July 03, 2010
Where are they from, 2010 edition
Each year, I take a look at where the Tour's riders are from, with special attention to the traditionally English-speaking countries.
Here's this year's rundown:
Cadel Evans, BMC
Simon Gerrans, Sky
Adam Hansen, HTC-Columbia
Brett Lancaster, Cervelo
Matthew Lloyd, Omega Pharma-Lotto
Robbie McEwen, Katusha
Stuart O'Grady, Saxo Bank
Mark Renshaw, HTC-Columbia
Luke Roberts, Milram
Michael Rogers, HTC-Columbia
Wesley Sulzberger, Française des Jeux
Eleven! Up from 6 last year, and it's largely a return of the “Lone Australian” phenomenon -- only HTC-Columbia, with Hansen, Renshaw, and Rogers has more than one Aussie on the squad. Every 2009 Aussie returns, and add Gerrans and Hansen, alternates last year, plus Roberts, Sulzberger, and perennial sprint threat McEwen.
Lance Armstrong, Radio Shack
Brent Bookwalter, BMC
Tyler Farrar, Garmin
George Hincapie, BMC
Chris Horner, Radio Shack
Levi Leipheimer, Radio Shack
Christian Vande Velde, Garmin
David Zabriskie, Garmin
Eight is up from seven last year, and four in 2008. First-timer Bookwalter is here, Garmin's Danny Pate is not, and Chris Horner returns. The excellent showings of both Farrar and Bookwalter at today's prologue are great news for US cycling, which has a glut of over-30 Tour riders, essentially everybody else on the list above.
Michael Barry, Sky
Ryder Hesjedal, Garmin
Canada climbs from one to two, and long-suffering Michael Barry finally gets a Tour start at 34.
Mark Cavendish, HTC-Columbia
Stephen Cummings, Sky
Jeremy Hunt, Cervelo
Daniel Lloyd, Cervelo
David Millar, Garmin
Geraint Thomas, Sky
Charlie Wegelius, Omega Pharma-Lotto
Bradley Wiggins, Sky
Great Britain doubles up, with eight riders versus last year's four. Cavendish and Wiggins have dreams of winner's jerseys.
Julian Dean, Garmin
Hayden Roulston wasn't invited by HTC-Columbia, Greg Henderson wasn't invited by Team Sky.
Nicolas Roche, AG2R-La Mondiale
Roche repeats as the only Irish rider.
Robbie Hunter, Garmin
Up from an unusual zero last year.
Other countries (2009 in parentheses):
35: France (40)
31: Spain (doesn't count Florencio, pulled by Cervelo before start) (28)
17: Italy (16)
15: Germany (15)
12: Belgium (11)
11: Australia (6)
8: Netherlands (11), USA (7)
6: Russia (8)
5: Denmark (3), Switzerland (3)
4: Slovenia (1)
3: Austria (2), Belarus (2), Kazakhstan (1), Portugal (2), Ukraine (2)
2: Canada (1), Luxembourg (3), Norway (2)
1: Czech Republic (1), Estonia (0), Ireland (1), Japan (2), Lithuania (0), Moldova (0), New Zealand (2), Poland (1), South Africa (0), Sweden (1)
Posted by Frank Steele on July 3, 2010 in About the Tour, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Chris Horner, Christian Vande Velde, Danny Pate, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, George Hincapie, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Mark Cavendish, Michael Rogers, Robbie Hunter, Robbie McEwen, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
July 07, 2009
Tour de TwitterLance Armstrong has been one of the top celebrities to adopt Twitter, alongside Stephen Fry, Ashton Kutcher (I almost typed “Astana Kutcher”), and Barack Obama.
I've developed quite a list of riders, journalists, bloggers, and photographers in preparation for the Tour, and thought I would share it with you.
I started with Carlton Reid's massive, 600+ strong list of “Bike Trade Tweeps”. As I've found more, I've been adding them. I left off a few that appear inactive, like @carlossastre, who has nearly 4,000 followers awaiting his first tweet (what pressure!); likewise Denis Menchov and Robert Gesink, and a few fakes.
Also, these are all in English. Please send me additions, either on Twitter (@TdFblog) or by commenting this post. Thanks!
- @TeamAstana : The official team ID
- @lancearmstrong : The 7-time Tour winner
- @johanbruyneel : Team director Johan Bruyneel
- @levileipheimer : Levi Leipheimer (He finally lost the underscore)
- @TeamSlipstream : The official team Twitter feed
- @Vaughters : Team Director Jonathan Vaughters (Newly unshackled from the official team Twitter ID)
- @dzabriskie : David Zabriskie
- @christianvdv : Christian Vande Velde
- @Bradwiggins : Bradley Wiggins
- @thedpate : Danny Pate
- @allencolim : Team physiologist Allen Lim
- @TeamColumbiaHTC : Team updates
- @ghincapie : George Hincapie
- @mickrogers : Michael Rogers
- @markrenshaw1 : Mark Renshaw
- @isleofmanhood : “Cav” (??)
- @cadelofficial : Cadel Evans
- @wegelius: Silence-Lotto's Charlie Wegelius, author of my two favorite rider tweets of the Tour so far
Cervelo Test Team
- @stevendejongh : Steven De Jongh
- @laurenstendam : Laurens Ten Dam
- @bicyclingmag : Official Bicycling feed
- @julietmacur : NYTimes Tour reporter Juliet Macur
- @velonews : VeloNews official feed
- @cyclingweekly : Cycling Weekly
- @cyclesportmag : UK's CycleSport magazine
- @cyclingnewsfeed : CyclingNews official feed
- @neilroad : Neil Browne of ROAD Magazine
- @eurohoody : Andrew Hood of VeloNews
- @rupertguinness : Australia's Rupert Guinness
- @johnwilcockson : VeloNews correspondent emeritus
- @bonnie_d_ford : Bonnie D. Ford, ESPN's Tour reporter
- @jeremyschaap : Jeremy Schaap, ESPN reporter
- @vscycling : the official feed of the US Tour TV network
- @philliggett : Phil Liggett
- @paulsherwen : Paul Sherwen
- @bobkeroll : Head schlug Bob Roll
- @h2o007 : Craig Hummer
- @RobbieVentura : Robbie Ventura
- @GWcom : Graham Watson
- @lizkreutz : Liz Kreutz, who's been photographing Lance Armstrong's comeback
- @kwc - Ken Conley of Spare Cycles
Pros not racing this year
- @allandavis27 : Allan Davis, the 181st rider in the 2009 Tour
- @ivanbasso : Ivan Basso
- @hornerakg : Chris Horner
- @robbiehunter : South African sprinter Robbie Hunter
- @mcewenrobbie : Katusha's Robbie McEwen
- @janibrajkovic : Astana's Jani Brajkovic
- @TdFblog : That's me!
- @cyclingfans - Pete Geyer of CyclingFans
- @cyclelicious - Fritz at Cyclelicious
- @steephill - Steve from Steephill.TV<
- @_gavia_ - Gavia from Steephill.TV
- @bikehugger - Main feed for Bike Hugger
- @TDFLanterne - Nancy Toby's TdF Lanterne Rouge
- @lambsimon - Simon Lamb of La Gazzetta dello Bici
- @cyclingfansanon - cycling fans anonymous.com
- @cyclocosm - Cosmo from Cyclocosm
Posted by Frank Steele on July 7, 2009 in About the Tour, Andy Schleck, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, Chris Horner, Christian Vande Velde, Danny Pate, Dave Zabriskie, George Hincapie, Ivan Basso, Janez Brajkovic, Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Mark Cavendish, Michael Rogers, Robbie Hunter, Robbie McEwen, Tour news, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack
July 02, 2009
Where are they from, 2009 edition
Every year, I run down the riders' countries of origin, with special attention to the English-speaking countries. Here's last year's, for comparison.
Lance Armstrong, Astana
Tyler Farrar, Garmin-Slipstream
George Hincapie, Columbia-HTC
Levi Leipheimer, Astana
Danny Pate, Garmin-Slipstream
Christian Vande Velde, Garmin-Slipstream
David Zabriskie, Garmin-Slipstream
Seven is up from four last year. Gone is Will Frischkorn, left off the Garmin team, but back are Armstrong, Zabriskie, and Leipheimer. Tyler Farrar starts his first Tour. Not just more riders, but riders with more chances -- 3 guys with Top 5 hopes, and Farrar stage-hunting.
Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto
Brett Lancaster, Cervelo
Matthew Lloyd, Silence-Lotto
Stuart O'Grady, Saxo Bank
Mark Renshaw, Columbia-HTC
Michael Rogers, Columbia-HTC
Allan Davis, Quick Step
Down from 9 last year, with Robbie McEwen recovering from surgery, Baden Cooke riding for the Continental Vacansoleil team, Trent Lowe home, and Simon Gerrans and Adam Hansen alternates. Michael Rogers is back. Matthew Lloyd makes his first Tour start. 7/3 Update: With Tom Boonen back in the Tour, Allan Davis stays home, reducing Australia's count to 6. And a half, given Heinrich Haussler, who lives and trains in Australia.
Mark Cavendish, Columbia-HTC
David Millar, Garmin-Slipstream
Bradley Wiggins, Garmin-Slipstream
Charly Wegelius, Silence-Lotto
Chris Froome's Barloworld squad is not in the Tour this year, back is Bradley Wiggins, and Wegelius returns thanks to Dekker's EPO positive. Cavendish has to be the pre-Tour favorite for green, and his success or failure will be one of this Tour's major plotlines.
Julian Dean, Garmin-Slipstream
Hayden Roulston, Cervelo
Tour rookie Roulston joins the returning Dean.
Dan Martin, Garmin-Slipstream
Nicolas Roche, AG2R
With Martin's tendinitis, Roche will be the first Irish participant since Mark Scanlon in 2004. Roche is reigning Irish road champion, having dethroned Martin last weekend.
Ryder Hesjedal, Garmin-Slipstream
After ending a 10-year Canadian drought last year, Hesjedal returns.
With no Barloworld participation, Robbie Hunter and John Lee Augustyn won't make the start for South Africa.
All nations breakdown:
40: France (2008 count in parentheses: 40)
28: Spain (30)
16: Italy (21)
15: Germany (16)
11: Netherlands (10)
11: Belgium (12)
8: Russia (4)
7: USA (4)
6: Australia (9)
4: United Kingdom (3)
3: Denmark (1), Luxembourg (2), Switzerland (4)
2: Austria (2), Belarus (2), Colombia (3), Japan (0), New Zealand (1), Norway (2), Portugal (0), Ukraine (2)
1: Canada (1), Czech Republic (1), Finland (0), Ireland (0), Kazakhstan (1), Poland (1), Slovakia (1), Slovenia (1), Sweden (2)
Posted by Frank Steele on July 2, 2009 in About the Tour, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Christian Vande Velde, Danny Pate, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, George Hincapie, Julian Dean, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Mark Cavendish, Michael Rogers, Robbie Hunter, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Top Stories, Tour de France 2009, Will Frischkorn | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack
July 19, 2008
Barloworld dropping team after Tour
Barloworld announced they will no longer sponsor their cycling team after the Tour de France ends.
The decision stems from the EPO positive of Moises Dueñas at the Stage 4 time trial.
“To say that we are disappointed would be an understatement. Cycling has been overshadowed for some time with doping issues which have negatively affected the reputation of the sport. Whilst we have continued to operate within this environment we have always made our position clear on drug use and have acted accordingly,” concluded [corporate marketing head Chris] Fisher.
The British company will honor its contractual obligations, but the team's future is murky. Among the riders under contract with the team are Juan Mauricio Soler and Robbie Hunter.
July 29, 2007
Stage 20: Bennati the sprint, Contador the Tour
Boonen was surrounded by the other green jersey hopefuls, and the leadout men were scrambled. Bennati found himself behind Rosseler, pulling hard, with about 250 meters to ride, and when Rosseler pulled off to his left, Bennati had an unimpeded line to the finish, and just hammered. Robbie Hunter went hard up the right, with Hushovd and Zabel in between, but it was Bennati on the line, ahead of Hushovd, Zabel, Hunter, and finally Boonen. It's Bennati's 2nd stage win after Stage 17.
Cadel Evans chose not to go hunting for bonus seconds, and he and Contador finished safely in the peloton, giving 24-year-old Alberto Contador his first overall Tour de France title. It's by far the closest Tour podium in history, eclipsing Stephen Roche's 1987 victory, where the 3rd-place rider, Jean-François Bernard, was 2:13 behind Roche.
1) Daniele Bennati, Lampre, Italy, 3:51:03
2) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, Norway, same time
3) Erik Zabel, Milram, Germany, s.t.
4) Robbie Hunter, Barloworld, South Africa, s.t.
5) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, Belgium, s.t.
6) Sebastian Chavanel, Française des Jeux, France, s.t.
