Let’s get started

Back after the Break on a pleasant Friday night at Citizens Bank Park where the joint is stuffed to the gills with folks either looking for a night out, a chance to watch the hometown team reach an unprecedented milestone, or to see it make a second-half surge…

Or maybe all three – who really knows?

Anyway, last year at the All-Star Break the Phillies were 40-47 and getting set to deal away Bobby Abreu, Cory Lidle, David Bell and Rheal Cormier. It doesn’t seem as if there will be a sell-off of big salaried players this July…

Or will there?

We’ll find out soon enough.

Speaking of seeing how things shake out, it appears as if the sprinters had their last day in the limelight in the Tour de France as wily Belgian Tom Boonen of Quick Step took the last flat stage until next week with a strong burst over the last few meters today. Perhaps the Stage 6 victory makes up for Boonen’s showing in Stage 2 when he failed to surge past leadout man Gert Steegmans?

Nonetheless, Boonen took the stage and the Green Jersey after Cofidis’ Bradley Wiggins attempted a breakaway very early and built a gap as big as 17-minutes on the peloton. But after 115 miles of Wiggins riding alone from medieval Semur-en-Auxois on the Armancon to the suburban Bourg-en-Bresse, the peloton swallowed him up like a swarm of bees with less than 10k to go.

Wiggins disappeared just like that.

Stage 6 Final
1.) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, Belgium
2.) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, Spain
3.) Erik Zabel, Milram, Germany
4.) Sébastien Chavanel, Française des Jeux, France
5.) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, Norway
6.) Daniele Bennati, Lampre, Italy
7.) Robert Förster, Gerolsteiner, Germany
8.) Robbie Hunter, Barloworld, South Africa
9.) Romain Feillu, Agritubel, France
10.) Murilo Fischer, Liquigas, Brazil
11.) Francisco Ventoso, Saunier Duval, Spain
12.) Jérôme Pineau, Bouygues Telecom, France
13.) Robbie McEwen, Predictor-Lotto, Australia
14.) Danilo Napolitano, Lampre, Italy
15.) Geraint Thomas, Barloworld, Great Britain

Now we climb. Stage 7 goes from Bourg-en-Bresse to Le Grand-Bornand in the Alps in which the riders will tackle three smaller climbs before the 10-mile long, category one Col de la Colombière, which is 15k from the finish line.

Will it be Fabian Cancellara’s last day in Yellow? Will American Levi Leipheimer, resting just 60 seconds behind, make a move? Can Alexandre Vinokourov – who was wrapped up like a roughshod mummy and gesturing with a gallows’ humor toward the TV cameras a day after getting stitched up – get back in the race?

Yes, this is where it starts to get interesting. Better yet, Col du Galibier looms, too.

1.) Fabian Cancellara, CSC, Switzerland, in 29:49:55
2.) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, at :33
3.) Filippo Pozzato, Liquigas, Italy, at :35
4.) David Millar, Saunier Duval, Great Britain, at :41
5.) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, Spain, at :43
6.) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, USA, at :43
7.) Vladimir Gusev, Discovery Channel, Russia, at :45
8.) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d’Epargne, Russia, at :46
9.) Erik Zabel, Milram, Germany, at :48
10.) Mikel Astarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, at :49