July 02, 2009

Where are they from, 2009 edition

Every year, I run down the riders' countries of origin, with special attention to the English-speaking countries. Here's last year's, for comparison.

Lance Armstrong, Astana
Tyler Farrar, Garmin-Slipstream
George Hincapie, Columbia-HTC
Levi Leipheimer, Astana
Danny Pate, Garmin-Slipstream
Christian Vande Velde, Garmin-Slipstream
David Zabriskie, Garmin-Slipstream

Seven is up from four last year. Gone is Will Frischkorn, left off the Garmin team, but back are Armstrong, Zabriskie, and Leipheimer. Tyler Farrar starts his first Tour. Not just more riders, but riders with more chances -- 3 guys with Top 5 hopes, and Farrar stage-hunting.

Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto
Brett Lancaster, Cervelo
Matthew Lloyd, Silence-Lotto
Stuart O'Grady, Saxo Bank
Mark Renshaw, Columbia-HTC
Michael Rogers, Columbia-HTC
Allan Davis, Quick Step

Down from 9 last year, with Robbie McEwen recovering from surgery, Baden Cooke riding for the Continental Vacansoleil team, Trent Lowe home, and Simon Gerrans and Adam Hansen alternates. Michael Rogers is back. Matthew Lloyd makes his first Tour start. 7/3 Update: With Tom Boonen back in the Tour, Allan Davis stays home, reducing Australia's count to 6. And a half, given Heinrich Haussler, who lives and trains in Australia.

Great Britain:
Mark Cavendish, Columbia-HTC
David Millar, Garmin-Slipstream
Bradley Wiggins, Garmin-Slipstream
Charly Wegelius, Silence-Lotto

Chris Froome's Barloworld squad is not in the Tour this year, back is Bradley Wiggins, and Wegelius returns thanks to Dekker's EPO positive. Cavendish has to be the pre-Tour favorite for green, and his success or failure will be one of this Tour's major plotlines.

New Zealand
Julian Dean, Garmin-Slipstream
Hayden Roulston, Cervelo

Tour rookie Roulston joins the returning Dean.

Dan Martin, Garmin-Slipstream
Nicolas Roche, AG2R

With Martin's tendinitis, Roche will be the first Irish participant since Mark Scanlon in 2004. Roche is reigning Irish road champion, having dethroned Martin last weekend.

Ryder Hesjedal, Garmin-Slipstream

After ending a 10-year Canadian drought last year, Hesjedal returns.

With no Barloworld participation, Robbie Hunter and John Lee Augustyn won't make the start for South Africa.

All nations breakdown:
40: France (2008 count in parentheses: 40)
28: Spain (30)
16: Italy (21)
15: Germany (16)
11: Netherlands (10)
11: Belgium (12)
8: Russia (4)
7: USA (4)
6: Australia (9)
4: United Kingdom (3)
3: Denmark (1), Luxembourg (2), Switzerland (4)
2: Austria (2), Belarus (2), Colombia (3), Japan (0), New Zealand (1), Norway (2), Portugal (0), Ukraine (2)
1: Canada (1), Czech Republic (1), Finland (0), Ireland (0), Kazakhstan (1), Poland (1), Slovakia (1), Slovenia (1), Sweden (2)

Posted by Frank Steele on July 2, 2009 in About the Tour, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Christian Vande Velde, Danny Pate, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, George Hincapie, Julian Dean, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Mark Cavendish, Michael Rogers, Robbie Hunter, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Top Stories, Tour de France 2009, Will Frischkorn | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 24, 2009

Garmin-Slipstream makes Tour squad announcement

Garmin-Slipstream has announced their Tour squad.


  • Julian Dean
  • Tyler Farrar
  • Ryder Hesjedal
  • Dan Martin
  • David Millar
  • Danny Pate
  • Christian Vande Velde
  • Bradley Wiggins
  • David Zabriskie

Martijn Maaskant has been announced as the alternate. NOT riding the Tour are Tom Danielson, who also missed out last year; Will Frischkorn, who made it last year; or Canadian TT champion Svein Tuft.

Garmin's phenom Tyler Farrar will have one of the great lead-out men trying to put him in front of Mark Cavendish at the finish line, and Irish champion Dan Martin, nephew to 1987 Tour and Giro champ and world champion Stephen Roche, makes his first Tour start.

It's a team with great TT riders: Zabriskie, Millar, Vande Velde, Pate, Wiggins, and Hesjedal. As with Farrar, you have to wonder if they'll be fast enough to take revenge on Columbia-High Road, which beat Garmin by six seconds at the Giro d'Italia team time trial in May.


Slipstream Sports | Team Garmin-Slipstream announces Tour de France roster

CyclingNews.com | Garmin-Slipstream names its nine for the Tour

Posted by Frank Steele on June 24, 2009 in 2009 Tour de France, Bradley Wiggins, Christian Vande Velde, Danny Pate, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, Julian Dean, Tom Danielson, Will Frischkorn | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 19, 2008

Stage 14 on the road

Today's kind of a mirror image of Thursday's Stage 12, working up from around sea level to a couple of Category 4 climbs. The finish is a few kilometers below the 2.4-kilometer climb of the Col de l'Orme, which might provide a launch ramp for a late attack.

Jersey leaders:
Yellow jersey Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto
Green jersey Oscar Freire, Rabobank
White jersey Vincenzo Nibali, Liquigas
Polka-dot jersey Sebastian Lang, Gerolsteiner

Versus broadcaster picks:
• Liggett: Oscar Freire
• Sherwen: Filippo Pozzato
• Roll: Pierrick Fedrigo
• Hummer: Erik Zabel

Five kms into the stage, a large break formed, featuring Stijn Devolder, Stuart O'Grady, and Will Frischkorn, as well as 18 others. Sandy Casar is best-placed of this break, 13:00 behind Evans in 24th. Cofidis, Barloworld, and Silence-Lotto missed the break, and Cofidis and Silence-Lotto led the chase. The gap reached only a little more than a minute with around 20 kilometers ridden.

Sprint 1:
1. Stijn Devolder, QuickStep, 6 pts
2. Will Frischkorn, Garmin-Chipotle, 4 pts
3. Bernhard Eisel, Team Columbia, 2 pts

With 38 kms ridden, the gap was 35 seconds, and soon, 4 riders would escape the 21-rider break: José Ivan Gutierrez, Bram Tankink, Sandy Casar, and William Bonnet. Much of the original break melted back into the peloton, but 7 riders briefly dangled in between.

The four riders represented less of a threat, and were given more free rein, and their lead grew to 6:40. Silence-Lotto, Liquigas, Columbia, and Milram are working near the front for their sprinters. Agritubel's Nicolas Jalabert abandoned at the feed zone, leaving 157 riders in the race.

Nearing the first climb, the gap had shrunk to around 3 minutes.

Climb 1, the 4th Category Côte de Mane:
1. José Ivan Gutierrez, Caisse d'Epargne, 3 pts
2. Bram Tankink, Rabobank, 2 pts
3. Sandy Casar, Française des Jeux, 1 pt

Sprint 2:
1. José Ivan Gutierrez, Caisse d'Epargne, 6 pts
2. William Bonnet, Credit Agricole, 4 pts
3. Bram Tankink, Rabobank, 2 pts

The field was 2:30 behind at the sprint. The gap continues to shrink, now only 1:10. With 28 kilometers to ride, and the gap falling below 1:00, Gutierrez launched from the lead group.

Bonnet was immediately dropped, while Casar and Tankink worked together to try to pull Gutierrez back, but unsuccessfully. Bonnet, Casar, and Tankink were reeled in, and Gutierrez rode alone toward the day's last climb, with the gap still shrinking, 34 seconds with 10 miles/15 kilometers to ride.

On the slopes of the Col de l'Orme, Gutierrez was caught by an attacking Thomas Voeckler, quickly reabsorbed, and Carlos Barredo got a lead, but when Bernhard Kohl tried to escape, Cadel Evans matched him and the pace escalated, shedding sprinters by the handful. Near the summit, Oscar Pereiro briefly got a gap, but over the top, the leaders were together.

Col de l'Orme, a 4th Category:
1. Roman Kreuziger, Liquigas, 3 pts
2. Bernhard Kohl, Gerolsteiner, 2 pts
3. Fränk Schleck, CSC-Saxo Bank, 1 pt

On the descent, much of the field reorganized, and Sylvain Chavanel went off the front. He was captured with a few kilometers to ride, and teams started to set up for their surviving sprinters.

Columbia's Cavendish didn't make the break, but the team worked hard in the last kms to place Gerald Ciolek. In the final km, Zabel had a strong leadout from Marcus Burghardt, and looked like he could take the stage, but Duque went hard on the left, and Oscar Freire, right in the middle of the road, came through and took the stage by more than a bike length.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 19, 2008 in 2008 Stage 14, Will Frischkorn | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 07, 2008

Frischkorn introduces Garmin-Chipotle

VeloNews | Fresh Tour Korn: Will Frischkorn shares his stage 3 diary

Garmin-Chipotle's Will Frischkorn took the team's first award at the Tour today, finishing on the podium for the day and the overall, and taking the most aggressive rider race numbers.

Spend 208 kilometers at the front of the world's biggest bicycle race, and you'll hear from a few well-wishers; Frischkorn said he's never had so many messages waiting on his Blackberry. The joy of a great result is tempered by being on the second step:

When Dumoulin attacked with 2k to go I'd planned on hitting out just as I got to the back of the line ... he beat me to it and it was game on. I jumped up to him, but made a real error jumping first when Feillu went by. I should have let Samuel do it first. Too eager. Then my second, and key, mistake, was pausing for a second with 350 to go. I had the legs to come around, and came close, but ran out of time. Aargh! I couldn't be more excited with second, but wouldn't be an athlete if I didn't want to be one step higher.

Frischkorn's ride also put Garmin-Chipotle in the early lead in the team competition.


VeloNews | Mr. Rogers' Tour - Will power

Neal Rogers offers his perspective on Frischkorn, and how great it was to have the Euro journalists asking him if he knew anything about a rider. For once.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 7, 2008 in 2008 Stage 3, Garmin-Chipotle, Will Frischkorn | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dumoulin takes Stage 3, Feillu in yellow

France earned a stage win and a yellow jersey, as a 4-man breakaway initiated by Garmin-Chipotle's Will Frischkorn held off the sprinters on the run into Nantes.

The break went out almost from the first kilometer, and was helped by a late stage accident that cost possible GC contenders Riccardo Ricco and Denis Menchov more than 30 seconds to Alejandro Valverde, Cadel Evans, and other overall contenders.

In the final kilometer, Samuel Dumoulin was first to attack, matched by Frischkorn, then Romain Feillu countered, and rode straight past the pair. Dumoulin was able to pull Feillu back, and Frischkorn just couldn't quite catch the French speedster.

Robbie McEwen led in the field, mere inches ahead of Erik Zabel, then Oscar Freire.

Feillu takes over the race lead, followed by Paolo Longo Borghini and Frischkorn. Feillu is the first Frenchman in yellow since Cyril Dessel in 2006. His Agritubel team is at the Tour as a wildcard.

Stage Top 10:
1) Samuel Dumoulin, Cofidis
2) Will Frischkorn, Garmin-Chipotle, same time
3) Roman Feillu, Agritubel, s.t.
4) Paolo Longo Borghini, Barloworld, at :14
5) Robbie McEwen, Silence-Lotto, at 2:03
6) Erik Zabel, Milram, same time
7) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, s.t.
8) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, s.t.
9) Robert Förster, Gerolsteiner, s.t
10) Mark Cavendish, Team Columbia, s.t.

General Classification, Stage 3
1) Romain Feillu, Agritubel, in 13:27:05
2) Paolo Longo Borghini, Barloworld, @ :35
3) Frischkorn, Garmin-Chipotle, @ 1:42
4) Alejandro Valverde, Caisse d'Epargne, @ 1:45
5) Kim Kirchen, Team Columbia, @ 1:46
6) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, same time
7) Jerome Pineau, Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
8) David Millar, Garmin-Chipotle, s.t.
9) Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto, s.t.
10) Filippo Pozzato, Liquigas, s.t.

These finishing positions determine start order for tomorrow's 29-kilometer individual time trial. Denis Menchov and Riccardo Ricco got caught on the wrong side of the late-stage crash, and rolled in 38 seconds behind the main field. As a result, they'll start around 50 riders from the end, and won't have as many intermediate time splits for reference.

Kim Kirchen holds the green jersey. Feillu holds the white jersey in addition to the yellow, but it will be worn by Andy Schleck of CSC.

Frischkorn gets two days in the most agressive rider's red race number, since there is no award during the time trial.

Out of the Tour: Saunier Duval's Angel Gomez, injured in a mid-stage accident with CSC's Nicki Sørensen.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 7, 2008 in 2008 Stage 3, Barloworld, Garmin-Chipotle, Romain Feillu, Samuel Dumoulin, Top Stories, Will Frischkorn | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 05, 2008

Where are they from?

I always review the nationalities breakdown for the Tour, with a special eye toward the English-speaking countries. Here's last year's, for comparison.

George Hincapie, Team Columbia
Christian Vande Velde, Garmin-Chipotle
Will Frischkorn, Garmin-Chipotle
Danny Pate, Garmin-Chipotle

This is the least in years, with Freddie Rodriguez riding in the U.S., Bobby Julich not selected, Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer barred with Astana, and David Zabriskie nursing a back injury.

Baden Cooke, Barloworld
Cadel Evans, Silence-Lotto
Simon Gerrans, Credit Agricole
Adam Hansen, Team Columbia
Brett Lancaster, Milram
Trent Lowe, Garmin-Chipotle
Robbie McEwen, Silence-Lotto
Stuart O'Grady, CSC-Saxo Bank
Mark Renshaw, Credit Agricole

Baden Cooke is back; Adam Hansen, Trent Lowe, and Mark Renshaw are new, and Michael Rogers is out.

Great Britain:
Mark Cavendish, Team Columbia
Christopher Froome, Barloworld
David Millar, Garmin-Chipotle

Out are Geraint Thomas, Bradley Wiggins and Charlie Wegelius. I've got Christopher Froome as being from Kenya, which isn't in the list below. Put him there, and Great Britain drops to just a pair.

New Zealand
Julian Dean, Garmin-Chipotle

As last year.

South Africa
Robbie Hunter, Barloworld
John-Lee Augustyn, Barloworld

Adds Augustyn.

Ryder Hesjedal, Garmin-Chipotle

First Canuck since 1997. Maybe Michael Barry will join him one year.

Here's the official breakdown, according to the Tour website:

40: France (2007 count in parentheses: 35)
30: Spain (42)
21: Italy (18)
16: Germany (19)
12: Belgium (13)
10: The Netherlands (7)
9: Australia (6)
4: USA (6), Russia (6) and Switzerland (5)
3: Colombia (3), Great Britain (5) and Luxembourg (2)
2: South Africa (1), Austria (3), Belarus (2), Norway (2), Sweden (1) and Ukraine (2)
1: Brazil (1), Canada (0), Denmark (1), Kazakhstan (4), New Zealand (1), Poland (0), Czech Republic (0), Slovakia (0) and Slovenia (1)

Spanish representation drops from 42 riders last year to 30 this year, with France jumping from 35 to 40.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 5, 2008 in About the Tour, Baden Cooke, Bobby Julich, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Chris Horner, Christian Vande Velde, Danny Pate, Dave Zabriskie, David Millar, Fred Rodriguez, George Hincapie, Julian Dean, Levi Leipheimer, Mark Cavendish, Michael Rogers, Robbie McEwen, Stuart O'Grady, Tom Danielson, Top Stories, Will Frischkorn | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack