Queen stage: It's hard very hard... not impossible.

Queen stage today with the finish on top of the hard climb of the HC Plateau de Beille. Made apocalyptic by the rain and hail storm. Given the harsh weather conditions turned many riders' performances even heroic. I like Purito and he wonderfully celebrated blowing kisses and let out a roar at the finish.  

Before the storm.
'Time to flex our muscles today.'
photo Bryn Lennon

A lot of mountains still to come, we're not giving up. It's hard very hard but not impossible.

-Alejandro Valverde

Today's stage was in epic conditions that included some legendary rides...

Classic Climber:
Sep VanMarcke, 30th 12'38"

Bauke Mollema, 19th 7'44"

Louis Meintjes, recovering from a crash 5th 4"38"

The Green Bullet leads the favorites over the finish line.

Classic Cool...

Marco Pantani on his way for the win, 1998 Tour de France - Plateau de Beille.