Rasmussen achieves his ambition as Voigt takes yellow
Attacking Danish climber Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) has achieved his goal of winning a stage of the Tour in the polka-dot jersey, putting in an impressive ride between Gérardmer and Mulhouse to finish over three minutes clear of Christophe Moreau (CA) and Jens Voigt (CSC), and over six minutes ahead of the yellow jersey peloton. That meant also that Voigt, who started the day second on GC, took over the overall lead with Moreau moving up to second ahead of Armstrong, taking the pressure of the Discovery team's shoulders for at least a day.
Rasmussen made his winning move on the first climb of the day after 4 km, crossing the summit alone, before being joined by Dario Cioni (Liquigas) at the 13 km mark. Behind them, a counter attacking group formed with Voigt, Moreau, Vicioso (Liberty), Landaluze (Euskaltel), Zandio (Illes Baleares), and Moos (Phonak). But it never saw Rasmussen again. Cioni let go of Rasmussen on the Cat. 3 Col de Bussang after 98 km, and Rasmussen soloed away for the stage win and a secure lead on the mountains jersey. Moreau and Voigt dropped everyone on the Ballon d'Alsace (km 115) and worked together until the finish, ending three minutes behind the winner.