July 03, 2011
Garmin takes narrow TTT win, puts Hushovd in yellow
Garmin's riders have been no stranger to the podium since the team debuted in the Tour in 2008, but the team has never taken the top step. Sunday, in a nail-biter team time trial in Les Essarts, Garmin-Cervelo got the monkey off their back, taking a 4-second stage win and putting world champion Thor Hushovd in yellow.
Alberto Contador, the overall race favorite, saw his chances take another blow, as his Saxo Bank team lost time against many of his rivals, notably both Schlecks, Cadel Evans, Brad Wiggins, Robert Gesink, and Radio Shack's Four Horsemen of the Cyclopalypse, Andreas Klöden, Jani Brajkovic, Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer.
On the other hand, Cadel Evans again took advantage of a chance to make some time, leading his BMC squad to a smooth and surprising 2nd on the day, and missing the yellow jersey by just one second.
Team Leopard-Trek had a rainbow-striped lion among its smaller cats, and world TT champion Fabian Cancellara looked strong enough to drag 4 men and their bikes to the finish. Leopard-Trek was 4th on the day, one of 3 teams (with BMC and Wiggins' Team Sky) to finish 4 seconds back of Garmin.
HTC-High Road was just one further second off the win, likely on Bernhard Eisel's fall in the first turn that left them one rider down for the stage.
Hushovd becomes the first Garmin rider in yellow.
Even before the stage started, there was controversy, as the UCI decided to interpret its geometry regulations to mean that all riders had to race with their saddles level to the ground, apparently a change to how rules were enforced at the recent Tour de Suisse and Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré. Saxo Bank director Bradley McGee and Radio Shack director Johan Bruyneel were fined for “improper conduct” toward officials in the bike check area. Even recreational riders will notice a change to normal saddle position, and take some time to adjust to a new position.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 3, 2011 in 2011 Stage 2, Alberto Contador, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Chris Horner, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, Fabian Cancellara, Levi Leipheimer, Philippe Gilbert, Thor Hushovd, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
July 03, 2010
Where are they from, 2010 edition
Each year, I take a look at where the Tour's riders are from, with special attention to the traditionally English-speaking countries.
Here's this year's rundown:
Cadel Evans, BMC
Simon Gerrans, Sky
Adam Hansen, HTC-Columbia
Brett Lancaster, Cervelo
Matthew Lloyd, Omega Pharma-Lotto
Robbie McEwen, Katusha
Stuart O'Grady, Saxo Bank
Mark Renshaw, HTC-Columbia
Luke Roberts, Milram
Michael Rogers, HTC-Columbia
Wesley Sulzberger, Française des Jeux
Eleven! Up from 6 last year, and it's largely a return of the “Lone Australian” phenomenon -- only HTC-Columbia, with Hansen, Renshaw, and Rogers has more than one Aussie on the squad. Every 2009 Aussie returns, and add Gerrans and Hansen, alternates last year, plus Roberts, Sulzberger, and perennial sprint threat McEwen.
Lance Armstrong, Radio Shack
Brent Bookwalter, BMC
Tyler Farrar, Garmin
George Hincapie, BMC
Chris Horner, Radio Shack
Levi Leipheimer, Radio Shack
Christian Vande Velde, Garmin
David Zabriskie, Garmin
Eight is up from seven last year, and four in 2008. First-timer Bookwalter is here, Garmin's Danny Pate is not, and Chris Horner returns. The excellent showings of both Farrar and Bookwalter at today's prologue are great news for US cycling, which has a glut of over-30 Tour riders, essentially everybody else on the list above.
Michael Barry, Sky
Ryder Hesjedal, Garmin
Canada climbs from one to two, and long-suffering Michael Barry finally gets a Tour start at 34.
Mark Cavendish, HTC-Columbia
Stephen Cummings, Sky
Jeremy Hunt, Cervelo
Daniel Lloyd, Cervelo
David Millar, Garmin
Geraint Thomas, Sky
Charlie Wegelius, Omega Pharma-Lotto
Bradley Wiggins, Sky
Great Britain doubles up, with eight riders versus last year's four. Cavendish and Wiggins have dreams of winner's jerseys.
Julian Dean, Garmin
Hayden Roulston wasn't invited by HTC-Columbia, Greg Henderson wasn't invited by Team Sky.
Nicolas Roche, AG2R-La Mondiale
Roche repeats as the only Irish rider.
Robbie Hunter, Garmin
Up from an unusual zero last year.
Other countries (2009 in parentheses):
35: France (40)
31: Spain (doesn't count Florencio, pulled by Cervelo before start) (28)
17: Italy (16)
15: Germany (15)
12: Belgium (11)
11: Australia (6)
8: Netherlands (11), USA (7)
6: Russia (8)
5: Denmark (3), Switzerland (3)
4: Slovenia (1)
3: Austria (2), Belarus (2), Kazakhstan (1), Portugal (2), Ukraine (2)
2: Canada (1), Luxembourg (3), Norway (2)
1: Czech Republic (1), Estonia (0), Ireland (1), Japan (2), Lithuania (0), Moldova (0), New Zealand (2), Poland (1), South Africa (0), Sweden (1)
Posted by Frank Steele on July 3, 2010 in About the Tour, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Chris Horner, Christian Vande Velde, Danny Pate, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, George Hincapie, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Mark Cavendish, Michael Rogers, Robbie Hunter, Robbie McEwen, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
July 07, 2009
Tour de TwitterLance Armstrong has been one of the top celebrities to adopt Twitter, alongside Stephen Fry, Ashton Kutcher (I almost typed “Astana Kutcher”), and Barack Obama.
I've developed quite a list of riders, journalists, bloggers, and photographers in preparation for the Tour, and thought I would share it with you.
I started with Carlton Reid's massive, 600+ strong list of “Bike Trade Tweeps”. As I've found more, I've been adding them. I left off a few that appear inactive, like @carlossastre, who has nearly 4,000 followers awaiting his first tweet (what pressure!); likewise Denis Menchov and Robert Gesink, and a few fakes.
Also, these are all in English. Please send me additions, either on Twitter (@TdFblog) or by commenting this post. Thanks!
- @TeamAstana : The official team ID
- @lancearmstrong : The 7-time Tour winner
- @johanbruyneel : Team director Johan Bruyneel
- @levileipheimer : Levi Leipheimer (He finally lost the underscore)
- @TeamSlipstream : The official team Twitter feed
- @Vaughters : Team Director Jonathan Vaughters (Newly unshackled from the official team Twitter ID)
- @dzabriskie : David Zabriskie
- @christianvdv : Christian Vande Velde
- @Bradwiggins : Bradley Wiggins
- @thedpate : Danny Pate
- @allencolim : Team physiologist Allen Lim
- @TeamColumbiaHTC : Team updates
- @ghincapie : George Hincapie
- @mickrogers : Michael Rogers
- @markrenshaw1 : Mark Renshaw
- @isleofmanhood : “Cav” (??)
