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Jul. 22, 2008
Christian Vande Velde Staying Golden
Today’s Stage 16 of the Tour de France didn’t go quite the way Christian and the Garmin-Chipotle team had hoped it would.

Christian ended up fighting back to within 35 seconds of the lead group as the race climbed over the Cime de la Bonette at 9,193 ft (France’s highest through-road). But on the ripping 22km decent down to the town of Jausiers Christian took a tumble in one of the upper corners. So when it was all said and done Christian lost 2:36 to race leader Frank Schleck of the CSC-Saxo Bank team and now sits in 6th overall at 3:15 back.

Sure, losing some GC time is a drag. But in the big glass-half-full picture, it sounds like Christian didn’t get badly injured in his fall and he still sits in a fine spot on the leader board. Tomorrow the race ends with the climb up L’Alpe d’Huez after cresting both the Galibier and the Croix-de-Fer. That’s three truly sinister climbs all packed into one mighty challenging day of racing. And on Stage 20 there’s the crucial time-trial from Cérilly to St. Amand-Montrond. A whole lot can (and will) happen in this final week so I believe we’re in for quite a show.

Here at Clif Bar & Company, we believe in Christian and the whole Garmin-Chipotle squad in a BIG way, and the truth is, to us as sponsors of the team and fans of the sport, it really doesn’t matter where the guys finish in the GC. From Will’s amazing 2nd place finish on Stage 3, to Danny’s jaw-dropping ride for 3rd on Stage 15, to the hard work the whole team staff puts in every day, to Ryder’s sweet mohawk, to all the many significant team efforts on and off the bike that never make the highlight reel, we’re completely enthralled with the efforts these guys are making. The team is leaving a very memorable mark on the roads of France.

So regardless of what happens during the last week of the Tour, we’re enjoying every minute of the team’s Tour de France efforts. The team is racing with class and style. There’s a reason we’ll be highlighting this squad in the How Do You Play? program that launched this month.

As Johnny told Dally in The Outsiders and as Dave Towle and I occasionally sign off our emails…

“Stay golden Ponyboy.” No yellow jersey required to stay golden.
Photo credit: Team Garmin-Chipotle
Posted by:
Le Sensation American
Team Clif Bar

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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