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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″

Milram Loses Ongarto, Bouygues Clement July 21, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Alberto Ongarto, Bouygues Telecom, Milram, Stage 12, Stef Clement, Tour de France.
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Milram’s Alberto Ongarto abandoned today and Bouygues Telecom lost the young Dutch rider Stef Clement. Clement had been 10th in the young rider competition and had done well in the Alpes, but finished outside the time limit.

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″

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

Milram Loses Lancaster July 12, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Brett Lancaster, Milram, Team Milram, Tour de France.
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VeloNews is reporting that Brett Lancaster has dropped out of the Tour, becoming the fifth rider lost to date.  The Aussie rider had done well in the prologue and in stage 2, but was at the back of the GC.

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

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.