By Gregor Brown in Bourg-en-Bresse
American Christian Vande Velde was hammering on the front for team GC leaders Carlos Sastre and Fränk Schleck when Alexander Vinokourov took a spill at 25 kilometres to go in stage five. The 31 year-old, enjoying the first week of the Tour with roommate David Zabriskie, explained that the team had no idea of Vino's difficulties.
"I had no idea about Vino until he passed me going up the climb," said an always-polite Vande Velde at the start of stage six in Semur-en-Auxois. "I was like, 'what the hell happened?' Then I saw his backside hanging out so I put two and two together."
The race has started well for the Vande Velde. "The Tour has been great. It has not been easy. I have never had a first week that has been this hard before."
The difficulties might come from his early-bird roommate, Zabriskie. "I am rooming with Dave, so that has been fun. He gets up early and I kind of drag my heels... He gets up too early. For anyone! What is the old Beastie Boys line? 'You should sleep late, man; it is much easier on your constitution.'" Vande Velde is clearly a fan of Check Your Head.