- @cadelofficial : Cadel Evans
- @wegelius: Silence-Lotto's Charlie Wegelius, author of my two favorite rider tweets of the Tour so far
Cervelo Test Team
- @stevendejongh : Steven De Jongh
- @laurenstendam : Laurens Ten Dam
- @bicyclingmag : Official Bicycling feed
- @julietmacur : NYTimes Tour reporter Juliet Macur
- @velonews : VeloNews official feed
- @cyclingweekly : Cycling Weekly
- @cyclesportmag : UK's CycleSport magazine
- @cyclingnewsfeed : CyclingNews official feed
- @neilroad : Neil Browne of ROAD Magazine
- @eurohoody : Andrew Hood of VeloNews
- @rupertguinness : Australia's Rupert Guinness
- @johnwilcockson : VeloNews correspondent emeritus
- @bonnie_d_ford : Bonnie D. Ford, ESPN's Tour reporter
- @jeremyschaap : Jeremy Schaap, ESPN reporter
- @vscycling : the official feed of the US Tour TV network
- @philliggett : Phil Liggett
- @paulsherwen : Paul Sherwen
- @bobkeroll : Head schlug Bob Roll
- @h2o007 : Craig Hummer
- @RobbieVentura : Robbie Ventura
- @GWcom : Graham Watson
- @lizkreutz : Liz Kreutz, who's been photographing Lance Armstrong's comeback
- @kwc - Ken Conley of Spare Cycles
Pros not racing this year
- @allandavis27 : Allan Davis, the 181st rider in the 2009 Tour
- @ivanbasso : Ivan Basso
- @hornerakg : Chris Horner
- @robbiehunter : South African sprinter Robbie Hunter
- @mcewenrobbie : Katusha's Robbie McEwen
- @janibrajkovic : Astana's Jani Brajkovic
- @TdFblog : That's me!
- @cyclingfans - Pete Geyer of CyclingFans
- @cyclelicious - Fritz at Cyclelicious
- @steephill - Steve from Steephill.TV<
- @_gavia_ - Gavia from Steephill.TV
- @bikehugger - Main feed for Bike Hugger
- @TDFLanterne - Nancy Toby's TdF Lanterne Rouge
- @lambsimon - Simon Lamb of La Gazzetta dello Bici
- @cyclingfansanon - cycling fans anonymous.com
- @cyclocosm - Cosmo from Cyclocosm
Posted by Frank Steele on July 7, 2009 in About the Tour, Andy Schleck, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, Chris Horner, Christian Vande Velde, Danny Pate, Dave Zabriskie, George Hincapie, Ivan Basso, Janez Brajkovic, Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Mark Cavendish, Michael Rogers, Robbie Hunter, Robbie McEwen, Tour news, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack
June 28, 2009
So what's Lance Armstrong's endgame for 2009 Tour?
Like a lot of folks, I was surprised to see Chris Horner left off the Astana Tour squad, but I completely understand why Johan Bruyneel did it. Certainly, after publicizing his desire to get out of his contract and race the Tour with another team (despite 2+ months of racing season still to come after the Tour), I wouldn't look for Horner back with Astana next year. Of course, given the financials, it doesn't look like anyone will be riding for Astana next year.
Bruyneel's made a career (as rider and DS) out of playing the percentages, and the percentage in the hand that he's got is to ride Contador to a 4th Grand Tour title (VeloNews story shows gamblers agree). There are plenty of teams that would let a rider with his pedigree and palmares stack the team with those teammates he feels give him the best chance at wearing yellow in Paris. If the Garmin rumor is true, Jonathan Vaughters was going to sign not just Paulinho but also Noval to support Contador.
You could make an argument that it's not Paulinho's selection that left Horner out in the cold, but Muravyev's, or even Armstrong's, both of which are for political reasons. Muravyev is a hat tip to the team's Kakakh registry, while Armstrong is here for the publicity and excitement he brings to the team's coverage, and in recognition of his enormous place in cycling history.
A bigger question, though, is “What's Armstrong riding for?” I don't know exactly what his goals are for this Tour, but I don't think he will be riding for the overall win. Certainly, he's showing up in great condition, and as a competitor, he's got to believe that he could win, if certain things happen on the road. But this Tour lines up better for the climbers than the TT men, and Contador has shown he's an extraordinary climber. That said, I have a hard time believing Armstrong will be happy carrying bottles for anyone, even the 2009 Tour winner. So what could Astana carve out that would satisfy both Contador and Armstrong?
Other than the maillot jaune, the only other jersey that Armstrong could reasonably contend for is the polka-dot jersey, but no sane team is going to let Armstrong ride off on a multi-peak points hunt, unless he's already down by tens of minutes, and that's how recent maillots pois have been won.
Armstrong certainly could find himself in position to chase stage wins, and there are even a couple of stages that might further polish Armstrong's reputation. Most obvious is Stage 20 up Mont Ventoux on the penultimate day of the Tour, which looks like the biggest stage of this year's Tour. As the marquee stage, there will be a lot of riders eyeing this one, and my guess is it will go to somebody who's more of a pure climber than Armstrong, like Andy Schleck, Robert Gesink, or Carlos Sastre, depending on the race situation. Armstrong himself, though, has expressed his regrets over Mont Ventoux, where he feels he “gifted” Marco Pantani a stage in 2000, and where he was beaten by Richard Virenque in 2002. “I left unfinished business there,” he told Versus.
So, sure, maybe Armstrong's got a circle around Stage 20 on his calendar, but I think his presence here is more about the other half of the “Contador to Garmin” rumor: The 2010 Livestrong-Nike team. Presumably, Johan Bruyneel will be trying to match his UCI license to a sponsor after this season, and Livestrong and Nike are already close partners, with a new “It's About You” ad campaign that launched over the weekend and events planned in conjunction with the Tour. Would Armstrong be the uncontested leader on the road of that team, or did he come out of retirement to launch it with maximum fanfare, after which he'll return to retirement? We'll all know soon enough.
Spelling out the worst-case scenario for Astana: a T-Mobile like glut of teammates riding for the win, domestiques who will only ride for “their guy”, dogs and cats living together, etc. Should be an interesting three weeks.
June 25, 2009
Astana finalizes Tour squad
Astana named the final three riders to its Tour squad this morning: Gregory Rast, Dmitriy Muravyev, and Sergio Paulinho.
It's the first Tour for Muravyev, a pro since 2002, and 3-time Kazakhstan TT champion. He's Astana's only Tour rookie.
Left off the Tour roster were Chris Horner, Jani Brajkovic, Thomas Vaitkus, and Benjamin Noval. Versus should do whatever it takes to get Horner in the booth as often as possible; he could be the next Bobke.
With Lance Armstrong apparently planning a new team for 2010, and Alberto Contador, one of five men to win all three Grand Tours, the stage is set for a potential Lemond-Hinault style intrateam rift.
The full Astana squad:
- Lance Armstrong
- Alberto Contador
- Andreas Klöden
- Levi Leipheimer
- Dmitriy Muravyev
- Sergio Paulinho
- Yaroslav Popovych
- Gregory Rast
- Haimar Zubeldia
The team is presented in a very professional Flash presentation that would have made a great introduction for a Livestrong-Nike team, currently running in place of the team home page.
(Click through for a larger version of the photo above, which I shot at Stage 4 of last year's Tour de Georgia, at Road Atlanta).
Posted by Frank Steele on June 25, 2009 in Alberto Contador, Andreas Klöden, Chris Horner, Haimar Zubeldia, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Top Stories, Tour de France 2009, Tour news, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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
April 24, 2008
Team Slipstream takes Georgia TTT
Team Slipstream took off fairly early today, edging CSC's leading lap times as they rode. They were amazingly smooth and disciplined, quietly storming around the course.
When Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner's Astana squad took the course, they quickly outpaced Slipstream's time on Laps 1 and 2 of the Road Atlanta race course, and it looked like we might have a new best time of the day, but a slow third lap left Astana 3 seconds short of the Argyle Army.
Last to leave the start house was George Hincapie and race leader Greg Henderson's Team High Road. Again, their early laps set the standard, but they faded late, charging to the line 5.2 seconds slower than Team Slipstream. High Road's Greg Henderson holds the lead by virtue of a few bonus seconds earned on the road, but Slipstream's got a strong quartet sitting at 15 seconds -- Tom Danielson, Trent Lowe, Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie.
CSC was 4th on the day at 12.72 seconds, Toyota-United 5th at 23.43. One team that has to be disappointed is Rock Racing, 10th at 52.35. If one of Rock's riders is going to contend, they'll have to climb over a lot of bodies to get there.
More, and many more photos, tonight.
July 23, 2007
Stage 15 on the road
VS. broadcaster picks:
The early story is the big 25-man breakaway including a couple of former GC candidates. Denis Menchov of Rabobank is there, as is Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana). George Hincapie (Discovery Channel) and Christian Vande Velde and Kurt-Asle Arvesen (CSC) are here, as are Caisse d'Epargne's David Arroyo, Euskaltel's Haimar Zubeldia, Inigo Landaluze and Ruben Perez; T-Mobile's Kim Kirchen; FdJeux's Benoit Vaugrenard; Quick Step's Juan Manuel Garate; Saunier Duval's Juan José Cobo; Bouygues Telecom's Laurent Lefevre and Johann Tschopp; AG2R's Ludovic Turpin; Liquigas' Michael Albasini; Patrice Halgand of Credit Agricole, Daniele Bennati and Patxi Vila of Lampre; Bernhard Kohl of Gerolsteiner; Christian Knees of Milram; Vino's Astana teammates Serguei Ivanov and Daniel Navarro.
2nd Category Col de Port:
1) Juan Mañuel Garate, Quick Step, +10 pts
2) Johan Tschopp, Bouygues Telecom, +9pts
3) Gorka Verdugo, Euskaltel, +8 pts
4) Juan José Cobo, Saunier Duval, +7 pts
5) Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana, +6 pts
6) Stephane Goubert, AG2R, +5 pts
1st Intermediate Sprint:
1) Daniele Bennati, Lampre, +6 pts/6 secs
2) Serguei Ivanov, Astana, +4 pts/4 secs
3) Bernhard Kohl, Gerolsteiner, +2 pts/2 secs
2nd Category Col de Portet d'Aspet:
1) Laurent Lefevre, Bouygues Telecom, +10 pts
2) Patrice Halgand, Credit Agricole, +9 pts
3) Juan Manuel Garate, Quick Step, +8 pts
4) Serguei Ivanov, Astana, +7 pts
5) Ruben Perez, Euskaltel, +6 pts
The 25 have led the way over the day's first two climbs, but today's sting is in the tail, as we finish with a 1st Category, then the hors categorie Port de Bales, then the Col de Peyresourde. It's not a mountaintop finish -- there's a descent of almost 12 kilometers after the top of Col de Peyresourde.
The gap is just under 8 minutes, with 108 kilometers/67 miles ridden and 88 kilometers/55 miles to go.
On the way up the Col de Mente, Rabobank continues to lead the peloton, and the gap is up around 8:29. Near the summit, Juan Manuel Garate outsprinted Laurent Lefevre for max points.
1st Category Col de Mente
1) Juan Manuel Garate, Quick Step, +15 pts
2) Laurent Lefevre, Bouygues Telecom, +13pts
3) Patrice Halgand, Credit Agricole, +11 pts
4) Daniel Bennati, Lampre, +9 pts
5) Bernhard Kohl, Gerolsteiner, +8 pts
6) Juan Jose Cobo, Saunier Duval, +7 pts
7) Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel, +6 pts
8) Christian Knees, Milram, +5 pts
2nd (final) Intermediate Sprint, Marignac
1) Daniele Bennati, Lampre, +6 pts/6 secs
2) Kurt-Asle Arvesen, CSC, +4 pts/4 secs
3) Benoit Vaugrenard, Française des Jeux +2 pts/2 secs
Just before the start of the HC climb, 5 riders rode away from the 25-man breakaway: Inigo Landaluze of Euskaltel, David Arroyo of Caisse e'Epargne, Johan Tschopp of Bouyges Telecom, Serguei Ivanov of Astana, and Bernhard Kohl of Gerolsteiner quickly built a lead of more than a minute to the 20 other break survivors, and 8:20 to the peloton.
On the climb, everything splintered. Kirchen bridged to the leaders, then Vinokourov attacked, again splitting the lead breakaway, and briefly catching the inital split. Riding with Vinokourov were Menchov, Turpin, Zubeldia, Cobo, and Garate. This group caught the initial attack, then fractured. Tschopp, Kirchen and Arroyo went off the front, while Vinokourov's group shed riders.
Back in the peloton, the pace and the climb cooked Pereiro, Moreau, and others. Rasmussen's group looked much like it did yesterday: Evans, Leipheimer, Contador, Soler, Boogerd, Mayo, Sastre, Chris Horner, Frank Schleck, Michael Boogerd, and a few others. Klöden and Kashechkin ride just behind.
Freddie Rodriguez abandoned today on the road.
