August 29, 2008
Stars and Stripes on offer this weekend in Greenville
The 2008 US Pro Cycling championships are this weekend in Greenville, and organizers have made a few changes I think will improve the fan experience. I've been to each of the Greenville championships, and had a great time at each -- if you're in the Southeast or mid-Atlantic, you should definitely consider the drive.
In 2005, the time trial championship (Dave Zabriskie's first title) was run on Friday, with the road race on Sunday. This had the advantage of a rest day between hard efforts for the riders, but the Friday TT drew crowds on par with a neighborhood swim meet.
Last year, organizers switched to a Saturday/Sunday alignment, which is probably best for fans (I might argue for Saturday/Monday, which would fill more Greenville hotel rooms and give riders trying to double a rest day). The TT course was a modified point-to-point, so there were only a few points on the course where you could see riders more than once. Additionally, access to the finish line was somewhat controlled by the community that hosted the finish, which ran satellite parking with shuttle buses to the finish.
This year, time trial action moves to Clemson University's International Center for Automotive Research, where the 20.7-mile course is 3 laps of 6.9 miles. Because of looping and turnarounds, there will be spots on the course where you'll be able to see each rider 6 times, and parking and course access are reportedly far more open.
For Sunday's road race, organizers didn't monkey much with a successful formula, again bridging early and late laps of downtown Greenville with 4 longer loops that include the race-making climb of Paris Mountain.
Unfortunately, defending US champ Levi Leipheimer (left, with '07 2nd place Hincapie and 3rd place Neil Shirley) will be across the pond, racing in the Vuelta with Astana. Almost all the other usual suspects are penciled in: Zabriskie, George Hincapie, Christian Vande Velde, Fred Rodriguez, Tyler Hamilton, Tom Danielson, Danny Pate, and more, more, more. Two notable exceptions are Chris Horner and Bobby Julich.
The PdC preview is intensely entertaining -- don't miss it.
Posted by Frank Steele on August 29, 2008 in 2008 USA Cycling Pro Championships, Bobby Julich, Chris Horner, Christian Vande Velde, Danny Pate, Dave Zabriskie, Fred Rodriguez, George Hincapie, Tom Danielson, Tyler Freaking Hamilton | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
July 05, 2008
Where are they from?
I always review the nationalities breakdown for the Tour, with a special eye toward the English-speaking countries. Here's last year's, for comparison.
George Hincapie, Team Columbia
Christian Vande Velde, Garmin-Chipotle
Will Frischkorn, Garmin-Chipotle
Danny Pate, Garmin-Chipotle
This is the least in years, with Freddie Rodriguez riding in the U.S., Bobby Julich not selected, Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer barred with Astana, and David Zabriskie nursing a back injury.
Baden Cooke, Barloworld
Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto
Simon Gerrans, Credit Agricole
Adam Hansen, Team Columbia
Brett Lancaster, Milram
Trent Lowe, Garmin-Chipotle
Robbie McEwen, Silence-Lotto
Stuart O'Grady, CSC-Saxo Bank
Mark Renshaw, Credit Agricole
Baden Cooke is back; Adam Hansen, Trent Lowe, and Mark Renshaw are new, and Michael Rogers is out.
Mark Cavendish, Team Columbia
Christopher Froome, Barloworld
David Millar, Garmin-Chipotle
Out are Geraint Thomas, Bradley Wiggins and Charlie Wegelius. I've got Christopher Froome as being from Kenya, which isn't in the list below. Put him there, and Great Britain drops to just a pair.
Julian Dean, Garmin-Chipotle
As last year.
Robbie Hunter, Barloworld
John-Lee Augustyn, Barloworld
Ryder Hesjedal, Garmin-Chipotle
First Canuck since 1997. Maybe Michael Barry will join him one year.
Here's the official breakdown, according to the Tour website:
40: France (2007 count in parentheses: 35)
30: Spain (42)
21: Italy (18)
16: Germany (19)
12: Belgium (13)
10: The Netherlands (7)
9: Australia (6)
4: USA (6), Russia (6) and Switzerland (5)
3: Colombia (3), Great Britain (5) and Luxembourg (2)
2: South Africa (1), Austria (3), Belarus (2), Norway (2), Sweden (1) and Ukraine (2)
1: Brazil (1), Canada (0), Denmark (1), Kazakhstan (4), New Zealand (1), Poland (0), Czech Republic (0), Slovakia (0) and Slovenia (1)
Spanish representation drops from 42 riders last year to 30 this year, with France jumping from 35 to 40.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 5, 2008 in About the Tour, Baden Cooke, Bobby Julich, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Chris Horner, Christian Vande Velde, Danny Pate, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, Fred Rodriguez, George Hincapie, Julian Dean, Levi Leipheimer, Mark Cavendish, Michael Rogers, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Tom Danielson, Top Stories, Will Frischkorn | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack
September 04, 2007
Leipheimer rides away with US road championship
Leipheimer said the win put the cherry on top of the cherry on top of the sundae that's been his 2007 season, which started with his win at the Tour of California, included road and TT stage wins at the Tour de Georgia, and a stage win and podium placing at the Tour de France, as well as wins at Paris-Nice and the Tour de Georgia and the overall Tour de France title for Leipheimer's Discovery Channel team, which is disbanding after this season.
Leipheimer looked to be the dominant rider in the 2006 US championships, as well, but worked for hometown hero George Hincapie. This year, the two reversed places, with Hincapie covering attacks and finishing 2nd. Jittery Joe's rider Neil Shirley distanced Freddie Rodriguez in the last kilometer to take 3rd.
Discovery Channel brought twice as many riders as last year, and John Devine and Tony Cruz were at the front of the peloton for most of the day. Where the ProTour riders appeared to nail last year's pace from the start, this year, the domestic teams made early attacks, with BMC, HealthNet, Slipstream, and Successfulliving.com populating the first breakaway of 7 riders.
Leipheimer attacked on the 3rd of four long laps that included the climb of Paris Mountain. He and Chris Baldwin swept up remnants of the early break by BMC's Jackson Stewart, Slipstream's Pat McCarty, and HealthNet's Doug Ollerenshaw, with Slipstream's Ian McGregor and William Frischkorn, HealthNet's Roman Kilun, and Successfulliving.com's Daniel Ramsay close behind.
Coming to the base of Paris Mountain for the final time, Leipheimer was with a small group with a healthy but not unassailable gap. On the last climb, he changed that (from cyclingnews.com:
The rest of the remaining 30 or so riders in the race could only pick their jaws up off the ground as Levi put on a time trial clinic. “Levi was just... what can you say, he was third in the Tour and probably should have won it,” said former USPRO champ Chris Wherry (Toyota-United). “He is incredible and just rode away from everyone; there were no tactics he was just the strongest one. He went up the climb with two to go and just kept going, it was unbelievable.”
But Leipheimer's gap hovered out beyond a minute all the way to the end, with Hincapie coming in at 1:11.
1) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, in 4:22:19
2) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at 1:11
3) Neil Shirley, Jittery Joe's, at 1:14
4) Freddie Rodriguez, Predictor-Lotto, at 1:18
5) Danny Pate, Team Slipstream-Chipotle, at 1:29
6) Shawn Milne, HealthNet-Maxxis, at 1:56
7) Kirk O'Bee, HealthNet-Maxxis, at 2:00
8) Bobby Julich, Team CSC, at 2:00
9) Christopher Jones, Nerac, at 2:00
10) Burke Swindlehurst, Toyota-United, at 2:04
Tyler Hamilton was 12th at 2:11.
Click through any photos for larger versions, or go straight to my Flickr photoset.
Posted by Frank Steele on September 4, 2007 in Bobby Julich, Danny Pate, Dave Zabriskie, Fred Rodriguez, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Top Stories, Tyler Freaking Hamilton | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Zabriskie repeats as US TT champ
Zabriskie was pushed hard by teammate-to-be Danny Pate of Team Slipstream-Chipotle, just one second slower over the 18.7 mile course. In fact, Team Slipstream '08 owned the podium, as Tim Duggan finished 8 seconds down.
Just as last year, Zabriskie raced without an earpiece, and the lack of intermediate splits meant he had to sprint flat-out on the finishing straight to pip Pate.
Jonathan Vaughters announced the '08 Team Slipstream squad in Greenville over the weekend, and they're going to have incredible results: Zabriskie, Pate, Duggan, Tom Danielson, Christian Vande Velde, David Millar, Julian Dean, Ryder Hesjedal, Pat McCarty, Will Frischkorn, Christophe Laurent, Jason Donald, Steven Cozza, Trent Lowe, Maartijn Maaskant, perennial TdFblog favorite Magnus Backstedt, Tyler Farrar, Dan Martin, Chris Sutton, Lucas Euser, Huub Duyn, Mike Friedman, and Kilian Patour.
In fact, the team is apparently too sexy for their shirts, so they're having a design contest for next year's team jersey through September 15. “The design must incorporate the Slipstream argyle pattern...”
Returning to competition was Credit Agricole's Saul Raisin, who has battled back from a devastating head injury suffered in April 2006 at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Starting first, Raisin turned in a creditable 44:07. (Click through either picture to be taken to my Flickr pics of the event).
