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Daniele Bennati Wins Stage 17 July 26, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Ag2r, CSC, Daniele Bennati, Daniele Righi, David Millar, Erik Zabel, Francaise des Jeux, Gerolsteiner, Gert Steegmans, Jens Voight, Lampre, Liquigas, Manuel Quinziato, Markus Fothen, Martin Elmiger, Matteo Tosatto, Quick Step, Quickstep, Robbie Hunter, Robert Forster, Saunier Duval, Sebastien Chavanel, Stage 17, Sven Krauss, Tom Boonen, Tour de France.
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Daniele Bennati Winning Stage 17A long flat ride through the plains offered little excitement, which was a welcome state after one of the most tumultuous days in the history of the Tour yesterday.

Jens Voight (CSC) led a breakaway starting at 9km that built an 8 min. lead for the group of 8 by the 170km mark. The peloton and GC contenders decided early not to chase, so it was very quiet day indeed at the top of the standings. In addition to Voight, the group included Martin Elmiger (Ag2r), Daniele Bennati (Lampre), Daniele Righi (Lampre), David Millar (Saunier Duval), Markus Fothen (Gerolsteiner), Manuel Quinziato (Liquigas), Matteo Tosatto (Quick Step). On the final hill in the stage (a Cat 4 bump) he attacked the group and broke it up leading a group of 4 (Voight, Bennati, Elmiger and Fothen) into a high speed chase to the finish.

The success of the break created two sprints; the four man break played cat-and-mouse until 100m when Daniele Bennati took a very short sprint. Bennati’s win is the second stage win by an Italian rider in this year’s Tour, and the first by a Lampre rider this year. The scattered remaining elements of the original 8 man breakaway straggled in, leaving the teams’ sprint specialists to battle for the 9th spot points.

The second sprint materialized in the same final 100m with Boonen’s Quickstep escort setting him up perfectly. Boonen took the points for 9th, Sebastien Chavanel trailing him by a full bike length and Robbie Hunter took 11th, maintaining his hold on 2nd place in the Green Jersey standings.

Contador donned the Yellow Jersey following the stage, Tom Boonen retained the Green Jersey, and Mauricio Soler has captured this year’s KOM Polka Dot Jersey. The Yellow Jersey and the Green Jersey are still up for grabs, with Contador, Evans and Leipheimer all in a position to win or lose the Yellow Jersey in Cognac Saturday, and Boonen, Hunter and Zabel still able to win or lose the Green Jersey over the next 3 days.

Today’s Top Finishers:

1. BENNATI Daniele 82 LAMPRE-FONDITAL 4h 14′ 04″
2. FOTHEN Markus 93 GEROLSTEINER 4h 14′ 04″
3. ELMIGER Martin 65 AG2R PREVOYANCE 4h 14′ 04″
4. VOIGT Jens 38 TEAM CSC 4h 14′ 04″
5. MILLAR David 201 SAUNIER DUVAL – PRODIR 4h 16′ 45″ + 02′ 41″
6. TOSATTO Matteo 178 QUICK STEP – INNERGETIC 4h 16′ 47″ + 02′ 43″
7. QUINZIATO Manuel 157 LIQUIGAS 4h 17′ 24″ + 03′ 20″
8. RIGHI Daniele 87 LAMPRE-FONDITAL 4h 17′ 24″ + 03′ 20″
9. BOONEN Tom 171 QUICK STEP – INNERGETIC 4h 23′ 41″ + 09′ 37″
10. CHAVANEL Sébastien 162 FRANCAISE DES JEUX 4h 23′ 41″ + 09′ 37″
11. HUNTER Robert 216 BARLOWORLD 4h 23′ 41″ + 09′ 37″
12. FÖRSTER Robert 92 GEROLSTEINER 4h 23′ 41″ + 09′ 37″
13. ZABEL Erik 181 TEAM MILRAM 4h 23′ 41″ + 09′ 37″
14. STEEGMANS Gert 176 QUICK STEP – INNERGETIC 4h 23′ 43″ + 09′ 39″
15. KRAUSS Sven 96 GEROLSTEINER 4h 23′ 43″ + 09′ 39″

