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Village Voices for July 4
By Tim Maloney, cyclingnews.com correspondent
Fred be da Captain!
Cyclingnews caught up with US champ Fred Rodriguez (Mapei-Quick Step) yesterday when he was in the team bus after dinner having a glass of champagne with the other Mapei boyz, celebrating Tom Steels' 2nd stage win.
CN: Hey Fred, wazzup?
FR: Geez, I felt a lot better today! And we won again so that was great...
CN: What about the TTT tomorrow? What's the Mapei plan?
FR: We were just discussing that - we're not sure if we are going to check out the course tomorrow (Tuesday) or not...
CN: what do you expect?
FR: I think we'll go well; TTT was my specialty when I was a junior and I got a silver medal in the worlds, plus Zanini was on the Italian team, and Bartoli's really strong.
CN: what will be the approach to the TTT?
FR: We'll start at a good pace for the first 10k, then see how everyone feels and gradually up tempo. Then we'll go "au bloc" (all out ) for the last 40 K.
FR: Hey, did you see my pony ride yesterday?
CN: what do you mean?
FR: I had my hands on the top of the bars and was pulling like riding a pony! We were going like 65k, so it was too fast to stand up. Can I say hi to some people?
FR: Hi to Annie my girlfriend back in Emeryville, California and my mom and dad
Etxebarria better, Hamilton fine
After his chrono crash Saturday, David Etxebarria (O.N.C.E.) is looking better. At first, it appeared that the fast Basque had a broken collarbone, but it turned out that his injuries were only bad brusing on the right side. With the undivided attention of the O.N.C.E. medical staff, plus 2 relatively quiet days hiding in the peloton, looks like Etxebarria will be ready to go for today's TTT. Tyler Hamilton (USPS) looked fine yesterday and managed to avoid late crashes on the tricky run-in to Nantes; he'll be ready to rock as well in the TTT.
Letters from mom?
La Poste, France's fine national postal service has a special service called Dynapost where you can write to riders on Le Tour and the letters will be delivered to them!
Use international airmail and send ASAP and it will likely get to your favorite riders. No racy photos please as the riders are trying to concentrate on Le Tour!
Name of Rider:
Key French Post Codes
& Stage Towns
No olives, please Bobby Julich
Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole) had a tough spring with his allergies to pollen, but he's feeling good now. As the doctors also found that he was allergic to olive tree pollen (common in Nice, his French home away from Philly USA), but there is nothing for Julich to worry about as the Tour approaches Provence, as the fruiting season for olives is over for the year.