July 10, 2005
Rasmussen owns Stage 9; Voigt into the overall lead
Michael Rasmussen totally dominated Stage 9, cementing his lead in the Tour's King of the Mountains jersey, and moving high up in the General Classification.
Jens Voigt, who spent the day chasing Rasmussen, pulls on the yellow jersey for his trouble, becoming the 2nd CSC rider in yellow this year (and ever), after David Zabriskie, who was forced to abandon today.
Christophe Moreau of Credit Agricole, who was in Voigt's break, waved the French flag today: He's moved up to 2nd overall, and was 2nd on the stage.
For Lance Armstrong and the Discovery Channel team, things returned to normalcy, as the team controlled the race pace on the biggest climb of the day after their miscue yesterday.
T-Mobile had a very quiet day, with no attacks and nobody in the breakaway, after their aggressive moves in Stage 8.
Stuart O'Grady took back some ground in the green jersey competition by staying with the heads of state all day and taking the field sprint for 4th on the stage.
1) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, 4:08:20
2) Christophe Moreau, Credit Agricole, at 3:04
3) Jens Voigt, CSC, at 3:04
4) Stuart O’Grady, Cofidis, at 6:04
5) Philippe Gilbert, Française des Jeux, s.t.
6) Antony Geslin, Bouyges Telecom, s.t.
7) Sebastian Lang, Gerolsteiner, s.t.
8) Laurent Brochard, Bouyges Telecom, s.t.
9) Jerome Pineau, Bouyges Telecom, s.t.
10) Gerrit Glomser, Lampre-Caffita, s.t.
Your new, rejiggered GC:
1) Jens Voigt, CSC, 32:18:23
2) Christophe Moreau, Credit Agricole, at 1:50
3) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, at 2:18
4) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, at 2:43
5) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, at 3:20
6) Bobby Julich, CSC, at 3:25
7) Ivan Basso, CSC, at 3:44
8) Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, at 3:54
9) Carlos Sastre, CSC, at 3:54
10) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at 4:05
Rasmussen carries only 60kg of body weight up those climbs. After those first very fast stages I think we'll see alot of riders dropping off. After Monday's rest day I think he can stay in contention through to the end of the Pyrennes if he gets some help.
Posted by: Ted Moryto at Jul 10, 2005 2:13:29 PM
Great solo win for "Rooster Cogturn" Rasmussen (he may have chicken legs but he turns a mean crank, hence the nickname), and former Crédit Agricole teammates Voigt & Moreau rode well together. Discovery had a much better day than yesterday, and I'm sure Armstrong won't mind at all "loaning" the maillot jaune to his good friend Jensie Voigt for a couple of days. "Just get it back to me before we get to Paris, JayVee..."
Re. print coverage, frankly I expect better that this from BBC Sport:
"Armstrong finished the day in third place overall, more than two minutes behind new leader Jens Voigt ... More importantly for Armstrong, he increased his lead over his main rivals Jan Ullrich and Alexandre Vinokourov by more than two minutes."
Sounds like the Beeb give the Sunday sports beat to the rookie reporters...
Posted by: EWM at Jul 10, 2005 2:50:44 PM
Its a good move to let the yellow jersy pass on to Jens Voigt and CSC. This race is always won in the Alps. Team Discovery had a very bad day yesterday - they abdandoned Lance and no horsepower when it was needed. This left Lance alone and shows a major weakness in Team Discovery.
Lances best chance to win is to play the strategic game. Lets CSC defend for a while - take the stress - fight off T mobile and Credit Agrocole.
This stategy depends upon Lance having a team which can cover the breaks - and hammer the legs off the competitiion when he asks for it - in the Alps.
Lance can only win if Geoge Hincapie and friends can do what Floyd did last year - drop all the "contenders" in the mountains - and let Lance fight it out with Baso or Ulrich. Stage 8 showed Lance may not have that support.
Posted by: craig Fischer at Jul 10, 2005 10:32:48 PM
I'm not convinced that giving up the yellow will make that much difference for Lance Armstrong. Riders are going to attack Lance no matter which jersey he is wearing. Many of Lance's major competitors won't consider Voigt a serious threat so they won't go after him. They will be going after Lance.
Besides I wouldn't look for CSC to expend much energy defending the yellow. Riis's plans are for Basso to wear the yellow into Paris so if Voigt gets into trouble with the yellow jersey on his back the CSC team will most likely hang him out to dry just like they did with Zabriskie in the team time trial.
If CSC's attempt to advance Basso up the GC standings helps Voigt retain the yellow then that will be a bonus the next couple days. But they won't work to defend that jersey unless it is on Basso's back.
I think in the end Lance will have the team support he needs. But if it's not as strong as last year than he is in trouble. He will need to worry about Ullrich and Basso, but also Rasmussen. That kid climbs like a goat and decends like an avalanche. If he figures out how to turn in a time trial - lookout!
Posted by: David at Jul 11, 2005 2:29:03 AM
Wonder if Armstrong will make it this year without Heras. It seems "Chechu" will have to work harder to regain the maillot jaune.
Posted by: Adolfo at Jul 11, 2005 1:11:44 PM
The guard is changing, and there are only 2 threats to Armstrong, Rasmussen and Valverde. Valverde needs a small lead going into the final time trial, Rasmussen needs a good 2 minutes. Vinokourov will always be playing catch up and expending far too much energy in the process. The real contenders don't make their move until the final climb. Armstrong can only be beaten if his Discovery entourage dies or he gets sick. Both real possibilities with the pace they have been keeping. Keep riding his back wheel and make your move 5km from the last summit. Oh, and pray!
Posted by: Ted Moryto at Jul 13, 2005 10:35:39 AM