June 18, 2007
Proni wins at Tour de Suisse; Cancellara holds race lead
Proni broke away along with Luis Pasamontes of Unibet.com and Daniel Navarro of Astana early in the Tour de Suisse's longest stage, and the trio stretched their advantage to 11 minutes. Near the base of the last climb, Proni shed his breakmates, with the peloton closing fast. Over the top, with about 10 kilometers to race, Proni led the field by 10 seconds, and held off the slashing field to take the day by 7 seconds, with Bouygues Telecom's Xavier Florencio 2nd and T-Mobile's Kim Kirchen 3rd.
“It's not only the biggest win of my career, it's the first win of my professional career,” Proni said. “I'm used to winning as an amateur but not as a pro. This is still hard for me to believe.”
Swiss race leader Fabian Cancellara was 1st Saturday in a TT, 3rd Sunday in a sprint, and 12th today in a mountain stage. David Zabriskie isn't the only CSC time trialist who's improving their overall skills:
“It's a very tough, very long stage,” Cancellara said. “But the yellow jersey was just too beautiful. I didn't want to give up. I think I've shown I've made a lot of progress and I'm no longer just a time trial specialist.”
Proni, racing in just his 2nd year as a pro, moves up to 2nd overall, 2 seconds back, with Kirchen 3rd at 14 seconds. Pre-race favorites are lurking 20 seconds and more back, including Vladimir Karpets, 9th at :21; Michael Rogers, 12th at :23; Chris Horner, 14th at :25; Damiano Cunego, 27th at :34; and Carlos Sastre, 33rd at :36.
June 19, 2006
Ullrich takes Tour de Suisse with time trial win
Ullrich mastered the stage despite a heavy rain that started shortly before der Kaiser took to the streets. Nevertheless, Ullrich was 12 seconds up on race leader Koldo Gil at the first time check, and only got faster from there.
Ullrich's victory in his preferred Tour de France warmup showed he could stay close to the climbers on the climbing stages, and that he's still the man to beat in a time trial. On a Tour route widely considered to favor time trial specialists, he looks well-positioned to take a second career Tour win.
Davitamon-Lotto's Cadel Evans, active in the final stages of Saturday's Stage 8, was 2nd on the day, 22 seconds behind Ullrich. He was followed by Angel Vicioso of Astaná-Würth at 31 seconds, and Discovery Channel's Janez Brajkovic at 46 seconds and Ullrich's T-Mobile teammate Linus Gerdemann at 51 seconds. The best placed American was next: CSC's Christian Vande Velde, 6th at 52 seconds.
Koldo Gil, who came into the day leading the race, with a 50 second gap to Ullrich, was a respectable 9th on the day, at 1:14, to save 2nd overall. Jorg Jaksche likewise slipped one place with a 10th place finish on the day.
Brajkovic was able to move into the overall Top 5 with his excellent ride.
- Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, in 38:21:36
- Koldo Gil, Saunier Duval-Prodir, at :24
- Jorg Jaksche, Astaná-Würth, at 1:03
- Angel Vicioso, Astaná-Würth, at 1:44
- Janez Brajkovic, Discovery Channel, at 2:33
- Frank Schleck, CSC, at 2:56
- Linus Gerdemann, T-Mobile Team, at 3:31
- Giampaolo Caruso, Astaná-Würth, at 4:20
- Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, at 4:27
- Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, at 5:01
2006 Tour of Switzerland
Overall Top 10:
VeloNews quotes Ullrich:
“It's so close before the Tour de France, and it proves to me that I have the performance and I'm ready for the Tour,” he said. “It's the last little bit. It's really the last polishing...Now I already feel that I'm at 90 percent and I can work on the last 10 before the Tour de France.”
Posted by Frank Steele on June 19, 2006 in Cadel Evans, Christian Vande Velde, Frank Schleck, Jan Ullrich, Linus Gerdemann, Top Stories, Tour de Suisse, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 18, 2006
Tour de Suisse ITT underway
The final stage of the Tour of Switzerland is underway; it's an up-and-down 30 kilometers from Kerzera to Bern.