7) Fabian Cancellara, CSC, Switzerland, s.t.
8) David Millar, Saunier Duval, Great Britain, s.t.
9) Robert Förster, Gerolsteiner, Germany, s.t.
10) Manuel Quinziato, Liquigas, Italy, s.t.
Overall final standings:
1) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain, 91:00:26
2) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Australia, @ :23
3) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, USA, @ :31
4) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, @ 7:08
5) Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, @ 8:17
6) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, @ 11:37
7) Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile, Luxembourg, @ 12:18
8) Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel, Ukraine, @ 12:25
9) Mikel Astarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, @ 14:14
10) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, @ 14:25
Contador becomes the first rider since Jan Ullrich in 1997 to take the white and yellow jerseys. Discovery Channel wins the team competition. Barloworld's Juan Mauricio Soler wins the King of the Mountains, and Euskaltel's Amets Txurruka was named the most agressive rider of the entier Tour.
Tom Boonen takes his first career overall green jersey.
It's another indicator of the arrival of a new generation of riders, as Contador, Soler, and Txurruka are 24, while Boonen is 26.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 29, 2007 in 2007 Stage 20, Alberto Contador, Cadel Evans, Daniele Bennati, David Millar, Erik Zabel, Fabian Cancellara, Juan Mauricio Soler, Robbie Hunter, Tom Boonen, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack
July 20, 2007
Stage 12: Boonen finds a bonus
Most commentators saw today's stage as a long breakaway or a sprint from a select group, with a 2nd-Category climb about 45 kilometers/28 miles from the finish.
But things didn't follow the script. A long breakaway by Euskaltel-Euskadi's Amets Txurruka and Bouygues Telecom's Pierrick Fedrigo looked like it might stay away, but after the day's big climb, Lampre and Française des Jeux, both still seeking stage wins, powered the chase along a plateau and down into Castres.
By the time Txurruka and Fedrigo were caught, just outside of 1 kilometer to ride, Quick Step was setting up the blue train for Boonen, peeling its riders off one by one, and keeping the pace high enough that no one could counter.
Boonen came off of Gert Steegmans' wheel with around 200 meters to ride, and Erik Zabel and Robbie Hunter, trailing Belgium's former world champion, launched to either side of Boonen. Neither could match Boonen's finishing speed, and he took his 2nd stage win of the 2007 Tour.
Boonen also pads his lead in the green jersey competition, where his 195 points lead Robbie Hunter's 175 and Zabel's 174, with Thor Hushovd a distant 4th with 132.
Stage 12 Top 10:
1) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, Belgium
2) Erik Zabel, Milram, Germany, same time
3) Robbie Hunter, Barloworld, S. Africa, s.t.
4) Daniele Bennati, Lampre, Italy, s.t.
5) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, Norway, s.t.
6) Bernhard Eisel, T-Mobile, Austria, s.t.
7) Sebastien Chavanel, Française des Jeux, France, s.t.
8) Nicolas Jalabert, Agritubel, France, s.t.
9) Robert Förster, Gerolsteiner, Germany, s.t.
10) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, s.t.
No significant changes to the overall standings.
Overall Standings after Stage 12:
1) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, Denmark, in 57:37:10
2) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 2:35
3) Iban Mayo, Saunier Duval, Spain, at 2:39
4) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Australia, at 2:41
5) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain, at 3:08
6) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, at 3:39
7) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, at 3:50
8) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, USA, at 3:53
9) Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile, Luxembourg, at 5:06
10) Mikel Astarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, at 5:20
Stef Clement of Bouygues Telecom finished outside the time limit, after a crash at 35 kilometers.
July 19, 2007
Stage 11: At last, Robbie Hunter
Barloworld's Robbie Hunter took advantage of a late-stage crash to win his first Tour stage in his 6th career Tour appearance. It's the first Tour stage by a South African, or any African.
Hunter had been following Tom Boonen in the last kilometers, but went to the front in time to miss a crash that took out Boonen, Credit Agricole's Julian Dean, Predictor-Lotto's Fred Rodriguez, and others. Hunter then outcornered two Liquigas riders on the right-hander with 500 meters to ride. From there, he kicked all the way to the line, and Murilo Fischer and Filippo Pozzato of Liquigas and Fabian Cancellara of CSC couldn't close him down.
The biggest action of the day was an all-out assault by Astana, who set a blistering pace in a stiff wind that split the field, with AG2R's Christophe Moreau, Erik Zabel, and Thor Hushovd among the riders caught behind the gap. Astana did most of the work to grow the gap, and Moreau crossed the line 3:20 behind Hunter. Astana's attack helped push the average speed for the stage to 48.061 kms/h (29.86 mph), the fastest of this year's Tour.
Hunter now trails Boonen by 11 points in the green jersey competition, 5 points ahead of Erik Zabel.
Two riders pulled out during the stage: Sylvain Calzati of AG2R and Igor Anton of Euskaltel-Euskadi.
Stage Top 10:
1) Robbie Hunter, Barloworld, South Africa
2) Fabian Cancellara, CSC, Switzerland, same time
3) Murilo Fischer, Liquigas, Brazil, s.t.
4) Filippo Pozzato, Liquigas, Italy, s.t.
5) Alessandro Ballan, Lampre, Italy, s.t.
6) Paolo Bossoni, Lampre, Italy, s.t.
7) Claudio Corioni, Lampre, Italy, s.t.
8) Philippe Gilbert, Française des Jeux, Belgium, s.t.
9) William Bonney, Credit Agricole, France, s.t.
10) Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile, Luxembourg, s.t.
GC Top 20:
1) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, Denmark, in 53:11:38
2) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, @ 2:35
3) Iban Mayo, Saunier Duval, Spain, @ 2:39
4) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Australia, @ 2:41
5) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain, @ 3:08
6) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, @ 3:39
7) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, @ 3:50
8) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, USA, @ 3:53
9) Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile, Luxembourg, @ 5:06
10) Mikel Astarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, @ 5:20
11) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, @ 5:34
12) Frank Schleck, CSC, Luxembourg, @ 5:56
13) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, @ 6:36
14) Christophe Moreau, AG2R, France, @ 6:38
15) Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, @ 6:42
16) Linus Gerdemann, T-Mobile, Germany, @ 6:45
17) Juan Mauricio Soler, Barloworld, Colombia, @ 6:49
18) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, Russia, @ 7:10
19) Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana, Kazakhstan, @ 8:05
20) Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel, Ukraine, @ 8:16
Posted by Frank Steele on July 19, 2007 in 2007 Stage 11, Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Andrey Kashechkin, Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, Christophe Moreau, Fabian Cancellara, Filippo Pozzato, Frank Schleck, Fred Rodriguez, Iban Mayo, Julian Dean, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Robbie Hunter, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Top Stories, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
July 11, 2007
Stage 4: Hushovd holds off Hunter
Thor Hushovd took his 1st victory of the season on Stage 4 of the Toru de France today. Hushovd's teammate Julian Dean provided an incredible leadout to put Hushovd in perfect position to outlast a charging Robbie Hunter at the line.
It was Hushovd's 5th career stage win, at the end of a chaotic sprint, that followed a day-long breakaway by 5 men: Sylvain Chavanel of Cofidis, Juan Antonio Flecha of Rabobank, Matthieu Sprick of Bouygues Telecom, Christian Knees of Milram, and Gorko Verduga of Euskaltel-Euskadi.
1) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, Norway
2) Robbie Hunter, Barloworld, S. Africa, same time
3) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, Spain, s.t.
4) Erik Zabel, Milram, s.t.
5) Danilo Napolitano, Lampre, Italy, s.t.
6) Gert Steegmans, Quick Step, Belgium, s.t.
7) Robert Förster, Gerolsteiner, Germany, s.t.
8) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, Belgium, s.t.
9) Sebastien Chavanel, Française des Jeux, France, s.t.
10) Mark Cavendish, T-Mobile, Great Britain, s.t.
The stage bonus moves Hushovd up to 2nd in the overall classifcation, and Sylvain Chavanel (brother of 9th place Sebastien Chavanel of FdJeux) collected some time throughout the stage to move up to 6th in the GC.
Caisse d'Epargne's Xabier Zandio was involved in a crash, the 2nd significant crash of the Tour for him, and broke his collarbone. He exited the Tour during today's stage, leaving 186 riders in competition.
