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July 13, 2005

Vinokourov battles back for stage win

T-Mobile's Alexandre Vinokourov takes Stage 11 with a tremendous day-long breakaway. Spending much of the break with former teammate Santiago Botero, Vinokourov repaired some of the damage done to his GC hopes in Tuesday's Stage 10.

The stage victory is the first for T-Mobile, whose director said Tuesday night that the team "are just not any good."

Christophe Moreau moved up into 3rd place in the overall with a sprint for the finish line bonus points. Bobby Julich finished 4th on the day.

Botero moves up into 6th for his day-long efforts, and Vinokourov moves into 12th, at 4:47.

Overall race leader Lance Armstrong lost a little more than a minute to Botero and Vinokourov, but further roasted a number of former GC hopefuls.

The autobus topped the Galibier just after the leading group finished the stage.

Stage Top 10:
1) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, 4:47:38
2) Santiago Botero, Phonak, at :01
3) Christophe Moreau, Credit Agricole, at 1:15
4) Bobby Julich, CSC, same time
5) Eddy Mazzoleni, Lampre-Caffita, s.t.
6) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, s.t.
7) Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, s.t.
8) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner
9) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank
10) Georg Totschnig, Gerolsteiner

Posted by Frank Steele on July 13, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Cadel Evans, Christophe Moreau, Georg Totschnig, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Santiago Botero, Stage results, Top Stories | Permalink

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Comments

well i don't know if it has any real affect on the fate of the GC, but jens voigt has missed the cutoff and is out of the tour. he probably wouldn't have figured too much in the rest of the race, but to me it's a little disheartening to see anyone that had been in yellow to be out.

odd how both of CSC's yellow jersey holders are now out of the race . . . maybe it's cursed for non-lance riders or something.

Posted by: josh at Jul 13, 2005 12:53:01 PM

ALL OTHER YELLOW JERSEY WEARERS BEWARE!

You hit it right Josh! Whenever anyone else gets the Jaune, I think Discovery must do a seance or secret ceremony in their hotel; thereafter the rider with the jersey will be cursed until out of the tour. It seems this is true whether the rider is wearing the jersey or not.

Extra Note: I tip my hat and send best wishes to George Hincapie, who has always proven to be a great person, a great heart, a great friend, and an amazing climber after all these years. Cheers George.

Posted by: jerome at Jul 13, 2005 1:11:30 PM

Bjarne Riis deserves it....

I'm not sure that AV got back in to the GC, but he did save his reputation after yesterday. I was reading redefinitions of his career after yesterday's stage: "He's good in shorter races, but lacks Grand Tour potential," and the like. He erased that today.

Posted by: Jason O. at Jul 13, 2005 1:14:09 PM

I heard that Voigt had a fever yesterday, 40 degrees centigrade (104 degrees Fahrenheit). So he probably had a hellish day today as well.

Posted by: Dennis at Jul 13, 2005 1:16:07 PM

It's really too bad Vino lost SO much time yesterday. This race is so frustrating to watch. I've seen so many amazing INDIVIDUAL efforts, yet they've been trumped, not by Lance, but by his team. I would love to see how lance would fare if he weren't on such a selfless team.

Posted by: cameron at Jul 13, 2005 1:46:24 PM

The Discovery.com team might not seem so selfless when you realize the notoriety that will follow all the team members who "won seven for Lance," if that indeed happens. Besides, most teams at least try to provide the same support for their individual star or stars as this team does for their star.

Posted by: jack at Jul 13, 2005 2:11:39 PM

Cameron,

I think you've hit the nail on the head- teamwork trumps individuals.

Also, keep in mind that Discovery does the same thing for other riders in different races. Lance will even ride as a support rider in some races.

Other teams have had 7 years to study Discovery/USPS' methods, why haven't they come up with a plan to defeat Discovery? Or at the very least, they could copy them in terms of team composition and tactics.

Posted by: eric at Jul 13, 2005 2:16:50 PM

I've grown to really love people like cameron....reduced to grasping at any straw. For a few years it was "there's no way someone can come back from cancer and win the tour without doping." Now it's "his team is carrying him."

Do you remember him passing Ullrich in the prologue?
Did you watch the last 10 km yesterday?
Did you see the Luz Ardiden stage in '03? How he ran out of gas in the '03 time trial?
"The look" in '01?
Did you see ANY of the '99 tour? Dusting Fernando Escartin on the climb to Sestrieres?

