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July 3, 2005: Not a bad start

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Stage one out of the way. It was bloody hot out there today and I don't see it cooling down for a while. It is going to take a few days to get into my rhythm after my beak since the Giro.

It is going to be pretty interesting in the finishes. There aren't many really strong teams who are going to string out the bunch in the finale, so that means there will be guys jumping all over the place. It just makes it that bit more dangerous.

I think tomorrow will be a lot like today. Kamikaze breaks down the road and then CSC and Discovery keeping it in range and the sprinters teams bringing them back before the finish. Stuey is sprinting well and he is sure to be in the mix again. Not bad getting four Aussies in the top 10.

Boy the bunch was a bit nervous today. I managed to dodge a few crashes and I saw one guy go barreling into someone's picnic. He must have missed his feed bag earlier.

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During the Tour de France Cofidis team-mates Stuart O'Grady and Matt White will be taking turns to give us an inside look at the daily goings-on in the peloton and the team hotel. An Olympic gold medalist on the track, O'Grady is a rider to watch in the sprints and long breakaways, while White is an experienced grand tour rider who has been kept out of the Tour de France by a run of lousy luck that's finally ended this year. O'Grady has had a rollercoaster ride at the last few Tours, wearing the yellow jersey in 2001 and green in 2002, but never quite managing to hang on to green all the way to Paris. In the last couple of years he's shifted his emphasis away from sprint speed and remodelled himself as a Classics and long breakaway expert. White is finally riding the Tour after breaking his collarbone just before the start of last year's Tour. In 2001 he was expected to ride the Tour but did not make his US Postal's final selection and in 1999 his Vini Caldirola team had its Tour invitation withdrawn when Sergei Gontchar failed a haematocrit test at the Tour of Switzerland. After that, he's due some good luck in 2005! Australia UK USA