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New Overall Standings After 16 Stages July 25, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Barloworld, Cadel Evans, Caisse d'Epargne, Carlos Sastre, Christopher Horner, CSC, David Arroyo, Discovery Channel, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Haimar Zubeldia, Iban Mayo, Juan Mauricio Soler, Kim Kirchen, Levi Leipheimer, Mikel Astarloza, Oscar Pereiro, Predictor-Lotto, Saunier Duval-Prodir, T-Mobile, Yaroslav Popovych.
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There are new standings and new time gaps as a result of this evening’s withdrawal and firing of Michael Rasmussen by his team. We’re running out of riders, but we’re also running out of stages, and barring a serious crash in stages 17, 18 or (god forbid) 20 there are really only 3 riders in contention (some would say 5). Cadel Evans (Predictor Lotto) will start stage 17 less than 2 minutes behind new race leader Alberto Contador (Discovery) and teammate Levi Leipheimer will start 2 minutes 49 seconds behind him.

The two flat stages (17 & 18) through the plains are not likely to give any rider opportunity to  make up time. However, there is one stage that could make a difference, and that is the individual time trial in Cognac Saturday. Contador is not known as a great time trialer, but performed impressively in Stage 13’s TT coming in 7th behind 4 riders who are now gone (Vinokourov, Kloden, Kashechkin and Wiggins), Cadel Evans (by 1′ 04″) and teammate Yaroslav Popovych.

The top 15 contenders remaining tonight with their time gaps to the Yellow Jersey:

1. CONTADOR Alberto #112 DISCOVERY CHANNEL
2. EVANS Cadel #41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO + 01′ 53″
3. LEIPHEIMER Levi #111 DISCOVERY CHANNEL + 02′ 49″
4. SASTRE Carlos #31 TEAM CSC + 06′ 02″
5. ZUBELDIA Haimar #71 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI + 06′ 29″
6. VALVERDE Alejandro #18 CAISSE D’EPARGNE + 10′ 18″
7. KIRCHEN Kim #27 T-MOBILE TEAM + 11′ 36″
8. POPOVYCH Yaroslav #118 DISCOVERY CHANNEL + 12′ 50″
9. SOLER HERNANDEZ Juan Mauricio #219 BARLOWORLD + 13′ 31″
10. ASTARLOZA Mikel #73 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI + 13′ 42″
11. PEREIRO SIO Oscar #11 CAISSE D’EPARGNE + 14′ 07″
12. ARROYO David #12 CAISSE D’EPARGNE + 17′ 58″
13. MAYO Iban #207 SAUNIER DUVAL – PRODIR + 22′ 14″
14. HORNER Christopher #44 PREDICTOR – LOTTO + 23′ 12″
15. KARPETS Vladimir #15 CAISSE D’EPARGNE + 24′ 27″

How Astana Affects The Stages July 25, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Barloworld, Crédit Agricole, CSC, Discovery Channel, Fabian Cancellara, Kim Kirchen, Levi Leipheimer, Liquigas, Michael Rasmussen, Quickstep, Rabobank, Stage wins, T-Mobile, Tom Boonen, Tour de France.
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By now it has been well publicized that the withdrawal of Team Astana as a result of a failed doping test on team leader Alexander Vinokourov has stripped 3 of the Tour’s top GC contenders from the rankings, most notably Andreas Kloden who had been in 5th place in the GC at the time of the withdrawal. But Vinokourov’s suspension also hands two riders stage wins that had originally been awarded to the Kazakh rider. Cadel Evans takes the stage win for Stage 13 and Kim Kirchen the win for Stage 15.

[UPDATE: It is not yet clear how the withdrawal of Michael Rasmussen by his team for violating team rules will affect the official result of Stages 8 and 16. Since he did not fail a doping test, his stage wins may stand. I will update this listing once Tour organizers have announced a decision on the earlier stages.]

[UPDATE 2: Sorry, no slight to Robbie McEwen intended! McEwen won and holds the stage win for Stage 1. Fabian Cancellara still held the Maillot Jaune at the end of the stage but did not win the stage.]

