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143 Left…. July 25, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Cofidis, Doping, Stage 16, Tour de France.
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The withdrawal of Team Cofidis, following the announcement that Christian Moreni failed a doping test taken following Stage 11, reduces the field to 143 riders. While the departure of the Cofidis riders does not change the standing of any of the GC contenders, the tail end of the peloton has moved up 15 spots in the past 24 hours…all for the wrong reasons.

The remaining riders and their standing in the GC are listed here.

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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.

Like a Sieve… July 25, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Christian Moreni, Cofidis, Doping, L'Equipe, UCI.
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Franch daily L’Equipe has reported another leaked report from the labs employed by the UCI to perform blood tests on samples supplied by the riders before and during the Tour de France. The report claims that a blood test taken at the end of Stage 11 in Montpelier resulted in a positive result indicating blood doping. Tests were taken that day from Robert Hunter who won the stage, Michael Rasmussen, Maxim Iglinskiy, Erik Zabel, Lilian Jegou, Cristian Moreni, Kim Kirchen, and Patxi Vila. [Update: It has subsequently been announced that the rider who failed the doping test was Christian Moreni, and his team has withdrawn from the Tour de France].

Amazing how every one of these results ends up in L’Equipe before being released.

UPDATE: UCI is reporting that Christian Moreni of Cofidis is the rider who tested positive for blood doping after Stage 11. He had finished 102nd that day and was in 53rd place in the GC at the time.

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″

Vasseur Wins Stage 10 After All Day Breakaway July 18, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Aleksandre Kuschynski, Andriy Grivko, Cédric Vasseur, Cofidis, Crédit Agricole, CSC, Francaise des Jeux, Jens Voigt, Juan Antonio Flecha, Lampre, Liquigas, Marcus Burghardt, Michal Albasini, Milram, Paolo Bossoni, Patrice Halgand, Quickstep, Rabobank, Sandy Casar, Staf Scheirlinckx, Stage 10, T-Mobile, Team Cofidis, Team Crédit Agricole, Team CSC, Team Francaise des Jeux, Team Lampre-Fondital, Team Liquigas, Team Milram, Team Quickstep, Team Rabobank, Team T-Mobile, Tour de France.
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A long, uncontested breakaway set the stage for a hot finish on this very hot day in southern France. The breakaway consisted of Jens Voigt (CSC), Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank), Paolo Bossoni (Lampre), Patrice Halgand (Credit Agricole), Staf Scheirlinckx (Cofidis), Michal Albasini (Liquigas), Aleksandre Kuschynski (Liquigas), Sandy Casar (Francaise des Jeux), Cedric Vasseur (Quick Step), Andriy Grivko (Milram), and Marcus Burghardt (T-Mobile). With 25km to go, the breakaway split into two pieces with Halgand attacking and pulling Casar, Vasseur, Voight and Albasini with him. After a quick descent into Marseille, the lead 5 played cat and mouse games for the final 4km before a slow sprint over the final 300m, with Vasseur edging out Casar for the win… the first French stage win of the tour.

Top Finishers Today:

1. VASSEUR Cédric 179 QUICK STEP – INNERGETIC 5h 20′ 24″
2. CASAR Sandy 161 FRANCAISE DES JEUX 5h 20′ 24″
3. ALBASINI Michael 152 LIQUIGAS 5h 20′ 24″
4. HALGAND Patrice 107 CREDIT AGRICOLE 5h 20′ 24″
5. VOIGT Jens 38 TEAM CSC 5h 20′ 24″
6. SCHEIRLINCKX Staf 147 COFIDIS CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE 5h 21′ 00″ + 00′ 36″
7. BOSSONI Paolo 83 LAMPRE-FONDITAL 5h 21′ 00″ + 00′ 36″
8. BURGHARDT Marcus 22 T-MOBILE TEAM 5h 21′ 25″ + 01′ 01″
9. KUSCHYNSKI Aleksandr 156 LIQUIGAS 5h 22′ 58″ + 02′ 34″
10. FLECHA Juan Antonio 55 RABOBANK 5h 22′ 58″ + 02′ 34″
11. GRIVKO Andriy 184 TEAM MILRAM 5h 24′ 06″ + 03′ 42″
12. CHAVANEL Sébastien 162 FRANCAISE DES JEUX 5h 31′ 00″ + 10′ 36″
13. BOONEN Tom 171 QUICK STEP – INNERGETIC 5h 31′ 00″ + 10′ 36″
14. VENTOSO Francisco 209 SAUNIER DUVAL – PRODIR 5h 31′ 00″ + 10′ 36″
15. HUNTER Robert 216 BARLOWORLD 5h 31′ 00″ + 10′ 36″

The Field Thins July 15, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Cedric Hervé, Cofidis, Danilo Napolitano, Ivan Parra, Mark Cavendish, Michael Rogers, Robbie McEwen, Romain Feillu, Stage 8, Stuart O'Grady, T-Mobile, Team Agritubel, Team Cofidis, Team CSC, Team Lampre-Fondital, Team Predictor-Lotto, Tour de France.
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Well the carnage begins in the the Alps, a total of 8 riders were eliminated today. The O’Grady crash was the most scary event…other riders departed quietly off the back of the pack. T-Mobile appears to have gotten the worst of it losing both Rogers (as reported earlier) and Cavendish. Linus Gerdemann is now defending T-Mobile’s GC hopes, clinging to 2nd. Agritubel also lost 2 riders, though neither Feillu nor Herve had as high expectations as Rogers.

The complete list of withdrawals today: Ivan Parra (Cofidis, Abandon) , Cedric Herve (Agritubel, Time), Romain Feillu (Agritubel, Abandon), Danilo Napolitano (Lampre-Fondital, Time), Robbie McEwen (Predicor-Lotto, Time), Stuart O’Grady (CSC, Crash, Injuries), Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile, Abandon) and Michael Rogers (T-Mobile, Crash, Injuries)

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.

Cofidis Loses LeQuatre After Yesterday’s Crash July 13, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Cofidis, Geoffroy LeQuatre, Team Cofidis, Tour de France.
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Geoffroy LeQuatre did not make the start today after bravely fighting across the finish line yesterday nearly 45 minutes after the leaders. He was injured in a crash and left behind, but struggled through the remainder of the course.

The jury allowed him to continue despite missing the cutoff, but his injuries were too severe, and he did not make the start.

Stage 5 Goes to Pozzato July 12, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Bouygues Telecom, Bram Tankink, Christian Moreni, Cofidis, Daniele Bennati, Discovery Channel, Erik Zabel, Fabian Cancellara, Filippo Pozzato, George Hincapie, Jérôme Pineau, Kim Kerchen, Lampre-Fondital, Liquigas, Milram, Oscar Freire, Quickstep, Quickstep-Innergetic, Rabobank, Stage 5, Stefan Schumacher, Sylvain Chavanel, Team Bouygues Telecom, Team Cofidis, Team Discovery Channel, Team Gerolsteiner, Team Lampre-Fondital, Team Liquigas, Team Milram, Team Quickstep, Team Rabobank, Team T-Mobile.
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Filippo Pozzato of Liquigas won a long and winding sprint to take Stage 5. Fabian Cancellara stayed with the peloton despite some challenging climbs, finished 12th, and holds on to the Jersey for another day (2 actually). Sylvain Chavanel’s persistence in long breakaways brough him the Polka Dot Jersey as his won 30 of the days 34 available 1st place points by taking the first 6 of 7 climbs as part of the breakaway.

Tom Boonen lost the peloton in the hils, and finished the day 1:20 behind the Pozzato, which opened the door for Erik Zabel to take the Green Jersey with his 16 point 5th place finish.

Complete results here:

Top Finishers:

1. POZZATO Filippo 151 LIQUIGAS 04:39:01
2. FREIRE Oscar 56 RABOBANK 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
3. BENNATI Daniele 82 LAMPRE-FONDITAL 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
4. KIRCHEN Kim 27 T-MOBILE TEAM 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
5. ZABEL Erik 181 TEAM MILRAM 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
6. HINCAPIE George 114 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
7. MORENI Cristian 144 COFIDIS CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
8. SCHUMACHER Stefan 91 GEROLSTEINER 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
9. TANKINK Bram 177 QUICK STEP – INNERGETIC 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
10. PINEAU Jérôme 126 BOUYGUES TELECOM 04:39:01 + 00:00:00

Stage 5 is Underway July 12, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Barloworld, Cofidis, Crédit Agricole, Francaise des Jeux, Gianpaolo Cheula, Philippe Gilbert, Stage 5, Sylvain Chavanel, Team Barloworld, Team Cofidis, Team Crédit Agricole, Team Francaise des Jeux, Tour de France, William Bonnet.
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And with 70km under their belt, the peloton is chasing a four man breakaway of Gianpaolo Cheula (Italy) Barloworld, Sylvain Chavanel (France) Cofidis, Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) Française des Jeux, William Bonnet (France) Credit Agicole. Chavanel got reeled in from an earlier breakaway then went out again with Gilbert and Bonnet. Cheula bridged to join the three man breakaway as they approached 70km.

One big beautiful Cat 2 climb today will spice things up a bit after flat Stages 1-4.

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

Cofidis First Cycling Team in Second Life July 6, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Cofidis, Linden Labs, Second Life.
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Team Cofidis announced the inaugaration of Cofidis Island in the virtual world Second Life. Fans of the Pro Cycling team can follow their team’s adventures, interact with riders and see press information about the team on the island.

Second Life is a virtual world, created and maintained by Linden Labs, where participants are represented by 3-D avatars. Avatars can participate in life-like activities and and interact with other characters of players around the world. Cofidis’ use of Second Life to promote its team and disseminate information is a first for Tour de France. Cofidis is also maintaining a blog regarding the Cofidis Island activities at SLCofids.fr

Wiggins Named to Cofidis; Millar to Saunier Duval June 29, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Cofidis, Millar, Saunier Duval, Wiggins.
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Bradley Wiggins was named to the 9 man team for Cofidis, positioning him for a run at the Prologue. David Wiggins, another prologue favorite, was also named to the 9 man team for Saunier Duval as widely expected.

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