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Monday, July 14, 2008

Doing the Land of Lincoln proud!

Yes, indeed, Christian Vande Velde is the pride of the Land of Lincoln, as far as the cycling world is concerned!

Vande Velde, a native of the Chicago suburb of Lemont, is just 38 seconds behind new Tour de France leader Cadel Evans after today's Stage 10, which featured the difficult climbs of the Col de Tourmalet and Hautacam. Evans and Vande Velde finished in the same group that finished 2:17 behind stage winner Leonardo Piepoli. The only rider between Vande Velde and Evans is Frank Schleck, who is a mere second behind Evans in the overall standings.

Vande Velde, 32, rides for Garmin-Chipotle and is the son of U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame member John Vande Velde. Until this year, he was best known for playing a supporting role in two of Lance Armstrong's seven Tour de France victories. He has come into his own this year. He wore the maglia rosa one day in this year's Giro d'Italia, took third in the Tour of California and seventh in the Tour of Georgia.

Now that Vande Velde is among the leaders, I guess we need to figure out how to spell his last name. Even though the official Tour de France site and Versus are spelling it Vandevelde, I'm going with Vande Velde because that's the way the Garmin-Chipotle team, The Associated Press, VeloNews and his byline on his Tour de France Journal in the Chicago Tribune (I'm linking to the account that appeared in today's edition) spell it. That's good enough for me!

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