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July 08, 2006

Honchar dominates TT, takes yellow jersey

T-Mobile's Sergei Honchar totally obliterated the field in the Tour's first long time trial, leading all riders by more than a minute at the finish in Rennes. Honchar led at all the intermediate time checks, and becomes the first Ukrainian to wear the Tour leader's yellow jersey.

The expected American juggernaut was represented by only a single heavy cruiser, Floyd Landis, who took second on the day, 1:01 behind Honchar. The other US podium contenders finished well down the stage standings, with George Hincapie 24th, Levi Leipheimer 96th (!) at 6:06, and Bobby Julich out of the Tour after a hard crash early in his race that sent him off in an ambulance.

OLN said Floyd Landis was forced to lower his handlebar position at the last minute by the UCI, which may have led to a bike change when the clamp slipped.

Levi Leipheimer's troubles are still not explained.

Top 10:
1) Honchar
2) Landis, at 1:01
3) Sebastian Lang, Gerolsteiner, at 1:04
4) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, at 1:24
5) Gustav Larsson, Française des Jeux, at 1:34
6) Patrik Sinkewitz, T-Mobile, at 1:39
7) Marcus Fothen, Gerolsteiner, at 1:42
8) Andreas Klöden, T-Mobile, at 1:43
9) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, at 1:44
10) Joost Posthuma, Rabobank, at 1:45
Others:
13) Dave Zabriski, CSC, at 1:57
24) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at 2:42
30) Christian Vande Velde, CSC, at 3:14
48) Chris Horner, Davitamon-Lotto, at 4:14
96) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, at 6:06

New overall:
1) Honchar
2) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at 1:00
3) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, at 1:08
4) Patrik Sinkewitz, T-Mobile, at 1:45
5) Marcus Fothen, Gerolsteiner, at 1:50
6) Andreas Klöden, T-Mobile, at 1:50
7) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, at 1:52
8) Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, at 1:52
9) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, at 2:00
10) Dave Zabriskie, CSC, at 2:03
Others:
12) Christophe Moreau, AG2R, at 2:07
13) Paolo Savoldelli, Discovery Channel, at 2:10
16) Carlos Sastre, CSC, at 2:27
17) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at 2:30

T-Mobile, dominating the overall standings, moves into the clear lead in the team competition, 3:09 ahead of Phonak, with former leader Discovery Channel falling to 5th, 4:29 back.

Gerolsteiner's Fothen moves back into the lead in the young rider's white jersey competition, ahead of Thomas Lövkvist of Française des Jeux.

Also:

T-Mobile Team: Honcar scorches time trial and takes yellow

Posted by Frank Steele on July 8, 2006 in Andreas Klöden, Bobby Julich, Chris Horner, Christophe Moreau, Dave Zabriskie, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rogers, Paolo Savoldelli, Patrik Sinkewitz, Sergei Honchar, Stage results, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink

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Comments

That's Gonchar with a G, as in G-Money!

Posted by: DL Byron at Jul 8, 2006 4:01:23 PM

A few thoughts after the results of the TT and looking at the overall. Here's a burgeoning theory of mine: T-Mobile kinda sucked during the Lance years because it was split into two camps and the ambiguity ruined the morale. Rudy and his "son" VS the rest of the team (like Discovery stacked with strong rounders). The politics pissed off Vino so much that he pulled the trigger last year because of the internal strife and was left in the cold, (unfortunately for him). By all accounts T-Mobile was "decapitated" (choice word, probably Paul Sherwin's first but later echoed by Eustice on ESPN), but it still left an incredibly strong team, as evidenced by today's results. The remainders of T-Mobile feel a great weight has lifted and now they can do what they want.

I think the UCI decision to force Landis to lower his handlebars was horse-shit, but by the earliest reports, Floyd complied to the decision with grace. I think he's a sportsman and I believe Floyd will win this year. Or someone on T Mobile.

Posted by: chasey at Jul 8, 2006 4:33:15 PM

Has the bar lowering incident been confirmed?

Posted by: DL Byron at Jul 8, 2006 10:39:24 PM

Ukraine is the best!

Posted by: vladimirov at Jul 9, 2006 10:24:36 AM

If I'm not mistaken, Gonchar not only is the first Ukrainian to wear yellow, he is the first from the whole plethora of ex-USSR riders to achieve that. It took them 18 years to progress that far and who would have thought it would be Gonchar and not someone like Ugryumov, Konyshev, Tonkov, Ekimov, Berzin or even Abdujaparov for that matter :-) Brilliant TT though, old school Soviet style - big gear, head down, who gives a shit about tomorrow, I want that yellow and I'm gonna get it :-)

Posted by: Nikolai at Jul 10, 2006 8:20:25 AM

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