July 07, 2008
Dumoulin takes Stage 3, Feillu in yellow
France earned a stage win and a yellow jersey, as a 4-man breakaway initiated by Garmin-Chipotle's Will Frischkorn held off the sprinters on the run into Nantes.
The break went out almost from the first kilometer, and was helped by a late stage accident that cost possible GC contenders Riccardo Ricco and Denis Menchov more than 30 seconds to Alejandro Valverde, Cadel Evans, and other overall contenders.
In the final kilometer, Samuel Dumoulin was first to attack, matched by Frischkorn, then Romain Feillu countered, and rode straight past the pair. Dumoulin was able to pull Feillu back, and Frischkorn just couldn't quite catch the French speedster.
Robbie McEwen led in the field, mere inches ahead of Erik Zabel, then Oscar Freire.
Feillu takes over the race lead, followed by Paolo Longo Borghini and Frischkorn. Feillu is the first Frenchman in yellow since Cyril Dessel in 2006. His Agritubel team is at the Tour as a wildcard.
Stage Top 10:
1) Samuel Dumoulin, Cofidis
2) Will Frischkorn, Garmin-Chipotle, same time
3) Roman Feillu, Agritubel, s.t.
4) Paolo Longo Borghini, Barloworld, at :14
5) Robbie McEwen, Silence-Lotto, at 2:03
6) Erik Zabel, Milram, same time
7) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, s.t.
8) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, s.t.
9) Robert Förster, Gerolsteiner, s.t
10) Mark Cavendish, Team Columbia, s.t.
General Classification, Stage 3
1) Romain Feillu, Agritubel, in 13:27:05
2) Paolo Longo Borghini, Barloworld, @ :35
3) Frischkorn, Garmin-Chipotle, @ 1:42
4) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, @ 1:45
5) Kim Kirchen, Team Columbia, @ 1:46
6) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, same time
7) Jerome Pineau, Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
8) David Millar, Garmin-Chipotle, s.t.
9) Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto, s.t.
10) Filippo Pozzato, Liquigas, s.t.
These finishing positions determine start order for tomorrow's 29-kilometer individual time trial. Denis Menchov and Riccardo Ricco got caught on the wrong side of the late-stage crash, and rolled in 38 seconds behind the main field. As a result, they'll start around 50 riders from the end, and won't have as many intermediate time splits for reference.
Kim Kirchen holds the green jersey. Feillu holds the white jersey in addition to the yellow, but it will be worn by Andy Schleck of CSC.
Frischkorn gets two days in the most agressive rider's red race number, since there is no award during the time trial.
Out of the Tour: Saunier Duval's Angel Gomez, injured in a mid-stage accident with CSC's Nicki Sørensen.
June 06, 2007
Barloworld's core six announced
South Africa's Robbie Hunter will lead Barloworld in this year's Tour de France. The former Phonak sprinter will be joined by Italy's Fabrizio Guidi, Colombia's Felix Cardenas and Mauricio Soler, Alexander Efimkin of Russia, and 21-year-old Welshman Geraint Thomas.
Thomas was a track star, part of the four-man team that won gold in the 4k pursuit at this year's track world championships. He would become the first Welsh rider in the Tour since Colin Lewis in 1968.
Thomas may find himself with the least road experience of any rider in the 2007 Tour:
“I cannot imagine how big this is,” he sighed. “I was only 21 two weeks ago, and the average age of people in the Tour is 26 or 27.”
“But I will take this opportunity with both hands. I am not just going to sit back and take it easy. It will be unrealistic to go out and feel I can finish.”
“It’s 20 days racing and I have only done 10 back-to-back before.”
The team's final three will be chosen from 8 candidates a few days before the Tour begins.
May 30, 2007
Astana, Agritubel, Barloworld get 2007 wildcards
Tour organizers announced this year's wildcard teams today, naming Agritubel, Astana, and Barloworld as the final three squads in the 2007 Tour. They join almost all of the ProTour squads, minus Unibet.com, to make a field of 189.
- AG2R (France)
- Agritubel (France)
- Astana (Switzerland)
- Barloworld (UK)
- Bouyges Telecom (France)
- Caisse d'Epargne (Spain)
- Cofidis (France)
- Credit Agricole (France)
- Team CSC (Denmark)
- Discovery Channel (USA)
- Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spain)
- Française des Jeux (France)
- Gerolsteiner (Germany)
- Lampre-Fondital (Italy)
- Liquigas (Italy)
- Team Milram (Italy)
- Predictor-Lotto (Belgium)
- Quick Step-Innergetic (Belgium)
- Rabobank (Netherlands)
- Saunier Duval-Prodir (Spain)
- T-Mobile Team (Germany)
The full rundown:
Meanwhile, in the face of a German federal investigation into University of Freiburg doctors who reportedly supplied Telekom riders with EPO in the 1990s, Germany's two public TV networks, which share coverage of the race, have threatened to dump their contracts when they expire in 2008 unless they “are certain that doping has no chance at the Tour de France.” Although Bjarne Riis said last week his team supports his admission that he used EPO while winning the 1996 Tour, the race's organizers are less sanguine. Tour director Christian Prudhomme told AFP “it would be shocking to have [CSC director Bjarne] Riis included in the Tour de France” in any capacity, adding “It would be logical that Riis applies to himself the same treatment that he applied to Ivan Basso last year.” ASO President Patrice Clerc echoed the sentiment: “Why should it always be the riders who pay the price?”