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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″

Contador Wins Stage 14 July 22, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Andreas Kloden, Andrey Kashechkin, Antonio Colom, Astana, Cadel Evans, Caisse d'Epargne, Carlos Sastre, Discovery Channel, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Haimar Zubeldia, Hernandez Soler, Levi Lepheimer, Michael Boogerd, Michael Rasmussen, Mikel Astarloza, Oscar Pereiro, Predictor-Lotto, Rabobank, Stage 14, Tour de France, Yaroslav Popovych.
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Beating out Michael Rasmussen in the final sprint, Alberto Contador won Stage 14 today after two tough climbs that broke up the GC contenders and spread them across the the finishing clock. Alexander Vinokorouv’s impressive TT yesterday appeared to have taken a lot out of him today as he was one of the first GC contenders to drop off. But Contador, Cadel Evans and Levi Leipheimer stayed with Rasmussen until the very end, with Contador and Rasmussen attacking in the final kilometers and finishing in a sprint.

The spread of the finishers, should help to clarify the GC a bit, with only 9 GC contenders now within 10 minutes of Rasmussen overall. Discovery Channel appears to be positioned well with 3 riders in the top 10, with Contador, Leipheimer and Popovytch all performing well in the climbs today. Astana’s picture is also clearing up as Kloden appears to be the rider who can sustain in both time trials and the mountains.

This has been a great year for the Tour with drama and suspense in nearly every stage.

[Complete Results Here]
Today’s Top Finishers:

1. CONTADOR Alberto 112 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 5h 25′ 48″
2. RASMUSSEN Michael 58 RABOBANK 5h 25′ 48″
3. SOLER HERNANDEZ Juan Mauricio 219 BARLOWORLD 5h 26′ 25″ + 00′ 37″
4. LEIPHEIMER Levi 111 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 5h 26′ 28″ + 00′ 40″
5. SASTRE Carlos 31 TEAM CSC 5h 26′ 41″ + 00′ 53″
6. KLÖDEN Andréas 196 ASTANA 5h 27′ 40″ + 01′ 52″
7. EVANS Cadel 41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 5h 27′ 40″ + 01′ 52″
8. COLOM Antonio 192 ASTANA 5h 28′ 11″ + 02′ 23″
9. KASHECHKIN Andrey 195 ASTANA 5h 28′ 11″ + 02′ 23″
10. POPOVYCH Yaroslav 118 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 5h 28′ 54″ + 03′ 06″
11. BOOGERD Michael 52 RABOBANK 5h 28′ 54″ + 03′ 06″
12. ASTARLOZA Mikel 73 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 5h 28′ 54″ + 03′ 06″
13. PEREIRO SIO Oscar 11 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 5h 29′ 33″ + 03′ 45″
14. VALVERDE Alejandro 18 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 5h 29′ 33″ + 03′ 45″
15. ZUBELDIA Haimar 71 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 5h 29′ 33″ + 03′ 45″

Prolog At Last! July 7, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Caisse d'Epargne, Enrico Degano, Oscar Pereiro, Prolog, Team Barloworld, Tour de France.
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At 3PM GMT Italian rider Enrico Degano of Barloworld will begin the parage, and the 2007 edition of the Tour de France will finally be underway. The endless series of admissions and stories about doping in the sport have made the run up to this year’s event extraordinarily tiresome, but finally we can focus on the the riders and the rides.

Oscar Pereiro, Caisse d’Epargne, will wrap up today’s stage with the final start at 6:08PM GMT. Pereiro will be wearing the #11 jersey, as the tour organizers have decided not to assign the #1 bib, traditionally worn by the previous year’s winner, in light of the Floyd Landis doping scandal.

Complete List of Start Times Here