July 14, 2008
Saunier Duval 1-2 for Piepoli and Cobo
Team CSC shook up the standings today, setting a blistering pace on the Col du Tourmalet, and putting the Luxembourg national champion Fränk Schleck just 1 second out of the overall race lead.
But it was Saunier Duval who came out with another stage win, as their Leonardo Piepoli and Juan José Cobo tag-teamed Shleck on the day's final climb, the Hautacam.
We finally had a glimpse of contenders and pretenders, as well, with some big surprises. Alejandro Valverde and Damiano Cunego crumbled on the Tourmalet, losing almost 6 minutes by stage's end. Kim Kirchen lost the yellow jersey, falling to 7th overall, and Stefan Schumacher tumbled to 18th overall.
On the other hand, Christian Vande Velde rode axle-to-axle with the best riders of the Tour, and gave as well as he got. Denis Menchov shadowed Cadel Evans all day, and Carlos Sastre rode comfortably among the overall leaders, as well.
Piepoli completes the set, now with a victory in all three Grand Tours.
Stage 10 Results
1. Leonardo Piepoli, Saunier Duval, Italy, in 4:19:27
2. Juan Jose Cobo, Saunier Duval, Spain, same time
3. Frank Schleck, CSC-Saxo Bank, Luxembourg, @ :28
4. Bernhard Kohl, Gerolsteiner, Austria, @ 1:06
5. Vladimir Efimkin, AG2R-La Mondiale, @ 2:05
6. Riccardo Ricco, Saunier Duval, Italy, @ 2:17
7. Carlos Sastre, CSC-Saxo Bank, Spain, same time
8. Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto, Australia, s.t.
9. Denis Menchov, Rabobank, Russia, s.t.
10. Christian Vande Velde, Garmin-Chipotle, USA, s.t.
Evans just barely held off Schleck in the overall, with Vande Velde and Ricco's sprint to the line probably saving his first-ever yellow jersey. Kohl's attack took him up into the top 5 overall.
General Classification, overall after Stage 10
1. Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto, Australia
2. Fränk Schleck, CSC-Saxo Bank, Luxembourg @ :01
3. Christian Vande Velde, Garmin-Chipotle, USA, @ :38
4. Bernhard Kohl, Gerolsteiner, Austria @ :46
5. Denis Menchov, Rabobank, Russia, @ :57
6. Carlos Sastre, CSC-Saxo Bank, Spain, @ 1:28
7. Kim Kirchen, Columbia, Luxembourg, @ 1:56
8. Juan José Cobo, Saunier Duval, Spain, @ 2:10
9. Riccado Ricco, Saunier Duval, Italy, @ 2:29
10. Vladimir Efimkin, AG2R-La Mondiale, Russia, @ 2:32
Ricco takes the KoM lead with the double points on the final climb today, and takes over the white jersey lead on a day that was tough for Andy Schleck.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 14, 2008 in 2008 Stage 10, Alejandro Valverde, Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, Christian Vande Velde, Damiano Cunego, Denis Menchov, Frank Schleck, Kim Kirchen, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
July 05, 2008
Valverde makes a statement in Stage 1
Spanish champion Alejandro Valverde showed tremendous power in closing down late attacks by Kim Kirchen and Stefan Schumacher and smoking to the first stage victory and overall leadership.
Stage 1 Results and Overall Classification (updated)
1) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne
2) Philippe Gilbert, Française des Jeux, @ :01
3) Jerome Pineau, Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
4) Kim Kirchen, Team Columbia, s.t.
5) Riccardo Ricco, Saunier Duval-Scott, s.t.
6) Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto, s.t.
7) Fränk Schleck, CSC-Saxo Bank, s.t.
8) Filippo Pozzato, Liquigas, s.t.
9) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, s.t.
10) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, s.t.
It's the first day in yellow for Valverde, in his 4th Tour. He also leads the green jersey competition, which Philippe Gilbert will wear tomorrow. Valverde made time on all the contenders, from 1 second on Evans, 7 on Sastre and Menchov, up to 3:04 on Mauricio Soler, who crashed late in the stage.
Thomas Voeckler takes the first King of the Mountains jersey, by finishing ahead of Bjorn Schroeder, with whom he's tied on points.
Riccardo Ricco is the first leader of the white jersey competition.
Lillian Jegou was awarded the red most combative race numbers for tomorrow.
First lanterne rouge is Aleksandr Kuschynski of Liquigas, 4:56 back.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 5, 2008 in Alejandro Valverde, Cadel Evans, Filippo Pozzato, Frank Schleck, Oscar Freire, Oscar Pereiro, Riccardo Ricco, Stage results, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Stage 1 on the road
It's like a classic for the jersey today, as the Tour foregoes a prologue and gives the leader's jersey to the first man to finish a 197.5 kilometer stage in Brittany, the far west of France.
To borrow from Liggett, this one's got a sting in the tail, as there's a tough climb up to the finish that would seem to preclude the field sprint experts and throw things toward the classics specialists and sprint opportunists like Zabel and Freire.
Eight riders went away early: Jegou (FdJ), Voeckler (Bouyges), Auge (Cofidis), de La Fuente (Saunier Duval), Perez (Euskaltel), Arrieta and Lequatre (AG2R), and Schroeder (Milram). Their gap got up to 8:15, but has been creeping down for 70 kilometers.
There are polka-dot points up for grabs today, and it looks like Thomas Voeckler may be chasing them.
First rider out of the Tour is Herve Duclos-Lassalle of Cofidis. Son of longtime pro Gilbert Duclos-Lassalle, he fell and injured his left wrist.
1st climb, 4th Category:
1) Bjorn Schroeder, 3 pts
2) Thomas Voeckler, 2 pts
3) David de la Fuente, 1 pt
2nd climb, 4th Category:
1) Voeckler, 3 pts
2) Schroeder, 2 pts
3) Geoffroy Lequatre, 1 pt
3rd climb, 4th Category:
1) Jegou, 3 pts
2) Voeckler, 2 pts
3) Schroeder, 1 pt
We've also had two intermediate sprints:
1st intermediate sprint:
1) Lequatre, 6 pts
2) Jegou, 4pts
3) Perez, 2 pts
2nd intermediate sprint:
1) Lequatre, 6 pts
2) Auge, 4 pts
3) Jegou, 2 pts
One interesting change to this year's Tour is that there are NO time bonuses available, either at intermediate or finish lines.
You can get an idea of which teams feel like they've got a chance at the finish by who is working at the front to bring the break back. Today, that's Rabobank (for Oscar Freire), Caisse d'Epargne (for Alejandro Valverde), Liquigas (for Fillippo Pozzatto) and Credit Agricole (for Thor Hushovd).
At the day's last intermediate climb, Schroeder took 1 more point than Voeckler, so whichever of that pair finishes the stage more highly placed will wear the first King of the Mountains jersey:
4th climb, 4th Category:
1) de la Fuente, 3 pts
2) Schroeder, 2 pts
3) Voeckler, 1 pt
With less than 40k to ride, the gap is down to just over 2 minutes.
3rd intermediate sprint:
1) Lequatre, 6 pts
2) Perez, 4 pts
3) Jegou, 2 pts
The gap has continued to drop. As it approached 1:30, the break started to splinter, with Auge and then de la Fuente attacking. Jegou was the only one who could bridge to de la Fuente, and the pair have kept about 1:30 on the field, while their 6 compatriots have been reabsorbed.
Jegou and de la Fuente were caught with about 7 kilometers to ride. At almost the same moment, a crash in back took down 3 Barloworld riders, including last year's King of the Mountains, Mauricio Soler, who has said he hopes to ride for yellow this year. He's seriously gapped as Silence-Lotto and now Team Columbia are full gas at the front.
Coming to the finish, a series of attacks went off the front, including Stefan Schumacher, then a big attack by Kim Kirchen that looked like it might stick with 250 meters to go, but Alejandro Valverde showed amazing closing speed, reeled in and rocketed past Kirchen and took the stage and the first yellow jersey of the 2008 Tour.
July 21, 2007
Stage 13 ITT: Vino, Astana awesome in Albi
Vinokourov, with only his right knee bandaged, led at every time check by healthy margins to clock a 1:06:34.
Predictor-Lotto's Cadel Evans slotted in 2nd, 1:14 back, ahead of Vinokourov's teammates Andreas Klöden, at 1:39, and Andrey Kashechkin, at 1:44.
Bradley Wiggins of Cofidis set the early standard and finished 5th, at 2:14.
Michael Rasmussen of Rabobank rode a creditable TT, passing his 3-minute man, Alejandro Valverde, and finishing 11th on the day to retain the yellow jersey.
For Valverde and Mayo, starting the day in 2nd and 3rd, it was a disastrous day: Mayo was 6:04 slower than Vino, Valverde 6:08 down on the stage winner.
1) Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana, Kazakhstan, in 1:06:34
2) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Australia, @ 1:14
3) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, @ 1:39
4) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, @ 1:44
5) Bradley Wiggins, Cofidis, Great Britain, @ 2:14
6) Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel, Ukraine, @ 2:16
7) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain, @ 2:18
8) Sylvain Chavanel, Cofidis, France, @ 2:38
9) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, USA, @ 2:39
10) Mikel Astarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, @ 2:42
11) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, Denmark, @ 2:55
12) Vladimir Gusev, Discovery Channel, Russia, @ 2:56
13) Leif Hoste, Predictor-Lotto, Belgium, @ 2:56
14) Linus Gerdemann, T-Mobile, Germany, @ 3:09
15) Juan Manuel Garate, Quick Step, Spain, @ 3:12
16) Juan José Cobo, Saunier Duval, Spain, @ 3:13
17) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, Russia, @ 3:17
18) Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile, Luxembourg, @ 3:18
19) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, @ 3:23
20) David Millar, Saunier Duval, Great Britain, @ 3:27
Major shakeups in the GC:
Overall standings after Stage 13:
1) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, Denmark, in 58:46:39
2) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Australia, at 1:00
3) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain, at 2:31
4) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, at 2:34
5) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, USA, at 3:37
6) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, at 4:23
7) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, at 4:45
8) Mikel Astarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, at 5:07
9) Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana, Kazakhstan, at 5:10
10) Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile, Luxembourg, at 5:29
11) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, at 5:48
12) Iban Mayo, Saunier Duval, Spain, at 4:48
13) Linus Gerdemann, T-Mobile, Germany, at 6:59
14) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 7:04
15) Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel, Ukraine, at 7:37
There was a 4th-Category climb on the stage, and max points (3) go to Alberto Contador of Discovery Channel, with Cadel Evans taking 2 points and Michael Boogerd of Rabobank a single point as the 3 fastest riders on the climb.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 21, 2007 in 2007 Stage 13 ITT, Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Andrey Kashechkin, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, Chris Horner, David Millar, Iban Mayo, Levi Leipheimer, Linus Gerdemann, Michael Rasmussen, Oscar Pereiro, Sylvain Chavanel, Thomas Dekker, Top Stories, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Stage 13 ITT on the road
VS. Broadcaster Picks:
Trautwig: Klöden (per Hinault)
Bradley Wiggins of Cofidis is the early leader in the first long individual time trial of the 2007 Tour.
Over the up-and-down 54 km course in Albi, Wiggins finished in 1:08:48.
David Millar has come through the time checks as high as 3rd, and finishes in 3rd at 1:10:01.
World TT champion Fabian Cancellara was 2nd-fastest at the 1st time check, then faded, finishing in 1:15:19. Cancellara had bike handling problems on the wet roads, and crashed in a 90-degree left-hander.
Yaroslav Popovych is followed onto the course by Alexandre Vinokourov. Vino has a bandage only on his right knee today.
Vinokourov is scorching the course. He's fastest at the first two time checks, by 52 seconds at the 2nd. He's closing on Popovych, even though Popovych is racing the 4th best TT so far.
At TC 3 (38.5 km), Vinokourov came through at 50:06, 1:19 faster than Wiggins. Popovych finished almost even with Wiggins, but Vinokourov still finished close behind, with Vino setting the standard at 1:06:34.
Discovery's Levi Leipheimer was 19th at the first time check, and Carlos Sastre passed TC1 1:41 slower than Vinokourov.
Popovych appeared to have fallen on the course, and Klöden slid out on what seemed a tame right-hander.
Kashechkin also had an early accident, but kept improving at each time check, finishing 2nd only to Vinokourov in 1:08:19.
Christophe Moreau's early time checks put him many minutes behind Vinokourov. He finished in 1:16:01, 9:26 down to Vino.
Cadel Evans was 2nd best at the 3rd time check, just 1:01 behind Vinokourov.
Klöden hit the line in 1:08:13, putting Astana in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place on the day, but Cadel Evans broke up the set, coming in at 1:07:48, 2nd at that point.
Levi Leipheimer and Alberto Contador, Discovery's supposed two leaders, finished 21 seconds apart, in 1:09:13 and 1:08:52, respectively. Teammate Yaroslav Popovych was better still, in 1:08:50.
The time checks were cruel to Alejandro Valverde, sitting in 2nd overall -- he was 46th at the 4th check, 4:34 down on Vinokourov. In fact, race leader Michael Rasmussen passed Alejandro Valverde late in his ride, rocking more like a duck than a Chicken.
Iban Mayo struggled to the line in 1:12:38, a disappointment for the rider who started in 3rd today.
Rasmussen fights all the way to the line, finishing in 1:09:29. That will save the yellow jersey for Rasmussen, and the race returns to the high mountains tomorrow.
Current Top riders:
1) Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana, 1:06:34
2) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, 1:07:49
3) Andreas Klöden, Astana, 1:08:13
4) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, 1:08:19
5) Bradley Wiggins, Cofidis, in 1:08:48
6) Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel, in 1:08:50
7) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, in 1:08:52
8) Sylvain Chavanel, Cofidis, in 1:09:12
9) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, in 1:09:13
10) Mikel Astarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:09:16
11) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, 1:09:29
12) Vladimir Gusev, Discovery Channel, 1:09:30
13) Leif Hoste, Predictor-Lotto, in 1:09:30
14) Linus Gerdemann, T-Mobile, in 1:09:43
15) Juan Manuel Garate, Quick Step, in 1:09:47
16) Juan José Cobo, Saunier Duval, 1:09:47
17) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, 1:09:51
18) Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile 1:09:52
19) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, 1:09:57
20) David Millar, Saunier Duval, in 1:10:01
21) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, 1:10:04
22) Sébastien Rosseler, Quick Step, in 1:10:09
23) Markus Fothen, Gerolsteiner, in 1:10:14
24) Michael Boogerd, Rabobank, in 1:10:16
25) George Hincapie, DSC, in 1:10:19
26) Carlos Sastre, CSC, in 1:10:35
27) Thomas Dekker, Rabobank, in 1:10:39
28) Andrey Grivko, Milram, in 1:10:51
29) Kanstantsin Siutsou, Barloworld, in 1:10:54
30) Chris Horner, Predictor-Lotto, in 1:10:56
Posted by Frank Steele on July 21, 2007 in 2007 Stage 13 ITT, Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Andrey Kashechkin, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, Christophe Moreau, David Millar, Fabian Cancellara, Iban Mayo, Michael Rasmussen, Oscar Pereiro | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
July 19, 2007
Stage 11: At last, Robbie Hunter
Barloworld's Robbie Hunter took advantage of a late-stage crash to win his first Tour stage in his 6th career Tour appearance. It's the first Tour stage by a South African, or any African.
Hunter had been following Tom Boonen in the last kilometers, but went to the front in time to miss a crash that took out Boonen, Credit Agricole's Julian Dean, Predictor-Lotto's Fred Rodriguez, and others. Hunter then outcornered two Liquigas riders on the right-hander with 500 meters to ride. From there, he kicked all the way to the line, and Murilo Fischer and Filippo Pozzato of Liquigas and Fabian Cancellara of CSC couldn't close him down.
The biggest action of the day was an all-out assault by Astana, who set a blistering pace in a stiff wind that split the field, with AG2R's Christophe Moreau, Erik Zabel, and Thor Hushovd among the riders caught behind the gap. Astana did most of the work to grow the gap, and Moreau crossed the line 3:20 behind Hunter. Astana's attack helped push the average speed for the stage to 48.061 kms/h (29.86 mph), the fastest of this year's Tour.
Hunter now trails Boonen by 11 points in the green jersey competition, 5 points ahead of Erik Zabel.
Two riders pulled out during the stage: Sylvain Calzati of AG2R and Igor Anton of Euskaltel-Euskadi.
Stage Top 10:
1) Robbie Hunter, Barloworld, South Africa
2) Fabian Cancellara, CSC, Switzerland, same time
3) Murilo Fischer, Liquigas, Brazil, s.t.
4) Filippo Pozzato, Liquigas, Italy, s.t.
5) Alessandro Ballan, Lampre, Italy, s.t.
6) Paolo Bossoni, Lampre, Italy, s.t.
7) Claudio Corioni, Lampre, Italy, s.t.
8) Philippe Gilbert, Française des Jeux, Belgium, s.t.
9) William Bonney, Credit Agricole, France, s.t.
10) Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile, Luxembourg, s.t.
GC Top 20:
1) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, Denmark, in 53:11:38
2) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, @ 2:35
3) Iban Mayo, Saunier Duval, Spain, @ 2:39
4) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Australia, @ 2:41
5) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain, @ 3:08
6) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, @ 3:39
7) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, @ 3:50
8) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, USA, @ 3:53
9) Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile, Luxembourg, @ 5:06
10) Mikel Astarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, @ 5:20
11) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, @ 5:34
12) Frank Schleck, CSC, Luxembourg, @ 5:56
13) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, @ 6:36
14) Christophe Moreau, AG2R, France, @ 6:38
15) Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, @ 6:42
16) Linus Gerdemann, T-Mobile, Germany, @ 6:45
17) Juan Mauricio Soler, Barloworld, Colombia, @ 6:49
18) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, Russia, @ 7:10
19) Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana, Kazakhstan, @ 8:05
20) Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel, Ukraine, @ 8:16
Posted by Frank Steele on July 19, 2007 in 2007 Stage 11, Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Andrey Kashechkin, Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, Christophe Moreau, Fabian Cancellara, Filippo Pozzato, Frank Schleck, Fred Rodriguez, Iban Mayo, Julian Dean, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Robbie Hunter, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Top Stories, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
July 17, 2007
Stage 9: Soler streaks to stage win
Tour first-timer Juan Mauricio Soler of Barloworld launched an audacious attack on the Col du Télégraphe and fighting all the way to Briançon to take the win for Barloworld.
Colombia's Soler, the rider with the highest Tour race number (219), was shadowed for a time by Discovery Channel's Yaroslav Popovych, but no one could hold Soler's wheel today.
Back in the main field, Cadel Evans and Alejandro Valverde pushed the pace, and Alexandre Vinokourov couldn't hang. Today, it was Kashechkin who shepherded Vinokourov to the line while Andreas Klöden matched the GC riders.
Christophe Moreau dropped repeatedly off the back, but fought back again and again, while Rabobank's Denis Menchov couldn't stand the heat, and finished with Vinokourov. Levi Leipheimer, with 2 teammates up the road, was again content to let the race unfold and shadowed the yellow jersey of Michael Rasmussen.
Discovery's Alberto Contador, however, launched a withering assault on the Col du Galibier, and only Cadel Evans chased. When Contador met up with teammate Popovych at the summit, the two launched a chase of Soler, then 2 minutes up the road, and slowly closed the gap.
Meanwhile, the yellow jersey group split in two, with Valverde, Rasmussen, Kim Kirchen, David Arroyo and Mikel Astarloza ahead, and Moreau, Sastre, Evans, Klöden, Leipheimer, Cobo, and Mayo behind.
Rasmussen's group swept up Contador and Popovych, then were finally recaptured by the Leipheimer/Klöden/Sastre group, with all still closing on Soler.
The gap was down to 49 seconds in the last kilometer, and Alejandro Valverde attacked, splintering the yellow jersey group and taking 2nd on the stage, with Cadel Evans just behind.
1) Juan Mauricio Soler, Barloworld, Colombia in 4:14:24
2) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at :38
3) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Australia, same time
4) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain, @ :40
5) Iban Mayo, Saunier Duval, Spain, @ :42
6) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, Denmark, same time
7) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, USA, s.t.
8) Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile, Luxembourg, @ :46
9) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, same time
10) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, s.t.
11) Christophe Moreau, AG2R, France, @ :54
12) Mikel Astarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, same time
13) Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel, Ukraine, @1:33
14) Juan José Cobo, Saunier Duval, Spain, at 1:36
15) José Ivan Gutierrez, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 1:49
16) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 3:24
17) Chris Horner, Predictor-Lotto, USA, same time
18) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, s.t.
19) Patrice Halgand, Credit Agricole, France s.t.
20) Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana, Kazakhstan
Overall Standings after Stage 9:
1) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, Denmark, in 43:52:48
2) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 2:35
3) Iban Mayo, Saunier Duval, Spain, at 2:39
4) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Australia, at 2:41
5) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain, at 3:08
6) Christophe Moreau, AG2R, France, at 3:18
7) Carlos Sastre, Team CSC, Spain, at 3:39
8) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, at 3:50
9) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, USA, at 3:53
10) Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile, Luxembourg, at 5:06
Schleck is 13th at 5:56, Vinokourov is 21st at 8:05. Gerdemann loses the white jersey to Contador. Soler is now 2nd in both the Mountains jersey and Young Riders jersey competitions.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 17, 2007 in 2007 Stage 9, Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Andrey Kashechkin, Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, Christophe Moreau, Iban Mayo, Juan Mauricio Soler, Levi Leipheimer, Linus Gerdemann, Mauricio Soler, Michael Rasmussen, Oscar Pereiro, Top Stories, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
July 15, 2007
Stage 8: Chicken Run 3: The Dane Reigns
Michael Rasmussen surprised absolutely no one with a long breakaway, but no one could counter the Tour's double King of the Mountains, who climbed right up to the podium's top step, taking over the race lead before tomorrow's rest day.
Rasmussen attacked from more than 80 kilometers/50 miles, and was shadowed for much of the day by David Arroyo, who started the day 2 seconds behind Rasmussen in the GC. It was his 3rd career Tour stage win, after a long escape on Stage 16 in the Alps last year (the day Floyd Landis lost so much time) and a long escape on Stage 9 in the Alps in 2005.
Out of the race is T-Mobile's team leader Michael Rogers, who overshot a lefthander on the day's longest descent, injuring his chin, wrist, and knee. Rogers, who had matched Rasmussen stroke for stroke, climbed back on the bike, then drifted back through the field before finally pulling off the road and out of the race. His teammate, sprinter Mark Cavendish, had already abandoned on the day after Linus Gerdemann's big stage win.
Another Australian, CSC's veteran hard man Stuart O'Grady, also crashed out of the race today.
Other than Rogers, the GC men were content to sit in, awaiting the day's last climb, where Christophe Moreau and then Iban Mayo finally threw down the gauntlet. Alejandro Valverde, Alberto Contador, Fränk Schleck, and Cadel Evans mixed it up at the front, while a second group of team leaders hovered a minute behind, featuring Alexandre Vinokourov, Andeas Klöden, Levi Leipheimer, Haimar Zubeldia, and Manuel Beltran.
1) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, Denmark, in 4:49:40
2) Iban Mayo, Saunier Duval, Spain, at 2:47
3) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 3:12
4) Christophe Moreau, A2R, France, at 3:13
5) Fränk Schleck, CSC, Luxembourg, at 3:13
6) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Australia, at 3:13
7) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, at 3:13
8) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain, at 3:31
9) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, Russia, at 3:35
10) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, at 3:35
11) Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, at 3:59
12) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, USA, at 3:59
13) Juan José Cobo, Saunier Duval, Spain, at 3:59
14) Manuel Beltran, Liquigas, Spain, at 4:13
15) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 4:13
16) Juan Manuel Garate, Quick Step, Spain, at 4:29
17) David Arroyo, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 4:29
18) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, at 4:29
19) Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana, Kazakhstan, at 4:29
20) Linus Gerdemann, T-Mobile, Germany, at 5:05
Overall standings after Stage 8:
1) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, Denmark, in 15:37:42
2) Linus Gerdemann, T-Mobile, Germany, at :43
3) Iban Mayo, Saunier Duval, Spain, at 2:39
4) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 2:51
5) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, at 2:52
6) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Australia, at 2:53
7) Christophe Moreau, AG2R, France, at 3:06
8) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain, at 3:10
9) Fränk Schleck, CSC, Luxembourg, at 3:14
10) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, Russia, at 3:19
11) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, at 3:35
12) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, at 3:46
13) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, at 3:53
14) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 3:54
22) Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana, Kazakhstan, at 5:23
25) Chris Horner, Predictor-Lotto, USA, at 6:29
Posted by Frank Steele on July 15, 2007 in 2007 Stage 8, Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Andrey Kashechkin, Cadel Evans, Chris Horner, Christophe Moreau, Frank Schleck, Haimar Zubeldia, Iban Mayo, Levi Leipheimer, Linus Gerdemann, Mark Cavendish, Michael Rasmussen, Michael Rogers, Stuart O'Grady, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (1)
Stage 8 on the road
Day 2 of the Alps ratchets the difficulty up another notch, with 6 categorized climbs, the last three 1st Category. There are 3 riders who have shown an interest in the King of the Mountains competition: Michael Rasmussen, David de la Fuente, and Sylvain Chavanel.
Rasmussen has won his polka-dot jerseys through a strategy sometimes called the “Chicken Run,” a day-long Alpine breakaway where he takes major mountain points while riding alone. There's a chance of that, but he's still placed highly in the GC, and may not be allowed to get away.
Versus broacaster picks:
First climb, a 4th Cat:
1) Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner, +3 pts
2) Alexandre Efimkin, Barloworld, +2 pts
3) Marcel Sieberg, Milram, +1 pt
2nd climb, a 3rd Cat:
1) Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner, +4 pts
2) Juan Manuel Garate, Quick Step, +3 pts
3) Gorka Verdugo, Euskaltel +2 pts
4) Stephane Goubert (AG2R)+1 pt
Schumacher was recaptured, and Thomas Voeckler made a break. He was quickly countered by 18 riders, including Michael Rogers, George Hincapie, David Millar, Stephan Schumacher, and Jens Voigt.
1) Thomas Voeckler, Bouygues Telecom, +6 pts/6 secs
2) Lilian Jegou, Française des Jeux, +4 pts/4 secs
3) Stephane Goubert (A2R) +2 pts/2 secs
3rd climb, 2nd Cat:
1) Thomas Voeckler, Bouygues Telecom, 10 pts
2) Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner, 9 pts
3) Stephane Goubert, AG2R, 8 pts
4) David Millar, Saunier Duval, 7 pts
5) Bernard Kohl, Gerolsteiner, 6 pts
6) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, 5 pts
Voeckler was captured and the group of 18 quickly built a 2:00 lead on the peloton, driven primarily by Rabobank.
2nd (and final) intermediate sprint:
1) Frederik Willems, Liquigas, +6 pts/6 secs
2) Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner, +4 pts/4 secs
3) Antonio Colom, Astana, +2 pts/2 secs
Early on the day's biggest climb, David Millar falls off the lead group, and Michael Rasmussen rides off the peloton, joined by 7 other riders.
Bernard Kohl of Gerolsteiner has ridden away from the Rogers group and leads the race, with Antonio Colom and Christophe Le Mevel chasing.
Rasmussen has caught up to the splinters of the Rogers group, with David Arroyo, who bridged with him, and Goubert and Rogers join them to chase down Kohl, Le Mevel, and Colom. The 7 of them now lead the race.
Le Mevel is dropped late on the climb. Over the top, Rasmussen takes max points. He's been doing most of the work, but will be glad to have some other riders to pick the best line on the descent. The main field is more than 5 minutes behind with 2 more 1st Category climbs.
Cormet de Roselend, 1st Category:
1) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, 15 pts
2) Bernard Kohl, Gerolsteiner, 13 pts
3) Stephane Goubert, AG2R, 11 pts
4) David Arroyo, Caisse d'Epargne, 9 pts
5) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, 8 pts
6) Antonio Colom, Astana, 7 pts
7) Christphe Le Mevel, 6 pts (@ :52)
8) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, 5 pts (@1:25)
On the descent, Michael Rogers crashes, and David Arroyo goes over a guardrail. Both are quickly back on the road, but have to chase to get back with Rasmussen/Kohl/Colom.
On the 2nd 1st Category climb, Rogers is first to fall off the Rasmussen group, quickly followed by Goubert and Kohl. Colom and Arroyo match Rasmussen, letting the Dane do all the work.
Rogers can't hang with Goubert and Kohl, and it's quickly apparent that he's injured from the fall. He falls back to Hincapie's group, then back to the peloton, then off the back of the peloton to see the race doctor. Rogers refuses help from a domestique, then pulls to the side of the road. He collapses over his top tube, then dismounts and exits the Tour.
Less than 5 minutes later, his teammate Marcus Burghardt is reported to have abandoned, but it's yet another race radio screwup.
Over the summit, it's Rasmussen again, and Astana comes to the front of the field, 6:12 behind Rasmussen's trio. Most of the GC men are close by. Rasmussen is back in his familiar polka-dots, and could take the overall lead -- Arroyo is only 2 seconds behind Rasmussen in GC, and would take the race lead if he beats Rasmussen to the line for the stage win.
Montée d'Hauteville, 1st Category:
1) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, 15 pts
2) Antonio Colom, Astana, 13 pts
3) David Arroyo, Caisse d'Epargne, 11 pts
4) Sergio Paulinho, Discovery Channel, 9 pts
5) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, 8 pts
6) José Ivan Gutierrez, Caisse d'Epargne, 7 pts
7) Amets Txurruka, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 6 pts
8) Christophe le Mevel, Credit Agricole, 5 pts
Knowing Arroyo is a threat, Rasmussen rides the other two off his wheel on the day's last climb. Christophe Moreau is the first GC man to attack -- Mayo, Evans, Contador, Kashechkin, Valverde and Shleck (and briefly, Popovych) matched the French champion. Mayo, Moreau and Contador look like the strongest men in this group, which has built a lead of more than 1:30 on the peloton, which include Vino, Klöden, Leipheimer, Menchov, and others.
Contador has a mechanical that takes him back to the Vino group, but as soon as he's back on his bike, he goes back on the attack. Meanwhile, Moreau's group sweeps up Arroyo and Colom, and nearing the summit, Mayo jumps easily away. Only Moreau will work to reel him in, and Mayo builds a gap.
Rasmussen crosses the line with a textbook Rasmussen victory. Today, though, there's more than the polka-dots as a reward: Rasmussen takes over as the overall race leader.
Mayo is 2nd on the day, 2:47 back, then Valverde.
You can track the action in real time by subscribing to my Twitter feed.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 15, 2007 in 2007 Stage 8, Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Andrey Kashechkin, Christophe Moreau, David Millar, Denis Menchov, Frank Schleck, George Hincapie, Iban Mayo, Jens Voigt, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Michael Rogers, Sylvain Chavanel, Vladimir Karpets, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0)
July 12, 2007
Stage 5: Pozzato powers through, but where's Vino?
Filippo Pozzato was as good as his word Thursday. The Liquigas classics specialist, winner at Milan-San Remo in 2006, told CyclingNews that Stage 5 was right for him, and he followed through with a magnificent sprint through a select group of power riders that survived over a hilly course.
Sylvain Chavanel of Cofidis built a healthy lead in the King of the Mountains competition by leading the race over 7 of the day's 8 climbs, in a break with FdJeux's Philippe Gilbert, Credit Agricole's William Bonnet, and break latecomer Gianpaolo Cheula of Barloworld.
Meanwhile, many of the race favorites spent time on the tarmac, most notably Alexandre Vinokourov, who finished 1:21 back on the day after spending almost 25 kilometers/16 miles chasing, first with 6 teammates (all but Klöden and Kashechkin) then behind the team car, and finally with the help of Tom Boonen and other dropped traffic he collected as he made up time. Astana's team competition lead (the yellow race numbers) was lost, as well, and Team CSC takes over the team lead.
As the field came to the finish, 74 riders were together, but most of the marquee sprinters were dropped, including Boonen, McEwen, and Thor Hushovd, so the classics specialists came to the fore, with Zabel and Freire initially looking strong, then Hincapie and Bennati closing them down, before Pozzato came on through the center for the win, less than a foot ahead of Rabobank's Oscar Freire.
Top 20 (all same time):
1) Filippo Pozzato, Liquigas, Italy
2) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, Spain
3) Daniele Bennati, Lampre, Italy
4) Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile, Luxembourg
5) Erik Zabel, Milram, Germany
6) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, USA
7) Christian Moreni, Cofidis, Italy
8) Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner, Germany
9) Bram Tankink, Quick Step, Netherlands
10) Jérôme Pineau, Bouygues Telecom, France
11) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Australia
12) Fabian Cancellara, CSC, Switzerland
13) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain
14) Chris Horner, Predictor-Lotto, USA
15) Fränk Schleck, CSC, Luxembourg
16) Martin Elmiger, AG2R, Switzerland
17) Linus Gerdemann, T-Mobile, Germany
18) Inigo Landaluze, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain
19) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, Australia, T-Mobile, Australia
20) Laurent Lefevre, Bouygues Telecom, France
Once again, Fabian Cancellara did the yellow jersey proud, personally heading the peloton when Discovery's Yaroslav Popovych made a late break, and finishing 12th on a day when many expected him to lose the yellow jersey. As expected there was a heavy shuffle of the overall classification:
Overall standings after Stage 5
1) Fabian Cancellara, CSC, Switzerland, in 28:56
2) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, @ :33
3) Filippo Pozzato, Liquigas, Italy, @ :35
4) David Millar, Saunier Duval, Great Britain, @ :41
5) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, USA, @ :43
6) Vladimir Gusev, Discovery Channel, Russia, @ :45
7) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, Russia, @ :46
8) Mikel Atarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, @ :49
9) Thomas Dekker, Rabobank, Netherlands, @ :51
10) Benoît Vaugrenard, Française des Jeux, France, @ :52
11) José Ivan Gutierrez, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, @ :53
12) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain, @ :55
13) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, Spain, @ :55
14) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, @ :55
15) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Australia, @ :55
22) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, USA, @ 1:00
23) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, Russia, @ 1:00
25) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, @ 1:03
81) Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana, Kazakhstan, @ 2:10
Zabel, the 6-time winner, is in the green jersey for the first time since 2002. Sylvain Chavanel of Cofidis takes the King of the Mountains jersey from teammate Stéphane Augé, and Gusev maintains the lead in the young riders' white jersey competition.
And let's have no more talk of Dave Zabriskie as the Lanterne Rouge, please, as Dave Z finished in a big group @ 11:15 back, and jumps to 178th, 18:24 behind teammate Cancellara. Geoffroy Lequatre, a Cofidis rider who appeared to injure his right arm in a heavy fall and wobbled in 44:04 back, is 45:38 behind Cancellara to lead the Lanterne Rouge standings.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2007 in 2007 Stage 5, Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Andrey Kashechkin, Cadel Evans, Chris Horner, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, Denis Menchov, Erik Zabel, Filippo Pozzato, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Linus Gerdemann, Michael Rogers, Oscar Freire, Stefan Schumacher, Sylvain Chavanel, Thomas Dekker, Top Stories, Vladimir Karpets, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0)
Stage 5 on the road
Sylvain Chavanel of Cofidis, who could have taken the King of the Mountains jersey yesterday, is on the attack, alongside FdJeux's Philippe Gilbert, Credit Agricole's William Bonnet, and Barloworld's Gianpaolo Cheula, who caught the trio after a long chase.
Chavanel has taken 1st over each of the minor climbs so far, and looks likely to take over the polka-dot jersey tonight.
CSC has announced it won't defend the yellow jersey today, as a late 2nd Category climb and a 3rd Category climb only 8 kilometers from the finish should shake up the overall classification. We're likely to see the first gruppetto, as the big sprinters huddle together, working together to finish before the time limit.
Milram's Brett Lancaster of Australia withdrew after 2 hours of riding today, complaining of ongoing stomach problems. That leaves 184 riders in the race.
