December 21, 2006
Landaluze cleared for LNDD error; hope for Landis?
The Court of Arbitration of Sport yesterday rejected a final appeal by the UCI to sanction Inigo Landaluze for a postive testosterone case, citing malfeasance by the same lab that in July tested Tour de France winner Floyd Landis.
Inigo Landaluze, who won the 2005 Dauphiné Libéré for Euskaltel-Euskadi, was suspended for tests performed during that race. In May 2006, the Spanish cycling federation overturned the suspension (saying it was "not in accordance with all applicable legal requirements"), and the UCI appealed to the CAS.
Here's the CAS press release, but the nut graf is:
It has been indeed established that the person who conducted the analysis of the B sample was also involved in analysis of the A sample, thus in violation of the international standard applicable to the accredited laboratories. The Panel considered that the violation of this technical direction was likely to affect the results of the analyses. The Panel has considered that the non-compliance with this standard constituted a procedural flaw serious enough to cause the invalidation of the anti-doping test.
That's at the same Labaratoire National de Dopistage du Dopage (LNDD) at Chatenay-Malabry that committed a boatload of procedural errors in the Landis case.
I'll give Floyd himself the last word:
Going through what I am now, I feel personally for Landaluze and hope that everyone recognizes that it has taken him 18 difficult months to clear his name from what was revealed to be a grievous error by the LNDD ... The track record of scientific misconduct at Chatenay-Malabry seems to grow by the day.
June 11, 2006
Leipheimer wins Dauphiné; Hushovd takes last stage
Gerolsteiner's Levi Leipheimer took one of the most important Tour warmups, while Credit Agricole's Thor Hushovd took a confidence-building stage win ahead of his effort to repeat as the Tour sprint jersey champion.
CSC's Stuart O'Grady, QuickStep's Amer-Italian Guido Trenti, and Agritubel's Coutouly were in an early breakaway, that got more than 4:30 on the field. O'Grady survived almost to the bitter end, with Credit Agricole, AG2R, and eventually QuickStep driving the peloton hard. O'Grady was reabsorbed with about 2-3 kilometers to ride.
Hushovd took the field sprint ahead of Samuel Dumoulin of AG2R, Philippe Gilbert of Française des Jeux, and Discovery Channel's George Hincapie.
Leipheimer took the win despite being frequently isolated without teammates in the mountains, but gave all the credit to his team:
"That we could win it this year says a lot about myself and a lot about Gerolsteiner as a team."
"This win will give them and me a lot of confidence in the Tour.
Leipheimer and especially 2nd place finisher Christophe Moreau showed they're coming into the Tour in terrific climbing shape, and 3rd place rider Bernhard Kohl of T-Mobile is the revelation of the race, finishing 2:51 behind Leipheimer. Discovery Channel's Jose Azevedo was 4th; he's a dark horse for the Tour.
Other Tour names in the top 20: Francisco Mancebo of AG2R in 5th; Denis Menchov of Rabobank in 6th, despite an injury in yesterday's stage; Alejandro Valverde in 7th at 4:21; George Hincapie 10th at 6:48; Sylvain Chavanel 12th; Iban Mayo 16th at 11:00.
A couple of Tour favorites were here, but nowhere to be seen when the action heated up: Floyd Landis finished 60th overall, at 57:06, Alexandre Vinokourov was 49th at 51:08.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 11, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2006, Denis Menchov, Floyd Landis, Francisco Mancebo, George Hincapie, Iban Mayo, Levi Leipheimer, Stuart O'Grady, Thor Hushovd, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 10, 2006
Mayo takes Dauphiné queen stage!
Iban Mayo showed he's in fine form ahead of the Tour de France with an amazing victory on the hardest day of the Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré.
Meanwhile, Levi Leipheimer countered every attack from the contenders, and probably nailed down an overall race victory.
Saunier Duval-Prodir's Leonardo Piepoli animated the late attacks, and Leipheimer took no chances. Even though Piepoli sat more than 5 minutes back on GC, Leipheimer matched him, pedal stroke for pedal stroke. AG2R's Christophe Moreau was the only other rider who could ride with Leipheimer and Piepoli, and moved into 2nd overall for his efforts. He's France's best GC hope for the Tour.
Caisse d'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde, who was in the break with Mayo, stayed with him for hours, but was dropped on the final climb. He soloed in for 2nd on the day, ahead of Moreau, Leipheimer, and Piepoli.
T-Mobile's Austrian Bernhard Kohl continued his amazing race, coming in 6th on the day, at 2:00 flat, vaulting him into 3rd overall.
Dauphiné Stage 6 underway
Today's probably the hardest day of the Dauphiné climbing the Col du Galibier, the Col de la Croix de Fer, both hors categorie, the Col du Mollard, a 2nd-category climb, and the finishing climb, a 1st-category climb up La Toussuire, which we'll see again in Stage 16 of this year's Tour.
If anybody's going to take the leader's jersey off Levi Leipheimer, today is where they'll have to do it.
Christophe Moreau, Denis Menchov, and Levi Leipheimer are riding together over the top of the Mollard, with about 39 kilometers to ride. They're chasing Caisse d'Espargne's Alejandro Valverde, Euskaltel-Euskadi's Iban Mayo, T-Mobile's Oscar Sevilla, and Valverde's teammate David Arroyo, who are already on the descent 1:15 up the road.
The pack is catching back onto Moreau's little group on the descent.
At 29 kilometers to ride, the gap has gone out to 1:41. Davitamon-Lotto has a couple riders leading the group, Chris Horner is one. Leipheimer has no teammates in the chasing group of around 16.
As the four leaders hit the base of the finishing climb, David Arroyo, who has been towing the break, comes full stop, leaving Valverde, Sevilla, and Mayo to fight for the stage win.
Leipheimer sits comfortably on Chris Horner's wheel, Menchov and Moreau shadowing him. With 16k to ride, the 3 leaders have 2:06 on the chasers.
Voeckler off the back, Mancebo off the back, as Piepoli is gone off the front. Leipheimer goes to the front, and the leader's group is down to 9 or 10. There goes Piepoli again, and Leipheimer matches -- here goes Azevedo. Mancebo had just reached back up to Leipheimer's group, but he's lost again.
Valverde, meanwhile, raised the pace and dropped Sevilla. Mayo and Valverde are riding alone.
Piepoli, Azevedo, and Leipheimer have a gap. Menchov can see them riding away, but he can't counter. Now Moreau bridges, as does T-Mobile's Bernhard Kohl, so there's a group of 5 chasing Valverde and Mayo. Maybe 100 meters back is another group of 5 including Mancebo and Denis Menchov.
Leipheimer's group has caught David Arroyo, who sits on the back.
Now Menchov and Voeckler have gone off the back of Mancebo's group. Menchov may be hurt -- he's got a dirt stain on his shoulder. Even if Moreau can't catch Leipheimer on GC, he and Azevedo have a good chance to move up into 2nd and 3rd overall tonight.
There's Sevilla; he drops in behind Arroyo, so there are 7 main chasers, with 6 kilometers to ride.
There goes Piepoli again! Leipheimer stays right on his wheel, Moreau stays with them, and Bernhard Kohl struggles to stay with them. Azevedo tries to make it but can't, and he, Arroyo, and Sevilla go off the back. Now Kohl is sapped, leaving only Piepoli, Leipheimer and Christophe Moreau together.
The gap is under a minute now, and Moreau and Piepoli are both racing hard. There's a chance they'll bring the break back. Mayo raises the pace, and easily puts 50 meters into Valverde. He doesn't look like a man who's going to get caught on a mountain.
Valverde's in the chasers' sights now. Mayo has bumped his gap out to 1:11 back to Leipheimer. He's going to take the stage win; he's just flying up the slope.
With 1 kilometer to ride, Mayo's gap is out to 1:38! The race cameras keep showing Menchov, who is looking very ragged back down in the field. Moreau is doing the work in the chase -- he needs less than 90 seconds to move past Menchov in the GC.
