March 13, 2006

Floyd lands Paris-Nice

VeloNews | Landis triumphs at Paris-Nice

The World's Fastest Mennonite has done it again, adding the Paris-Nice title to his freshly won overall at the Tour of California.

Markus Zberg took the final stage, fighting back to Evgeni Petrov and Alberto Contador after getting dropped, then beating both to the line.

Landis said the victory was a confidence-builder for Phonak, who showed they could defend a leader's jersey, in a race not ideally fit to his strengths:

"It was a difficult race to win because there were no mountaintop finishes and there were no long time trials," Landis said. "In some ways I was lucky. I had a good day on a very difficult stage. At the Tour, you don't get lucky and win. You have to be good every day for three weeks."


The next races on Landis' calendar are the Criterium International, the Tour de Georgia, and the Giro d'Italia.

Patxi Vila was 2nd overall, and Antonio Colom, who soloed away from the field late Sunday to move up the leaderboard, took 3rd overall.

Bobby Julich didn't start Sunday's last stage, after crashing on Saturday. Tom Boonen is looking ahead to Milan-San Remo this weekend, and decided a day with 4 categorized climbs might take a little too much out of his legs.

Update: USA Today named Landis its U.S. Olympic Athlete of the Week for the win.

Also: | Paris-Nice Stage 7: A new American hero

Daily Peloton | Paris Nice Final

Phonak Cycling Team | Floyd Landis: “This is my greatest triumph”

Photos: | Paris-Nice Stage 7 photo gallery | Paris-Nice Stage 7 photo gallery

Posted by Frank Steele on March 13, 2006 in Alberto Contador, Bobby Julich, Paris-Nice '06, Tom Boonen, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 09, 2006

Boonen, Boonen, Boonen while Landis maintains Paris-Nice lead | Hat trick for Boonen in Paris-Nice; Floyd on cruise control

CSC's O'Grady broke 5 ribs and his collarbone
Boonen yet again
Graham Watson

Tom Boonen continued his early domination at Paris-Nice, taking his 3rd stage win (out of 4 stages and a prologue).

Boonen survived a late chain skip with about 150 meters to ride to outsprint Allan Davis, who has been second in each of Boonen's Paris-Nice stage wins. Danilo Napolitano was 3rd at the line, but was DQ'ed for squirelly sprinting , elevating Stefan Schumacher into 3rd on the stage.

Said Boonen:

"For sure, things are going fine for us, we're very strong. The problem is that in Milan-San Remo, which is our main goal, we won't be alone in controlling the race as is the case here.

"We'll be the favourite team and everybody will be out to get us. I would say Alessandro Petacchi retains a 60 percent chance to win Milan-San Remo while my chances are 40 percent."

I guess that leaves Paolo Bettini out in the cold.

Phonak's Floyd Landis continues as the race leader, and 7-time Paris-Nice winner Sean Kelly told VeloNews he thinks Landis should take the overall:

"I think he has a good chance of holding on," seven-time Paris-Nice winner Sean Kelly told VeloNews. "The way he's riding, I don't believe anyone can stay with him on the climbs. He shouldn't have any difficulty looking out for himself."

Kelly said the Phonak team will be up for the challenge of supporting Landis, especially with teammate Axel Merckx riding well Wednesday to move into 13th overall at 1:47 back.

"Because there aren't any mountaintop finishes, I think it will be actually easier to control," Kelly said. "What they have to watch out for are riders slipping away early in the stages."

Also: | History repeats for Boonen, Davis | Paris-Nice Stage 4: World champ makes it three (free reg. required) | Paris-Nice Stage 4 Report | Tenth win already for Boonen

Photos: | Paris-Nice Stage 4 photo gallery | Paris-Nice Stage 4 photo gallery

Posted by Frank Steele on March 9, 2006 in Floyd Landis, Paris-Nice '06, Stefan Schumacher, Tom Boonen, Top Stories | 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 | Paris-Nice Stage 3: Floyd Landis takes lead at crucial point

Photos: | Paris-Nice Stage 3 Photo Gallery | 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

March 06, 2006

Boonen wins Stage 1 sprint, takes Paris-Nice lead | Boonen outkicks Davis, snatches lead at Paris-Nice

Boonen takes Paris-Nice Stage 1
AP Photo/Patrick Gardin

On the other end of the continent, Northern Europe's fastest man took his 8th win of the season, as Tom Boonen's sprint victory put him in yellow at Paris-Nice. Allan Davis of Liberty Seguros was 2nd, and Saunier Duval's Francisco Ventoso 3rd. Boonen told Eurosport:

"Two weeks ago, when I saw the roadbook, I had [stage one] marked down as one of my main goals," he said after the race. "It was a flat stage which suited me fine even though the conditions made it very hard. "It was cold, it rained and I'm all the happier to have been able to win in such conditions."

Prologue victor Bobby Julich dropped to 2nd overall, as Boonen's time bonus catapulted him into the race lead. CSC's David Zabriskie spent some time in the race lead, as he took an early flyer for almost 25 miles. Discovery's Jason McCartney dropped out, with the Team Disco website reporting he's sick from the intercontinental travel. Top 10 (General Classification): 1) Tom Boonen, QuickStep 2) Bobby Julich, CSC, at :07 3) Andrey Kashechkin, Liberty Seguros, at :08 4) Bradley McGee Francaise des Jeux at :09 5) Alberto Contador, Liberty Seguros, at :10 6) Samuel Sanchez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at :10 7) Bradley Wiggins, Cofidis, at :12 8) Benoît Vaugrenard, Francaise des Jeux, at :12 9) Gert Steegmans, Davitamon-Lotto, at :14 10) Rik Verbrugghe, Cofidis. at :14 Also: | Paris Nice Stage 1 Photos: | Paris-Nice Stage 1

Posted by Frank Steele on March 6, 2006 in Alberto Contador, Andrey Kashechkin, Bobby Julich, Bradley McGee, Bradley Wiggins, Dave Zabriskie, Paris-Nice '06, Tom Boonen, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 05, 2006

Julich takes Paris-Nice prologue | Julich starts defense with victory

Julich @ Paris-Nice prologue
AP Photo/Jacques Brinon

Bobby Julich kicked off the ProTour calendar with a victory, taking the prologue at Paris-Nice on Sunday. Julich won the overall there in 2005, but says that's not a goal for him this year. Julich slipped ahead of Andrey Kashechkin of Liberty Seguros by 1 second, with FDJeux's Brad McGee at 2 seconds. The course is supposed to be very tactical this year, so look out for world champion Tom Boonen, who came 5th in the prologue, only 3 seconds back.

Julich said he's not defending his title:

"I didn't make Paris-Nice one of my objectives this year but in the warm-up of the prologue I felt good and realized I had a chance of doing something," he said. "At 34 you can't go chasing every race. This year I've agreed with team manager Bjarne Riis that my priorities will be the Giro d'Italia and supporting Ivan Basso at the Tour de France."

It's also CSC's first victory of the season.

Top 5:

1) Bobby Julich, CSC, 6:07
2) Andrey Kashechkin, Liberty Seguros, at :01
3) Bradley McGee, FDJeux, at :02
4) Alberto Contador, Liberty Seguros, at :03
5) Tom Boonen, Quick Step, at :03


Eurosport | Julich signals intent with prologue win

VeloNews | Julich takes Paris-Nice prologue | Paris-Nice: Prologue

Photos: | Paris-Nice prologue photo gallery | Paris-Nice prologue

Posted by Frank Steele on March 5, 2006 in Alberto Contador, Andrey Kashechkin, Bobby Julich, Bradley McGee, Paris-Nice '06, Tom Boonen, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack