June 13, 2007

Vinokourov wins Dauphine TT, takes race lead

Vinokourov takes the leadAstana put on a time trialing show in Anneyron today, with Alexandre Vinokourov powering in 9 seconds faster than teammate Andrey Kashechkin, and 38 seconds ahead of CSC's Dave Zabriskie.

As expected, the TT shuffled the leaderboard ahead of the stage up Mont Ventoux tomorrow. Vinokourov, the defending Vuelta champion who was prevented from starting last year's Tour because many of his teammates were allegedly connected to Operación Puerto, showed he's the pre-race Tour favorite. He moves into the overall race lead.

Discovery Channel's Levi Leipheimer finished 8th on the day, 1:11 slower than Vinokourov, while teammate George Hincapie was caught on the course by Kashechkin, his 2-minute man.

Denis Menchov of Rabobank, currently in 4th place and 40 seconds back, won the climb of Ventoux at the Dauphiné last year, where Vinokourov was a disappointing 81st, 13:10 back. Tomorrow should be an interesting race.

Preliminary Top 10:
1) Alexander Vinokourov, Kazakhstan, Astana, in 52:08
2) Andrey Kashechkin, Kazakhstan, Astana, at :09
3) Dave Zabriskie, USA, Team CSC, at :38
4) Cadel Evans, Australia, Predictor-Lotto, at :39
5) Denis Menchov, Russia, Rabobank, at :40
6) Stef Clement, Netherlands, Bouygues Telecom, same time
7) Sylvain Chavanel, France, Cofidis, at 1:10
8) Levi Leipheimer, USA, Discovery Channel, at 1:11
9) Alejandro Valverde, Spain, Caisse d'Epargne, at 1:18
10) David Millar, UK, Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 1:40
13) George Hincapie, USA, Discovery Channel, at 2:10
28) Bobby Julich, USA, CSC, at 3:02
Christian Vande Velde, USA, CSC, at 5:48

Preliminary overall:
1) Alexander Vinokourov, Kazakhstan, Astana
2) Andrey Kashechkin, Kazakhstan, Astana, at :02
3) Dave Zabriskie, USA, Team CSC, at :32
4) Denis Menchov, Russia, Rabobank, at :40
5) Cadel Evans, Australia, Predictor-Lotto, at :41
6) Levi Leipheimer, USA, Discovery Channel, at 1:03
7) Stef Clement, Netherlands, Bouygues Telecom
8) Sylvain Chavanel, France, Cofidis
9) Alejandro Valverde, Spain, Caisse d'Epargne


VeloNews | Kazakhs crush in Dauphiné TT

cyclingnews.com | Vino in perfect timing promotes Kash | Photo Gallery | Results | Standings

Posted by Frank Steele on June 13, 2007 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Cadel Evans, Dauphiné Libéré 2007, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, Denis Menchov, Georg Totschnig, Levi Leipheimer, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 08, 2006

So who are the team leaders?

Today was supposed to be the day when we found out the GC men for the teams with podium dreams. A few things have definitely cleared up.

There are a few guys who stepped up and showed they're the leaders of their teams, with hopes for high overall places: Landis is the man for Phonak, as expected; Cadel Evans for Davitamon-Lotto, Denis Menchov for Rabobank, Vladimir Karpets for Caisse d'Epargne, Christophe Moreau at AG2R. All finished within about 2 minutes of the Ukraine Train today.

CSC is back to one leader: Carlos Sastre. It was funny the first week of the Tour to read, within 24 hours, a US source touting Bobby Julich as the rider who would have to step up to fill Basso's shoes, Eurosport Germany referring to “new CSC leader Jens Voigt,” and to read that the team itself voted Sastre its captain. Sastre is the best rider of those three, and Julich's crash and Voigt's easy ride today reinforce that.

A bunch of other things are way foggier than they were yesterday.

Gerolsteiner claimed to have two co-captains, Totschnig and Leipheimer, coming into the Tour. After today, they're both 4+ minutes down, and Leipheimer may not be generating much power. They've got Marcus Fothen, who sits 5th, 1:50 back, and finished 12th in the 2005 Giro, but he's only 25 years old. He could compete for the young rider's jersey.

