April 20, 2007
Tour director Prudhomme wants Puerto riders excluded again
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme still wants riders implicated in last year's Operación Puerto to be banned from this year's race, potentially derailing Ivan Basso's plans to ride for wins in the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France.
In a story in L'Equipe, Prudhomme said, “Cycling cannot afford to let riders named in the case enter the Tour if they are not cleared of suspicion.”
Jan Ullrich, who announced his retirement last month, is the only rider currently facing charges for involvement in the investigation. Other riders, including Basso, were named by investigators as possible clients of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, but, one by one, the others have been cleared by their national federations. The case was closed when a Spanish judge found that no laws were likely broken in Spain, which had no anti-doping law.
Prudhomme told L'Equipe that the DNA link that German officials claim to have made between Ullrich and 9 bags of blood stored by Fuentes gives him hope: “Now we know it's possible to establish the truth.”
November 14, 2006
Mancebo to join Hamilton, Ullrich at Tinkoff?
At this point, maybe it should just name itself the Operación Puerto squad, but the new Tinkoff Credit Systems team looks likely to sign a top crop of riders, many of whom were named in the Spanish doping investigation.
Tinkoff has apparently already signed (but not announced the signing of) Tyler Hamilton. Now they have a 1.2 million euro offer on the table to AG2R's Francisco Mancebo, who said he would hang up his bike after being implicated in the investigation and withdrawn on the eve of the 2006 Tour. Mancebo now has a fallback position if AG2R follows through on Vincent Lavenu's statement that the team will drop him.
Tinkoff is also reportedly pursuing 1997 Tour winner Jan Ullrich, also named in the investigation.
July 01, 2006
Why the 9 riders were suspended
What made T-Mobile so quickly sever its relationship with Jan Ullrich? What's been shown to teams so far is the 38-page summary of the 500-page Spanish Civil Guard report, and it turns out that Spanish Civil Guard authorities had phone and SMS records that appear to show a chain of communications between someone calling himself “Rudicio” and Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes.
Late on May 17, Fuentes got an SMS message from “Rudicio,” trying to set up a conversation. The next day, around noon, he got a call from the same number, and told the caller he was busy, and could talk that evening. “But there's a time trial,” the dossier quotes the caller as saying. Ullrich's longtime trainer is Rudy Pevenage, and on May 18, Jan Ullrich won the Giro time trial.
Additionally, the codename ‘Jan’ (and I hope we somehow find that these guys weren't so dumb as to think ‘Jan’ is a good codename for someone named, um, ‘Jan’) is 4 times listed in a lab document concerning stored blood, human growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor, and testosterone patches.
At Ignacio Labarta's home, police found documents on Francisco Mancebo's annual training regimen, with symbols the police recognized from other lab documents as relating to blood transfusions and medicines, and which the Civil Guard claims identifies Mancebo as client number 17 on the numbered blood bags.
Oscar Sevilla, Santiago Botero, and Jorg Jaksche were allegedly seen arriving with Fuentes and Labarta at an apartment where “four bags of blood were refrigerated.” I don't know if they mean the four bags were found when the raids went down, but I assume that's the implication.
As for Basso, the case against him seems more circumstantial: Investigators claim Labarto referred to him, and José-Enrique Gutierrez, on the phone with Fuentes as Fuentes clients, and the Civil Guard then made the link with the codename “Barrillo,” Basso's dog's name.
Manolo Saiz apparently established the relationship between Roberto Heras and Dr. Fuentes. When he was questioned May 24, Saiz told Spanish officials that Heras insisted on using Fuentes as his team doctor, over the objections of Saiz. That seems a little strange, given that Heras is out of the sport, but Saiz was still involved with Fuentes.
Finally, officials claim they found references to Joseba Beloki in a lab document with notations for HGH, IGF-1, testosterone patches, EPO, anabolic steroids, and blood transfusions.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 1, 2006 in Doping, Francisco Mancebo, Jan Ullrich, Jorg Jaksche, Jose Enrique Gutierrez, Joseba Beloki, Manolo Saiz, Santiago Botero | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack
June 30, 2006
Mancebo to retire, Ullrich and Basso to fight allegations
AG2R's Francisco Mancebo is apparently throwing up his hands, rather than either maintaining his innocence or admitting guilt in connection with the Operación Puerto investigation. He told procycling.com, “I consider myself innocent and I have never tested positive. I’m just going to see how this all evolves now. I’m sick of this world, I am going to hang to my bike up.”
Jan Ullrich continues to maintain his innocence, after being withdrawn from the Tour de France by his T-Mobile team.
“The only thing I can say so far is that I'm shocked, that I still have nothing to do with this, that I'm a victim now and that I'm prepared [for the Tour] in this year like never before,” Ullrich told reporters outside his hotel near Strasbourg, before leaving for home.
“This is the worst case of my career so far. I'll go on fighting at any rate. But at this moment, I'm desperate.”
The team says it will demand “evidence of Ullrich's innocence,” or may sever ties completely.
As for Basso, he's going to the lawyers:
"I have nothing to do with all this, but I will let my lawyers speak about this before me," Basso told Italian television.
"I'm totally relaxed. I'm waiting for someone to prove to me that I am guilty," said Basso.
Riis is distancing himself from his Giro winner:
Riis noted that Basso's contract forbids him from working with doctors from outside their CSC team.
"Ivan must prove with his lawyer that he is innocent. I believe in Ivan but I have been forced to take the necessary steps," Riis said.
Also, the updated official start list is up (check your favorite surviving rider's bib number - Julich gets 11, Klöden 21).
Who's out: Which riders won't start?
There are only 10 riders from the provisional Tour start list on the list of names under investigation in Spain, including 1 reserve. All will be withdrawn from the Tour.
- Isidro Nozal
- Jorg Jaksche
- Joseba Beloki
- Reserve: Aitor Osa
- Added Friday: Alberto Contador
- Added Friday: Allan Davis
Update: Astaná-Würth withdrew from the Tour on Friday afternoon. That adds Vinokourov, Kashechkin, Bazayev, and Sanchez as riders from the provisional start list not on the final start list.
- Ivan Basso
- Francisco Mancebo
- Jan Ullrich
- Oscar Sevilla
Some mainstream press reports have “dozens of others being excluded from the Tour, but that's not the case. There are almost 40 riders named in the 500-page report, but only these 10 were on their team's provisional Tour roster, so only they can be excluded from the Tour.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 30, 2006 in Andrey Kashechkin, Doping, Francisco Mancebo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Jorg Jaksche, Joseba Beloki, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack
June 29, 2006
Basso, Ullrich, Mancebo among riders in Puerto report
Spanish radio network Cadena Ser reports that both Tour de France favorites are named in the Operación Puerto evidence files, unsealed by a Spanish judge today.
Phonak riders José Enrique Gutierrez and Santiago Botero, withheld by the team from competition until the case was cleared up, and former Phonak rider Tyler Hamilton are also listed.
Roberto Heras, suspended from Liberty Seguros (now Astaná-Würth), and AG2R's Francisco Mancebo, have also been named, with about 50 other athletes (not all cyclists) likely to follow as the press gets the evidence files.
Tour organizers had pressed for the names of implicated riders to be released. Now they may be wishing they hadn't.
The story at El Pais (in Spanish) doesn't mention Basso, but adds T-Mobile's Oscar Sevilla, suspended Phonak rider Santago Perez, Astaná-Würth's Joseba Beloki, Angel Edo and Quiquie Gutierrez (?).
De Telegraaf claims that Rabobank's Juan Antonio Flecha and Denis Menchov (in Dutch) are also named in the 500 page report.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 29, 2006 in Doping, Francisco Mancebo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Jose Enrique Gutierrez, Manolo Saiz, Roberto Heras, Santiago Botero, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006, Tyler Freaking Hamilton | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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 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 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
May 15, 2006
Leipheimer back in Europe for Tour of Catalonia
Levi Leipheimer is back in Europe for the Tour of Catalonia (aka the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya). A number of other 2006 Tour likelies will also take the start, including Phonak's Santigo Botero, Rabobank's Denis Menchov, T-Mobile's Giusepe Guerini, CSC's Fabian Cancellara and Stuart O'Grady, Cadel Evans, Francisco Mancebo, Inigo Landaluze (fresh from an overturned suspension), Thor Hushovd, Erik Zabel, and Filippo Pozzato.