Also back in competition was Tyler Hamilton, wearing a neutral jersey because of an ongoing legal battle with his Tinkoff Credit Systems team, which he claims has tried to change the terms of his 2007 contract in early May, after the season started. Hamilton recorded a 40:23, just a fraction of a second behind Bobby Julich for 6th on the day.
Levi Leipheimer and George Hincapie again skipped the TT, prepping for Sunday's road race, which rips through downtown Greenville and makes 4 climbs of Paris Mountain.
Some logistical issues meant I didn't make it up to the finish line, and only got pictures from the riders coming down the opening chute. VeloNews, CyclingNews and Daily Peloton all had photographers at the awards ceremony -- links below.
2007 USA Cycling Pro TT championships - My Flickr set - I got pictures of almost all the 33 starters
Posted by Frank Steele on September 4, 2007 in Bobby Julich, Danny Pate, Dave Zabriskie, Magnus Backstedt, Saul Raisin, Tom Danielson, Top Stories, Tyler Freaking Hamilton | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
August 31, 2007
US Pro Championships preview
The US Pro Championships return to Greenville, South Carolina this weekend. It's a fantastic course in a lovely small-town setting, with a terrific river park less than 300 yards from the finish, sidewalk cafés, barbecue, and top-notch bike racing.
Race organizers took half my advice, shifting the little-attended time trial from Friday to Saturday, but left the road race on Sunday, so the likelihood of an already-difficult double national champion seems even a little more remote. For Southeastern fans, though, it means you can see both races for the cost of a single night's hotel room, and still get home for Labor Day.
I've always pulled for Levi Leipheimer, but I've never really believed in him. After this year's Tour, I believe. He was the strongest rider in last year's USPro road race, this year's Tour de Georgia, and the strongest American at the Tour de France. He's my favorite to take the Stars and Stripes to his new team, whatever it may be.
Last year, I felt Leipheimer's support was critical for George Hincapie, who will look to repeat as US champion and carry the Stars and Stripes to the T-Mobile team as Team Discovery Channel ends its successful run.
On the other hand, you can bet Team Slipstream would love to kick off its reign as the top US team with the US title onboard. Danny Pate was 3rd last year, while his teammates packed the top 15. A win for Dave Zabriskie is a win for Slipstream, as he transfers to the Argyles after this season.
And Bobby Julich has suggested wearing the Stars and Stripes at 35 would be a great career capper, and one thing he's yet to achieve in a very successful career:
“I'd like to try to win a national jersey finally. Either the time trial or the road race, I don't care. I'd take anything,” Julich said. “It would be fun to have the jersey in the last year of my career. I've never had it.”
In the time trial, the course has been slightly altered from last year, getting cut off before the hard right-hander in this photo. Last year, that led up to a twisty last 3 kilometers, where 2005 TT champion Chris Baldwin, neck and neck with Zabriskie, went into a ditch, and lost at least 30 seconds getting back up to steam. If Zabriskie's knee is back in racing shape after his forced withdrawal from this year's Tour, this is his race to lose: Nobody without a funny accent TTs faster than Z.
Dalton, Georgia's Saul Raisin returns to competition, just like he said he would, with a ride in the ITT Saturday. Also expected to return to competition (in both events) is Tyler Hamilton, whose team has kept him from racing since the Tour de Georgia in April.
There are 99 riders scheduled to start Sunday's road race. Missing this year? Christian Vande Velde, Freddie Rodriguez, Tom Danielson, Jason McCartney, and Aaron Olson.
I'll be there, so look for race updates and photos as soon as I can post them.
From last year's race:
July 06, 2007
2007 Tour nationalities breakdown
Great Britain makes a great leap forward in its Tour participation, as the Grand Depart host, shut out in 2005, brings 5 riders to the 2007 Tour. US participation continues to slip, from 9 in Armstrong's final year to 6 this year.
George Hincapie, Discovery Channel
Chris Horner, Predictor-Lotto
Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel
Freddie Rodriguez, Predictor-Lotto
Christian Vande Velde, CSC
Dave Zabriskie, CSC
The Americans must have been two for a dollar, as three teams each have a pair of Yanks starting. This is down from eight in '06, as Landis awaits his hearing results and Bobby Julich was left home.
Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto
Simon Gerrans, AG2R
Brett Lancaster, Milram
Robbie McEwen, Predictor-Lotto
Stuart O'Grady, CSC
Michael Rogers, T-Mobile
Australia brings 6 riders, one more than actually started last year, with legitimate yellow and green jersey candidates. Lancaster won the freak 1150-meter prologue of the 2005 Giro, and makes his debut in the Tour. All the others started last year's Tour, and Allan Davis was on the ill-fated Astana-Würth squad.
Mark Cavendish, T-Mobile
David Millar, Saunier Duval-Prodir
Geraint Thomas, Barloworld
Charlie Wegelius, Liquigas
Brad Wiggins, Cofidis
Thomas and Cavendish are two of the youngest riders in the race, while Wegelius makes his first Tour start after being a Giro fixture for years. Wiggins is primarily here for the Prologue, while Millar also has a chance in the Tour's longer time trials.
Julian Dean, Credit Agricole
Robbie Hunter, Barloworld
The former Phonak has to be glad Alessandro Petacchi will miss the Tour.
Spain leads the way among all countries, with 41 starters. France is close behind with 36. Riders from 25 different countries will start tomorrow in London.
Spain: 42 riders
France: 35 riders
Germany: 19 riders
Italy: 18 riders
Belgium: 13 riders
Netherlands: 7 riders
Russia: 6 riders
Switzerland: 5 riders
Kazakhstan: 4 riders
Austria: 3 riders
Colombia: 3 riders
Belarus: 2 riders
Luxembourg: 2 riders
Norway: 2 riders
Ukraine: 2 riders
Brazil: 1 rider
Denmark: 1 rider
Finland: 1 rider
Lithuania: 1 rider
Portugal: 1 rider
Slovenia: 1 rider
Sweden: 1 rider
Posted by Frank Steele on July 6, 2007 in Bobby Julich, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Chris Horner, Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, George Hincapie, Julian Dean, Levi Leipheimer, Mark Cavendish, Michael Rogers, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Tour de France 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2)
June 29, 2007
Z's in! CSC announces Tour roster
- Team CSC 2007 Tour roster:
- Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Norway)
- Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland)
- Inigo Cuesta (Spain)
- Stuart O'Grady (Australia)
- Carlos Sastre (Spain)
- Fränk Schleck (Luxembourg)
- Christian Vande Velde (USA)
- Jens Voigt
- David Zabriskie (USA)
Two of the peloton's best time triallists in Cancellara and Zabriskie and two possible GC threats in Sastre and Schleck.
Left off were veterans Bobby Julich, and Karsten Kroon.
Update: And I somehow left off Jens Voigt, leaving CSC with only 8 riders. Fixed.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 29, 2007 in 2007 team rosters, Bobby Julich, Carlos Sastre, Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie, Fabian Cancellara, Frank Schleck, Jens Voigt, Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Stuart O'Grady, Top Stories, Tour de France 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 25, 2007
CSC takes ProTour team TT championship
Even with world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara competing (and winning) at the Tour de Suisse, Team CSC took the ProTour team time trial championship in Eindhoven.
Team Tinkoff took 2nd, a second behind CSC, with Milram about 13 seconds back. Discovery Channel led in the race's last kilometer, but Tomas Vaitkus and Steve Cummings wiped out in the greasy conditions, leaving Disco short at the line. They finished 4th at 24 seconds.
CSC's TT squad included:
Christian Vande Velde
Unfortunately, there is once again no Team Time Trial in this year's Tour.
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
March 20, 2007
2007 Tour de Georgia teams announced
Tyler Hamilton and his Tinkoff Credit System team and David Millar of Prodir-Saunier Duval are two new additions likely to ride in this year's Tour de Georgia. Rider lists aren't confirmed, but it looks like Leipheimer, Hincapie, and Danielson highlight Discovery Channel; Chris Horner, Cadel Evans, and maybe Freddy Rodriguez for Predictor-Lotto; and Dave Zabriskie, Bobby Julich, and Juan José Haedo for CSC.
This is a great chance for East Coast fans to see ProTour teams compete, and a great chance for US racers to make a splash against Euro-quality talent.
Among ProTour teams:
Prodir-Saunier Duval (which races in Europe as Saunier Duval-Prodir)
Three familiar Pro Continental squads are joined by Hamilton's Tinkoff Credit System:
Health Net presented by Maxxis
Team Slipstream presented by Chipotle
Tinkoff Credit System
Five US Continental squads:
Priority Health presented by Bissell
Colavita/Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light
And, of course, the USA Cycling National Development Team.
More at my Tour de Georgia weblog.
Posted by Frank Steele on March 20, 2007 in Bobby Julich, Chris Horner, Dave Zabriskie, Fred Rodriguez, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Tom Danielson, Tyler Freaking Hamilton | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
March 11, 2007
Millar takes Paris-Nice prologue
David Millar made it all the way back, with his biggest win since returning from an EPO suspension.
Saunier-Duval's Scottish time trial specialist scorched the 4.7 km course in 6:01. CSC's Bobby Julich won the prologue last year, but was slightly slower this year, finishing 11th on the day, at 6 seconds. Roman Kreuzinger of Czechoslovakia, riding for Liquigas, was just a tick back of Millar, and a tick ahead of FdJ's Sebastian Joly to fill out the podium.
Discovery Channel's Levi Leipheimer was 6th, 3 seconds behind Millar.
Dave Zabriskie was back in action after his accident at the Tour of California, finishing 40th, 14 seconds behind Millar. Discovery Channel's late signing, Alberto Contador, was 5th on the day.
1) David Millar, Great Britain, Saunier Duval, in 6:01
2) Roman Kreuzinger, Czechoslovakia, Liquigas, at :01
3) Sébastien Joly, France, Francaise des Jeux, at :02
4) Luis Sanchez, Spain, Caisse d'Epargne, at :02
5) Alberto Contador, Spain, Discovery Channel, at :02
6) Levi Leipheimer, USA, Discovery Channel, at :03
7) Francisco Ventoso, Spain, Saunier Duval, at :04
8) Reinbert Wielinga, Netherlands, Saunier Duval, at :04
9) Thomas Lövkvist, Sweden, Française des Jeux, at :04
10) Joost Posthuma, Netherlands, Rabobank, at :05
11) Bobby Julich, USA, Team CSC, at :06
12) Thomas Voeckler, France, Bouygues Telecom, at :06
14) Franco Pellizotti, Italy, Liquigas, at :06
17) Cadel Evans, Australia, Predictor-Lotto, at :08
21) Luke Roberts, Australia, Team CSC, at :09
38) Simon Gerrans, Australia, AG2R, at :11
40) David Zabriskie, USA, Team CSC, at :11
43) Tom Danielson, USA, Discovery Channel, at :11
44) Yaroslav Popovych, Ukraine, Discovery Channel, at :11
49) Brett Lancaster, Australia, Milram, at :12
54) Tyler Farrar, USA, Cofidis, at :14
56) Tom Boonen, Belgium, Quick Step, at :14
62) Greg Henderson, New Zealand, T-Mobile, at :15
70) Chris Horner, USA, Predictor-Lotto, at :16
74) Christian Vande Velde, USA, Team CSC, at :17
86) Aaron Kemps, Australia, Astana, at :18
95) Mathew Hayman, Australia, Rabobank, at :21
125) Axel Merckx, Belgium, T-Mobile, at :26
126) Matthew White, Australia, Discovery Channel, at :26
136) Michael Barry, Canada, T-Mobile, at :28
Posted by Frank Steele on March 11, 2007 in Alberto Contador, Bobby Julich, Cadel Evans, Chris Horner, Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, Levi Leipheimer, Paris-Nice 2007, Thomas Voeckler, Tom Boonen, Tom Danielson, Top Stories, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
February 14, 2007
Tour of California rosters released
I am going to hate missing the Tour of California. With the obvious exception of Floyd Landis, fans will get to see pretty much every American racing in the ProTour, and many of the world's best riders will be racing in the US for the first time.
The race, kicking off Sunday, will feature the winners of 4 stages and the prologue of the 2006 Tour de France: Thor Hushovd, who took the prologue and Stage 21, CSC's Jens Voigt, Stage 13, Michael (Spider) Rasmussen, who dominated the Alpine climbs and won Stage 16 and the king of the mountains, and Matteo Tosatto, who won Stage 18.
You want Americans? They got 'em: George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Tom Danielson, and Jason McCartney from Discovery Channel; Dave Zabriskie, Bobby Julich, and Christian Vandevelde from Team CSC; Freddie Rodriguez and Chris Horner from Predictor-Lotto; Aaron Olson, now with T-Mobile; and of course the US-based Pro Continental and Continental teams, mostly populated by US riders.
You want ProTour royalty? They got 'em: World champion Paolo Bettini, world time-trial champion Fabian Cancellara, reigning Giro champion Ivan Basso, and former world TT champion Michael Rogers.
There are also lots of old faces on new teams, as with Michael Barry, Greg Henderson and Jakob Piil, all now with T-Mobile, Juan-José Haedo, dominant in US sprints last year, and now racing for CSC, and Henk Vogels, now racing for the Continental Toyota-United squad.
Also, injured Credit Agricole rider Saul Raisin, whose recovery continues, plans to ride each stage noncompetitively and visit with fans at the start and finish. He's also promoting a ride March 31st in Dalton, Ga. called Raisin Hope.
Should be a heck of a race.
Posted by Frank Steele on February 14, 2007 in Bobby Julich, Chris Horner, Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie, Fabian Cancellara, Fred Rodriguez, George Hincapie, Igor Astarloa, Jean-Patrick Nazon, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Michael Rogers, Paolo Bettini, Saul Raisin, Stuart O'Grady, Thor Hushovd, Tom Danielson, Top Stories, Tour of California, Tour of California 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)
January 10, 2007
Taking the DeLorean back to 1998
I see a few recognizable faces here, and in shots of the body of the peloton here and here. It would be very cool if you could tag the photo with notes of riders you recognize.
Also, does anyone know which stage this is? I think that's Chris Boardman in yellow, which means it's Stage 1 or the beginning of Stage 2, when he crashed out. The pictures are marked as “March 2004”, which is obviously wrong.
Some help: the 1998 review from letour.fr, including team rosters.
I promise no more games like this once there's some actual racing...
Posted by Frank Steele on January 10, 2007 in Bobby Julich, Erik Dekker, Erik Zabel, George Hincapie, Jan Ullrich, Jorg Jaksche, Magnus Backstedt, Marco Pantani, Mario Cipollini, Photo galleries, Robbie McEwen, Tyler Freaking Hamilton, Viatcheslav Ekimov | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack
August 21, 2006
Hincapie TTs to Benelux lead
Discovery Channel's George Hincapie broke his string of 2nd-place time trial finishes with a big win in Landgraaf.
Over a short but technical 16.1-kilometer course, Hincapie was .21 seconds faster than 21-year-old Vincenzo Nibali of Liquigas, and almost 7 seconds faster than Gerolsteiner's Stefan Schumacher.
Hincapie takes over the Tour of Benelux lead from world champion Tom Boonen, who won the Tour's 1st and 3rd stages but finished 63rd on Sunday, 1:27 behind Hincapie. Schumacher moves into 2nd, at :03, and Nibali sits 3rd at :11.
Fast Freddie Rodriguez didn't take the day's start, joining defending champion Bobby Julich, who dropped out before Saturday's start, because he's “completely worn out both physically and mentally.”
August 16, 2006
Schumacher takes Benelux prologue
Gerolsteiner's Stefan Schumacher took the prologue of the 2nd Annual Eneco Tour of Benelux today.
Schumacher, who won an exciting stage of the Giro and wore its leader's jersey back in May, edged George “I can finish 2nd in any prologue, anywhere” Hincapie with a 7:00.78 time on the 5.8-kilometer course. Rabobank's Joost Posthuma was 3rd on the day. Hincapie also finished 2nd in prologues at the Tour de France and the Dauphiné Libéré this season.
Schumacher, who notched the 5th win of his first ProTour season, told the BBC he's chasing the overall win:
“It's great to beat several time-trial specialists, but I'm not surprised - I'm in good form and will do my best to win overall.”
CSC's Bobby Julich is the defending champ, and he finished 15th on the day, 11.42 seconds back. Other Americans were Jason McCartney, 11th at 8.82, Saunier Duval's Aaron Olson, 45th at 17.59, and Freddie Rodriguez, back in action in 85th at 23.91.
Is it just me, or does the photo with this story at Eurosport make Schumacher look like a Star Trek alien?
August 01, 2006
Julich back in action at Tour of GermanyJust watching the Cycling.TV coverage of the Tour of Germany prologue, and Bobby Julich is back on the bike, and Alexandre Vinokourov is back in competition with the Astana (minus Würth) squad. Julich looks very tentative, which is understandable, given that ugly crash at the Tour last month. Levi Leipheimer is trying to defend his Deutschland Tour title, and Patrik Sinkewitz is leading T-Mobile's squad.
July 13, 2006
Julich offers commentary on Stage 11
Bobby Julich was glued to his set with the rest of us watching today's stage. When T-Mobile went to the front and turned up the heat, he had to get on his trainer and do an hour of tempo riding, even though he still can't hold the bar and could barely throw his leg over the bike after his Stage 7 crash.
Julich handicaps Leipheimer, Landis, and Hincapie after today's action: He thinks Leipheimer can still go top 5, “if not the podium.” He gently second-guesses Hincapie's GC chances, if in fact that was ever Discovery's plan. And on Landis:
Riders will attack him in the Alps next week, but Landis is not scared of anything. If something does happen where he isn't the overall leader in Paris, it won't be because of nerves. He has nerves of steel.
Julich still hopes to return for the Tour of Germany at the beginning of August.
July 08, 2006
So who are the team leaders?
Today was supposed to be the day when we found out the GC men for the teams with podium dreams. A few things have definitely cleared up.
There are a few guys who stepped up and showed they're the leaders of their teams, with hopes for high overall places: Landis is the man for Phonak, as expected; Cadel Evans for Davitamon-Lotto, Denis Menchov for Rabobank, Vladimir Karpets for Caisse d'Epargne, Christophe Moreau at AG2R. All finished within about 2 minutes of the Ukraine Train today.