Mayo's taken it! Valverde survives, coming in around 1:20. Moreau is sprinting for 3rd, and gets it, at 1:37. Leipheimer and Piepoli finish with him.
Kohl is next at 2:00, then Azevedo takes 7th at 2:37. Mancebo battles in at 3:17, Sevilla and Caucchioli are next at 3:26.
Rous, Voeckler, Menchov, Hincapie, Chavanel, at 5:22. Menchov falls off the podium.
Looks like GC should be (correction): 1) Leipheimer, 2) Moreau, 3) Kohl, 4) Azevedo, 5) Mancebo.
June 09, 2006
Ludovic Turpin takes Dauphiné Stage 5; Leipheimer holds race lead
I tuned in about 400 meters before the finish, so I have no details, but AG2R's Ludovic Turpin rode in alone at Briançon, with Iban Mayo and Francisco Mancebo chasing hard.
Apparently, and this is pretty hard to believe, Turpin survived from a longish breakaway with Jerome Pineau and (the funny part) Thor Hushovd on the Col d'Izoard! Turpin had just 38 seconds at the summit, but held off the leaders on the descent to the town of Briançon and the short climb to the finish outside the village.
Mayo gapped Mancebo at the end, finishing at 26 seconds to Mancebo's 27.
Next came Credit Agricole's Pietro Caucchioli, at :37.
Leonardo Piepoli of Saunier Duval-Prodir was (correction) 5th on the day, at :41. Leipheimer rode in with George Hincapie, Christophe Moreau, and Denis Menchov at :48 to maintain his overall race lead, but Mancebo moves closer, and gives AG2R 2 men (Mancebo and Moreau) within 2 minutes of Gerolsteiner's leader. Moreau sits 3rd overall -- it's Leipheimer, Menchov, Moreau, Mancebo.
CSC's David Zabriskie finished at about 1:28, Alejandro Valverde at 1:47, and Floyd Landis came in way back at 8:47. I'd like to think he's sandbagging here, but we really haven't seen him dominate on a climb this year. He matched Danielson on Brasstown Bald, but Discovery inexplicably didn't really take him to the limit.
Turpin called it his best career victory. ProCycling called it “that rarest of things, a victory by a French rider in a ProTour event in the Alps.” You can pick your favorite.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 9, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Christophe Moreau, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2006, Dave Zabriskie, Denis Menchov, Floyd Landis, Francisco Mancebo, George Hincapie, Iban Mayo, Leonardo Piepoli, Levi Leipheimer, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 08, 2006
Menchov takes Ventoux, Leipheimer Dauphiné leader's jersey
On the first major climbing stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré, Rabobank's Denis Menchov showed form last seen in the 2005 Vuelta a España, and Christophe Moreau showed form unseen in years to lead the peloton up the Giant of Provence. Menchov narrowly held off Moreau at the very top of the climb.
A number of early favorites saw their shot at a Dauphiné title fall by the wayside, including Floyd Landis, who finished a disappointing 56th, 9:30 back of Menchov. His Girona neighbor Dave Zabriskie actually outclimbed Landis, finishing 50th at 8:10. Alexandre Vinokourov was 81st at 13:10, while Iban Mayo was 65th at 10:35; both have won this race (Vino in 1999; Mayo in 2004).
On the other hand, Levi Leipheimer showed he used his time out of racing to good advantage, and finished 3rd on the day, just 15 seconds behind Menchov. That was good enough to put him in the race lead, 28 seconds ahead of Menchov, and 1:08 ahead of Stage 2 winner Philippe Gilbert of Française des Jeux, still hanging around after a creditable 38th today.
Leipheimer told CyclingNews he was focused on getting the race lead today:
“I know from last year that you have to pay a lot of respect to Le Mont Ventoux,” Leipheimer declared. “It's long. You have to be patient and wait. I could have waited even longer, but I wanted the jersey. I knew I couldn't get both stage win and yellow jersey, so I went for the jersey.”
José Azevedo, who was in an early attack with 9 kilometers to ride, didn't explode when the leaders came through, and took 4th on the day.
Moreau's AG2R teammate Francisco Mancebo was 7th on the day, at 1:04, while George Hincapie and Alejandro Valverde finished together, 18th and 20th, 3:13 back.
Your Top 11 (Valverde sits 11th) in GC:
1) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, in 15:47:53
2) Denis Menchov, Rabobank. at :28
3) Philippe Gilbert, Française des Jeux, at 1:08
4) Jose Azevedo, Discovery Channel, at 1:47
5) Christophe Moreau, AG2R, at 1:48
6) Sylvain Chavanel, Cofidis, at 2:08
7) Francisco Mancebo, AG2R, at 2:10
8) Bernhard Kohl, T-Mobile, at 2:25
9) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at 3:02
10) Sergio Paulinho, Würth, at 3:20
11) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, at 3:36
Kind of says it all right there in the headline, no?
Posted by Frank Steele on June 8, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Christophe Moreau, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2006, Dave Zabriskie, Denis Menchov, Francisco Mancebo, George Hincapie, Iban Mayo, Levi Leipheimer, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 07, 2006
Zabriskie dominates Dauphiné TT
CSC's Dave Zabriskie, who won Sunday's Dauphiné Libéré, absolutely tackled the race's individual time trial today.
Zabriskie, who Discovery Channel DS Johan Bruyneel reportedly has called “the most aerodynamic rider in the peloton,” put nearly a minute into Floyd Landis in 2nd place, and more than 90 seconds on Levi Leipheimer in 3rd. That is a major woodshedding of the entire pack.
The United States took 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th on the day, with Discovery Channel's George Hincapie 4th. Berth Grabsch of Phonak rounds out the Top 5.
Zabriskie couldn't claw his way back into the yellow jersey, but he does rise to 2nd on the GC, behind only Française des Jeux's Philippe Gilbert. Landis, Leipheimer, and Hincapie are 3-5, for now, with the 186-kilometer stage finishing atop Mont Ventoux coming up tomorrow.
1) Philippe Gilbert, Francaise des Jeux
2) Zabriskie, CSC, at 2:47
3) Landis, Phonak, at 3:48
4) Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, at 4:20
5) Hincapie. Discovery Channel, at 4:24
6) Grabsch, Phonak, at 4:34
7) Vladimir Gusev, Discovery Channel
Landis, on the other hand, has performed brilliantly in the mountains this year, winning Paris-Nice, the Tour of California, and the Tour de Georgia thanks to his climbing skills.
Finishing just 53 seconds behind Zabriskie, the Phonak leader demonstrated that he was prepared to challenge for the yellow jersey in next month's Tour de France, which features two similarly long time-trials.
