Today was the first to have some real climbs, including two Cat-1 climbs, which are a great way to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Andy Schleck won Stage 8 and puts himself is a pretty good position to battle Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans for the GC title. Cadel has also taken over the Yellow Jersey from Fabian Cancellara, so David R. in Taichung must be ecstatic about that.
The old dog of the peloton, Lance Armstrong, can pretty much kiss his chances of an 8th Tour de France title goodbye. After two minor crashes his biggest enemy was himself and the limitations of a 38 year-old body without an assist from Lance's Little Helper. He trailed roughly 7 minutes behind the group of GC contenders led by Astana. It is a little disappointing for his chances to dim so early and give us old guys a little hope, but it is now time to open it up for the new faces, including Levi Leipheimer who managed to stick with the GC group.
The contest is still up in the air and I hope it makes for an exciting Tour.