T-Mobile opened a big old powerful Pandora's Box full of superstrong riders. Their slowest rider today finished 14 seconds faster than Britain's TT specialist David Millar. They've got the 4 potential leaders we all thought Discovery Channel might show: Honchar, Michael Rogers, Andreas Klöden, and Patrik Sinkewitz, and I could make a case for any of them. Chris Carmichael tips Klöden, and I could see that: he's German and he's been through this before.

And what about Discovery Channel? Savoldelli has 20 seconds on George Hincapie, who had suggested the road would choose the team's leader through the first week and today's ITT. I've never seen Hincapie as crestfallen as on OLN's prime-time coverage; he really looked flattened. Popovych and Azevedo were even farther back today; I say Savoldelli's the horse to back. Marcello at VeloChimp.com agrees.

There are also a number of team leaders who are really hard to take seriously now, even with mad climbing skills: Gilberto Simoni is 5:34 down, Thomas Voeckler 5:35, Iban Mayo sits 6:11 down, and Damiano Cunego is at 7:06. David Moncoutié? 12:15 down.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 8, 2006 in Andreas Klöden, Bobby Julich, Cadel Evans, Christophe Moreau, Damiano Cunego, David Moncoutié, Denis Menchov, Floyd Landis, Georg Totschnig, Gilberto Simoni, Iban Mayo, Jens Voigt, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rogers, Patrik Sinkewitz, Sergei Honchar, Thomas Voeckler, Tour de France 2006, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 04, 2006

Tour Salad: Stage 3

rec.bicycles.racing | The Millar Line Explained

On rec.bicycles.racing, Ryan Cousineau is keeping track of the “Millar Line:” since Saunier Duval's David Millar is so loudly proclaiming that he's clean, anyone who finishes before him in a flat stage must therefore be doping, right?

Sprinters are excepted, by decree. There's some very funny stuff in the related threads.

Today, not so good: Millar Line Stage 3: They're all Guilty.

Also from rec.bicycles.racing, here's Bob Martin's summary for Stage 3. Michael Rogers isn't a complete slouch in the mountains. He may make things interesting.

Near the finish on Flickr: Kessler, Boogerd, Boonen, Freire, Bennati, then Totschnig (maybe Wegmann) and Rogers.

Oskar van Rijswijk is back! He had closed down his weblog for June, but he'll be joining the party now. Oskar's got a very complete list of Tour and ProTour links that he's currently updating.

PodiumCafe.com offers links to many of the rider diaries from around the web. I try to keep up with these, but it's a low-percentage play -- so many of them get updated before the prologue, and then sit idle for stage after stage. Of the listed diaries, O'Grady's was updated last night (understandable: he has a cracked vertebra), Leipheimer's is post-Prologue, Zabriskie's is from before the Tour, and Backstedt's was written before Stage 2.

Maybe it's a team budget thing, because a notable exception is Discovery Channel, which presumably knows how to run a network: Chris Brewer makes sure they have more than daily updates on their fansite, including daily Liz Kreutz photo galleries (here's today's) at ThePaceline.com (free registration required): Where else can you find out that Discovery sports director Johan Bruyneel got Belgian fritjes (i.e. french fries) delivered to the team car today, Vincent Vega-style.

They've also got daily Disco-centric updates on the team page, and an honest-to-God podcast.

T-Mobile also has an excellent (and linkable -- not all in Flash) site: Andreas Klöden's Tour diary is fresh, and there's an interview with today's winner Matthias Kessler already up: He says he won today “Vino-style.”

Posted by Frank Steele on July 4, 2006 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, David Millar, Georg Totschnig, Links, Michael Rogers, Oscar Freire, Tom Boonen | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kessler gets his stage, Boonen gets his yellow jersey

Matthias Kessler attacked over the Cauberg and kept his lead to the line, avenging his last second loss yesterday, earning T-Mobile probably its first bright spot of the 2006 Tour.

Just 5 seconds behind, world time trial champion Michael Rogers led in a group of strongman sprinters and GC candidates. In 3rd on the day was Lampre's Daniele Bennati, ahead of world champion Tom Boonen, who had made no secret of his intent to take today's stage.

He can take solace in the yellow jersey, the first ever for the 25-year-old world road champion, as Thor Hushovd came in 62nd, at 17 seconds back. He'll wear it in Belgium tomorrow, where he's a huge celebrity. Boonen also takes the lead in the green jersey competition as Robbie McEwen came in 34 seconds back in 89th. Lampre's Daniele Bennati, 4th on the day moves into 2nd in the points competition: Boonen 67, Bennati 66, McEwen 65, Hushovd 62, Zabel 59.

