Southeast riders: Tour de France review

The climbs of the Tour de France have begun

Today’s stage 8 of the Tour de France lived up to the promise of shaking up the general classification. Beyond the drama of Lance Armstrong crashing out of the overall contention, Cadel Evans of Team BMC and teammate to Southeast riders George Hincapie and Brent Brookwalter took the yellow jersey from the back of Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel of Quick Step.

Needless to say Team BMC president Jim Ochowicz couldn’t be happier.

“All the riders and staff have done hard work for him all season and up to today and they’ll continue to do so,” Ochowicz said. “For me, this is a personal victory. Going back to my first yellow jersey with Alex Steida, then Steve Bauer, then Sean Yates, and now Cadel Evans. It’s great to be in that circle of people.”

Stage 8’s mountainous terrain didn’t suit Greenville native George Hincapie, but that is not his concern. Blocking the wind and keeping GC leader Evans out of trouble was the number one job of the day. Cadel sat one minute, 25 seconds back at the start of the day – prime location to move into the yellow jersey.

Once Hincapie’s work was over and the final climb of the day began he slipped into the groupetto and finished the stage in 85th place, 21 minutes behind stage winner Andy Schleck of Saxo Bank. First time Tour de France rider Brent Bookwalter finished the day in 149th, 27 minutes back.

Bookwalter working hard for BMC

Tomorrow is a rest day and the mountains start again on Tuesday. With the Tour leader on the team look for Hincapie and Bookwalter at the front of the peloton setting the tempo.