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Cofidis Withdraws From the Tour July 25, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Bradley Wiggins, Cofidis, Doping, Geoffroy LeQuatre, Ivan Parra, Nick Nuyens, Rik Verbrugghe, Staf Scheirlinckx, Stephane Auge, Sylvain Chavanel, Tour de France.
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Following the example set by Team Astana yesterday, Team Cofidis withdrew its entire team from the Tour de France today following the announcement that one of its riders, Italian Christian Moreni failed a doping test taken following Stage 11.

The top rider on the Cofidis team was clearly Sylvain Chavanel who had climbed beautifully in the Alps, winning the Polka Dot jersey in stages 5, 6, and 7 before giving it up to Michael Rasmussen, and had risen as high as #8 in the GC standings before fading in the Pyrenees. Also affected are British rider Bradley Wiggins who had finished 4th in the Prologue, French rider Stephane Auge who won the Polka Dot jersey in stages 3 and 4, and Belgian riders Nick Nuyens, Staf Scheirlinckx and Rik Verbrugghe. Cofidis had already lost Geoffrey LeQuatre and Ivan Parra to injuries.

Update: Christian Moreni is now in French police custody, charged with using and trafficking doping products. His team manager, Eric Boyer, reports that he has admitted to doping and apologized to his family, his team and the Tour. It was also reported that the team withdrew itself at its sponsor’s request, not that of the Tour organizers. Cofidis and Team Manager Eric Boyer have declared strongly against doping and the team has been part of the Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crédible (MPCC) which formed in London at the start of the Tour and announced yesterday. The MPCC requires strict adherence to the UCI Code of Conduct by its member teams, and complete transparency on medical and training issues between the teams.

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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″

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

Stage 5 is Underway July 12, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Barloworld, Cofidis, Crédit Agricole, Francaise des Jeux, Gianpaolo Cheula, Philippe Gilbert, Stage 5, Sylvain Chavanel, Team Barloworld, Team Cofidis, Team Crédit Agricole, Team Francaise des Jeux, Tour de France, William Bonnet.
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And with 70km under their belt, the peloton is chasing a four man breakaway of Gianpaolo Cheula (Italy) Barloworld, Sylvain Chavanel (France) Cofidis, Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) Française des Jeux, William Bonnet (France) Credit Agicole. Chavanel got reeled in from an earlier breakaway then went out again with Gilbert and Bonnet. Cheula bridged to join the three man breakaway as they approached 70km.

One big beautiful Cat 2 climb today will spice things up a bit after flat Stages 1-4.

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