July 22, 2007
Stage 14: Contador opens Tour account
Discovery Channel's Alberto Contador took an aggressive stage win as the Tour moves into the Pyrenees, and elevated himself from 1 of 10 candidates to win this year's Tour to one of the two favorites.
Contador, just 24 and riding in the white jersey of the race's best-placed young rider, waited as teammate Yaroslav Popovych reduced the group riding with race leader Michael Rasmussen, then launched a blistering attack, initially answered by Rasmussen and Evans, that only Rasmussen could ultimately match. By doing so, Rasmussen moved one stage nearer a possible win in Paris, and Contador took his 1st career Tour stage win.
Many of the pre-race favorites lost buckets of time today: Alexandre Vinokourov, who won on Saturday, lost 28:50 to Contador today. Christophe Moreau lost 34:52. Iban Mayo lost 9:31. A few riders managed to limit their losses to Rasmussen and Contador, who dominated the field today: Juan Mauricio Soler, riding in his 1st Tour, lost only 37 seconds; Levi Leipheimer and Carlos Sastre were close behind.
Evans finished with Andreas Klöden at 1:52. Caisse d'Epargne's two leaders, Oscar Pereiro and Alejandro Valverde, finished together at 3:45.
A lot of discussion has resulted from a brief discussion between Contador and Rasmussen in the climb's last kilometers. Rasmussen came up to Contador, and Contador pointed to himself twice. The riders differ on the discussion: Contador said Rasmussen promised the stage win for Contador's cooperation to the finish, while Rasmussen echoed Lance Armstrong: “This is the Tour de France -- you don't give any presents here.”
Possibly the dumbest move of the day came from Saunier Duval, which sent David Millar to set a fast pace few riders could match, only to find team leader Iban Mayo was among the riders who couldn't.
Stage 14 Top 20:
1) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain, in 5:25:48
2) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, Denmark, same time
3) Mauricio Soler, Barloworld, Colombia, at :37
4) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, USA, at :40
5) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, at :53
6) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, at 1:52
7) Cadel Evans, Predictor - Lotto, Australia, same time
8) Antonio Colom, Astana, Spain, at 2:23
9) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, same time
10) Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel, Ukraine, at 3:06
11) Michael Boogerd, Rabobank, Netherlands, same time
12) Mikel Astarloza, Euskaltel - Euskadi, Spain, s.t.
13) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 3:45
14) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, same time
15) Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, s.t.
16) Bernhard Kohl, Gerolsteiner, Austria, s.t.
17) David Arroyo, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 3:47
18) José Ivan Gutierrez, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 4:04
19) Amets Txurruka, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, same time
20) John Gadret, AG2R, France, at 4:48
Major changes in the GC; Rasmussen gets a cushion on everyone but Contador.
Overall Standings after Stage 14:
1) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, Denmark, in 64:12:15
2) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain, at 2:23
3) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Australia, at 3:04
4) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, USA, at 4:29
5) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, at 4:38
6) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, at 5:50
7) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, at 6:58
8) Mikel Astarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 8:25
9) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, at 9:45
10) Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel, Ukraine, at 10:55
11) Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 11:01
12) Mauricio Soler, Barloworld, Colombia, at 11:31
13) Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, at 12:15
14) Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile, Luxembourg, at 13:16
15) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, Russia, at 14:58
16) Iban Mayo, Saunier Duval, Spain, at 15:31
17) Chris Horner, Predictor-Lotto, USA, at 17:23
18) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, Russia, at 18:57
19) David Arroyo, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 19:19
20) José Ivan Gutierrez, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at 19:33
Posted by Frank Steele on July 22, 2007 in 2007 Stage 14, Alberto Contador, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, Chris Horner, David Millar, Denis Menchov, Haimar Zubeldia, Iban Mayo, Juan Mauricio Soler, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Top Stories, Vladimir Karpets, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
July 15, 2007
Stage 8 on the road
Day 2 of the Alps ratchets the difficulty up another notch, with 6 categorized climbs, the last three 1st Category. There are 3 riders who have shown an interest in the King of the Mountains competition: Michael Rasmussen, David de la Fuente, and Sylvain Chavanel.
Rasmussen has won his polka-dot jerseys through a strategy sometimes called the “Chicken Run,” a day-long Alpine breakaway where he takes major mountain points while riding alone. There's a chance of that, but he's still placed highly in the GC, and may not be allowed to get away.
Versus broacaster picks:
First climb, a 4th Cat:
1) Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner, +3 pts
2) Alexandre Efimkin, Barloworld, +2 pts
3) Marcel Sieberg, Milram, +1 pt
2nd climb, a 3rd Cat:
1) Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner, +4 pts
2) Juan Manuel Garate, Quick Step, +3 pts
3) Gorka Verdugo, Euskaltel +2 pts
4) Stephane Goubert (AG2R)+1 pt
Schumacher was recaptured, and Thomas Voeckler made a break. He was quickly countered by 18 riders, including Michael Rogers, George Hincapie, David Millar, Stephan Schumacher, and Jens Voigt.
1) Thomas Voeckler, Bouygues Telecom, +6 pts/6 secs
2) Lilian Jegou, Française des Jeux, +4 pts/4 secs
3) Stephane Goubert (A2R) +2 pts/2 secs
3rd climb, 2nd Cat:
1) Thomas Voeckler, Bouygues Telecom, 10 pts
2) Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner, 9 pts
3) Stephane Goubert, AG2R, 8 pts
4) David Millar, Saunier Duval, 7 pts
5) Bernard Kohl, Gerolsteiner, 6 pts
6) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, 5 pts
Voeckler was captured and the group of 18 quickly built a 2:00 lead on the peloton, driven primarily by Rabobank.
2nd (and final) intermediate sprint:
1) Frederik Willems, Liquigas, +6 pts/6 secs
2) Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner, +4 pts/4 secs
3) Antonio Colom, Astana, +2 pts/2 secs
Early on the day's biggest climb, David Millar falls off the lead group, and Michael Rasmussen rides off the peloton, joined by 7 other riders.
Bernard Kohl of Gerolsteiner has ridden away from the Rogers group and leads the race, with Antonio Colom and Christophe Le Mevel chasing.
Rasmussen has caught up to the splinters of the Rogers group, with David Arroyo, who bridged with him, and Goubert and Rogers join them to chase down Kohl, Le Mevel, and Colom. The 7 of them now lead the race.
Le Mevel is dropped late on the climb. Over the top, Rasmussen takes max points. He's been doing most of the work, but will be glad to have some other riders to pick the best line on the descent. The main field is more than 5 minutes behind with 2 more 1st Category climbs.
Cormet de Roselend, 1st Category:
1) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, 15 pts
2) Bernard Kohl, Gerolsteiner, 13 pts
3) Stephane Goubert, AG2R, 11 pts
4) David Arroyo, Caisse d'Epargne, 9 pts
5) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, 8 pts
6) Antonio Colom, Astana, 7 pts
7) Christphe Le Mevel, 6 pts (@ :52)
8) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, 5 pts (@1:25)
On the descent, Michael Rogers crashes, and David Arroyo goes over a guardrail. Both are quickly back on the road, but have to chase to get back with Rasmussen/Kohl/Colom.
On the 2nd 1st Category climb, Rogers is first to fall off the Rasmussen group, quickly followed by Goubert and Kohl. Colom and Arroyo match Rasmussen, letting the Dane do all the work.
Rogers can't hang with Goubert and Kohl, and it's quickly apparent that he's injured from the fall. He falls back to Hincapie's group, then back to the peloton, then off the back of the peloton to see the race doctor. Rogers refuses help from a domestique, then pulls to the side of the road. He collapses over his top tube, then dismounts and exits the Tour.
