June 08, 2006
Menchov takes Ventoux, Leipheimer Dauphiné leader's jersey
On the first major climbing stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré, Rabobank's Denis Menchov showed form last seen in the 2005 Vuelta a España, and Christophe Moreau showed form unseen in years to lead the peloton up the Giant of Provence. Menchov narrowly held off Moreau at the very top of the climb.
A number of early favorites saw their shot at a Dauphiné title fall by the wayside, including Floyd Landis, who finished a disappointing 56th, 9:30 back of Menchov. His Girona neighbor Dave Zabriskie actually outclimbed Landis, finishing 50th at 8:10. Alexandre Vinokourov was 81st at 13:10, while Iban Mayo was 65th at 10:35; both have won this race (Vino in 1999; Mayo in 2004).
On the other hand, Levi Leipheimer showed he used his time out of racing to good advantage, and finished 3rd on the day, just 15 seconds behind Menchov. That was good enough to put him in the race lead, 28 seconds ahead of Menchov, and 1:08 ahead of Stage 2 winner Philippe Gilbert of Française des Jeux, still hanging around after a creditable 38th today.
Leipheimer told CyclingNews he was focused on getting the race lead today:
“I know from last year that you have to pay a lot of respect to Le Mont Ventoux,” Leipheimer declared. “It's long. You have to be patient and wait. I could have waited even longer, but I wanted the jersey. I knew I couldn't get both stage win and yellow jersey, so I went for the jersey.”
José Azevedo, who was in an early attack with 9 kilometers to ride, didn't explode when the leaders came through, and took 4th on the day.
Moreau's AG2R teammate Francisco Mancebo was 7th on the day, at 1:04, while George Hincapie and Alejandro Valverde finished together, 18th and 20th, 3:13 back.
Your Top 11 (Valverde sits 11th) in GC:
1) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, in 15:47:53
2) Denis Menchov, Rabobank. at :28
3) Philippe Gilbert, Française des Jeux, at 1:08
4) Jose Azevedo, Discovery Channel, at 1:47
5) Christophe Moreau, AG2R, at 1:48
6) Sylvain Chavanel, Cofidis, at 2:08
7) Francisco Mancebo, AG2R, at 2:10
8) Bernhard Kohl, T-Mobile, at 2:25
9) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at 3:02
10) Sergio Paulinho, Würth, at 3:20
11) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, at 3:36
Kind of says it all right there in the headline, no?
Posted by Frank Steele on June 8, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Christophe Moreau, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2006, Dave Zabriskie, Denis Menchov, Francisco Mancebo, George Hincapie, Iban Mayo, Levi Leipheimer, Top Stories | Permalink
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