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Cofidis Withdraws From the Tour July 25, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Bradley Wiggins, Cofidis, Doping, Geoffroy LeQuatre, Ivan Parra, Nick Nuyens, Rik Verbrugghe, Staf Scheirlinckx, Stephane Auge, Sylvain Chavanel, Tour de France.
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Following the example set by Team Astana yesterday, Team Cofidis withdrew its entire team from the Tour de France today following the announcement that one of its riders, Italian Christian Moreni failed a doping test taken following Stage 11.

The top rider on the Cofidis team was clearly Sylvain Chavanel who had climbed beautifully in the Alps, winning the Polka Dot jersey in stages 5, 6, and 7 before giving it up to Michael Rasmussen, and had risen as high as #8 in the GC standings before fading in the Pyrenees. Also affected are British rider Bradley Wiggins who had finished 4th in the Prologue, French rider Stephane Auge who won the Polka Dot jersey in stages 3 and 4, and Belgian riders Nick Nuyens, Staf Scheirlinckx and Rik Verbrugghe. Cofidis had already lost Geoffrey LeQuatre and Ivan Parra to injuries.

Update: Christian Moreni is now in French police custody, charged with using and trafficking doping products. His team manager, Eric Boyer, reports that he has admitted to doping and apologized to his family, his team and the Tour. It was also reported that the team withdrew itself at its sponsor’s request, not that of the Tour organizers. Cofidis and Team Manager Eric Boyer have declared strongly against doping and the team has been part of the Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crédible (MPCC) which formed in London at the start of the Tour and announced yesterday. The MPCC requires strict adherence to the UCI Code of Conduct by its member teams, and complete transparency on medical and training issues between the teams.

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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.
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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″

British Tribute July 13, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Bradley Wiggins, Cofidis, Cycling, Team Cofidis, Tom Simpson, Tour de France.
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British Cofidis rider Bradley Wiggins has ridden a solo breakaway of 190km (almost the entire stage) on this the 40th anniversary of British rider Tom Simpson’s death on Ventoux in the 13th stage of the 1967 Tour de France.

He will be overtaken by the peloton in the final kilometers, but it’s been a brave and impressive ride by Wiggins and a fitting tribute to Simpson.

Overall Standings after Stage 2 July 9, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Alexander Vinokourov, Andreas Kloden, Bradley Wiggins, David Millar, Fabian Cancellara, George Hincapie, Stage 2, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Tour de France, Vladimir Gusev, Vladimir Karpets.
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Cancellara finished in the bifurcated peloton after the crash, but was one of those who went down in the pack of 20+ riders, and appeared to be nursing a serious injury to his left arm.

1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), CSC, 8:36:13
2. Andréas Klöden (G), Astana, at 0:13
3. David Millar (GB), Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 0:21
4. George Hincapie (USA), Discovery Channel, at 0:23
5. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Cofidis, s.t.
6. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), Discovery Channel, at 0:25
7. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 0:26
8. Vladimir Karpets (Rus), Caisse D’Epargne, s.t.
9. Thor Hushovd (Nor), Crédit Agricole, at 0:29
10. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), Astana, at 0:30

Cancellara Shines July 7, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Bradley Wiggins, Cofidis, CSC, Discovery Channel, Fabian Cancellara, George Hincapie, Oscar Friere, Team Cofidis, Team CSC, Team Discovery Channel, UCI Time Trial World Champion.
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World champion in the time trial, Fabian Cancellara showed that the result in Salzburg was no fluke with a dominating prolog, 13 seconds ahead of Andreas Kloden, whose 9:03 time was considered nearly unbeatable by some observers until Cancellara’s run. Wearing the rainbow jersey, awarded to the UCI time trial champion to be worn in individual time trial events for the following year, Cancellara was 8 seconds ahead of Kloden pace at the split and pulled a further 5 seconds ahead by the finish.

Bradley Wiggins, the top British finisher in this first ever British prolog, finished 4th, 23 seconds behind Cancellara, and just a fraction of a second behind George Hicapie who narrowly missed winning the prolog last year.

Meanwhile Oscar Friere, himself 3 time UCI Road World Champion (’99, ’01 and ’04) wins the tough guy award for finishing 88th, 55 seconds off the lead despite riding with a pilonidal cyst on his tailbone, a very painful problem that is a recurrence of a cyst he had three years ago that forced him to have surgery and sit out part of the ’04 season.

Top Finishers, (Complete Results are available here and at The Tour website):
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), CSC 00:08:50
2. Andréas Klöden (G), Astana , at 00:00:13
3. George Hincapie (USA), Discovery Channel , at 00:00:23
4. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Cofidis Credit Par Telephone , at 00:00:23
5. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), Discovery Channel , at 00:00:25
6. Vladimir Karpets (Rus), Caisse D’epargne , at 00:00:26
7. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kz), Astana , at 00:00:30
8. Thomas Dekker (Nl), Rabobank , at 00:00:31
9. Manuel Quinziato (I), Liquigas , at 00:00:32
10. Benoît Vaugrenard (F), Francaise Des Jeux , at 00:00:32