Less than 5 minutes later, his teammate Marcus Burghardt is reported to have abandoned, but it's yet another race radio screwup.
Over the summit, it's Rasmussen again, and Astana comes to the front of the field, 6:12 behind Rasmussen's trio. Most of the GC men are close by. Rasmussen is back in his familiar polka-dots, and could take the overall lead -- Arroyo is only 2 seconds behind Rasmussen in GC, and would take the race lead if he beats Rasmussen to the line for the stage win.
Montée d'Hauteville, 1st Category:
1) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, 15 pts
2) Antonio Colom, Astana, 13 pts
3) David Arroyo, Caisse d'Epargne, 11 pts
4) Sergio Paulinho, Discovery Channel, 9 pts
5) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, 8 pts
6) José Ivan Gutierrez, Caisse d'Epargne, 7 pts
7) Amets Txurruka, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 6 pts
8) Christophe le Mevel, Credit Agricole, 5 pts
Knowing Arroyo is a threat, Rasmussen rides the other two off his wheel on the day's last climb. Christophe Moreau is the first GC man to attack -- Mayo, Evans, Contador, Kashechkin, Valverde and Shleck (and briefly, Popovych) matched the French champion. Mayo, Moreau and Contador look like the strongest men in this group, which has built a lead of more than 1:30 on the peloton, which include Vino, Klöden, Leipheimer, Menchov, and others.
Contador has a mechanical that takes him back to the Vino group, but as soon as he's back on his bike, he goes back on the attack. Meanwhile, Moreau's group sweeps up Arroyo and Colom, and nearing the summit, Mayo jumps easily away. Only Moreau will work to reel him in, and Mayo builds a gap.
Rasmussen crosses the line with a textbook Rasmussen victory. Today, though, there's more than the polka-dots as a reward: Rasmussen takes over as the overall race leader.
Mayo is 2nd on the day, 2:47 back, then Valverde.
You can track the action in real time by subscribing to my Twitter feed.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 15, 2007 in 2007 Stage 8, Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Andrey Kashechkin, Christophe Moreau, David Millar, Denis Menchov, Frank Schleck, George Hincapie, Iban Mayo, Jens Voigt, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Michael Rogers, Sylvain Chavanel, Vladimir Karpets, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0)
July 13, 2007
Stage 6: Boonen gets his groove back
Tom Boonen's reputation was suffering in this year's Tour, as he finished second to his leadout man Gert Steegmans in Stage 2, and couldn't quite close the deal in the other field sprints. With Thor Hushovd and Robbie McEwen nursing injuries, today was the last opportunity for Boonen to take a stage win until Wednesday's Stage 10.
In an all-hands sprint into Bourg-en-Bresse, Boonen outkicked Rabobank's Oscar Freire and yesterday's green jersey, Erik Zabel, to retake the green jersey. Barloworld's Robbie Hunter jumped a little too soon, and '07 Tour sprint revelation Romain Feilleu was coming on strong at the line after waiting too long, but Boonen timed it just right.
Only two riders left the shelter of the peloton today. Bradley Wiggins of Cofidis attacked after 2 kilometers and rode alone for 190 kilometers/115 miles, and at one point was the virtual race leader with a 17:00 gap to the field. Andrey Grivko of Milram briefly tried to join Wiggins, but quickly returned to the pack. It was clear that the sprinters had marked this stage on their race bible, as they pulled Wiggins back within 2 minutes and let him dangle, finally making the capture with only 7 kilometers/4.5 miles to ride.
Top 15 (all same time)
1) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, Belgium
2) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, Spain
3) Erik Zabel, Milram, Germany
4) Sébastien Chavanel, Française des Jeux, France
5) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, Norway
6) Daniele Bennati, Lampre, Italy
7) Robert Förster, Gerolsteiner, Germany
8) Robbie Hunter, Barloworld, South Africa
9) Romain Feillu, Agritubel, France
10) Murilo Fischer, Liquigas, Brazil
11) Francisco Ventoso, Saunier Duval, Spain
12) Jérôme Pineau, Bouygues Telecom, France
13) Robbie McEwen, Predictor-Lotto, Australia
14) Danilo Napolitano, Lampre, Italy
15) Geraint Thomas, Barloworld, Great Britain
Boonen retakes the green jersey.
In the overall, Freire gains enough bonus time to move ahead of George Hincapie, up into 5th overall. Gusev holds white, Chavanel holds the polka-dots, and Brad Wiggins gets the red race numbers (“most combative rider”) for tomorrow. A lot of riders on the list below won't be on the list below tomorrow night.
Overall standings after Stage 6:
1) Fabian Cancellara, CSC, Switzerland, in 29:49:55
2) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, at :33
3) Filippo Pozzato, Liquigas, Italy, at :35
4) David Millar, Saunier Duval, Great Britain, at :41
5) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, Spain, at :43
6) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, USA, at :43
7) Vladimir Gusev, Discovery Channel, Russia, at :45
8) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, Russia, at :46
9) Erik Zabel, Milram, Germany, at :48
10) Mikel Astarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, at :49
Posted by Frank Steele on July 13, 2007 in 2007 Stage 6, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Bradley Wiggins, David Millar, Erik Zabel, Filippo Pozzato, George Hincapie, Oscar Freire, Romain Feillu, Tom Boonen, Top Stories, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
July 12, 2007
Stage 5: Pozzato powers through, but where's Vino?
Filippo Pozzato was as good as his word Thursday. The Liquigas classics specialist, winner at Milan-San Remo in 2006, told CyclingNews that Stage 5 was right for him, and he followed through with a magnificent sprint through a select group of power riders that survived over a hilly course.
Sylvain Chavanel of Cofidis built a healthy lead in the King of the Mountains competition by leading the race over 7 of the day's 8 climbs, in a break with FdJeux's Philippe Gilbert, Credit Agricole's William Bonnet, and break latecomer Gianpaolo Cheula of Barloworld.
Meanwhile, many of the race favorites spent time on the tarmac, most notably Alexandre Vinokourov, who finished 1:21 back on the day after spending almost 25 kilometers/16 miles chasing, first with 6 teammates (all but Klöden and Kashechkin) then behind the team car, and finally with the help of Tom Boonen and other dropped traffic he collected as he made up time. Astana's team competition lead (the yellow race numbers) was lost, as well, and Team CSC takes over the team lead.
As the field came to the finish, 74 riders were together, but most of the marquee sprinters were dropped, including Boonen, McEwen, and Thor Hushovd, so the classics specialists came to the fore, with Zabel and Freire initially looking strong, then Hincapie and Bennati closing them down, before Pozzato came on through the center for the win, less than a foot ahead of Rabobank's Oscar Freire.
Top 20 (all same time):
1) Filippo Pozzato, Liquigas, Italy
2) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, Spain
3) Daniele Bennati, Lampre, Italy
4) Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile, Luxembourg
5) Erik Zabel, Milram, Germany
6) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, USA
7) Christian Moreni, Cofidis, Italy
8) Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner, Germany
9) Bram Tankink, Quick Step, Netherlands
10) Jérôme Pineau, Bouygues Telecom, France
11) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Australia
12) Fabian Cancellara, CSC, Switzerland
13) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain
14) Chris Horner, Predictor-Lotto, USA
15) Fränk Schleck, CSC, Luxembourg
16) Martin Elmiger, AG2R, Switzerland
17) Linus Gerdemann, T-Mobile, Germany
18) Inigo Landaluze, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain
19) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, Australia, T-Mobile, Australia
20) Laurent Lefevre, Bouygues Telecom, France
Once again, Fabian Cancellara did the yellow jersey proud, personally heading the peloton when Discovery's Yaroslav Popovych made a late break, and finishing 12th on a day when many expected him to lose the yellow jersey. As expected there was a heavy shuffle of the overall classification:
Overall standings after Stage 5
1) Fabian Cancellara, CSC, Switzerland, in 28:56
2) Andreas Klöden, Astana, Germany, @ :33
3) Filippo Pozzato, Liquigas, Italy, @ :35
4) David Millar, Saunier Duval, Great Britain, @ :41
5) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, USA, @ :43
6) Vladimir Gusev, Discovery Channel, Russia, @ :45
7) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, Russia, @ :46
8) Mikel Atarloza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, @ :49
9) Thomas Dekker, Rabobank, Netherlands, @ :51
10) Benoît Vaugrenard, Française des Jeux, France, @ :52
11) José Ivan Gutierrez, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, @ :53
12) Alberto Contador, Discovery Channel, Spain, @ :55
13) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, Spain, @ :55
14) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, @ :55
15) Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Australia, @ :55
22) Levi Leipheimer, Discovery Channel, USA, @ 1:00
23) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, Russia, @ 1:00
25) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, @ 1:03
81) Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana, Kazakhstan, @ 2:10
Zabel, the 6-time winner, is in the green jersey for the first time since 2002. Sylvain Chavanel of Cofidis takes the King of the Mountains jersey from teammate Stéphane Augé, and Gusev maintains the lead in the young riders' white jersey competition.
And let's have no more talk of Dave Zabriskie as the Lanterne Rouge, please, as Dave Z finished in a big group @ 11:15 back, and jumps to 178th, 18:24 behind teammate Cancellara. Geoffroy Lequatre, a Cofidis rider who appeared to injure his right arm in a heavy fall and wobbled in 44:04 back, is 45:38 behind Cancellara to lead the Lanterne Rouge standings.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2007 in 2007 Stage 5, Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Andrey Kashechkin, Cadel Evans, Chris Horner, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, Denis Menchov, Erik Zabel, Filippo Pozzato, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Linus Gerdemann, Michael Rogers, Oscar Freire, Stefan Schumacher, Sylvain Chavanel, Thomas Dekker, Top Stories, Vladimir Karpets, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0)
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)
July 08, 2007
Stage 1: Rapid Robbie scratches for the win
Struck from behind while waiting for a crash to clear with about 20 kms/12.5 miles to ride, Robbie McEwen went over the bars, injuring his wrist. Adding insult, he then had to organize a chase to get back to the peloton, and only hooked back up with less than 5 miles to ride.
But it apparently takes more than that to slow the fastest man on two wheels, who struck like lightning in the stage's last 200 meters, whipping the other sprinters' Canterbury tails. From at least 10 places back, McEwen catapulted past Tom Boonen and Thor Hushovd and won with a bike length to spare.
It was McEwen's 12th career Tour stage win, ahead of Thor Hushovd and Tom Boonen.
1) Robbie McEwen, Predictor-Lotto, Australia, 4:39:01
2) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, Norway, same time
3) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, Belgium, s.t.
4) Sebastien Chavanel, Française des Jeux, France, s.t.
3) Romain Feillu, Agritubel, France, s.t.
6) Robert Förster, Gerolsteiner, Germany, s.t.
7) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, Spain, s.t.
8) Marcus Burghardt, T-Mobile, Germany, s.t.
9) Francisco Ventoso, Saunier Duval-Prodir, s.t.
10) Tomas Vaitkus, Discovery Channel, Lithuania, s.t.
McEwen said he landed on his knee, hand, and wrist in the fall. “At first, I couldn't bend my leg,” he said. “The guys rode like a team time trial to get me back in the bunch” for 13 or 15 kilometers, finally catching up in the last 5 miles of the stage.
McEwen takes over the green jersey, David Millar takes the cheap King of the Mountains, and Vladimir Gusev holds the white jersey.
Overall standings after Stage 1:
1) Fabian Cancellara, Team CSC, Switzerland 4:47:51
2) Andreas Kloden, Astana, Germany, @ :13
3) David Millar, Saunier Duval-Prodir, Great Britain, @ :21
4) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, USA, @ :23
5) Brad Wiggins, Cofidis, Great Britain, @ :23
6) Vladimir Gusev, Discovery Channel, Russia, @ :25
7) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, Russia, @ :26
8) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, Norway, @ :29
9) Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana, Kazakhstan, @ :30
10) Thomas Dekker, Rabobank, Netherlands, @ :31
There are 188 riders left, after Eduardo Gonzalo of Agritubel crashed through the rear window of a Caisse d'Epargne team car, and had to leave the race.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 8, 2007 in Andreas Klöden, Bradley Wiggins, David Millar, George Hincapie, Oscar Freire, Robbie McEwen, Romain Feillu, Thor Hushovd, Top Stories, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (7)
July 07, 2007
Mikel Astarloza had the best early time with a 9:23.88.
Stuart O'Grady overcooked a left-hander and crashed into some barriers with a little more than 1 kilometer to ride after setting the best time at 5 kilometers.
One thing to watch are the riders' handlebars: VeloNews this morning has a story about some “clarifications” to UCI rules that have caused some riders to switch their aero bars. At the Dauphiné Libéré, officials seemed to be focused on whether the rider had more than 2 points of contact with the bars, but now they're more concerned with the angle of the extensions, which they want essentially parallel to the ground. Some riders were experimenting with variations on the more steeply angled position (the “Praying Landis”) that Floyd Landis used last year.
Dave Zabriskie sets out in the Stars and Stripes. By the way, he's got “These colors don't run” printed on the inside of his left sleeve. You can see it in this photo (look at the large version). Zabriskie is fastest at the time check. Coming to the finish now, and Zabriskie sprints to the line at 9:22.98. I don't think that will last.
Right behind Zabriskie is Caisse d'Epargne's Vladimir Karpets, and the former white jersey is very strong: 9:16.77 takes over the lead. I thought Z's time would last longer than that...
Robbie McEwen looks like he's out for a club ride, and comes in at 9:59.15.
Discovery Channel is wearing jerseys with big green stripes across the arms and back, as part of Discovery Channel Goes Green. The team will plant trees in Mendocino to offset the team cars' carbon emissions, and an additional 30 trees for each stage win or leader's jersey a Disco rider wears.
Speaking of the Discos, here comes Russian TT champion Vladimir Gusev, whose intermediate time check was even with Karpets. At the line, he's going really hard, and he moves into the lead with a 9:15.99. Russians sit 1st and 2nd.
José Ivan Gutierrez, the Spanish TT champion, barely clears the barricade that claimed O'Grady earlier, and finishes in 9:23.66, putting him 4th with lots of talent yet to ride.
Valverde is the first of the race favorites to set out. He looks fantastic on his bike -- he's got a very quiet upper body, but going like hell below. He's 9 seconds down at the time check, and he finishes in 9:33.40. That's an OK start for Valverde.
Manuel Quinziato of Liquigas is Top 5 for now with a 9:22 and change.
Andreas Klöden comes through the checkpoint in 5:13 -- that's 8 seconds faster than 2nd-place Vladimir Gusev!
And here comes Klöden to the line, and he takes the lead with a 9:03.29! That's 52 km/hr.
George Hincapie sets off. He's got his work cut out for him. He's 2nd at the checkpoint, 7 seconds behind Klöden. He's going hard for the line, but he cant' match Klöden with a 9:13.75, 2nd for now.
Millar is on the course, and 1 minute behind is Alexandre Vinokourov. Millar goes hard, sprinting out of the start house, and the 500,000+ fans roar for the Scot.
And Wiggins is off, pushing a bigger gear than Millar, and drawing a bigger cheer from the thick crowds.
Millar comes in at 9:23.60, which will be outside the top 10. Vinokourov is next in, and he's charging, out of the saddle, to finish in 9:20.47. That's 5th for now, possibly to slip.
Wiggins is 3rd at the time check, 8 seconds back. Klöden has really scorched it today. Wggins is coming to the line, and won't catch Klöden, but maybe Hincapie -- here he comes in 9:13.92, a split-second behind Hincapie.
There goes world TT champ Cancellara, sporting the rainbow stripes. Leipheimer isn't in the top 5 at the time check. Michael Rogers sets out, a triple world champion in the time trial.
Leipheimer finishes in 9:30.34, 22nd with some good riders to go. That probably will drop to around 25th by the end of the day.
Cancellara hits the check at 5:07 -- 7 seconds faster than Klöden!
Cadel Evans comes in at 9:26.05, with Cancellara in sight behind him. Here comes Cancellara, hammering it all the way to the line, and he sets an unbelievable 8:50.74!
Posted by Frank Steele on July 7, 2007 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Andrey Kashechkin, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Dave Zabriskie, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
June 25, 2007
Karpets is last Vladimir left at TdS
Caisse d'Epargne's Vladimir Karpets emerged victorious from the Tour of Vladimirs, as his teammate and former race leader Vladimir Efimkin faded in the time trial at the Tour of Switzerland Sunday.
CSC's Fabian Cancellara looks like a pretty good bet for the Tour de France prologue in London, as he took the day's 33.7-km time trial by 20 seconds ahead of Astana's Andreas Klöden. Cancellara also took the Swiss prologue, but Sunday was sweeter, coming in Bern, his hometown.
Gerolsteiner's Stefan Schumacher was 3rd on the day, at :33, ahead of Discovery's Stijn Devolder at 1:04, Discovery's Vladimir Gusev, who won Stage 7, at 1:05, and Karpets 6th at 1:06.
Efimkin could manage only 38th, dropping 3:22 to Cancellara.
Frank Schleck had promised to go all out to take the race lead, but he fell to 7th overall with a 29th-place finish on the day, 2:50 back.
June 21, 2007
Dekker takes TdS Stage 6, Efimkin in yellow
With a major hailstorm striking during the race, organizers shortened the day's stage, skipping the Nufenenpass, and restarting the stage at Ulrichen at the 95 kilometers to ride point. Some riders reportedly needed medical treatment from hail strikes, and some team cars were damaged.
With the finish line just 1.7 kilometers below the day's last climb, the peloton's climbers had their eye on today's stage. Lampre's Damiano Cunego attacked on the slope, to be matched by (who else?) Saunier Duval's Gilberto Simoni.
When the select group brought those two back, Simoni's teammate José Angel Gomez Marchante attacked, but Cunego countered (shadowed by Simoni), and as the top of the climb approached, it looked like the strong group of 8 riders, including two Vladimirs, Karpets and Efimkin, as well as Simoni, Cunego, and Gomez Marchante, would come down to a sprint.
But Rabobank had a rider sitting quietly at the back of that group, fighting to hang on, and perhaps 200 meters before the top, Thomas Dekker gapped the leading group. Once over the top, Dekker streaked away on the downhill to the finish, going hard, tongue out, all the way to the 200-meter mark, when he finally felt comfortable sitting up, zipping the jersey, and enjoying the big win.
Former race leader Frank Shleck managed to stay with the climbers until the day's last 5 kilometers or so, but lost 1:20 on the day, and passes the jersey to Caisse d'Epargne's Vladimir Efimkin.
Dekker, the Tour of Romandy winner this year, said he was here starting his training for the Tour, and was surprised to feel so strong.
Tour of Switzerland Stage 6 Top 10
1) Thomas Dekker, Netherlands, Rabobank
2) Gerrit Glomser, Austria, Volksbank
3) Gilberto Simoni, Italy, Saunier Duval-Prodir
4) Vladimir Karpets, Russia, Caisse d'Epargne
5) Damiano Cunego, Italy, Lampre
6) José Angel Gomez-Marchante, Spain, Saunier Duval
7) Vladimir Efimkin, Russia, Caisse d'Epargne
8) Matteo Carrara, Italy, Unibet.com
9) Andreas Klöden, Germany, Astana
Overall standings after Stage 6
1) Efimkin, Russia, Caisse d'Epargne
2) Gomez-Marchante, Spain, Saunier Duval
3) Frank Schleck, Luxembourg, CSC
4) Carrara, Italy, Unibet.com
5) Vladimir Karpets, Russia, Caisse d'Epargne
6) Kim Kirchen
7) Damiano Cunego
8) Xavier Florencio
9) Gilberto Simoni
10) Stijn Devolder
Bennati holds the sprint jersey, while Alessandro Proni holds the King of the Mountains jersey.
Posted by Frank Steele on June 21, 2007 in Andreas Klöden, Damiano Cunego, Fabian Cancellara, Frank Schleck, Gilberto Simoni, Thomas Dekker, Tour de Suisse 2007, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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 11, 2007
Caisse d'Epargne's Tour squad emerges
Quoting HLN.be, CyclingNews reports that, barring last-minute changes, Caisse d'Epargne has chosen its Tour squad.
- Caisse d'Epargne Tour riders:
- Alejandro Valverde
- Oscar Pereiro
- Vladimir Karpets
- Xabier Zandio
- Luis Sanchez
- Florent Brard
- Nicolas Portal
- José Vicente Garcia Acosta
- Francisco Perez
Update: They dropped Brard and Sanchez in favor of David Arroyo and José Ivan Gutierrez.
May 27, 2007
Karpets wins Tour of Catalonia
Caisse d'Epargne's Vladimir Karpets of Russia took the overall in the Volta a Catalunya Sunday, edging out Michael Rogers and Denis Menchov.
Euskaltel's Samuel Sanchez won Sunday's stage, 5 seconds ahead of Astana's Alexandre Vinokourov and 9 seconds ahead of a group featuring the GC contenders.
Karpets took the young rider's jersey in the 2004 Tour.
September 14, 2006
Danielson wins Vuelta stage, Vinokourov takes race lead
It's nice to have a little racing news, as Tom Danielson of Discovery Channel took Wednesday's Stage 17 of the Vuelta a España, leading Alexandre Vinokourov across the line. Vinokourov took a 9-second lead on Caisse d'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde.
Valverde doesn't want to see things go down to the final time trial on Saturday, so he told Eurosport he'll be all-out in today's final mountain stage, up the Pandera:
“Nothing is lost. Things will happen on the Pandera. You can't forget that I won here two years ago and have lots of affection for this climb.”
Danielson, who came to the Vuelta as Discovery's GC contender, couldn't hang during the early stages of the Vuelta, but rebounded to take the day after dropping 5 breakaway mates on the day's second 1st-Category climb.
Vinokourov, who has never worn a Grand Tour leader's jersey until now, was able to ride away from Valverde and Sastre on the day's last major climb after teammate Andrey Kashechkin and Jose Angel Gomez Marchante of Saunier Duval cranked up the pace to make a wicked selection. Valverde fought back onto Vino's wheel early in the descent, but the Astana leader slowly pulled away until, with 9 kilometers to ride, he had 32 seconds on Valverde, and sat 13 seconds behind Danielson.
When Vino caught Danielson, the two worked together to maximize the break, while Valverde had to do almost all the work in his small group alone, shadowed by Kashechkin. Euskaltel's Samuel Sanchez attacked out of this group to take 3rd on the day.
1) Tom Danielson, Discovery Channel, USA
2) Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana, Kazakhstan, same time
3) Samuel Sanchez, Euskeltel-Euskadi, Spain, at 1:10
4) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, at 1:39
5) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, same time
6) Stephane Goubert, AG2R, France, s.t.
7) Luis Perez, Cofidis, Spain, s.t.
8) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, s.t.
9) Jose Angel Gomez Marchante, Saunier Duval, s.t.
10) Leonardo Piepoli, Saunier Duval, s.t.
1) Alexandre Vinokourov, Astana, Kazakhstan, 67:29:41
2) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, Spain, at :09
3) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, at 1:51
4) Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Kazakhstan, at 2:14
5) Jose Angel Gomez Marchante, Saunier Duval, at 4:32
6) Tom Danielson, Discovery Channel, USA, at 6:07
7) Manuel Beltran, Discovery Channel, Spain, at 6:33
8) Samuel Sanchez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, at 7:25
9) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, Russia, at 7:49
10) Luis Perez, Cofidis, Spain, at 9:04
CyclingNews | Vinokourov and Danielson combine to unseat Valverde | Results | Photo Gallery
GrahamWatson.com | Vuelta a España Stage 17 photo gallery
Posted by Frank Steele on September 14, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Carlos Sastre, Denis Menchov, Tom Danielson, Top Stories, Vladimir Karpets, Vuelta a España, Vuelta a España 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
July 12, 2006
Mercado takes Stage 10; Cyril Dessel the new yellow jersey
Nothing says “wide-open Tour” better than lightly regarded Cyril Dessel of AG2R, who leads the world's biggest bike race halfway through. Wildcard Agritubel's team leader, Juan Miguel Mercado, sat in for the last part of the stage, and just barely nipped Dessel after a very long breakaway.
T-Mobile spent almost the whole day at the front of the chase, but their yellow jersey, Sergei Honchar, fell off the pace at both the day's big climbs. He finished in the main group, as did Landis, Hincapie, Moreau, Evans, and, after struggling on the Marie Blanque, Leipheimer, Fothen and Simoni. One surprise was Iban Mayo; he came in with the grupetto 24:24 back.
1) Juan Miguel Mercado, Agritubel, Spain, 4:49:10
2) Cyril Dessel, AG2R, France, same time
3) Inigo Landaluze, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, at :56
4) Cristian Moreni, Cofidis, Italy, at 2:24
5) Christophe Rinero, Saunier Duval, France, at 2:25
6) Inaki Isasi, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, at 5:03
7) Cedric Vasseur, QuickStep, France, at 5:35
8) Daniele Bennati, Lampre, Italy, at 7:23
9) Erik Zabel, Milram, Germany, same time
10) Stefano Garzelli, Liquigas, Italy, same time
Full stage results
1) Cyril Dessel, AG2R, France, 43:07:05
2) Juan Miguel Mercado, Agritubel, Spain, at 2:34
3) Sergei Honchar, T-Mobile, Ukraine, at 3:45
4) Cristian Moreni, Cofidis, Italy, at 3:51
5) Floyd Landis, Phonak, USA, at 4:45
6) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, Australia, at 4:53
7) Inigo Landaluze, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Spain, at 5:22
8) Patrik Sinkewitz, T-Mobile, Germany, at 5:30
9) Andreas Klöden, T-Mobile, Germany, at 5:35
10) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, Russia, at 5:37
Full general classification
Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2006 in Andreas Klöden, Erik Zabel, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Patrik Sinkewitz, Stage results, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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
Stage 7 ITT underway
Some times from riders of interest who have already ridden: Viatcheslav Ekimov 1:04:23; Chris Horner 1:05:57; Jens Voigt has the slowest yet at 1:11:44, suggesting he may have plans to go stage-hunting in the next couple of days.
On the course now are Sandy Casar, Iban Mayo, Pietro Caucchioli, and Thomas Voeckler, among others.
Casar came in 1:05:11; Mayo 1:07:20 -- that's got to hurt. Thomas Voeckler 1:05:47. Caucchioli in 1:08:21.
Sastre, Leipheimer and Popovych are on the course. Julich is off.
Sastre is the first one to shake things up; at the first time check, he comes in at 20:22, 5 seconds ahead of Lovkvist's time.
Julich has crashed! He went down very hard at a left-right chicane, hitting the pavement and sliding into and over the curb. He's sitting by the side of the road, and may be the next casualty of the 2006 Tour. That's confirmed; Julich has been taken away in an ambulance. Liggett points out that the only other Tour Julich hasn't finished was because of an accident in the time trial, in 1999.
Menchov hits the 1st time check in 20:07, best so far, 15 seconds better than Sastre.
Zabriskie takes his start.
David Millar is out of the starthouse, slowly spinning up to speed.
Leipheimer reportedly hit the 1st time check at 1:32 behind Menchov! That's 61st-fastest at that point, with a lot of riders to come.
Cadel Evans is ready to roll, and he's off.
T-Mobile's Eddy Mazzoleni is 2nd fastest through the 16.5 kilometer 1st check, 8 seconds slower than Menchov.
Landis is in the start house on time, and he's off. His coach Robbie Ventura said they pre-raced the course at 75 percent this morning, and Landis likes his chances.
Klöden comes through Time Check 1 at 19:58!
Savoldelli is off; Hushovd is off; Hincapie awaits, looking solemn, and he's gone.
Zabriskie is 4th at TC 1, 15 seconds behind Klöden. Menchov sets the new fastest time at the 2nd check, a fraction of a second ahead of Larsson.
Michael Rogers is off, smelling yellow.
Moreau hits TC1 at 25 seconds.
Here goes McEwen, and Boonen is setting up in the start house, and he's off, last to leave as the yellow jersey.
It's a full-on, Michael Rasmussen-style disaster for Leipheimer. He's already been passed by Christian Vande Velde, his 2-minute man.
Menchov finishes his ride fading, at 1:03:27.
Zabriskie is 9th at the 2nd time check. There are reports the wind has picked up since the fast times this morning.
Hincapie is 15th at the first time check, 52 seconds down on Honchar. Rogers is only slightly better, 46 seconds down on Honchar at TC 1.
Vande Velde finishes in 1:04:57.
Leipheimer is coming in, tripping the sensors in 1:07:49. What a nightmare for Leipheimer.
Popovych finishes in 1:05:00.
Boonen is through the first time check (at 1:26), so Honchar's 19:37 is the fastest time there, followed by Landis at :17, Klöden at :22, Marcus Fothen at :29, and Denis Menchov at :30.
Zabriskie hits TC3 39 seconds slower than Lang; Sergei Honcar sets the new best time at the 2nd time check in 43:50, just flying!
Klöden is coming up to the line, and trips the clock in 1:03:26, 4th for now.
Zabriskie is finishing; he won't win the stage, and he finishes in 1:03:40.
Hincapie at TC2: 45:53, slower than Ekimov and Savoldelli.
David Millar hasn't factored in the intermediate checks at all, and finishes in 1:05:17. Christophe Moreau finishes close behind, in 1:03:47.
Rogers comes to TC2 in 45:06, more than 30 seconds behind Landis.
Honchar is fastest again at Time Check 3: 55:09 against Lang's previous-best 56:20.
Honchar is roaring up to the finish; there he comes in 1:01:43!
Landis is 57 seconds down at the 3rd time check on Honchar. He'll be finishing soon. Here he comes; he can't catch Honchar, but he's going to have a strong time, it's 1:02:44 for Landis. Honchar is almost guaranteed the stage win and the yellow jersey tonight.
Savoldelli is coming into the last kilometer and brings home a 1:03:55.
Hincapie is 23rd at the last time check, 2:32 off Honchar.
Rogers comes through the last time check in 56:31, so he's coming in strong.
Hincapie to the line in 1:04:25.
Rogers catches Hushovd, his 6-minute man, just outside the 1-kilometer mark. He won't match Landis: 1:03:07 for the world TT champion.
Boonen's taking his yellow jersey seriously; he caught McEwen on the road, and Boonen finishes his reign in 1:05:35, 41st on the day. McEwen closes out the day, in 1:08:10.
Sergei Honchar has a stage win and a yellow jersey for T-Mobile!
Posted by Frank Steele on July 8, 2006 in Andreas Klöden, Bobby Julich, Cadel Evans, Christian Vande Velde, Christophe Moreau, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, Denis Menchov, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Iban Mayo, Jens Voigt, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rogers, Paolo Savoldelli, Patrik Sinkewitz, Robbie McEwen, Sergei Honchar, Tom Boonen, Tour de France 2006, Vladimir Karpets, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
July 07, 2006
McEwen launched to third stage win
Boonen was in perfect position for the sprint, trailing a couple of leading teammates coming up the left side of the road, with the field stretching out behind him. But the field sprint launched before he did, swamping Boonen and holding him against the rail, so that by the time he kicked hard, he had to work through traffic to finish 3rd.
Boonen retains the yellow jersey, but honestly might just as soon be rid of it, and he will be tomorrow night. Tomorrow is the first long time trial of the Tour, where we'll finally separate the pretenders and contenders. I think that will make for better organized sprints on Sunday and Tuesday (rest day Monday), as it's likely one team will be defending the yellow jersey, and others trying to set up the sprint, instead of QuickStep doing both, as we've had the last couple of days.
Wednesday, the race hits the mountains.
1) Robbie McEwen, Davitamon-Lotto
2) Daniele Bennati, Lampre, same time
3) Tom Boonen, QuickStep, s.t.
4) Bernhard Eisel, Française des Jeux, s.t.
5) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, s.t.
6) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, s.t.
7) Erik Zabel, Milram, s.t.
8) Luca Paolini, Liquigas, s.t.
9) Gert Steegmans, Davitamon-Lotto, s.t.
10) Inaki Isasi, Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
Full Stage 6 results
1) Tom Boonen, QuickStep, in 29:21:00
2) Robbie McEwen, Davitamon-Lotto, at :12
3) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, at :21
4) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, at :25
5) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at :25
6) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, at :27
7) Paolo Savoldelli, Discovery Channel, at :35
8) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at :36
9) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, at :37
10) Sergei Honchar, T-Mobile, at :37
Full GC standings
Posted by Frank Steele on July 7, 2006 in Erik Zabel, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Michael Rogers, Oscar Freire, Paolo Savoldelli, Robbie McEwen, Sergei Honchar, Stage results, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (2)
July 06, 2006
Freire fastest on 5; Boonen holds yellow
Rabobank's former world champion Oscar Freire launched a perfect sprint to win the Tour's Stage 5. Freire uncoiled from about 12th place in the field at about 250 meters to go, put on an incredible burst of speed up the right side of the road, then just kept his head down to the line, as current world champion Tom Boonen couldn't close him down.
Euskaltel-Euskadi's Inaki Isasi takes 3rd, for what must be Euskaltel's earliest stage podium in a recent Tour. Usually, you only see them pacing crashes and flats back into the field until the mountains start.
Boonen pads his lead, by virtue of the 12 bonus seconds for 2nd. A few other GC changes, as misfortune claims Egoi Martinez, and Freire powered to the podium, sitting 3rd, for now.
Dollars to donuts Dumoulin will be the most combative rider, by virtue of being a Frenchman in a suicide break.
1) Oscar Freire, Rabobank
2) Tom Boonen, QuickStep, same time
3) Inaki Isasi, Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
4) David Kopp, Gerolsteiner, s.t.
5) Robbie McEwen, Davitamon-Lotto, s.t.
6) Alessandro Ballan, Lampre, s.t.
7) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, s.t.
8) Francisco Ventoso, Saunier Duval, s.t.
9) Bernhard Eisel, Française des Jeux, s.t.
1) Tom Boonen, QuickStep, in 25:10:51
2) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, at :13
3) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, at :17
4) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at :17
5) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, at :19
6) Robbie Mcewen, Davitamon-Lotto, at :24
7) Paolo Savoldelli, Discovery Channel, at :27
8) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at :28
9) Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, at :29
10) Sergei Honchar, T-Mobile, at :29
Posted by Frank Steele on July 6, 2006 in Erik Zabel, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Michael Rogers, Oscar Freire, Paolo Savoldelli, Robbie McEwen, Sergei Honchar, Stage results, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (0)
July 04, 2006
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.
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.
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)
July 01, 2006
Hushovd takes 2006 Tour prologue
Hushovd is an annual combatant in the sprinter's jersey competition, which he won last year, but is more a pure power rider than some of the other sprinters (Robbie McEwen, I'm looking at you). He should be able to stay close enough to the sprinters over the next few stages to hold the overall race lead.
He edged out Discovery Channel's George Hincapie and CSC's Dave Zabriskie, with Sebastian Lang 4th and Spain's Alejandro Valverde 5th.
Phonak's Floyd Landis missed his start time, and lost nearly 10 seconds before his Tour even started. His 9th place at 8:26.26 would certainly have bettered Zabriskie, and would have rivalled Hincapie and Hushovd if he had ridden the same ride with an on-time start. OLN reports Landis had a flat tire as he came to the start.
David Millar, returning from a 2-year suspension for EPO, could manage only 17th, in 8:31.65.
- Top 10:
- Hushovd, Credit Agricole, in 8:17.00
- George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, at :01
- Dave Zabriskie, CSC, at :04
- Sebastian Lang, Gerolsteiner, at :05
- Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, at :05
- Stuart O'Grady, CSC, at :05
- Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, at :06
- Paolo Savoldelli, Discovery Channel, at :08
- Floyd Landis, Phonak, at :09
- Vladimir Karpets, Caisse d'Epargne, at :10
19) Chris Horner, Davitamon-Lotto, at :16
29) Bobby Julich, CSC, at :19
35) Christian Vande Velde, CSC, at :21
36) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, at :22
112) Fred Rodriguez, Davitamon-Lotto, at :38
This story doesn't really seem to capture the whole moment.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 1, 2006 in Alejandro Valverde, Bobby Julich, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Horner, Christian Vande Velde, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, Floyd Landis, Fred Rodriguez, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rogers, Paolo Savoldelli, Stage results, Stuart O'Grady, Thor Hushovd, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
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
May 15, 2006
Cancellara conquers Catalonia kickoff
CSC is firing on all cylinders. Their Fabian Cancellara took the first stage in the Tour of Catalonia today. Echoing his prologue win in the 2004 Tour de France, Cancellara finished the 12.5-km time trial in 14:55, 3 seconds faster than Illes Balears' Vladimir Karpets, Discovery Channel's Janez Brajkovic, and Phonak's Robbie Hunter.
Cancellara told VeloNews his personal ambition at the 2006 Tour is another prologue win:
"My entire Tour will be less than 10km. After that, I will do my all to help Ivan win," Cancellara said. "After that, I still have goals. I'd like to win the world (time trial) title in Austria."
Christian Vandevelde was 8th on the day, Levi Leipheimer 13th, and Cadel Evans 20th.
July 12, 2005
Your current GC:
1) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, 37:11:04
2) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, at :38
3) Ivan Basso, CSC, at 2:40
4) Christophe Moreau, Credit Agricole, at 2:42
5) Alejandro Valverde (Spain) Illes Balears, at 3:16
6) Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner at 3:58
7) Francisco Mancebo (Spain) Illes Balears at 4:00
8) Jan Ullrich (Germany) T-Mobile at 4:02
9) Andreas Klöden (Germany) T-Mobile at 4:16
10) Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak at 4:16
Looking farther back:
11) Botero, at 5:20
16) Vinokourov, 6:32
17) Julich, 6:32
21) Beloki at 8:31
23) Karpets at 9:03
24) Chris Horner, at 9:05
25) Michael Rogers, at 9:10
30) Georg Totschnig, at 11:43
36) Roberto Heras, at 12:59
45) Denis Menchov, at 16:16
50) Brad McGee, at 18:28
66) Iban Mayo, at 27:31
Basso, Leipheimer, Valverde, and Rasmussen all sit closer to the race lead than they did yesterday. They had the best days for riders not born in Texas. Unfortunately for them, they're not chasing down Jens Voigt from here on out.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Bobby Julich, Bradley McGee, Cadel Evans, Christian Vande Velde, Denis Menchov, Floyd Landis, Francisco Mancebo, Iban Mayo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Michael Rogers, Roberto Heras, Santiago Botero, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Stage 10 underway
First rider to drop out on the day was Lampre's Gerrit Glomser; he's the 16th rider out, leaving 173 in the race.
An opportunistic break was allowed to get 13:30 out in front; the biggest name and highest placed rider to make that break is Laurent Brochard, the former world champion, sitting 49th, 7:58 back this morning. Brochard, of course, has the peloton's worst mullet.
So much for "making CSC control the pace": Discovery is still doing most of the work on Cormet de Roselend. Discovery looks to be performing to expectations: Their pace is sending more than just pack fodder off the back: Iban Mayo has fallen off, and yellow jersey Jens Voigt is at the back of the lead group. Beltran is doing the pacemaking, and even Padrnos is still in the lead group, shadowing Voigt.
Brochard's group is 4:45 up the road from Armstrong, Ullirch, Leipheimer, Landis, Pereiro, Julich, Moreau, Vinokourov, and others. Voigt has yo-yoed off the back of the lead group and rejoined.
Over the top of the Col de Roselend, Pereiro attacks, and is joined by Jorg Jaksche of Liberty Seguros. The Brochard-to-big guns gap is 3:43 at the summit.
Popovych crashed on the descent, apparently with a team car, but got a new bike, and is chasing back onto Armstrong's group. Looks like he hit CSC's team car, and may have tangled and lost with the front fender of one of Discovery's Subarus.
The peloton has grown as riders dropped on the first climb chase back on. Discovery is still doing all the pacemaking.
Jaksche and Pereiro have caught the break, which is now composed of Brochard (Bouyges), Jaksche (Liberty), Pereiro (Phonak), Luis Sanchez (Liberty), Gianluca Bortolami (Lampre), Mauro Facci (Fassa Bortolo), Yuriy Krivtsov (AG2R), Inaki Isasi (Euskaltel), and Joost Posthuma (Rabobank). Pereiro started 5:12 behind Voigt this morning.
Discovery has brought back everyone from the early break except Jaksche, Pereiro and Brochard, and it won't be long on those three.
Roberto Heras and Denis Menchov are toasted and off the back. Mayo reportedly likewise, Beloki is off the back. CSC finally is making a move, sending Sastre off the front. Discovery lets him dangle off the front, but he doesn't have the legs to go.
Guerini off the back, Moreau off the back, Vladimir Karpets off the back. Horner off the back. Julich off the back. Botero off the back. Five Discovery riders up front. Only about 20 riders in total still in contention. Sastre falling off this group, paying for his attempted break.
Leipheimer, Vino, Landis, Ullrich, Basso all are still in Armstrong's group. Valverde is also there. Discovery has started to pay for the pace; Popovych is the only Discovery left. Vinokourov is back at the back of the group of 16 riders; Mancebo is there. Vinokourov is dropped! T-Mobile has Klöden and Ullrich up front.
Popovych is popped, and IT'S ON! Armstrong blows the group of 14 into a group of 5 or so: Armstrong, Basso, Valverde, Rasmussen, and Mancebo! Goodbye, Klöden, Ullrich, Leipheimer, Julich, and Landis. They've still got 10 kilometers to ride!
Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2005 in Alejandro Valverde, Alexandre Vinokourov, Andreas Klöden, Cadel Evans, Christophe Moreau, Denis Menchov, Francisco Mancebo, Iban Mayo, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Jens Voigt, Jorg Jaksche, Joseba Beloki, Lance Armstrong, Laurent Brochard, Michael Rasmussen, Roberto Heras, Santiago Botero, Vladimir Karpets, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack
July 07, 2005
Lands of the Tour hard men
espnstar.com | Eastern promise eye Tour de France success Agence France Presse's Justin Davis profiles the current crop of eastern European stars, and looks at who might take eastern Europe's first yellow jersey. At the moment, of course, the favorite has to be Kazakhstan's Alexandre Vinokourov of T-Mobile. There's also Ukraine's Yaroslav Popovych, currently wearing the white jersey for Discovery; last year's white jersey, Russia's Vladimir Karpets of Illes Balears, and Kazakhstan's Andrey Kashechkin of Credit Agricole. Missing, is one representative of the earlier round of eastern European riders: Discovery's Viatcheslav Ekimov of Russia, who's been riding in the European peloton since 1990. In Lance Armstrong's War, Daniel Coyle talks about "the Eastern Bloc goombahs", a group that includes Ekimov and Vinokourov, but also Jens Voigt and Jan Ullrich, Discovery's Pavel Padrnos, and the late Andrei Kivilev. Coyle offers a terrific capsule introduction of Ekimov:
The third parable ... was the Story of Eki. Thirty-seven-year-old Russian Viatcheslav Ekimov was the only rider on Postal -- indeed, perhaps the only person in Armstrong's world -- whose work ethic was beyond question. This status was underlined frequently, most of all by Armstrong's assertion that Eki was “nails.” Which raised the question: what does it take to be “nails”? This is what it took. When Eki was fourteen and living at a sports club in St. Petersburg, he rode 38,000 kilometers in one year, an average of 450 miles a week. In 1996, as a professional, he nearly doubled it ("That's not possible for a human," Landis said incredulously). But it was true -- Eki had twenty-five notebooks full of training logs to prove it. Eki had ridden thirteen tours and finished every one. Eki never missed a training day. Eki was never late or unprepared. Eki coached himself. Eki was Eki.
July 03, 2005
Stage 2 wrap-ups
Some jersey swaps tonight, as Thomas Voeckler will be the first man to wear the polka-dot jersey, Tom Boonen will put on the green jersey (and Boonen has a much better chance of finishing with his), and Sylvain Calzati of AG2R will ride tomorrow with the red race numbers of the most aggressive rider, for his part in today's suicide break.
Even more bad news for Jan Ullrich: He held position near the front of the field today at the finish, and a time gap opened, but judges eventually ruled the gap was caused by the crash, and gave riders on both sides of the gap the same time. That's why you may see Ullrich in 8th at some websites.
The correct Top 10 on GC:
1) David Zabriskie, CSC, 4:12:22
2) Lance Armstrong, Discovery, at :02
3) Laszlo Bodrogi, Credit Agricole, at :47
4) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, at :53
5) George Hincapie, Discovery, at :57
6) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at 1:02
7) Fabian Cancellara, Fassa Bortolo, at 1:02
8) Jens Voigt, CSC, at 1:04
9) Vladimir Karpets, Illes Balears, at 1:05
10) Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, Liberty Seguros, at 1:06
Although clearly a rip-off of DailyPeloton's hilarious Jambon Report, I couldn't help quoting from procycling's “Good day, bad day,” itself quoting Dave Zabriskie on Bjarne Riis' much-ballyhooed offseason Outward Bound-style team-building exercises:
“We learn about team spirit when we’re in the woods, staring death in the face. Not a lot of people know this, but I didn’t finish the camp this year. I was in hospital, staring death in the face. It helped me to be the man I am today… I can’t wait to do it again next year.”
Keep your eyes peeled for updates at DaveZabriskie.com — Z is pretty funny.
May 28, 2005
Giro decisive stage underway
It all comes down to today. Gilberto Simoni's last chance to take a third Giro, on terrain well-suited for him, but trailing Discovery Channel's Paolo Savoldelli by more than 2 minutes.
Simoni gapped Savoldelli early on the day's biggest climb, the Colle delle Finestre, and quickly got 45 seconds on the maglia rosa. Alongside Simoni are Di Luca (!), Garate, Rujano, and X others. Ivan Basso covered this break, but then fell off, back into Savoldelli's group, and then off of that pack as well. Vladimir Karpets similarly has been dropped by Simoni's group.
Now, on the dirt (!) road near the top of the climb, there are only 4 riders left in Simoni's group: Simoni, Di Luca, Rujano (who has to be looking for a stage win after a Giro of stellar climbing), and Valjavec.
Now Valjavec has been dropped. There's still another (easier) climb up to the finish, and where the riders that have been shed by Simoni's group wind up (with Savoldelli or Simoni) on the descent is going to be interesting: Savoldelli has spent most of the climb leading his group, while Simoni, Di Luca, and the others who were in their group were trading pulls.
At 4:14 Italian time, the Simoni group has 1:42 on Savoldelli! The gap has gone up dramatically -- looks like Savoldelli may have hit a wall. This is exactly the situation where Tom Danielson would have been an incredible asset.
Near the top of the Finestre, Simoni and Di Luca have 2:12 on Savoldelli, putting Simoni in the virtual maglia rosa. Savoldelli is going to have to make up some time on a 9 km descent (his specialty) and an 11 km climb (Simoni's specialty), if he's going to take a second Giro title.
Valjavec and Garate are in no-man's-land between Simoni and Savoldelli, but more than a minute up the road from Savoldelli. If Savoldelli could close that gap, would they have the legs or the motivation to work? It may be academic.
At 4:30, the leaders (Di Luca, Simoni, Rujano) are back on asphalt for the descent. Di Luca, who has been driving the break, takes the King of the Mountains points, but that's not what he's riding for -- he's trying to get back on the podium, after a disappointing ride on Thursday. Rujano has (and had even before today) the King of the Mountains competition sewn up.
Gap at the summit: 2:19.
On the descent, Savoldelli has picked up Gonchar and Van Huffel, and dropped the gap to 2:05, but CyclingNews points out the time bonuses at today's stage finish: 20, 12 and 8 seconds for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Crediting Simoni with 3rd on the day, he would still take the race lead if it ends as it is now.
Di Luca is cramping on the flats between the descent and the final climb, having a lot of trouble, trying to get hydrated. Savoldelli is about 40 seconds behind Valjavec and Garate, who are together.
Now Di Luca is dropped, and Simoni and Rujano are starting up the day's final climb, leading by 1:50. If Simoni took the stage win bonus, it would be enough, assuming Savoldelli wasn't third, but it's going to be extremely close.
Savoldelli has picked up Garate and Valjavec, and sits at 1:45. He's got a pretty good group now, with Gonchar, Garate, Valjavec, and Ardila. Di Luca is 10 seconds back of Rujano and Simoni, and that's got to hurt Simoni: Di Luca was doing a lot of the work on the last climb.
Savoldelli continues to close down Simoni: it's 1:30 now, with Di Luca between, nearly 20 seconds behind Simoni.
Simoni has been riding Rujano's wheel, and won't come around when Rujano tries to get him to take a pull, so Rujano has dropped him! He's got 5 seconds on Simoni, with Di Luca another 30 seconds back, and Savoldelli's group still closing, 1:24 behind Rujano (and 1:09 to Simoni).
Rujano started the day 3 minutes back of Savoldelli, so if he could finish with 2:40 and the day's bonus, he could take the race lead. On the other hand, Savoldelli's group is closing on Di Luca, who is just totally out of gas, so Savoldelli could take 3rd on the day. Even if Savoldelli holds the race lead, Rujano could move into 2nd overall, if he finishes with 47 seconds on Simoni.
Rujano takes the stage! Now it's all down to the gaps. Rujano also takes a 20 second time bonus.
Simoni 2nd, at 26 seconds (+12 second bonus).
Di Luca holds out for 3rd, at 1:34, with an 8-second time bonus.
Here comes Savoldelli, at 1:54 -- Savoldelli holds the maglia rosa, Simoni holds on to 2nd.
May 27, 2005
Basso takes ITT for 2nd straight Giro win
CSC's Ivan Basso, who lost more than a half-hour during last weekend's mountain stages, has recovered enough to win 2 consecutive stages at the Giro d'Italia. On Friday, Basso covered the 34-kilometer course in 45:05, 9 seconds faster than Illes Balears' Vladimir Karpets,, and 20 seconds ahead of Basso teammate David Zabriskie, who won the Giro's first time trial.
Discovery Channel's Paolo Savoldelli, the race's overall leader, was 4th on the day, and extended his lead over Gilberto Simoni (10th on the day) by 1:06, Danilo Di Luca (14th on the stage) by 1:32, and José Rujano (16th) by 1:36.
Sunday's stage is largely ceremonial, so Simoni, now 2:09 back in the overall, will need to do something special on Saturday's stage to have a chance at a 3rd Giro title.
Posted by Frank Steele on May 27, 2005 in Danilo Di Luca, Dave Zabriskie, Gilberto Simoni, Giro d'Italia 2005, Ivan Basso, Paolo Savoldelli, Top Stories, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack
July 24, 2004
Armstrong's 5th win nails down 6th Tour
Armstrong stomped his name all over this Tour today, taking his 5th individual stage win and nailing down an all-time record 6th consecutive Tour win.
In the words of the local sportscasters, it wasn't even that close. Armstrong missed two other stage wins by less than a second, coming second to Fabian Cancellara in the prologue, and finishing less than a bike length behind CSC's Ivan Basso at La Mongie. His US Postal team also took the team time trial.
As for Basso, he was unable to hold off Andreas Klöden of T-Mobile, who looks certain to continue T-Mobile's string of 2nd place Tour finishes. Basso trails Klöden by 21 seconds, but didn't lose enough time to fall from the podium, and will finish 3rd overall.
Jan Ullrich, locked in 4th, will finally learn what it's like to finish off the podium; in 6 prior appearances, Ullrich has a win and 5 2nd-place finishes.
French hero Thomas Voeckler will have to content himself with a closet full of white and yellow jerseys earned during the Tour. Illes Balears-Banesto's Vladimir Karpets beat him by 6+ minutes in the time trial to take over the white jersey for best rider 25 or under.
US Postal looks ready to ride another week, as 5 Postal riders were in the top 11 on the day: Armstrong 1st, Floyd Landis 4th, Jose Rubiera 9th, Jose Azevedo 10th, and George Hincapie 11th. Only Rabobank and US Postal still have all 9 riders in the race.
Armstrong still hasn't completely put to bed the rumor that he won't be back for next year's race:
After Stage 19 Saturday, Armstrong admitted that next year's calendar had yet to be determined.
But he also said this: "The Tour de France is the race that matters the most. And it's the one that I love the most."
"I can't imagine not being here."
And how about Bobby Julich, 5th on the day?
Posted by Frank Steele on July 24, 2004 in Andreas Klöden, Bobby Julich, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Lance Armstrong 2004, Stage results, Top Stories, Vladimir Karpets | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Unstoppable Armstrong takes TT
Armstrong by more than a minute; Klöden up to 2nd overall, but Basso holds 3rd. Voeckler loses white jersey to Vladimir Karpets. More later.