The complete list of stage winners to date:

Prologue, London – Fabian Cancellara, CSC
Stage 1, London/Canterbury – Fabian Cancellara, CSCRobbie McEwen, Predictor-Lotto
Stage 2, Dunkirk/Ghent – Gert Steegmans, Quickstep
Stage 3, Waregem/Compiegne – Fabian Cancellara, CSC
Stage 4, Villers-Cotterets/Joigny – Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole
Stage 5, Chablis/Autun – Filippo Pozzatto, Liquigas
Stage 6, Semur-en-Auxois/Bourg-en-Bresse – Tom Boonen, Quickstep
Stage 7, Bourg-en-Bresse/Le Grand-Bornand – Linus Gerdemann, T-Mobile
Stage 8, Le Grand-Bornand/Tigne – Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank (?Valverde?)
Stage 9, Val-d’Isere/Briancon – Juan Mauricio Soler [Hernandez], Barloworld
Stage 10, Tallard/Marseille – Cedric Vasseur, Quickstep
Stage 11, Marseille/Montpellier – Robbie Hunter, Barloworld
Stage 12, Montpellier/Castres – Tom Boonen, Quickstep
Stage 13, Albi/Albi (TT) – Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto
Stage 14, Mazamet/Plateau-de-Beille – Alberto Contador, Discovery
Stage 15, Foix/Loudenvielle – Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile
Stage 16, Orthez/Col d’Aubisque – Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank (?Leipheimer?)

That’s 4 stage wins for Quickstep, 3 for CSC, 2 each for Barloworld, [Rabobank] and T-Mobile, and 1 each for Credit Agricole, Discovery Channel and Liquigas.

Rasmussen Wins Stage 16 July 25, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Barloworld, Cadel Evans, Caisse d'Epargne, Carlos Sastre, CSC, David Arroyo, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Frank Schleck, Gorka Verdugo, Haimar Zubeldia, Iban Mayo, Juan Jose Cobo Acebo, Kim Kirchen, Levi Leipheimer, Mauricio Soler, Michael Boogerd, Predictor-Lotto, Stage 16, Tour de France, Yaroslav Popovych.
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The day began with a protest by riders organized by French and German riders who wanted to make a statement against doping in the wake of the Vinokourov/Astana doping bombshell. The riders sat down at the start and allowed the rest of the peloton to leave before getting on their bikes and catching up.

The most interesting breakaway of the day occured at the 8km mark, with Mauricio Soler and Carlos Sastre attacking Michael Rasmussen on two fronts. Soler took the maximum points on the several climbs to vault past Rasmussen into first place on the KOM competition, and Sastre challenging the GC from the number 5 spot (following Kloden’s withdrawal). The Soler/Sastre led group included Iban Mayo and Gorka Verdugo of Euskaltel who was feted wildly by the Basque fans on both sides of the border as he came through with the lead group.

The second to last climb of the day at the Col de la Marie-Blanque (Cat 1) busted apart the peloton for once and all and 12 riders including Rasmussen, Contador, Leipheimer and Evans followed the breakaway over the top trailing by 2:21, all of which was a set up for the last big climb of the Tour, the Col d’Aubisque (HC).

The Col d’Aubisque quickly dropped Verdugo and Soler of the lead group. The steep grade of the climb starting 11 km from the top popped off the Rabobank escort for Michael Rasmussen, leaving only 8 riders including Popovych, Contador and Leipheimer who quickly challenged Rasmussen. A kilmoter later it was down to the 3 Discovery Channel riders, Rasmussen, and Evans, when Leipheimer launched off the front, dropping Popovytch, leaving the top four GC contenders to battle out the final 10km of serious climbing in this year’s Tour.

For the next 3km Leipheimer and Contador took turns attacking and attempting to wear down Rasmussen, while Cadel Evans tagged along. Leipheimer slipped off the group with 7km to go. Cadel Evans dropped off with 6km, and then Leipheimer surged back into the lead group, and lead the trio all the way to 1km, when Rasmussen made a break. Rasmussen had something left for the final run and neither of Discovery riders had anything left to chase him. Rasmussen 1st, Leipheimer 2nd 24 seconds later, and Contador came in third.

Rasmussen Wins Stage 16

Today’s Top Finishers:
1 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 6hours 23minutes21 secs
2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team +26 sec
3 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team +35 sec
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor – Lotto +43 sec
5 Mauricio Soler (Col) Barloworld +1min 25 sec
6 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi +1 min 52 sec
7 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Saunier Duval – Prodir +1 min 54 sec
8 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC +2 min 12 sec
9 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne +2 min 27 sec
10 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
11 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team +3 min 11 sec
12 David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne +3 min 37 sec
13 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC +4 min 42 sec
14 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank +5 min 32 sec
15 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team +6 min 02 sec

Overall Standings After Stage 16:

1. RASMUSSEN Michael 58 RABOBANK 76h 15′ 15″
2. CONTADOR Alberto 112 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 76h 18′ 25″ + 03′ 10″
3. EVANS Cadel 41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 76h 20′ 18″ + 05′ 03″
4. LEIPHEIMER Levi 111 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 76h 21′ 14″ + 05′ 59″
5. SASTRE Carlos 31 TEAM CSC 76h 24′ 27″ + 09′ 12″
6. ZUBELDIA Haimar 71 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 76h 24′ 54″ + 09′ 39″
7. VALVERDE Alejandro 18 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 76h 28′ 43″ + 13′ 28″
8. KIRCHEN Kim 27 T-MOBILE TEAM 76h 30′ 01″ + 14′ 46″
9. POPOVYCH Yaroslav 118 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 76h 31′ 15″ + 16′ 00″
10. SOLER HERNANDEZ Juan Mauricio 219 BARLOWORLD 76h 31′ 56″ + 16′ 41″
11. ASTARLOZA Mikel 73 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 76h 32′ 07″ + 16′ 52″
12. PEREIRO SIO Oscar 11 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 76h 32′ 32″ + 17′ 17″
13. ARROYO David 12 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 76h 36′ 23″ + 21′ 08″
14. MAYO Iban 207 SAUNIER DUVAL – PRODIR 76h 40′ 39″ + 25′ 24″
15. HORNER Christopher 44 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 76h 41′ 37″ + 26′ 22″

Done But No Quit In Vinokourov – Vino Wins Stage 15 July 23, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Ag2r, Alberto Contador, Alexander Vinokourov, Astana, Bernhard Kohl, Cadel Evans, Caisse d'Epargne, Christian Van de Velde, CSC, David Arroyo, Discovery Channel, Euskaltel-Euskadi, George Hincapie, Gerolsteiner, Haimar Zubeldia, Juan Jose Cobo, Juan Manuel Garate, Kim Kirchen, Ludovic Turpin, Michael Boogerd, Michael Rasmussen, Mikel Astarloza, Quickstep, Rabobank, Saunier Duval, Stage 15, T-Mobile, Tour de France, Uncategorized.
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5 rated climbs, including 2 Cat 1’s and an HC (above rating) gave the Tour another chance to separate the field, and separate it did… A huge 25 man breakaway eventally broke up with a group of 6 pulling away and then 3 broke off the front of that group. Alexander Vinokourov jumping out to lead the 3 in the front over the Col de Peyresourde. The man who looked completely cooked yesterday simply overpowered the field and raced to the win…an incredible performance.

Vinokourov Wins Stage 15

The GC contenders finished 6 minutes behind, with Alberto Contador dueled Michael Rasmussen for the top position, pulling away from the rest of the yellow jersey group just before the top of the last climb. At the end of the descent, Contador and Rasmussen finished a minute ahead of Leipheimer, Evans and the other contenders.

[Complete Results Here]

Today’s Top Finishers:
1. VINOKOUROV Alexandre 191 ASTANA 5h 34′ 28″
2. KIRCHEN Kim 27 T-MOBILE TEAM 5h 35′ 19″ + 00′ 51″
3. ZUBELDIA Haimar 71 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 5h 35′ 19″ + 00′ 51″
4. COBO ACEBO Juan Jose 204 SAUNIER DUVAL – PRODIR 5h 35′ 26″ + 00′ 58″
5. GARATE Juan Manuel 174 QUICK STEP – INNERGETIC 5h 36′ 42″ + 02′ 14″
6. ARROYO David 12 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 5h 37′ 51″ + 03′ 23″
7. KOHL Bernhard 95 GEROLSTEINER 5h 38′ 53″ + 04′ 25″
8. VANDEVELDE Christian 37 TEAM CSC 5h 38′ 53″ + 04′ 25″
9. TURPIN Ludovic 69 AG2R PREVOYANCE 5h 39′ 44″ + 05′ 16″
10. CONTADOR Alberto 112 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 5h 39′ 59″ + 05′ 31″
11. RASMUSSEN Michael 58 RABOBANK 5h 39′ 59″ + 05′ 31″
12. HINCAPIE George 114 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 5h 40′ 15″ + 05′ 47″
13. EVANS Cadel 41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 5h 40′ 55″ + 06′ 27″
14. ASTARLOZA Mikel 73 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 5h 40′ 55″ + 06′ 27″
15. BOOGERD Michael 52 RABOBANK 5h 40′ 55″ + 06′ 27″

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″

Zabriskie Gone July 19, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Ag2r, CSC, Igor Anton, Stage 11, Tour de France.
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American rider David Zabriskie exceeded the time limit on Stage 11 today and will be heading home this evening, nursing a sore knee.  Zabriskie has been trailing the crowd all Tour, and has been trying to recuperate a knee that was reconstructed following an accident in 2003.  Zabriskie told reporters that the knee has been sore all spring, the result of a team mandated move to a new shoe, and that the brisk pace over the last couple of days had made it impossible to let the knee recover from the mountain stages.

Euskadi rider Igor Anton was also lost to the Tour today, abandoning the race during today’s stage.

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.
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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″

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″

Soler Wins Stage 9 For Barloworld and Colombia July 17, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Ag2r, Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Alexander Vinokourov, Andreas Kloden, Astana, Barloworld, Cadel Evans, Caisse d'Epargne, Christophe Moreau, CSC, David Arroyo, Discovery Channel, Euskatel-Euskadi, Frank Schleck, Iban Mayo, Ivan Gutierrez, Juan Jose Cobo, Kim Kerchen, Levi Leipheimer, Mauricio Soler, Michael Rasmussen, Mikel Astarloza, Predictor-Lotto, Saunier Duval, Stage 9, T-Mobile, Team Ag2r, Team Astana, Team Barloworld, Team Caisse d'Epargne, Team CSC, Team Discovery Channel, Team Predictor-Lotto, Team Rabobank, Team Saunier-Duval, Tour de France, Victor Hugo Pena, Yaroslav Popovych.
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Soler Wins Stage 9
Two Hors Categorie climbs weren’t enough to slow down Mauricio Soler (Juan Mauricio Soler Hernandez, Barloworld). Michael Rasmussen was in a group only seconds behind driving hard to catch Soler, but it wasn’t to be. Rasmussen was still close enough to hold onto the Yellow Jersey for another day.

Soler’s win marks Barloworld’s first Stage win in the Tour de France, the South African-based team competing in its first tour as a wild card team. It’s also the first stage win by a Colombian since Victor Hugo Pena won stage 4 in 2003 (leading to the only Colombian Yellow Jersey to date in the history of the Tour, which Pena held for one stage).

Rasmussen also retains the Polka Dot Jersey for another day, but both Soler and Popovytch accumulated major points today putting them a close second and third in the KOM competition.

[Complete Results Here]

Top 15 Finishers Today:

1. SOLER HERNANDEZ Juan Mauricio 219 BARLOWORLD 4h 14′ 24″
2. VALVERDE Alejandro 18 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 4h 15′ 02″ + 00′ 38″
3. EVANS Cadel 41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 4h 15′ 02″ + 00′ 38″
4. CONTADOR Alberto 112 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 4h 15′ 04″ + 00′ 40″
5. MAYO Iban 207 SAUNIER DUVAL – PRODIR 4h 15′ 06″ + 00′ 42″
6. RASMUSSEN Michael 58 RABOBANK 4h 15′ 06″ + 00′ 42″
7. LEIPHEIMER Levi 111 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 4h 15′ 06″ + 00′ 42″
8. KIRCHEN Kim 27 T-MOBILE TEAM 4h 15′ 10″ + 00′ 46″
9. KLÖDEN Andréas 196 ASTANA 4h 15′ 11″ + 00′ 47″
10. SASTRE Carlos 31 TEAM CSC 4h 15′ 11″ + 00′ 47″
11. MOREAU Christophe 61 AG2R PREVOYANCE 4h 15′ 18″ + 00′ 54″
12. ASTARLOZA Mikel 73 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 4h 15′ 18″ + 00′ 54″
13. POPOVYCH Yaroslav 118 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 4h 15′ 56″ + 01′ 32″
14. COBO ACEBO Juan Jose 204 SAUNIER DUVAL – PRODIR 4h 16′ 00″ + 01′ 36″
15. GUTIERREZ José Ivan 14 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 4h 16′ 13″ + 01′ 49″

Overall Standing after Stage 9

1. RASMUSSEN Michael 58 RABOBANK 43h 52′ 48″
2. VALVERDE Alejandro 18 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 43h 55′ 23″ + 02′ 35″
3. MAYO Iban 207 SAUNIER DUVAL – PRODIR 43h 55′ 27″ + 02′ 39″
4. EVANS Cadel 41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 43h 55′ 29″ + 02′ 41″
5. CONTADOR Alberto 112 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 43h 55′ 56″ + 03′ 08″
6. MOREAU Christophe 61 AG2R PREVOYANCE 43h 56′ 06″ + 03′ 18″
7. SASTRE Carlos 31 TEAM CSC 43h 56′ 27″ + 03′ 39″
8. KLÖDEN Andréas 196 ASTANA 43h 56′ 38″ + 03′ 50″
9. LEIPHEIMER Levi 111 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 43h 56′ 41″ + 03′ 53″
10. KIRCHEN Kim 27 T-MOBILE TEAM 43h 57′ 54″ + 05′ 06″
11. ASTARLOZA Mikel 73 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 43h 58′ 08″ + 05′ 20″
12. KASHECHKIN Andrey 195 ASTANA 43h 58′ 22″ + 05′ 34″
13. SCHLECK Frank 36 TEAM CSC 43h 58′ 44″ + 05′ 56″
14. SOLER HERNANDEZ Juan Mauricio 219 BARLOWORLD 43h 59′ 17″ + 06′ 29″
15. PEREIRO SIO Oscar 11 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 43h 59′ 24″ + 06′ 36″

O’Grady Out With Broken Back, Ribs July 15, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in CSC, Stage 8, Stuart O'Grady, Tour de France.
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CSC’s Stuart O’Grady crashed heavily on the first descent today and was rushed to the hospital. X-rays have shown 3 cracked vertabra, 5 cracked ribs and a broken shoulder blade.

Initial reports from the hospital indicate no damage to his spinal cord, so he is expected to escape more serious long term effects.

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.
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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

Cancellara Strikes Again July 10, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Barloworld, Bernhard Eisel, CSC, Danilo Napolitano, Erik Zabel, Fabian Cancellara, Frederik Willems, Gerolsteiner, Heinrich Haussler, Mark Cavendish, Matthieu Ladagnous, Nicholas Vagodny, Predictor-Lotto, Quickstep-Innergetic, Robbie McEwen, Robert Forster, Robert Hunter, Stephane Auge, T-Mobile, Team Francaise des Jeux, Team Milram, Team Predictor-Lotto, Team Quickstep, Tom Boonen, Tour de France.
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Fabian Cancellara, CSC’s World Time Trial Champion backs up his prologue win with a devastating run to the line that left all the sprinters behind. Zabel, Boonen, McEwen and Cavendish all managed top 10 finishes as the peloton finally caught an all day breakaway with 500m remaining, but Cancellara broke from the peloton and before the lead-out men could react opened enough of a gap that the sprinters were left fighting for second.

It looked like a breakaway of Stephane Auge (Cofidis), Matthieu Ladagnous (FDJ), Nicholas Vogodny (Agritubel), and Frederik Willems (Liquigas) might actually pull of the win, but the peloton finally accelerated enough to catch them. Auge and Willems had caught Ladagnous and Vogodny after breaking from the peloton 180km into the race, but the effort didn’t leave them with enough in the tank to fight off the peloton in the final kilometers. Willems ended up crossing in 137th, Auge finished 111th, Vogodny finished 37th, but Ladagnous held on for 11th. All finished in the pack, so at least there was no loss of time.

Complete results are here and at the Official Tour de France site

Top Finishers:

1. CANCELLARA Fabian 33 TEAM CSC 06:36:15
2. ZABEL Erik 181 TEAM MILRAM 06:36:15 + 00:00:00
3. NAPOLITANO Danilo 86 LAMPRE-FONDITAL 06:36:15 + 00:00:00
4. BOONEN Tom 171 QUICK STEP – INNERGETIC 06:36:15 + 00:00:00
5. HUNTER Robert 216 BARLOWORLD 06:36:15 + 00:00:00
6. FÖRSTER Robert 92 GEROLSTEINER 06:36:15 + 00:00:00
7. MC EWEN Robbie 46 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 06:36:15 + 00:00:00
8. EISEL Bernhard 24 T-MOBILE TEAM 06:36:15 + 00:00:00
9. CAVENDISH Mark 23 T-MOBILE TEAM 06:36:15 + 00:00:00
10. HAUSSLER Heinrich 94 GEROLSTEINER 06:36:15 + 00:00:00

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

Riis to sit out Tour July 5, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Bjarne Riis, CSC, Doping, Team CSC.
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CSC director Bjarne Riis announced on Thursday he will not be present to follow his riders during this year’s Tour.

In May the 43-year-old Dane admitted to doping during his career, notably during his 1996 Tour de France victory. He was subsequently stripped of the title last month by Tour officials.

read more at Velo News