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Leipheimer Wins Stage 19 July 28, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Alberto Contador, Cadel Evans, Discovery Channel, Levi Leipheimer, Predictor-Lotto, Stage 19, Tour de France.
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Well it would be tough to have a finish any closer than this year’s Tour as we head into the final stage to Paris tomorrow. Alberto Contador (Discovery Channel) still in the Yellow Jersey gave up 1’27” seconds to Cadel Evans and 2’18” to teammate Levi Leipheimer today, leaving gaps of only 23″ and 31″ respectively after 19 stages of racing.

Today’s Top Finishers:

1. LEIPHEIMER Levi 111 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 1h 02′ 44″
2. EVANS Cadel 41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 1h 03′ 35″ + 00′ 51″
3. KARPETS Vladimir 15 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 1h 04′ 40″ + 01′ 56″
4. POPOVYCH Yaroslav 118 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 1h 04′ 45″ + 02′ 01″
5. CONTADOR Alberto 112 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 1h 05′ 02″ + 02′ 18″
6. GUTIERREZ José Ivan 14 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 1h 05′ 11″ + 02′ 27″
7. HINCAPIE George 114 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 1h 05′ 17″ + 02′ 33″
8. PEREIRO SIO Oscar 11 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 1h 05′ 20″ + 02′ 36″
9. HOSTE Leif 45 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 1h 05′ 32″ + 02′ 48″
10. ASTARLOZA Mikel 73 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 1h 05′ 34″ + 02′ 50″
11. DEKKER Thomas 54 RABOBANK 1h 05′ 39″ + 02′ 55″
12. CANCELLARA Fabian 33 TEAM CSC 1h 05′ 39″ + 02′ 55″
13. KIRCHEN Kim 27 T-MOBILE TEAM 1h 05′ 44″ + 03′ 00″
14. GERDEMANN Linus 25 T-MOBILE TEAM 1h 06′ 01″ + 03′ 17″
15. SCHUMACHER Stefan 91 GEROLSTEINER 1h 06′ 01″ + 03′ 17″

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″

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″

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″

Three More Riders Dropped in the Pyrenees; Including Rodriguez July 24, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Ag2r, Christophe Le Mevel, Crédit Agricole, Cyril Dessel, Freddie Rodriguez, Predictor-Lotto, Stage 15, Tour de France.
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Three more riders were eliminating during the grueling climbs of stage 15. Christophe LeMevel (Credit Agricole), Cyril Dessel (AG2R), and Fred Rodriguez (Predictor-Lotto) all withdrew during the stage.

Rodriguez has been suffering from his injuries suffered during the finish of two stages, having crashed in both Stage 2 and Stage 11. Rodriguez was very vocal about poor planning by the Tour organizers and dangerous conditions for riders after both crashes, with merit in both cases. The Stage 2 crash that affected so many riders was in an impossible chicane/funnel suitable only for a handful of riders, and the Stage 11 crash took place on an barrier that was not marked in the pre-race maps provided to the riders… a barrier placed at a critical spot in the final sprint to the finish.

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″

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″

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″

Rogers and McEwen Also Out July 15, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Michael Rogers, Predictor-Lotto, Robbie McEwen, Stage 8, T-Mobile, Team Predictor-Lotto, Team T-Mobile, Tour de France.
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Two more Australians were eliminated today: Michael Rogers crashed and had to abandon the tour in pain after bravely attempting to continue through the next climb. Initial reports are that he has dislocated his shoulder.  Robbie McEwen finished over an hour back of Rasmussen and was eliminated on time.

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

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

McEwen overcomes crash to win stage July 9, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in David Millar, David Zabriskie, Fabian Cancellara, Mark Cavendish, Predictor-Lotto, Quickstep, Quickstep-Innergetic, Sebastien Chavanel, Team Crédit Agricole, Team Predictor-Lotto, Thor Hushovd, Tom Boonen, Uncategorized.
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Robbie McEwen got back into Stage 1 today with a lot of help from his Predictor-Lotto teamates after crashing, or rather being crashed into, during a slow down in the peloton about 25km from the finish. After considerable effort to both overcome injuries to a hand, wrist and leg, and to catch up with the peloton, he still had enough juice to sweep around the right side of the pack for a sprint to the finish line. McEwen was well behind the front edge of the peloton when he made his move, and apparently the other sprinters had written him off as a threat, because the whole group appeared to be caught by surprise for a split second. It was all the advantage he needed as he crossed the line a full bike length ahead of Thor Hushovd. Third place provided some additional drama as Tom Boonen and Sebastian Chavanel provided a photo finish with Boonen leading by inches.

Fabian Cancellara crossed with the peloton and held onto his yellow jersey for at least another day, while David Millar assumed the Polka Dot jersey, and McEwen the green thanks to their performances today. Both David Zabriskie and Mark Cavendish lost over 2 minutes after dropping off the peloton during separate incidents.

Complete results here and at the official site

Top Finishers

1. MC EWEN Robbie 46 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 04:39:01
2. HUSHOVD Thor 101 CREDIT AGRICOLE 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
3. BOONEN Tom 171 QUICK STEP – INNERGETIC 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
4. CHAVANEL Sébastien 162 FRANCAISE DES JEUX 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
5. FEILLU Romain 134 AGRITUBEL 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
6. FÖRSTER Robert 92 GEROLSTEINER 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
7. FREIRE Oscar 56 RABOBANK 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
8. BURGHARDT Marcus 22 T-MOBILE TEAM 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
9. VENTOSO Francisco 209 SAUNIER DUVAL – PRODIR 04:39:01 + 00:00:00
10. VAITKUS Tomas 119 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 04:39:01 + 00:00:00

Improved Evans Can Win Tour de France, Manager Says June 28, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Cycling, Evans, Predictor-Lotto, Tour de France.
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Cadel Evans last year’s 5th place finisher in the Tour de France is poised for an even better finish this year according to his team manager.

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