July 15, 2011

Stage 13 as it happens

Stage 13 started fast, with five or six atttempts to make a breakaway all being chased down and the field averaging around 50 km/hr or 31 mph.

The high pace put Andreas Klöden in trouble off the back of the peloton. Klöden is still suffering from injuries to his lower back suffered in a crash in Stage 9, and with about 40k ridden, Klöden abandoned the Tour, barely able to climb off his bike, or to stand up once he was helped off. His abandon leaves just 5 Radio Shack riders in the Tour.

Also put in trouble early was Rabobank's Lars Boom who trailed the field by more than 3:00 on the first climb of the day, the 3rd Category Côte de Cuqueron. Yesterday's 2nd-place finisher, Jelle Vanendert, led the peloton over the climb, with occasional attacks still trying and failing to get clear of the field.

3rd Category Côte de Cuqueron:
1) Jelle Vanendert, Omega Pharma-Lotto, +2 pts
2) Niki Terpstra, Quick Step, +1 pt

With more than 50k ridden, a breakaway group was finally successful, and had more than 1:00 in hand after 60k. In the group were Thor Hushovd, Jerome Pineau, Martin Tjallingi, Dmitri Fofonov, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Alessandro Petacchi, Lars Bak, Vladimir Gusev, David Moncoutie, and Jeremy Roy. With these 10 away, the pace in the field finally dropped a bit, and the gap quickly pushed out toward 2:00.

Lars Boom and Vladimir Isaichev, both gapped way before the Tourmalet, abandoned the race on the road.

4th Category Côte de Belair:
1) Jeremy Roy, FDJ, +1 pt

Gap went out beyond 4:00 as the field worked the climb.

For the intermediate sprint, Hushovd and Petacchi were expected to go for max green jersey points, but the group pretty much just pacelined through the sprint line. In the field, Philippe Gilbert launched an attack from way too far to the line, then was easily swamped by Rojas and Cavendish and their teammates. At the line, Rojas nipped Cavendish, who gestured angrily, but didn't appear to be impeded in any way.

Bielle sprint:
1) Edvald Boasson Hagen, Sky, +20 pts
2) David Moncoutie, Cofidis, +17 pts
3) Vladimir Gusev, Katusha, +15 pts
4) Dmitri Fofonov, Astana +13 pts
5) Alessandro Petacchi, Lampre, +11 pts
6) Martin Tjallingi, Rabobank, +10 pts
7) Thor Hushovd, Garmin-Cervelo, +9 pts
8) Jeremy Roy, FDJ, +8 pts
9) Lars Bak, HTC-Highroad, +7 pts
10) Jerome Pineau, Quick Step, +6 pts
11) José Rojas, Movistar, +5 pts
12) Mark Cavendish, HTC-Highroad, +4 pts
13) Francisco Ventoso, Movistar, +3 pts
14) Mickaël Delage, FDJ, +2 pts
15) Mark Renshaw, HTC-Highroad, +1 pt

Soon after the leading 10 hit the Col d'Aubisque, the group was shredded by an attack by World Champion Thor Hushovd. Hushovd may have had visions of his 2009 Stage 17 spent in a long solo break, but he was quickly joined by Jeremy Roy of FDJ, with David Moncoutie and Edvald Boasson Hagen close behind, and the other break survivors fading away. Hushovd's lead on the field stretched out over 6:30, while Delage, Mollema and Gadret counterattacked off the front of the field.

With a little more than 50k to race, gravity returned to normal, and Roy, then Moncoutie were able to come around Hushovd. Edvald Boasson Hagen initially had followed Moncoutie, but never made the bridge to Hushovd.

Atop the Aubisque, Roy held his lead of about :50 on Moncoutie, and coupled with his points from the Tourmalet yesterday, Roy will take the King of the Mountains jersey if he finishes the stage.

HC Col d'Aubisque:
1) Jeremy Roy, FDJ, +20 pts
2) David Moncoutie, Cofidis, +16 pts
3) Thor Hushovd, Garmin-Cervelo, +12 pts
4) Vladimir Gusev, Katusha, +8 pts
5) Jerome Pineau, Quick Step, +4 pts
6) Lars Bak, HTC-Highroad, +2 pts

Moncoutie began the descent :50 down on Roy, with Hushovd chasing more than a minute behind Moncoutie. Hushovd reeled in Moncoutie on the descent. On the uncategorized climb of the Soulor, Roy saw his lead on the pair at 1:27, but over the last 25 kilometers of the stage, Hushovd did most of the work to close on Roy. At 20k, the gap was 1:10, but over the next 4 km, Hushovd cut that lead in half. In the next 4 km, he cut it in half again, leaving Roy a bare :20 in front with 12 km to the line.

