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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…

Depending on how you look at it, Thor Hushovd is either the luckiest man in cycling or he’s cursed. Ever since powering his way into the yellow jersey in Saturday’s prologue time trial, he’s been dancing with disaster. But that’s the life of a field sprinter, and at the end…

The first stage of the 2006 Tour de France provided a great example of a scenario you can expect to see repeated several times throughout the next week. Well, at least in part… let’s hope we don’t see a repeat of the bizarre injury Thor Hushovd suffered during the final…

So, how important can an eight-minute effort be in the grand scheme of an event that lasts 23 days? With all the challenges ahead of the riders in this year’s Tour de France, it may seem like they wouldn’t pay much attention to an event as short as a seven-kilometer…

Check back on July 1 for Chris Carmichael’s analysis of Stage 1 of the 2006 Tour de France.

You may never have what it takes to race up steep alpine passes like the best cyclists in the world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from their training secrets. You’re using the same muscles, pedaling up the same inclines, and maybe even riding the same bike. So the…

YOU KNOW HOW SOME STARS get all the attention, when it’s really the supporting characters who carry the show? In the quest for better health, strength, and vitality, calcium is one nutrient that’s been hogging the spotlight, but the fact is, vitamin D does most of calcium’s heavy lifting. Vitamin…

Because every second you’re not living life to the fullest is an opportunity missed—and the clock is ticking. To get you going, we’ve handpicked a no-regrets, full-throttle, see-the-world list of 50 things to do before you die—from climbing an 8,000-meter peak to making the perfect martini. Pro surfer Kelly Slater…

TECHNOLOGY HAS MEANT GREAT THINGS for the fitness industry, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get real results from “old school” workouts. When I coached the U.S. National Cycling Team, from 1990 to ’97, I used the mountains behind my Colorado Springs cabin as a training ground for young racers,…

WHEN I WAS RACING BIKES in the 1980s, we still had no idea what we were doing when it came to sports drinks for endurance. We knew we needed more than simple water to replace the calories and minerals we were burning up and sweating out during training. But beyond…

Can you hear the silence? We’re in a lull between diet fads. Enjoy it while it lasts, because the next hot diet will probably appear within months, killing off the previous rage and, unfortunately, any sound nutritional advice it might have contained. Ask and You Will Receive Got a fitness…

Riding through a storm to finish in the sunlight was a fitting way for Lance Armstrong to end his cycling career. He's already weathered a lot of storms during his life, and today not only marked the end of his cycling career, but hopefully also the end of struggle.

Over the past seven years, Lance Armstrong has won 58 percent of the time trials in the Tour de France. He’s competed in 19 (including prologues) and won 11. His record for the final time trial is even better. Lance Armstrong believes it’s important for the yellow jersey to win…

When you’re a professional cyclist, you often race over the same course several times in your career. There aren’t that many roads in the mountains, so riders get very well acquainted with passes like the Col du Galibier and the Col d’Aubisque. They race over them in the Tour de…

There are a few common aspects to the Tour de France every year. You know the race is going to be reasonably flat for the first week to ten days, that you'll go through the Alps and Pyrenees, and then you'll ride toward Paris after that. The region the Tour goes through after the second mountain is one of the variables that can make the Tour de France harder or easier, and in 2005, the final route to Paris is difficult.

For the first time since Stage 3, the team classification in the Tour de France became an issue today. With two riders in a breakaway group more than 20 minutes ahead of the peloton, Discovery Channel forced T-Mobile to consider whether it was worth chasing to defend their team classification lead.

The day after a rest day is always unpredictable, but for Lance Armstrong it was unpredictably good. He felt really good all day today, saying after the stage that it was one of those days when it feels like there’s no chain on the bike. Every rider looks forward…

I've been thinking a lot about Fabio Casartelli over the past few days. I didn't actually know the young man while he was alive, but his life and untimely death ten years ago during the 1995 Tour de France had such an impact on the people close to me that he's left an indelible mark on my life as well.

It’s not normal to see a six-foot, three-inch, 180-pound cyclist win the hardest mountain stage in the Tour de France. But then, George Hincapie isn’t a normal cyclist. He started his career as a road sprinter. He and Freddy Rodriguez used to duke it out for city-limit signs and USPRO…

On the first of two critical and difficult days in the Pyrenees, Lance Armstrong’s rivals threw down the gauntlet and provided fans with the most exciting racing we’ve seen in years. Tomorrow is even harder than today, and Armstrong will again come under serious attack. Today he had the firepower…

Chris Horner is making the most of his first appearance in the Tour de France. Some riders use their first Tour experience as a learning process because they are young and hoping to develop into yellow jersey contenders. At 33 years old, Horner’s arrival at the Tour came a little…

The Discovery Team was dealt a bit of bad luck early in Stage 12 when Manuel “Triki” Beltran crashed and was later forced to abandon the race. It is the first time since 2001 that the team has lost a single rider to abandonment, and while they are strong enough…

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