Lots of little crashes have happened as the Tour's first real climbs approach. Saunier Duval's Iban Mayo was paced back to the peloton by all 8 teammates, while Astana's Andreas Klöden fell with a teammate and visited the medical car. More serious was a fall just after the feed zone by Geoffroy Lequatre of Cofidis, who spent several minutes sitting by the side of the road after as doctors examined his arm.
Chavanel's group has led by nearly 15 minutes, but they're slowly being reeled in, with a 7:42 lead with 60 miles/97 kms to ride.
On the day's biggest climb, Chavanel turned on the heat, and only Philippe Gilbert could match him. Over the top, Chavanel led Gilbert, with Cheula and Bonnet 3rd and 4th, and Michael Rasmussen of Rabobank jumped from the field to take 6 pts in 5th place ahead of Sergio Paulinho of Discovery Channel leading the pack.
The gap is hovering a little over 2 minutes, and Bonnet and Cheula have been captured, so only Chavanel and Gilbert still lead, with less than 40 kilometers/25 miles to ride.
Vinokourov has gone down hard! His whole team besides Andreas Klöden and Andrey Kashechkin come back to chase, and Vinokourov blows each in turn, until he's left with nothing but the team car to draft, working up through the back traffic.
Chavanel and Gilbert are captured just before the day's final summit, with CSC pounding the field forward, and Vinokourov struggling to rejoin.
Discovery Channel's Yaroslav Popovych launched an attack on the capture of Chavanel, and yellow jersey Fabian Cancellara (!) powered the chase, which was short-circuited when Popovych and Cancellara overshot a corner and lost their momentum.
Coming into the finish, David Millar took a flier, with a Bouygues Telecom rider (probably Anthony Geslin), but they just dangled off the front into the final kilometer.
In the last 500 meters, Zabel and Freire looked well positioned, there comes George Hincapie, Bennati, and coming up fast through the middle, it's Filippo Pozzato of Liquigas taking the sprint! Pozzato took Milan-San Remo in 2006 and Stage 7 of the 2004 Tour, and told CyclingNews.com this morning that this was his stage.
The best way to follow the action in real time is to subscribe to my Twitter feed, which you can direct to your IM client or cell phone. A number of others are also Twittering the Tour, including David Bernstein of FredCast, CyclingNews.com (whose updates are usually truncated), Phil from Spinopsys, and Ken Conley.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2007 in 2007 Stage 5, Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Andrey Kashechkin, David Millar, Fabian Cancellara, Filippo Pozzato, Michael Rasmussen | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack
June 15, 2007
Colom, Vinokourov win Dauphiné Stage 5 side by side
Astana teammates Antonio Colom and Alexandre Vinokourov finished one-two in Digne-les-Bains today, the second time in the last three days that Astana has taken the day's top two podium spots.
Colom and Vinokourov were both in a 22-man break that shattered on the Col du Corobin, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the day's finish. Colom went first, with Vinokourov bridging up and away from the likes of Tom Boonen, Magnus Backstedt, Stef Clement, Rik Verbrugghe, and Leonardo Duque. Over the top, the Astanas had 35 seconds, which got out as far as a minute, but fell to 15 seconds at the finish, where Leonardo “L.” Duque was charging.
The main field, which had trailed the break by 6:30 at one point, finished 3:26 back, with AG2R doing the lion's share in protection of Christophe Moreau's 2nd place overall. Moreau, the 2001 Dauphiné champ, has a good shot at overall victory with a very mountainous stage tomorrow.
The main impact of the stage on the overall classification was to catapult Vinokourov back into the Top 10, even after he lost more than 7 minutes on yesterday's stage to the summit of Mont Ventoux.
Abandoning during the stage were Alejandro Valverde and Bobby Julich.
1) Antonio Colom, Spain, Astana
2) Alexander Vinokourov, Kazakhstan, Astana
3) Leonardo Duque, Colombia, Cofidis, at :15
4) Matej Mugerli, Slovenia, Liquigas
5) Stef Clement, Netherlands, Bouygues Telecom
6) Preben Van Hecke, Belgium, Predictor-Lotto
7) Anthony Charteau, France, Crédit Agricole
8) Egoi Martinez, Spain, Discovery Channel
9) Heinrich Haussler, Germany, Gerolsteiner
10) Philippe Gilbert, Belgium, Française Des Jeux
1) Andrey Kashechkin, Kazakhstan, Astana
2) Christophe Moreau, France, Ag2r Prévoyance
3) Denis Menchov, Russia, Rabobank
4) Cadel Evans, Australia, Predictor-Lotto
5) David Zabriskie, USA, Team CSC
6) Levi Leipheimer, USA, Discovery Channel
7) Alexander Vinokourov, Kazakhstan, Astana
8) Stef Clement, Netherlands, Bouygues Telecom
9) Sylvester Szmyd, Poland, Lampre-Fondital
10) Haimar Zubeldia, Spain, Euskaltel-Euskadi
Posted by Frank Steele on June 15, 2007 in Alejandro Valverde, Bobby Julich, Cadel Evans, Christophe Moreau, Dauphiné Libéré 2007, Dave Zabriskie, Levi Leipheimer, Magnus Backstedt, Tom Boonen | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Valverde exits Dauphiné after weak Stage 4
Caisse d'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde, who finished 2nd-to-last on yesterday's climb to Mont Ventoux despite being an early Tour de France favorite, abandoned on the road at the Dauphiné Libéré today.
Valverde and teammate Francisco Perez pulled out at the 40-kilometer mark, complaining of a stomach virus. As for Thursday's result:
“It was the hardest stage of my life,” Valverde told journalists on Thursday. “I finished out of pure stubbornness.”
June 14, 2007
Moreau conquers Ventoux
AG2R's Christophe Moreau took a 2nd win at this year's Dauphiné Libéré, riding the wheels off the whole peloton on the leg-breaking climb to Mont Ventoux.
Moreau won Tuesday's stage to Saint Etienne, which put him into the overall race lead, a lead he relinquished to Alexandre Vinokourov after yesterday's time trial.
Vinokourov quickly fell away on the day's final climb (finishing 7:20 back), but he had suggested yesterday that he wasn't interested in chasing an overall here at the Dauphiné, and his teammate, Andrey Kashechkin, took over the race leadership by finishing 2:04 behind Moreau.
The day's revelation had to be the climbing of CSC's Dave Zabriskie, who stayed with the main chase group almost to the summit, and finished just out of the day's top 10 at 2:01.
Moreau's teammate Sylvain Calzati spent more than 190 kilometers leading the race, first with 3 breakaway companions, then alone, before finally being caught a few kilometers from the observatory atop Mont Ventoux.
1) Christophe Moreau, France, AG2R
2) Sylvester Szmyd, Poland, Lampre, at 1:08
3) Igor Anton, Spain, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:21
4) Cadel Evans, Australia, Predictor-Lotto, at 1:51
5) Denis Menchov, Russia, Rabobank, same time
6) Haimar Zubeldia, Spain, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:55
7) Miguel Beltran, Spain, Liquigas, same time
8) Levi Leipheimer, USA, Discovery Channel, s.t.
9) Leonardo Piepoli, Italy, Saunier Duval, 1:57
10) Alberto Contador, Spain, Discovery Channel, same time
11) Dave Zabriskie, USA, Team CSC, at 2:00
13)Andrey Kashechkin, Kazakhstan, Astana, at 2:04
General classification (CORRECTED 4:40 p.m.):
1) Andrey Kashechkin, Kazakhstan, Astana, in 16:17.21
2) Christophe Moreau, France, AG2R, at :14
3) Denis Menchov, Russia, Rabobank, at :25
4) Cadel Evans, Australia, Predictor-Lotto, at :26
5) Dave Zabriskie, USA, Team CSC, same time
6) Levi Leipheimer, USA, Discovery Channel, at :53
7) Sylvain Chavanel, France, Cofidis, at 1:50
8) Haimar Zubeldia, Spain, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 3:15
9) Alberto Contador, Spain, Discovery Channel, same time
10) Manuel Beltran, Spain, Liquigas, at 3:34
Moreau leads the points, mountains, and combination jersey competitions.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 14, 2007 in Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Cadel Evans, Christophe Moreau, Dauphiné Libéré 2007, Dave Zabriskie, Denis Menchov, Leonardo Piepoli, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 13, 2007
Vinokourov wins Dauphine TT, takes race lead
As expected, the TT shuffled the leaderboard ahead of the stage up Mont Ventoux tomorrow. Vinokourov, the defending Vuelta champion who was prevented from starting last year's Tour because many of his teammates were allegedly connected to Operación Puerto, showed he's the pre-race Tour favorite. He moves into the overall race lead.
Discovery Channel's Levi Leipheimer finished 8th on the day, 1:11 slower than Vinokourov, while teammate George Hincapie was caught on the course by Kashechkin, his 2-minute man.
Denis Menchov of Rabobank, currently in 4th place and 40 seconds back, won the climb of Ventoux at the Dauphiné last year, where Vinokourov was a disappointing 81st, 13:10 back. Tomorrow should be an interesting race.
Preliminary Top 10:
1) Alexander Vinokourov, Kazakhstan, Astana, in 52:08
2) Andrey Kashechkin, Kazakhstan, Astana, at :09
3) Dave Zabriskie, USA, Team CSC, at :38
4) Cadel Evans, Australia, Predictor-Lotto, at :39
5) Denis Menchov, Russia, Rabobank, at :40
6) Stef Clement, Netherlands, Bouygues Telecom, same time
7) Sylvain Chavanel, France, Cofidis, at 1:10
8) Levi Leipheimer, USA, Discovery Channel, at 1:11
9) Alejandro Valverde, Spain, Caisse d'Epargne, at 1:18
10) David Millar, UK, Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 1:40
13) George Hincapie, USA, Discovery Channel, at 2:10
28) Bobby Julich, USA, CSC, at 3:02
Christian Vande Velde, USA, CSC, at 5:48
1) Alexander Vinokourov, Kazakhstan, Astana
2) Andrey Kashechkin, Kazakhstan, Astana, at :02
3) Dave Zabriskie, USA, Team CSC, at :32
4) Denis Menchov, Russia, Rabobank, at :40
5) Cadel Evans, Australia, Predictor-Lotto, at :41
6) Levi Leipheimer, USA, Discovery Channel, at 1:03
7) Stef Clement, Netherlands, Bouygues Telecom
8) Sylvain Chavanel, France, Cofidis
9) Alejandro Valverde, Spain, Caisse d'Epargne
Posted by Frank Steele on June 13, 2007 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Cadel Evans, Dauphiné Libéré 2007, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, Denis Menchov, Georg Totschnig, Levi Leipheimer, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0)
June 11, 2007
Caisse d'Epargne's Tour squad emerges
Quoting HLN.be, CyclingNews reports that, barring last-minute changes, Caisse d'Epargne has chosen its Tour squad.
- Caisse d'Epargne Tour riders:
- Alejandro Valverde
- Oscar Pereiro
- Vladimir Karpets
- Xabier Zandio
- Luis Sanchez
- Florent Brard
- Nicolas Portal
- José Vicente Garcia Acosta
- Francisco Perez
Update: They dropped Brard and Sanchez in favor of David Arroyo and José Ivan Gutierrez.
June 10, 2007
Wiggins wins Dauphiné prologue
Great Britain's Bradley Wiggins, clearly focused on the London Tour prologue less than a month away, stormed the Dauphné Libéré prologue TT in Grenoble today.
Wiggins edged Discovery Channel's Levi Leipheimer, the 2006 Dauphiné champion, and Astana's Andrey Kashechkin at the biggest tuneup for Tour contenders. Wiggins, with a long list of palmares on the track, takes the Dauphiné leader's jersey.
Discovery Channel placed 3 riders in the top 10, with Leipheimer 2nd, George Hincapie 4th at :02, and Egoi Martinez 9th at :05. Caisse d'Epargne leader Alejandro Valverde was 5th on the day.
Saunier Duval's David Millar, the other British hope for the prologue, was 11th on the day, at :06. Millar may have been slowed by wet roads that hampered earlier starters.
A strong prologue (7th) has Tom Boonen well positioned to take over the race lead with a sprint bonus during the race's early stages.
Top 10 (Stage and Overall)
1) Bradley Wiggins, UK, Cofidis, 4:50
2) Levi Leipheimer, USA, Discovery Channel, at :01
3) Andrey Kashechkin, Kazakhstan, Astana, at :02
4) George Hincapie, USA, Discovery Channel, at :02
5) Alejandro Valverde, Spain, Caisse d'Epargne, at :03
6) Dave Zabriskie, USA, Team CSC, at :03
7) Tom Boonen, Belgium, Quick Step, at :04
8) Nick Nuyens, Belgium, Cofidis, at :05
9) Egoi Martinez, Spain, Discovery Channel, at :05
10) Sebastien Joly, France, Française des Jeux, at :06
September 18, 2006
Vinokourov has 1st Grand Tour with Vuelta win
Eurosport | Vinokourov wins Vuelta Astana's Alexandre Vinokourov salvaged his season, and the Liberty Seguros/Würth/Astaná team's as well, with a win in the Vuelta a España. Vinokourov and Astaná were barred from the Tour de France because several of the team's riders were implicated by Spanish officials in the Operación Puerto investigation. Vinokourov was not implicated, but Astaná found themselves with only 4 riders, not enough to start the race. Vinokourov railed at the time that organizers had deprived him of his last chance to win the Tour, but Sunday, buoyed by his impending victories, he sang another tune. Vinokourov told Eurosport the Vuelta win is “what I needed to be competitive in the 2007 Tour de France.” Vinokourov took 3 stages of the race, including the Saturday time trial on his 33rd birthday. Caisse d'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde, the pre-race favorite, was 2nd overall, 1:12 back, with Vinokourov's teammate Andrey Kashechkin third, at 3:12. Milram's antique sprinter, Erik Zabel, showed he's still got some gas with a win in the Vuelta's final stage on Sunday. Also: CyclingNews.com | First Grand Tour for Vinokourov; another stage win for Zabel | Results | Overall Standings | Photo Gallery GrahamWatson.com | Vuelta a España Stage 21
Posted by Frank Steele on September 18, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Erik Zabel, Top Stories, Vuelta a España, Vuelta a España 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
September 14, 2006
Danielson wins Vuelta stage, Vinokourov takes race lead
It's nice to have a little racing news, as Tom Danielson of Discovery Channel took Wednesday's Stage 17 of the Vuelta a España, leading Alexandre Vinokourov across the line. Vinokourov took a 9-second lead on Caisse d'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde.
Valverde doesn't want to see things go down to the final time trial on Saturday, so he told Eurosport he'll be all-out in today's final mountain stage, up the Pandera:
“Nothing is lost. Things will happen on the Pandera. You can't forget that I won here two years ago and have lots of affection for this climb.”
Danielson, who came to the Vuelta as Discovery's GC contender, couldn't hang during the early stages of the Vuelta, but rebounded to take the day after dropping 5 breakaway mates on the day's second 1st-Category climb.
Vinokourov, who has never worn a Grand Tour leader's jersey until now, was able to ride away from Valverde and Sastre on the day's last major climb after teammate Andrey Kashechkin and Jose Angel Gomez Marchante of Saunier Duval cranked up the pace to make a wicked selection. Valverde fought back onto Vino's wheel early in the descent, but the Astana leader slowly pulled away until, with 9 kilometers to ride, he had 32 seconds on Valverde, and sat 13 seconds behind Danielson.
When Vino caught Danielson, the two worked together to maximize the break, while Valverde had to do almost all the work in his small group alone, shadowed by Kashechkin. Euskaltel's Samuel Sanchez attacked out of this group to take 3rd on the day.
1) Tom Danielson, Discovery Channel, USA
2) Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana, Kazakhstan, same time
3) Samuel Sanchez, Euskeltel-Euskadi, Spain, at 1:10
4) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, at 1:39
5) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, same time
6) Stephane Goubert, AG2R, France, s.t.
7) Luis Perez, Cofidis, Spain, s.t.
8) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, s.t.
9) Jose Angel Gomez Marchante, Saunier Duval, s.t.
10) Leonardo Piepoli, Saunier Duval, s.t.
1) Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana, Kazakhstan, 67:29:41
2) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at :09
3) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, at 1:51
4) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, at 2:14
5) Jose Angel Gomez Marchante, Saunier Duval, at 4:32
6) Tom Danielson, Discovery Channel, USA, at 6:07
7) Manuel Beltran, Discovery Channel, Spain, at 6:33
8) Samuel Sanchez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, at 7:25
9) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, Russia, at 7:49
10) Luis Perez, Cofidis, Spain, at 9:04
CyclingNews | Vinokourov and Danielson combine to unseat Valverde | Results | Photo Gallery
GrahamWatson.com | Vuelta a España Stage 17 photo gallery
Posted by Frank Steele on September 14, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Carlos Sastre, Denis Menchov, Tom Danielson, Top Stories, Vladimir Karpets, Vuelta a España, Vuelta a España 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
August 13, 2006
Florencio takes San Sebastian
procyling | Florencio creates upset at San Sebastian Unheralded Bouyges Telecom pro Xavier Florencio took his first win since 2002 on Saturday, winning a 50-man sprint at the Clasico San Sebastian. Caisse d'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde was a favorite, as he returned from the broken collarbone he suffered July 4th in Stage 3 of the 2006 Tour. A strong breakaway, including Iban Mayo, Carlos Sastre, and Denis Menchov, was reeled in 4 kilometers from the finish, and Caisse d'Epargne chased a few last-minute attacks, looking to get Valverde back in the winner's circle. Instead, Florencio launched an attack from more than 200 meters, but got a direct line for the extra effort, and Kashechkin couldn't get off Florencio's wheel. Stefano Garzelli of Liquigas was able to nip ahead of Kashechkin but not Florencio at the line. Discovery Channel's George Hincapie finished Top-10 in yet another classic, in 9th just behind Valverde. Top 10: 1) Xavier Florencio, Spain, Bouygues Telecom, in 5:32:44 2) Stefano Garzelli, Italy, Liquigas, same time 3) Andrey Kashechkin, Kazakhstan, Astana, s.t. 4) Alexandre Botcharov, Russia, Credit Agricole, s.t. 5) Cristian Moreni, Italy, Cofidis, s.t. 6) Mirko Celestino, Italy, Team Milram, s.t. 7) Ricardo Serrano, Spain, Kaiku, s.t. 8) Alejandro Valverde, Spain, Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears, s.t. 9) George Hincapie, USA, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, s.t. 10) Franco Pellizotti, Italy, Liquigas, s.t. Also: VeloNews | Surprise winner at San Sebastián cyclingnews.com | 26th Clasica San Sebastian | Photo Gallery
July 05, 2006
Valverde to refocus on Vuelta
Caisse d'Epargne team leader Alejandro Valverde will make an unscheduled start in September's Vuelta a España, which must have organizers rubbing their hands together in glee.
The 26-year-old, knocked out of the Tour de France yesterday with a broken collarbone, went down when teammate Oscar Pereiro clipped his front wheel as other riders slowed ahead. George Hincapie apparently didn't realize the danger when he rode Pereiro's wheel to victory in Stage 15 of last year's Tour.
July 04, 2006
Kessler gets his stage, Boonen gets his yellow jersey
Matthias Kessler attacked over the Cauberg and kept his lead to the line, avenging his last second loss yesterday, earning T-Mobile probably its first bright spot of the 2006 Tour.
Just 5 seconds behind, world time trial champion Michael Rogers led in a group of strongman sprinters and GC candidates. In 3rd on the day was Lampre's Daniele Bennati, ahead of world champion Tom Boonen, who had made no secret of his intent to take today's stage.
He can take solace in the yellow jersey, the first ever for the 25-year-old world road champion, as Thor Hushovd came in 62nd, at 17 seconds back. He'll wear it in Belgium tomorrow, where he's a huge celebrity. Boonen also takes the lead in the green jersey competition as Robbie McEwen came in 34 seconds back in 89th. Lampre's Daniele Bennati, 4th on the day moves into 2nd in the points competition: Boonen 67, Bennati 66, McEwen 65, Hushovd 62, Zabel 59.
This was a “declare your intentions” day for the GC; if you're not riding for the overall, why break your legs on the Cauberg? Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Bobby Julich, Christian Vande Velde, Carlos Sastre, Paolo Savoldelli, Yarolav Popovych, Jose Azevedeo, Denis Menchov, Andreas Klöden, David Millar, Sergei Honchar, Cadel Evans, and even Gilberto Simoni all made the break to come in 5 seconds behind Kessler.
Bookie favorite Alejandro Valverde crashed and broke his collarbone with about 20 kilometers to ride in an overlap of wheels -- a wide-open Tour de France is even more so this evening. Also out are Freddie Rodriguez and Erik Dekker, who went down together and were taken to a local hospital.
Chris Horner came in 159th on the day, at 8:05. Stuart O'Grady rode in alone after an accident, 11:35 back, and Magnus Backstedt and Filippo Pozzato, 18:36 back, were the day's final finishers.
1) Matthias Kessler, T-Mobile, in 4:57:54
2) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, at :05
3) Daniele Bennati, Lampre, same time
4) Tom Boonen, QuickStep, s.t.
5) Erik Zabel, Milram, s.t.
6) Luca Paolini, Liquigas, s.t.
7) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, s.t.
8) Eddy Mazzoleni, T-Mobile, s.t.
9) Georg Totschnig, Gerolsteiner, s.t.
10) Fabian Wegmann, Gerolsteiner, s.t.
1) Tom Boonen, QuickStep
2) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, at :01
3) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at :05
4) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, at :07
5) Paolo Savoldelli, Discovery Channel, at :15
6) Daniele Bennati, Lampre, at :15
7) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at :16
8) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, at :15
9) Sergei Honchar, T-Mobile, at :17
10) Matthias Kessler, T-Mobile, at :17
Posted by Frank Steele on July 4, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Chris Horner, David Millar, Denis Menchov, Filippo Pozzato, Georg Totschnig, Magnus Backstedt, Michael Rogers, Oscar Freire, Paolo Savoldelli, Robbie McEwen, Sergei Honchar, Stage results, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006, Vladimir Karpets, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0)
Valverde, Rodriguez, Dekker out of TourFreddie Rodriguez of Davitamon-Lotto, a 3-time U.S. champion, and Erik Dekker, a 4-time Tour stage winner (including 3 in the 2000 Tour alone), have abandoned the race after an accident on today's 3rd stage.
In a later accident, race favorite Alejandro Valverde of Caisse d'Epargne broke his right collarbone, and was taken away in an ambulance.
Stage 3 on the road
Jerome Pineau of Bouygues Telecom, former yellow jersey Jens Voigt of CSC, Unai Etxebarria of Euskaltel-Euskadi, Christophe Laurent of Agritubel, and José Luis Arrieta of AG2R are about 4:30 off the front. Voigt is one of the riders being tracked on the Ubilabs Google Maps mashup. Pineau has taken max climber's points over the first climb, while Voigt went hard to take the 6 seconds (and 6 points) at the first two sprint lines.
At the day's second climb, a 3rd Category, Pineau again took max points, ahead of Etxebarria, Laurent, and Voigt.
Fast Freddie Rodriguez was involved in a crash, apparently with Rabobank's Erik Dekker. Doctors were looking at Rodriguez' right collarbone, and Dekker had facial injuries. Both have been taken away by ambulance, and are both out of this year's Tour. Rodriguez was Robbie McEwen's leadout man, although McEwen seems just as likely to use another sprinter for that. Dekker was probably in his final Tour at 35.
The day's last intermediate sprint went to Arrieta ahead of Voigt and Laurent. That means Boonen's only chance to move up to the yellow jersey is to make 5 seconds on a finish line bonus. First takes 20 seconds, second takes 12, and third is 8 seconds. Backstedt and Pozzatto have both been at the back of the pack today. I was hoping Backstedt was taking it easy yesterday in preparation for an effort today, but it may be he's not in good Tour shape.
Gap is down to less than 2 minutes, but Jerome Pineau led the break over the day's 4th climb, so he's currently leading the King of the Mountains competition, with a 3rd Category and 4th Category climb to go.
With less than 20 kilometers to go, it's down to 1:20, and the breakaway is splitting. Laurent was first to attack; Arrieta bridged, and Voigt finally came across. Etxebarria and Pineau have fallen off the back.
