July 17, 2009
Haussler descends to Stage 13 victory
In the words of the immortal Tom T. Hall, I love winners when they cry.
Cervelo Test Team's Heinrich Haussler is 25, and an up-and-coming star. He took Stage 2 at Paris-Nice this year, and was surprised by Mark Cavendish in the last 100 meters, taking 2nd at Milan-San Remo. A lot of pundits had suggested that Cervelo should consider letting Thor Hushovd lead out Haussler, instead of the other way around, but tonight, Cervelo looks pretty smart indeed.
Haussler went in one of the day's first breaks, just 3k out of the blocks, with Christophe Moreau, Jens Voigt, Juan-Manuel Garate, Ruben Perez, Sylvain Chavanel, and Rigoberto Uran, but Garate was highly enough placed that the field wouldn't let him go, so Haussler, Perez, and Chavanel took off after about 60k ridden.
The peloton was happy to let these three go, and the lead kept growing out to around 7:30 with about 85 kilometers ridden. On the day's first climb, Egoi Martinez was able to just nip Franco Pellizotti for KoM points, but on the Platzerwasel Martinez was dropped and Liquigas' Pellizotti would come off the front as the field reached each summit to pick up a few KoM points. The three men up the road prevented Thor Hushovd from doing likewise in the intermediate sprints.
Meanwhile, Perez was dropped by the leaders, and once over the top of the Platzerwasel, Haussler dropped like a rock on the wet roads. He pushed his advantage in just about every mile, prompting our Tweet of the day from Cycle Sport, “It's a good move by Haussler. You could say, a ‘Heinrich manoeuvre.’ ”
Amets Txurruka and Brice Feillu attacked out of the field, gradually closing on the leaders, but Haussler was not going to be caught on this stage, about 30 kilometers from his home. Behind, Chavanel just ran out of gas, and was caught by Txurruka, then Feillu as the riders approached Colmar.
As Haussler came to the line for his first Tour stage win, he was in tears.
Haussler's teammate Thor Hushovd finally could take advantage of Mark Cavendish, riding in the autobus, on the field sprint, but was nicked at the line by Peter Velits of Team Milram. Still, the 15 points for 6th catapulted Hushovd back into the green jersey for tomorrow.
1) Heinrich Haussler, Cervelo Test Team, in 4:56:26
2) Amets Txurruka, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 4:10
3) Brice Feillu, Agritubel, at 6:12
4) Sylvain Chavanel, Quick Step, at 6:30
5) Peter Velits, Team Milram, at 6:46
6) Thor Hushovd, Cervelo Test Team, same time
7) Vladimir Efmikin, AG2R, s.t.
8) Bradley Wiggins, Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
9) George Hincapie, Columbia-HTC, s.t.
10) Andy Schleck, Saxo Bank, s.t.
1) Rinaldo Nocentini, AG2R-La Mondiale, 53:30:30
2) Alberto Contador, Astana, at :06
3) Lance Armstrong, Astana, at :08
4) Bradley Wiggins, Garmin-Slipstream, at :46
5) Andreas Klöden, Astana, at :54
6) Tony Martin, Columbia-HTC, at 1:00
7) Christian Vande Velde, Garmin-Slipstream, at 1:24
8) Andy Schleck, Saxo Bank, at 1:49
9) Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas, at 1:54
10) Luis Leon Sanchez, Caisse d'Epargne, at 2:16
Thanks to Fritz at Cyclelicious, who turned me on to PicApp, a new service to use editorial art on your weblog. That's the provider for the Haussler picture above; you can click on the Gallery button to go to a Stage 13 gallery from Getty Images and others.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 17, 2009 in 2009 Stage 13, Amets Txurruka, Andy Schleck, Bradley Wiggins, Brice Feillu, Egoi Martinez, Franco Pellizotti, George Hincapie, Heinrich Haussler, Mark Cavendish, Sylvain Chavanel, Thor Hushovd, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
July 16, 2009
Sorensen adds some sizzle in Stage 12 win
Saxo Bank's Nicki Sørensen used his head and his legs to outfox 7 breakaway compatriots and take Stage 12 of the 2009 Tour de France.