Dauphiné Stage 3 now underway
Italy's time trial champion Marco Pinotti was the early leader of today's time trial, finishing the 43 kilometer (26 mile) course in 54:42. Levi Leipheimer comes through superfast: He clocks a 54:05.1! Looks like his disappointing prologue really was because of the loose handlebars. Landis is on the course, and was 3rd fastest at the 8-kilometer mark. Moreau, Vinokourov, Valverde, and Kashechkin are on course, as well. Popovych comes in with a very respectable 54:51; that's got him in 3rd, but likely to slide. Rabobank's Denis Menchov comes in a little slower than Popovych. At the 2nd check, at 28.5 km, Landis is 4 seconds faster than Leipheimer. Zabriskie betters Landis's time at the first checkpoint. Landis comes in at 53:41! That will take the lead, at least for now. Moreau 56:15. Kashechkin 57:27. Hincapie looks extremely smooth; he's likely to overtake Mancebo. He's third at the 2nd check point. Valverde comes in at 7th so far, essentially tied with Popovych at 54:51. Zabriskie is 45 seconds up on Floyd Landis at the 28.5-k checkpoint! He's so quiet on the bike -- I couldn't believe his 3rd place at the Tour de Georgia time trial, because he doesn't labor on the bike like a lot of riders, just goes fast, fast, fast. Hincapie puts Americans on all three steps of the podium, coming in at 54:23, 18 seconds behind Leipheimer. Zabriskie is certain to slot in there, probably right up top. Mancebo 55:38. Zabriskie in 52:48! That's 53 seconds faster than Landis, who was 24 seconds faster than Leipheimer. That's very likely to vault him up into 2nd on the GC tonight. Nobody coming will better that; the question is how close Zabriskie can get to Philippe Gilbert on the overall. He's 5:22 or so back before the stage -- that's too much to take the jersey back. Gilbert gives back about 2 and a half minutes. He'll hold the leader's jersey for another day. Landis's teammate Bert Grabsch did an awesome TT, in 54:26, that stood up for 5th on the day. The United States takes all 4 top spots: Zabriskie, Landis, Leipheimer, and Hincapie. Current GC: 1) Philippe Gilbert, Francaise des Jeux 2) Zabriskie, CSC, at 2:47 3) Landis, Phonak, at 3:48 4) Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, at 4:20 5) Hincapie. Discovery Channel, at 4:24 6) Grabsch, Phonak, at 4:34 7) Vladimir Gusev, Discovery Channel
Posted by Frank Steele on June 7, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Christophe Moreau, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2006, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Thomas Voeckler, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 06, 2006
Philippe Gilbert takes Dauphiné lead with Stage 2 win
Francaise des Jeux managed to put two riders off the front early in today's stage, and Belgium's Philippe Gilbert made the most of the break.
Gilbert took the climber's jersey on the day's third climb, but he went over the day's last climb (at about 30 kms or 19 miles to the finish) with 5:58 in hand, and could see the leader's jersey within his grasp.
At the finish, Gilbert led in the field by about 5:20, with Samuel Dumoulin of AG2R leading in the field at 5:19 ahead of a sprint won by Gerolsteiner's Peter Wrölich and Credit Agricole's Thor Hushovd at 5:23.
Gilbert has more than a 5 minute lead on the entire field, and should lose only a little to the other GC candidates in tomorrow's time trial. Should be an interesting few days.
"I haven't won in a long time and I wanted to savour it," Gilbert told Eurosport after the race. "This ride, I might pay for it - not tomorrow - but the day after and since I'm not a natural climber, I wanted to make the most of it."
"It's the first time I wore the leader's jersey in such a big race," Gilbert added. "I will give it 100 percent the rest of the way."
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
Dauphiné Stage 1 underway
Nicolas Inaudi of Cofidis has been off the front for about 110 miles now, but he's slowly getting reeled in by the field, led by CSC, defending Zabriskie's race lead, and Credit Agricole, whose sprinter Thor Hushovd has said he wants today's stage win.
I'm not sure whether there's a time bonus for today's stage; if so, Hushovd may also have a shot at race leadership -- he's only 9 seconds and change behind Zabriskie at stage start, and he's already taken a 2-second time bonus a the first sprint.
Inaudi's time gap's down to about 3:45, with around 30 kilometers to ride.
Inaudi's into Biol, site of the day's final intermediate sprint. And the field is coming through only about a minute back, with CSC sending an escort out with Hushovd to take the intermediate sprint and 2nd-place time bonus.
Coming out of Biol, Nabali and Quinziato of Liquiges and CSC's Kurt-Asle Arvesen take off to try to take advantage of Inaudi's reabsorption, but they're only away for a couple of minutes, and don't even stay away until Inaudi's capture.
They've brought Inaudi back after 190 kilometers. There's a 4th Category climb now, and AG2R's Francisco Mancebo attacks up its slope. Mancebo, Thomas Voeckler of Bouyges Telecom, Fabian Wegmann of Gerolsteiner, and Egoi Martinez of Discovery are the first 4 over the top.
The foursome has about 30 seconds in hand already, and we're 10 kilometers from the finish.
It's 40 seconds with 8 k to ride. Wegmann is the guy to watch if they stay away.
With 6 kilometers to ride, it's 34 seconds. It's going to be close -- the foursome is working together very well, and the peloton is watching each other.
Martinez attacks with 2 k to ride, but he's countered by Voeckler, and the other two claw their way back. At less than 1k Wegmann winds it up from 3rd position, and gets a gap. With 300 meters to ride, he goes all-out, Voeckler's on his wheel, and he makes a run at it as they come to the line, but Wegmann takes the stage win. Voeckler's 2nd, Martinez 3rd, and Mancebo 4th.
The peloton comes in 12 seconds back. Danilo Napolitano takes the field sprint. Chris Horner was 7th -- is he scrambling for time bonuses?
June 04, 2006
Zabriskie takes Dauphiné prologue
CSC's David Zabriskie hammered the field to take Sunday's Dauphiné Libéré prologue.
Zabriskie took the 4.1-kilometer out-and-back course by storm, finishing nearly 2 seconds faster than last year's Dauphiné prologue winner, Discovery Channel's George Hincapie.
This has to be seen as a good sign for both Zabriskie and Hincapie: Hincapie is clearly recovering well from that Paris-Roubaix crash, and Zabriskie looks like a favorite to repeat at the Tour's prologue in Strasbourg July 1.
Alexandre Vinokourov was 15th, at almost 10 seconds back, Levi Leipheimer was 48th, almost 16 seconds off Dave Z.
Very unofficial Top 10:
1) Zabriskie, CSC, 4:35.83
2) Hincapie, Discovery Channel, 4:37.62
3) Stuart O'Grady, CSC, 4:41.90
4) Sebastian Lang, Gerolsteiner 4:42
5) Joost Posthuma, Rabobank, 4:42
6) Stijn Devolder, Discovery Channel, 4:42?
7) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Espargne, 4:43
8) Gusev, Discovery Chanel
9) Floyd Landis, Phonak, 4:43.84
10) Andrey Kashechkin, Astaná-Würth Also: cyclngnews.com | Prologue full results Eurosport.com | Zabriskie wins, Hincapie impresses BBC Sport | Zabriskie puts Wiggins in shade
Posted by Frank Steele on June 4, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2006, Dave Zabriskie, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Stuart O'Grady, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Dauphiné Libéré prologue underway
Today's stage at the Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré is a short, flat, 4-kilometer prologue.
Gerolsteiner's Sebastian Lang took the early lead in around 4:42. One big surprise is Bradley Wiggins, the Cofidis rider who has already predicted he'll win the 2006 Tour prologue.
Wiggins was able to do only a 4:46, 4 seconds slower than Lang, with a lot of strong riders to come.
Stuart O'Grady comes through in 4:41.9, and takes the stage lead! It won't stand up, but this is a guy who broke 5 ribs and his collarbone March 9th at Tirreno-Adriatico. Cyclingnews has a good interview with O'Grady from mid-May.
Thomas Dekker doesn't even go top 10, and again, there are a lot of riders to come.
Zabriskie is quickest at the turnaround. Coming to the line with a big cushion to O'Grady; 4:35.83 for Zabriskie! That one might stand up.
Alejandro Valverde is on course, all in white as the ProTour leader.
Chris Horner comes in at 4:50.45.
Valverde does a 4:43, dropping him into 6th for now. As soon as Valverde came in, George Hincapie left the start house. We'll see how his recovery is coming.
Landis is on course, sporting the Praying Landis, Vinokourov is on course, Leipheimer is on course, and Cycling.TV has gone black. D'Oh!
There comes Mayo, the last guy on the course, and he's not going to go anywhere near Dave Z.
Zabriskie takes the stage win!
Hincapie, who took last year's Dauphiné prologue, is 2nd in 4:37.62. O'Grady 3rd, Lang 4th. Posthuma 5th, Stijn Devolder was 6th. Valverde 7th. Landis 9th in 4:43.84.
The Cycling.TV guys say Zabriskie hasn't raced since March, but I've got pictures that say otherwise.
Coverage is still in and out, so I don't have Leipheimer or Vinokourov's results.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 4, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Horner, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2006, Dave Zabriskie, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Stuart O'Grady, Thomas Dekker, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
May 30, 2006
Next up: The Dauphiné Libéré
We're just a few days from the race that's become the most important Tour warm-up, the Dauphiné Libéré. Cycling4All has a running start list, and there are few surprises. Lots of Americans have team leader numbers, including Levi Leipheimer, David Zabriskie at CSC, and Chris Horner at Davitamon-Lotto.
It's a South American riding in Phonak's lowest number, Santiago Botero, although of course Floyd Landis is using the race to test his fitness before the Tour. Yaroslav Popovych wears 31 for Discovery, which also brings George Hincapie and Jose Azevedo.
Vinokourov and Kaschechkin both will start for the team formerly known as Liberty Seguros, while Alejandro Valverde leads Caisse d'Espargne.
Missing riders? Quick Step's Tom Boonen, Davitamon-Lotto's Robbie McEwen, and T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich, as well as Giro d'Italia champion Ivan Basso.
Some of these guys have 4 weeks of racing in their legs since April 20: A lot of the Saunier Duval (Pinotti, Olson) and Davitamon-Lotto riders (Henk Vogels, Jan Kuyckx, Nick Gates, Van Hecke) started both the Tour de Georgia and the Giro d'Italia.
Action kicks off Sunday with a 4-km prologue in Annecy.
Posted by Frank Steele on May 30, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Chris Horner, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2006, Dave Zabriskie, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Santiago Botero, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 12, 2005
Dauphiné wrap-up photo gallery
Russell Standring has been shooting pictures at every stage of the Dauphiné, and has a nice mix of rider portraits and racing shots. He hasn't posted a page for today yet, but he's named his pages predictably, so I'm adding a link to the gallery he's likely to post sometime today. I've got direct links to some of my favorites, but there must be 150 or more total photos.
Stage 7 (coming soon)
Posted by Frank Steele on June 12, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2005, George Hincapie, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Photo galleries | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Hink the alpha and omega at Dauphiné; Landaluze holds on GC
VeloNews.com | Hincapie wins final stage at Dauphiné; Landaluze takes overall Discovery Channel waved the flag high on Sunday, finishing 1-2-3 at Stage 7 of the Dauphiné Libéré, and giving George Hincapie an unusual double, taking the race's prologue and the last stage. Euskaltel's Inigo Landaluze was thoroughly tested, but hung on to take his biggest professional win. Hincapie and teammate Yaroslav Popovych broke away less than an hour into the stage, which included seven laps of a finishing circuit including a 2.5 km climb, where Bernard Hinault won the 1980 world championship. The two class-A all-rounders worked smoothly together and finished with 22 seconds in hand. Finally, on the last circuit, 2nd-placed Santiago Botero launched an attack, covered by Armstrong, Vinokourov, and Leipheimer, but gained only 38 seconds on Landaluze, leaving Landaluze an 11-second margin of victory. Armstrong, presumably helped by not having to pull with two teammates up the road, took the sprint, giving Discovery the top 3 spots on the day. Armstrong wound up with the Dauphiné overall points jersey, with Discovery Channel taking the team prize. Top 10: 1) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, 3:07:10 2) Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel, same time 3) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, at :22 4) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, same time 5) Santiago Botero, Phonak, same time 6) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, same time, 7) David Moncoutie, Cofidis, at :24 8) Wim Van Huffel, Davitamon-Lotto, same time 9) Jose Gomez Marchante, Saunier Duval-Prodir, at :45 10) Francisco Mancebo, Illes Balears, at :59 General classification: 1) Inigo Landaluze, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 28:24:46 2) Santiago Botero, Phonak, at :11 3) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, at :38 4) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, at :59 5) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, at 1:02 6) David Moncoutie, Cofidis, at 1:56 7) Jose Gomez Marchante, Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 3:54 8) Marzio Bruseghin, Fassa Bortolo, at 3:58 9) Andrey Kashechkin, Credit Agricole, at 5:04 10) Francisco Mancebo, Illes Balears, at 6:20 Also: cyclingnews.com | Stage and overall results | Stage 7 recap
Posted by Frank Steele on June 12, 2005 in Andrey Kashechkin, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2005, David Moncoutié, Francisco Mancebo, George Hincapie, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Santiago Botero, Top Stories, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Graham Watson on US civil war at Dauphiné
Graham Watson confirms what I thought about yesterday's stage -- he calls it the “best day's racing of the year.”
There was certainly a lot to like, with the re-emergence of Santiago Botero, the strong showing by traditional Tour strengths like Francisco Mancebo, David Moncoutie, and Christophe Moreau, and the gutty performance by Inigo Landaluze to narrowly protect his overall race lead.
Watson, however, is focused on what was going on with Armstrong, Leipheimer, and Floyd Landis. Watson believes Armstrong was riding partly to demoralize the World's Fastest Mennonite:
If there was ever any doubts still, it was when Lance eased off the Vino-Gomez attack to allow Leipheimer to catch up again that we knew they were working together against Landis.
If you are as puzzled as you should be, don’t worry. This is Lance’s way of showing Landis what life is like ‘after US Postal’ – and there will be more to come in the Tour de France, be sure of that. To make Landis’s day even worse, he overshot a bend with two-kilometres to go and skidded into the dirt, making it back to the race with only his pride hurting.
Shades of Brasstown Bald in there.
One story I saw had Armstrong catching Vinokourov and Gomez, then dropping back to tow Leipheimer onto their tails. Armstrong's not going to get a tremendous result out of the Dauphiné, but he definitely got a chance to test himself under fire, and he's looking both strong and sassy for next month's Tour.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 12, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2005, David Moncoutié, Floyd Landis, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Santiago Botero | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 11, 2005
GrahamWatson.com Dauphiné Stage 6 photo gallery
Botero's big break; Levi, Landis, Lance; Landaluze limits losses from GrahamWatson.com
Botero's back -- takes Stage 6, Landaluze holds lead at Dauphiné
Eurosport | Botero steals stage, Landaluze still leads After a tremendous Tour de France in 2002 (he was 4th overall, beat Lance Armstrong in the long time trial, and took a mountain stage win), Santiago Botero signed with T-Mobile and promptly disappeared. Since joining Phonak at the beginning of this season, Botero has won the Tour of Romandy and the individual time trial at the Dauphiné Libéré Wednesday, edging Levi Leipheimer by a second. During Thursday's stage to Mont Ventoux, Botero wasn't a factor, and finished 16th on the day, 2:59 behind former teammate Alexandre Vinokourov. Today, on the hardest stage of the race, Botero showed he's rediscovered his form. On the hors categorie Col de Joux Plane, Botero broke from the leaders, and only David Moncoutie of Cofidis could hold his wheel. Lance Armstrong was content to sit in the field early, leaving chase duties to the guys with more to lose: Alexandre Vinokourov, who needed to gap the other GC riders to have a shot at a 2nd Dauphiné title; Levi Leipheimer, who could retake the race lead if he could gap Euskaltel's Inigo Landaluze, and Landaluze himself, who risked losing the race lead to Botero if the Colombian got far enough up the road. The first select group was 8 leaders, who gapped Landaluze, and included Armstrong, Landis, Leipheimer, and Vinokourov. Then Vinokourov broke away, getting about 20 seconds, and forcing Armstrong to reel him in about 1 km short of the top of Jeux Plane. At the summit, Armstrong, Leipheimer, Vinokourov, and Saunier-Duval's Jose Gomez-Marchante were the last remnants of the select group, and on the 9 km descent to Morzine, they were joined by David Arroyo of Illes Balears. Leipheimer and Vinokourov were riding hard to gain time on Landaluze, who spent much of the climb alone, about 30 seconds behind the Armstrong group. The leaders never were able to close down Botero, who finally shed Moncoutie on the descent. Landaluze battled all day, and in the end, saved his race lead, now leading Botero by :49, Leipheimer by 1:16, Armstrong by 1:37, and Vinokourov by 1:40. Top 13: 1) Santiago Botero, Phonak, 4:30:54 2) David Moncoutie, Cofidis, at :23 3) Francisco Mancebo, Illes Balears, at :53 4) Christophe Moreau, Credit Agricole, at :58 5) Marzio Bruseghin, Fassa Bortolo, at 2:27 6) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, at 2:50 7) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, at 2:52 8) David Arroyo, Illes Balears, same time 9) Jose Gomez Marchante, Saunier Duval-Prodir, same time 10) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, same time, 11) Andrey Kashechkin, Credit Agricole, at 3:43 12) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at 4:02 13) Inigo Landaluze, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 4:17 Thor Hushovd and Christian Vande Velde were among the riders who didn't finish the stage. Also: BBC Sport | Botero fires warning to Armstrong Botero certainly bears watching, but I'm not sure that's a fair headline: Botero had somewhat fresher legs than the guys who fought it out on Ventoux Thursday. In the Tour, the overall leader typically can't finish 3 minutes down on any stage (except, of course, the early suicide breaks by riders with no GC chance). Yahoo! Sports | I didn't feel comfortable in mountains, says Armstrong VeloNews.com | Botero wins mountain stage as Landaluze clings to lead in Dauphiné cyclingnews.com | Dauphiné Libéré Stage 6 Results
Posted by Frank Steele on June 11, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Christian Vande Velde, Christophe Moreau, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2005, David Moncoutié, Floyd Landis, Francisco Mancebo, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Santiago Botero, Thor Hushovd, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0)
Dauphiné Libéré Stage 5 photo galleries
Race leader in a break?, “Hear who made the break?”, Axel Cannibalson from GrahamWatson.com
Levi & wife (the lovely Odessa Gunn), Flecha, Landaluze @ cyclingnews.com
June 10, 2005
Graham Watson: Armstrong "had a hand" in Stage 5 break
Graham Watson is doing a column for ThePaceline.com, and in today's edition he speculates (and admits to speculating) that today's breakaway that upset the Dauphiné applecart smells like an Armstrong operation.
It is fun and slightly mischievous to consider that in the big escape of the day, at least half of them are known to be chummy with Lance. Juan Antonio Flecha and Axel Merckx are two of his closest buddies, and add the fact that his own teamate Benjamin Noval was in the break as well, you can then hypothesize that Lance and his team had quite a hand in letting that escape get away – and then sat back and watched the others struggle to comprehend what was going on. Once the chase started – with Landaluze at least ten minutes ahead of the peloton, Lance and his teamates were able to watch as T-Mobile, then Phonak, then Gerolsteiner took it in turns to chase.
I also wonder about Levi Leipheimer's early break: Apparently, he and two teammates managed to gap the field among more than 30 other riders just 25 kms into the race today, forcing T-Mobile to the head of the field to ride tempo and bring them back.
There are a couple of pictures accompanying the article of Armstrong in an unusual jersey: the Dauphiné's "combined classification" jersey, whose color reminds me of Armstrong's first pro jersey, with Motorola.
Merckx takes Stage 5, Landaluze the lead at Dauphiné
Axel Merckx spent most of the day alone, riding away from an early break that gave him the day and Euskaltel's Inigo Landaluze the overall race lead at the Dauphiné Libéré.
The break made the most of a lazy pace by the main field, and most of its members finished 7 minutes plus on the peloton. Merckx moves into second overall.
It's Merckx's first win since 2003; he took the bronze in the road race at the 2005 Athens Olympics.
It kind of looks like Armstrong might have taken the presence of Noval up the road as a chance to make Gerolsteiner defend Leipheimer's jersey, and, for whatever reason, the G-men declined. We'll see when the stage photos go up.
1) Axel Merckx, Davitamon-Lotto, 5:15:01
2) Inigo Landaluze, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:15
3) Benjamin Noval, Discovery Channel, at 5:45
4) Eddy Mazzoleni, Lampre-Caffita, same time
5) Paolo Bossoni, Fassa Bortolo, at 6:15
6) Sylvain Chavanel, Cofidis, same time
7) Rafael Casero, Saunier Duval-Prodir, same time
8) Mario Aerts, Davitamon-Lotto, at 6:17
9) Francis Mourey, Française Des Jeux, at 6:18
10) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, at 7:32
The peloton came in at 9:36, with all the previous GC leaders included.
The new top 6 on GC:
1) Inigo Landaluze, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 20:41:15
2) Axel Merckx, Davitamon-Lotto, at 2:32
3) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, at 2:51
4) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, at 3:12
5) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, at 3:17
6) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at 3:38
Levi Leipheimer fell late in the stage, but was only slightly injured.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 10, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2005, Floyd Landis, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
CyclingNews interview with Lance Armstrong
Tim Maloney got a chance to talk to Lance Armstrong yesterday after Stage 4 at the Dauphiné Libéré yesterday, and covers a range of topics, from both the new Trek frames Armstrong is testing this week (the TTX for time trials, and the lighter SSLx he's riding on other stages) to Paolo Savoldelli's Giro win to what he's looking forward to after the Tour.
One interesting nugget: Armstrong is still considering riding the ProTour team time trial in Eindhoven June 19th. There had been reports in March that he was a lock for the TTT.
June 09, 2005
Dauphiné Mont Ventoux photo galleries up
Armstrong suffering, Levi+Vino, Vino king of the hill from GrahamWatson.com
Armstrong chasing, Gomez the goat @ cyclingnews.com
Posted by Frank Steele on June 9, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2005, Floyd Landis, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Photo galleries | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Vinokourov tops Ventoux, Leipheimer holds lead
T-Mobile's Alexandre Vinokourov was the strongest man on the baldest mountain today, tearing up the field on the climb to Mont Ventoux. Discovery Channel's Lance Armstrong was put into difficulty a number of times on the legendary climb, but rode his own race and limited the damage to Vinokourov, who confirmed his status as a legitimate Tour podium pick, depending on T-Mobile team politics. Vinokourov put more than 30 seconds into all the other Dauphiné GC contenders, but it was not enough for the race lead. Gerolsteiner's Levi Leipheimer, who rode with Vinokourov after his key break, eventually fell back to, then behind, Discovery Channel's Lance Armstrong to lose 46 seconds, finishing 7th on the day. It wasn't enough to push Leipheimer out of the race lead. Armstrong himself lost 37 seconds to T-Mobile's Kazakh, finishing 4th on the day, and improved to just 21 seconds behind Leipheimer's race lead. Vinokourov improved to 3rd overall, at 26 seconds. Phonak's Floyd Landis, 5th on the day, sandwiched between Armstrong and Leipheimer, is the only other rider inside of 2 minutes behind Leipheimer on GC. It's another strong day for the Americans. Top 10: 1) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, 4:07:23 2) Jose Gomez Marchante, Saunier Duval-Prodir, at :06 3) Wim Van Huffel, Davitamon-Lotto, at :16 4) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, at :37 5) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at :41 6) Andrey Kashechkin, Credit Agricole, at :43 7) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, at :46 8) Inigo Landaluze, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:31 9) Nicolas Fritsch, Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 1:36 10) David Moncoutie, Cofidis, 1:45 Landaluze at 8th on the day, 11th overall, is currently the ranking Euskaltel-Euskadi, one year after they won the Dauphiné with Iban Mayo. Also: Yahoo! Sport | Armstrong back in contention as Vinokourov tames Ventoux Points out that Botero had a very bad day today, finishing 16th, about 3 minutes back of Vinokourov. Bad news for the big guys: Magnus Backstedt didn't take the start today, preferring to go back to Wales to try to recover in advance of the Tour next month. Backstedt lost more than 8 minutes on yesterday's time trial, and says he's producing "lactic acid extremely quickly." PezCyclingNews.com | Dauphine Libere St. 4 - Vino On The Ventoux cyclingnews.com | Full results
Posted by Frank Steele on June 9, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2005, Floyd Landis, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Dauphiné Stage 4 underway
Eurosport is the only one of the usual bunch doing live updates. Below is, well, commentary on their commentary.
The strong men are reeling in an early break that stayed away well onto Mont Ventoux, the legendary climb that finishes today's stage. In the chase, a few familiar names, including former US Postal lieutenant Roberto Heras and 2004 Tour de France runner-up Andreas Klöden, have fallen off the select group.
Jorg Jaksche of Liberty Seguros and Davitamon-Lotto's Wim Van Huffel are the two surviving breakaway riders, but the leaders, including Levi Leipheimer and David Moncoutie, are closing fast.
Lance Armstrong has been dropped and recovered the select group -- he looks to be having difficulty holding Leipheimer's pace. Floyd Landis is still in the leader's group, as well.
With about 5kms to ride, Saunier-Duval's José Gomez-Marchante attacks from the select group, taking T-Mobile's Alexandre Vinokourov and overall leader Levi Leipheimer with him. No word on Jaksche, but Van Huffel is getting rolled up by these three. Armstrong, Landis, Moncoutie, Kashechkin (bless you), are falling off the lead.
Now Vinokourov and Gomez-Marchante have dropped Leipheimer. They've caught Van Huffel to take the stage lead, and Leipheimer is falling back into the Armstrong group, maybe 30 seconds back.
With 2 kms to go, it's going to be Vinokourov or Gomez-Marchante for the stage win (and I'm betting on the Kazakh...).
With 1 km to go, Armstrong, Leipheimer, Landis, and Kaschechkin have pulled back some time, trailing by 17 seconds.
With about .5 k, it's go go Vino, and Vinokourov is riding away from his break companion Gomez-Marchante.
Vinokourov takes the stage! It's all down to the time gaps now.
At the finish, Leipheimer holds his leader's jersey!
June 08, 2005
Armstrong: “Leipheimer is the favorite”
Two-time Dauphiné Libéré winner Lance Armstrong says he's not likely to make it three.
"No, Leipheimer is the favourite to win," Armstrong when asked if his bid to win a third Dauphine was now launched.
Armstrong is third in the general classification at 30secs behind Leipheimer and 18 behind Botero, and warned: "He (Leipheimer) doesn't have the team to win. I shouldn't say that, but with the stages to come he'll need some strong climbers to support him.
As for Leipheimer, he says he's taking it day by day, prepping for a Tour de France where he wants "to finish in the top five. With a little bit of luck I can finish on the podium."
Leipheimer said he's eyeing the Tour's last time trial, in Saint-Etienne on Stage 19 July 23rd, as a stage he can win.
So is Armstrong just downplaying his condition? There's still a ton of miles, many of them uphill, on this Dauphiné, and 30 seconds either way is not that much right up through the last big climb of the Dauphiné, Saturday on the Col de Jeux-Plane.
Graham Watson TT galleries up, now offering more prints
Floyd “Obree” Landis, Botero, Leipheimer in yellow from GrahamWatson.com
I love Graham Watson's work, and have a variety of books, calendars, etc., in which it's featured. I had always wondered why, with the technology seemingly available for it, his website didn't offer on-demand prints.
He has always sold prints of insanely popular pictures, like the flag cowboy at last year's Tour. If, on the other hand, you're Fabian Cancellara's mom, and you want a picture of him in the yellow jersey after last year's prologue, you've been out of luck.
But no more. Now, the great one is offering custom prints of most (all?) the images in his daily race update. Prices range from $82 for an 8 x 12" print to $120 for 12 x 18".
Leipheimer in Dauphiné yellow as Botero wins ITT
Phonak's Santiago Botero took the individual time trial at the Dauphiné Libéré today, with Levi Leipheimer's 2nd place catapulting him into the race lead.
Botero beat Leipheimer by just 1 second, with Discovery's Lance Armstrong 26 seconds back, and Phonak's Floyd Landis at 39 seconds. T-Mobile's Alexandre Vinokourov rounded out the top 5, at 1:00 back of Botero.
As expected, the time trial totally reshuffles the GC, with Leipheimer moving in to the overall race lead, Botero at 12 seconds, Armstrong at 30 seconds, and Landis at 42 seconds.
Tomorrow's stage to the top of Mont Ventoux is the next obstacle for whomever is going to win this thing; it's hard not to think back to Brasstown Bald at the Tour de Georgia in April, where Tom Danielson (not at the Dauphiné) took the stage, followed closely by Leipheimer, then Armstrong just gapping Landis at the top of the mountain a minute behind.
Leipheimer is clearly in tremendous shape this year. Armstrong is clearly in very good shape, as well, but whether it's Tour-winning shape is still to be seen.
1) Santiago Botero, Phonak, 1:00:06
2) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, at :01
3) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, at :26
4) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at :39
5) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, at 1:00
6) Oscar Pereiro, Phonak, at 1:09
7) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at 1:11
8) Marzio Bruseghin, Fassa Bortolo, at 1:14
9) Ivan Gutierrez, Illes Balears, at 1:16
10) Sebastian Lang, Gerolsteiner, at 1:19
"I'm not overwhelmingly pleased but not too disappointed. I'm on schedule (for the Tour)," he added.
"I'm better than I was at the Tour of Georgia. I'm more comfortable on the bike. My position is better and my cadence is better.
"Today wasn't perfect but the overall sensation is good."
Still unaware of Botero's time, Armstrong added: "I was six seconds behind Botero at the second checkpoint but if I was 30 seconds behind him at the finish line then that would be a little disappointing."
June 07, 2005
Dauphiné Stage 2 photo galleries
Armstrong, Bessy, Dumoulin; more @ GrahamWatson.com
Armstrong with Crow, there goes the break from cyclingnews.com
Dumoulin wins Dauphiné Stage 2 in hometown
Samuel Dumoulin was best of a very French breakaway at the Dauphiné Libéré today. With the win, Dumoulin captures the race's yellow leader's jersey in his hometown.
Dumoulin, Anthony Charteau, Frederic Finot, and Frederic Bessy joined up in a 180-kilometer break that had more than 17 minutes on the field at one point. At the end, the 3:16 gap was enough to drop Discovery's George Hincapie from the race lead.
Phonak's Robbie Hunter won the field sprint in front of Credit Agricole's Thor Hushovd and Stuart O'Grady of Cofidis.
Tomorrow and Thursday will likely be the days that decide the overall. Tomorrow is a 46.5 kilometer time trial, and Thursday finishes atop Mont Ventoux. The press is building up the TT as make-or-break for Lance Armstrong as he prepares for his July campaign for a 7th consecutive Tour de France title.
1) Samuel Dumoulin, AG2R, 4:47:06
2) Anthony Charteau, Bouygues Telecom, same time
3) Frederic Finot, Francaise des Jeux, same time
4) Frederic Bessy, Cofidis, same time
5) Robbie Hunter, Phonak, at 3:16
6) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, same time
7) Stuart O'Grady, Cofidis, same time
8) Juan Antonio Flecha, Fassa Bortolo, same time
9) Enrico Franzoi, Lampre, same time
10) Enrico Gasparotto, Liquigas-Bianchi, same time
Posted by Frank Steele on June 7, 2005 in Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2005, George Hincapie, Lance Armstrong, Samuel Dumoulin, Stuart O'Grady, Thor Hushovd, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 06, 2005
Hushovd takes Dauphiné Stage 1
Credit Agricole's Thor Hushovd took a sprint finish Monday at the Dauphiné Libéré's first stage, ahead of Phonak's Robby Hunter, and Fassa Bortolo's Juan-Antonio Flecha.
A six-man breakaway including Sylvain Chavanel and José Garcia-Acosta tried to deny the sprinters, but were caught about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the line.
No change in the overall, with George Hincapie maintaining the leader's jersey.
Hushovd says his big goal is the green jersey in the Tour de France:
"A victory on the Dauphine Libere is always good for morale but my main goal this season is to win the Tour de France points classification," said Hushovd, who cited Belgian Tom Boonen, German Erik Zabel and Australians Stuart O'Grady and Robbie McEwen as his main rivals for the green jersey.
Six-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong showed signs of finding his form in helping close down the break:
"Lance showed today he's pretty strong. He closed that 25-second gap practically on his own," said Hincapie, who will be back to his helper role in July.
June 05, 2005
Dauphiné prologue photo galleries
Armstrong, Lepheimer, Hincapie; more @ GrahamWatson.com
Backstedt (50th on the day) and Landis from cyclingnews.com
Posted by Frank Steele on June 5, 2005 in Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2005, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Magnus Backstedt, Photo galleries | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Hink! Discovery's George Hincapie takes Dauphiné prologue
CyclingPost.com | Hincapie wins prologue in Dauphiné Libéré Discovery Channel's George Hincapie will wear the first leader's jersey in this year's Dauphiné Libéré, after topping an American-flavored prologue on Sunday. Hincapie's 9:55 just edged Gerolsteiner's Levi Leipheimer (1 second back). Andrey Kashechkin (bless you) of Credit Agricole was 3rd, with Floyd Landis of Phonak and Lance Armstrong just behind. Americans took 4 of the top 5 placings in the prologue. Top 10: 1) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, 9:55 2) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, at :01 3) Andrey Kashechkin, Credit Agricole, at :03 4) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at :05 5) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, at :06 6) Oscar Pereiro, Phonak, at :07 7) Alberto Contador , Liberty Seguros, at :09 8) Davide Rebellin, Gerolsteiner, at :13 9) José-Ivan Guttierez, Illes Balears, same time 10) Correction: Francisco Lara, T-Mobile, at :14 Also: Yahoo! Sport | Technical slip-up for Armstrong as Hincapie wins Sayeth Big George:
"That's the first time I've beaten Lance in a time trial, it's very special for me," said an exhausted Hincapie. "I gave everything today."
Armstrong reportedly lost a little time when he pulled out of his newfangled clipless pedals (they should make all the other guys wear those too, to balance things out). VeloNews | Hincapie wins Dauphiné prologue cyclingnews.com | Full results
Posted by Frank Steele on June 5, 2005 in Alberto Contador, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2005, Davide Rebellin, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
March 29, 2005
Ullrich's Tour prep firming up
Jan Ullrich reports on his website (in German) that he will first race April 5th at Circuit de la Sarthe, then Vuelta Ciclista a Aragon April 13th and the Volta a Catalunya May 16th.
Still up in the air is the Tour of Switzerland June 11th-19th: Ullrich is still considering racing instead at the Dauphiné Libéré June 5th-12th and the ProTour's team time trial at Eindhoven June 19th.
June 17, 2004
Leipheimer on Dauphiné TT, Armstrong rumors
Levi Leipheimer's diary at Bike.com has been updated with his take on the Dauphiné, and especially the ITT on Mont Ventoux ("One hour uphill in 100+ degree weather is torture").
He predicts Armstrong is right on track for a 6th consecutive win at the Tour de France, as he says Armstrong's form improved steadily through the Dauphiné. Leipheimer also offers his congratulations on the new Discovery Channel team: "American cycling will continue to have a home team."
It's not so great to hear about the tabloid trash coming out accusing Lance of cheating. I really hope no one buys this book and supports this "speculation". This crap is only written to make money so don't buy into it. Our sport has already paid enough. The writer has admitted to having no proof to back his claims so why waste your time?
June 14, 2004
2 for 1: Graham Watson galleries of Dauphiné
Click through to GrahamWatson.com
Meanwhile, Watson also provided the photos for a gallery at VeloNews.com:
Click through to VeloNews.com.
June 13, 2004
Mayo takes Dauphiné; Armstrong 4th
Stuart O'Grady showed his conditioning for July with a second stage win at the Dauphiné Libéré. The win, plus his points in the intermediate sprints Sunday, gave O'Grady the race's green jersey. Interestingly, neither victory came in a field sprint, once O'Grady's specialty. Sunday, he won in a long breakaway that was largely uncontested by the main group.
Iban Mayo of Euskaltel-Euskadi took the overall on the strength of the individual time trial up Mont Ventoux on Thursday, where he won by 35 seconds over Tyler Hamilton, and 2 minutes over Lance Armstrong.
Armstrong took a moral victory of sorts when he won the field sprint among riders who didn't make the breakaway, taking 7th place on the day.
"It was an interesting week," Armstrong said. "I was not as super as I would have wished. It was a tough week too, with super riders like Mayo or Tyler Hamilton.
"I still must improve. But I had no crash, no problem, overall that's good," he added.
O'Grady's stage win was the result of a breakaway that included O'Grady and his teammate David Millar, that let O'Grady collect the intermediate sprint points, and he wound up taking the stage, to boot.
American Levi Leipheimer of Rabobank also tried to break away from the field late in the race, and spent quite a while being chased by the Euskaltels.
Mayo has to be high on the list of contenders at the Tour next month:
"This week was great experience for the Tour," he said. "We had a very young team here and they got in a lot of hard work that should give them all more confidence next month.
June 12, 2004
O'Grady takes Dauphiné Stage 5 over Hincapie
A classic stage-race move on Friday, as a number of strong riders low in the general classification pulled a winning breakaway clear of the peloton.
Among the escape were US Postal's George Hincapie and Victor Hugo Peña, Cofidis sprint specialist Stuart O'Grady, Baden Cooke of fdjeux.com, Nicolas Jalabert of Phonak, Brioches La Boulangere's Jerome Pineau, Yuriy Ktivtsov of AG2R and Pierrick Fedrigo of Credit Agricole. With so many teams represented, Euskaltel-Euskadi didn't get much help chasing the break.
With around 50 kilometers to ride, Hincapie and O'Grady pushed the pace, and quickly gained a minute on the breakaway group. O'Grady, who has come close a few times this season, outsprinted Hincapie for his biggest win of the year.
June 10, 2004
Procycling on Ventoux ITT
Procycling takes a look at Mayo's prospects in July, given his extraordinary performance on Mont Ventoux today:
This result will certainly lead to a huge amount of speculation about Armstrong’s prospects of taking a sixth Tour title, as well as some considerable bigging up of Mayo. But the Tour is still a month away, and Mayo still has to negotiate two very tough days in the Alps during this race yet. And once again this year the question has to be asked about whether Mayo has reached his peak too soon. If he comes away victorious from the Dauphiné and claiming he still has more to give, then he really will be shaping up as a serious contender for the Tour title.
On Armstrong, they say he "surely won’t be happy at seeing some of the most likely challengers for his Tour crown receive such a huge confidence boost."
Ventoux time trial blow by blow
VeloNews has a detailed look at today's time trial, and breaks it down by time station, so you can easily see who was fastest on each segment of the mammoth mountain.
What worked in Mayo's favor though was that he started four minutes behind Armstrong and two behind Hamilton. After the relatively easy opening stretch of 5.7km at 4.2 percent, Armstrong set a then-best time of 10:13. Hamilton came through in 10:20, while the supposed-to-be-going-slow Mayo sped though in 10:04.
"I didn't expect to do the fastest time in that first phase," said Mayo. "I was riding within myself and just getting a feel for the bike." For the first time, he was using a brand-new climbing bike from Orbea, the lightest that Mayo has ever ridden.
GrahamWatson.com: Dauphiné Ventoux time trial gallery posted
Graham Watson has posted his photo gallery from today's time trial up Mont Ventoux. Some great shots of all the top riders...
Stunning Mayo ride takes over Dauphiné; Armstrong 5th on the day
It's no surprise that Iban Mayo is in incredible shape for the Dauphiné Libéré: He won Sunday's prologue time trial to wear the race's yellow jersey.
A little more surprising is that he was able to put almost 2 minutes (!) into Lance Armstrong in today's time trial up Mont Ventoux, as Mayo set a record for the climb at 55:51.
Mayo showed he's got to be among the favorites in July's Tour de France, and looks like the favorite to take the Dauphiné when it closes out on Sunday. Tyler Hamilton had an awesome ride to finish second on the day, 35 seconds back of Mayo, and moves into 2nd overall, 36 seconds behind the Euskaltel-Euskadi rider. Hamilton's Phonak teammate, Oscar Sevilla, was 3rd on the day, and 3rd in the GC. Armstrong, 5th on the day, remains 4th overall, at 2:00.
Levi Leipheimer of Rabobank was a respectable 8th overall, but was caught by Sevilla on the course.
"I thought Armstrong would be faster; I think it's a big surprise and maybe he had a bad day," said the happy Basque rider who now has command of the Dauphiné.
Armstrong's manager, Johan Bruyneel, gave Mayo his props:
"I'm a little disappointed; not in Lance, but in the differences between him and Mayo. It shows [we] are still not ready for the Tour. Lance did what he could today. Mayo beat the record by almost a minute which is an incredible performance."
"It's clear that Mayo is in top form now; he's very strong. For me today, my time wasn't as important as how I felt and I felt good...the sensations were positive. I came here to make two tests, the prologue and the TT and I was second in both of them." As for his former teammate and Gerona neighbour Lance Armstrong, Hamilton said "He's still the favourite for the Tour De France."
Battle on the mountain
Cyclingnews.com has a good profile of Mont Ventoux, the role it will play in the Dauphiné Libéré and the role it has played in the Tour de France. The mountain itself is remarkable, as barren as the moon, and makes a dramatic setting for a bicycle race.
Ventoux is where Tom Simpson died in 1967, where the Armstrong-Pantani minifeud began (did he let Marco win, or was it a sign of disrespect?) in 2000. In 2002, Armstrong set the unofficial record up the mountain, 50 minutes chasing (but not catching) Richard Virenque.
Tyler Hamilton won a road stage of the Dauphiné Libéré here in 2000.
Who will conquer Ventoux this year? At the pre-race press conference, Lance Armstrong said, "with the uphill time trial on le Mont Ventoux, it will be a great test for me before the Tour de France." Armstrong desperately wanted to win on Ventoux in 2002, and needs to measure his progress toward his attempt on a sixth Tour de France victory in July. For Armstrong, that victory will almost certainly have to include another mountain time trial, up Alpe d'Huez in the Tour's stage 16. Who could resist a crack at a double that will probably never to be repeated, time trials up Ventoux and l'Alpe in the same year?
We'll know in a few hours.
June 09, 2004
Nicolas Portal takes Dauphiné Stage 3; TT Thursday
The peloton was fairly quiet on Wednesday, in preparation for Thursday's major battle on the face of Mont Ventoux. Nicolas Portal of AG2R was the best of an early breakaway. Also surviving the breakaway were Estonian Janek Tombak of Cofidis, who was second on the day, and Iker Flores of Euskaltel-Euskadi, who was third, both 51 seconds behind Portal.
A group of the peloton's strongest riders came in 1:49 back, including Lance Armstrong, Iban Mayo, Tyler Hamilton, Floyd Landis, and current race leader José Gutierrez, who continues to lead Mayo by 8 seconds, Hamilton by 9, and Armstrong and two of Hamilton's Phonak teammates by 10 seconds.
Mickael Pichon took a serious fall into a ravine on the last descent of the day. He suffered "serious head injuries, with injuries to the left side of the face."
Thursday is a 13.4-mile time trial climbing up Mont Ventoux, and will likely shake up the GC. Armstrong would like a strong showing in advance of the climbing time trial on L'Alpe d'Huez during this year's Tour de France.
Dauphiné: Phonak's Gutierrez takes Stage 2 and overall lead
José Enrique Gutierrez Cataluña took overall leadership of the Dauphiné Libéré on Tuesday, finishing 7 seconds ahead of the field. The gap moved Gutierrez 8 seconds ahead of Euskaltel-Euskadi's Iban Mayo, 9 up on Phonak teammate Tyler Freaking Hamilton, and 10 seconds up on Lance Armstrong, and Phonak's Oscar Pereiro and Cyril Dessel. American Levi Leipheimer of Rabobank is 10th, 20 seconds back.
Gutierrez said after the stage that he made a break after hearing that Hamilton was having a rough day.
Hamilton for his part said he had felt the effects of not racing for more than a month as he finished 42nd in the stage, though little damage was done in terms of time as he managed to get back to the peloton on the descent.
"The first stage of over 200km on Monday wrecked my body and I need five or six days hard racing to really get back in the groove.
"I didn't want to really push it as there is the Tour de France to come," added the 33-year-old, who finished fourth in last year's Tour despite fracturing his collarbone.
June 08, 2004
Armstrong, Hamilton in new TT helmet
Cyclingnews.com has a quick intro of the new Giro Rev Six time trial helmet, that premiered in Sunday's prologue at the Dauphiné Libéré, worn by Lance Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton, and Viatcheslav Ekimov.
It's the response from Giro to new regulations requiring time-trial helmets to meet the same crash-protection standards as everyday helmets. Giro claims the helmet meets safety standards while having even less drag than the Rev Five helmet Armstrong wore last year, which was essentially a plastic shell with little protection built in.
Giro's rep suggests the new helmet is heavier and larger than the Rev Five, but of course drag is the main factor in the TT equation.
June 07, 2004
Hushovd takes Dauphine Stage 1; GC unchanged
Jimmy Casper of Cofidis went on a stage-long breakaway, where he led the pack by as much as 18 minutes, but was reeled in 2 kms from the stage finish.
In the end, Thor Hushovd of Credit Agricole took the sprint ahead of Stuart O'Grady of Cofidis, for Hushovd's 7th win of the season.
Overall standings were essentially unchanged, although David Millar of Cofidis lost 58 seconds on the stage.
1) Iban Mayo, Euskaltel-Euskadi
2) Tyler Hamilton, Phonak, at 1 sec
3) Lance Armstrong, US Postal, at 2 secs
4) Oscar Pereiro, Phonak, at 2 secs
5) Michael Rogers, QuickStep, at 6 secs
6) Oscar Sevilla, Phonak, 6 secs
9) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, 10 secs
10) Stuart O'Grady, Cofidis, 10 secs
Credit Agricole's Hushovd said: "This win makes me believe I can compete for the sprinter's green jersey in the Tour de France."
He added: "I know Alessandro Petacchi is the best sprinter in the world, but I'm better in the hills than he is."
June 06, 2004
GrahamWatson.com Dauphiné prologue gallery posted
Boonen stage, Sinkewitz GC at Tour of Germany; Ullrich 7th
Patrik Sinkewitz, the 23-year-old German from QuickStep-Davitamon, took the biggest win of his career Sunday, as his teammate Tom Boonen took a sprint win at the Tour of Germany.
Jan Ullrich finished 7th overall, 59 seconds back, as he prepares for the Tour de France. Ullrich spent a lot of the race working to try to place teammate Erik Zabel in a sprint, but to no avail: Zabel had his first German tour without a stage win, as Tom Boonen took 2 sprint stages, and Danilo Hondo took the blue sprinter's jersey. T-Mobile had to content itself with the overall team prize in the tour, as they couldn't muster a win in the 7-stage race.
The 30-year-old T-Mobile rider -- racked by allegations of a lacklustre preparation for the Tour de France -- considered himself "happy" with his Tour of Germany performance, a sentiment not necessarily whole-heartedly shared by his team director Mario Kummer.
"We have a bit of time to prepare for the Tour de France. We managed to find some harmony here and I think we can build on that," Kummer said cryptically, implying there may be some road left to hoe for Ullrich's Tour ambitions.
Ullrich will race the Tour of Switzerland and the German national championships between now and the Tour de France.
At just 23 years old, Sinkewitz is the German media’s new darling, and now many people’s tip to win the white jersey of best young rider in this July’s Tour de France – if he gets selected by Quick Step to ride, which surely now he must.