First, the important stuff. On day six Kenny Robert Van Hummel wrested the Lanterne Rouge from Alan Perez Luzaun who had held last place since Stage 3. We also lost a contender in Danilo Napolitano riding for Team Katusha who failed to make the time cutoff. Realistically I don't think Van Hummel can hold it. He is a weak rider for a weak team. Eventually he'll make a mistake and miss the time cut.
Next, for news on the other end of the peleton, Armstrong and Contador are still in a pissing contest. In the opening individual time trial Contador placed 22 seconds ahead of Armstrong. On a later stage Lance gained a 19 second advantage when the peleton was split by cross winds, with Lance in the front group and Alberto in the back. Normal team tactics would have dictated sending a couple of riders back to help Contador bridge the gap. Instead Team Sportif (manager) Johan Bruyneel had Astana in the front group attack hard. After that I don't think there is any doubt where his loyalties lie. Contador was apparently pissed. Still burning, he attacked without orders when they hit the Pyrenees. Lance was unable or unwilling to answer. At the end of the day they were virtually tied and remain so. Word on the street is that Alberto can count on Sergio Paulinho for help, while the rest of the team are old Armstrong cohorts or have allegiance to him. The team has taken the split I hoped for, but uneven. Another stunner from Alberto may bring a couple more over. That's the tour as I see it. So far.