This was a “declare your intentions” day for the GC; if you're not riding for the overall, why break your legs on the Cauberg? Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Bobby Julich, Christian Vande Velde, Carlos Sastre, Paolo Savoldelli, Yarolav Popovych, Jose Azevedeo, Denis Menchov, Andreas Klöden, David Millar, Sergei Honchar, Cadel Evans, and even Gilberto Simoni all made the break to come in 5 seconds behind Kessler.

Bookie favorite Alejandro Valverde crashed and broke his collarbone with about 20 kilometers to ride in an overlap of wheels -- a wide-open Tour de France is even more so this evening. Also out are Freddie Rodriguez and Erik Dekker, who went down together and were taken to a local hospital.

Chris Horner came in 159th on the day, at 8:05. Stuart O'Grady rode in alone after an accident, 11:35 back, and Magnus Backstedt and Filippo Pozzato, 18:36 back, were the day's final finishers.

Top 10:
1) Matthias Kessler, T-Mobile, in 4:57:54
2) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, at :05
3) Daniele Bennati, Lampre, same time
4) Tom Boonen, QuickStep, s.t.
5) Erik Zabel, Milram, s.t.
6) Luca Paolini, Liquigas, s.t.
7) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, s.t.
8) Eddy Mazzoleni, T-Mobile, s.t.
9) Georg Totschnig, Gerolsteiner, s.t.
10) Fabian Wegmann, Gerolsteiner, s.t.

General Classification:
1) Tom Boonen, QuickStep
2) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, at :01
3) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at :05
4) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, at :07
5) Paolo Savoldelli, Discovery Channel, at :15
6) Daniele Bennati, Lampre, at :15
7) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at :16
8) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, at :15
9) Sergei Honchar, T-Mobile, at :17
10) Matthias Kessler, T-Mobile, at :17

Posted by Frank Steele on July 4, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Chris Horner, David Millar, Denis Menchov, Filippo Pozzato, Georg Totschnig, Magnus Backstedt, Michael Rogers, Oscar Freire, Paolo Savoldelli, Robbie McEwen, Sergei Honchar, Stage results, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006, Vladimir Karpets, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 16, 2006

Gerolsteiner names Tour nine

www.cyclingnews.com | Gerolsteiner names TdF squad

Gerolsteiner has named its final nine riders for the 2006 Tour, and named Levi Leipheimer and Georg Totschnig as captains, aiming for a podium spot in Paris.

    Gerolsteiner Tour squad:

  • Levi Leipheimer
  • Georg Totschnig
  • Markus Fothen
  • David Kopp
  • Sebastian Lang
  • Ronny Scholz
  • Fabian Wegmann
  • Peter Wrolich
  • Beat Zberg


  • Robert Forster
  • Rene Haselbacher
  • Volker Ordowski

Posted by Frank Steele on June 16, 2006 in Fabian Wegmann, Georg Totschnig, Levi Leipheimer | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 18, 2005

Leipheimer takes Tour of Germany lead

ESPN.com | Leipheimer wins stage, leads Tour of Germany

Gerolsteiner's Levi Leipheimer took Stage 4 at the Tour of Germany Thursday, jumping into the overall race lead.

Leipheimer's teammate Georg Totschnig was 15 seconds back for 2nd on the day, a 171.6-km stage finishing atop Austria's Rettenbachferner. T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich was 3rd, losing only 55 seconds to Leipheimer.

It was the highest mountaintop finish of the Euro season, at 2670 meters (8,760 feet) above sea level. Leipheimer called it “the most difficult climb of all the races we've done, including the Tour de France.”

Leipheimer and Totschnig's group shed Tadej Valjavec, Marco Fertonani (survivor of an earlier break), and Jorg Jaksche, leaving the two Gerolsteiners riding with one and a half T-Mobiles (Ullrich and Evans, who joins the team for 2006). Two kilometers from the top, the wasser boys began to gap Evans, and pushed the pace. When Totschnig couldn't hold on, Leipheimer rode away from his teammate late on the climb to try to gain maximum advantage on Ullrich ahead of Monday's time trial.

