By Shane Stokes
Fifteen down, six to go: This year's Tour de France is entering its crucial final stage and at this point it looks likely that Lance Armstrong will ride off into the sunset with a historic seventh consecutive win in his pocket. Team CSC's Ivan Basso is the only rider within shouting distance of Big Tex; with a long time trial coming on Saturday, he'll need to get serious time back before then.
The past few days have seen some excellent racing, tough, hot stages which have had a real impact on the general classification. Three hours and thirty-three minutes now separates first and last on GC, a spread which shows just what the Alps and the Pyrenees have done to the field. It's been an exciting second week to the Tour; here's hoping that the days ahead will have even more thrills and surprises on offer.
Click here for the full round-up of the last five stages