Port de Bales (HC)
1) Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile, +20 pts
2) David Arroyo, Caisse d'Epargne, +18 pts
3) Johan Tschopp, Bouygues Telecom, +16 pts
4) Juan Mañuel Garate, Quick Step,+14 pts, at :45
5) Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel-Euskadi, +12 pts
6) Juan José Cobo, Saunier Duval, +10 pts
7) Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana, +8 pts
8) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, +7 pts
9) Ludovic Turpin, AG2R, +6 pts
10) Bernhard Kohl, Gerolsteiner, +5 pts, @1:35
On the descent, with Rasmussen: Boogerd, Contador, Popovych, Leipheimer, Evans, Horner, Mayo, Soler, Klöden, Kashechkin, Sastre, Schleck, Astarloza, Valverde. Others are joining, and Denis Menchov has slipped back to help Rasmussen on the final climb.
Vinokourov attacked at the base of the Peyresourde, matched by Zubeldia, Garate, and Cobo, and they're only 20 seconds behind Arroyo and Kirchen. Garate's dropped. Vinokourov kept attacking, and only Cobo could match, and the pair have caught Kirchen and Arroyo, as the 4 riders lead the race, while the yellow jersey rides 7:15 back.
Zubeldia rides back up to Vinokourov, and in the yellow jersey group, Yaroslav Popovych has attacked off the front. Moreau has caught back on to the yellow jersey group.
Vino goes again, and Kirchen can't match the new pace. Vino sits up, and Kirchen rejoins Cobo, Zubeldia, Arroyo, and Vino.
As they near the steepest part of the Peyresourde, Zubeldia attacks from Vino's group, Cobo drags Vino back to him, and Vino goes hard again! He quickly gets a gap, Kirchen is dropped. Vinokourov rides alone, with Cobo and Zubeldia chasing less than 20 seconds behind. Vinokourov would die before he would be caught on this descent. He's flying.
Back in the field, Contador attacks, Rasmussen slowly matches, but he's working hard. Contador gets a gap, but Rasmussen slowly pulls it back. Evans, Klöden, Sastre, Leipheimer, Astarloza can't handle this pace on the climb, and fall back.
Contador and Rasmussen ride alone toward the summit. Contador launches a couple of tests, but Rasmussen matches every one. As Contador and Rasmussen reach the summit, there's George Hincapie, waiting to escort Contador to the finish, and maybe gap Rasmussen.
Hincapie nails the descent. There's still a small rise at about 2k to go -- Will Contador try to get time on the finish? He does! He attacks again, and Hincapie falls away, but Rasmussen again is able to match his move.
Vinokourov comes to the line with a healthy victory margin, after an epic stage win.
More than 5 minutes later, Contador and Rasmussen came to the line, with Contador leading. They tripped the lights at 5:25, with Leipheimer, Klöden, Sastre, Valverde, and Evans more than a minute behind at 6:27.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 23, 2007 in 2007 Stage 15, Alberto Contador, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Andrey Kashechkin, Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, Chris Horner, Christian Vande Velde, Christophe Moreau, Denis Menchov, Filippo Pozzato, Frank Schleck, George Hincapie, Haimar Zubeldia, Iban Mayo, Juan Mauricio Soler, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Oscar Pereiro, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack
July 22, 2007
Stage 14: Contador opens Tour account
Discovery Channel's Alberto Contador took an aggressive stage win as the Tour moves into the Pyrenees, and elevated himself from 1 of 10 candidates to win this year's Tour to one of the two favorites.
Contador, just 24 and riding in the white jersey of the race's best-placed young rider, waited as teammate Yaroslav Popovych reduced the group riding with race leader Michael Rasmussen, then launched a blistering attack, initially answered by Rasmussen and Evans, that only Rasmussen could ultimately match. By doing so, Rasmussen moved one stage nearer a possible win in Paris, and Contador took his 1st career Tour stage win.
Many of the pre-race favorites lost buckets of time today: Alexandre Vinokourov, who won on Saturday, lost 28:50 to Contador today. Christophe Moreau lost 34:52. Iban Mayo lost 9:31. A few riders managed to limit their losses to Rasmussen and Contador, who dominated the field today: Juan Mauricio Soler, riding in his 1st Tour, lost only 37 seconds; Levi Leipheimer and Carlos Sastre were close behind.
Evans finished with Andreas Klöden at 1:52. Caisse d'Epargne's two leaders, Oscar Pereiro and Alejandro Valverde, finished together at 3:45.
A lot of discussion has resulted from a brief discussion between Contador and Rasmussen in the climb's last kilometers. Rasmussen came up to Contador, and Contador pointed to himself twice. The riders differ on the discussion: Contador said Rasmussen promised the stage win for Contador's cooperation to the finish, while Rasmussen echoed Lance Armstrong: “This is the Tour de France -- you don't give any presents here.”
Possibly the dumbest move of the day came from Saunier Duval, which sent David Millar to set a fast pace few riders could match, only to find team leader Iban Mayo was among the riders who couldn't.
Stage 14 Top 20:
1) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain, in 5:25:48
2) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, Denmark, same time
3) Mauricio Soler, Barloworld, Colombia, at :37
4) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, USA, at :40
5) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, at :53
6) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, at 1:52
7) Cadel Evans, Predictor - Lotto, Australia, same time
8) Antonio Colom, Astana, Spain, at 2:23
9) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, same time
10) Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel, Ukraine, at 3:06
11) Michael Boogerd, Rabobank, Netherlands, same time
12) Mikel Astarloza, Euskaltel - Euskadi, Spain, s.t.
13) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 3:45
14) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, same time
15) Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, s.t.
16) Bernhard Kohl, Gerolsteiner, Austria, s.t.
17) David Arroyo, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 3:47
18) José Ivan Gutierrez, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 4:04
19) Amets Txurruka, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, same time
20) John Gadret, AG2R, France, at 4:48
Major changes in the GC; Rasmussen gets a cushion on everyone but Contador.
Overall Standings after Stage 14:
1) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, Denmark, in 64:12:15
2) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain, at 2:23
3) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Australia, at 3:04
4) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, USA, at 4:29
5) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, at 4:38
6) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, at 5:50
7) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, at 6:58
8) Mikel Astarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 8:25
9) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, at 9:45
10) Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel, Ukraine, at 10:55
11) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 11:01
12) Mauricio Soler, Barloworld, Colombia, at 11:31
13) Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, at 12:15
14) Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile, Luxembourg, at 13:16
15) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, Russia, at 14:58
16) Iban Mayo, Saunier Duval, Spain, at 15:31
17) Chris Horner, Predictor-Lotto, USA, at 17:23
18) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, Russia, at 18:57
19) David Arroyo, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 19:19
20) José Ivan Gutierrez, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 19:33
Posted by Frank Steele on July 22, 2007 in 2007 Stage 14, Alberto Contador, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, Chris Horner, David Millar, Denis Menchov, Haimar Zubeldia, Iban Mayo, Juan Mauricio Soler, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Top Stories, Vladimir Karpets, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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
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)
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)
July 09, 2007
Stage 2 crash roundup
Fabian Cancellara: The Guardian says it's a minor wrist injury for Cancellara, but that Lampre's sprint threat, Daniele Bennati was taken to the hospital and will have his hip scanned.