Today's stage is a short time trial, 12.6 km (about 7.5 miles) in length.
Update: VeloNews reports this morning that, in pre-race blood tests, former Liberty Seguros rider Jan Hruska of the Czech Republic, now riding for 3 Molinos (sponsored by The Wallflowers?) failed his hematocrit and is barred from racing for 2 weeks.
Posted by Frank Steele on May 15, 2006 in Cadel Evans, Denis Menchov, Erik Zabel, Fabian Cancellara, Filippo Pozzato, Francisco Mancebo, Levi Leipheimer, Santiago Botero, Stuart O'Grady, Thor Hushovd | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
July 20, 2005
Stage 17 underway
There's an enormous break up the road: 17 guys, including representatives from 14 teams. Discovery has placed Savoldelli and Rubiera, T-Mobile has Oscar Sevilla, CSC has Kurt-Asle Arvesen. Bouyges Telecom's French national champion Pierrick Fedrigo is there as well, leading by 20 minutes plus. With 2 riders up front, it's possible that Discovery will take back the team competition lead from T-Mobile, where they trail by just under 20 minutes. The leading 17 has split in two: Paolo Savoldelli, Oscar Sevilla, Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Bram Tankink, Sebastien Hinault, Daniele Righi and Andrey Grivko, and Simon Gerrans have made the front group, while Erik Dekker, Rubiera, Allan Davis, Dario Cioni, Stephane Auge, Pierrick Fedrigo, Carlos Da Cruz, Samuel Dumoulin, and Thomas Lovkvist are about a minute back. The peloton is 22 minutes plus behind the Sevilla group. Finally, with 20 or so kilometers to ride, T-Mobile has come to the front to defend their team lead. The gap between the two lead groups is up to around 2:30. At 10 km, the 8 leaders have 2:49 on the chase group and more than 24 minutes on the peloton. On the day's last climb, Savoldelli and Hinault get a 10-second gap on the lead group. Gerrens and Arvesen try to bridge, and chase for about 4 kilometers. As they close, Savoldelli attacks Hinault, but it's short-lived and the four ride together with less than 2km to ride. Now Arvesen attacks! He's gone with 1 k to go. Hinault and Savoldelli are chasing, winding up the sprint with under 500 meters to ride, they're to Arvesen, and Savoldelli comes around and takes the stage! On the final 3rd-Category climb, Vinokourov launches an attack! He's split the peloton in half, and yesterday's big winner, Cadel Evans is in a group off the back, with Christophe Moreau and Floyd Landis. They're almost 15 seconds back. Evans is working at the front of the dropped group, but it looks like the gap will hold. Armstrong's group of just 10 men comes in at 22:28, with Popovych, Leipheimer, Ullrich, Rasmussen, Basso, and Mancebo. Then, 20 seconds back, comes a group containing Evans, Christophe Moreau, and Floyd Landis. Vinokourov climbs up to 7th overall, as Landis slides to 9th.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 20, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Cadel Evans, Christophe Moreau, Floyd Landis, Francisco Mancebo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Paolo Savoldelli, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0)
July 17, 2005
Stage 15 wrapup
I haven't been willing to say this Tour's race for yellow is over, but I get that feeling tonight. There aren't a lot of opportunities left to put time into Lance Armstrong, and he's got quite a bit in hand.
Jan Ullrich and T-Mobile apparently agree: over at the T-Mobile team website, Andreas Klöden suggests T-Mobile isn't aiming for the win anymore, when he says “My position on the GC doesn’t matter to me. We want to get Jan on the podium, and we can achieve that.”
Your papers, please
VeloNews/Casey B. Gibson
Thinking back on the final ascent to Ax-3-Domaines yesterday, when T-Mobile had isolated Armstrong in the Pailhères climb and the ever more courageous Vinokourov attacked again, Ullrich admitted his defeat in his personal website: "That was the moment where I should have gotten Armstrong," he wrote. "But in the end, on the last kilometre, he was stronger than me again. But it was a great fight on a sporting level and that's why I'm satisfied with my performance."
Ullrich also got stopped by French police as he rode down the mountain after the stage (photo at right). Once they realized who he was, he was allowed to continue, but it's a sign of how things are going for the 1997 Tour champ.
Phonak's Oscar Pereiro, 2nd on the day, wasn't happy about Hincapie's wheelsucking ways.
"This is a sporting competition and sometimes the strongest man doesn't win," said Pereiro, who couldn't respond when Hincapie punched the accelerator in the final kilometers.
"It was all day on the wheel, this is something you have to take notice of. I had hoped to drop him because I knew he would be strong in the sprint," he said. "He said, ‘Let's work together and try to get to the finish line,' then it seemed like I was doing all the work. It just didn't work out for me."
You could compare it to Chris Horner's anger at Carlos da Cruz during Stage 13, except that drafting plays a smaller role on climbing stages. Given their styles, Pereiro was doomed when his testing accelerations, and the attack by Pietro Caucchioli, failed to dislodge Hincapie, presumably a weaker climber. After that, of course Hincapie was content to sit in for the two-up sprint.
1) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, 62:09:59
2) Ivan Basso, CSC, at 2:46
3) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, at 3:09
4) Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, at 5:58
5) Francisco Mancebo, Illes Balears, at 6:31
6) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, at 7:35
7) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at 9:33
8) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, at 9:38
9) Christophe Moreau, Credit Agricole, at 11:47
10) Andreas Kloden, T-Mobile, at 12:01
Note to cycling press: Hincapie was born in New York, but now lives in Greenville, S.C. Other fairly high-level riders with homes in the Southeast include Credit Agricole's Saul Raisin of Dalton, Georgia, and Australia's Nathan O'Neill of Navigators, who lives in Braselton, Georgia.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 17, 2005 in Andreas Klöden, Francisco Mancebo, George Hincapie, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Magnus Backstedt, Saul Raisin | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack
July 16, 2005
Stage 14: Climb to Ax-3 Domaines
Georg Totschnig is first to the day's last climb.
Vinokourov, who's struggled to get back to Armstrong's group, just rode straight through and attacked. Somehow, once again, you've got T-Mobile chasing Vinokourov down. Klöden and Ullrich have brought him back.
Cadel Evans can't hold the new pace, and he's off the back. Vinokourov, Zubeldia, Mancebo, are in trouble at the back.
Klöden, Ullrich, Armstrong, Landis, Leipheimer, Basso, Mancebo, and Rasmussen together. One of the Euskaltels has come back with the pace returning to normal after Vino's attack. Zubeldia off the back.
Basso launches an exploratory attack, and Landis and Leipheimer are slightly gapped, but Rasmussen, Mancebo, and Klöden are off the back. They've caught another back marker, Walter Beneteau. Bye, bye, Beneteau. Now Leipheimer is off the back. Landis is gapped. Unless they do something special, Basso, Ullrich and Armstrong are going to make up time at the summit.
They're down under 3 minutes behind Totschnig. Armstrong takes the pace up a little, but he's matched. Garzelli, the last survivor of an early break, is caught, and the gap to Totschnig is 2:30.
Whatever's going to happen, it's going to be Armstrong, Basso, and Ullrich: Totschnig may take the stage, but he's 14+ minutes down on the GC. The gap is now 2:01.
Gap is 1:39. Armstrong, Ullrich and Basso all taking their turns. Armstrong can play defense here: He's got big gaps on both these guys. Seems like Basso or Ullrich has to attack.
Sorry, Byron: There goes Ullrich, off the back. Armstrong is doing all the work. Basso is on his wheel.
Totschnig gets the win in a 190-kilometer breakaway! It's down to Armstrong and Basso for 2nd and 3rd. They're picking up the pace, and Armstrong is getting a time gap, and he sprints in for 2nd. Basso third, Ullrich is coming in at 1:20 to Totschnig.
2) Armstrong, at :56
3) Basso, at :58
4) Ullrich, at 1:20
5) Leipheimer, at 1:31
6) Landis, same time
7) Mancebo, at 1:47
8) Rasmussen, same time
9) Andreas Klöden, at 2:06
10) Haimar Zubeldia, at 2:20
Posted by Frank Steele on July 16, 2005 in Cadel Evans, Floyd Landis, Francisco Mancebo, Georg Totschnig, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen | Permalink | Comments (8)
July 13, 2005
Stage 11 underway
There have been a couple of opportunistic breakaways this morning, with the biggest being an attack from Alexandre Vinokourov, who is now riding with Santiago Botero and Oscar Pereiro of Phonak, and Egoi Martinez of Euskaltel-Euskadi. Initially, their group also included Francisco Mancebo, Roberto Heras, Pietro Caucchioli, and Chris Horner, but those four were dropped on the Madeleine.
Pereiro had a dramatic off-road experience going off the side of the road on the descent, and down a small hill. He was able to come back up, get on board, and recapture the break.
Thor Hushovd (!) and Samuel Dumoulin also spent some time in front. Presumably, Hushovd had an eye toward the first intermediate sprint of the day, but he's been picked up by the main field.
Green jersey Tom Boonen crashed again, around 10 kilometers into the stage. The race doctor spent time working on his knee, and Guido Trenti spent quite a while pacing Boonen back to the field.
On the Col de la Madeleine, Botero took max mountain points, followed by Vinokourov, Pereiro, Martinez, and then Christophe Moreau and Michael Rasmussen in the peloton.
Discovery shucked a lot of riders on the day's first climb, but there are still 6 or 7 Discos driving the field. There may be 40 riders in the Armstrong group, and they're letting Botero and Vinokourov's group sit around 1:30 up the road. They must be able to see them on some of these roads.
Vinokourov picks up a 6 second time bonus at the sprint line; his group is closing on a 2 minute gap to the peloton. They're also closing on the Col du Telegraphe -- time to climb.
Egoi Martinez is off the lead group early on the Telegraphe, and now so is Botero. Botero battles back up to Vino and Pereiro!
The trio is 1:58 in front of Armstrong's group, which includes Rubiera, Savoldelli, Popovych, Hincapie, and Beltran, and Azevedo.
Jean-Patrick Nazon and Kim Kirchen have both abandoned today. On the Galibier, Quick Step's Stefano Zanini joins them.
As the lead three hit the summit of the Telegraphe, their gap has stretched to almost 3 minutes. Ullrich, Valverde, Basso, Klöden, Landis, Leipheimer, Rasmussen, Moreau, and Chris Horner are all still in the 40-strong Armstrong group. Botero again gets max mountain points, then Vinokourov, then Pereiro.
On the Galibier, Vinokourov and Botero have dropped Pereiro; looks like he's toasted. Mayo keeps falling off the Armstrong group. The gap reached 3:30, but it's coming down now, at about 3:00.
Beltran has finally fallen off the lead group.
Vinokourov has dropped Botero.
Down to 26 riders in the Armstrong group. Vinokourov is 3:15 up on Armstrong with 6 kilometers to the top. I don't think Armstrong can count on catching Vinokourov on the descent.
Rubiera is popped. Armstrong catches Pereiro; Horner is off the back; Armstrong has Azevedo, Hincapie, Popovych and Savoldelli. The gap is 3:06.
Armstrong's group is down below 20 with 4 supporting Discos. Guerini is off the back with Klöden and Michael Rogers. The gap has dropped to 2:47.
Vinokourov is going to take the Henri Desgrange prize for the first man to the Tour's highest point. Less than 1 kilometer to the top for Vino.
Armstrong has lost another Disco. Botero continues to struggle in between Vinokourov and the chasers. He may catch Vinokourov on the descent.
Vino is first over, Botero is :38 seconds back. Rasmussen has launched an attack and has a good gap on Armstrong. Rasmussen showed us his descending skills the other day. It's going to be an interesting run-in to Briançon.
I'm starting a new post for the last 40 k; if you've been reloading this page, check the home page for the new post.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 13, 2005 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Bobby Julich, Chris Horner, Christophe Moreau, Floyd Landis, Francisco Mancebo, George Hincapie, Iban Mayo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Joseba Beloki, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Michael Rogers, Paolo Savoldelli, Roberto Heras, Santiago Botero, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
July 12, 2005
BBC Stage 10 photo gallery
Those damn Cutters: photo from BBC Sport
Your current GC:
1) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, 37:11:04
2) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, at :38
3) Ivan Basso, CSC, at 2:40
4) Christophe Moreau, Credit Agricole, at 2:42
5) Alejandro Valverde (Spain) Illes Balears, at 3:16
6) Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner at 3:58
7) Francisco Mancebo (Spain) Illes Balears at 4:00
8) Jan Ullrich (Germany) T-Mobile at 4:02
9) Andreas Klöden (Germany) T-Mobile at 4:16
10) Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak at 4:16
Looking farther back:
11) Botero, at 5:20
16) Vinokourov, 6:32
17) Julich, 6:32
21) Beloki at 8:31
23) Karpets at 9:03
24) Chris Horner, at 9:05
25) Michael Rogers, at 9:10
30) Georg Totschnig, at 11:43
36) Roberto Heras, at 12:59
45) Denis Menchov, at 16:16
50) Brad McGee, at 18:28
66) Iban Mayo, at 27:31
Basso, Leipheimer, Valverde, and Rasmussen all sit closer to the race lead than they did yesterday. They had the best days for riders not born in Texas. Unfortunately for them, they're not chasing down Jens Voigt from here on out.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Bobby Julich, Bradley McGee, Cadel Evans, Christian Vande Velde, Denis Menchov, Floyd Landis, Francisco Mancebo, Iban Mayo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Michael Rogers, Roberto Heras, Santiago Botero, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Stage 10 on last climb
Armstrong is in a group of five, but now he's upped the tempo again! Basso is off the back!
Only Rabobank's King of the Mountains, Michael Rasmussen, and the two Illes Balears riders, Valverde and Mancebo, can hold his wheel.
Ullrich is about a minute down, and Voigt, this morning's yellow jersey is more than 10 minutes back. They've still got 5 miles to ride.
The four are sharing work, with Rasmussen taking fewer pulls than the others.
They're coming up on the 1k marker, and there's a steeper section.
Rasmussen picks up the pace, but he's countered. Valverde was looking for it. Armstrong is just sitting in. I don't think he'll beat Valverde in a sprint.
There goes Armstrong from 500 meters!
Valverde grabs his wheel. I think it's Valverde's stage....
Armstrong sits up, and Valverde wins his first Tour de France stage!
Now the former contenders come in: Basso at 1:00, Leipheimer at 1:12 or so. Landis, Evans, Moreau, Ullrich, Klöden: 2:15 to the line. Vinokourov and Julich: 5 minutes plus.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2005 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Bobby Julich, Cadel Evans, Christophe Moreau, Floyd Landis, Francisco Mancebo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen | Permalink | Comments (10)
Stage 10 underway
First rider to drop out on the day was Lampre's Gerrit Glomser; he's the 16th rider out, leaving 173 in the race.
An opportunistic break was allowed to get 13:30 out in front; the biggest name and highest placed rider to make that break is Laurent Brochard, the former world champion, sitting 49th, 7:58 back this morning. Brochard, of course, has the peloton's worst mullet.
So much for "making CSC control the pace": Discovery is still doing most of the work on Cormet de Roselend. Discovery looks to be performing to expectations: Their pace is sending more than just pack fodder off the back: Iban Mayo has fallen off, and yellow jersey Jens Voigt is at the back of the lead group. Beltran is doing the pacemaking, and even Padrnos is still in the lead group, shadowing Voigt.
Brochard's group is 4:45 up the road from Armstrong, Ullirch, Leipheimer, Landis, Pereiro, Julich, Moreau, Vinokourov, and others. Voigt has yo-yoed off the back of the lead group and rejoined.
Over the top of the Col de Roselend, Pereiro attacks, and is joined by Jorg Jaksche of Liberty Seguros. The Brochard-to-big guns gap is 3:43 at the summit.
Popovych crashed on the descent, apparently with a team car, but got a new bike, and is chasing back onto Armstrong's group. Looks like he hit CSC's team car, and may have tangled and lost with the front fender of one of Discovery's Subarus.
The peloton has grown as riders dropped on the first climb chase back on. Discovery is still doing all the pacemaking.
Jaksche and Pereiro have caught the break, which is now composed of Brochard (Bouyges), Jaksche (Liberty), Pereiro (Phonak), Luis Sanchez (Liberty), Gianluca Bortolami (Lampre), Mauro Facci (Fassa Bortolo), Yuriy Krivtsov (AG2R), Inaki Isasi (Euskaltel), and Joost Posthuma (Rabobank). Pereiro started 5:12 behind Voigt this morning.
Discovery has brought back everyone from the early break except Jaksche, Pereiro and Brochard, and it won't be long on those three.
Roberto Heras and Denis Menchov are toasted and off the back. Mayo reportedly likewise, Beloki is off the back. CSC finally is making a move, sending Sastre off the front. Discovery lets him dangle off the front, but he doesn't have the legs to go.
Guerini off the back, Moreau off the back, Vladimir Karpets off the back. Horner off the back. Julich off the back. Botero off the back. Five Discovery riders up front. Only about 20 riders in total still in contention. Sastre falling off this group, paying for his attempted break.
Leipheimer, Vino, Landis, Ullrich, Basso all are still in Armstrong's group. Valverde is also there. Discovery has started to pay for the pace; Popovych is the only Discovery left. Vinokourov is back at the back of the group of 16 riders; Mancebo is there. Vinokourov is dropped! T-Mobile has Klöden and Ullrich up front.
Popovych is popped, and IT'S ON! Armstrong blows the group of 14 into a group of 5 or so: Armstrong, Basso, Valverde, Rasmussen, and Mancebo! Goodbye, Klöden, Ullrich, Leipheimer, Julich, and Landis. They've still got 10 kilometers to ride!
Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2005 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Cadel Evans, Christophe Moreau, Denis Menchov, Francisco Mancebo, Iban Mayo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Jens Voigt, Jorg Jaksche, Joseba Beloki, Lance Armstrong, Laurent Brochard, Michael Rasmussen, Roberto Heras, Santiago Botero, Vladimir Karpets, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack
June 12, 2005
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
June 11, 2005
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)
September 22, 2004
Heras extends lead at VueltaEurosport.com | Heras extends overall lead
Colombian Felix Cardenas stomped to a bold mountain-summit win in Stage 17 of the Vuelta a Espana Wednesday, as Liberty Seguros rider Roberto Heras, third on the stage, pulled further into the overall lead. Alejandro Valverde (Kelme) cracked off the back, finishing the stage 3 min 11 sec adrift."Heras leads Phonak's Santiago Perez by 1:13, while Valverde fell from 2nd to 3rd, now just 1 second ahead of Illes Balears rider Francisco Mancebo, who was 4th on the day. The stage win by Cardenas suggests he'll take the Vuelta's overall climbing jersey into the Madrid finish on Sunday.
July 18, 2004
Klöden given free rein, Mancebo seeks podium
More from cyclingnews.com:
Jan Ullrich reports that T-Mobile teammate Andreas Klöden is free to ride his own ride:
"For me 'Klödi' has been a revelation in this Tour. I hope he can maintain his current level all the way to Paris. He was clearly the better man in the Pyrenees, so I've given him 'Carte Blanche' in the Alps. I certainly won't split hairs over who works for whom."
"Use 'Klödi' just as a helper when he's in the form of his life? No way! For a start, I know he is currently capable of leaving me in his wake. That's not a good thing for my morale. Secondly, I don't want to make the mistake of using him to pace me in the Alps. I need to ride at my own rhythm."
"In all truth, I was quite content to plough my own furrow on the climb to Plateau de Beille. It will only make sense to enlist Klödi's help in the Alps if its to our mutual benefit. If I think he has the stronger legs, then he not only should, but must, go for it alone."
Also, Francisco Mancebo of Illes Balear-Banesto discounts his chances at overall victory in this Tour:
"From this point on, the Tour will be decided between Armstrong and Basso," Mancebo told L'Equipe. "There's only third place to fight for, for which I am a candidate just like Klöden, Totschnig and don't forget Totschnig and Azevedo. I tried to attack and test Armstrong's group with the hope that some riders would follow. Unfortunately, nobody wanted to, or nobody could. The key to this stage and no doubt for the Tour is the collective strength of US Postal. If Armstrong wins, it's clear he owes that to his team."
Also also, Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel are giving race director Jean-Marie Leblanc the silent treatment, apparently because the Tour organization tried very hard to get US Postal's Pavel Padrnos excluded from the race:
"Armstrong doesn't greet me any more, but that is up to him."