CSC is back to one leader: Carlos Sastre. It was funny the first week of the Tour to read, within 24 hours, a US source touting Bobby Julich as the rider who would have to step up to fill Basso's shoes, Eurosport Germany referring to “new CSC leader Jens Voigt,” and to read that the team itself voted Sastre its captain. Sastre is the best rider of those three, and Julich's crash and Voigt's easy ride today reinforce that.
A bunch of other things are way foggier than they were yesterday.
Gerolsteiner claimed to have two co-captains, Totschnig and Leipheimer, coming into the Tour. After today, they're both 4+ minutes down, and Leipheimer may not be generating much power. They've got Marcus Fothen, who sits 5th, 1:50 back, and finished 12th in the 2005 Giro, but he's only 25 years old. He could compete for the young rider's jersey.
T-Mobile opened a big old powerful Pandora's Box full of superstrong riders. Their slowest rider today finished 14 seconds faster than Britain's TT specialist David Millar. They've got the 4 potential leaders we all thought Discovery Channel might show: Honchar, Michael Rogers, Andreas Klöden, and Patrik Sinkewitz, and I could make a case for any of them. Chris Carmichael tips Klöden, and I could see that: he's German and he's been through this before.
And what about Discovery Channel? Savoldelli has 20 seconds on George Hincapie, who had suggested the road would choose the team's leader through the first week and today's ITT. I've never seen Hincapie as crestfallen as on OLN's prime-time coverage; he really looked flattened. Popovych and Azevedo were even farther back today; I say Savoldelli's the horse to back. Marcello at VeloChimp.com agrees.
There are also a number of team leaders who are really hard to take seriously now, even with mad climbing skills: Gilberto Simoni is 5:34 down, Thomas Voeckler 5:35, Iban Mayo sits 6:11 down, and Damiano Cunego is at 7:06. David Moncoutié? 12:15 down.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 8, 2006 in Andreas Klöden, Bobby Julich, Cadel Evans, Christophe Moreau, Damiano Cunego, David Moncoutié, Denis Menchov, Floyd Landis, Georg Totschnig, Gilberto Simoni, Iban Mayo, Jens Voigt, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rogers, Patrik Sinkewitz, Sergei Honchar, Thomas Voeckler, Tour de France 2006, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Honchar dominates TT, takes yellow jersey
T-Mobile's Sergei Honchar totally obliterated the field in the Tour's first long time trial, leading all riders by more than a minute at the finish in Rennes. Honchar led at all the intermediate time checks, and becomes the first Ukrainian to wear the Tour leader's yellow jersey.
The expected American juggernaut was represented by only a single heavy cruiser, Floyd Landis, who took second on the day, 1:01 behind Honchar. The other US podium contenders finished well down the stage standings, with George Hincapie 24th, Levi Leipheimer 96th (!) at 6:06, and Bobby Julich out of the Tour after a hard crash early in his race that sent him off in an ambulance.
OLN said Floyd Landis was forced to lower his handlebar position at the last minute by the UCI, which may have led to a bike change when the clamp slipped.
Levi Leipheimer's troubles are still not explained.
2) Landis, at 1:01
3) Sebastian Lang, Gerolsteiner, at 1:04
4) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, at 1:24
5) Gustav Larsson, Française des Jeux, at 1:34
6) Patrik Sinkewitz, T-Mobile, at 1:39
7) Marcus Fothen, Gerolsteiner, at 1:42
8) Andreas Klöden, T-Mobile, at 1:43
9) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, at 1:44
10) Joost Posthuma, Rabobank, at 1:45
13) Dave Zabriski, CSC, at 1:57
24) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at 2:42
30) Christian Vande Velde, CSC, at 3:14
48) Chris Horner, Davitamon-Lotto, at 4:14
96) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, at 6:06
2) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at 1:00
3) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, at 1:08
4) Patrik Sinkewitz, T-Mobile, at 1:45
5) Marcus Fothen, Gerolsteiner, at 1:50
6) Andreas Klöden, T-Mobile, at 1:50
7) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, at 1:52
8) Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, at 1:52
9) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, at 2:00
10) Dave Zabriskie, CSC, at 2:03
12) Christophe Moreau, AG2R, at 2:07
13) Paolo Savoldelli, Discovery Channel, at 2:10
16) Carlos Sastre, CSC, at 2:27
17) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at 2:30
T-Mobile, dominating the overall standings, moves into the clear lead in the team competition, 3:09 ahead of Phonak, with former leader Discovery Channel falling to 5th, 4:29 back.
Gerolsteiner's Fothen moves back into the lead in the young rider's white jersey competition, ahead of Thomas Lövkvist of Française des Jeux.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 8, 2006 in Andreas Klöden, Bobby Julich, Chris Horner, Christophe Moreau, Dave Zabriskie, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rogers, Paolo Savoldelli, Patrik Sinkewitz, Sergei Honchar, Stage results, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack
Julich crashes out of Tour during time trial
CSC's Bobby Julich, third in the 1998 Tour de France, crashed out of the 2006 edition during the Stage 7 individual time trial, shortly after his start.
Julich was riding through a left then right chicane when it appeared his front end washed out, and he slid into and over the low curb. He was taken away in an ambulance.
Julich's departure leaves CSC with 7 riders. CSC's Stuart O'Grady continues in the race with a fractured vertebra.
Julich also crashed out of the 1999 Tour in a time trial, in Metz.
The team reports that Julich has no fractures, but “a big open wound on his right wrist,” and that he'll get a more complete scan tomorrow.
Julich wrote in his ESPN diary about his prep and hopes for the Stage 7 TT:
I expect to see a lot more Americans dominate the top 10 and I hope to top that list. I am definitely not going to call my shot here (a la Babe Ruth), but if I can have a day like I hope to have, I'll be in contention at the Tour.
Stage 7 ITT underway
Some times from riders of interest who have already ridden: Viatcheslav Ekimov 1:04:23; Chris Horner 1:05:57; Jens Voigt has the slowest yet at 1:11:44, suggesting he may have plans to go stage-hunting in the next couple of days.
On the course now are Sandy Casar, Iban Mayo, Pietro Caucchioli, and Thomas Voeckler, among others.
Casar came in 1:05:11; Mayo 1:07:20 -- that's got to hurt. Thomas Voeckler 1:05:47. Caucchioli in 1:08:21.
Sastre, Leipheimer and Popovych are on the course. Julich is off.
Sastre is the first one to shake things up; at the first time check, he comes in at 20:22, 5 seconds ahead of Lovkvist's time.
Julich has crashed! He went down very hard at a left-right chicane, hitting the pavement and sliding into and over the curb. He's sitting by the side of the road, and may be the next casualty of the 2006 Tour. That's confirmed; Julich has been taken away in an ambulance. Liggett points out that the only other Tour Julich hasn't finished was because of an accident in the time trial, in 1999.
Menchov hits the 1st time check in 20:07, best so far, 15 seconds better than Sastre.
Zabriskie takes his start.
David Millar is out of the starthouse, slowly spinning up to speed.
Leipheimer reportedly hit the 1st time check at 1:32 behind Menchov! That's 61st-fastest at that point, with a lot of riders to come.
Cadel Evans is ready to roll, and he's off.
T-Mobile's Eddy Mazzoleni is 2nd fastest through the 16.5 kilometer 1st check, 8 seconds slower than Menchov.
Landis is in the start house on time, and he's off. His coach Robbie Ventura said they pre-raced the course at 75 percent this morning, and Landis likes his chances.
Klöden comes through Time Check 1 at 19:58!
Savoldelli is off; Hushovd is off; Hincapie awaits, looking solemn, and he's gone.
Zabriskie is 4th at TC 1, 15 seconds behind Klöden. Menchov sets the new fastest time at the 2nd check, a fraction of a second ahead of Larsson.
Michael Rogers is off, smelling yellow.
Moreau hits TC1 at 25 seconds.
Here goes McEwen, and Boonen is setting up in the start house, and he's off, last to leave as the yellow jersey.
It's a full-on, Michael Rasmussen-style disaster for Leipheimer. He's already been passed by Christian Vande Velde, his 2-minute man.
Menchov finishes his ride fading, at 1:03:27.
Zabriskie is 9th at the 2nd time check. There are reports the wind has picked up since the fast times this morning.
Hincapie is 15th at the first time check, 52 seconds down on Honchar. Rogers is only slightly better, 46 seconds down on Honchar at TC 1.
Vande Velde finishes in 1:04:57.
Leipheimer is coming in, tripping the sensors in 1:07:49. What a nightmare for Leipheimer.
Popovych finishes in 1:05:00.
Boonen is through the first time check (at 1:26), so Honchar's 19:37 is the fastest time there, followed by Landis at :17, Klöden at :22, Marcus Fothen at :29, and Denis Menchov at :30.
Zabriskie hits TC3 39 seconds slower than Lang; Sergei Honcar sets the new best time at the 2nd time check in 43:50, just flying!
Klöden is coming up to the line, and trips the clock in 1:03:26, 4th for now.
Zabriskie is finishing; he won't win the stage, and he finishes in 1:03:40.
Hincapie at TC2: 45:53, slower than Ekimov and Savoldelli.
