July 10, 2005

Stage 9 underway

Who had 60 k in the Stage 9 Kirsipuu pool? Estonia's Jaan Kirsipuu, a four-time Tour stage winner who has started 12 Tours, has never made the race finish, and generally drops out early in the mountain stages. True to form, he's out of the race, leaving 177 riders contesting the stage.

José Angel Gomez of Saunier Duval-Prodir has dropped out, after possibly breaking his collarbone in a feed zone crash.

New polka-dot jersey Mickael Rasmussen rode out in a breakaway with fellow former mountain biker Dario Cioni of Liquigas-Bianchi. Rasmussen has taken max points over all the early 3rd Category climbs and the 2nd Category Grand Ballon. He's over Le Ballon d'Alsace, having led the field over every climb of the day.

Behind Rasmussen and are CSC's Jens Voigt and CA's Christophe Moreau. They've dropped Angel Vicioso and passed Cioni. Fallen off Voigt, Moreau, and Vicioso's group are Tour of Switzerland winner Inigo Landaluze, Alexandre Moos of Phonak, and Xabier Zandio of Illes Balears.

It looks likely that Armstrong will give up the yellow jersey tonight, but by how much and to whom? Either Rasmussen or Voigt could find himself in yellow tonight. Rasmussen will need 6 minutes on Voigt to take yellow, and over the top of the last climb, he had 4:20 in hand. Armstrong's group goes over 9:24 later.

Armstrong is down to 5 teammates, including Savoldelli, Azevedo, Hincapie, Popovych and Rubiera.

Advantage Voigt: Voigt and Moreau are taking some time back from Rasmussen.

Armstrong's group is down to perhaps 50 riders. We'll see if anybody can get back on the back. Voigt takes some bonus time at an intermediate sprint, so he needs no more than 54 seconds at the end of the day to take the race lead.

Didier Rous is involved in a crash back in the field. It looks like the 2-time French champion might have hit a road sign.

Voigt flats -- the team car was right there, but he'll lose a little time, and it will disrupt Voigt and Moreau's chase of Rasmussen, which had been under 4 minutes. Armstrong's group now trails Rasmussen by about 8:30.

Voigt is bringing time back on Rasmussen.

Rasmussen takes the stage -- how far back to Voigt? It's a 3:03 gap to Moreau, then Voigt.

Rabobank takes two consecutive stages. Now we'll wait to see what Voigt's yellow jersey lead will be.

Here come the big men, and, hello! It's Stuart O'Grady, who hung with the GC boys and will make some ground up in the green jersey competition with a 4th on the stage, with neither Hushovd nor Boonen anywhere to be seen. The gap to the Armstrong group is 6:04 -- Voigt will take off tomorrow with more than 2 minutes on Armstrong. Rasmussen is now in 4th on GC; he's somebody to keep an eye on.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 10, 2005 in Christophe Moreau, Jaan Kirsipuu, Jens Voigt, Michael Rasmussen, Stuart O'Grady | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 21, 2005

Parra takes Stage 13; il Falco poaches Basso for lead

BBC SPORT | Parra seals win as leader changes

Another stage win for the "minor" teams, as Ivan Parra of Selle Italia-Colombia managed to serve both team and self on a long breakaway through the Dolomites.

Parra was riding largely to support teammate José Rujano, seeking the overall Giro climber's jersey, but still had the legs to put 23 seconds into his breakmates and 4 minutes into the GC candidates.

Ivan Basso, complaining of stomach pains, couldn't hang on the day's last climb, and Discovery Channel's Paolo Savoldelli took advantage, gaining 1:08 on Basso (and 6 seconds on Gilberto Simoni), and moving into the race lead, 50 seconds up on Basso. Danilo Di Luca is nipping at Basso's heels, 53 seconds behind Savoldelli. Simoni is back at 2:16 in 4th.

Stage Top 10:
1) Ivan Parra, Selle Italia-Colombia 6:31:35
2) Juan Manuel Garate, Saunier Duval-Prodir, at :23
3) José Rujano, Selle Italia-Colombia, at :23
4) Pietro Caucchioli, Credit Agricole, at :27
5) Tadej Valjavec, Phonak, at 1:45
6) Matthias Kessler, T-Mobile, at 2:55
7) Giampaolo Caruso, Liberty Seguros, at 3:03
8) Wladimir Belli, Domina Vacanze, at 3:48
9) Paolo Savoldelli, Discovery Channel, at 4:00
10) Gilberto Simoni, Lampre, at 4:06

Also:

Eurosport.com | Savoldelli ignores Armstrong advice

Savoldelli told Eurosport Armstrong told him to sit tight after the stage win on Thursday, and to rely on his time-trial performance to beat Ivan Basso.

