June 08, 2005
Leipheimer in Dauphiné yellow as Botero wins ITT
Phonak's Santiago Botero took the individual time trial at the Dauphiné Libéré today, with Levi Leipheimer's 2nd place catapulting him into the race lead.
Botero beat Leipheimer by just 1 second, with Discovery's Lance Armstrong 26 seconds back, and Phonak's Floyd Landis at 39 seconds. T-Mobile's Alexandre Vinokourov rounded out the top 5, at 1:00 back of Botero.
As expected, the time trial totally reshuffles the GC, with Leipheimer moving in to the overall race lead, Botero at 12 seconds, Armstrong at 30 seconds, and Landis at 42 seconds.
Tomorrow's stage to the top of Mont Ventoux is the next obstacle for whomever is going to win this thing; it's hard not to think back to Brasstown Bald at the Tour de Georgia in April, where Tom Danielson (not at the Dauphiné) took the stage, followed closely by Leipheimer, then Armstrong just gapping Landis at the top of the mountain a minute behind.
Leipheimer is clearly in tremendous shape this year. Armstrong is clearly in very good shape, as well, but whether it's Tour-winning shape is still to be seen.
1) Santiago Botero, Phonak, 1:00:06
2) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, at :01
3) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, at :26
4) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at :39
5) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, at 1:00
6) Oscar Pereiro, Phonak, at 1:09
7) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at 1:11
8) Marzio Bruseghin, Fassa Bortolo, at 1:14
9) Ivan Gutierrez, Illes Balears, at 1:16
10) Sebastian Lang, Gerolsteiner, at 1:19
"I'm not overwhelmingly pleased but not too disappointed. I'm on schedule (for the Tour)," he added.
"I'm better than I was at the Tour of Georgia. I'm more comfortable on the bike. My position is better and my cadence is better.
"Today wasn't perfect but the overall sensation is good."
Still unaware of Botero's time, Armstrong added: "I was six seconds behind Botero at the second checkpoint but if I was 30 seconds behind him at the finish line then that would be a little disappointing."
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