David Millar hasn't factored in the intermediate checks at all, and finishes in 1:05:17. Christophe Moreau finishes close behind, in 1:03:47.
Rogers comes to TC2 in 45:06, more than 30 seconds behind Landis.
Honchar is fastest again at Time Check 3: 55:09 against Lang's previous-best 56:20.
Honchar is roaring up to the finish; there he comes in 1:01:43!
Landis is 57 seconds down at the 3rd time check on Honchar. He'll be finishing soon. Here he comes; he can't catch Honchar, but he's going to have a strong time, it's 1:02:44 for Landis. Honchar is almost guaranteed the stage win and the yellow jersey tonight.
Savoldelli is coming into the last kilometer and brings home a 1:03:55.
Hincapie is 23rd at the last time check, 2:32 off Honchar.
Rogers comes through the last time check in 56:31, so he's coming in strong.
Hincapie to the line in 1:04:25.
Rogers catches Hushovd, his 6-minute man, just outside the 1-kilometer mark. He won't match Landis: 1:03:07 for the world TT champion.
Boonen's taking his yellow jersey seriously; he caught McEwen on the road, and Boonen finishes his reign in 1:05:35, 41st on the day. McEwen closes out the day, in 1:08:10.
Sergei Honchar has a stage win and a yellow jersey for T-Mobile!
Posted by Frank Steele on July 8, 2006 in Andreas Klöden, Bobby Julich, Cadel Evans, Christian Vande Velde, Christophe Moreau, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, Denis Menchov, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Iban Mayo, Jens Voigt, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rogers, Paolo Savoldelli, Patrik Sinkewitz, Robbie McEwen, Sergei Honchar, Tom Boonen, Tour de France 2006, Vladimir Karpets, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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
Julich's ESPN diary launches
CSC's Bobby Julich, who finished 3rd in the scandal-plagued 1998 Tour (not last year as his local paper suggested), is writing a diary for ESPN.com during this year's Tour.
Its first edition is up, and focuses, of course, on Basso's withdrawal and what impact that's going to have on the team.
He says CSC briefly considered pulling out of the race, in the emotion of the moment, but that Special Operations training kicked in: “...it's also a reality, as on the battlefield, that when your leader goes down, you have to still accomplish your objective, that the roles may change but you still have a goal to accomplish.”
Personally, Julich says he believes Basso is innocent, that he's been targeted because of his extraordinary Giro performance, but that he's assumed guilty because of the ProTour and ASO regulations, which allow riders to be suspended if they're even under investigation.
The worst thing for me will be if, three or four days from now, Ivan goes down, gives his DNA, does whatever he needs to do to clear his name, and is cleared, but the Tour has already started without him. That really is the hard part for me.
In my opinion, if there is absolutely indisputable evidence that he's involved, then I'm sorry, but we have to accept that, and that would be the most disappointing thing in my career, that I would have to accept that a guy like Ivan was cheating.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like ESPN is giving Julich a standard URL where you can watch for updates, or even, heavens, a standard weblog with an RSS feed.
Mancebo to retire, Ullrich and Basso to fight allegations
AG2R's Francisco Mancebo is apparently throwing up his hands, rather than either maintaining his innocence or admitting guilt in connection with the Operación Puerto investigation. He told procycling.com, “I consider myself innocent and I have never tested positive. I’m just going to see how this all evolves now. I’m sick of this world, I am going to hang to my bike up.”
Jan Ullrich continues to maintain his innocence, after being withdrawn from the Tour de France by his T-Mobile team.
“The only thing I can say so far is that I'm shocked, that I still have nothing to do with this, that I'm a victim now and that I'm prepared [for the Tour] in this year like never before,” Ullrich told reporters outside his hotel near Strasbourg, before leaving for home.
“This is the worst case of my career so far. I'll go on fighting at any rate. But at this moment, I'm desperate.”
The team says it will demand “evidence of Ullrich's innocence,” or may sever ties completely.
As for Basso, he's going to the lawyers:
"I have nothing to do with all this, but I will let my lawyers speak about this before me," Basso told Italian television.
"I'm totally relaxed. I'm waiting for someone to prove to me that I am guilty," said Basso.
Riis is distancing himself from his Giro winner:
Riis noted that Basso's contract forbids him from working with doctors from outside their CSC team.
"Ivan must prove with his lawyer that he is innocent. I believe in Ivan but I have been forced to take the necessary steps," Riis said.
Also, the updated official start list is up (check your favorite surviving rider's bib number - Julich gets 11, Klöden 21).
June 19, 2006
CSC names Tour nine; Cancellara left off
CSC named the nine men it hopes can lead Ivan Basso to his first Tour de France victory in July.
It's a deep squad, featuring both guys not named “Armstrong” to wear the yellow jersey last year (Zabriskie and Voigt), 1998 Tour podium finisher Bobby Julich, and lots of love from Luxembourg: National champion (for at least another week) and 2006 Amstel Gold winner Frank Schleck, and 2006 Tour of Luxembourg winner Christian Vande Velde.
Biggest surprise is probably the exclusion of Fabian Cancellara; he's probably a victim of the missing team time trial.
Team director Bjarne Riis:
“We are bringing a fantastic team to Tour de France this year. When you look at the names, you cannot help but notice, that this is a team to be reckoned with – a team which has the foundation to be one of the dominating ones in the 2006 edition of the Tour. We go to France this year with one ambition: To win with Ivan Basso. After his victory in the Giro, and with the training he has done in the period since then, I have no doubt he is ready for this next big challenge. He has the class, the willpower and also the team behind him to be one of the favorites,” adds Bjarne Riis.
- CSC 2006 Tour de France squad:
- Ivan Basso
- Carlos Sastre
- Fränk Schleck
- Jens Voigt
- Giovanni Lombardi
- Stuart O'Grady
- Bobby Julich
- David Zabriskie
- Christian Vande Velde
Posted by Frank Steele on June 19, 2006 in Bobby Julich, Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie, Fabian Cancellara, Frank Schleck, Ivan Basso, Jens Voigt, Stuart O'Grady, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)
May 26, 2006
Flickr'ing the Giro
There are a few from yesterday's stage, too -- I'm partial to this shot (which two minutes later got a few more cameras), and AllessioAllessio's set from Livorno.
this one shot by Giovanni Lentini.
Garate takes Stage 19, new papa Basso comfortable in Giro lead
On paper, Stage 17 was this year's Giro queen stage. But when weather and team dissent led organizers to behead the queen, chopping off the top of the stage, today's stage stepped in. With four big climbs in 224 kilometers, it was the best chance for somebody to try to put the hurt on king-to-be Ivan Basso, celebrating the birth this morning of his second child, a son.
A solid early break got 5 minutes on the field over the second major climb. The highest placed rider was Danilo Di Luca, 12th at 18:27, and some other familiar names were along, including Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt of CSC, Paolo Bettini and Juan Manuel Garate of QuickStep, Johan Tschopp of Phonak, and Francisco Vila of Lampre.
On the Pordoi, Bettini and Julich were quickly off the back, and Ceramica Panaria's Fortunato Baliani led the group over the top, nearly 7 minutes ahead of the pack, to take the lead in the climber's jersey competition.
At the foot of the last climb, Di Luca, Garate, and Voigt were riding with Tschopp, Lampre's Evgeni Petrov, Tadej Valjavec, and Francisco Vila, Ceramica Panaria's Baliani, Laverde, and Emanuele Sella, Patrice Halgand, and Ivan Parra.
Valjavec launched the first attack, joined quickly by Voigt. Parra and Villa tried to bridge, but never quite made it. Parra fell off Villa's pace, to be replaced by Garate, and that pair caught Valjavec and Voigt. Valjavec quickly attacked again, and was countered by Garate, who gapped the trio, only to have Voigt (!) jump out and catch his wheel.
Back in the field, Piepoli turned on the burners, and Simoni, Cunego, and Basso were the only ones who could match him. Once again, Savoldelli was quickly off the back, and once again Discovery's Tom Danielson led him in. Gutierrez drifted off the leaders' group, and Simoni smelled 2nd on the GC, and attacked. Basso and Cunego countered, but Cunego couldn't match the pace, and yo-yoed desperately on and off Basso and Simoni, slowly drifting back, but passing break survivors along the way.
In the last few kilometers, everyone had to be thinking back to the 2005 Tour, and George Hincapie's win over Phonak's Oscar Pereiro after Pereiro had set pace all day. Today, we had a big generalist/superdomestique, Voigt, teammate of the overall race leader, riding alongside a climber, Garate, with an uphill finish, and again, it looked like the big man, Voigt, had played all his cards right for the win. Voigt patiently sat in, and then, with less than 300 meters to go, he patted Garate on the back, gave him a little push, and sat up.
Garate couldn't believe his luck; he had tried to ride Voigt off his wheel unsuccessfully, and now, he was handing Garate the win? The little man, riding in his Spanish champion's jersey, put a safe cushion behind him, still glancing nervously several times back at Voigt, then with 50 meters to ride, he pointed back, acknowledging the gift, zipped his jersey, and took the stage.