Discovery Channel's George Hincapie and Tomas Vaitkus were also in the thick of the crash. Cathy Mehl reports at ThePaceline.com that Hincapie appears OK and Vaitkus is being checked for a possible broken thumb. Update: Vaitkus “suffered unstable fractures of the right thumb,” and “will undergo surgery this evening and will not start TDF Stage 3.”
T-Mobile team reports that Mark Cavendish “was thrown head-long into the barriers where he lay for some minutes on the tarmac.” Cavendish suffered mostly bruises and is expected to continue in the race.
I still haven't seen anything on Fred Rodriguez, other than Richard Martin's AP photo at right.
CNNSI.com reports that Chris Horner had a front-row seat for the crash:
"Everybody went down, Thor (Hushovd) went down, (Fabian) Cancellara down, (Francisco) Ventoso went down, two guys from my team -- Leif (Hoste) and Freddy Rodriguez -- both crashed," Horner said. "I was behind it ... I started backing off."
“Given the size of the crash and the speed of the pack when it took place, it would be a surprise if all 188 riders who started the stage will be ready to resume on Tuesday morning.”
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)
Rider numbers, Prologue start times assigned
Rider numbers are out. As expected, Pereiro has the lowest number in the Tour, but at 11, since Tour organizers chose to skip the coveted number 1. Pereiro's Caisse d'Epargne squad is number 11-19; followed by T-Mobile with Michael Rogers at 21; CSC with Sastre at 31; Predictor-Lotto with Evans at 41; Rabobank's Menchov at Phil Liggett's favorite, number 51; AG2R with Moreau at 61; Zubeldia leading Euskaltel-Euskadi in 71; Discovery Channel's Levi Leipheimer in 111; Tour favorite Alexandre Vinokourov wears 191 for Astana; and David Millar in 201 for Saunier Duval-Prodir.
Other Americans: George Hincapie wears 114; Dave Zabriskie 39; Christian Vande Velde 37; Chris Horner 44; and Fred Rodriguez 47.
Prologue start times for tomorrow are apparently available, but I can't find a complete listing yet; links welcome.
VeloNews notes that:
Chris Horner (Predictor-Lotto) is the first American out of the gate at 3:38 p.m. in 39th position.
Other Americans include:
61. Dave Zabriskie (CSC), 4 p.m.
102. Fred Rodriguez (Predictor-Lotto), 4:41 p.m.
103. Christian Vande Velde (CSC), 4:42 p.m.
158. George Hincapie (Discovery Channel), 5:37 p.m.
179. Levi Leipheimer (Discovery Channel), 5:58 p.m.
Those are London times, so that's 10:38 a.m. Eastern for Horner and 12:58 p.m. Eastern for Leipheimer. Looks like Versus will be live for all of them.
Zabriskie's early start time suggests he's not looking for a prologue victory to match his win in 2005, which put him in the yellow jersey. If he were, team management would let him start later, when he would have time splits from many of his competitors. CyclingNews.com said Zabriskie confirmed that he “only has one task at this year's Tour: to be a mountain domestique for Fränk Schleck and Carlos Sastre.”
Posted by Frank Steele on July 6, 2007 in 2007 team rosters, Chris Horner, Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie, Fred Rodriguez, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Tour de France 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
July 02, 2007
Horner, Rodriguez both in: Predictor-Lotto finalized
Predictor-Lotto brings a lot of different tools to the Tour this year. Robbie McEwen is looking for a 4th green jersey, while Cadel Evans looks to improve on his overall 5th place from last year.
Predictor-Lotto also ties with Discovery Channel and CSC for the most Americans on a single team, with McEwen setup man Freddie Rodriguez and Chris Horner.
- Predictor-Lotto 2007 Tour de France roster
- Mario Aerts (Belgium)
- Dario Cioni (Italy)
- Cadel Evans (Australia)
- Chris Horner (USA)
- Leif Hoste (Belgium)
- Robbie McEwen (Australia)
- Fred Rodriguez (USA)
- Wim Vansevenant (Belgium)
- Johan Vansummeren (Belgium)
June 18, 2007
Proni wins at Tour de Suisse; Cancellara holds race lead
Proni broke away along with Luis Pasamontes of Unibet.com and Daniel Navarro of Astana early in the Tour de Suisse's longest stage, and the trio stretched their advantage to 11 minutes. Near the base of the last climb, Proni shed his breakmates, with the peloton closing fast. Over the top, with about 10 kilometers to race, Proni led the field by 10 seconds, and held off the slashing field to take the day by 7 seconds, with Bouygues Telecom's Xavier Florencio 2nd and T-Mobile's Kim Kirchen 3rd.
“It's not only the biggest win of my career, it's the first win of my professional career,” Proni said. “I'm used to winning as an amateur but not as a pro. This is still hard for me to believe.”
Swiss race leader Fabian Cancellara was 1st Saturday in a TT, 3rd Sunday in a sprint, and 12th today in a mountain stage. David Zabriskie isn't the only CSC time trialist who's improving their overall skills:
“It's a very tough, very long stage,” Cancellara said. “But the yellow jersey was just too beautiful. I didn't want to give up. I think I've shown I've made a lot of progress and I'm no longer just a time trial specialist.”
Proni, racing in just his 2nd year as a pro, moves up to 2nd overall, 2 seconds back, with Kirchen 3rd at 14 seconds. Pre-race favorites are lurking 20 seconds and more back, including Vladimir Karpets, 9th at :21; Michael Rogers, 12th at :23; Chris Horner, 14th at :25; Damiano Cunego, 27th at :34; and Carlos Sastre, 33rd at :36.
May 01, 2007
Savoldelli takes Romandie prologue
Astana's Paolo Savoldelli is the first leader of the Tour of Romandy/Tour de Romandie, after a 4:35.12 over a 3.5-kilometer time trial in Fribourg today.
Savoldelli was 5 seconds faster than Czech rider Roman Kreuziger of Liquigas and 7 seconds faster than Predictor-Lotto's Chris Horner, of the United States.
David Millar, fresh from a somewhat disappointing time trial at the Tour de Georgia, was 15 seconds back of Savoldelli, but he still is focused on the Tour de France prologue, where he hopes to take the yellow jersey in London.
Defending champion Cadel Evans was 16th on the day, 14 seconds behind Savoldelli. Robbie McEwen brought up the ceremonial rear, 166th at 1:30 back.
Other notable times:
13) David Zabriskie, USA, CSC, at :12
24) Thomas Dekker, Netherlands, Rabobank, at :16
27) Oscar Pereiro, Spain, Caisse d'Epargne, at :16
37) Bobby Julich, USA, CSC, at :17
29) Janez Brajkovic, Slovenia, Discovery Channel, at :17
59) Carlos Sastre, Spain, CSC, at :20
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 21, 2007
Stage 3 to the old master: Jens Voigt leads the way
A large break went away early, featuring CSC's Jens Voigt, Discovery Channel's Jason McCartney, three riders each from Liquigas and HealthNet-Maxxis, Steven Cozza and Will Frischkorn from Team Slipstream, Jelly Belly's Nick Reistad, QuickStep's Jurgen Van De Walle, and seven others. They got 5 minutes advantage on the field, and Discovery burned a lot of matches chasing.
Finally, Rabobank joined in, and the gap started to come down. Then came Sierra Road. The breakaway fell apart on the 10-kilometer climb, and Ivan Basso was the only Discovery Channel rider who could help team leader Levi Leipheimer, with Hincapie and Danielson falling off from the chase effort. Even Basso fell away shortly up the climb, leaving Leipheimer, Chris Horner, and Rabobank's Robert Gesink the strongest of the main field.
Voigt and McCartney were best of the break, but Leipheimer's group was sweeping through the break's remnants, closing fast. The five joined up a few kilometers from the summit.
Over the top, with 22 kilometers down into San Jose, Leipheimer led Voigt, Horner, Gesink, and McCartney. Fifteen riders were about a minute back, but Leipheimer and McCartney went all out to put some time into the field, and Voigt knew just how to play it.
Voigt saved himself for the last kilometers, and when the time came, he delivered. With Quick Step and Paolo Bettini reeling in the leaders, Voigt led Leipheimer, then Chris Horner over the line.
Voigt's bonus time moves him into 2nd overall, 3 seconds behind Leipheimer. Health Net's Rory Sutherland sits 3rd, at 15 seconds with Chris Horner 4th at 16 seconds back.
The day's Top 10:
1) Jens Voigt, Germany, Team CSC, 3:43:44
2) Levi Leipheimer, US, Discovery Channel, same time
3) Christopher Horner, US, Predictor-Lotto, s.t.
4) Robert Gesink, Netherlands, Rabobank, at :04
5) Paolo Bettini, Italy, Quick Step, s.t.
6) Stuart O'Grady, Australia, CSC, s.t.
7) Enrico Gasparotto, Italy, Liquigas, s.t.
8) Dimitri Fofonov, Kazakhstan, Credit Agricole, s.t.
9) Bram De Groot, Netherlands, Rabobank, s.t.
10) Sergey Lagutin, Uzbekistan, Navigators Insurance, s.t.
1) Levi Leipheimer, US, Discovery Channel, 12:46:25
2) Jens Voigt, Germany, CSC, at :03
3) Rory Sutherland, Australia, Health Net-Maxxis, at :15
4) Chris Horner, USA, Predictor-Lotto, at :16
5) Mauricio Ardila Cano, Colombia, Rabobank, at :17
6) Ben Day, Australia, Navigators Insurance, at :18
7) Ryder Hesjedal, Canada, Health Net-Maxxis, at :19
8) Michael Rogers, Australia, T-Mobile, s.t.
9) Sergey Lagutin, Uzbekistan, Navigators Insurance, at :20
10) Stuart O'Grady, Australia, CSC, s.t.
Posted by Frank Steele on February 21, 2007 in Chris Horner, Ivan Basso, Jens Voigt, Levi Leipheimer, Paolo Bettini, Stuart O'Grady, Top Stories, Tour of California, Tour of California 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0)
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)
November 09, 2006
Cycling gets a urine-testing team sponsor
Robbie McEwen is set to race in pink next season, but he's not changing teams.
The primary sponsor of Robbie McEwen's Davitamon-Lotto team is Omega Pharma. Satisfied with the boost their Davitamon supplement brand has gotten from the company's sponsorship, they're moving along to another company product, the Predictor early pregnancy test (and other home health tests).
The new jerseys aren't available yet, but the team will be called "Predictor-Lotto." If only they could help me predict the lotto...
September 11, 2006
US world championship squad announced
Six ProTour riders and 3 domestic pros will make up the US squad for the world championships in Salzburg, Austria from September 19-24th.
- 2006 US worlds road-race team:
- Chris Horner, Davitamon-Lotto
- Freddy Rodriguez, Davitamon-Lotto
- Christian Vande Velde, CSC
- Tyler Farrar, Cofidis
- Patrick McCarty, Phonak
- Guido Trenti, QuickStep
- Jackson Stewart, Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada
- Danny Pate, TIAA-CREF
- Chris Baldwin, Toyota-United
- Time trial:
- Dave Zabriskie, CSC
- Chris Baldwin, Toyota-United
I'm having trouble parsing this paragraph:
All UCI ProTour riders were automatic selections to the team by virtue of their spots on UCI ProTour teams. Stewart was an automatic selection as the highest-ranked American in the UCI America Tour standings. Baldwin was the sole discretionary selection for both the road race and time trial.
I assume that Hincapie or Leipheimer would have bumped any of the other ProTour riders, based on their placings at the pro championships last weekend, and would have bumped the domestic riders “by virtue of their spots on UCI ProTour teams.”
As usual, one of the team's riders hasn't been to the US since childhood: QuickStep's AmerItalian, Guido Trenti.
August 23, 2006
USPRO rider list appearing
George Hincapie, who looks likely to be coming off a win at the Tour of Benelux, depending on today's stage, is confirmed for Discovery Channel, and he'll be riding with Viatcheslav Ekimov as his sporting director. Also racing for the Discos will be Jason McCartney. Tom Danielson will be chasing a Vuelta title in Spain.
David Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde will fly the flag for CSC, but Bobby Julich, who dropped out of the Tour of Benelux this week complaining of fatigue, will not race. Zabriskie has to be a favorite in the Friday time trial championship.
Levi Leipheimer will also race, as he winds down his tenure with Gerolsteiner before joining Discovery Channel next season.
Freddie Rodriguez and Chris Horner will both be in Europe. Other US pros to watch include defending road champion Chris Wherry of Toyota-United, and double TT champion Chris Baldwin (also of Toyota-United).
It's a home game for Hincapie and for TIAA-CREF's Craig Lewis, the reigning under-23 road race and criterium champion. Both live and train in Greenville.
I'll be there for one or both days, and hope to get lots of pictures.
July 08, 2006
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
July 04, 2006
O'Grady doubtful for Stage 4
Team CSC has suffered another blow, as Australian sprint specialist Stuart O'Grady may exit the Tour tomorrow. O'Grady finished the day's stage more than 11 minutes down, then was taken to a hospital where doctors diagnosed a fractured vertebra. CSC, already down a rider with the withdrawal of team leader Ivan Basso, will wait until Wednesday morning to decide whether O'Grady can ride Stage 4.
CyclingNews also notes that Horner's teammate Fred Rodriguez suffered a concussion, and that Erik Dekker of Rabobank suffered both a concussion and “serious facial injuries: abrasions, facial trauma, a contusion, a ripped upper lip, as well as a couple of broken teeth. He was kept unconscious on Tuesday night so that his face could be cleaned.”
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)
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 21, 2006
Tour starters: English-speaking countries roundup
Since most of my readership comes from English speaking countries, I thought I would post a quick roundup of which (and how many) citizens of the former colonies are scheduled to ride in this year's Tour.
- George Hincapie, Discovery
- Chris Horner, Davitamon-Lotto
- Bobby Julich, CSC
- Floyd Landis, Phonak
- Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner
- Fred Rodriguez, Davitamon-Lotto
- Christian Vande Velde, CSC
- Dave Zabriskie, CSC
- Reserve: AmerItalian Guido Trenti
United States (8 riders, 1 reserve)
Last year, all of these plus Lance Armstrong and Trenti, but minus Vande Velde.
- Allan Davis, Astaná-Würth
- Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto
- Simon Gerrans, AG2R
- Robbie McEwen, Davitamon-Lotto
- Stuart O'Grady, CSC
- Michael Rogers, T-Mobile
Australia (6 riders):
Last year, Australia had all these, plus Baden Cooke, Brad McGee, Luke Roberts, and Matthew White.
- David Millar, Saunier Duval-Prodir
- Bradley Wiggins, Cofidis
Great Britain (2 riders):
Great Britain was shut out last year.
- Robbie Hunter, Phonak
South Africa (1 rider):
As last year.
- Julian Dean, Credit Agricole
New Zealand (1 rider):
None last year, although Dean rode in 2004.
- Michael Barry, Discovery Channel
Canada (1 alternate):
Plus permission to root for David Canada. The last Canadian in the Tour was Gord Fraser in 1997, but Ryder Hesjedal or Barry should break that streak soon.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 21, 2006 in Baden Cooke, Bradley McGee, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Chris Horner, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, Floyd Landis, Fred Rodriguez, George Hincapie, Julian Dean, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rogers, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack
June 05, 2006
Wegmann takes Dauphiné Stage 1, overall lead
Gerolsteiner's Fabian Wegmann joined 3 other riders on the attack over a late 4th Category climb and worked hard in the break to keep the cushion to the finish. Wegmann, Thomas Voeckler of Bouyges Telecom, Francisco Mancebo of AG2R, and Egoi Martinez of Discovery Channel went away just after the peloton reabsorbed Nicolas Inaudi of Cofidis, who had been on a solo break for 190 kilometers (almost 120 miles). Wegmann split the break in the last kilometer with a strong attack off Voeckler's wheel. Mancebo couldn't counter, and Voeckler couldn't muster enough speed to outkick Wegmann to the line. The field came in 12 seconds back, led in by Danilo Napolitano of Lampre. Wegmann took a time bonus at the finish that puts him in the overall race lead. He also holds the points jersey. Voeckler moves into the the climber's jersey and the combination jersey. No live coverage at CN.com or VeloNews for the Dauphiné, so you've got a choice between Cycling.TV's premium web stream, DailyPeloton's stage commentary, an open thread at PodiumCafe.com, or my “as it happens” report for more details on the stage. Top 10: 1) Wegmann, Gerolsteiner, in 5:06:36 2) Voeckler, Bouyges Telecom, same time 3) Martinez, Discovery Channel, same time 4) Mancebo, AG2R, at :02 5) Napolitano, Lampre, at :12 6) Sebastian Siedler, Gerolsteiner, same time 7) Chris Horner, Davitamon-Lotto, s.t. 8) José Rojas, Astaná-Würth, s.t. 9) Philippe Gilbert, FdJeux, s.t. 10) Mauro Da Dalto, Liquigas, s.t. GC (CORRECTION 1:30 p.m.): 1) Wegmann, Gerolsteiner, in 5:11:23 2) Voeckler, Bouyges Telecom, at :05 3) Dave Zabriskie, CSC, at :05 4) Egoi Martinez, Discovery Channel, at :07 5) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at :07 6) Mancebo, AG2R, at :09 7) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, at :11 8) Stuart O'Grady, CSC, at :11 9) Sebastian Lang, Gerolsteiner, at :12 10) Joost Posthuma, Rabobank, at :13 Valverde, Landis, Moreau, and Vinokourov are all within 15 seconds of the race lead. Of course, nearly the whole field is within 1 minute of the race lead.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 5, 2006 in Chris Horner, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2006, Dave Zabriskie, Fabian Wegmann, Francisco Mancebo, George Hincapie, Thomas Voeckler, Thor Hushovd, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 04, 2006
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)
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
July 24, 2005
Casey Gibson Stage 21 photo gallery
Horner on the attack; goodbye to a rivalry
Casey B. Gibson/VeloNews
July 19, 2005
CN.com Stage 16 photo gallery posted
Evans gives his all; Pereiro sporting the red numbers; Horner made the early break
-- from cyclingnews.com
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.
Stage 13 wrapup
McEwen triples up
Credit to McEwen, who thanked his team, which has spent a lot of time in the front chasing points the last two days:
"You saw who did the work today," stage winner McEwen said, blowing champagne kudos to his team.
"Today wasn't about me. It wasn't about my third win [McEwen also notched sprint wins in stages five and seven]. Today was about Davitamon-Lotto."
"What my teammates did today was absolutely incredible. To bring back nine minutes on day 13 of the Tour, when everybody is tired... It was an absolutely incredible effort."
What about Horner, and the ill-fated breakaway?
As the duo built up a maximum lead of 22 seconds, it appeared they might just stay away, but instead Horner made up one-half of one of those "tragic breakaways" the Tour produces every year, caught by the field in the dying seconds.
"I've seen it happen to many other riders and I knew it was going to happen to me sooner or later," Horner said, still smiling about the day's dramatic outcome. "Too bad it had to come at the Tour. Still, it was a spectacular day. I thought we were going to get caught 30km from the finish, so to make it that close to the finish, it's a little disappointing, but I'll take it. It was a fantastic chance to be a part of the Tour."
Horner got to meet the race commissaires, as well:
Horner was later fined 200 Swiss francs for "incorrect behavior towards a rider" for reportedly throwing a water bottle at Da Cruz.
Said Horner, "We're doing 50 kph and he's pulling through at 43 and he's just killing our speed. He was saying, ‘No, no, we don't want any more time,' and I was like, ‘We don't want any more time? We're going to need at least 12 minutes,' and we only had nine. He started doing those cheap little pulls and he was pulling the least and pulling the slowest, and then he was the first one to attack us."
McEwen takes Stage 13
Robbie McEwen is right back in the thick of the green jersey race with his 3rd stage win of the 2005 Tour.
