showing on many riders.

The yellow jersey is being tossed around like a hot potato this year, and though Floyd Landis showed the patience and power necessary to win the Tour de France today, the best thing that could happen to him right now is for Cyril Dessel to win a time bonus sprint and reclaim the jersey tomorrow afternoon. Landis might actually want to encourage him, maybe even give him a lead-out.

The first day in the mountains is always an important turning point for the Tour de France, but unlike previous years, the first major climbs in this year's race didn't provide much opportunity for any of the favorites to take control of the race. While the breakaway group rolled to a large lead and relieved T-Mobile of the yellow jersey, the overall contenders rode conservatively and saved their strength for what's certain to be an aggressively contested stage tomorrow.

While Oscar Freire, Robbie McEwen, Erik Zabel, and Tom Boonen went hunting for the last sprint stage victory we'll see for a while, the major contenders for overall victory in the 2006 Tour de France played it cool today because their first major mountain test is on tap for tomorrow.

The peloton has been looking forward to the first rest day of the 2006 Tour de France. The first week of the race has been fast and hard, and many men hit the ground at least once this week. This rest day gives them a short period to recuperate from…

In Stage 8 of the 2006 Tour de France, we saw the beginning of a strategy that is likely to be prevalent throughout the second week of racing. Today’s breakaway group contained Dave Zabriskie (CSC) and Matthias Kessler (T-Mobile), both of whom are sitting in the top 11 overall after…

After the short prologue time trial and the chaos of the first week, the first long individual time trial of the 2006 Tour de France was supposed to sort out the leaderboard and clear up any questions about the identities of the real yellow jersey contenders. And while the leaderboard…

Great performances against the clock are essential to any rider's hopes of winning the Tour de France, and when you have to ride 32.3 miles (52 kilometers) as fast as you can, all by yourself, it pays to look for even the smallest ways to save energy, deliver more power, and slip through the air faster.

Stage 5 of the 2006 Tour de France played out according to the typical plan: A small breakaway group sat out front all day, only to be reeled in and passed a few miles before the finish. While this is a normal occurrence, what's unusual is that not a single one of these breakaway attempts has been successful so far. Typically, fortune shines on the front group at least once in the first week of the Tour, but the nature of the race this year has changed all that.

For yellow jersey contenders, the first week of the Tour de France is a contest to see who can use the least energy. Currently, it seems that Floyd Landis of the Phonak team and Levi Leipheimer from Gerolsteiner are winning this competition, and Iban Mayo of the Euskaltel Euskadi team is losing it.

Matthias Kessler got his revenge on the sprinters this afternoon. After getting swarmed by the pack just 50 meters from the finish line yesterday, he struck out on his own again today, and this time those 50 meters worked to his favor. His attacks over the past two days were…

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