Rasmussen Takes Lead in Tour de France

Mountaineering Dane steams ahead in the French Alps
By Joseph Fasano,  Newser User
Posted Jul 16, 2007 4:20 AM CDT
Rasmussen Takes Lead in Tour de France
Stage winner Michael Rasmussen of Denmark spits as he strains in the last kilometers on his way to win the 8th stage of the 94th Tour de France cycling race between Le Grand Bornand and Tignes, French Alps, Sunday, July 15, 2007. Rasmussen took the overall learder's yellow jersey. (AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski)   (Associated Press)

Danish biker Michael Rasmussen showed off his mountain-climbing skills yesterday by winning Stage 8 of the 2007 Tour de France, a grueling 102.5-mile trek through the Alps, by over three minutes. Rasmussen, who was not heavily favored to win, now holds a 43-second margin over German Linus Gerdemann.

There are still two weeks to go until the finish, however, and fortunes have changed quickly in the race. Australian Michael Rogers, initially considered a strong contender for the championship, was forced to retire after a wreck yesterday. In other news, an elderly spectator was hospitalized yesterday after a collision with a German rider, and is in very serious condition. (More Michael Rasmussen stories.)

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