Roy fought valiantly, but the Norwegian world champion chipped away at his lead, until inside of 3 kilometers to the finish, Hushovd used a small hill to thunder away from Moncoutie, catching and riding straight past Roy. Hushovd rode alone to the finish for his 8th career stage win. Moncoutie also passed a dejected Roy to take 2nd on the stage.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 15, 2011 in 2011 Stage 13, Alessandro Petacchi, Andreas Klöden, David Moncoutié, Philippe Gilbert, Thor Hushovd | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 12, 2009

Stage 9: Fedrigo makes it three for France

Getty Images Photo by Jesper Juinen

Pierrick Fedrigo outkicked Franco Pellizotti in the last 200 meters in Tarbes to take Stage 9 of the Tour de France.

Fedrigo and Pellizotti were all that remained from a big breakaway that had swelled to 9 riders, including Jens Voigt, Egoi Martinez, David Moncoutie, and others. The pair were well clear at the summit of the Col du Tourmalet, but a chase by Columbia-HTC, then by Caisse d'Epargne and Rabobank, pulled back all but 34 seconds of their lead by the line.

Yellow jersey Rinaldo Nocentini had no problems with the pace, and will hold the yellow jersey through tomorrow's rest day and Tuesday's Stage 10.

New King of the Mountains Brice Feillu, on the other hand, lost his polka-dots to Egoi Martinez, who was 5th on the Col d'Aspin and 7th over the Tourmalet.

Stage 9 Top 10:
1) Pierrick Fedrigo, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, 4:05:31
2) Franco Pellizotti, Liquigas, same time
3) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, at :34
4) Serguei Ivanov, Team Katusha, same time
5) Peter Velits, Team Milram, s.t.
6) Jose Rojas, Caisse d'Epargne, s.t.
7) Greg Van Avermaet, Silence-Lotto, s.t.
8) Geoffroy Lequatre, Agritubel, s.t.
9) Alessandro Ballan, Lampre, s.t.
10) Nicolas Roche, AG2R-La Mondiale

General Classification after Stage 9:
1) Rinaldo Nocentini, AG2R-La Mondiale, 34:24:21
2) Alberto Contador, Astana, at :06
3) Lance Armstrong, Astana, at :08
4) Levi Leipheimer, Astana, at :39
5) Bradley Wiggins, Garmin-Slipstream, at :46
6) Andreas Klöden, Astana, at :54
7) Tony Martin, Columbia-HTC, at 1:00
8) Christian Vande Velde, Garmin-Slipstream, at 1:24
9) Andy Schleck, Saxo Bank, at 1:49
10) Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas, at 1:54

Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2009 in 2009 Stage 9, Alberto Contador, Christian Vande Velde, David Moncoutié, Egoi Martinez, Jens Voigt, Lance Armstrong, Pierrick Fedrigo, Rinaldo Nocentini, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Stage 9 on the road

It was a very active start today, as a big group formed that Astana thought was dangerous, and Lance Armstrong and Rinaldo Nocentini bridged up, encouraging an escape by Jens Voigt, Franco Pellizotti, Pierrick Fedrigo, and Leonardo "L." Duque.

This break collected the sprint points in Sarrancolin, with Col d'Aspin looming ahead.

Sarrancolin Intermediate sprint:
1) Duque, Cofidis, +6 pts
2) Fedrigo, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, +4 pts
3) Voigt, Saxo Bank, +2 pts

On the Col d'Aspin, Duque was shed by the leaders, and a 2nd group tried to escape the field. In it were Jurgen Van Broeck, Laurens Ten Dam, Sergio Paulinho, Egoi Martinez, Amets Txurruka, Juan Manual Garate, and David Moncoutie.

1st Category Col d'Aspin
1) Pellizotti, Liquigas, +15 pts
2) Fedrigo, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, +13 pts
3) Voigt, Saxo Bank, +11 pts
4) Duque, Cofidis, +9 pts
5) Martinez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, +8 pts
6) Ten Dam, Rabobank, +7 pts
7) Van den Broeck, Silence-Lotto, +6 pts
8) Garate, Rabobank, +5 pts

The gap from Pellizotti's group to the field was 3:17 at the summit, with Nocentini riding comfortably at the head of the pack.

Pellizotti attacked his breakmates early on the Tourmalet, and Jen Voigt couldn't match the pace, and began slowly falling back through the chase groups. Maxime Bouet of Agritubel tried to go the other way, briefly bridging to Martinez and Moncoutie's group, but quickly fell away, riding for many miles alone.

HC Tourmalet
1) Pellizotti, Liquigas, +40 pts
2) Fedrigo, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, +36 pts
3) Garate, Rabobank, +32 pts
4) Voeckler, Bbox Bouygues Telecom, +30 pts
5) Moncoutie, Cofidis, +24 pts
6) Van den Broeck, Silence-Lotto, +20 pts
7) Martinez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, +16 pts
8) Paulinho, Astana, +14 pts
9) Ten Dam, Rabobank, +12 pts
10) Txurruka, Euskaltel-Euskadi, +10 pts

Atop the Tourmalet, the field came through about 4:49 behind Fedrigo and Pellizotti.

On the run-in to Tarbes, Pellizotti and Fedrigo rotated smoothly, and it looked like the win had to go to one of them, with the break much closer to the field than the breakaway. Then, Columbia picked up the pace, and the breakaway was quickly recaptured. Caisse d'Epargne and Rabobank joined in, and the gap started to fall.

At 10k, it was down to 1:22; at 5k, just :44. Fedrigo and Pellizottie refused to play cat-and-mouse games, continuing to share the work and looking more and more like they would hold off the field.

Entering the final k, the gap was 36 seconds, and Pellizotti refused to come through and take a pull, sitting on Fedrigo's wheel. Fedrigo continued to work, and they rode on until Pellizotti launched toward the last turn in the stage, a 90-degree righthander just 200 meters from the line. Pellizotti was first to the corner, but when they came around, it was into a stiff headwind, and Fedrigo found himself sheltered, and came hard to the line, to take the 3rd French stage win of the 2009 Tour.

Rabobank's Oscar Freire won the field sprint 34 seconds back, at the front of a group that included all the overall contenders for Tour victory.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 12, 2009 in 2009 Stage 9, David Moncoutié, Egoi Martinez, Jens Voigt, Jurgen van den Broeck, Pierrick Fedrigo, Rinaldo Nocentini, Thomas Voeckler | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 13, 2006

Stage 11 final climbs

De la Fuente and Wegmann ride together almost 3:30 ahead of the pack, down to around 40 riders.

AG2R still has 6 riders up front.

Wegmann is gapped; De la Fuente is 25 seconds ahead of him already. AG2R has been replaced at the front by T-Mobile. Four T-Mobiles lead. Moncoutié is off the back, Voeckler is gone. Sastre's here, Boogerd is here, Landis, Cadel Evans. Guerini is off the back, Calzati is cooked. Popovych, Mercado and Vande Velde are at the back, not yet dropped but likely to be soon.

Dessel is dropped! The yellow jersey is in trouble, riding with Patrik Sinkewitz a few seconds behind the field. Mayo has abandoned many minutes behind the action. That leaves 166 riders in the Tour.

Moreau, Landis, Kessler, Rogers, Boogerd, Azevedo, Arroyo, Sastre, Schleck, Cunego, Zubeldia, Leipheimer, Rasmussen, Menchov all are together at the front. Fothen, Totschnig, Hincapie are at the back of the lead group.

Wegmann is caught and instantly dropped. Cunego is falling off the pace.

Hincapie is falling off the lead group, behind Mercado. Kessler is done. He's barely moving up the Portillon. Parra is dropped from the front group. Only one T-Mobile at the front, and it's Rogers, as Klöden is back a few places. Simoni is at the back of the lead group. I thought he was dropped, but he's still there.

Now Boogerd and Rasmussen lead the field, ahead of Leipheimer, Landis, and Klöden. De la Fuente is still alone 2 minutes up the road. He's 1 kilometer from the summit, where the race will pass into Spain.

De la Fuente cements his King of the Mountains lead atop the Portillon. Rasmussen is 2nd over the top, ahead of Boogerd and Landis. Carlos Sastre falls just over the top of the climb. He's chasing, and should catch up before the climb to the Pla de Beret.

Hincapie is reportedly 5 minutes down, behind Dessel's group, which is 3:40 behind Landis and Klöden, who are 1:40 behind De la Fuente.

David Arroyo and Damiano Cunego have attacked from the Landis group. Landis is near the back of the 14 leaders. They have about 20 miles to ride. Menchov and Rasmussen lead Landis, Leipheimer, Boogerd, Fothen, Evans, Sastre, Schleck, Zubeldia, Simoni, Totschnig, Moreau, Klöden, Rogers, Parra, and Azevedo. Arroyo and Cunego are 33 seconds behind De la Fuente and 37 seconds ahead of the Landis group.

De la Fuente is caught, and tucks in behind Arroyo. They're 40 seconds ahead of the Landis group, which is 1:05 up on the yellow jersey group. Now Cunego sits up, and the trio is captured, leaving 21 riders on the lower slopes of the Pla de Beret with a shot at the stage win.

The three Rabobanks lead the select group, with Simoni just behind. Cunego is dropped with 20 kilometers/12.5 miles to ride.

The leaders are onto the final climb, with 15 kilometers to go. This one's not as steep as the day's previous climbs, but plenty long.

The lead group is splitting up: Michael Rogers is gone, Azevedo's gone, Fothen, Simoni is gone, Parra is gone. Who is doing this damage? It's Michael Boogerd driving the pack. Frank Schleck is gone. Zubeldia is 8 meters off the back. Rasmussen is gone.

Still Boogerd driving, and Moreau is gone.

It's Sastre, Klöden, Landis, Boogerd, Menchov, Evans, Leipheimer with less than 10 kilometers to go. Boogerd is still at the front.

Boogerd is finished, and Menchov has another gear. He goes and Klöden is gone. Landis, Sastre, Leipheimer and Evans match him. Leipheimer tries an attack, but they won't let him go.

There are some games among the five leaders, and Landis has moved to the front. Now he pulls off, and looks for somebody to set the pace. Dessel the yellow jersey is less than 3:30 behind. He may hold the yellow jersey. The top is only 4 kilometers away. Boogerd and Klöden are less than 20 seconds behind.

There's one kilometer to the top, and the yellow jersey is now more than 4 minutes behind. Klöden is now 45 seconds back.

Leipheimer goes full steam, Menchov matches him, and Landis. Sastre and Evans can't respond. Menchov attacks as they pull Leipheimer back, and Landis goes with him. Leipheimer is third wheel, now he's dropped by 5 meters. Menchov and Landis ride side by side. Now there are three. But they've slowed, and Sastre may get back up there.

Menchov leads over the top. It's down to Landis, Menchov and Leipheimer with 2 kilometers to the finish. Leiphiemer comes around, it's going to be a finishing sprint, and Menchov leads in the two Americans. Menchov takes the stage win, with Leipheimer 2nd and Landis 3rd. Evans maybe 17 seconds back, with Sastre. Boogerd is 6th at 1:05. Zubeldia, Schleck, and Klöden at 1:35. Landis gets a time bonus for 3rd, and Dessel is fighting to the line.

Moreau finishes at 2:29. Dessel is over the summit. Totschnig, Fothen, Parra, Rogers at around 3:10. Dessel's got his head down with 1k to ride. Landis is going to be very close to the yellow jersey.

Azevedo, Simoni, and Arroyo finish at 4:10 or so. Dessel will finish next, with Caucchioli and Cunego. Floyd Landis will pull on the leader's jersey as Dessel comes in at 4:45!

Posted by Frank Steele on July 13, 2006 in Andreas Klöden, Cadel Evans, Christian Vande Velde, Christophe Moreau, Damiano Cunego, David Moncoutié, Denis Menchov, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Gilberto Simoni, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Michael Rogers, Patrik Sinkewitz | Permalink | Comments (3) | 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

March 08, 2006

Landis dominates Stage 3 to take Paris-Nice lead

VeloNews | Landis seizes lead at Paris-Nice

Landis in yellow with Paris-Nice stage win
Graham Watson
Floyd Landis is in monster shape early this year. He won the inaugural Amgen Tour of California convincingly, and today, he put major time into every overall rival for the overall win at Paris-Nice.

On the day's last climb, Johan Vansummeren and Alberto Martinez were the first to strike. David Moncoutie struggled to bridge, followed by Samuel Sanchez, Frank Schleck, Toni Colom, Landis, and eventual stage-winner Paxti Vila of Lampre. Nearing the summit, Landis turned up the heat, and slowly dropped his break-mates.

On the 18-kilometer descent to St. Etienne, Landis rode like he stole something, with Vila mostly wheelsucking, stretching the pair's lead out to over a minute. At the line, Vila came around for his first pro victory, but Landis was the day's big winner.

Landis on the podium
AP Photo/Patrick Gardin
Some interesting names are lurking 90 or so seconds back, including Haimar Zubeldia, Jose Azevedo and Chris Horner, no mean climbers themselves, as well as Axel Merckx and Erik Dekker.

On the day, Landis lost teammates Robbie Hunter, who left the race with a sinus infection, and Aurelien Clerc, who was outside the time limit. He's got to try to hold on to the jersey with just 5 teammates.

Bobby Julich lost 8:47 on the day, finishing with Andrey Kaschechkin of Liberty Seguros.

Overall Top 10 after Stage 3:
1) Floyd Landis, Phonak, in 14:46:28
2) Patxi Vila, Lampre, at 0:09
3) Samuel Sanchez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:13
4) Antonio Colom, Caisse L'Espargne-Illes Balears, at 1:23
5) Frank Schleck, Team CSC, same time
6) Jose Azevedo, Discovery Channel, at 1:35
7) Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:37
8) Pietro Caucchioli, Credit Agricole, at 1:39
9) Stefan Schumacher, Gerolsteiner, same time
10) Jose Luis Rubiera, Discovery Channel, at 1:40


VeloNews | Complete results
cyclingnews.com | Paris-Nice Stage 3: Floyd Landis takes lead at crucial point


GrahamWatson.com | Paris-Nice Stage 3 Photo Gallery
cyclingnews.com | Paris-Nice Stage 3 Photo Gallery

Posted by Frank Steele on March 8, 2006 in Bobby Julich, Chris Horner, David Moncoutié, Erik Dekker, Floyd Landis, Paris-Nice '06, Stefan Schumacher, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 14, 2005

Moncoutié takes Stage 12

David Moncoutié took Stage 12 of the Tour with a brilliant breakaway.

Moncoutié found a strong break group that included both Thor Hushovd and Stuart O'Grady, Axel Mercx, Juan Manuel Garate, and Sandy Casar. Moncoutié used the 2nd Category Col du Corobin to gap that group, and then just cranked it all the way to the finish, holding about 30 seconds all the way.

It's two years in a row for France on Bastille Day, after Richard Virenque, who is presenting today's climber's jersey on the podium, took last year's July 14th stage.

For Moncoutié, this is becoming an annual deal, as he took a stage last year.

Not so lucky was Discovery Channel, which lost climbing specialist Manuel "Triki" Beltran, who injured his knee in an early-stage crash and withdrew from the race a few days in advance of the race hitting the Pyrenees.

Top 10:
1) David Moncoutie, Cofidis, 4:20:06
2) Sandy Casar, Française des Jeux, at :57
3) Angel Vicioso, Liberty Seguros, same time
4) Patrice Halgand, Credit Agricole, s.t.
5) Jose Luis Arrieta, Illes Balears, s.t.
6) Franco Pellizotti, Liquigas-Bianchi, s.t.
7) Axel Merckx, Davitamon-Lotto, s.t.
8) Juan Manuel Garate, Saunier Duval-Prodir, s.t.
9) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, at 3:15
10) Stuart O’Grady, Cofidis, at 3:15

Hushovd pulls on the green jersey, becoming the first Norwegian to wear it.

All the overall contenders, including white jersey Alejandro Valverde, polka-dot jersey Michael Rasmussen, and yellow jersey Lance Armstrong, finished in a bunch 10:33 behind Moncoutie.

Robbie McEwen showed he hasn't given up on the green jersey, taking the field sprint for 14th.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 14, 2005 in David Moncoutié, Stage results, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Stage 12 underway

There's a large breakaway that looks to have the pedigree to stay away today.

In it are Stuart O'Grady and David Moncoutié of Cofidis, Thor Hushovd and Patrice Halgand of Credit Agricole, Stephan Schreck of T-Mobile, Giovanni Lombardi of Team CSC, José Luis Arrieta of Illes Balears, Axel Merckx of Davitamon-Lotto, Massimo Giunti of Fassa Bortolo, Juan Manuel Garate of Saunier Duval-Prodir, Angel Vicioso of Liberty Seguros, Franco Pellizotti of Liquigas, and Sandy Casar of Française des Jeux.

They're out around 6 minutes in front of the peloton. Davitamon-Lotto actually spent some time pulling the field today, thinking about getting Robbie McEwen back into the green jersey competition against O'Grady and Hushovd, who made the break, but they've decided their chances are better with Merckx, so Discovery is back leading the peloton.

On the Col du Corobin, the second 2nd Category climb of the day, the 13-man break is splintering. David Moncoutié has gone off the front.

O'Grady, Lombardi, Schreck and Hushovd are first to fall off.

Merckx is doing a lot of the work to chase Moncoutié, who has 30 seconds on the remnants of the breakaway.

Pellizotti, Giunti, and Vicioso are dropped, leaving Arrieta, Merckx, Garate, Halgand, and Casar chasing Moncoutie.

Moncoutié leads over the top 30 seconds ahead of Merckx's group; Pellizotti and Vicioso have gotten back to Merckx's group on the descent.

Hushovd and O'Grady are back together, after Hushovd chased back on. They're with Lombardi and Schreck.

The gap of the leading 13 to the field is climbing, now over 7:40. Moncoutié has 50 seconds on Merckx and company. Merckx's group is reeling him in: It's down to 25 seconds.

They're closing in on the last climb of the day, a 4th Cat climb. Moncoutie to the peloton is now 8:40.

Over the Col de l'Orme, it's Moncoutie leading by 32 seconds. Moncoutie looks good -- he may get the French a stage win today.

At 5 km, it's a 28 second gap.

The chasers have given it up -- with 1 kilometer to go, the gap is back out to 32 seconds. They're racing for 2nd now.

Moncoutie takes the stage!

And the French take 2nd as well, as Sandy Casar leads the Merckx group over the line after the group came to a near-stop as everyone looked for position.

The sprint for pride was for 9th, with Hushovd beating O'Grady, 1st and 2nd in the green jersey competition.

The field is coming to the line more than 9 minutes back, and Cofidis is leading the peloton. They're probably looking to give O'Grady some breathing room on McEwen, who's looking to get 14th-place points.

Nobody is going to deny McEwen -- he takes the field sprint at 10:32.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 14, 2005 in David Moncoutié, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Thor Hushovd | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 12, 2005

Hink the alpha and omega at Dauphiné; Landaluze holds on GC

VeloNews.com | Hincapie wins final stage at Dauphiné; Landaluze takes overall Discovery Channel waved the flag high on Sunday, finishing 1-2-3 at Stage 7 of the Dauphiné Libéré, and giving George Hincapie an unusual double, taking the race's prologue and the last stage. Euskaltel's Inigo Landaluze was thoroughly tested, but hung on to take his biggest professional win. Hincapie and teammate Yaroslav Popovych broke away less than an hour into the stage, which included seven laps of a finishing circuit including a 2.5 km climb, where Bernard Hinault won the 1980 world championship. The two class-A all-rounders worked smoothly together and finished with 22 seconds in hand. Finally, on the last circuit, 2nd-placed Santiago Botero launched an attack, covered by Armstrong, Vinokourov, and Leipheimer, but gained only 38 seconds on Landaluze, leaving Landaluze an 11-second margin of victory. Armstrong, presumably helped by not having to pull with two teammates up the road, took the sprint, giving Discovery the top 3 spots on the day. Armstrong wound up with the Dauphiné overall points jersey, with Discovery Channel taking the team prize. Top 10: 1) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, 3:07:10 2) Yaroslav Popovych, Discovery Channel, same time 3) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, at :22 4) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, same time 5) Santiago Botero, Phonak, same time 6) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, same time, 7) David Moncoutie, Cofidis, at :24 8) Wim Van Huffel, Davitamon-Lotto, same time 9) Jose Gomez Marchante, Saunier Duval-Prodir, at :45 10) Francisco Mancebo, Illes Balears, at :59 General classification: 1) Inigo Landaluze, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 28:24:46 2) Santiago Botero, Phonak, at :11 3) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, at :38 4) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, at :59 5) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, at 1:02 6) David Moncoutie, Cofidis, at 1:56 7) Jose Gomez Marchante, Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 3:54 8) Marzio Bruseghin, Fassa Bortolo, at 3:58 9) Andrey Kashechkin, Credit Agricole, at 5:04 10) Francisco Mancebo, Illes Balears, at 6:20 Also: cyclingnews.com | Stage and overall results | Stage 7 recap

Posted by Frank Steele on June 12, 2005 in Andrey Kashechkin, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2005, David Moncoutié, Francisco Mancebo, George Hincapie, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Santiago Botero, Top Stories, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Graham Watson on US civil war at Dauphiné

ThePaceline.com (free reg. req.) | Graham Watson: Dauphine Stage 6

Graham Watson confirms what I thought about yesterday's stage -- he calls it the “best day's racing of the year.”

There was certainly a lot to like, with the re-emergence of Santiago Botero, the strong showing by traditional Tour strengths like Francisco Mancebo, David Moncoutie, and Christophe Moreau, and the gutty performance by Inigo Landaluze to narrowly protect his overall race lead.

Watson, however, is focused on what was going on with Armstrong, Leipheimer, and Floyd Landis. Watson believes Armstrong was riding partly to demoralize the World's Fastest Mennonite:

If there was ever any doubts still, it was when Lance eased off the Vino-Gomez attack to allow Leipheimer to catch up again that we knew they were working together against Landis.

If you are as puzzled as you should be, don’t worry. This is Lance’s way of showing Landis what life is like ‘after US Postal’ – and there will be more to come in the Tour de France, be sure of that. To make Landis’s day even worse, he overshot a bend with two-kilometres to go and skidded into the dirt, making it back to the race with only his pride hurting.

Shades of Brasstown Bald in there.

One story I saw had Armstrong catching Vinokourov and Gomez, then dropping back to tow Leipheimer onto their tails. Armstrong's not going to get a tremendous result out of the Dauphiné, but he definitely got a chance to test himself under fire, and he's looking both strong and sassy for next month's Tour.

Posted by Frank Steele on June 12, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2005, David Moncoutié, Floyd Landis, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Santiago Botero | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 11, 2005

Botero's back -- takes Stage 6, Landaluze holds lead at Dauphiné

Eurosport | Botero steals stage, Landaluze still leads After a tremendous Tour de France in 2002 (he was 4th overall, beat Lance Armstrong in the long time trial, and took a mountain stage win), Santiago Botero signed with T-Mobile and promptly disappeared. Since joining Phonak at the beginning of this season, Botero has won the Tour of Romandy and the individual time trial at the Dauphiné Libéré Wednesday, edging Levi Leipheimer by a second. During Thursday's stage to Mont Ventoux, Botero wasn't a factor, and finished 16th on the day, 2:59 behind former teammate Alexandre Vinokourov. Today, on the hardest stage of the race, Botero showed he's rediscovered his form. On the hors categorie Col de Joux Plane, Botero broke from the leaders, and only David Moncoutie of Cofidis could hold his wheel. Lance Armstrong was content to sit in the field early, leaving chase duties to the guys with more to lose: Alexandre Vinokourov, who needed to gap the other GC riders to have a shot at a 2nd Dauphiné title; Levi Leipheimer, who could retake the race lead if he could gap Euskaltel's Inigo Landaluze, and Landaluze himself, who risked losing the race lead to Botero if the Colombian got far enough up the road. The first select group was 8 leaders, who gapped Landaluze, and included Armstrong, Landis, Leipheimer, and Vinokourov. Then Vinokourov broke away, getting about 20 seconds, and forcing Armstrong to reel him in about 1 km short of the top of Jeux Plane. At the summit, Armstrong, Leipheimer, Vinokourov, and Saunier-Duval's Jose Gomez-Marchante were the last remnants of the select group, and on the 9 km descent to Morzine, they were joined by David Arroyo of Illes Balears. Leipheimer and Vinokourov were riding hard to gain time on Landaluze, who spent much of the climb alone, about 30 seconds behind the Armstrong group. The leaders never were able to close down Botero, who finally shed Moncoutie on the descent. Landaluze battled all day, and in the end, saved his race lead, now leading Botero by :49, Leipheimer by 1:16, Armstrong by 1:37, and Vinokourov by 1:40. Top 13: 1) Santiago Botero, Phonak, 4:30:54 2) David Moncoutie, Cofidis, at :23 3) Francisco Mancebo, Illes Balears, at :53 4) Christophe Moreau, Credit Agricole, at :58 5) Marzio Bruseghin, Fassa Bortolo, at 2:27 6) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, at 2:50 7) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, at 2:52 8) David Arroyo, Illes Balears, same time 9) Jose Gomez Marchante, Saunier Duval-Prodir, same time                    10) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, same time, 11) Andrey Kashechkin, Credit Agricole, at 3:43 12) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at 4:02 13) Inigo Landaluze, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 4:17 Thor Hushovd and Christian Vande Velde were among the riders who didn't finish the stage. Also: BBC Sport | Botero fires warning to Armstrong Botero certainly bears watching, but I'm not sure that's a fair headline: Botero had somewhat fresher legs than the guys who fought it out on Ventoux Thursday. In the Tour, the overall leader typically can't finish 3 minutes down on any stage (except, of course, the early suicide breaks by riders with no GC chance). Yahoo! Sports | I didn't feel comfortable in mountains, says Armstrong VeloNews.com | Botero wins mountain stage as Landaluze clings to lead in Dauphiné cyclingnews.com | Dauphiné Libéré Stage 6 Results

Posted by Frank Steele on June 11, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin, Christian Vande Velde, Christophe Moreau, Dauphiné Libéré, Dauphiné Libéré 2005, David Moncoutié, Floyd Landis, Francisco Mancebo, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Santiago Botero, Thor Hushovd, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 13, 2005

Julich takes Paris-Nice!

VeloNews | Julich wins Paris-Nice

Alejandro Valverde won the final stage at Paris-Nice, but he couldn't close a 19 second gap to race leader Bobby Julich, who becomes the first winner of a ProTour stage race and the first US winner of Paris-Nice.

Valverde was 2nd overall, jumping over Saunier Duval's Constantino Zaballa, who finished 3rd. Julich's teammate Jens Voigt was 4th overall, at 44 seconds, just ahead of Liberty Seguros' Jorg Jaksche at 45 seconds.

It was CSC's 2nd consecutive win in the Race to the Sun, as Jaksche took the overall last year, while riding for CSC.

David Moncoutie ensured himself the climber's jersey with his part in a breakaway over today's climbs, while Voigt took the sprinter's jersey off Tom Boonen, who abandoned during the stage along with almost 50 other riders, by winning some points at the intermediate sprints today. Valverde takes the (blue) young rider's jersey.

T-Mobile's Alexandre Vinokourov made a serious go at the stage win, but his break-mate, Alberto Contador, wouldn't work, and the pair's jockeying helped the field overtake Vinokourov in the last 100 meters.

Julich will likely sit atop the ProTour standings only until Tuesday, when Oscar Freire is likely to win Tirreno-Adriatico.


Daily Peloton | Paris-Nice Stage 7 Live Coverage

Discovery Channel briefly set the pace late in the stage, trying to place Yaroslav Popovych in position for a stage win, and Popovych was 4th on the day.

LeTour.fr | Stage 7 results

LeTour.fr | Final overall standings

CyclingNews | Bobby Julich's CSC Cervélo Soloist

Eurosport | Eight years in the making (video)

PezCycling | Paris-Nice Stg 7: Triumph for Julich

Posted by Frank Steele on March 13, 2005 in Aitor Gonzalez, Alberto Contador, David Moncoutié, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink | Comments (1)

July 16, 2004

Abt: 'possible rendezvous with meaningful action'

IHT | Tour plays a waiting game, with big challenges near end

Add Samuel Abt to the long list of people who aren't happy with this year's race route.

The Tour de France stopped dithering in the Massif Central on Thursday and headed southwest toward the Pyrenees and a possible rendezvous with meaningful action, a missing ingredient in the race so far.

And to make sure we didn't miss it, that's the lead!

Abt points out that today's win by Moncoutie was the first in 30 years by a French rider from the same département (sort of like a US state) as the stage finish.

Returning to his main theme, that most of the race so far has suffered a "lack of overall significance," Abt mentions the six cows (and no one has posted or sent pictures of the cows!) that briefly stopped the chase:

While comic, those cows, and others decorated with yellow, green and polka dot blankets to mimic the Tour's leader jerseys, failed to lift the overall morosity that has gripped the race. Everyone is wondering when something important will happen.

Blame for this falls on the race organizers, who have packed the last week of the race with the big challenges that will determine the winner and that usually occur far earlier. These are the uphill time trial at Alpe d'Huez on Wednesday and another individual time trial on the flat July 24.

Abt quotes Alessio-Bianchi's Scott Sunderland, who says he doubts that tomorrow's anticipated stage to La Mongie, or even Saturday's stage to Plateau de Beille, will see the big boys facing off.

Even Armstrong, he says, believes the difficulties of Friday's stage "are overrated."

Sunderland says, "The big guys are saving it for Alpe d'Huez," naming Mayo, Carlos Sastre, Oscar Sevilla, and Igor Gozalez de Galdeano as the riders most likely to attack in the Pyrenees.

"They have nothing to lose," Sunderland said. "The big guys won 't let them gain that much time and so they really won't be dangerous to Armstrong, Ullrich and Hamilton.

"And those guys won't be going after each other quite yet, I think.

"For them, it's a waiting game, and there's plenty of time left to wait."

Abt mistakenly identifies Sunderland as the oldest rider in the Tour, but he's 9 months younger than US Postal's Viatcheslav Ekimov.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 16, 2004 in David Moncoutié, Tour news, Viatcheslav Ekimov | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 15, 2004

Moncoutie savors home win

Yahoo! Sport | Moncoutie and Voeckler continue French celebrations


"I knew that if I attacked on the last slight incline and managed to build a lead of 30sec on them I would manage to hold them off," said Moncoutie, who had tried several times early on to escape the clutches of the peloton.

"It's my best ever win, and it definitely helped the fact that it was in my region.

"Winning a stage on the Tour de France was one of my career ambitions, so you can imagine how I feel."

Defending yellow is starting to leave Thomas Voeckler green around the gills:

"I'm feeling okay, but not much better," Voeckler said after the stage. "Today the team did well again helping me to defend the jersey, but I'm beginning to feel the effects of the past few days of racing.

"I'm not looking forward to tomorrow (the climb to La Mongie) but who knows, maybe I'll feel better than I anticipate."

Posted by Frank Steele on July 15, 2004 in David Moncoutié, Stage results, Thomas Voeckler | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Moncoutie takes Stage 11; what French drought?

David Moncoutie found a winning break and rode away from it to take Thursday's Stage 11.

Moncoutie's breakaway companions were next, with Fassa Bortolo's Juan Antonio Flecha 2nd and Euskaltel-Euskadi's Egoi Martinez 3rd.

Thor Hushovd took the field sprint, ahead of Erik Zabel, Robbie McEwen, and Paolo Bettini. Armstrong again rode in with the sprinters in search of any time gap among the leaders on the uphill finish.

The Top 10:
1) Moncoutie
2) Flecha
3) Martinez
4) Hushovd
5) Zabel
6) McEwen
7) Bettini
8) Danilo Hondo
9) Lance Armstrong
10) Stuart O'Grady

It was the second consecutive stage win for a French rider, and the 2nd stage win of the Tour for Moncoutie's Cofidis team. Additionally, Thomas Voeckler of France is wearing the yellow jersey at least until Friday.

The GC is essentially unchanged, although Jakob Piil lost 12 seconds on the uphill finish, as did Gilberto Simoni and Laurent Dufaux.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 15, 2004 in David Moncoutié, Stage results, Thomas Voeckler, Thor Hushovd, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Stage 11 underway

There's a break of 3 riders, and the peloton is only to happy to let them keep a modest time advantage.

They are Egoi Martinez of Euskaltel-Euskadi, David Moncoutie of Cofidis, and Juan-Antonio Flecha of Fassa Bortolo, who won last year's Stage 11. Moncoutie has splintered the breakaway, and looks to have the stage nailed.

The peloton was blocked briefly. It's pretty common for political protesters to try to interrupt the race, but today's interruption was by 6 cows. That will probably give us the photo of the day.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 15, 2004 in David Moncoutié | Permalink | Comments (0)