Chris Horner spent 156 kilometers (almost 95 miles) out in front, first with a 5 man breakaway, then with Sylvain Chavanel, with the pair only getting caught in the last 200 meters. Horner still didn't give up, winding up his sprint and finishing 10th on the day.
McEwen's leadout man, Freddie Rodriguez, didn't let up when McEwen came around, and took 3rd on the day, denying precious sprint points to Thor Hushovd, who was 5th on the day.
Stuart O'Grady was 2nd on the day. Guido Trenti, an Italian with a US racing license, was 4th on the day.
1) Robbie McEwen, Davitamon-Lotto, 3:43:14
2) Stuart O'Grady, Cofidis, same time
3) Fred Rodriguez, Davitamon-Lotto, same time
4) Guido Trenti, Quick Step, same time
5) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, s.t.
6) Anthony Geslin, Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
7) Robert Förster, Gerolsteiner, s.t.
8) Magnus Backstedt, Liquigas-Bianchi, s.t.
9) Gianluca Bortolami, Lampre-Caffita, s.t.
10) Chris Horner, Saunier Duval-Prodir, s.t.
Your new green jersey standings:
1) Hushovd 164
2) O'Grady 150
3) McEwen 142
The only major change to the overall standings is the departure of 5th place rider Alejandro Valverde, which also puts Discovery Channel's Yaroslav Popovych back in the white jersey for best young rider.
July 14, 2005
Horner backpedals on top 10 finish
Saunier Duval-Prodir's Chris Horner read his high placing -- 5th overall with a stage win -- at the Tour de Suisse last month as a promising portent of things to come, perhaps even a Top 10 on the general classification in the American's first Tour de France.
Now, after Stage 11's punishing final climb up the Col du Galibier, Horner says he's adjusting his sights.
“Well, I was hoping either for the top 10 or a stage,” said Horner. “I lost the top 10 five kilometres from the top of the Galibier yesterday. That pretty much wrecked any hopes. So now, I have switched to a mode of recover, try to get the legs back as fresh as possible, and try to get a stage win somewhere.”
Had he picked out a favoured stage on which to attack? “Right now, I'm thinking about getting to the rest day. We've got a flat stage tomorrow, but those stages aren’t necessarily always easy! But I'm glad the heat's here — I like it. That will make things easier for me.”
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 11, 2005
Rest day checkup
Over at dailypeloton.com, Locutus offers his update on the race so far: Who's outperforming expectations, and who's underperforming.
The big thing to remember is how many people with big expectations haven't shown anything this year: Just among the Americans, there are Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, and Chris Horner, but also Heras and Beloki, Santiago Botero, Vinokourov, Ullrich, Iban Mayo and especially Ivan Basso. Most of these guys have picked out a stage they think plays to their strength in the mountains.
For at least a few of them, I think it's going to be tomorrow. Vinokourov and Armstrong have a history of making their bones on the mountaintop finishes. Given all the talk about Discovery's strength or weakness as a team, they're going to want to stamp their name all over a mountain stage, and soon.
So would tomorrow’s stage, which at first glance looks tailor-made for an Armstrong attack, see more of the champion’s trademark summit spectaculars[?] “Well, I hope it’s the same this time,” said Bruyneel. “This is the first big mountain stage so in theory there will be attacks. A lot of teams are ready. But we will see.
“Maybe it’s going to come down to the final time trial,” he said. “There’s nothing that can tell me today that Lance will definitely be in yellow tomorrow.”
Posted by Frank Steele on July 11, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Chris Horner, Iban Mayo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Joseba Beloki, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Roberto Heras, Santiago Botero | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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
VeloNews interviews Chris Horner
Neal Rogers interviewed Chris Horner (maybe Tuesday night?) on how he's doing on his first Tour de France.
The American, riding for Saunier Duval-Prodir, is coming off a stage win and top-5 finish at the Tour of Switzerland. Despite a somewhat disappointing individual time trial, and a 2nd-to-last finish for Saunier Duval-Prodir in the team time trial, Horner still thinks he has a shot at finishing Top 10:
I think I can ride into the top 10, even with the problems in the TT. And now I'm lower on GC, so if I find a good group to go with, they're not going to chase me down.
Horner says the team is waiting out the first week, "looking forward to the mountains."
July 05, 2005
Zabriskie USAToday's Athlete of the Week
Dave Zabriskie was named USAToday.com's Athlete of the Week, for his win in the Stage 1 time trial and 3 days leading the Tour de France.
At age 26, Zabriskie has now won a stage in each of the three grand tours — Spain, Italy and France. For his win in Italy, Zabriskie won USATODAY.com's U.S. Olympic Athlete of the Week honors for the first time. (Related item: Zabriskie's first AOW win)
This week, despite a nasty fall that cost him the yellow jersey Tuesday, Zabriskie takes USATODAY.com's honors for the second time.
June 29, 2005
Daily Peloton previews GC candidates
One of the most entertaining web Tour de France reports is The Daily Peloton's Jambon Report, where they award their Golden Hams and Ham-gazers to the riders who ruled and drooled, respectively, during the day's stage.
Today, Locutus has their GC preview up. Some highlights: he thinks Chris Horner "is the team leader, and the team just doesn't know it yet", expects Brad McGee to take the prologue-that's-not-really-a-prologue on Saturday, and thinks Ullrich will lose serious time on the first major mountain stage, as he does every year.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 29, 2005 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Bradley McGee, Cadel Evans, Chris Horner, Denis Menchov, Floyd Landis, Iban Mayo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rogers, Roberto Heras, Santiago Botero | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack
June 28, 2005
Horner on finally making the Tour
When Chris Horner burst on the scene in the mid-'90s, he looked certain to join the ranks of US riders competing at the elite levels of the European peloton, along with Lance Armstrong, Kevin Livingston, and Bobby Julich.
Instead, Horner was a bust in three seasons with Francaise des Jeux, then returned to the US, where he won every race in sight (except the USPro championships, which continue to elude him). In 1998, he made the FdJ Tour squad, but had to bow out when he broke a wrist.
This year, it looked like he was snakebitten again, when visa problems and an early-season injury kept him out of action for the Tour de Georgia, which he won in 2003, and the Giro d'Italia. Finally, at the Tour de Suisse, Horner took a stage win, and finished 5th overall, escalating him onto Saunier Duval-Prodir's Tour de France squad.
CyclingNews talked to Horner after he was selected to the Tour.
"I've f*&king got form comin' out of my ears right now!" he shouted at me when I saw him moments after the final [Tour de Suisse] stage in Ulrichen. "Every day, it's just getting better and better."
The interview includes sidebars with Horner's opinions on Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich, who Horner saw close up in the Tour de Suisse.
June 21, 2005
Chris Horner USA Today's US Olympic Athlete of the Week
Chris Horner's win in Stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse, alongside his overall 5th-place finish in the race, prompted USA Today to name him their US Olympic Athlete of the Week.