Jan Ullrich lurks in 3rd, only 50 seconds behind yellow jersey Koldo Gil. He's the favorite to win the stage and the tour.
Early leader is CSC's Fabian Cancellara in 40:11.31.
T-Mobile's Michael Rogers is 2nd at 40:36.
Liquigas' Stefano Garzelli comes in in 40:22 to move into 2nd, so far. His teammate Michael Albasini will finish with both the climbers' and points jersey for the Tour de Suisse, and both are on the just-named Liquigas Tour squad.
June 17, 2006
Contador takes Suisse Stage 8
Astaña-Würth's Alberto Contador attacked 33 kilometers out on the last major climb of the day to take the last road stage of the Tour of Switzerland.
Cadel Evans tried to bridge up, attacking on a 4th category near the finish line to gap the surviving leaders, but never got within 20 seconds of Contador. He was joined by Euskaltel's David Herrero maybe 2k later. The pair was able to hold off T-Mobile's chase to the finish, and Herrero led Evans in for 2nd perhaps 3 seconds ahead of Gil, Ullrich, and the other leaders.
Gil holds 1st on the GC. Jose Gomez didn't finish with the leaders, and will fall out of 6th overall. Cycling.TV's Brian Smith thinks Discovery Channel's Janez Brajkovic is a rider to watch tomorrow; he has a chance to move up against weaker time trialers.
June 16, 2006
Freire takes cagey win at Tour de Suisse
Freire survived a 20-rider break that went off around the 50-kilometer mark, along with Matthew White of Discovery Channel. T-Mobile's Michael Rogers and Lampre's Salvatore Commesso were in a six-man group that bridged up shortly later.
Commesso and Rogers went off the front at 12 kilometers to ride, and Freire and White bridged 5 kilometers later, to create a high-quality break, with Commesso notably avoiding any work.
Then, with only about 5 kilometers to ride, and Davitamon-Lotto and QuickStep driving the peloton nearer and nearer, Freire bunny-hopped up onto and across a median as the break took the long way around a divided highway.
By the time the break went right, straight, and back to the left to join the lane Freire had followed, the triple world champion had 5 seconds on the trio, and rode all out to the line. His breakmates were absorbed in the last kilometer, and the peloton was breathing down his neck, but Freire took the win, with just enough time in hand to zip his jersey.
Daniele Bennati, Erik Zabel, and Sebastian Hinault led in the field 3 seconds back.
Sixteen riders exited the race today, with Michael Rasmussen not taking the start, and Paolo Bettini, Robbie McEwen, Marco Velo, and Dario Cioni, among others, not finishing. Six Team LPR riders exited, leaving only Mikhaylo Khalilov in the race for the Italian squad, which was apparently hit by il virus intestinale.
There was a gap in the field, so Koldo Gil lost 4 seconds from his lead in the overall.
1) Koldo Gil,Saunier Duval-Prodir, in 33:22:21
2) Jorg Jaksche, Astaná-Würth, at :30
3) Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, at :50
4) Angel Vicioso, Astaná-Würth, at 2:03
5) Jose Gomez, Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 2:15
6) Frank Schleck, Team CSC, at 2:22
7) Janez Brajkovic, Discovery Channel, at 2:36
8) Giampaolo Caruso, Astaná-Würth, at 2:45
9) Linus Gerdemann, T-Mobile Team, at 3:30
10) Alexandre Botcharov, Credit Agricole, at 3:42
June 15, 2006
Tour de Suisse Stage 6 underway
Simon Gerrans of AG2R is alone ahead of Rabobank's Michael “Spider” Rasmussen nearing the top of the final climb, long descent to La Punt to come.
Jan Ullrich and Kim Kirchen of T-Mobile, Koldo Gil and José Gomez of Saunier Duval and Jorg Jaksche of Astaná-Würth are chasing. José Gomez goes off the front, gets 25 yards, and Ullrich matches it, but loses Kirchen off the back. Now Koldo Gil takes his turn, and he's immediately put 10 seconds into Gomez, Ullrich, and Jaksche.