GC Top 10:
1) Fabian Cancellara, Team CSC, Switzerland
2) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, Norway, at :29
3) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, at :33
4) David Millar, Saunier Duval-Prodir, Great Britain, at :41
5) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, USA, at :43
6) Bradley Wiggins, Cofidis, Great Britain, at :43
7) Sylvain Chavanel, Cofidis, at :33
8) Vladimir Gusev, Discovery Channel, Russia, at :45
9) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, Belgium, at :46
10) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, Russia, at :46
Tom Boonen holds the green jersey, but still lacks a stage win, while Stéphane Augé holds the King of the Mountains jersey for another day, with some real climbs arriving tomorrow.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 11, 2007 in 2007 Stage 4, Andreas Klöden, Bradley Wiggins, David Millar, Erik Zabel, Fabian Cancellara, George Hincapie, Mark Cavendish, Oscar Freire, Robbie Hunter, Sylvain Chavanel, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Top Stories, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (0)
Stage 4 on the road
A five-man breakaway, including Sylvain Chavanel of Cofidis, Matthieu Sprick of Bouygues Telecom, Juan Antonio Flecha of Rabobank, Gorka Verdugo of Euskaltel, and Christian Knees of Milram, is away. Their lead has yo-yoed out to 4 minutes, back almost to 2 minutes, and is gradually extending beyond 3 minutes to 3:15 with about 100 kilometers/63 miles to ride.
With 80 kilometers to ride, the gap is 3:49. I doubt the peloton will let the capture go to the last kilometer today, but this is a high-quality break. Flecha won a stage in 2003 out of a 3-man break.
With 55 kms, the gap is 1:55.
Sylvain Chavanel has been picking up bonus time at the intermediate sprints, and will move up the leaderboard tonight. He's also kept the polka-dot jersey of teammate Stéphane Augé from being attacked over 4 minor climbs, and moved up in the competition himself.
At 33 kilometers, it's 1:37. I don't think the sprinters' teams will wait until the last kilometer today, not after yesterday's surprise attack by Fabian Cancellara.
With 25 kms/16 miles, the gap has fallen under a minute.
At 15 kms/10 miles the leading 5 are almost in site, just 50 seconds ahead of the chasing pack. Predictor-Lotto, Lampre, and Quick Step are leading the chase for their sprinters.
With 10kms/6.2 miles, the gap is only 20 seconds. A few hundred meters later, the break splinters, as Matthieu Sprick attacks. Flecha and Knees match him, and Sylvain Chavanel and Gorka Verdugo are reabsorbed by the peloton. Knees attacks, matched again by Flecha, but the two can't hold out against the field, and with 7 kms to ride, they're captured.
It's a classic sprinters finish, with a wide boulevard to finish, and the teams with a sprint threat all make an appearance on the front of the field in the last kms. Quick Step is the last to drive the field, with around a kilometer to ride, and then, the field fractures into 3-4 little trains, and there's Julian Dean leading the fastest of them, and he pulls off, and Thor Hushovd goes hard for the line, Robbie Hunter closes in, and it's Hushovd at the line! Hunter 2nd, Rabobank's Oscar Freire 3rd.
The best way to follow the stage and the site in real time is to subscribe to my Tour de France Twitter feed, which you can route to your IM client or cell phone. It's also being featured at the Ubilabs Tour de France tracker which brings together heart rate, GPS, and Google Maps data on each stage.
July 10, 2007
Stage 3: The best jersey defense is a brilliant attack
Yellow jersey Fabian Cancellara showed brilliant tactical sense to take a beautiful stage win in Campiégne.
A 4-man break of Stéphane Augé, Matthieu Ladagnous, Frederik Willems, and Nicolas Vogondy were being reeled in with less than a kilometer to ride, and Cancellara attacked out of the field as the peloton neared the foursome. Like a flash, the world TT champion was past the four and flying. The chaos of setting up their finish sprints, the chaos of the catch, and the sudden and vicious attack put the sprinters on their heels, and by the time they could wind it up to speed, Cancellara was out of reach for a dramatic win.
It was Cancellara's 3rd career stage win, the first outside of a Prologue.
1) Fabian Cancellara, Team CSC, Switzerland
2) Erik Zabel, Milram, Germany
3) Danilo Napolitano, Lampre-Fondital, Italy
4) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, Belgium
5) Robbie Hunter, Barloworld, South Africa
6) Robert Förster, Gerolsteiner, Germany
7) Robbie McEwen, Predictor-Lotto, Australia
8) Bernhard Eisel, T-Mobile, Austria
9) Mark Cavendish, T-Mobile, Great Britain
10) Heinrich Haussler, Gerolsteiner, Germany
Stéphane Augé takes over the King of the Mountains jersey from David Millar, and Cancellara extends his yellow jersey lead with the bonus time from the stage win.
