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The good news from the Tour de France is that Lance Armstrong has begun his usual tactic of using the mountain stages to seize first place; he assumed his first lead of this year’s Tour today and, if all goes according to plan, should begin adding to that lead as the more difficult mountain stages loom ahead.

The bad news, however, should come as no surprise to anyone who has watched coverage of the Tour on television, noting the hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of spectators that line the narrow roads traversed by the Tour and its escort vehicles. Huge numbers of spectators in reaching distance of a hundred plus bicyclists plus a number of cars, all traveling at respectable speeds, has always struck me as a recipe for potential disaster — which came to pass yesterday, when a small child was struck and killed by one of the automobiles in the Tour convoy. Apparently, something similar happened two years ago as well.

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