The breakaway that mattered featured Sørensen, Sylvain Calzati of Agritubel, Milram's Marcus Fothen, Franco Pellizotti of Liquigas, Laurent Lefevre of Bbox Bouygues Telecom, Egoi Martinez of Euskaltel-Euskadi, and Remi Pauriol of Cofidis. Each rider took out one team for chase purposes, and it soon became apparent that Columbia-HTC, which has been chasing breaks to set up Mark Cavendish, had no interest today, so the pool of riders to drive the capture was pretty small, and never brought the gap inside of about 3:30.
With 22.5k to ride, Sørensen decided he didn't like his chances against his breakmates, attacked, and was joined by Calzati. The pair rotated smoothly and built a gap of almost 20 seconds, but the 5 behind slowly closed the split.
Nearly caught with around 5.5k to ride, Sørensen turned his guts absolutely inside out, dropping Calzati, and briefly throwing the chase into disarray. Within a kilometer by himself, he had built a 22-second lead, which he stretched to 34 seconds with 1k to ride. At that point, it was a done deal, and Sørensen saluted the crowd as he crossed the line with a victory for the often-unheralded “pack fodder” of the Tour.
Sørensen's primary role for Saxo Bank at the Tour was expected to be taking long pulls on the front of the peloton, hunting down breaks to protect Andy Schleck's race lead. Today, he took a turn as the hunted, and took home the stage win.
With no General Classification risks being taken, the green and polka-dot jerseys each took a turn in the limelight today, with Cavendish and Hushovd going head to head at the day's 1st intermediate sprint, won by Cavendish, and in the field sprint, led out by Cervelo, but still won by Cavendish. Cavendish had been reluctant to name the green jersey as a goal here, but if he's chasing intermediate points, there's no doubt.
Pellizotti and Martinez engaged in a few rounds of sprint the mini-mountains, with Pellizotti getting the upper hand, and moving within 18 points of Martinez in the competition. It's still very possible that someone else entirely takes the climber's jersey with a long Alpine escape, but it looks like Pellizotti and Martinez plan to cover those moves.
Levi Leipheimer was involved in a late crash that also claimed Michael Rogers and Cadel Evans, but all three continued. Leipheimer was banged and scraped up, and should be able to continue, but there could be lingering effects as the Tour heads to the Vosges tomorrow.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 16, 2009 in 2009 Stage 12, Cadel Evans, Egoi Martinez, Franco Pellizotti, Levi Leipheimer, Mark Cavendish, Michael Rogers, Nicki Sørensen, Thor Hushovd, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
July 12, 2009
Stage 9: Fedrigo makes it three for France
Pierrick Fedrigo outkicked Franco Pellizotti in the last 200 meters in Tarbes to take Stage 9 of the Tour de France.
Fedrigo and Pellizotti were all that remained from a big breakaway that had swelled to 9 riders, including Jens Voigt, Egoi Martinez, David Moncoutie, and others. The pair were well clear at the summit of the Col du Tourmalet, but a chase by Columbia-HTC, then by Caisse d'Epargne and Rabobank, pulled back all but 34 seconds of their lead by the line.
Yellow jersey Rinaldo Nocentini had no problems with the pace, and will hold the yellow jersey through tomorrow's rest day and Tuesday's Stage 10.
New King of the Mountains Brice Feillu, on the other hand, lost his polka-dots to Egoi Martinez, who was 5th on the Col d'Aspin and 7th over the Tourmalet.
Stage 9 Top 10:
1) Pierrick Fedrigo, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, 4:05:31
2) Franco Pellizotti, Liquigas, same time
3) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, at :34
4) Serguei Ivanov, Team Katusha, same time
5) Peter Velits, Team Milram, s.t.
6) Jose Rojas, Caisse d'Epargne, s.t.
7) Greg Van Avermaet, Silence-Lotto, s.t.
8) Geoffroy Lequatre, Agritubel, s.t.
9) Alessandro Ballan, Lampre, s.t.
10) Nicolas Roche, AG2R-La Mondiale
General Classification after Stage 9:
1) Rinaldo Nocentini, AG2R-La Mondiale, 34:24:21
2) Alberto Contador, Astana, at :06
3) Lance Armstrong, Astana, at :08
4) Levi Leipheimer, Astana, at :39
5) Bradley Wiggins, Garmin-Slipstream, at :46
6) Andreas Klöden, Astana, at :54
7) Tony Martin, Columbia-HTC, at 1:00
8) Christian Vande Velde, Garmin-Slipstream, at 1:24
9) Andy Schleck, Saxo Bank, at 1:49
10) Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas, at 1:54
Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2009 in 2009 Stage 9, Alberto Contador, Christian Vande Velde, David Moncoutié, Egoi Martinez, Jens Voigt, Lance Armstrong, Pierrick Fedrigo, Rinaldo Nocentini, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Stage 9 on the road
It was a very active start today, as a big group formed that Astana thought was dangerous, and Lance Armstrong and Rinaldo Nocentini bridged up, encouraging an escape by Jens Voigt, Franco Pellizotti, Pierrick Fedrigo, and Leonardo "L." Duque.
This break collected the sprint points in Sarrancolin, with Col d'Aspin looming ahead.
Sarrancolin Intermediate sprint:
1) Duque, Cofidis, +6 pts
2) Fedrigo, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, +4 pts
3) Voigt, Saxo Bank, +2 pts
On the Col d'Aspin, Duque was shed by the leaders, and a 2nd group tried to escape the field. In it were Jurgen Van Broeck, Laurens Ten Dam, Sergio Paulinho, Egoi Martinez, Amets Txurruka, Juan Manual Garate, and David Moncoutie.
1st Category Col d'Aspin
1) Pellizotti, Liquigas, +15 pts
2) Fedrigo, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, +13 pts
3) Voigt, Saxo Bank, +11 pts
4) Duque, Cofidis, +9 pts
5) Martinez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, +8 pts
6) Ten Dam, Rabobank, +7 pts
7) Van den Broeck, Silence-Lotto, +6 pts
8) Garate, Rabobank, +5 pts
The gap from Pellizotti's group to the field was 3:17 at the summit, with Nocentini riding comfortably at the head of the pack.
Pellizotti attacked his breakmates early on the Tourmalet, and Jen Voigt couldn't match the pace, and began slowly falling back through the chase groups. Maxime Bouet of Agritubel tried to go the other way, briefly bridging to Martinez and Moncoutie's group, but quickly fell away, riding for many miles alone.
1) Pellizotti, Liquigas, +40 pts
2) Fedrigo, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, +36 pts
3) Garate, Rabobank, +32 pts
4) Voeckler, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, +30 pts
5) Moncoutie, Cofidis, +24 pts
6) Van den Broeck, Silence-Lotto, +20 pts
7) Martinez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, +16 pts
8) Paulinho, Astana, +14 pts
9) Ten Dam, Rabobank, +12 pts
10) Txurruka, Euskaltel-Euskadi, +10 pts
Atop the Tourmalet, the field came through about 4:49 behind Fedrigo and Pellizotti.
On the run-in to Tarbes, Pellizotti and Fedrigo rotated smoothly, and it looked like the win had to go to one of them, with the break much closer to the field than the breakaway. Then, Columbia picked up the pace, and the breakaway was quickly recaptured. Caisse d'Epargne and Rabobank joined in, and the gap started to fall.
At 10k, it was down to 1:22; at 5k, just :44. Fedrigo and Pellizottie refused to play cat-and-mouse games, continuing to share the work and looking more and more like they would hold off the field.
Entering the final k, the gap was 36 seconds, and Pellizotti refused to come through and take a pull, sitting on Fedrigo's wheel. Fedrigo continued to work, and they rode on until Pellizotti launched toward the last turn in the stage, a 90-degree righthander just 200 meters from the line. Pellizotti was first to the corner, but when they came around, it was into a stiff headwind, and Fedrigo found himself sheltered, and came hard to the line, to take the 3rd French stage win of the 2009 Tour.
Rabobank's Oscar Freire won the field sprint 34 seconds back, at the front of a group that included all the overall contenders for Tour victory.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2009 in 2009 Stage 9, David Moncoutié, Egoi Martinez, Jens Voigt, Jurgen van den Broeck, Pierrick Fedrigo, Rinaldo Nocentini, Thomas Voeckler | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
July 20, 2008
Schleck in yellow as Gerrans takes Stage 15
It was a day for the breakaway, as the overall contenders had bigger fish to fry, with the Tour climbing into the Alps.
Credit Agricole's Simon Gerrans, who fell off the breakaway but battled back to Egoi Martinez and Danny Pate, found a second wind on the mountaintop and easily dropped Martinez and Pate for his first career stage victory.
Back in the field, CSC again stamped a jackhammer tempo at the front to shatter the field, leaving Cadel Evans without teammates on the day's last climb, up to Prato Nevoso, and putting three CSC men -- both Schlecks and Carlos Sastre -- in the final group of 10 that included Evans.
Andy Schleck did the lion's share of the pacesetting on the 11-kilometer final climb, and Sastre, Menchov, Kohl, Alejandro Valverde and Fränk Schleck forced a gap to Evans, who tried to keep his head and ride to the summit with Christian Vande Velde,
Oscar Pereiro left the race after a tumble over a guardrail from the top to the bottom of a hairpin turn. Pereiro, who was awarded the 2006 Tour when Floyd Landis was disqualified, injured his shoulder and couldn't continue.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 20, 2008 in 2008 Stage 15, Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, Christian Vande Velde, Denis Menchov, Egoi Martinez, Frank Schleck, Oscar Pereiro, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Stage 15 on the roadWelcome to the Alps! The Tour moves into France's highest mountains, and finishes up in Italy, atop Prato Nevoso for the first time.
The elements are in place for another exciting stage, as Valverde and Cunego sit far enough back that they may be given some slack on the final slope, while Fränk Schleck can move into yellow if he can pull more than a single second back on Cadel Evans.
It's a rainy day at the start, and the stage starts uphill almost immediately, up to 9,000 feet on the hors categorie Col Agnel, whose summit comes 58 kilometers from the start. We've got two intermediate sprints, and wind up with a 3rd category climb as a warmup to the 1st Category climb to Prato Nevoso.
In the U.S., Versus offers wire-to-wire live coverage, and Johan Bruyneel will be joining the commentary team.
Versus Stage 15 predictions:
Roll: Damiano Cunego
Hummer: Alejandro Valverde
Sherwen: Fränk Schleck
Liggett: Andy Schleck
Team Columbia's Mark Cavendish has called it a Tour, resting up for his Beijing Olympic races.
The day's first successful breakaway is Danny Pate, José-Luia Arrieta, and Egoi Martinez. They collected the day's first sprint points, then were joined by Simon Gerrans of Credit Agricole.
1. Egoi Martinez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 6 pts
2. José Luis Arrieta, AG2R, 4 pts
3. Danny Pate, Garmin-Chipotle, 2 pts
The four leading riders are about 3:30 ahead of the field with almost 25 kilometers ridden.
On the first climb, the gap continued to go out, to almost 14 minutes, before Lampre put some men on the front, and began to put a dent in the lead.
Two more riders abandoned on the climb -- Mark Renshaw of Credit Agricole, and QuickStep leader Stijn Devolder, whose performance is among the bigger (non-pharmaceutical) disappointments of this Tour.
1st Climb, the HC Col de Agnel:
1. Egoi Martinez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 20 pts
2. José Luis Arrieta, AG2R, 18 pts
3. Simon Gerrans, Credit Agricole, 16 pts
4. Danny Pate, Garmin-Chipotle, 14 pts
5. Thomas Voeckler, Bouygues Telecom, 12 pts, @ 11:50
6. Bernhard Kohl, Gerolsteiner, 10 pts
7. Remy di Gregorio, Française des Jeux, 8 pts
8. Yaroslav Popovych, Silence-Lotto, 7 pts
9. John Lee Augustyn, Barloworld, 6 pts
10. Fränk Schleck, CSC-Saxo Bank, 5 pts
On the descent into Italy, the gap continues to fall, now a little more than 11 minutes, then went out a bit as riders began taking nature breaks in advance of the feed zone. Voeckler continued to ride ahead of the field, on a quixotic solo attack that seemed unlikely to close down the 10+ minute gap.
On a hairpin with around 90 kilometers to ride, Oscar Pereiro went over a guardrail at the top of a hairpin, landing on the road below, and fractured his femur and collarbone. He was taken away in an ambulance. Pereiro was awarded the 2006 Tour win when Floyd Landis was disqualified for doping.
The gap went out to more than 16 minutes as the peloton's pace fell after the accident.
At the day's second sprint, the gap was more than 17 minutes.
1. Simon Gerrans, Credit Agricole, 6 pts
2. Danny Pate, Garmin-Chipotle, 4 pts
3. Jose Luis Arrieta, AG2R-La Mondiale, 2 pts
The breakaway appears likely to succeed. Pate hasn't established the climbing bona fides of the other three, and has been gapping slightly on the climbs so far.
Colle del Morte, 3rd Category climb:
1. José Luis Arrieta, AG2R, 4pts
2. Egoi Martinez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 3 pts
3. Simon Gerrans, Credit Agricole, 2 pts
4. Danny Pate, Garmin-Chipotle, 1 pt
CSC-Saxo Bank has moved to the front, and on the Colle del Morte, set a pace high enough to split the field. Will they be able to launch Schleck to yellow? Or will Carlos Sastre deliver their final punch?
You can follow my updates in near real-time on Twitter.
July 14, 2007
Stage 7 on the road
Today is the Tour's hardest stage, so far, with two 3rd Category climbs, then a 4th Category, and finally the 1st Category Col de la Colombiére, whose summit comes about 15 kilometers/9.3 miles from the finish.
It's Bastille Day, as well, so many of the French riders will be angling for the stage. Christophe Moreau looks like a favorite for the stage win to me.
Oscar Freire of Rabobank and Rubens Lobato of Saunier Duval didn't take the start this morning. Enrico Degano, who was reported out of the race yesterday, actually finished 16th yesterday and took the start, but has already abandoned on the course. Or so they claim.
1) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, +6 pts/6 secs
2) Erik Zabel, Milram, +4 pts/4 secs
3) Daniele Bennati, Lampre, +2 pts/2 secs
On the day's first climb, a 3rd Category:
1) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, +4 pts
2) Gorka Verdugo, Euskaltel-Euskadi, +3 pts
3) Sylvain Chavanel, Cofidis, +2 pts
4) Sergio Paulinho, Discovery Channel, +1 pt
Fifteen riders are off the front:
David de la Fuente (Saunier Duval)
Dmitriy Fofonov (Credit Agricole)
Egoi Martinez (Discovery)
Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner)
Linus Gerdemann (T-Mobile)
Benoît Vaugrenard (FdJeux)
Iñigo Landaluze and Rubén Pérez (Euskaltel)
Paolo Savoldelli (Astana)
Martin Elmiger (AG2R)
Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank)
Bram Tankink (Quick Step)
José Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne)
Laurent Lefevre and Jérôme Pineau (Bouygues Telecom)
Most notably missing in the break are Team CSC and Predictor-Lotto. Cancellara was off the back of the field on earlier, but is back with the field now, more than 8 minutes behind the 15 with Predictor-Lotto leading.
Over the day's 2nd climb, a 3rd Category:
1) David de la Fuente, Saunier Duval, +4 pts
2) Laurent Lefevre, Bouygues Telecom, +3 pts
3) Benoit Vaugrenard, Française des Jeux, +2 pts
4) Ruben Pérez, Euskaltel-Euskadi +1 pt
The peloton is 6:30 behind. The 4th Category Côte de Peguin is close behind, and again de la Fuente takes max points:
3rd climb, the 4th Category Côte de Peguin:
1) David de la Fuente, Saunier Duval, +3 pts
2) Laurent Lefevre, Bouygues Telecom, +2 pts
3) Dmitriy Fofonov, Credit Agricole, +1 pt
The gap is 6:40 when the peloton crosses the summit. Less than 60 kilometers/37 miles to ride.
At the base of the big climb, both groups splintered. José Ivan Gutierrez of Caisse d'Epargne was the first to attack from the leaders, quickly countered by de la Fuente. Gerdemann and Fofonov bridged up individually, then dropped the two Spaniards.
In the field, Cancellara quickly found himself off the back, and waved cheerily to the camera as he fell out of the race lead, in the gruppetto with Boonen, McEwen, Zabel, Wiggins and many others.
Gerdemann quickly dropped Fofonov and led all riders over the top of the day's biggest climb. He had 3:30 at the top, and a 10-kilometer descent to the finish. Landaluze trailed by only 18 seconds at the top, but it looks like one of the early breakaway riders must win the day.
Michael Rasmussen of Rabobank drives ahead of the field to make some climbers' points at the summit, taking 8th over the climb.
4th climb, 1st Category Col de la Colombiére (points doubled):
1) Gerdemann (TMO) +30 pts
2) Landaluze (EUS) +26 pts
3) de la Fuente (SDV) +22 pts
4) Lefevre (BTL) +18 pts
5) Soler (BAR) +16 pts
6) Fofonov (CA) +14 pts
7) Elmiger (AG2R) +12 pts
8) Rasmussen (RAB) +10 pts
Gerdemann is nailing the descent, fluidly stretching the gap back to Landaluze. It looks like Gerdemann will have a double victory -- the stage win and the yellow jersey.
With 5 kilometers to ride, Landaluze trails by 32 seconds and the peloton is at 3:26.
Gerdemann keeps his head down all the way to the line for the biggest victory of his career. He'll take over the yellow and white jersey leads, as well. Landaluze crosses 40 seconds back, then de la Fuente at 1:39. The select group with the GC threats was 3:38 back, with Juan Manuel Garate leading the way.
For real-time updates, try my Twitter feed, which you can send to your instant messaging client or your mobile phone.
June 27, 2007
Discos fill out Tour dance card
- Discovery Channel 2007 Tour de France roster:
- Alberto Contador (Spain)
- Vladimir Gusev (Russia)
- George Hincapie (USA)
- Levi Leipheimer (USA)
- Egoi Martinez (Spain)
- Benjamin Noval (Spain)
- Sergio Paulinho (Portugal)
- Yaroslav Popovych (Ukraine)
- Tomas Vaitkus (Lithuania)
Director Johan Bruyneel said he has three goals for the Tour: Leipheimer on the podium, a stage win for the team, and Contador in the Best Young Rider jersey in Paris.
Hincapie won Stage 15 of the 2005 Tour, and led the race for a day last year. Popovych took Stage 12 of last year's Tour, and was himself the Best Young Rider in 2005. Leipheimer was 6th overall in the 2005 Tour, and is coming off a win at this year's Tour of California and two stage wins at the Tour de Georgia.
Stijn Devolder, who had been racing very well, will watch the Tour from home, as will veterans José Luis Rubiera and Pavel Padrnos.
With some discussion of Devolder's non-selection.
Bruyneel tips Vinokourov, with nods to Cadel Evans, Vladimir Karpets, Denis Menchov, and Carlos Sastre.
He also admitted the doping craziness is impacting the team's search for a new sponsor.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 27, 2007 in 2007 team rosters, Alberto Contador, Egoi Martinez, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Top Stories, Tour de France 2007, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack