Hans De Clercq (former team-mate of Robbie McEwen at Lotto/ now commentator for Belgian Sporza TV) had this to say on what's to come in this 2006 edition of the Tour de France:
"I've got the feeling Tuesday's stage will end in a sprint again. Really, a flatter stage is not possible, it is definitely ideal for a sprint finish.
" I'm convinced that defending that yellow jersey has proven too much for Tom. Ok, people said Tom can handle it; that he's used to some pressure on his shoulders. But he's not used to have this kind of stress day after day. It is very demanding. The second day Tom was already going all out in the intermediate sprints, that is lethal. But, I'm sure that he'll sprint for the victory again though, with success."
"Since Basso and Ullrich were eliminated from the Tour, I'm betting on Evans for the overall win. He's ridden a decent time-trial yesterday and I consider him to be one of the best candidates."
"Boonen, Aerts, Gilbert are the Belgian riders we'll see in the coming stages... I do expect to see a Belgian victory in the coming weeks!"
"Robbie McEwen has got a very big lead in the points classification; 17 points is a hell of a lot. The game will get very tactical now. In the first break today, they had Vansevenant and then told Aerts to go with the second. I think Davitamon-Lotto might actually sacrifice the chance to sprint for another win to keep that green jersey safe. You'll see that they'll send someone up the road themselves, or let a break go so that those riders take the points."