There's a big crash in the peloton. Alejandro Valverde has hit the pavement! He's sitting on the roadside in obvious pain. Again, they're looking at his right collarbone. He was the oddsmakers favorite to take the Tour, and a smart pick for today's stage as well. They've brought a stretcher and Valverde, one of the sport's rising superstars, is out of the Tour in Stage 3.
Meanwhile, Arrieta has attacked out of the leading group of 3. He leads over the day's 5th climb, 10 seconds up on Agritubel's Christophe Laurent and 15 seconds on Voigt. Etxebarria and Pineau are in no-man's land with the peloton at 1:15 behind Arrieta.
The Tour website reports that Stuart O'Grady has been involved in yet another accident, but the OLN broadcasters haven't mentioned it.
Laurent is caught, Voigt is caught, and only Arrieta is still up the road. Boonen is just off the front of the pack, Michael Boogerd is right there, and the gap is down to 49 seconds with 5 kilometers to ride. O'Grady is off the back, so it looks like he was caught in an accident, but he's back on the bike.
Arrieta is rocking as the peloton closes him down. Arrieta has 14 seconds in hand. He's onto the Cauberg, and a Credit Agricole rider has tried to bridge. Oscar Friere, Michael Boogerd, Philippe Gilbert, and Tom Boonen (all Benelux riders or on Benelux teams) are killing themselves up the Cauberg as they capture Arrieta. Sandy Casar has punctured on the Cauberg. The Française des Jeux leader will lose a minute or more on the day.
T-Mobile's Matthias Kessler attacks out of the local boys! He takes the points over the top of the Cauberg, ahead of Sebastian Joly and Michael Boogerd. After getting caught with 50 meters yesterday, he's attacked with 2 kilometers to ride today. At the 1 kilometer mark he's got a few seconds in hand, and the Cauberg has broken up the leadout trains. This one may work.
Kessler is going hard all the way to the line, and he's got the win for T-Mobile. The select group that survived over the Cauberg is coming just behind, and there's another T-Mobile rider who takes the sprint. It's Australia's world TT champion, Michael Rogers, just ahead of Daniele Bennati of Lampre.
July 02, 2006
Casper the stage, Hincapie in yellow, Hushovd injured in sprint
Race leader Thor Hushovd was taken away in an ambulance at the end of Stage 1 in Strasbourg. It appeared that Hushovd, sprinting right along the right edge of the road, caught a fan's hand-shaped poster, cutting his arm with less than 50 meters to race.
It was a chaotic sprint, and favorite Tom Boonen went too soon, and couldn't go top 10 (cyclingnews.com says Boonen may also have hit a fan). Robbie McEwen switched off wheels from Hushovd to Boonen, and as he does, appeared in the thick of it at the last instant, but he waited a touch too long, and the French got their first stage win of the year: Jimmy Casper of Cofidis, who edged McEwen and Milram's Erik Zabel.
Discovery Channel's George Hincapie takes the race leadership, after a cagey attack for an intermediate sprint that gave him 2 seconds bonus, against the possibility that none of the riders near the top of the GC competition would take bonus time from a top-3 finish on the day.
1) Casper, in 4:10:00
2) McEwen, Davitamon-Lotto, same time
3) Erik Zabel, Milram, s.t.
4) Daniele Bennati, Lampre, s.t.
5) Luca Paolini, Liquigas, s.t.
6) Isaac Galvez, Caisse d'Epargne, s.t.
7) Stuart O'Grady, CSC, s.t.
8) Bernard Eisel, Française des Jeux, s.t.
9) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, s.t.
10) Oscar Freire, s.t.
1) Hincapie, Discovery Channel
2) Hushovd, at :02
3) David Zabriskie, CSC, at :03
4) Sebastian Lang, Gerolsteiner, at :06
5) Alejandro Valverde, at :06
6) Stuart O'Grady, CSC
7) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, at :08
8) Paolo Savoldelli, Discovery Channel, at :10
9) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at :11
10) Benoit Vaugrenard, Française des Jeux, at :11
Wegmann takes the first (cheap) mountains jersey, while Vaugrenard, involved in a long break where he took some bonus time, takes the young riders' white jersey.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 2, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Dave Zabriskie, Erik Zabel, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Michael Rogers, Oscar Freire, Paolo Savoldelli, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Prologue photo roundup
There's a wealth of great photos available from the prologue.
I thought the quality of shots on Flickr had taken a quantum leap forward, but it turns out some joker just uploaded Graham Watson's pictures to his own account. Still, Francois Schnell has a nice group of Tour snaps from yesterday; I love the composition of this one.
Speaking of Watson:
(l-r) Leipheimer, Landis, Hincapie from GrahamWatson.com prologue gallery.
Sammarye's recommendations were spot on:
Mark Shimahara at BikeZen:
(l-r) Moreau, Valverde, Hushovd, one for the ladies from BikeZen's Prologue Gallery.
(l-r) Joly, Bruseghin, and Backstedt from cyclingnews.com Prologue photo gallery.
Also, the saddest car in Strasbourg.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 2, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Christophe Moreau, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Photo galleries, Thor Hushovd, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)
July 01, 2006
Hushovd takes 2006 Tour prologue
Hushovd is an annual combatant in the sprinter's jersey competition, which he won last year, but is more a pure power rider than some of the other sprinters (Robbie McEwen, I'm looking at you). He should be able to stay close enough to the sprinters over the next few stages to hold the overall race lead.
He edged out Discovery Channel's George Hincapie and CSC's Dave Zabriskie, with Sebastian Lang 4th and Spain's Alejandro Valverde 5th.
Phonak's Floyd Landis missed his start time, and lost nearly 10 seconds before his Tour even started. His 9th place at 8:26.26 would certainly have bettered Zabriskie, and would have rivalled Hincapie and Hushovd if he had ridden the same ride with an on-time start. OLN reports Landis had a flat tire as he came to the start.
David Millar, returning from a 2-year suspension for EPO, could manage only 17th, in 8:31.65.
- Top 10:
- Hushovd, Credit Agricole, in 8:17.00
- George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at :01
- Dave Zabriskie, CSC, at :04
- Sebastian Lang, Gerolsteiner, at :05
- Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, at :05
- Stuart O'Grady, CSC, at :05
- Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, at :06
- Paolo Savoldelli, Discovery Channel, at :08
- Floyd Landis, Phonak, at :09
- Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, at :10
19) Chris Horner, Davitamon-Lotto, at :16
29) Bobby Julich, CSC, at :19
35) Christian Vande Velde, CSC, at :21
36) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, at :22
112) Fred Rodriguez, Davitamon-Lotto, at :38
This story doesn't really seem to capture the whole moment.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 1, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Bobby Julich, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Horner, Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, Floyd Landis, Fred Rodriguez, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rogers, Paolo Savoldelli, Stage results, Stuart O'Grady, Thor Hushovd, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
June 30, 2006
Black Friday: Basso, Mancebo, Ullrich all withdraw from Tour
The 1998 Tour has nothing on this year's edition, as both favorites and at least one other team leader have been withdrawn from the Tour by their teams.
Teams are scrambling to reshuffle after all 21 teams agreed to ban all riders named in the Operación Puerto report, including Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, and Francisco Mancebo. The named riders won't be replaced on their team's Tour roster.
Organizers are considering whether to try again to suspend Astaná-Würth, since 9 of its riders are among the 37 riders on the list. Team leader Alexandre Vinokourov is not among them. Tour director Christian Prudhomme told AFP:
"Astaná-Würth is a bit more complicated because there are so many names from that team being linked to the doping probe," added the Frenchman. "Some of those implicated are on the Tour, and some are not. To us, it looks like they have been operating a team doping policy."
Oddsmakers are working out the results, and currently have Alejandro Valverde as the favorite, at 6.4-1.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 30, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Doping, Floyd Landis, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink | Comments (16) | TrackBack
June 28, 2006
TdFblog GC preview
It's going to be an amazing Tour.
I am obligated, as a writer for a Tour-centric web site, to make some predictions. This year, it is incredibly hard. A lot of riders either have badly screwed up their preparation or haven't shown us what they can do this season (and another, Alexandre Vinokourov, hasn't and may not get the chance to), and we won't find out which it is for a week or 10 days.
Sitting here, three days from Strasbourg, I believe in the two favorites, Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich. I believe in Francisco Mancebo. Alejandro Valverde may be the future of the sport (depending on what's in those damn bags), and he's at the point in his career to break out some surprises. These guys have all shown they're ready to rock and roll.
For some reason, I don't really believe in Levi Leipheimer. Gorgeous wife, great results, but I have to agree with his DS: Top 10 probably, Top 5 maybe. Floyd Landis and Alexandre Vinokourov both flummoxed me with sub-par Dauphiné results, but I want to believe.
Total wildcards: Denis Menchov, Iban Mayo, Cadel Evans. I think Evans will finish higest of these three, but Mayo could take a spotlight stage, like l'Alpe d'Huez.
I can't read Johan Bruyneel's mind any better than anyone else, but I suspect Popovych and Azevedo will be the two most highly-placed Discovery Channel riders. Savoldelli and Hincapie will be well-placed up to the mountains, then lose time to the better climbers.
Enough procrastination; here's my Top 5:
1) Ivan Basso, CSC
2) Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile
3) Floyd Landis, Phonak
4) Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel
5) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne
I don't see Ullrich gaining 4 minutes on Basso in the TTs, and here's why: The Stage 7 TT profile. It's long enough, at 52 kilometers, but it's a fairly technical course. Even if it's dry, I could easily see Ullrich overcooking a couple of corners, getting out of his rhythm, and not going as fast as he's capable. If it rains, even worse.
I could also see Basso gaining some time on stages with downhill finishes, like Stage 17, where Basso could go over the top of the Col de Joux-Plane with time in hand and conserve all or most of that lead for the 12 kilometers into Morzine. Ullrich's bike-handling has always scared me.
I'm also discounting the Floyd Landis nay-sayers, who say he's got no team. I think with a race as open as this year's, the team strength matters less. Landis needs to identify the real team leaders fast, then cover moves only by the real GC threats. Remember Armstrong watching Vinokourov go up the road, and waiting for Ullrich and Klöden (T-Mobile's “official” GC threats) to bring him back? Same idea. There are plenty of other strong riders who will be chasing down the pretenders.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 28, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Andreas Klöden, Cadel Evans, Christophe Moreau, Denis Menchov, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Iban Mayo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Levi Leipheimer, Paolo Savoldelli, Top Stories, Tour 2006 previews, Tour de France 2006, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (1)
June 11, 2006
Leipheimer wins Dauphiné; Hushovd takes last stage
Gerolsteiner's Levi Leipheimer took one of the most important Tour warmups, while Credit Agricole's Thor Hushovd took a confidence-building stage win ahead of his effort to repeat as the Tour sprint jersey champion.
CSC's Stuart O'Grady, QuickStep's Amer-Italian Guido Trenti, and Agritubel's Coutouly were in an early breakaway, that got more than 4:30 on the field. O'Grady survived almost to the bitter end, with Credit Agricole, AG2R, and eventually QuickStep driving the peloton hard. O'Grady was reabsorbed with about 2-3 kilometers to ride.
Hushovd took the field sprint ahead of Samuel Dumoulin of AG2R, Philippe Gilbert of Française des Jeux, and Discovery Channel's George Hincapie.
Leipheimer took the win despite being frequently isolated without teammates in the mountains, but gave all the credit to his team:
"That we could win it this year says a lot about myself and a lot about Gerolsteiner as a team."
"This win will give them and me a lot of confidence in the Tour.
Leipheimer and especially 2nd place finisher Christophe Moreau showed they're coming into the Tour in terrific climbing shape, and 3rd place rider Bernhard Kohl of T-Mobile is the revelation of the race, finishing 2:51 behind Leipheimer. Discovery Channel's Jose Azevedo was 4th; he's a dark horse for the Tour.
Other Tour names in the top 20: Francisco Mancebo of AG2R in 5th; Denis Menchov of Rabobank in 6th, despite an injury in yesterday's stage; Alejandro Valverde in 7th at 4:21; George Hincapie 10th at 6:48; Sylvain Chavanel 12th; Iban Mayo 16th at 11:00.
