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July 13, 2006

Contenders emerge: Menchov the stage, Landis in yellow

Floyd Landis shadowed every move, riding the long and strong pulls by Rabobank's Michael Rasmussen and Michael Boogerd into the race lead. Denis Menchov made their efforts pay, taking the stage win, his first. Levi Leipheimer took 2nd on the day, ahead of Landis.

Landis becomes the 5th American in yellow, riding a steady hard tempo, rather than taking an explosive stage win. Landis admitted that he would have preferred to take the jersey later in the game, but as he said, you can't turn down a chance at the yellow jersey.

T-Mobile showed its strength early, cracking the field over the Col du Portillon, but team leaders Andreas Klöden and Michael Rogers were dropped on the day's final climb. Davitamon-Lotto's Cadel Evans and CSC's Carlos Sastre did better, only faltering in the last kilometers, and finishing only 17 seconds behind Menchov.

Menchov, at 1:01, emerges as the biggest threat to a Landis overall victory. Evans sits at 1:17 and Sastre at 1:52. Klöden, Rogers, and everybody else are more than 2 minutes down, with a long time trial scheduled for Stage 19.

Michael Boogerd was incredible at the front of the select group, but the day's revelation was Marcus Fothen, who controls the white jersey competition, 12 minutes ahead of Damiano Cunego, and sits 10th overall.

It looks like Discovery Channel may have no leaders, not four as previously suggested. Jose Azevedo was the best placed Disco rider, 4:10 back, while Popovych was at 6:25, Hincapie at 21:23, and Savoldelli at 23:04.

T-Mobile takes the team lead back from AG2R.

Dessel goes from two jerseys to none, as Saunier Duval's David de la Fuente takes over the King of the Mountains lead, with 80 points to Dessel's 62, Wegmann's 61, and Rasmussen's 49.

Top 10:
1) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, Russia, in 6:06:25
2) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, USA, same time
3) Floyd Landis, Phonak, USA, s.t.
4) Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, at :17
5) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, at :17
6) Michael Boogerd, Rabobank, Netherlands, 1:04
7) Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel, Spain, at 1:31
8) Frank Schleck, CSC, Luxembourg, at 1:31
9) Andreas Klöden, T-Mobile, Germany, at 1:31
10) Christophe Moreau, AG2R, France, at 2:29

1) Floyd Landis, Phonak, USA, 49:18:07
2) Cyril Dessel, AG2R, France, at :08
3) Denis Menchov, Rabobank, Russia, at 1:01
4) Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, Australia, at 1:17
5) Carlos Sastre, CSC, Spain, at 1:52
6) Andreas Klöden, T-Mobile, Germany, at 2:29
7) Michael Rogers, T-Mobile, Australia, at 3:22
8) Juan Miguel Mercado, Agritubel, Span, at 3:33
9) Christophe Moreau, AG2R, France, at 3:44
10) Marcus Fothen, Gerolsteiner, Germany, at 4:17

Posted by Frank Steele on July 13, 2006 in Andreas Klöden, Cadel Evans, Christophe Moreau, Damiano Cunego, Denis Menchov, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rogers, Paolo Savoldelli, Top Stories, Tour de France 2006 | Permalink


After watching the interview of Floyd after donning the yellow jersey, I think one word sums up Floyd:


Congrats to Floyd!

Posted by: Eric at Jul 13, 2006 11:46:28 AM

Great to see Floyd in yellow, and nice to see Leipheimer getting his legs back, though he may have already sacrificed his chances for the overall. Big props to the Raboboys - Who'd have thunk a Dutch team would show so well on a monster mountain stage like this? Can't help but think of Erik Estrada of "CHIPS" whenever I see those giant gleaming teeth of Boogerd's, lighting the way up the road.

So much for Discovery's silly, overhyped "Race to Replace" - I like the Discos, but I think all the hype set the expectations way too high. I wonder if they're regretting leaving Tom Danielson off the TdF squad?

For the record, my prerace prediction in re. Discovery was that they'd have one guy finish in the top 10 (but not on the podium), and it wouldn't be Popovych. After today, even the first prediction looks like it may prove too ambitious.

Posted by: ewmayer at Jul 13, 2006 12:36:55 PM

Hi everyone,
Now that Floyd is wearing yellow (!!!!!) I wanted to invite all of you to a live chat tomorrow on Gather.com with Outside magazine editor Dan Coyle. Dan will be on Gather.com Friday, July 14th from 2-4pm to discuss this year’s Tour, his recent feature articles on Floyd Landis in Outside and the New York Times Sunday Magazine, and his 2005 bestseller Lance Armstrong’s War.

If you’re interested, click here and register for the discussion. The chat will begin promptly at 2pm tomorrow and can be found at www.gather.com.

I hope you join us,


Posted by: Lisa at Jul 13, 2006 1:26:56 PM

They should quickly rename that, "Race to Save Face . . . ' and try to recover and move up the standings. Big George did not look good, nor did anyone else from Discovery. It's a really interesting dynamic to not have a leader to ride for and fall apart. T-Mobile was impressive and I bet Kloden will regain later on.

Posted by: DL Byron at Jul 13, 2006 1:51:44 PM

Read top article only if you want to see todays update!!!!!!

Posted by: superman at Jul 13, 2006 5:37:08 PM

Giddy Floyd - I couldn't stop laughing with happiness, Floyd's great big grin is a beautiful thing. That's the kid riding at 2 AM after doing his chores all day, the kid who showed up at his first big race in argyle socks and laughed all the way to the finish line.

Disco - I'm reminded of that scene in The West Wing, when the MS stuff hits the fan, and Charlie asks the President what he cand do, and Bartlett says, "go to law school and graduate as fast as you can." As in, Johan to Tommy D., "mature as fast as you can." I think they've been smart with Danielson, letting him grow and improve in the Giro and Vuelta. He'll be the leader at the Vuelta, and has said that the plan is for him to be at the Tour next year. Looking forward to he and Floyd battling it out in the future!

Posted by: Julie at Jul 13, 2006 9:05:18 PM

Perhaps the "race to replace" was premature and should not be held until Landis decides to retire some time from now. It's obvious that Discovery would have been served well had they hung on to Landis. I realize that there can be only one leader but certain promises and financial incentives would have helped. It seems Discovery now needs to recruit a new leader and that is even more expensive.

Posted by: hobeco at Jul 14, 2006 1:10:38 AM

(my first post, hello)

I must say it was really cool to see the entire race unfold yesterday. Esp the carnage on the last 2 climbs. Thank you OLN and TiVo!!!

Landis -- Now, I can't say I'm surpised by what happened w/regard to his performance. Star presence (Basso especially) or no star presence, Floyd would have been there at the end regardless. Dare I steal Sherwin's thunder when I say he really was as cool as a cucumber, esp on the final flury up Pla-de-Beret. The "poker face" analogy was spot-on. I would even go as far to say that Floyd looked even Basso-esque, showing ZERO sign of duress on the climbs...and yes, he has the high-cadence/Lance-dance style down pat, doesn't he? Man, it was great to see. "Giddy" is a perfect description of the post-race interview indeed!

T-Mobile -- OK, so they really bashed the race open, thumped their chest some on the Portillon...and looked strong. At the time. But, alas, I have to agree with Chris Horner's VeloNews video diary comments today. Telekom tactics were a little suprising, and well...ultimately isolated a shaky Kloden. Kessler's been such an animal out there (the *entire* tour), why not take a less-agressive stance and have Rogers and Sinkewitz pace up the Portillon and save Kessler for the final throwdown?

Chris Horner -- Must send some big props his way. He talks about the tour like he's been riding for 15 years and you can tell he's just enjoying every second out there, bum finger and all. Massiv respect. His video diaries on VeloNews have been awesome.

Disco -- Not gonna comment on race/replace/save face hype, sorry. But given stage 12 results -- we're not surprised are we? Popo's the only hope here. Azevedo was a pacesetter without a pacee yesterday; and while he has finished a decent TdF GC before, he's better suited to help Popo in the Alps bottom line. The loss of Salvodelli's not huge; it ain't over.

(sorry to ramble, I'll keep it short next time ;)

Posted by: asg at Jul 14, 2006 1:51:54 PM