Now Gil and then Gomez, Jaksche and Ullrich have pulled by Michael Rasmussen as if he's riding backwards. Only Gerrans is still up the road.
Overall leader Angel Vicioso is about 1:40 back of Gerrans, but Gil is less than 20 seconds behind with 2 kilometers to climb. Ullrich's group is maybe 30 seconds behind Gil.
Gerrans is caught. Now it's just Gil riding for the stage win and race leadership. He's got 1:36 on Vicioso's group, and :37 on Ullrich, Jaksche, and Gomez, who is occasionally getting gapped off the back of the German pair.
Jaksche has 6 seconds on Gil in the GC, but Gil has gone out to 40 seconds on the road. Gerrans has caught on with Ullrich, and now Gomez and Gerrans are dropped. It's Ullrich and Jaksche attacking together as Gil goes over the top of the climb.
Vicioso, Giampaolo Caruso, Frank Schleck and Janez Brajkovic of Discovery Channel go over the top at 1:50, working together but losing time on the half-dozen riders ahead of them. We'll see if anyone can make up time on the 7 kilometers left to descend.
Ullrich and Jaksche are at 34 seconds with Gil at 4 kilometers to ride.
Looks like Gil will stay away, and will take the race lead — the Germans are at :35, with the yellow jersey group with Vicioso at 1:56, while Gil is in the last 2 kilometers.
Gil is riding hard all the way to the line, pumping hard in the last 100 meters to get every second, and he takes the stage win. Meanwhile Jaksche has attacked to gap Jan Ullrich. He's got 3-4 seconds on Ullrich, and he comes in around 36 seconds. Ullrich is at :40. Here comes Gomez for 4th at 1:39; Gerrans 5th at 1:48, Schleck is leading in the yellow jersey, at 2:07 with Brajkovic, Caruso, and Vicioso.
Linus Gerdemann is coming in with another Saunier Duval - he'll fall back out of his 3rd overall, coming in at about 3:28.
The overall top 5 will be Gil, Jaksche at :34 Ullrich at :54, Gomez at 2:00, Vicioso.
Ullrich is right where he needs to be. Even though he's 3rd overall, he can probably take all the necessary time out of Gil and Jaksche on Sunday's time trial, and there's still a lot of racing before that.
June 14, 2006
Tour de Suisse Stage 5 underway
With 5 kilometers to ride, Discovery Channel's Jurgen Van Goolen and Phonak's Steve Morabito have almost 2 minutes on the surviving pack.
T-Mobile is driving a peloton that's constantly shrinking, but still has 30 or so riders. Jan Ullrich is here, Giuseppe Guerini is doing a lot of work for T-Mobile. Race commentators aren't sure if Linus Gerdemann is here — he's 2 seconds out of the race lead right now.
With just over 3 k, Morabito launches, but Van Goolen matches his effort.
Still in no-man's land is Kjell Carlström of Liquigas and Alexandre Usov.
Usov is caught. Calrström has only 15 seconds on the T-Mobile train.
The 2 leaders are down to 1:16 lead with less than 3 kilometers to ride.
Leaders go under 2 k and back in the field Alberto Contador launches! He's caught Carlstöm, and they've formed a duo. Carlstöm's out of gas, he's no help for Contador.
A Saunier Duval rider has attacked across to Contador. The two leaders have less than a kilometer to ride.
Morabito is lead wheel, Van Goolen comes alongside, now Morabito sits in on Van Goolen, and with less than 300 meters, Morabito slingshots powerfully away from his breakmate, and it's a win for the Swiss!
Van Goolen barely survives to take 2nd ahead of a charging Alberto Contador. Ullrich is 6th, Bettini is here, Frank Schleck is among the leaders, Angel Vicioso, yesterday's winner, Jorg Jaksche, and Gerdemann are all here, but no race leader Nick Nuyens, so Astaná-Würth's Vicioso moves into the leader's jersey, ahead of Jaksche and Gerdemann.
By the way, Astaná-Würth is still riding in the “We're not Liberty Seguros” jerseys, with the white chest and Würth on the stomach, side panels, and sleeves.
June 12, 2006
Nuyens takes Suisse Stage 3 and race lead
QuickStep's 26-year-old Nick Nuyens kept the freshest legs in a late-stage breakaway Monday to take the 3rd stage of the Tour de Suisse.
As a teammate of Paolo Bettini, also in the selection, Nuyens didn't work as hard to make the break stick, and easily outkicked T-Mobile's Linus Gerdemann, Astaná-Würth's Jorg Jacksche, and Saunier Duval's Koldo Gil.
T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich was near the front for most of the day, and he, Bettini, Cadel Evans, Frank Schleck, David Canada, Giampaolo Caruso, and the 4 who would break away formed a superstrong group of 10 with about 20 kilometers to ride.
Michael Rasmussen, Bradley McGee, and Robbie McEwen were shelled by the high tempo, and came in around 4 minutes back.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 12, 2006 in Bradley McGee, Cadel Evans, Frank Schleck, Jan Ullrich, Jorg Jaksche, Linus Gerdemann, Michael Rasmussen, Paolo Bettini, Robbie McEwen, Top Stories, Tour de Suisse | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 10, 2006
Boonen wins Tour de Suisse opener
In Baden, Tom Boonen showed his stuff, outsprinting Lampre's Daniel Bennati and Rabobank's Oscar Freire for his 17th win of 2006.
Two other strong sprinters, Milram's Erik Zabel and Davitamon-Lotto's Robbie McEwen, were dropped on a 4th category climb on the last finishing lap.
Because of time bonuses, Boonen leads Bennati by 4 seconds, and Liquigas' Michael Albasini by 5 seconds in the overall classification.
Tour of Switzerland kicks off today
Cycling4All offers a final Tour de Suisse start list. Of course, Jan Ullrich is the biggest Tour GC threat at the race, starting today, but there are a lot of other Tour players involved.
Top sprinters Tom Boonen and Robbie McEwen are here, and are the favorites for the Tour's green jersey this year. Thousand-time (okay, six-time) green jersey Erik Zabel is here, as well, leading Team Milram.
Others in competition: Michael Rasmussen, Paolo Bettini, Cadel Evans, Fabian Cancellara, Michael Rogers, Oscar Freire, and Bradley McGee.
Web streaming coverage is available from Cycling.TV's premium subscription service, where £19.99, or about $37, gets you a full year of racing. Today and tomorrow, subscribers have both the Dauphiné Libéré and the Tour de Suisse to choose from.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 10, 2006 in Bradley McGee, Cadel Evans, Erik Zabel, Fabian Cancellara, Michael Rasmussen, Michael Rogers, Oscar Freire, Paolo Bettini, Robbie McEwen, Tom Boonen, Tour de Suisse | Permalink | Comments (0)
June 01, 2006
Ullrich will return at Tour de Suisse
Jan Ullrich, who pulled out of the Giro d'Italia last week complaining of a back injury, will next race at the Tour of Switzerland, starting a week from Saturday.
Ullrich has long preferred the 9-day Swiss race to the Dauphiné Libéré as Tour prep, and this year, he'll be joined by T-Moble Tour squad compatriots Michael Rogers, who also abandoned at the Giro, in his case for a severe toothache, and Andreas Klöden.
June 21, 2005
Chris Horner USA Today's US Olympic Athlete of the Week
Chris Horner's win in Stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse, alongside his overall 5th-place finish in the race, prompted USA Today to name him their US Olympic Athlete of the Week.
June 20, 2005
cyclingnews.com Stage 9 photo gallery
Ullrich, Gonzalez on attack and taking the win from cyclingnews.com
Gonzalez takes stage and Tour de Suisse
Euskaltel-Euskadi were having an atrocious season. Now, after Inigo Landaluze grabbed victory at the Dauphiné Libéré and Aitor Gonzalez turned up the heat on the hardest stage of the race to win the Tour of Switzerland, the Basque team looks like a team to watch in the mountains at the Tour de France.
Gonzalez drove the train on Saturday, when Pablo Lastras took the stage win, but on Sunday, he was riding with the overall in sight.
Gonzalez escaped on the Ulrichen-Ulrichen stage (no relation), attacking about 1 km into the climb of the Furka Pass, and quickly put Jan Ullrich in difficulty. Michael Rogers was able to hang with Jens Voigt and Frank Schleck, who together dropped Ullrich, who rode his own pace for the rest of the stage.
Rogers never closed down Gonzalez, despite Schleck, Atienza, Chris Horner, and Leonardo Piepoli riding alongside for the last part of the climb, and most of the descent, so Rogers dropped to 2nd on GC. Schleck had a chance to kick Ullrich off the podium, while Horner stood to climb well up the standings. Schleck didn't get the time he needed, finishing 4th, 5 seconds behind Ullrich, but Horner did move up to a 5th place overall, at 2:02 behind Gonzalez.
1) Aitor Gonzalez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 3:03:52
2) Frank Schleck, CSC, at :46
3) Daniel Atienza, Cofidis, at :58
4) Michael Rogers, Quick Step, same time
5) Chris Horner, Saunier Duval-Prodir, same time
6) Leonardo Piepoli, Saunier Duval-Prodir, same time
7) Beat Zberg, Gerolsteiner, at 1:42
8) Alexandre Moos, Phonak, same time
9) Tadej Valjavec, Phonak, same time
10) Koldo Gil Perez, Liberty Seguros, same time
11) Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, same time
Ullrich on the TdS:
"I'm happy with my Tour de Suisse," said Ullrich in a brief statement before disappearing into his team's bus. "It was a beautiful race, and it was good preparation for the Tour de France, which was what I intended."
Cyclingnews spoke to a bitter Michael Rogers after the finish, and asked whether he was satisfied with the fact that he did everything he could today. "Yeah, but really disappointed," said Rogers.
It seemed only Horner was helping you? "Yeah, well, Horner had his own objectives."
June 19, 2005
Tour de Suisse Stage 9 underway
Aitor Gonzalez, who animated yesterday's stage, is moving into the virtual yellow jersey at the Tour de Suisse this afternoon. With 33 kilometers to ride, climbing the hors categorie Furka Pass, Gonzalez threw off Jan Ullrich and Michael Rogers, who he trails by 36 seconds in the overall classification.
Rogers is a minute back now, riding in a group with Chris Horner, Koldo Gil, Daniel Atienza, Frank Schleck, and Leonardo Piepoli. Gonzalez, the Spanish climbing specialist, is going to have to make his time solo.
The Ullrich group is another 30 seconds behind Rogers.
At the summit, the gap is about 1:07. Rogers has 20 kms to make up 32 seconds on Gonzalez, or Aitor will take the Tour of Switzerland title. Scratch that -- there are bonus seconds to work out: 10, 6, and 4, so to be safe he needs to finish no more than 25 seconds behind.
The gap is hovering in the upper 50s, sometimes the low 1-minute range. Ullrich is now almost a minute behind Rogers, close to 2 minutes behind Gonzalez. There are only 5 kms to ride, so it looks like Gonzalez is going to make this work.
Brad McGee is 3 minutes plus back, and will lose his podium place at stage end.
Gonzalez finishes with 46 seconds in hand, to take the stage and the Tour of Switzerland!
Rogers made a show of sprinting for the bonus time, but Frank Schleck of CSC was second and Daniel Atienza third. Rogers comes third (with a time gap, no less), then Chris Horner is fourth and Leonardo Piepoli 5th. Ullrich's group came 58 seconds later, at 1:42 on Gonzalez.
Daily Peloton reports that Rogers threw a mini-tantrum at the finish, throwing his helmet down.
June 18, 2005
CSC's Gerdemann takes TdS Stage 7, Rogers holds race lead
Back-to-back surprise wins at the Tour of Switzerland, as CSC's Linus Gerdemann forged a stage win with an attack in the last 8 kms of the Friday stage. Gerdemann kept five chasers at bay, including Freddie Rodriguez, and finished 4 seconds clear of Fassa Bortolo's Lorenzo Bernucci.
There was no significant change to the overall standings, where Michael Rogers of Quick Step continues to lead Jan Ullrich by 20 seconds and Brad McGee by 22 seconds.'
Saturday the race has a long uphill finish that might be decisive in the overall classification.
1) Linus Gerdemann, Team CSC, 4:25
2) Lorenzo Bernucci, Fassa Bortolo, at :04
3) David Etxebarria, Liberty Seguros, at :14
4) Karsten Kroon, Rabobank, at :15
5) Fred Rodriguez, Davitamon-Lotto, same time
6) Martin Elmiger, Phonak, same time
7) Daniele Colli, Liquigas, at :23
8) Rene Haselbacher, Gerolsteiner, same time
9) Baden Cooke, Francaise des Jeux, same time
10) Robbie McEwen, Davitamon-Lotto, same time
June 17, 2005
cyclingnews.com TdS Stage 6 photo gallery
Ullrich's toolbox, two views of Horner from cyclingnews.com
June 16, 2005
Chris Horner takes Tour de Suisse Stage 6! Michael Rogers takes race lead
Horner and Nabili
AFP photo from VeloNews.com.
Race leader Jan Ullrich finished 1:48 back, so Australia's Michael Rogers, who finished at 1:14, takes over the race lead.
Horner rode with neopro Nibali, who snapped free of the peloton on the day's last climb, looking very strong. Apparently, Nibali wasn't quite as strong as the force of his escape made him look, and Horner couldn't get him to pull through on the climb. Eventually, harsh words were exchanged, with Horner making the universal "come on by" gesture used for wheelsuckers everywhere. When Nibali wouldn't, or couldn't, produce a strong pull, Horner dropped him hard.
Horner's victory is his first in Europe, after three unsuccessful years with Française des Jeux from 1997-1999. Over the years, he has won pretty much every US race but the USPro championships.
Horner said he was able to make his break work because he was three minutes down on the GC leaders, and couldn't see any of them spending the effort to try to pull back a rider that far back. Now that he's sitting 6th overall, at 1:31, the escapes aren't likely to come so easy.
The win will strengthen Horner's case to make Saunier Duval-Prodir's Tour de France team.
Friday looks like a final day for the sprinters before two mountain stages to close out the tour.
With a veteran's tactics and the heart of a rookie, American underdog Chris Horner (Saunier Duval - Prodir) picked up his first major European victory Thursday, crushing the competition in the mountainous sixth stage of the Tour of Switzerland.
"I'm sorry I don't know the names," Horner said when an Italian reporter asked about the several riders he had dropped on the final climb. "This is only my eighth - wait, my fifth - race in Europe."
June 15, 2005
One for the Swiss: Albasini takes Tour de Suisse Stage 5
Swiss on Swiss sprint,
Albasini (r) tops Rast,
Michael Albasini of Liquigas-Bianchi took his first pro win at the Tour of Switzerland today, outsprinting the rest of a seven-man break that rode a 130-km breakaway.
"I'm very, very happy because my first victory has also come in my home race," Albasini said after the finish.
"I started my sprint a little bit early and thought I might not win but I managed to hold on."
Davitamon-Lotto and Quick Step tried to close down the escapees to force a field sprint, but the break conserved 38 seconds. Jan Ullrich holds the leader's jersey for one more day, but his lead may be threatened Thursday as the race hits the mountains.
1) Michael Albasini, Liquigas-Bianchi, 3:48:01
2) Gregory Rast, Phonak, same time
3) Rene Haselbacher, Gerolsteiner, same time
4) Allan Johansen, Team CSC, same time
5) Gustav Erik Larsson, Fassa Bortolo, same time
6) Yannick Talabardon, Credit Agricole, same time
7) Maarten Den Bakker, Rabobank, same time
8) Aurelien Clerc, Phonak, at :38
9) Angelo Furlan, Domina Vacanze, same time
10) Marcus Zberg, Gerolsteiner, same time
Freire to miss Tour de France
Reigning world champ Oscar Freire of Rabobank will miss the 2005 Tour de France -- and for the same reason he missed last year's race. Cyclingnews.com might describe it best: “a chronic infection in the saddle area.”
Freire, who had a terrific spring campaign, will also pull out of the Tour of Switzerland before tomorrow's stage start.
June 14, 2005
McEwen takes mass sprint at Tour de Suisse
Today, he took a big field sprint in Bad Zurzach (my favorite Spiderman villain!) at the Tour of Switzerland, following 3 wins in a short stay at the Giro d'Italia last month. McEwen briefly wore the leader's maglia rosa, but authorities confiscated a hyperbaric tent from his Davitamon-Lotto team, so Italy was a mixed bag.
McEwen has managed to maintain a high level of fitness since winter, when he won a number of summer races in the southern hemisphere, including 3 stages at the Tour Down Under (where beer does flow and men chunder). On the other hand, he skipped a number of classics with flu, and left the Giro before the hardest stages, so he may be tapering perfectly to the Tour.
Jan Ullrich holds the overall lead, and is likely to keep it through tomorrow at least, as tomorrow's stage is another moderate profile. Thursday, the mountains.
1) Robbie McEwen, Davitamon-Lotto, 4:42:40
2) Daniele Colli, Liquigas-Bianchi, same time
3) Aurelien Clerc, Phonak Hearing Systems, same time
4) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, same time
5) Sebastien Hinault, Credit Agricole, same time
6) Baden Cooke, Française Des Jeux, same time
7) Rene Haselbacher, Gerolsteiner, same time
8) Fabian Wegmann, Gerolsteiner, same time
9) David Loosli, Lampre-Caffita, same time
10) Roger Hammond, Discovery Channel, same time
Ullrich: "I am almost at my very best"
T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich says he's very happy with his condition with three weeks until the start of the 2005 Tour de France.
Ullrich is leading the Tour of Switzerland, which today is contesting its longest stage, told an unnamed "French sports daily":
"Let's not get ahead of ourselves. There are a few more mountain stages [at the Tour of Switzerland] that will help me gauge my true form."
"But what I can say for sure is that two weeks before the start of the Tour, I am very close to my ultimate fitness level. By the end of the week, I'll know if everything is already perfect or if there's still a detail or two to tweak."
June 13, 2005
McGee takes TdS Stage 3; Ullrich holds lead
McGee, from cyclingnews.com gallery
Australia's Brad McGee is looking well-prepared for the Tour, as he took a sprint win on Stage 3 at the Tour of Switzerland today. Jan Ullrich continued in the race's overall lead, but McGee now sits just 2 seconds back, followed by Michael Rogers at 18 seconds.
In 2003, McGee won the Tour prologue, but then abandoned, complaining of metabolic problems; later tests suggested he was making too much insulin, screwing up his blood sugar levels.
At one point, McGee said 2005 was the year when he thought he could win the Tour's overall title; his good form has got to at least make him a favorite in this year's prologue.
Olympic champion Paolo Bettini didn't take the start this morning, blaming stomach problems.
"For the first time I started training for the Tour de France last October," he said. "I am continuing to make progress and in fact I think I am ahead of schedule."
Picking up the DP commentary as Koldo Gil is trying a late breakaway:
But unfortunately for him, there was a certain German wearing a certain yellow thingy around today. And "wearing" two great legs too, by the way: Jan Ullrich drove the chasing bunch into Sankt Anton, and poor Koldo was brought back with just 500m left. Then it was time for the sprint, and for Brad McGee to get proper reward for the perfect race he rode today.
There were some notable performances with the Tour de France in mind. Spaniards Iban Mayo and Alejandro Valverde were both prominent in the front group, while Sinkewitz’s Quick Step team-mate Michael Rogers was also up there. Missing, though, was Joseba Beloki, who finished almost six minutes down and is now very short of time in which to rediscover his best form.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 13, 2005 in Alejandro Valverde, Bradley McGee, Iban Mayo, Jan Ullrich, Joseba Beloki, Michael Rogers, Paolo Bettini, Top Stories, Tour de Suisse | Permalink | Comments (0)
cyclingnews.com TdS TT photo gallery
Rogers, McGee, Ullrich from cyclingnews.com
June 12, 2005
Ullrich takes Tour de Suisse TT, race lead
T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich took a convincing win at the Tour de Suisse today. Ullrich rode the 36-kilometer time trial course in 44:06, 15 seconds faster than Brad McGee, and 18 seconds faster than world TT champ Michael Rogers.
Coupled with Stage 1 winner Bernhard Eisel's weak showing, the ride gives Ullrich the overall race lead; he's defending his title from last year.
CSC's Bobby Julich was 8th on the day.
1) Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, 44:06
2) Bradley McGee, Française des Jeux, at :15
3) Michael Rogers, Quick Step, at :18
4) Fabian Cancellara, Fassa Bortolo, at :39
5) Serguei Gonchar, Domina Vacanze, at :40
6) Vladimir Gusev, Team CSC, at :46
7) Jens Voigt, Team CSC, at :58
8) Bobby Julich, Team CSC, at 1:02
9) Dario Frigo, Fassa Bortolo, at 1:08
10) Patrik Sinkewitz, Quick Step, at 1:09
Posted by Frank Steele on June 12, 2005 in Bobby Julich, Bradley McGee, Fabian Cancellara, Jan Ullrich, Jens Voigt, Michael Rogers, Patrik Sinkewitz, Top Stories, Tour de Suisse | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
June 11, 2005
Bernhard Eisel takes first stage at Tour de Suisse
Normally, you expect a stage win out of FDJ's Australian sprint specialist, Baden Cooke, or fellow Australian Bradley McGee, but on Saturday, Eisel rode a long, almost Petacchi-like leadout to overcome Paolo Bettini, who tried to launch a winning move from 350 meters out, and Boonen, who had a very successful campaign through the spring classics.
After the stage, Eisel thanked Cooke for the win, saying Cooke had told his teammates with 20 kilometers to ride that he wasn't feeling strong enough to sprint for the win.
Davitamon-Lotto's Robbie McEwen chose to not even contest the final sprint.
Tomorrow is a 36-kilometer individual time trial that should provide a measure of Jan Ullrich's fitness with 3 weeks to go to the start of the Tour de France.
1) Bernhard Eisel, Française Des Jeux, 4:00:07
2) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, same time
3) Peter Wrolich, Gerolsteiner, same time
4) Paolo Bettini, Quick Step, same time
5) Bradley McGee, Française Des Jeux, at :03
6) Baden Cooke, Française Des Jeux, same time
7) Fabian Cancellara, Fassa Bortolo, at 0:06
8) Vladimir Gusev, CSC, same time
9) Aurelien Clerc, Phonak, same time
10) Rene Haselbacher, Gerolsteiner, same time
Tour de Suisse kicks off Saturday
Saturday's a big day, as the king stage of the Dauphiné covers 4 major climbs, and the Tour of Switzerland kicks off.
T-Mobile's Jan Ullrich is the defending Tour de Suisse champion, but Ullrich told cyclingnews.com it's a training ride this year for him.
"Repeating last year's victory is not on my mind, it's all about a measured build-up to the Tour de France," Ullrich said. "I'm convinced that I am a bit further ahead compared to the same time in previous years. I still have about three pounds to lose but that's intended. Now I must race again in order to achieve a fine cross section of fitness. That means I must convert the strength I have into speed."
There may be a stronger field taking the start of the Tour de Suisse than is contesting the Dauphiné, despite the presence of the top American GC threats at the Dauphiné; the Swiss tour includes Ullrich, Robbie McEwen, Oscar Freire, last year's Dauphiné champion Iban Mayo, Tom Boonen, and Americans Bobby Julich, Freddie Rodriguez, Saul Raisin, Jason McCartney, Guido Trenti, and Chris Horner.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 11, 2005 in Bobby Julich, Chris Horner, Fred Rodriguez, Iban Mayo, Jan Ullrich, Oscar Freire, Robbie McEwen, Saul Raisin, Tom Boonen, Tour de Suisse | Permalink | Comments (0)