The Tour de France was touched today by new life and a tribute to a life taken too soon on stage 13: Both Fabian Cancellara and Jean-Christophe Peraud became fathers again in the past 24 hours, while Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank rider Michael Mørkøv rode in remembrance of his departed father.
Cancellara left the Tour earlier this week to be present at the birth, and in true Swiss timing fashion, daughter Elina was born at 2:12 on Friday afternoon. Cancellara called his daughter "the biggest gift beside our other daughter Giuliana".
Peraud was a little too busy to be present for the birth of young Valentine, as she joined her brother Baptiste as part of the family while he was competing in the stage on Saturday.
On the other end of the spectrum, Mørkøv, the most aggressive rider in the Tour de France by far, paid tribute to his father who died five years ago on this date by going on a nearly 40km solo attack from the day's breakaway.
"It's precisely five years ago today that my dad died and I wanted to pay my respects to him with this attack. I had a lot to ride for," Mørkøv said. "I thought about him all the time out there and the thoughts and feelings were my gasoline today.
"I had hoped the other guys in the break were stronger so we could have climbed the final slope together but the pace was too low and my only chance was to go on my own beating my own pace and I knew I was punching a crazy amount of watts but it wasn't enough so I'm happy about my performance." (LW)
Brajkovic chasing top seven
Janez Brajkovic (Astana) believes that seventh position in this year's Tour is attainable if he can avoid having a bad day in the mountains. Speaking at the summit of La Toussure on Thursday evening the Astana leader looked confident of cementing his position in the top ten.
"Realistically I can finish in the top seven as long as I don't have a bad day," he told Cyclingnews.
Brajkovic has never finished in the top ten of a grand tour but currently sits 8th on GC, 7:30 down on Wiggins and 33 seconds off 7th place. (DB)
A fine day for Cavendish
Mark Cavendish found himself out of pocket at the end of stage 13 after race officials fined the world champion 230 Swiss Francs. The first offence of drafting carried a 30CHF fine but Cavendish was then hit with a further 200 CHF for yelling at a commissaire. (DB)
Lampre-ISD's Alessandro Petacchi has been diagnosed with a fractured rib after crashing on Stage 11.
The Italian hit the deck on the descent of the Col de la Croix de Fer and struggled through the remaining 50km's of the stage to finish outside the time limit. Petacchi returned to Italy where he will now "rest for some days," according to a team press release.
The team is now left with five riders in the Tour: Grega Bole, Danilo Hondo, Marco Marzano, Michele Scarponi and Simone Stortoni.
Wiggins' new role plays havoc with Rabobank lead out
Luis Leon Sanchez was not happy with Bradley Wiggins (Sky) in the run in to the finish line on Stage 13, the Spaniard clearly spotted with an angry gesture in the race leader's direction.
The Rabobank rider had jumped away with Matthieu Sprick (Argos-Shimano) only for the gap to be closed down by Wiggins who did a stallar job leading out for Edvald Boasson Hagen.
"I beg @bradwiggins' pardon. He is the leader of the race so he and his team have the right to do whatever they want," Sanchez said via his Twitter feed after the race.
Today's Tour de France news -
BMC has not given up on Tour de France win
Greipel credits teamwork for third Tour de France stage win
Video: Wiggins pulls the strings into Le Cap d'Agde
Moncoutié out of the final Tour de France
Vinokourov denied at final Tour de France