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July 28, 2007

Stage 19 ITT: Leipheimer dominant

Levi Leipheimer threatened not just to cement his place on the final Tour podium today, but to absolutely overturn it. Leipheimer rode the 4th-fastest time trial in Tour history to win his first career Tour stage.

Starting the day in 3rd, 2:49 behind teammate and race leader Alberto Contador, Leipheimer needed 59 seconds to catch Predictor-Lotto's Cadel Evans. On the road, Leipheimer was consistently faster than Evans or Contador, who had the advantage of Leipheimer's time checks. At the day's last time check, Leipheimer trailed Evans by just 8 seconds. Would Evans crack or come through?

Evans, who probably started the day focused on the wrong Disco, responded with a strong final segment, but still finished 51 seconds behind Leipheimer's impressive 1:02:45. Contador, for his part, finished a creditable 5th, which was enough to defend the yellow jersey.

It's the first stage win for the United States this year, and looks to have cemented a great Tour for Discovery Channel: 4 riders in today's Top 10; overall 1st, 3rd, and 8th; white jersey; yellow jersey; and team competition.

Top 10:
1) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, USA, in 1:02:45
2) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Australia, at :50
3) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, Russia, at 1:56
4) Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel, Ukraine, at 2:01
5) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain, at 2:18
6) José Ivan Gutiérrez, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 2:26
7) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, USA, in 2:32
8) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, in 2:35
9) Leif Hoste, Predictor-Lotto, Belgium in 2:48
10) Mikel Astarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, in 2:49

The GC just gets closer: You can throw a 31-second blanket over the leading three riders.

Overall Standings after Stage 19:
1) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain
2) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto , Australia, at :23
3) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, USA, at :31
4) Carlos Sastre, CSC, at 7:08

Posted by Frank Steele on July 28, 2007 in Top Stories | Permalink

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Comments

The riders left in the tour are only losers.The real winner was sent home without even a chance to explain( in contrast to Floyd and Lance who were always given media time. Is this how American teams now win races? Too bad at the expense of fans and sportsmanship.

Posted by: james morris at Jul 28, 2007 4:13:19 PM

last comments that the only riders left in the tour are losers is a little harsh. it would appear that cycling governing bodies are taking a strong stance against doping and still some people are stupid enough to try and cheat. doping shames the rider, the team and the sport. get out cheats!

Posted by: Matt at Jul 28, 2007 6:47:05 PM

M.R. Should have been there. But woohoo!! What a ITT!!

james mooris said "Is this how American teams now win races?"

Don't cry just because your man lost.

Posted by: TDF Fan at Jul 28, 2007 6:56:38 PM

James, what are you suggesting... that an American team had Rasmussen kicked out? Wow!! Now that's power!

Posted by: TDF Fan at Jul 28, 2007 7:15:58 PM

I would like to address the previous comment: Are you suggesting Discovery team somehow engineered chicken's departure? Give me a break!

I'm more interested in what Evans will do on Sunday. I hope he follows tradition and accepts the result of the TT as final. As David Millar said when asked if there will be a hunt for bonus sprints, "No, never."

Posted by: robert at Jul 28, 2007 7:17:47 PM

How American teams win? How is it that "American teams" have any influence over the Tour and its decisions on doping schedules?

Posted by: Roberts at Jul 28, 2007 7:45:04 PM

levi is a great rider unlike that ras whatever because cheaters are never remembered by how they performed but by their cheating ways rasmussan is a cheater and doesn't deserve anything but a defeat

Posted by: bobby at Jul 28, 2007 10:38:41 PM

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