Right, Lance has exhibited very little "individual" effort in his career. Stop complaining, he'll be retired in a few days and you'll finally be rid of one of the two greatests cyclists ever. Merckx is the only other one in Lance's class.

Posted by: Jason O. at Jul 13, 2005 2:17:05 PM

Jason O, Your way overshooting my point. I'm not raggin' on Lance. I just like to see COMPETITION. I love to see balls out effort. I don't like strategy, I don't like conservatism. I like the run like hell attitude. I know that this isn't what wins the Tour these days but that's what I like to watch! I hate 175 man peloton for 125 miles. I love big breakaways that hold on and dizzy up the GC. It's frustrating for me, I want to enjoy the Tour as a whole, but because all the other contentious teams have come completely unhinged, the only thing you really have to look forward to is the individual stages and who is going to run off and make things interesting.

Posted by: cameron at Jul 13, 2005 2:41:08 PM

...I was very disappointed in stage 8 where there was an obvious oppertunity to exploit Armstrong in his absence of the support and none of the his "rivals" tried to test him. I think Ullrich just likes all the camera time he gets by pacing with LA. Far too conservative approach for my taste.

Posted by: cameron at Jul 13, 2005 2:53:04 PM

Cameron makes good points about the team that I don't think Lance would disagree with. But I don't think Lance's teams are selfless. Rather they do their job. The problem is the other teams never do their job.

Who the hell leads the T-Mobile team? One minute it's Vino. The next it's Jan. The next it's Klodi. Man pick a frickin' leader and then everyone else supports that guy. No matter what. If anyone goes off on a Lance team it's because he says go. Like when Landis went off last year. They had a chance when they isolated Lance and then they blew it.

Posted by: Duckie at Jul 13, 2005 4:27:44 PM

As much as I agree with comments made about the strength of the Disco team and their selfless ride for Lance, I still have to point out there are a few riders on the pro scene right now who can match LA's engine and determination regarding the TdF... It is a lot easier to support someone who really has chance to win and in that give up your own aspirations. Plus, it is also a lot easier to assemble a squad of superstars (Popo, Salvodelli, Hincapie, Azevedo...), if they know they'll be supporting a winner like Lance...

The trouble for other teams is that even if they rode as Disco, their leader still needs to match Lance one-for-one... Not an easy task, as previous 6 TdFs have shown as...

Congrats to Vino... I've always like him...

Posted by: rich007 at Jul 13, 2005 4:28:45 PM

I think there are riders who can match Lance. But they can only do it for a day or two. Vino is a perfect example. He just can't string a whole Tour worth of great riding together. Basso seemed the closest. Lance just recovers so well and so quickly from these hard stages.

Posted by: Ya4sure at Jul 13, 2005 4:52:34 PM

I think Vino is going to win the whole thing. He has the heart of the champion. He still has some energy to pull this whole ride. You don't believe, jut call me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Zhan at Jul 15, 2005 1:15:52 AM

Well, Vino won it the only way you are ever going to have a chance against Lance. You must challenge him before the final climb. This is the strength of his team. They always seem to be there until the final climb.

Armstrong's challengers must find a way to isolate Armstrong on the second to last climb of a stage and be willing to hurt for a shot at glory. Easier said then done.

Ullrich has the strength, but I agree he is very conservative. He does not have the mountain goat type sprinting ability to create distance. He must outmuscle Lance over multiple climbs. I don't think he is willing to gamble that way. Vino is and that is why he is potentially more dangerous and unpredictable although I think Ullrich is physically the more dangerous. If Ullrich was willing to risk it all on Sunday where there are multiple category 1 climbs followed by a beyond category mountain stage finish then he could find himself back in the race. I don't think he is willing.

Watch Rasmussen on Sunday this is where his one chance at taking yellow in Paris hits centre stage. He has the climbing skills to challenge Lance providing he didn't use too much energy in earlier stages. Saturday looks like one of those stages that team Discovery and Lance carry the day. The big day is Sunday. We will soon see whether we have a race or boredom for the remainder of the Tour.

Hopefully a rider--any rider--will be daring enough to ride hard by the second to last climb. Team Discovery must be shed and Lance must face a concerted challenge. Otherwise, this Tour will shape up to be the most anti-climactic in a very long time.

Posted by: Eric at Jul 15, 2005 9:25:11 AM

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