Overall standings after Stage 3:
1) Fabian Cancellara, Team CSC, Switzerland, in 15:12:08
2) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, at :33
3) David Millar Saunier Duval, at :41
4) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at :43
5) Bradley Wiggins, Cofidis, Great Britain, same time
6) Vladimir Gusev, Discovery Channel, Russia, at :45
7) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, at :46
8) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, Russia, same time
9) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, Norway, at :49
10) Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau, Euskaltel - Euskadi, Spain, same time
July 09, 2007
Stage 2: Steegmans leads self out for win
The story of the day is a late-stage crash, which took out a number of key riders with about 2 kms/1.25 miles to ride. It appeared a Milram rider pulled out of his pedal, slid out on the narrow road, and took a number of riders with him. Yellow jersey Fabian Cancellara went down hard, and riders filtered in for several minutes after the day's winners.
Most of the sprint specialists were positioned in front of the wreckage, including Stage 1 winner Robbie McEwen, Tom Boonen, Erik Zabel, Oscar Freire, and Robbie Hunter. Quick Step had Tom Boonen's leadout underway before the crash, and they followed through almost to perfection. The team asked Steegmans, Boonen's final draft, to stay on the front longer than normal because of a finishing hill. Boonen then had trouble getting around his big Belgian teammate, and Steegmans led Boonen across the line for a Quick Step, and Belgian, 1-2 on the day.
Afterward, Steegmans said if Boonen let him win, “it's the best present I have ever had,” Steegmans said.
“Anyway the important thing is we were first and second. It's my biggest win and at the best possible place and I won my first race as a child just 200m from this finishing line. I was overjoyed at the end.”
1) Gert Steegmans, Quick Step-Innergetic, Belgium
2) Tom Boonen, Quick Step-Innergetic, Belgium, same time
3) Fillippo Pozzato, Liquigas, Italy, s.t.
4) Robbie Hunter, Barloworld, South Africa, s.t.
5) Romain Feillu, Agritubel, France, s.t.
6) Robbie McEwen, Predictor-Lotto, Australia, s.t.
7) Erik Zabel, Team Milram, Germany, s.t.
8) Heinrich Haussler, Gerolsteiner, Germany, s.t.
9) Oscar Freire, Spain, Rabobank, s.t.
10) Sebastien Chavanel, Française des Jeux, s.t.
UCI rules neutralize the effect of late crashes by giving everyone held up by the crash the same time as the winner, so there's no significant change in the overall standings.
Overall standings after Stage 2:
1) Fabian Cancellara, Team CSC, Switzerland
2) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany
3) David Millar, Saunier Duval-Prodir, Great Britain
4) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, USA
5) Bradley Wiggins, Cofidis, Great Britain
Boonen takes over the green jersey and moves up to 7th in the GC based on bonus time awarded for his 2nd on the stage.
The Guardian reports that Cancellara's wrist is a “minor injury,” but that Lampre's Daniele Bennati was taken to a local hospital after injuring his hip in the crash. Over at ThePaceline.com (free reg. req.), Cathy Mehl reports George Hincapie appears to be all right after lacerating his knee in the crash, and Tomas Vaitkus may have broken his thumb.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 9, 2007 in Andreas Klöden, Bradley Wiggins, David Millar, Erik Zabel, Fabian Cancellara, George Hincapie, Oscar Freire, Robbie Hunter, Robbie McEwen, Romain Feillu, Tom Boonen, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack
July 08, 2007
Stage 1 on the road
Agritubel's Eduardo Gonzalo is the first man out of the 2007 Tour. He apparently touched wheels with someone and is out of the Tour almost before it's begun.
David Millar is trying to make good on his promise yesterday to win a Tour stage, and he wants it as soon as possible: He was solo off the front earlier, and now is part of a 5-man group. He's taken maximum sprint points at 2 intermediate sprints. Also in the break are Andrey Grivko, Freddy Bichot, Stephane Auge, and Aleksandr Kuschynski.
Millar has updated his rider diary over at Bicycling.com with his reaction to the Prologue.
With less than 80 kilometers/50 miles to ride, the break is about 5:50 ahead of the peloton.
CSC leads the chase, which is suddenly making some progress -- the gap is now 5:20.
With 74 kms/45 miles to ride, the gap is down to 4:45.
Credit Agricole, Quick Step, and Predictor-Lotto have put riders on the front to reel in the 5 leaders, with less than 40 miles to ride, the gap has fallen below 3:00.
Day's last intermediate sprint points go to Kuschynski (6), Bichot (4), and Grivko (2). The peloton rolls through 2:35 behind.
Auge, Bichot and Kuschynski raise the pace, and Grivko and Millar can't hang, so the 5 are now 3 with less than a 2:00 advantage, and less than 30 miles/49kms to ride.
Grivko and Millar are caught, and the gap hovers at 2:00. The sprinters' teams don't want to swallow the 3 breakaway riders too soon, which would just encourage another breakaway. On the other hand, David Millar leads the King of the Mountains competion, unless Freddy Bichot takes points at the final 4th-Category climb of the day, so Saunier Duval now is helping on the front of the peloton. Less than 24 miles/40kms to ride, and the gap is down to just over a minute.
With 27k/17m to ride, Bichot and Kuschynski are caught, and Auge has increased the advantage to 27 seconds. Auge will take over the KoM jersey if he's first over the upcoming climb and Millar doesn't take points there. Augé does his part, but Millar is next across, so David Millar will wear the King of the Mountains jersey tomorrow. Augé is captured.
Mark Cavendish and Robbie McEwen have been isolated by a crash or mechanicals. They're chasing along with about 20 other riders, with Quick Step driving the field and less than 10k to ride.
McEwen has caught the back of the field, but it remains to be seen whether he can thread his way through the field and figure in the sprint. We're at 4 miles to ride.
With 2 k to ride, Milram takes over from QuickStep, setting up 6-time green jersey Erik Zabel.
Into the last kilometer, and Zabel, Bennati, and Boonen are up front. Now there goes Robbie Hunter of Barloworld, with a Discovery rider in his wake. He's building a good lead, but he's gone from way out, and as he fades, here comes Robbie McEwen, appearing out of the crowd as always, and he rockets to the win!
Top Five was 1) McEwen, 2) Hushovd, 3) Boonen, 4) Sebastien Chavanel, 5) Feilleu.
To follow my comments alongside the Tour broadcast, or to keep up in real-time, I recommend my Tour de France Twitter updates -- there's no RSS lag, and you can get updates direct to your mobile phone with SMS.
July 02, 2007
Barloworld rounds it out
I missed Barloworld's official announcement on Friday, when they expanded from 6 confirmed riders to 9. The team eliminated one of its preannounced 6, Fabrizio Guidi, then added Paolo Longo Borghini, Gianpaolo Cheula, Enrico Degano, and Kastantsin Borghini.
- Barloworld 2007 Tour de France roster:
- Felix Cardenas Ravalo (Colombia)
- Gianpaolo Cheula (Italy)
- Enrico Degano (Italy)
- Alexander Efimkin (Russia)
- Robert Hunter (South Africa)
- Paolo Longo Borghini (Italy)
- Kastantsin Siutsou (Belarus)
- Mauricio Soler Hernandez (Colombia)
- Geraint Thomas (Great Britain)
Thomas, 22, would be the first Welsh Tour rider since 1968 (Colin Lewis).
That should finish the list of provisional rosters for this year's Tour.
June 06, 2007
Barloworld's core six announced
South Africa's Robbie Hunter will lead Barloworld in this year's Tour de France. The former Phonak sprinter will be joined by Italy's Fabrizio Guidi, Colombia's Felix Cardenas and Mauricio Soler, Alexander Efimkin of Russia, and 21-year-old Welshman Geraint Thomas.
Thomas was a track star, part of the four-man team that won gold in the 4k pursuit at this year's track world championships. He would become the first Welsh rider in the Tour since Colin Lewis in 1968.
Thomas may find himself with the least road experience of any rider in the 2007 Tour:
“I cannot imagine how big this is,” he sighed. “I was only 21 two weeks ago, and the average age of people in the Tour is 26 or 27.”
“But I will take this opportunity with both hands. I am not just going to sit back and take it easy. It will be unrealistic to go out and feel I can finish.”
“It’s 20 days racing and I have only done 10 back-to-back before.”
The team's final three will be chosen from 8 candidates a few days before the Tour begins.