"I feel a little bit guilty because I know Georg wanted to win, but I felt so strong and I know he won a stage in the Tour," Leipheimer explained in the finish. "I hope he will forgive me. I hope to repay him in the next few days.

Top 10 overall after Stage 4:
1) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, in 19:17:02
2) Georg Totschnig, Gerolsteiner, at :18
3) Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, at :56
4) Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, at 1:22
5) Jorg Jaksche, Liberty Seguros, at 1:28
6) Tadej Valjavec, Phonak Hearing Systems, at 1:51
7) Saul Raisin, Credit Agricole, at 2:56
8) Fabian Jeker, Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 3:16
9) Patrik Sinkewitz, Quickstep, same time
10) Wim Van Huffel, Davitamon-Lotto, at 3:58


cyclingnews.com | Deutschland Tour Stage 4 | Photo gallery

Posted by Frank Steele on August 18, 2005 in Cadel Evans, Georg Totschnig, Jan Ullrich, Jorg Jaksche, Levi Leipheimer, Patrik Sinkewitz, Saul Raisin | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 16, 2005

cyclingnews.com Stage 14 photo gallery posted

www.cyclingnews.com | Stage 14 photo gallery

Totschnig on top Ullrich Crazy Colombian flag guy
Totschnig on top, Ullrich alone, and crazy Colombian flag guy --
from cyclingnews.com

Posted by Frank Steele on July 16, 2005 in 2005 Tour photo galleries, Georg Totschnig, Jan Ullrich | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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.

1) 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

Vinokourov battles back for stage win

T-Mobile's Alexandre Vinokourov takes Stage 11 with a tremendous day-long breakaway. Spending much of the break with former teammate Santiago Botero, Vinokourov repaired some of the damage done to his GC hopes in Tuesday's Stage 10.

The stage victory is the first for T-Mobile, whose director said Tuesday night that the team "are just not any good."

Christophe Moreau moved up into 3rd place in the overall with a sprint for the finish line bonus points. Bobby Julich finished 4th on the day.

Botero moves up into 6th for his day-long efforts, and Vinokourov moves into 12th, at 4:47.

Overall race leader Lance Armstrong lost a little more than a minute to Botero and Vinokourov, but further roasted a number of former GC hopefuls.

The autobus topped the Galibier just after the leading group finished the stage.

Stage Top 10:
1) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, 4:47:38
2) Santiago Botero, Phonak, at :01
3) Christophe Moreau, Credit Agricole, at 1:15
4) Bobby Julich, CSC, same time
5) Eddy Mazzoleni, Lampre-Caffita, s.t.
6) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, s.t.
7) Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, s.t.
8) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner
9) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank
10) Georg Totschnig, Gerolsteiner

Posted by Frank Steele on July 13, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Cadel Evans, Christophe Moreau, Georg Totschnig, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Santiago Botero, Stage results, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack

June 20, 2005

Gerolsteiner names Tour 9, CSC and Liberty Seguros close in

procycling.com | Shorts:

Levi Leipheimer will lead
Gerolsteiner's Tour squad.
  Photo by Frank Steele.

Gerolsteiner has finalized its Tour de France squad:

Levi Leipheimer
Georg Totschnig
Michael Rich
Sebastian Lang
Fabian Wegmann
Robert Förster
Ronny Scholz
Beat Zberg
Peter Wrolich

CSC's near-final squad:

Ivan Basso
Kurt-Asle Arvesen
Bobby Julich
Giovanni Lombardi
Carlos Sastre
Nicki Sorensen
Jens Voigt
David Zabriskie
Jakob Piil or Luke Roberts

Two Americans, with Christian Vande Velde home recuperating and looking toward the Vuelta in September.

Liberty Seguros is down to 11 Tour candidates:

René Andrle
Joseba Beloki
Alberto Contador
Allan Davis
Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano
Roberto Heras
Jörg Jaksche
Luis Leon Sanchez
Marcos Serrano
Angel Vicioso
Jan Hruska

Cycling4All.com probably maintains the most complete provisional Tour start list.

Posted by Frank Steele on June 20, 2005 in Alberto Contador, Bobby Julich, Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie, Fabian Wegmann, Georg Totschnig, Ivan Basso, Jens Voigt, Jorg Jaksche, Joseba Beloki, Levi Leipheimer, Roberto Heras | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack