jump to navigation

The Tour in Torment July 25, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Andreas Kloden, Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Christian Moreni, Dennis Menchov, Doping, Michael Boogerd, Michael Rasmussen, Patrik Sinkewitz, Rabobank, T-Mobile, Theo DeRooy, Tour de France.
add a comment

In an unbelievable and dizzying turn of events, 17 riders across three teams have been withdrawn from the Tour in the past 30 hours. 9 riders of Astana, (including 5th place Andreas Kloden and 8th place Andrey Kashechkin), 7 riders of Team Cofidis (all of whom had participated in a sit down protest against riders doping at the start of the stage today), and the Yellow Jersey wearing Rabobank rider, Michael Rasmussen, who had all but guaranteed himself a spot on the podium in Paris with a win in today’s stage.

It is not clear whether any or all of the remaining riders in Rabobank will continue with the Tour when it resumes tomorrow so 7 more riders may withdraw voluntarily by morning, including 17th place Michael Boogerd and 23rd place Dennis Menchov.

Only three riders have failed doping tests during the Tour, Patrik Sinkewitz (T-Mobile) who was already withdrawn by the time the results were announced, Alexander Vinokourouv, who had just won 2 out of the last 3 stages when his results were announced and Christian Moreni, who was dramatically arrested by French officials at the finish of today’s stage. However, the zero tolerance environment that is evolving within the sports’ official bodies (the UCI and national federations), within the event organizations and within the ranks of sponsors, has resulted in the decimation of the tour’s competitors and a PR bloodbath that may change the face of professional racing for decades to come.

It should be noted that Rasmussen has been tested repeatedly before and during this year’s Tour (he claims 14 tests) and has not failed any tests to date. However, in the face of the drastic and dramatic moves by organizers, teams and their sponsors in the Sinkewitz, Vinokourov and Moreni incidents, many were calling for Rabobank, or the Tour, to act and remove Rasmussen from the race before his behavior did any more damage to the reputation of the Tour or the heralded Maillot Jaune. Apparently the revelation that Rasmussen was training in Italy in June when he missed out of competition doping tests, not Mexico as he claimed, was all that Rabobank and its team manager Theo DeRooy could take. DeRooy has said that he will give the other Rabobank riders the option of continuing on with the race tomorrow when Stage 17 begins.

Regardless of what the Rabobank riders decide to do, this Tour de France has become one of the craziest sporting events in recent memory. Great riders who are clean have lost the chance to compete and win, good riders who are trying to win their way onto teams for next year are sitting at home, and sponsors who have honored and polished the sport for years are packing their bags. Hopefully, the damage that is done will set the stage for a rebirth of professional cycling, and a new era in the Grand Tours, but for the innocent riders who are hurt because of this there is no way to recover the time and opportunity lost.

Advertisements

Oh Merde…Vinokourov Fails Doping Test, Astana Withdraws July 24, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Andreas Kloden, Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Doping.
add a comment

In a rebound that amazed all yesterday, Alexander Vinokourov may have had some help.  It has been announced that Vinokourov failed a test for homologous blood doping following yesterday’s Stage win.  It has also been announced that Team Astana is withdrawing from the Tour de France.

This is terrible news for the sport and the Tour de France, coming even as suspicions are swirling around Yellow Jersey holder Michael Rasmussen for his failure to make himself accessible for testing, and sponsors around the world are re-assessing their support for professional cycling.

Astana’s other riders including Andreas Kloden and Andrey Kashechkin will be denied the opportunity to compete for the Yellow Jersey, with Kloden in particular theoretically still in the running for the podium in Paris.

More on this as it develops.

Contador Wins Stage 14 July 22, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Andreas Kloden, Andrey Kashechkin, Antonio Colom, Astana, Cadel Evans, Caisse d'Epargne, Carlos Sastre, Discovery Channel, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Haimar Zubeldia, Hernandez Soler, Levi Lepheimer, Michael Boogerd, Michael Rasmussen, Mikel Astarloza, Oscar Pereiro, Predictor-Lotto, Rabobank, Stage 14, Tour de France, Yaroslav Popovych.
add a comment

Beating out Michael Rasmussen in the final sprint, Alberto Contador won Stage 14 today after two tough climbs that broke up the GC contenders and spread them across the the finishing clock. Alexander Vinokorouv’s impressive TT yesterday appeared to have taken a lot out of him today as he was one of the first GC contenders to drop off. But Contador, Cadel Evans and Levi Leipheimer stayed with Rasmussen until the very end, with Contador and Rasmussen attacking in the final kilometers and finishing in a sprint.

The spread of the finishers, should help to clarify the GC a bit, with only 9 GC contenders now within 10 minutes of Rasmussen overall. Discovery Channel appears to be positioned well with 3 riders in the top 10, with Contador, Leipheimer and Popovytch all performing well in the climbs today. Astana’s picture is also clearing up as Kloden appears to be the rider who can sustain in both time trials and the mountains.

This has been a great year for the Tour with drama and suspense in nearly every stage.

[Complete Results Here]
Today’s Top Finishers:

1. CONTADOR Alberto 112 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 5h 25′ 48″
2. RASMUSSEN Michael 58 RABOBANK 5h 25′ 48″
3. SOLER HERNANDEZ Juan Mauricio 219 BARLOWORLD 5h 26′ 25″ + 00′ 37″
4. LEIPHEIMER Levi 111 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 5h 26′ 28″ + 00′ 40″
5. SASTRE Carlos 31 TEAM CSC 5h 26′ 41″ + 00′ 53″
6. KLÖDEN Andréas 196 ASTANA 5h 27′ 40″ + 01′ 52″
7. EVANS Cadel 41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 5h 27′ 40″ + 01′ 52″
8. COLOM Antonio 192 ASTANA 5h 28′ 11″ + 02′ 23″
9. KASHECHKIN Andrey 195 ASTANA 5h 28′ 11″ + 02′ 23″
10. POPOVYCH Yaroslav 118 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 5h 28′ 54″ + 03′ 06″
11. BOOGERD Michael 52 RABOBANK 5h 28′ 54″ + 03′ 06″
12. ASTARLOZA Mikel 73 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 5h 28′ 54″ + 03′ 06″
13. PEREIRO SIO Oscar 11 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 5h 29′ 33″ + 03′ 45″
14. VALVERDE Alejandro 18 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 5h 29′ 33″ + 03′ 45″
15. ZUBELDIA Haimar 71 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 5h 29′ 33″ + 03′ 45″

Vinokourov Wins ITT, Rasmussen Not a Disaster July 21, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Alexander Vinokourov, Andreas Kloden, Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Bradley Wiggins, Cadel Evans, Cofidis, CSC, Discovery Channel, Euskatel-Euskadi, Juan Manuel Garate, Leif Hoste, Levi Leipheimer, Linus Gerdemann, Mikel Asterloza, Predictor-Lotto, Rabobank, Stage 13, Sylvain Chavanel, Tour de France, Vladimir Gusev.
add a comment

Today’s rain soaked Individual Time Trial was remarkable not so much for the fine performances put in by Vinokourov, Evans and Kloden, but for the meltdown that did not appear. Michael Rasmussen was widely considered vulnerable in the yellow jersey because of his self professed dificulty in the ITT, which was highlighted by his disastrous performance in the the Tour in 2005 which lost him a spot on the podium. But while Rasmussen’s 11th place finish today lost him a few precious minutes to Vinokourov, Kloden and Evans, it was not the disaster that was feared/expected.

Oh, and Vladimir Gusev has got a big engine…in case you were wondering. His 12th place finish does not tell the story, as a crash on the course stripped of at least one minute, maybe more. He would have clearly been a top five finisher today if he had avoided the crash.

Rasmussen retains the yellow jersey for another day, and lives to see the Pyrenee’s, where he will again be in his element.
Complete Results Here

Top Finishers Today:

1. VINOKOUROV Alexandre 191 ASTANA 1h 06′ 34″
2. EVANS Cadel 41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 1h 07′ 48″ + 01′ 14″
3. KLÖDEN Andréas 196 ASTANA 1h 08′ 13″ + 01′ 39″
4. KASHECHKIN Andrey 195 ASTANA 1h 08′ 18″ + 01′ 44″
5. WIGGINS Bradley 149 COFIDIS CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE 1h 08′ 48″ + 02′ 14″
6. POPOVYCH Yaroslav 118 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 1h 08′ 50″ + 02′ 16″
7. CONTADOR Alberto 112 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 1h 08′ 52″ + 02′ 18″
8. CHAVANEL Sylvain 141 COFIDIS CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE 1h 09′ 12″ + 02′ 38″
9. LEIPHEIMER Levi 111 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 1h 09′ 13″ + 02′ 39″
10. ASTARLOZA Mikel 73 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 1h 09′ 16″ + 02′ 42″
11. RASMUSSEN Michael 58 RABOBANK 1h 09′ 29″ + 02′ 55″
12. GUSEV Vladimir 113 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 1h 09′ 30″ + 02′ 56″
13. HOSTE Leif 45 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 1h 09′ 30″ + 02′ 56″
14. GERDEMANN Linus 25 T-MOBILE TEAM 1h 09′ 43″ + 03′ 09″
15. GARATE Juan Manuel 174 QUICK STEP – INNERGETIC 1h 09′ 46″ + 03′ 12″

Top Overall Standings in the GC After 13 Stages:
1. RASMUSSEN Michael 58 RABOBANK 58h 46′ 39″
2. EVANS Cadel 41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 58h 47′ 39″ + 01′ 00″
3. CONTADOR Alberto 112 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 58h 49′ 10″ + 02′ 31″
4. KLÖDEN Andréas 196 ASTANA 58h 49′ 13″ + 02′ 34″
5. LEIPHEIMER Levi 111 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 58h 50′ 16″ + 03′ 37″
6. KASHECHKIN Andrey 195 ASTANA 58h 51′ 02″ + 04′ 23″
7. SASTRE Carlos 31 TEAM CSC 58h 51′ 24″ + 04′ 45″
8. ASTARLOZA Mikel 73 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 58h 51′ 46″ + 05′ 07″
9. VINOKOUROV Alexandre 191 ASTANA 58h 51′ 49″ + 05′ 10″
10. KIRCHEN Kim 27 T-MOBILE TEAM 58h 52′ 08″ + 05′ 29″
11. VALVERDE Alejandro 18 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 58h 52′ 27″ + 05′ 48″
12. MAYO Iban 207 SAUNIER DUVAL – PRODIR 58h 52′ 27″ + 05′ 48″
13. GERDEMANN Linus 25 T-MOBILE TEAM 58h 53′ 38″ + 06′ 59″
14. PEREIRO SIO Oscar 11 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 58h 53′ 43″ + 07′ 04″
15. POPOVYCH Yaroslav 118 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 58h 54′ 16″ + 07′ 37″

Boonen wins Stage 12 July 20, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Amets Txurruka, Andrey Kashechkin, Anthony Geslin, Bernard Eisel, Christian Moreni, Daniele Bennati, Erik Zabel, Freddy Bichot, Inaki Isasi, Martin Elmiger, Nicholas Jalabert, Pierrick Fedrigo, Robbie Hunter, Robert Forster, Sebastien Chavanel, Stage 12, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Tour de France.
add a comment

Two men, Euskaltel’s Amets Txurruka and Bouygues Telecom’s Pierrick Fedrigo broke away from the peloton 55km into the race and were allowed to get over 10 minutes ahead before being reeled back on the long descent into Castres, only to be caught in the final kilometer.

A neat orderly sprint in the final meters was set up perfectly by Quickstep putting Tom Boonen in position to win, and Boonen did not disappoint. Zabel and Hunter stayed right in line with their Green Jersey standings and finished 2-3.

Today’s Top Finishers:

1. BOONEN Tom 171 QUICK STEP – INNERGETIC 4h 25′ 32″
2. ZABEL Erik 181 TEAM MILRAM 4h 25′ 32″
3. HUNTER Robert 216 BARLOWORLD 4h 25′ 32″
4. BENNATI Daniele 82 LAMPRE-FONDITAL 4h 25′ 32″
5. HUSHOVD Thor 101 CREDIT AGRICOLE 4h 25′ 32″
6. EISEL Bernhard 24 T-MOBILE TEAM 4h 25′ 32″
7. CHAVANEL Sébastien 162 FRANCAISE DES JEUX 4h 25′ 32″
8. JALABERT Nicolas 137 AGRITUBEL 4h 25′ 32″
9. FÖRSTER Robert 92 GEROLSTEINER 4h 25′ 32″
10. KASHECHKIN Andrey 195 ASTANA 4h 25′ 32″
11. BICHOT Freddy 132 AGRITUBEL 4h 25′ 32″
12. ELMIGER Martin 65 AG2R PREVOYANCE 4h 25′ 32″
13. MORENI Cristian 144 COFIDIS CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE 4h 25′ 32″
14. ISASI Inaki 75 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 4h 25′ 32″
15. GESLIN Anthony 124 BOUYGUES TELECOM 4h 25′ 32″

Hunter wins Stage 11…Another for Barloworld July 19, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Ag2r, Alessandro Ballan, Andrey Kashechkin, Anthony Geslin, Astana, Barloworld, Bouygues Telecom, Christophe Moreau, Claudio Corioni, Crédit Agricole, CSC, Enrico Poitschke, Fabian Cancellara, Filippo Pozzato, Francaise des Jeux, Frank Schleck, Freddie Rodriguez, Gerolsteiner, Julian Dean, Kim Kirchen, Lampre-Fondital, Liquigas, Markus Fothen, Milram, Murilo Fischer, Paolo Bossoni, Peter Wrolich, Philippe Gilbert, Robbie Hunter, South Africa, T-Mobile, Team Ag2r, Team Barloworld, Team CSC, Tour de France, William Bonnet.
add a comment

Hunter Wins Stage 11Blistering heat and a blistering pace today on the 2007 Tour’s flatest stage. Seems the riders were all rested after a leisurely pace yesterday, and there were several teams and riders who were prepared to push the peloton to its limit in order to crack open a stage that would normally have been left to the sprinters at the end of the day.

A break did finally occur with 50km to go, with the peloton pulling away from a large group that just couldn’t maintain the pace. Christophe Moreau was the most prominent GC rider to get caught in the split. He had gotten tangled up with a teamate and crashed early in the stage. The rest of the GC contenders stayed up in the peloton.

A crash in the final km tied up Rodriguez, Dean and Schleck and blocked out Boonen, so the sprint to the finish was grabbed by Robbie Hunter who edged out Fabian Cancellara for the stage win.

Hunter’s victory marks the first stage win for a South African, and the second for wild card team Barloworld

[Complete Results Here]

Today’s Top Finishers:
1. HUNTER Robert 216 BARLOWORLD 3h 47′ 50″
2. CANCELLARA Fabian 33 TEAM CSC 3h 47′ 50″
3. FISCHER Murilo Antoniobil 155 LIQUIGAS 3h 47′ 50″
4. POZZATO Filippo 151 LIQUIGAS 3h 47′ 50″
5. BALLAN Alessandro 81 LAMPRE-FONDITAL 3h 47′ 50″
6. BOSSONI Paolo 83 LAMPRE-FONDITAL 3h 47′ 50″
7. CORIONI Claudio 85 LAMPRE-FONDITAL 3h 47′ 50″
8. GILBERT Philippe 165 FRANCAISE DES JEUX 3h 47′ 50″
9. BONNET William 102 CREDIT AGRICOLE 3h 47′ 50″
10. KIRCHEN Kim 27 T-MOBILE TEAM 3h 47′ 50″
11. FOTHEN Markus 93 GEROLSTEINER 3h 47′ 55″ + 00′ 05″
12. POITSCHKE Enrico 188 TEAM MILRAM 3h 47′ 55″ + 00′ 05″
13. WROLICH Peter 99 GEROLSTEINER 3h 47′ 55″ + 00′ 05″
14. KASHECHKIN Andrey 195 ASTANA 3h 47′ 55″ + 00′ 05″
15. GESLIN Anthony 124 BOUYGUES TELECOM 3h 47′ 55″ + 00′ 05″

Here Comes Moreau…But Watch Out For Astana July 16, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Ag2r, Alexander Vinokourov, Andreas Kloden, Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Christophe Moreau, Team Ag2r, Team Astana.
add a comment

Christophe Moreau, AG2R’s leader and the French National Champion, has got to feel pretty good about where he’s sitting. He hasn’t had a bad stage yet, has finished strongly in the mountains (9th in the 7th Stage and 4th yesterday in the 8th) and he has his entire team intact. Though he admitted to VeloNews today that he isn’t a great time trialist and the attack yesterday took a lot of energy, he didn’t hurt himself at all in the early stages, and his attack yesterday proved he can still handle the biggest climbs with the best of the leaders. The key, according to Moreau will be recovery. If he can recover quickly and continue to press the attack in the mountains, he feels he will stand a chance of ending up on the podium.

With the Astana boys a little banged up, Moreau, Evans, Menchov, Valverde and the rest of the contenders need to try and pick up some separation before the Pyrenees and the Time Trials. Vino and Kloden appear to be recovering from their wounds and that only means trouble for the other contenders, especially because Kashechkin is also riding so well. Three Astana riders, all still in contention and helping each other late in the Tour will be tough to beat….

Rasmussen Takes a Brutal Stage 8 July 15, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Ag2r, Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Cadel Evans, Caisse d'Epargne, Carlos Sastre, Christophe Moreau, CSC, Denis Menchov, Discovery Channel, Frank Schleck, Iban Mayo, Michael Rasmussen, Predictor-Lotto, Rabobank, Saunier Duval, Stage 8, Tour de France.
add a comment

Climbing specialist Michael Rasmussen began to show his winning form yesterday, but really shined today picking off all contenders over nearly 5 hours of increasingly difficult climbs.

Rasmussen Wins Stage 8

Complete Results Here

Today’s Top Finishers:
1. RASMUSSEN Michael 58 RABOBANK 04:49:40
2. MAYO Iban 207 SAUNIER DUVAL – PRODIR 04:52:27 + 00:02:47
3. VALVERDE Alejandro 18 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 04:52:52 + 00:03:12
4. MOREAU Christophe 61 AG2R PREVOYANCE 04:52:53 + 00:03:13
5. SCHLECK Frank 36 TEAM CSC 04:52:53 + 00:03:13
6. EVANS Cadel 41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 04:52:53 + 00:03:13
7. KASHECHKIN Andrey 195 ASTANA 04:52:53 + 00:03:13
8. CONTADOR Alberto 112 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 04:53:11 + 00:03:31
9. MENCHOV Denis 51 RABOBANK 04:53:15 + 00:03:35
10. SASTRE Carlos 31 TEAM CSC 04:53:15 + 00:03:35

Astana Finalizes Roster June 30, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Alexander Vinokourov, Andreas Kloden, Andrey Kashechkin, Antonio Colom, Astana, Daniel Navarro, Gregory Rast, Guennadi Mikhailov, Jose Antonio Redondo, Maxim Iglinsky, Paolo Savoldelli, Serguei Ivanov.
add a comment

Team Astana has named its nine man roster. Alexander Vinokourov will lead the Swiss team that includes Maxim Iglinsky, Andrey Kashechkin, Andreas Klöden, Serguei Ivanov, Antonio Colom, Daniel Navarro, Gregory Rast and Paolo Savoldelli.

Guennadi Mikhailov and José Antonio Redondo were named as reserves.

Matthias Kessler and Eddy Mazzoleni were notably missing. Mazzoleni is the most recent victim of the doping scandal.