"I decided not to take his advice and attacked today. Now I've got the pink jersey I think I did the right thing."

Daily Peloton | Giro d'Italia Riders and Abandons - Updated 21 May

Many, many abandons today, including Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Discovery Channel's Ryder Hesjedal, Jaan Kirsipuu, Joseba Beloki, and, most surprisingly, potential GC contender Stefano Garzelli of Liquigas-Bianchi. Garzelli hurt his leg on a fall earlier this week, and just didn't have it when the road turned up. Perhaps with Di Luca riding so well, the team wanted to reset his season goals a bit, and avoid any conflict.

Posted by Frank Steele on May 21, 2005 in Danilo Di Luca, Gilberto Simoni, Giro d'Italia 2005, Ivan Basso, Jaan Kirsipuu, Joseba Beloki, Lance Armstrong, Paolo Savoldelli, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 10, 2005

Cancellara takes Stage 4, overall lead at Paris-Nice

Eurosport | Cancellara takes yellow

Swiss heartthrob Fabian Cancellara, who took the prologue and wore the leader's jersey at the 2004 Tour de France, took over the lead at Paris-Nice with a stage win over Estonian sprinter Jaan Kirsipuu.

Cancellara made a crucial break late with Fassa Bortolo teammate Juan Antonio Flecha, CSC's Bobby Julich, 2004 Paris-Nice winner Jorg Jaksche of Liberty Seguros, and Phonak's Nicolas Portal.

Cancellara and Flecha now lead the overall, with Flecha 15 seconds back. Then it's Bobby Julich at 20 seconds, Tom Boonen at 31 seconds, Erik Dekker at 33 seconds. CSC's Arvesen, Voigt, and Gusev are riders 7 through 9. CSC looks set up for a very nice overall.

Tomorrow's stage, to Mont-Faron, finishes with two 2nd-category climbs and a 1st-category up to the finish line.

Stage results

1. Fabian Cancellara, Fassa Bortolo, 2:11:03
2. Jaan Kirsipuu, Credit Agricole, same time
3. Juan Antonio Flecha, Fassa Bortolo, @ 2 secs
4. Bobby Julich, USA, CSC, @ 5 secs
5. Nicolas Jalabert, Phonak, @ 5 secs
6. Jorg Jaksche, Liberty Seguros, @ 5 secs
7. Iker Camano, Euskaltel, @ 8 secs
8. Nicolas Portal, AG2R, @ 10 secs
9. Paolo Bossoni, Fassa Bortolo, @ 22 secs
10. Tom Boonen, QuickStep, @ 32 secs

Overall standings

1. Fabian Cancellara, Fassa Bortolo, 10:09:50
2. Juan Antonio Flecha, Fassa Bortolo, @ 15 secs
3. Bobby Julich, CSC, @ 20 secs
4. Tom Boonen, QuickStep, @ 31 secs
5. Erik Dekker, Rabobank, @ 33 secs
6. Vicente Reynes, iBanesto, @ 35 secs
7. Kurt-Asle Arvesen, CSC, @ 36 secs
8. Jens Voigt, CSC, @ 37 secs
9. Vladimir Gusev, CSC, @ 40 secs
10. Philippe Gilbert, Francaise Des Jeux, @ 47 secs

Posted by Frank Steele on March 10, 2005 in Bobby Julich, Fabian Cancellara, Jaan Kirsipuu, Jorg Jaksche, Paris-Nice '05, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 07, 2005

Erik Dekker takes lead as Boonen takes Paris-Nice Stage 1

Eurosport | Boonen blazes victory trail

Northern Europe's fastest sprinter, QuickStep's Tom Boonen, won the first stage at Paris-Nice Monday.

Boonen nipped Luciano Pagliarini and Jaan Kirsipuu at the line, after a crash with 4.5 miles (7 kms) left 20 riders out in front of the pack.

Erik "How old am I anyway?" Dekker, who finished with the leaders and got some bonus time, takes over the race lead. Also among the leaders was Spain's Alejandro Valverde, and Guido Trenti, often of the US, who was 8th for the stage.

Discovery's Lance Armstrong reportedly went down in the crash, and needed some repairs. Like most of the field, he lost 40+ seconds to the leaders.

Also active today was Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano of Liberty Seguros, who took a flyer at the 45-km mark, and rode with Fabien Sanchez for 120 kms, or almost 80 miles.

Bobby Julich sits 9th overall, 7 seconds back, but will likely ride in support of Jens Voigt.

Also:

Daily Peloton | Paris Nice Stage One Live Coverage

BBC Sport | Boonen impresses in opening stage

Stage standings
1. BOONEN Tom, QuickStep, in 4:19:15
2. PAGLIARINI Luciano, Liquigas, same time
3. KIRSIPUU Jaan, Credit Agricole, same time
4. CASPER Jimmy, Cofidis, same time
5. DE JONGH Steven, Rabobank, same time
6. VALVERDE  Alejandro, iBanesto, same time
7. GILBERT Philippe, FDJeux.com, same time
8. TRENTI Guido, QuickStep, same time
9. ZABALLA Constantino, Saunier-Duval, same time
10. DEKKER Erik, Rabobank, same time

Overall standings
1. Erik Dekker (Rabobank) 4hr 24min 30sec
2. Jens Voigt (CSC) same time
3. Fabian Cancellara (Fassa Bortolo) at 02sec
4. Vladimir Gusev (CSC) at :03
5. Tom Boonen (QuickStep) at :04
6. Kurt-Asle Arvesen (CSC) at :07
7. Philippe Gilbert (FDJeux.com) at :07
8. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) at :07
9. Bobby Julich (CSC) at :07
10. Vicente Reynes (iBanesto) at :09
Also: 70. Lance Armstrong (Discovery) at 1:08

Posted by Frank Steele on March 7, 2005 in Alejandro Valverde, Bobby Julich, Erik Dekker, Jaan Kirsipuu, Jens Voigt, Lance Armstrong, Paris-Nice '05, Tom Boonen | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 04, 2004

Kirsipuu takes Stage 1

Estonia's Jaan Kirsipuu took Stage 1 into Charleroi in a field sprint ahead of Robbie McEwen and Thor Hushovd. Danilo Hondo and Jean-Patrick Nazon round out the Top 5.

Kirsipuu has 4 career Tour stage wins, most recently in 2002, and was the only person not named Lance Armstrong to wear the yellow jersey in 1999.

The Top 10:
1. Jaan Kirsipuu (AG2R)
2. Robbie McEwen (Lotto)
3. Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole)
4. Danilo Hondo (Gerolsteiner)
5. Jean-Patrick Nazon (AG2R)
6. Baden Cooke (fdjeux.com)
7. Kurt-Asle Arvesen (CSC)
8. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo)
9. Erik Zabel (T-Mobile)
10. Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros)

Cancellara holds the yellow jersey, and gains 6 seconds on Lance Armstrong based on time bonuses. Hushovd used time bonuses to jump into 2nd overall, 4 seconds behind Cancellara, while Armstrong falls to 3rd, 10 seconds back. Jens Voigt of CSC moves into 4th for the GC, while José Ivan Gutierrez of Illes Balear-Banesto rounds out the Top 5 overall.

Full results are up over at RoadCycling.com.

Armstrong loses the green jersey to Thor Hushovd of Credit Agricole, who will be sprinting for the yellow jersey the next two days. Kirsipuu is 2nd, Robbie McEwen 3rd, Danilo Hondo 4th, and Cancellara 5th.

Quick Step's Paolo Bettini becomes the first polka-dot jersey of the 2004 Tour, based on mountain points earned on low-category climbs during a breakaway along with CSC's Jens Voigt and 3 others.

It will be interesting to see who wears the red race numbers of the most agressive rider tomorrow: Voigt was in two long breakaways early, then Jakob Piil and Marc Wauters had a late breakaway that looked like it had a chance down to about 8 miles to ride. Update: It will be Voigt.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 4, 2004 in Alessandro Petacchi, Fabian Cancellara, Jaan Kirsipuu, Stage results, Thor Hushovd, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack