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July 19, 2006

Rasmussen takes Stage 16; disaster for Landis

Rasmussen takes the winRabobank's monster climber Michael Rasmussen went on a day-long breakaway, reminiscent of his Stage 9 breakaway last year. He led the field over four climbs, to take a commanding lead in the King of the Mountains competition, which he won last year.

Landis knackeredYellow jersey Floyd Landis had a nightmare day, when he couldn't match an attack by Carlos Sastre on the day's last climb, and just went backward out of the race lead. Meanwhile, Oscar Pereiro dropped Denis Menchov and Cyril Dessel, finishing with Andreas Klöden and Cadel Evans to retake the overall race lead.

Landis was initially helped out when T-Mobile chased down their own Michael Rogers, covering a break by Denis Menchov, Cadel Evans, and Oscar Pereiro, where Landis just sat in. But when Sastre launched, the pace rose, and Landis just vanished. He eventually recovered some energy, but was paced to the line by Axel Merckx 10:04 behind Rasmussen, and more than 8 minutes behind Pereiro.

July 19th is a very happy day in the Pereiro household; last year, he won Stage 16 on July 19th, and this year, he takes back the yellow jersey.

Top 10:
1) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, Denmark, in 5:36:04
2) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, at 1:41
3) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 1:54
4) Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, Australia, at 1:56
5) Andreas Klöden, T-Mobile, Germany, at 1:56
6) Christophe Moreau, AG2R, France, at 2:37
7) Pietro Caucchioli, Credit Agricole, Italy, at 2:37
8) Cyril Dessel, AG2R, France, at 2:37
9) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, USA, at 3:24
10) Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, at 3:42
Also:
11) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, Russia, at 3:42
12) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, Australia, at 3:42
23) Floyd Landis, Phonak, USA, at 10:04
Full results

Overall:
1) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, in 74:38:05
2) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, at 1:50
3) Andreas Klöden, T-Mobile, Germany, at 2:29
4) Cyril Dessel, AG2R, France, at 2:43
5) Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, Australia, at 2:56
6) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, Russia, at 3:58
7) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, Australia, at 6:47
8) Christophe Moreau, AG2R, France, at 7:03
9) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, USA, at 7:46
10) Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, at 8:06
11) Floyd Landis, Phonak, USA, at 8:08
Overall standings

Posted by Frank Steele on July 19, 2006 in Andreas Klöden, Cadel Evans, Christophe Moreau, Denis Menchov, Floyd Landis, Michael Rasmussen, Oscar Pereiro, Stage results, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink

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Comments

Seems obvious to me that Floyd bonked. Nobody goes out the back like that unless they have a serious energy problem. It's hard to believe that Floyd would be inattentive enough to fail to eat properly during the stage, so that makes me think that he had some digestive problems. I guess we'll find out later, but that's my guess at the moment.

Posted by: Kurzleg at Jul 19, 2006 1:05:47 PM

I had the same thoughts. The only other obvious possibilty was that maybe the higher altitude contributed as well.

Posted by: BVBigBro at Jul 19, 2006 1:56:31 PM

I don't suspect it was the hip - the final climb wasn't horribly steep for them (just for us mere mortals). He had to have bonked or had trouble converting what he ate into sustainable energy. I was just stunned when he just fell off the back. He obviously would've fared much better with teammates around him. There was no one with him entering the last climb of the day. I don't see any way for him to climb back in the GC race. The tour is Pereiro's to lose, but I don't think he'll stay in yellow. My prediction is he'll lose a little bit of time to Kloden, Sastre and Evans tommorrow and then it'll come down to the time trial. He finished nearly a minute back of Evans and Kloden in the stage 7 TT and 30 seconds behind Sastre. It will be exciting to watch.

Posted by: Jason at Jul 19, 2006 2:51:57 PM

Rabobank made a huge mistake. Menchov needed the Chicken but he had flown the Coup!

I guess Poka dots mean more to the team than Yellow!

Posted by: Greg H at Jul 19, 2006 3:09:36 PM

Sad to see Floyd fail so miserably (spectacularly?). What a lame-ass team around him, with only Axel around him during most of the race. I thought Pena was supposed to be his lieutenant. Dang, they suck!

And Greg is sort of right: it seemed stupid for Rasmussen to pursue the stage win and polka dot jersey. Maybe it meant less work for him during the chase, although I recall seeing him right near the front a few times.

This tour will be remembered as not just crazy, but one with horrible strategies and poor riding skills: the long leash for Periero, bonehead spills, bad days eliminating a contender, etc. Geez, I lost track of all the nonsense.

Posted by: Slow Freddy at Jul 19, 2006 6:50:06 PM

I heard Rasmunsen in the interview state that they had talked in the morning about him going for it that day and the team being OK with that. I had also heard that this team had some arguements before. Rabobank is a Dutch team with Dutch leadership and Michael Boogart is always the defecto leader no matter who is the designated leader. Same old, same old. Put a Dutchman in an empty room and in five minutes he will be arguing with himself.

Posted by: Hobeco at Jul 20, 2006 1:02:42 AM

I would disagree that we have seen poor riding skills! quite the opposite we have been treated to some great cycling. With the clear lack of "patron" the field was wide open. many riders flew the pelton and threw caution to the wind. lots of chances were taken. lots of break-a-ways and attacks. it has been high drama...and VERY enjoyable. The next two stages; one in the mountain and the other a time-trial will see more drama and very likely another rider claim the yellow and possibly reclaimed by the current yellow!! bring it on!!!!!

Posted by: vanni at Jul 20, 2006 1:59:49 AM

Thank you for your posts. I keep track every day then at 7pm I am home and can watch OLN. But Wed. a gigantic storm hit St. Louis right at 7pm and bamo our electricity went out for the night. I, though, knew what had happened because of your blog. My brother, on the other hand, wants to know nothing until he watches the race. So much cursing and raging went on in our house Wed. night. Oh, I did finally tell him what had happened in the race.

Posted by: Julie Tackaberry at Jul 20, 2006 8:33:38 AM