Editor's Note: Stage Seven results HERE
The 2011 Tour De France begins its descent through the heart of France in advance of the treacherous mountain stages as the cyclists ride 218 kilometers from Le Mans to Châteauroux. Stage seven will be a fairly flat stage, which means sprinters will be looking to gain as much time as possible before the Tour heads into the mountains and they start to fall back from the pack.
Levi Leipheimer will be looking to rebound from a disastrous stage six crash. While the crash did not destroy his Tour chances, the loss of 1:05 on a stage in which he expected to hang with the pack simply makes for a lot more work in the mountain stages. After bad luck the past couple days for Levi and Team Radioshack, which also saw Janez Brajkovic going to the hospital, stage 7 hopefully will be a smooth one without any incidents. Levi and his team will look to stay out of trouble and reserve as much energy as they can for the upcoming couple of days.
Stage seven kicks off at 5:00am pacific on VERSUS and NBCSports.com will continue their subscription live stream of the race.
We'll be here for the entire race providing news updates and stage previews and recaps, particularly as they relate to Bay Area cyclist Levi Leipheimer. For more in-depth discussion on the 2011 Tour De France, head over to Podium Cafe. For more general Tour coverage, head over to the SB Nation story stream.