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Sandy Casar Wins Stage 18 July 27, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Alberto Contador, Axel Merckx, Barloworld, Bernhard Eisel, Bouygues Telecom, Cadel Evans, Claudio Corioni, Crédit Agricole, Discovery Channel, Erik Zabel, Francaise des Jeux, Gerolsteiner, Lampre-Fondital, Laurent Lefevre, Mauricio Soler, Michael Boogerd, Milram, Predictor-Lotto, Quickstep, Rabobank, Robbie Hunter, Robert Forster, Sandy Casar, Sebastien Chavanel, Sebastien Hinault, Stage 18, T-Mobile, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Tour de France, Yaroslav Popovych.
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Sandy Casar Wins Stage 18

It was another long flat stage and another long breakaway. The only thing missing was Jens Voight who has been a fixture on the long breakaway this Tour.

A group of four broke away early, Michael Boogerd (Rabobank), Laurent Lefevre (Bouygues Telecom), Frederik Willems (Liquigas) and Sandy Casar (Francaise des Jeux). Willems was lost to another canine collision, but was quickly replaced by Axel Merckx (T-Mobile) who had been chasing. [Willems was later seen in the peloton, so no serious injuries to riders, no word on the dog]. No one in the peloton bothered to chase as Boogerd was the only GC threat at 16, and the remaining group of four finished in a nice sprint Casar followed by Merckz then Boogerd. Both Boogerd and Merckx have announced that they are retiring following this Tour, so many were rooting for one of them to take the stage.

Teh peloton came in 8:35 behind the breakaway, which had lead by as much as 17:30 at one point, and the finish was a near copy of Stage 17 with Boonen taking the second sprint, followed by Hunter, Zabel and Chavanel. The GC contenders were all in the pack, so no real change in the top of the GC standings, except for a jump for Michael Boogerd from 16th to 13th. The Euskaltel-Euskadi riders lead a late charge by the peloton that prevented Boogerd from jumping into the top 10, perhaps because their rider Mikel Astarloza is in the 10th spot….

Contador retains the Yellow Jersey, Boonen the Green and Soler the Polka Dot.

Today’s Top Finishers:

1. CASAR Sandy 161 FRANCAISE DES JEUX 5h 13′ 31″
2. MERCKX Axel 28 T-MOBILE TEAM 5h 13′ 32″ + 00′ 01″
3. LEFEVRE Laurent 125 BOUYGUES TELECOM 5h 13′ 32″ + 00′ 01″
4. BOOGERD Michael 52 RABOBANK 5h 13′ 32″ + 00′ 01″
5. BOONEN Tom 171 QUICK STEP – INNERGETIC 5h 22′ 05″ + 08′ 34″
6. HUNTER Robert 216 BARLOWORLD 5h 22′ 05″ + 08′ 34″
7. ZABEL Erik 181 TEAM MILRAM 5h 22′ 05″ + 08′ 34″
8. CHAVANEL Sébastien 162 FRANCAISE DES JEUX 5h 22′ 05″ + 08′ 34″
9. EISEL Bernhard 24 T-MOBILE TEAM 5h 22′ 05″ + 08′ 34″
10. HUSHOVD Thor 101 CREDIT AGRICOLE 5h 22′ 05″ + 08′ 34″
11. CORIONI Claudio 85 LAMPRE-FONDITAL 5h 22′ 05″ + 08′ 34″
12. FÖRSTER Robert 92 GEROLSTEINER 5h 22′ 05″ + 08′ 34″
13. POPOVYCH Yaroslav 118 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 5h 22′ 05″ + 08′ 34″
14. EVANS Cadel 41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 5h 22′ 05″ + 08′ 34″
15. HINAULT Sébastien 108 CREDIT AGRICOLE 5h 22′ 05″ + 08′ 34″

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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″

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.
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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″

Boonen at Last! July 13, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Barloworld, Daniele Bennati, Erik Zabel, Fabian Cancellara, Gerolsteiner, Lampre-Fondital, Liquigas, Milram, Murilo Fischer, Oscar Freire, Quickstep, Rabobank, Robert Forster, Robert Hunter, Romain Feillu, Stage 6, Sylvain Chavanel, Team Agritubel, Team Barloworld, Team Cofidis, Team Crédit Agricole, Team Francaise des Jeux, Team Gerolsteiner, Team Lampre-Fondital, Team Liquigas, Team Milram, Team Quickstep, Team Rabobank, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Tour de France.
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Boonen Wins Stage 6Tom Boonen (Quickstep) finally got the stage win that he has been eluding him in a tough sprint finish that put him a bikelength ahead of Oscar Freire (Rabobank) and Erik Zabel.

Boonen finished 2nd to his teamate Gert Steegmans in Stage 2, and there was some question whether he still had the power to win a tough sprint, but he proved that he still has it today. Oscar Freire meanwhile keeps knocking on the door, having finished 3rd, 2nd and 2nd in the last three stages. Of course Zabel has been 3rd, 2nd, 1st and 3rd over the past four stages….

Fabian Cancellara in yellow for one more day, Boonen takes over the Green and Sylvain Chavanel’s 40 pts. in the KOM will be safe until at least tomorrow.