Back with the GC riders, the question was, where's Gutierrez? Simoni looked a little like Gibos past, and he and Basso led in all riders not involved in the break, finishing 7th and 8th at 2:15. Behind them, Cunego and Gutierrez, both of whom had looked near popping, were clawing for every inch, and Gutierrez came 11th at 2:39 and Cunego 12th at 2:40. Savoldelli, Piepoli, Baliani, Danielson, Sandy Casar and Victor Hugo Peña finished together at 4:16, while Pellizotti came in at 5:11.
On GC, that means Basso leads by 6:07, with Gutierrez in 2nd, 4:27 clear of Simoni, who now has a 2:25 cushion on Savoldelli. Pellizotti falls from 5th to 6th, while Cunego pole-vaults from 8th to 5th, now 15:13 back.
One notable DNF, as Jan Ullrich drops out, complaining of back pain.
Five riders were still competing in Liberty Seguros jerseys, and the team ownership promises the team will continue through the end of the season, even without a large portion of the 8 million euros Liberty was kicking in.
Posted by Frank Steele on May 26, 2006 in Bobby Julich, Damiano Cunego, Danilo Di Luca, George Hincapie, Gilberto Simoni, Giro d'Italia 2006, Giro d’Italia, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Jens Voigt, Jose Enrique Gutierrez, Leonardo Piepoli, Paolo Bettini, Paolo Savoldelli, Tom Danielson, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0)
May 07, 2006
Giro 2006 web resource roundup
TV:OLN is repeating their approach from last year, providing a weekly recap show on their Cyclysm Sundays show and live coverage of Monday - Saturday stages through a partnership with Cycling.TV, at $19.99 for the entire Giro. If you already subscribe to Cycling.TV, that's another $19.99 to get the Giro. Mac users note: it works if you've installed Windows Media/Mac and/or Flip4Mac; I had better luck in Firefox and Safari than Camino.
Tickers:Look for live text coverage from VeloNews, cyclingnews.com, and Eurosport, with commentary most days at Daily Peloton.
Online Resources:The official site, in English, Italian, French, Spanish, and German.
A team-by-team look at the Giro d'Italia
Riders in the race:
Jason McCartney's Giro Blog
Riders sitting out the Giro:
PezCycling News | Magnus Maximus : Giro Watching
May 06, 2006
Savoldelli takes Giro Stage 1
Defending Giro champion Paolo Savoldelli of Discovery Channel took today's short time trial in Belgium.
Savoldelli was the only rider to covered the 6.2 kilometers in less than 8 minutes. His 7:50 was 11 seconds faster than Française des Jeux's Bradley McGee, and 13 seconds ahead of José Enrigue Gutierrez of Phonak.
Among other favorites, Danilo Di Luca was 10th on the day, at 19 seconds, Ivan Basso was at 23 seconds, Cunego was at :25, and Gilberto Simoni was at :26.
Paolo Bettini, who had hoped to wear the race leader's jersey after Stage 3, came in at 8:32, so he'll need to take 42 seconds out of Savoldelli.
Among Americans, Bobby Julich finished in 8:35, Tom Danielson was in at 8:11, Jason McCartney at 8:21, Phonak's Patrick McCarty, starting his first grand tour, was 93rd in 8:44, and Saunier-Duval's Aaron Olson, likewise starting his first GT, finished in 9:07.
Jan Ullrich finished in 8:39 for 80th on the day.
1) Paolo Savoldelli, Discovery Channel, in 7:50
2) Bradley McGee, Française des Jeux, at :11
3) José Enrique Gutierrez, Phonak, at :13
4) Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner, same time
5) Serguei Honchar, T-Mobile, at :15
6) Francisco Perez, Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears, at :16
7 José Ivan Gutierrez, Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears, same time
8) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, at :17
9) Davide Rebellin, Gerolsteiner, at :18
10) Danilo Di Luca, Liquigas, at :19
Posted by Frank Steele on May 6, 2006 in Bobby Julich, Bradley McGee, Damiano Cunego, Danilo Di Luca, Davide Rebellin, Giro d'Italia 2006, Giro d’Italia, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Jose Enrique Gutierrez, Michael Rogers, Paolo Bettini, Paolo Savoldelli, Sergei Honchar, Stefan Schumacher, Tom Danielson, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
March 13, 2006
Floyd lands Paris-Nice
The World's Fastest Mennonite has done it again, adding the Paris-Nice title to his freshly won overall at the Tour of California.
Markus Zberg took the final stage, fighting back to Evgeni Petrov and Alberto Contador after getting dropped, then beating both to the line.
Landis said the victory was a confidence-builder for Phonak, who showed they could defend a leader's jersey, in a race not ideally fit to his strengths:
"It was a difficult race to win because there were no mountaintop finishes and there were no long time trials," Landis said. "In some ways I was lucky. I had a good day on a very difficult stage. At the Tour, you don't get lucky and win. You have to be good every day for three weeks."
The next races on Landis' calendar are the Criterium International, the Tour de Georgia, and the Giro d'Italia.
Patxi Vila was 2nd overall, and Antonio Colom, who soloed away from the field late Sunday to move up the leaderboard, took 3rd overall.
Bobby Julich didn't start Sunday's last stage, after crashing on Saturday. Tom Boonen is looking ahead to Milan-San Remo this weekend, and decided a day with 4 categorized climbs might take a little too much out of his legs.
Update: USA Today named Landis its U.S. Olympic Athlete of the Week for the win.
March 08, 2006
Landis dominates Stage 3 to take Paris-Nice lead
On the day's last climb, Johan Vansummeren and Alberto Martinez were the first to strike. David Moncoutie struggled to bridge, followed by Samuel Sanchez, Frank Schleck, Toni Colom, Landis, and eventual stage-winner Paxti Vila of Lampre. Nearing the summit, Landis turned up the heat, and slowly dropped his break-mates.
On the 18-kilometer descent to St. Etienne, Landis rode like he stole something, with Vila mostly wheelsucking, stretching the pair's lead out to over a minute. At the line, Vila came around for his first pro victory, but Landis was the day's big winner.
On the day, Landis lost teammates Robbie Hunter, who left the race with a sinus infection, and Aurelien Clerc, who was outside the time limit. He's got to try to hold on to the jersey with just 5 teammates.
Bobby Julich lost 8:47 on the day, finishing with Andrey Kaschechkin of Liberty Seguros.
Overall Top 10 after Stage 3:
1) Floyd Landis, Phonak, in 14:46:28
2) Patxi Vila, Lampre, at 0:09
3) Samuel Sanchez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:13
4) Antonio Colom, Caisse L'Espargne-Illes Balears, at 1:23
5) Frank Schleck, Team CSC, same time
6) Jose Azevedo, Discovery Channel, at 1:35
7) Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:37
8) Pietro Caucchioli, Credit Agricole, at 1:39
9) Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner, same time
10) Jose Luis Rubiera, Discovery Channel, at 1:40
Posted by Frank Steele on March 8, 2006 in Bobby Julich, Chris Horner, David Moncoutié, Erik Dekker, Floyd Landis, Paris-Nice '06, Stefan Schumacher, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
March 06, 2006
Boonen wins Stage 1 sprint, takes Paris-Nice lead
On the other end of the continent, Northern Europe's fastest man took his 8th win of the season, as Tom Boonen's sprint victory put him in yellow at Paris-Nice. Allan Davis of Liberty Seguros was 2nd, and Saunier Duval's Francisco Ventoso 3rd. Boonen told Eurosport:
"Two weeks ago, when I saw the roadbook, I had [stage one] marked down as one of my main goals," he said after the race. "It was a flat stage which suited me fine even though the conditions made it very hard. "It was cold, it rained and I'm all the happier to have been able to win in such conditions."
Prologue victor Bobby Julich dropped to 2nd overall, as Boonen's time bonus catapulted him into the race lead. CSC's David Zabriskie spent some time in the race lead, as he took an early flyer for almost 25 miles. Discovery's Jason McCartney dropped out, with the Team Disco website reporting he's sick from the intercontinental travel. Top 10 (General Classification): 1) Tom Boonen, QuickStep 2) Bobby Julich, CSC, at :07 3) Andrey Kashechkin, Liberty Seguros, at :08 4) Bradley McGee Francaise des Jeux at :09 5) Alberto Contador, Liberty Seguros, at :10 6) Samuel Sanchez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at :10 7) Bradley Wiggins, Cofidis, at :12 8) Benoît Vaugrenard, Francaise des Jeux, at :12 9) Gert Steegmans, Davitamon-Lotto, at :14 10) Rik Verbrugghe, Cofidis. at :14 Also: DailyPeloton.com | Paris Nice Stage 1 Photos: GrahamWatson.com | Paris-Nice Stage 1
Posted by Frank Steele on March 6, 2006 in Alberto Contador, Andrey Kashechkin, Bobby Julich, Bradley McGee, Bradley Wiggins, Dave Zabriskie, Paris-Nice '06, Tom Boonen, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
March 05, 2006
Julich takes Paris-Nice prologue
Bobby Julich kicked off the ProTour calendar with a victory, taking the prologue at Paris-Nice on Sunday. Julich won the overall there in 2005, but says that's not a goal for him this year. Julich slipped ahead of Andrey Kashechkin of Liberty Seguros by 1 second, with FDJeux's Brad McGee at 2 seconds. The course is supposed to be very tactical this year, so look out for world champion Tom Boonen, who came 5th in the prologue, only 3 seconds back.
