The typical script for a loooong, dull sprinters' stage was today turned on its ear by the yellow-jersey holder, Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara, proving that dude is tough as nails.
All was going per form--early break, slow pace in the peloton, sprinter teams picking up speed late in the stage to reel in the break at the last moments and deliver their big men to the line--when within the final kilometer, Cancellara timed his jump perfectly, springing out of the field and redlining it to the finish. He overtook the break with a mere 700 meters to go, and none of the sprinters, in frantic hot pursuit, could catch the Swiss time-trial specialist.
This was a brilliant ride, exciting tactics that paid off big. Now CSC and their man Cancellara get the yellow for at least another day. They've said they wouldn't kill themselves to defend it, but after today's effort, you have to wonder if they've changed their minds.