A couple of Tour favorites were here, but nowhere to be seen when the action heated up: Floyd Landis finished 60th overall, at 57:06, Alexandre Vinokourov was 49th at 51:08.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 11, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2006, Denis Menchov, Floyd Landis, Francisco Mancebo, George Hincapie, Iban Mayo, Levi Leipheimer, Stuart O'Grady, Thor Hushovd, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 10, 2006
Dauphiné Stage 6 underway
Today's probably the hardest day of the Dauphiné climbing the Col du Galibier, the Col de la Croix de Fer, both hors categorie, the Col du Mollard, a 2nd-category climb, and the finishing climb, a 1st-category climb up La Toussuire, which we'll see again in Stage 16 of this year's Tour.
If anybody's going to take the leader's jersey off Levi Leipheimer, today is where they'll have to do it.
Christophe Moreau, Denis Menchov, and Levi Leipheimer are riding together over the top of the Mollard, with about 39 kilometers to ride. They're chasing Caisse d'Espargne's Alejandro Valverde, Euskaltel-Euskadi's Iban Mayo, T-Mobile's Oscar Sevilla, and Valverde's teammate David Arroyo, who are already on the descent 1:15 up the road.
The pack is catching back onto Moreau's little group on the descent.
At 29 kilometers to ride, the gap has gone out to 1:41. Davitamon-Lotto has a couple riders leading the group, Chris Horner is one. Leipheimer has no teammates in the chasing group of around 16.
As the four leaders hit the base of the finishing climb, David Arroyo, who has been towing the break, comes full stop, leaving Valverde, Sevilla, and Mayo to fight for the stage win.
Leipheimer sits comfortably on Chris Horner's wheel, Menchov and Moreau shadowing him. With 16k to ride, the 3 leaders have 2:06 on the chasers.
Voeckler off the back, Mancebo off the back, as Piepoli is gone off the front. Leipheimer goes to the front, and the leader's group is down to 9 or 10. There goes Piepoli again, and Leipheimer matches -- here goes Azevedo. Mancebo had just reached back up to Leipheimer's group, but he's lost again.
Valverde, meanwhile, raised the pace and dropped Sevilla. Mayo and Valverde are riding alone.
Piepoli, Azevedo, and Leipheimer have a gap. Menchov can see them riding away, but he can't counter. Now Moreau bridges, as does T-Mobile's Bernhard Kohl, so there's a group of 5 chasing Valverde and Mayo. Maybe 100 meters back is another group of 5 including Mancebo and Denis Menchov.
Leipheimer's group has caught David Arroyo, who sits on the back.
Now Menchov and Voeckler have gone off the back of Mancebo's group. Menchov may be hurt -- he's got a dirt stain on his shoulder. Even if Moreau can't catch Leipheimer on GC, he and Azevedo have a good chance to move up into 2nd and 3rd overall tonight.
There's Sevilla; he drops in behind Arroyo, so there are 7 main chasers, with 6 kilometers to ride.
There goes Piepoli again! Leipheimer stays right on his wheel, Moreau stays with them, and Bernhard Kohl struggles to stay with them. Azevedo tries to make it but can't, and he, Arroyo, and Sevilla go off the back. Now Kohl is sapped, leaving only Piepoli, Leipheimer and Christophe Moreau together.
The gap is under a minute now, and Moreau and Piepoli are both racing hard. There's a chance they'll bring the break back. Mayo raises the pace, and easily puts 50 meters into Valverde. He doesn't look like a man who's going to get caught on a mountain.
Valverde's in the chasers' sights now. Mayo has bumped his gap out to 1:11 back to Leipheimer. He's going to take the stage win; he's just flying up the slope.
With 1 kilometer to ride, Mayo's gap is out to 1:38! The race cameras keep showing Menchov, who is looking very ragged back down in the field. Moreau is doing the work in the chase -- he needs less than 90 seconds to move past Menchov in the GC.
Mayo's taken it! Valverde survives, coming in around 1:20. Moreau is sprinting for 3rd, and gets it, at 1:37. Leipheimer and Piepoli finish with him.
Kohl is next at 2:00, then Azevedo takes 7th at 2:37. Mancebo battles in at 3:17, Sevilla and Caucchioli are next at 3:26.
Rous, Voeckler, Menchov, Hincapie, Chavanel, at 5:22. Menchov falls off the podium.
Looks like GC should be (correction): 1) Leipheimer, 2) Moreau, 3) Kohl, 4) Azevedo, 5) Mancebo.
June 09, 2006
Ludovic Turpin takes Dauphiné Stage 5; Leipheimer holds race lead
I tuned in about 400 meters before the finish, so I have no details, but AG2R's Ludovic Turpin rode in alone at Briançon, with Iban Mayo and Francisco Mancebo chasing hard.
Apparently, and this is pretty hard to believe, Turpin survived from a longish breakaway with Jerome Pineau and (the funny part) Thor Hushovd on the Col d'Izoard! Turpin had just 38 seconds at the summit, but held off the leaders on the descent to the town of Briançon and the short climb to the finish outside the village.
Mayo gapped Mancebo at the end, finishing at 26 seconds to Mancebo's 27.
Next came Credit Agricole's Pietro Caucchioli, at :37.
Leonardo Piepoli of Saunier Duval-Prodir was (correction) 5th on the day, at :41. Leipheimer rode in with George Hincapie, Christophe Moreau, and Denis Menchov at :48 to maintain his overall race lead, but Mancebo moves closer, and gives AG2R 2 men (Mancebo and Moreau) within 2 minutes of Gerolsteiner's leader. Moreau sits 3rd overall -- it's Leipheimer, Menchov, Moreau, Mancebo.
CSC's David Zabriskie finished at about 1:28, Alejandro Valverde at 1:47, and Floyd Landis came in way back at 8:47. I'd like to think he's sandbagging here, but we really haven't seen him dominate on a climb this year. He matched Danielson on Brasstown Bald, but Discovery inexplicably didn't really take him to the limit.
Turpin called it his best career victory. ProCycling called it “that rarest of things, a victory by a French rider in a ProTour event in the Alps.” You can pick your favorite.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 9, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Christophe Moreau, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2006, Dave Zabriskie, Denis Menchov, Floyd Landis, Francisco Mancebo, George Hincapie, Iban Mayo, Leonardo Piepoli, Levi Leipheimer, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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 | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 07, 2006
Dauphiné Stage 3 now underway
Italy's time trial champion Marco Pinotti was the early leader of today's time trial, finishing the 43 kilometer (26 mile) course in 54:42. Levi Leipheimer comes through superfast: He clocks a 54:05.1! Looks like his disappointing prologue really was because of the loose handlebars. Landis is on the course, and was 3rd fastest at the 8-kilometer mark. Moreau, Vinokourov, Valverde, and Kashechkin are on course, as well. Popovych comes in with a very respectable 54:51; that's got him in 3rd, but likely to slide. Rabobank's Denis Menchov comes in a little slower than Popovych. At the 2nd check, at 28.5 km, Landis is 4 seconds faster than Leipheimer. Zabriskie betters Landis's time at the first checkpoint. Landis comes in at 53:41! That will take the lead, at least for now. Moreau 56:15. Kashechkin 57:27. Hincapie looks extremely smooth; he's likely to overtake Mancebo. He's third at the 2nd check point. Valverde comes in at 7th so far, essentially tied with Popovych at 54:51. Zabriskie is 45 seconds up on Floyd Landis at the 28.5-k checkpoint! He's so quiet on the bike -- I couldn't believe his 3rd place at the Tour de Georgia time trial, because he doesn't labor on the bike like a lot of riders, just goes fast, fast, fast. Hincapie puts Americans on all three steps of the podium, coming in at 54:23, 18 seconds behind Leipheimer. Zabriskie is certain to slot in there, probably right up top. Mancebo 55:38. Zabriskie in 52:48! That's 53 seconds faster than Landis, who was 24 seconds faster than Leipheimer. That's very likely to vault him up into 2nd on the GC tonight. Nobody coming will better that; the question is how close Zabriskie can get to Philippe Gilbert on the overall. He's 5:22 or so back before the stage -- that's too much to take the jersey back. Gilbert gives back about 2 and a half minutes. He'll hold the leader's jersey for another day. Landis's teammate Bert Grabsch did an awesome TT, in 54:26, that stood up for 5th on the day. The United States takes all 4 top spots: Zabriskie, Landis, Leipheimer, and Hincapie. Current GC: 1) Philippe Gilbert, Francaise des Jeux 2) Zabriskie, CSC, at 2:47 3) Landis, Phonak, at 3:48 4) Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, at 4:20 5) Hincapie. Discovery Channel, at 4:24 6) Grabsch, Phonak, at 4:34 7) Vladimir Gusev, Discovery Channel
Posted by Frank Steele on June 7, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Christophe Moreau, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2006, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Thomas Voeckler, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 04, 2006
BiciRace.com offers Tour preview
BiciRace.com offers a preview of the placings in this year's Tour, still 4 weeks away. Maybe it's no surprise their Italian pride leads them to go with Basso, then Ullrich. A bigger surprise is the 3rd step, where they choose the World's Fastest Mennonite, Floyd Landis.
I'm not ready to count Ullrich out until we see him do some Tour de Suisse climbs, but Basso's Giro was indeed pretty impressive. As for Landis, I hope the possible exclusion of Botero and Gutierrez doesn't prove too distracting.
BiciRace puts 3 Americans in the Top 8. Click through to see who, and where.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 4, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Tour 2006 previews, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Zabriskie takes Dauphiné prologue
CSC's David Zabriskie hammered the field to take Sunday's Dauphiné Libéré prologue.
Zabriskie took the 4.1-kilometer out-and-back course by storm, finishing nearly 2 seconds faster than last year's Dauphiné prologue winner, Discovery Channel's George Hincapie.
This has to be seen as a good sign for both Zabriskie and Hincapie: Hincapie is clearly recovering well from that Paris-Roubaix crash, and Zabriskie looks like a favorite to repeat at the Tour's prologue in Strasbourg July 1.
Alexandre Vinokourov was 15th, at almost 10 seconds back, Levi Leipheimer was 48th, almost 16 seconds off Dave Z.
Very unofficial Top 10:
1) Zabriskie, CSC, 4:35.83
2) Hincapie, Discovery Channel, 4:37.62
3) Stuart O'Grady, CSC, 4:41.90
4) Sebastian Lang, Gerolsteiner 4:42
5) Joost Posthuma, Rabobank, 4:42
6) Stijn Devolder, Discovery Channel, 4:42?
7) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Espargne, 4:43
8) Gusev, Discovery Chanel
9) Floyd Landis, Phonak, 4:43.84
10) Andrey Kashechkin, Astaná-Würth Also: cyclngnews.com | Prologue full results Eurosport.com | Zabriskie wins, Hincapie impresses BBC Sport | Zabriskie puts Wiggins in shade
Posted by Frank Steele on June 4, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2006, Dave Zabriskie, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Stuart O'Grady, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Dauphiné Libéré prologue underway
Today's stage at the Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré is a short, flat, 4-kilometer prologue.
Gerolsteiner's Sebastian Lang took the early lead in around 4:42. One big surprise is Bradley Wiggins, the Cofidis rider who has already predicted he'll win the 2006 Tour prologue.
Wiggins was able to do only a 4:46, 4 seconds slower than Lang, with a lot of strong riders to come.
Stuart O'Grady comes through in 4:41.9, and takes the stage lead! It won't stand up, but this is a guy who broke 5 ribs and his collarbone March 9th at Tirreno-Adriatico. Cyclingnews has a good interview with O'Grady from mid-May.
Thomas Dekker doesn't even go top 10, and again, there are a lot of riders to come.
Zabriskie is quickest at the turnaround. Coming to the line with a big cushion to O'Grady; 4:35.83 for Zabriskie! That one might stand up.
Alejandro Valverde is on course, all in white as the ProTour leader.
Chris Horner comes in at 4:50.45.
Valverde does a 4:43, dropping him into 6th for now. As soon as Valverde came in, George Hincapie left the start house. We'll see how his recovery is coming.
Landis is on course, sporting the Praying Landis, Vinokourov is on course, Leipheimer is on course, and Cycling.TV has gone black. D'Oh!
There comes Mayo, the last guy on the course, and he's not going to go anywhere near Dave Z.
Zabriskie takes the stage win!
Hincapie, who took last year's Dauphiné prologue, is 2nd in 4:37.62. O'Grady 3rd, Lang 4th. Posthuma 5th, Stijn Devolder was 6th. Valverde 7th. Landis 9th in 4:43.84.
The Cycling.TV guys say Zabriskie hasn't raced since March, but I've got pictures that say otherwise.
Coverage is still in and out, so I don't have Leipheimer or Vinokourov's results.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 4, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Horner, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2006, Dave Zabriskie, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Stuart O'Grady, Thomas Dekker, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
May 30, 2006
Next up: The Dauphiné Libéré
We're just a few days from the race that's become the most important Tour warm-up, the Dauphiné Libéré. Cycling4All has a running start list, and there are few surprises. Lots of Americans have team leader numbers, including Levi Leipheimer, David Zabriskie at CSC, and Chris Horner at Davitamon-Lotto.
It's a South American riding in Phonak's lowest number, Santiago Botero, although of course Floyd Landis is using the race to test his fitness before the Tour. Yaroslav Popovych wears 31 for Discovery, which also brings George Hincapie and Jose Azevedo.
Vinokourov and Kaschechkin both will start for the team formerly known as Liberty Seguros, while Alejandro Valverde leads Caisse d'Espargne.
Missing riders? Quick Step's Tom Boonen, Davitamon-Lotto's Robbie McEwen, and T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich, as well as Giro d'Italia champion Ivan Basso.
Some of these guys have 4 weeks of racing in their legs since April 20: A lot of the Saunier Duval (Pinotti, Olson) and Davitamon-Lotto riders (Henk Vogels, Jan Kuyckx, Nick Gates, Van Hecke) started both the Tour de Georgia and the Giro d'Italia.
Action kicks off Sunday with a 4-km prologue in Annecy.
Posted by Frank Steele on May 30, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Chris Horner, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2006, Dave Zabriskie, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Santiago Botero, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
April 23, 2006
Valverde again; wins Liège-Bastogne-Liège
VeloNews.com | Valverde wins Liège-Bastogne-Liège Alejandro Valverde followed up Wednesday's Flèche Wallonne victory with a big win at Liège-Bastogne-Liège Sunday. Michael Boogerd and Valverde's teammate Joaquin Rodriguez were caught with 6 km to ride; among the leaders with 5 km to ride were Davitamon-Lotto's Chris Horner alongside Patrik Sinkewitz of T-Mobile, Danilo Di Luca, Andrey Kashechkin, Paolo Bettini, Danilo Diluca, Damiano Cunego, and Frank Schleck and Ivan Basso of CSC. With 1k to ride, Sinkewitz attacked, with Basso following, but he couldn't get away. In the select sprint, Valverde was the strongest, continuing the European youth movement -- Valverde's 25. He's also the first Spaniard ever to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Top 10: 1) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, in 6:21:32 2) Paolo Bettini, Quickstep, same time 3) Damiano Cunego, Lampre, s.t. 4) Patrik Sinkewitz, T-Mobile, s.t. 5) Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank, s.t. 6) Miguel Perdiguero, Phonak, s.t. 7) Frank Schleck, CSC, s.t. 8) Chris Horner, Davitamon-Lotto, CSC, s.t. 9) Danilo Di Luca, Liquigas, s.t. 10) Ivan Basso, CSC, s.t. Also: cyclingnews.com | Liège-Bastogne-Liège live ticker
Posted by Frank Steele on April 23, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Andrey Kashechkin, Chris Horner, Danilo Di Luca, Frank Schleck, Ivan Basso, Paolo Bettini, Patrik Sinkewitz, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0)
April 19, 2006
Valverde takes Fleche Wallonne
Though 37-year-old Lars Michaelsen took the win at the Tour de Georgia Tuesday, the youth movement continues apace in Europe.
Caisse d'Espargne's Alejandro Valverde took his first classics win at Fleche Wallonne, beating CSC's Karsten Kroon and Euskaltel's Samuel Sanchez in the closing meters of the climb of the Mur de Huy.
Paris-Roubaix winner Frank Schleck was 4th.
March 10, 2006
Fat Cyclist offers Tour '06 pre-pre-preview
Fat Cyclist wins our “Earliest Tour preview” sweepstakes with a quick overview of the contenders for the 2006 race.
Like him, I really discount George Hincapie's chances for the overall win, but Hincapie is still talking about the possibility he could lead Discovery for the Tour.
My favorite analysis:
Alejandro Valverde is an outstanding young rider with incredible potential, and I would strongly recommend rooting for him, except for one thing. His team’s name is “Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears,” for crying out loud. I have no idea how to even pronounce that, and there’s no chance whatsoever that I would successfully spell it. In fact, it is my understanding that everyone on the team is required to wear extra-large jerseys, just to make room for the team logo.
July 28, 2005
Valverde likely to miss Vuelta
Spain's budding superstar, Alejandro Valverde, expected to be a favorite at next month's Vuelta a España, may have to miss his national tour.
Valverde is still recovering from tendinitis that forced him out of the 2005 Tour during Stage 13.
Valverde and his team are reportedly refocusing their late-season goals on the world championships in Madrid, despite the race profile, which is expected to favor full-on sprinters.
Valverde has finished 3rd and 4th in two Vueltas.
July 24, 2005
Apres Lance, les deluge?
So, what's next for the Tour? Atop the race organization, Christian Prudhomme takes over for Jean-Marie Leblanc. Atop the podium, who knows?
Discovery manager Johann Bruyneel:
"Nobody will take over from Lance, simply because there's no candidate."
CSC's Bobby Julich, 17th in the Tour:
"I find it very exciting to ride with riders of the new generation. Some of them are really exceptional but the most impressive I think is Alejandro Valverde," said Julich.
"He has so much natural class, he's a pleasure to see. He needs to test himself at the highest level of the Tour but he is one of the riders I will be thrilled to watch in the future. Also Ivan and Tom Boonen."
Armstrong himself, quoted on BBC Sport:
"Jan is a special, special guy to me," Armstrong said. "I truly believe that Jan can win the Tour again, not just once but more than once.
"Clearly he has to show up to the event in a little better shape, because what you see toward the end of the event is the guy who can win the race."
July 15, 2005
Graham Watson Stage 13 photo gallery posted
Horner leads the break; Bye bye 'Verde; and
Where's that guy from? -- from GrahamWatson.com
Add Watson to the list that says the Tour is over. With the abandon by Valverde, he says:
...we can only watch and see when Moreau drops off the pace and how soon Basso takes that 3rd-place for himself and perhaps attacks Rasmussen for his second place. It would have been a lot more exciting to have a Spaniard up there with these guys, for we are on the frontier with Spain and there will be hundreds of thousands of Spaniards waiting to cheer their men on.
Valverde abandons at Stage 13 feed zone
From the official Tour website:
15:11 - Valverde Has Been Sick...
Valverde has been at the back of the peloton for most of the stage. The leader of the Best Young Rider classification is about to abandon his first Tour de France.
15:13 - Valverde Calls It Quits
The winner of the stage to Courchevel has just abandoned the Tour de France. He has been ill for the past couple of days. He stepped into the Illes Balears team car in the feedzone.
"I'm in good condition, but it's impossible with my knee," he said. "I guess it's better to stop now. It's already a great achievement to win a stage like Courchevel," he told journalists before the stage start.
Valverde said he might take part in the Spanish Vuelta if his knee condition permitted.
July 14, 2005
Rumor: Valverde to abandon?
ElPais.com | Alejandro Valverde abandonará mañana el Tour de Francia | (rough Google translation) Spanish media are reporting that white jersey Alejandro Valverde, sitting 5th overall in the Tour, will withdraw tomorrow, the result of a knee problem apparently dating back to the Stage 4 Team Time Trial. Valverde is 3:16 off Lance Armstrong's lead and 3:09 up on Yaroslav Popovych in the young rider's competition. If he does drop out, Popovych would take over the white jersey, where he leads Andrey Kashechkin (bless you) of Cofidis by 7 seconds.
Graham Watson Stage 12 photo gallery, stage report posted
Valverde; Triki asked "Where is the peloton?";
the happiest Bastille Day in France from GrahamWatson.com
July 13, 2005
Stage 11 underway
There have been a couple of opportunistic breakaways this morning, with the biggest being an attack from Alexandre Vinokourov, who is now riding with Santiago Botero and Oscar Pereiro of Phonak, and Egoi Martinez of Euskaltel-Euskadi. Initially, their group also included Francisco Mancebo, Roberto Heras, Pietro Caucchioli, and Chris Horner, but those four were dropped on the Madeleine.
Pereiro had a dramatic off-road experience going off the side of the road on the descent, and down a small hill. He was able to come back up, get on board, and recapture the break.
Thor Hushovd (!) and Samuel Dumoulin also spent some time in front. Presumably, Hushovd had an eye toward the first intermediate sprint of the day, but he's been picked up by the main field.
Green jersey Tom Boonen crashed again, around 10 kilometers into the stage. The race doctor spent time working on his knee, and Guido Trenti spent quite a while pacing Boonen back to the field.
On the Col de la Madeleine, Botero took max mountain points, followed by Vinokourov, Pereiro, Martinez, and then Christophe Moreau and Michael Rasmussen in the peloton.
Discovery shucked a lot of riders on the day's first climb, but there are still 6 or 7 Discos driving the field. There may be 40 riders in the Armstrong group, and they're letting Botero and Vinokourov's group sit around 1:30 up the road. They must be able to see them on some of these roads.
Vinokourov picks up a 6 second time bonus at the sprint line; his group is closing on a 2 minute gap to the peloton. They're also closing on the Col du Telegraphe -- time to climb.
Egoi Martinez is off the lead group early on the Telegraphe, and now so is Botero. Botero battles back up to Vino and Pereiro!
The trio is 1:58 in front of Armstrong's group, which includes Rubiera, Savoldelli, Popovych, Hincapie, and Beltran, and Azevedo.
Jean-Patrick Nazon and Kim Kirchen have both abandoned today. On the Galibier, Quick Step's Stefano Zanini joins them.
As the lead three hit the summit of the Telegraphe, their gap has stretched to almost 3 minutes. Ullrich, Valverde, Basso, Klöden, Landis, Leipheimer, Rasmussen, Moreau, and Chris Horner are all still in the 40-strong Armstrong group. Botero again gets max mountain points, then Vinokourov, then Pereiro.
On the Galibier, Vinokourov and Botero have dropped Pereiro; looks like he's toasted. Mayo keeps falling off the Armstrong group. The gap reached 3:30, but it's coming down now, at about 3:00.
Beltran has finally fallen off the lead group.
Vinokourov has dropped Botero.
Down to 26 riders in the Armstrong group. Vinokourov is 3:15 up on Armstrong with 6 kilometers to the top. I don't think Armstrong can count on catching Vinokourov on the descent.
Rubiera is popped. Armstrong catches Pereiro; Horner is off the back; Armstrong has Azevedo, Hincapie, Popovych and Savoldelli. The gap is 3:06.
Armstrong's group is down below 20 with 4 supporting Discos. Guerini is off the back with Klöden and Michael Rogers. The gap has dropped to 2:47.
Vinokourov is going to take the Henri Desgrange prize for the first man to the Tour's highest point. Less than 1 kilometer to the top for Vino.
Armstrong has lost another Disco. Botero continues to struggle in between Vinokourov and the chasers. He may catch Vinokourov on the descent.
Vino is first over, Botero is :38 seconds back. Rasmussen has launched an attack and has a good gap on Armstrong. Rasmussen showed us his descending skills the other day. It's going to be an interesting run-in to Briançon.
I'm starting a new post for the last 40 k; if you've been reloading this page, check the home page for the new post.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 13, 2005 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Bobby Julich, Chris Horner, Christophe Moreau, Floyd Landis, Francisco Mancebo, George Hincapie, Iban Mayo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Joseba Beloki, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Michael Rogers, Paolo Savoldelli, Roberto Heras, Santiago Botero, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
July 12, 2005
cyclingnews.com Stage 10 photo gallery
Armstrong & Valverde shake, Vino no-go,
and Basso rolls in fifth from cyclingnews.com
BBC Stage 10 photo gallery
Those damn Cutters: photo from BBC Sport