Julich said he's not defending his title:
"I didn't make Paris-Nice one of my objectives this year but in the warm-up of the prologue I felt good and realized I had a chance of doing something," he said. "At 34 you can't go chasing every race. This year I've agreed with team manager Bjarne Riis that my priorities will be the Giro d'Italia and supporting Ivan Basso at the Tour de France."
It's also CSC's first victory of the season.
1) Bobby Julich, CSC, 6:07
2) Andrey Kashechkin, Liberty Seguros, at :01
3) Bradley McGee, FDJeux, at :02
4) Alberto Contador, Liberty Seguros, at :03
5) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, at :03
February 15, 2006
Team CSC bringing Tour heavyweights to Tour of California
Team CSC has announced the Tour of California squad, and it's loaded with Tour de France veterans, including 2 of last year's yellow jersey wearers.
New CSC riders Fabian Cancellara, Stuart O'Grady, and Karsten Kroon join Americans Bobby Julich, Christian Vande Velde, and Dave Zabriskie. Rounding out the eight-man squad are Jens Voigt and Lars Bak.
Voigt and Zabriskie both held the yellow jersey during last year's Tour, the only riders not named Armstrong to spend time in the maillot jaune.
“I'm sending a very motivated group of riders who can win the Tour of California,” said Bjarne Riis, owner and manager of Team CSC. “And since the race finishes in Southern California, near the headquarters of CSC, our title sponsor, it's a race we'd clearly love to win.”
The first Tour of California kicks off Sunday with a prologue in San Francisco.
Posted by Frank Steele on February 15, 2006 in Bobby Julich, Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie, Fabian Cancellara, Jens Voigt, Stuart O'Grady, Top Stories, Tour of California | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
July 25, 2005
Di Luca still heads ProTour rankings
Lance Armstrong, who would generally take over the World Cup lead with a strong Tour showing, moves only into 2nd in the new ProTour's post-Tour rankings, trailing Danilo DiLuca by 45 points. Alexandre Vinokourov will move up when Armstrong is removed from the listings: He's third, just 3 points behind Armstrong.
1) Danilo Di Luca, Liquigas, 184 pts
2) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, 139 pts
3) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, 136 pts
4) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, 120 pts
5) Alessandro Petacchi, Fassa Bortolo, 111 pts
6) Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, 98 pts
7) Santiago Botero, Phonak, 95 pts
8) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, 94 pts
9) Paolo Savoldelli, Discovery Channel, 92 pts
10) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, 89 pts
Other Americans in the Top 20 are Levi Leipheimer, 15th at 80 points, and Bobby Julich, 16th at 79.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 25, 2005 in Alessandro Petacchi, Alexandre Vinokourov, Bobby Julich, Danilo Di Luca, George Hincapie, Jan Ullrich, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Oscar Freire, Paolo Savoldelli, Santiago Botero | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack
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 23, 2005
Armstrong gets his stage, nails down 7th Tour victory
Armstrong's last win
T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich came to play, but couldn't quite hang with Armstrong, finishing 2nd on the day, 23 seconds slower than Armstrong.
The top 10 is a good demonstrator of US power in the sport: Besides Armstrong atop the heap, CSC's Bobby Julich was 4th at 1:33, Phonak's Floyd Landis was 6th at 2:02, Discovery's George Hincapie was 8th at 2:25. A little farther down the standings was Levi Leipheimer, 14th at 3:13, which catapults Leipheimer into 5th overall. Leipheimer will have to watch his back tomorrow, because Vinokourov is only 2 seconds behind him, easily overcome with an intermediate bonus sprint.
CSC's Ivan Basso was 4th on the day after going out too hard and leading the race at the 1st time check.
Michael Rasmussen, the king of the mountains, was the joker against the clock, switching bikes 4 times, and crashing twice, while losing 7:47 against Armstrong, and 7:24 to Ullrich, who moved into 3rd overall.
Armstrong rolled through the finish and straight over to his children, who arrived yesterday to watch Daddy work.
1) Armstrong, in 1:11:46
2) Ullrich, at :23
3) Vinokourov, at 1:16
4) Julich, at 1:22
5) Basso, at 1:54
6) Landis, at 2:02
7) Evans, at 2:06
8) Hincapie, at 2:25
9) Mancebo, at 2:51 (!)
10) Karpets, at 3:05
2) Basso, at 4:40
3) Ullrich, at 6:21
4) Mancebo, at 9:59
5) Leipheimer, at 11:25
6) Vinokourov, at 11:27
7) Rasmussen, at 11:33
8) Evans, at 11:55
9) Landis, at 12:44
10) Pereiro, at 16:04
Posted by Frank Steele on July 23, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Bobby Julich, Cadel Evans, George Hincapie, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Stage results, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack
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
Your current GC:
1) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, 37:11:04
2) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, at :38
3) Ivan Basso, CSC, at 2:40
4) Christophe Moreau, Credit Agricole, at 2:42
5) Alejandro Valverde (Spain) Illes Balears, at 3:16
6) Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner at 3:58
7) Francisco Mancebo (Spain) Illes Balears at 4:00
8) Jan Ullrich (Germany) T-Mobile at 4:02
9) Andreas Klöden (Germany) T-Mobile at 4:16
10) Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak at 4:16
Looking farther back:
11) Botero, at 5:20
16) Vinokourov, 6:32
17) Julich, 6:32
21) Beloki at 8:31
23) Karpets at 9:03
24) Chris Horner, at 9:05
25) Michael Rogers, at 9:10
30) Georg Totschnig, at 11:43
36) Roberto Heras, at 12:59
45) Denis Menchov, at 16:16
50) Brad McGee, at 18:28
66) Iban Mayo, at 27:31
Basso, Leipheimer, Valverde, and Rasmussen all sit closer to the race lead than they did yesterday. They had the best days for riders not born in Texas. Unfortunately for them, they're not chasing down Jens Voigt from here on out.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Bobby Julich, Bradley McGee, Cadel Evans, Christian Vande Velde, Denis Menchov, Floyd Landis, Francisco Mancebo, Iban Mayo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Michael Rogers, Roberto Heras, Santiago Botero, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Stage 10 on last climb
Armstrong is in a group of five, but now he's upped the tempo again! Basso is off the back!
Only Rabobank's King of the Mountains, Michael Rasmussen, and the two Illes Balears riders, Valverde and Mancebo, can hold his wheel.
Ullrich is about a minute down, and Voigt, this morning's yellow jersey is more than 10 minutes back. They've still got 5 miles to ride.
The four are sharing work, with Rasmussen taking fewer pulls than the others.
They're coming up on the 1k marker, and there's a steeper section.
Rasmussen picks up the pace, but he's countered. Valverde was looking for it. Armstrong is just sitting in. I don't think he'll beat Valverde in a sprint.
There goes Armstrong from 500 meters!
Valverde grabs his wheel. I think it's Valverde's stage....
Armstrong sits up, and Valverde wins his first Tour de France stage!
Now the former contenders come in: Basso at 1:00, Leipheimer at 1:12 or so. Landis, Evans, Moreau, Ullrich, Klöden: 2:15 to the line. Vinokourov and Julich: 5 minutes plus.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2005 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Bobby Julich, Cadel Evans, Christophe Moreau, Floyd Landis, Francisco Mancebo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen | Permalink | Comments (10)
July 11, 2005
CyclingNews rest day photo gallery
DS Riis suits up for training ride, Julich w/Olivia and family Hincapie:
George, Julia, Melanie from cyclingnews.com
July 09, 2005
Weening nips Klöden for stage win; Armstrong isolated
Rabobank's Pieter Weening took a terrific win as the Tour de France finally hits some real climbs.
Weening was the last survivor of a long breakaway. His lead dropped to as little as 10 seconds on the chasing group of Tour contenders, but he was reinvigorated when Andreas Klöden of T-Mobile came across the gap and took most of the pulls into Gérardme.
As the line approached, Klöden and Weening wound it up, and it took race judges to determine the winner: from the photo finish, it looked like a dead heat. Liggett says it was estimated he won by 2 millimeters!
Armstrong was isolated -- Hincapie, Savoldelli, Popovych: All these guys fell off the group that mattered on a 2nd Category climb. That's a big surprise.
Armstrong: "For whatever reason, I was left alone -- we didn't have a great day as a team."
Vladimir Karpets takes the white jersey from Yaroslav Popovych; Michael Rasmussen took the polka-dots from Fabian Wegmann.
T-Mobile has got to smell blood in the water with Ullrich, Klöden and Vinokourov all surviving to the end against a lone Armstrong.
1) Pieter Weening, Rabobank
2) Andreas Klöden, T-Mobile, same time
3) Alejandro Valverde, Illes Balears, at :27
4) Kim Kirchen, Fassa Bortolo, same time
5) Jens Voigt, CSC, same time
6) Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, same time
7) Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, s.t.
8) Christophe Moreaus, Credit Agricole, s.t.
9) Chris Horner, Saunier Duval-Prodier, s.t.
10) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, s.t.
17) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, s.t.
19) Michael Rogers, Quick Step, s.t.
20) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, same time
Azevedo and Hincapie were back at 1:25, while Savoldelli, Padrnos, Rubiera and Beltran were at 2:57.
This shakes up the GC, as well:
2) Voigt, at 1:00
3) Vinokourov, at 1:02
4) Julich, at 1:07
5) Basso, at 1:26
6) Ullrich, at 1:36 (his first appearance in the top 10 this year)
7) Carlos Sastre, CSC, at 1:36
8) Hincapie, at 1:47
9) Klöden, at 1:50
10) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at 1:50
Dave Zabriskie came in 179th on the day, at 1:01:13, but survived elimination for another day.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 9, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Bobby Julich, Cadel Evans, Chris Horner, Christophe Moreau, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Jens Voigt, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Michael Rogers, Paolo Savoldelli, Stage results, Top Stories, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack
July 07, 2005
Graham Watson Stage 6 photo gallery
Armstrong & Julich, Mengin's breakaway group, and Bernucci takes
the sprint from grahamwatson.com
Watson reports that Bobby Julich and George Hincapie took a short at gapping the field. Watson thinks that may be the end of the idea, which Lance Armstrong discussed after the TTT, of making an effort to get Hincapie into the yellow jersey.
July 05, 2005
Stage 4 Preview: 67.5 km Team Time Trial, Tour-Blois
Julich, CSC will try to hold yellow
Photo by Frank Steele
Today's TTT is a 67.5 kilometer ride, about a 42-mile day. The TTT relies on careful orchestration of the whole team, as teams adjust the length of time that riders spend on the front of the pack to try to bring everybody in equally exhausted. Some teams will drop riders if they have a mechanical or if they just can't hang, but the leading group is given the time to the line of their 5th rider, so you can't drop too many.
Phonak is widely considered the third contender for podium space, and Gerolsteiner won the ProTour's team time trial at Eindhoven in June (but that squad was all specialists, no climbers along). It's clear that Armstrong and Discovery want to take the race lead with today's performance.
The team time trial continues a rule introduced last year that I hate as much as any sports rule other than possibly the NCAA football overtime rules: The time gaps between the teams are not actually the time gaps that will be awarded to the riders. In every other Tour situation, the time you earn is the time you get, but in the face of US Postal's domination of the TTT, organizers introduced a rule that limits the possible damage by setting maximum time gaps based on a team's placing in the stage.
The 2nd place team, for instance, will lose no more than 20 seconds on the leaders, 3rd is limited to 30 seconds, and so on, except that eventually the maximum gap between teams drops to 5 seconds. Cyclingnews.com explains the time trial rules or you can read it in the official rules (.pdf file). Don't spend too long thinking about this rule, or your head may explode.
"We will leave as favourites, I think, along with Phonak and Discovery, but I am sure that we will beat them. If not, I'll be very disappointed," continued Riis, throwing down the gauntlet.
"If we can take back a little time, it will allow us to reduce Ivan [Basso]'s deficit on Armstrong (1'24" after Saturday's ITT)," Riis added, before admitting that "beyond keeping the yellow, Basso remains the priority."
Quotes Bluesq.com that "Discovery ... their odds-on favourites, CSC at 7-4 and Phonak at 9-2."
June 20, 2005
Gerolsteiner names Tour 9, CSC and Liberty Seguros close in
Levi Leipheimer will lead
Gerolsteiner's Tour squad.
Photo by Frank Steele.
Gerolsteiner has finalized its Tour de France squad:
CSC's near-final squad:
Jakob Piil or Luke Roberts
Two Americans, with Christian Vande Velde home recuperating and looking toward the Vuelta in September.
Liberty Seguros is down to 11 Tour candidates:
Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano
Luis Leon Sanchez
Posted by Frank Steele on June 20, 2005 in Alberto Contador, Bobby Julich, Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie, Fabian Wegmann, Georg Totschnig, Ivan Basso, Jens Voigt, Jorg Jaksche, Joseba Beloki, Levi Leipheimer, Roberto Heras | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
June 12, 2005
Ullrich takes Tour de Suisse TT, race lead
T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich took a convincing win at the Tour de Suisse today. Ullrich rode the 36-kilometer time trial course in 44:06, 15 seconds faster than Brad McGee, and 18 seconds faster than world TT champ Michael Rogers.
Coupled with Stage 1 winner Bernhard Eisel's weak showing, the ride gives Ullrich the overall race lead; he's defending his title from last year.
CSC's Bobby Julich was 8th on the day.
1) Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, 44:06
2) Bradley McGee, Française des Jeux, at :15
3) Michael Rogers, Quick Step, at :18
4) Fabian Cancellara, Fassa Bortolo, at :39
5) Serguei Gonchar, Domina Vacanze, at :40
6) Vladimir Gusev, Team CSC, at :46
7) Jens Voigt, Team CSC, at :58
8) Bobby Julich, Team CSC, at 1:02
9) Dario Frigo, Fassa Bortolo, at 1:08
10) Patrik Sinkewitz, Quick Step, at 1:09
Posted by Frank Steele on June 12, 2005 in Bobby Julich, Bradley McGee, Fabian Cancellara, Jan Ullrich, Jens Voigt, Michael Rogers, Patrik Sinkewitz, Top Stories, Tour de Suisse | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 11, 2005
Tour de Suisse kicks off Saturday
Saturday's a big day, as the king stage of the Dauphiné covers 4 major climbs, and the Tour of Switzerland kicks off.
T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich is the defending Tour de Suisse champion, but Ullrich told cyclingnews.com it's a training ride this year for him.
"Repeating last year's victory is not on my mind, it's all about a measured build-up to the Tour de France," Ullrich said. "I'm convinced that I am a bit further ahead compared to the same time in previous years. I still have about three pounds to lose but that's intended. Now I must race again in order to achieve a fine cross section of fitness. That means I must convert the strength I have into speed."
There may be a stronger field taking the start of the Tour de Suisse than is contesting the Dauphiné, despite the presence of the top American GC threats at the Dauphiné; the Swiss tour includes Ullrich, Robbie McEwen, Oscar Freire, last year's Dauphiné champion Iban Mayo, Tom Boonen, and Americans Bobby Julich, Freddie Rodriguez, Saul Raisin, Jason McCartney, Guido Trenti, and Chris Horner.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 11, 2005 in Bobby Julich, Chris Horner, Fred Rodriguez, Iban Mayo, Jan Ullrich, Oscar Freire, Robbie McEwen, Saul Raisin, Tom Boonen, Tour de Suisse | Permalink | Comments (0)
June 06, 2005
Maybe it's the pink jerseys
In light of Paolo Savoldelli's win at the Giro d'Italia, the re-emergence of Bobby Julich once he joined CSC, and Santiago Botero's return to the top rank of EuroPros (winning this year's Tour de Romandie), VeloNews.com has an interesting analysis piece, "Why T-Mobile fails."
First off, there's almost no debate that, as a team, they do. Until Vinokourov finally broke through at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the best-paid team on the planet had zero results to speak of for the season.
Moll chalks it up largely to the disconnect between T-Mobile's two leaders, Walter Godefroot and the strange two-headed beast of Mario Kummer, the team's directeur sportif, and former DS Rudy Pevenage, now Ullrich's dedicated coach.
Agree or disagree, it's an interesting read.
June 05, 2005
New US champ? Chris Wherry!
HealthNet's Chris Wherry got in the break that mattered in Philadelphia today, and rode it right to the Stars & Stripes US champion's jersey. Saunier Duval-Prodir's Chris Horner and Jelly Belly's Danny Pate were in the break with Wherry, but the HealthNet rider just flat outsmarted them both, finally racing away from Horner with less than 3 miles to ride, and making the gap hold up.
The last few years, it's typically been a Euro-pro who wins the overall race, with the champ's jersey being awarded to the highest-placed American (last year, Freddie Rodriguez took the jersey with a 4th place). It's good to see an all-American podium in the US championships. Discovery's Max van Heeswijk was the top-placed international rider, in 6th.
Rodriguez was 4th again today, 44 seconds back.
Philadelphia's own Bobby Julich finished 36th on the day.
May 30, 2005
Di Luca holds ProTour lead
Danilo Di Luca continued to lead the inaugural UCI ProTour competition, ahead of Tom Boonen and Alessandro Petacchi.
Discovery Channel's Paolo Savoldelli leapfrogged into 5th overall with his Giro d'Italia win, while Bobby Julich and George Hincapie, still deadlocked at 75 points, are now tied for 8th in the standings.
Current Top 10:
1) Danilo Di Luca, Liquigas-Bianchi, 184 pts
2) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, 112 pts
3) Alessandro Petacchi, Fassa Bortolo, 111 pts
4) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, 94 pts
5) Paolo Savoldelli, Discovery Channel, 89 pts
6) Davide Rebellin, Gerolsteiner, 86 pts
7) Michael Boogerd, Rabobank, 80 pts
8) Bobby Julich, Team CSC, 75 pts
9) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, 75 pts
10) Jens Voigt, Team CSC, 72 pts
Posted by Frank Steele on May 30, 2005 in Alessandro Petacchi, Bobby Julich, Danilo Di Luca, Davide Rebellin, George Hincapie, Jens Voigt, Oscar Freire, Paolo Savoldelli, Tom Boonen, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0)