Complete results here

Top Finishers:
1. BOONEN Tom 171 QUICK STEP – INNERGETIC 05:20:59
2. FREIRE Oscar 56 RABOBANK 05:20:59 + 00:00:00
3. ZABEL Erik 181 TEAM MILRAM 05:20:59 + 00:00:00
4. CHAVANEL Sebastien 162 FRANCAISE DES JEUX 05:20:59 + 00:00:00
5. HUSHOVD Thor 101 CREDIT AGRICOLE 05:20:59 + 00:00:00
6. BENNATI Daniele 82 LAMPRE-FONDITAL 05:20:59 + 00:00:00
7. FORSTER Robert 92 GEROLSTEINER 05:20:59 + 00:00:00
8. HUNTER Robert 216 BARLOWORLD 05:20:59 + 00:00:00
9. FEILLU Romain 134 AGRITUBEL 05:20:59 + 00:00:00
10. FISCHER Murilo Antoniobil 155 LIQUIGAS 05:20:59 + 00:00:00

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

Hushovd! July 11, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Barloworld, Crédit Agricole, Danilo Napolitano, Erik Zabel, Gerolsteiner, Gert Steegmans, Lampre-Fondital, Mark Cavendish, Milram, Oscar Freire, Predictor-Lotto, Quickstep, Quickstep-Innergetic, Rabobank, Robert Forster, Robert Hunter, Sebastien Chavanel, Stage 4, Stephane Auge, Sylvain Chavanel, T-Mobile, Team Barloworld, Team Crédit Agricole, Team Francaise des Jeux, Team Gerolsteiner, Team Lampre-Fondital, Team Milram, Team Quickstep, Team Rabobank, Team T-Mobile, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Tour de France.
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Thor Hushovd was not to be denied, and thanks to support from his Credit Agricole team, he was delivered to the line in good position to win the sprint to the finish.

Not as much drama as yesterday, and the peloton crossed en masse, with only a handful of stragglers losing time in the GC. Cancellara retained the Yellow Jersey, though Hushovd’s win moved him back into contention 29 seconds down. Hushovd is also now threatening Tom Boonen’s Green Jersey, which he has held since the second stage finish, with Hushovd moving from 10th into 2nd place as a result of the final sprint points today. And Stephane Auge retained the Polka Dot Jersey for a second day, picking up just one point in the first climb. 2 of the 5 riders in the breakaway put on climbing points, with Sylvain Chavanel picking up 7 and Christian Knees picking up 5.

1. HUSHOVD Thor 101 CREDIT AGRICOLE 04:37:47
2. HUNTER Robert 216 BARLOWORLD 04:37:47 + 00:00:00
3. FREIRE Oscar 56 RABOBANK 04:37:47 + 00:00:00
4. ZABEL Erik 181 TEAM MILRAM 04:37:47 + 00:00:00
5. NAPOLITANO Danilo 86 LAMPRE-FONDITAL 04:37:47 + 00:00:00
6. STEEGMANS Gert 176 QUICK STEP – INNERGETIC 04:37:47 + 00:00:00
7. FORSTER Robert 92 GEROLSTEINER 04:37:47 + 00:00:00
8. BOONEN Tom 171 QUICK STEP – INNERGETIC 04:37:47 + 00:00:00
9. CHAVANEL Sebastien 162 FRANCAISE DES JEUX 04:37:47 + 00:00:00
10. CAVENDISH Mark 23 T-MOBILE TEAM 04:37:47 + 00:00:00

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

Doping charge costs Petacchi his Tour berth July 5, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Alessandro Petacchi, Andriy Grivko, CONI, Erik Zabel, Milram, Team Milram.
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From Velo News

Alessandro Petacchi lost his spot on Milram’s Tour de France team on Wednesday after being charged with doping by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), according to Agence France Presse.

CONI’s anti-doping prosecutor, Ettore Torri, asked the Italian cycling federation (FCI) to ban the 33-year-old sprinter for one year following a “non-negative” doping test after the third of his five stage wins at the Giro d’Italia.

The urine sample Petacchi gave at Pinerolo on May 23 showed an unusually high level of salbutamol, a substance primarily used to treat asthma.

“We signed the ProTour Code of Ethics, and and under the terms of this code, a rider suspected of having recourse to doping cannot be allowed to race,” said Gerry van Gerwen, Milram’s general manager.

Salbutamol is a banned substance, but riders suffering from asthma are allowed restricted use of the drug if they can provide a medical certificate. Petacchi has such a certificate, having suffered from asthma for many years.

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited list notes, however, that riders whose urine samples show a concentration of salbutamol greater than 1000 nanograms per milliliter must prove that the elevated level is a result of normal therapeutic use. If a rider with a Therapeutic Use Exemption produces a level lower than 1000 ng/mL the burden of proof falls to anti-doping authorities, if they wish to show a doping violation.

Petacchi produced a level higher than the upper limit and must now show that he did not take the drug orally or inject it and that his use of the inhaler was in keeping with its normal therapeutic use.

Studies have shown that in addition to aiding in the treatment of asthma, salbutamol can be used to increase an athlete’s anaerobic power. According to study results, peak power appeared significantly earlier and was noticeably increased after salbutamol use.

The urine sample taken at Pinerolo was the only one of the five doping tests Petacchi gave that showed an excessive amount of salbutamol.

The Italian sprinter will be replaced on Milram’s Tour team by Ukrainian Andriy Grivko, according to Agence France Presse. But the rider who will take center stage in Petacchi’s absence is Erik Zabel. The 36-year-old German sprinter has won the Tour’s green-jersey competition six times and was victorious in 12 stages between 1995 and 2002.

Zabel has himself admitted to doping, saying he took EPO in 1996.