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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.

How Astana Affects The Stages July 25, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde, Barloworld, Crédit Agricole, CSC, Discovery Channel, Fabian Cancellara, Kim Kirchen, Levi Leipheimer, Liquigas, Michael Rasmussen, Quickstep, Rabobank, Stage wins, T-Mobile, Tom Boonen, Tour de France.
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By now it has been well publicized that the withdrawal of Team Astana as a result of a failed doping test on team leader Alexander Vinokourov has stripped 3 of the Tour’s top GC contenders from the rankings, most notably Andreas Kloden who had been in 5th place in the GC at the time of the withdrawal. But Vinokourov’s suspension also hands two riders stage wins that had originally been awarded to the Kazakh rider. Cadel Evans takes the stage win for Stage 13 and Kim Kirchen the win for Stage 15.

[UPDATE: It is not yet clear how the withdrawal of Michael Rasmussen by his team for violating team rules will affect the official result of Stages 8 and 16. Since he did not fail a doping test, his stage wins may stand. I will update this listing once Tour organizers have announced a decision on the earlier stages.]

[UPDATE 2: Sorry, no slight to Robbie McEwen intended! McEwen won and holds the stage win for Stage 1. Fabian Cancellara still held the Maillot Jaune at the end of the stage but did not win the stage.]

The complete list of stage winners to date:

Prologue, London – Fabian Cancellara, CSC
Stage 1, London/Canterbury – Fabian Cancellara, CSCRobbie McEwen, Predictor-Lotto
Stage 2, Dunkirk/Ghent – Gert Steegmans, Quickstep
Stage 3, Waregem/Compiegne – Fabian Cancellara, CSC
Stage 4, Villers-Cotterets/Joigny – Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole
Stage 5, Chablis/Autun – Filippo Pozzatto, Liquigas
Stage 6, Semur-en-Auxois/Bourg-en-Bresse – Tom Boonen, Quickstep
Stage 7, Bourg-en-Bresse/Le Grand-Bornand – Linus Gerdemann, T-Mobile
Stage 8, Le Grand-Bornand/Tigne – Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank (?Valverde?)
Stage 9, Val-d’Isere/Briancon – Juan Mauricio Soler [Hernandez], Barloworld
Stage 10, Tallard/Marseille – Cedric Vasseur, Quickstep
Stage 11, Marseille/Montpellier – Robbie Hunter, Barloworld
Stage 12, Montpellier/Castres – Tom Boonen, Quickstep
Stage 13, Albi/Albi (TT) – Cadel Evans, Predictor-Lotto
Stage 14, Mazamet/Plateau-de-Beille – Alberto Contador, Discovery
Stage 15, Foix/Loudenvielle – Kim Kirchen, T-Mobile
Stage 16, Orthez/Col d’Aubisque – Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank (?Leipheimer?)

That’s 4 stage wins for Quickstep, 3 for CSC, 2 each for Barloworld, [Rabobank] and T-Mobile, and 1 each for Credit Agricole, Discovery Channel and Liquigas.

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″

Like a Sieve… July 25, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Christian Moreni, Cofidis, Doping, L'Equipe, UCI.
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Franch daily L’Equipe has reported another leaked report from the labs employed by the UCI to perform blood tests on samples supplied by the riders before and during the Tour de France. The report claims that a blood test taken at the end of Stage 11 in Montpelier resulted in a positive result indicating blood doping. Tests were taken that day from Robert Hunter who won the stage, Michael Rasmussen, Maxim Iglinskiy, Erik Zabel, Lilian Jegou, Cristian Moreni, Kim Kirchen, and Patxi Vila. [Update: It has subsequently been announced that the rider who failed the doping test was Christian Moreni, and his team has withdrawn from the Tour de France].

Amazing how every one of these results ends up in L’Equipe before being released.

UPDATE: UCI is reporting that Christian Moreni of Cofidis is the rider who tested positive for blood doping after Stage 11. He had finished 102nd that day and was in 53rd place in the GC at the time.

Oh Merde…Vinokourov Fails Doping Test, Astana Withdraws July 24, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Andreas Kloden, Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Doping.
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In a rebound that amazed all yesterday, Alexander Vinokourov may have had some help.  It has been announced that Vinokourov failed a test for homologous blood doping following yesterday’s Stage win.  It has also been announced that Team Astana is withdrawing from the Tour de France.

This is terrible news for the sport and the Tour de France, coming even as suspicions are swirling around Yellow Jersey holder Michael Rasmussen for his failure to make himself accessible for testing, and sponsors around the world are re-assessing their support for professional cycling.

Astana’s other riders including Andreas Kloden and Andrey Kashechkin will be denied the opportunity to compete for the Yellow Jersey, with Kloden in particular theoretically still in the running for the podium in Paris.

More on this as it develops.

Millar Slams Rasmussen July 24, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in David Millar, Doping, Michael Rasmussen, Tour de France.
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David Millar, once punished for using EPO, and now a strong voice against doping, spoke out harshly against Michael Rasmussen. Citing Rasmussen’s failure to register his location while training, as required so he could be tested outside of events, Millar believes the Yellow Jersey wearing Rasmussen has irreperably damaged this year’s Tour.

With the Tour and professional cycling already reeling from a series of high profile doping scandals, the Tour organizers need a clean race, and a clean winner. Organizers have worked hard to re-establish the credibility of the riders and teams participating, but the suspicions swirling around Rasmussen have undermined that.

Rasmussen was dismissed from the Danish national team for the infractions, and will not be riding in either the world championships or the olympics for Denmark as a result.

read more from VeloNews | digg story

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.

Done But No Quit In Vinokourov – Vino Wins Stage 15 July 23, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Ag2r, Alberto Contador, Alexander Vinokourov, Astana, Bernhard Kohl, Cadel Evans, Caisse d'Epargne, Christian Van de Velde, CSC, David Arroyo, Discovery Channel, Euskaltel-Euskadi, George Hincapie, Gerolsteiner, Haimar Zubeldia, Juan Jose Cobo, Juan Manuel Garate, Kim Kirchen, Ludovic Turpin, Michael Boogerd, Michael Rasmussen, Mikel Astarloza, Quickstep, Rabobank, Saunier Duval, Stage 15, T-Mobile, Tour de France, Uncategorized.
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5 rated climbs, including 2 Cat 1’s and an HC (above rating) gave the Tour another chance to separate the field, and separate it did… A huge 25 man breakaway eventally broke up with a group of 6 pulling away and then 3 broke off the front of that group. Alexander Vinokourov jumping out to lead the 3 in the front over the Col de Peyresourde. The man who looked completely cooked yesterday simply overpowered the field and raced to the win…an incredible performance.

Vinokourov Wins Stage 15

The GC contenders finished 6 minutes behind, with Alberto Contador dueled Michael Rasmussen for the top position, pulling away from the rest of the yellow jersey group just before the top of the last climb. At the end of the descent, Contador and Rasmussen finished a minute ahead of Leipheimer, Evans and the other contenders.

[Complete Results Here]

Today’s Top Finishers:
1. VINOKOUROV Alexandre 191 ASTANA 5h 34′ 28″
2. KIRCHEN Kim 27 T-MOBILE TEAM 5h 35′ 19″ + 00′ 51″
3. ZUBELDIA Haimar 71 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 5h 35′ 19″ + 00′ 51″
4. COBO ACEBO Juan Jose 204 SAUNIER DUVAL – PRODIR 5h 35′ 26″ + 00′ 58″
5. GARATE Juan Manuel 174 QUICK STEP – INNERGETIC 5h 36′ 42″ + 02′ 14″
6. ARROYO David 12 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 5h 37′ 51″ + 03′ 23″
7. KOHL Bernhard 95 GEROLSTEINER 5h 38′ 53″ + 04′ 25″
8. VANDEVELDE Christian 37 TEAM CSC 5h 38′ 53″ + 04′ 25″
9. TURPIN Ludovic 69 AG2R PREVOYANCE 5h 39′ 44″ + 05′ 16″
10. CONTADOR Alberto 112 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 5h 39′ 59″ + 05′ 31″
11. RASMUSSEN Michael 58 RABOBANK 5h 39′ 59″ + 05′ 31″
12. HINCAPIE George 114 DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 5h 40′ 15″ + 05′ 47″
13. EVANS Cadel 41 PREDICTOR – LOTTO 5h 40′ 55″ + 06′ 27″
14. ASTARLOZA Mikel 73 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 5h 40′ 55″ + 06′ 27″
15. BOOGERD Michael 52 RABOBANK 5h 40′ 55″ + 06′ 27″

Gilbert and Pozzato Not Continuing July 23, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Filippo Pozzato, Francaise des Jeux, Liquigas, Philippe Gilbert, Tour de France.
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Francaise des Jeux’s Philippe Gilbert and Liquigas’s Stage winner Filippo Pozzato elected not to start today’s tough stage through the Pyrenees.

Vinokourov and Moreau Done July 22, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Ag2r, Alexander Vinokourov, Andreas Kloden, Christophe Moreau, Stage 14, Tour de France.
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It was a surprisingly bad performance today by Alexander Vinokourov, and continued disappointment for Christophe Moreau, but both men seem to be eliminated from any consideration for the podium in Paris following the first of two tough days in the Pyrenees.

Vinokourov is now over 34 minutes behind the yellow jersey and Moreau is over 48 minutes behind. Barring a major crash or collapses by the majority of the contenders, neither man is going to be able to claw their way back in the remaining stages. Vino looked like he could do it yesterday, but the stage win may have cost him dearly as he clearly did not have the legs to compete today. His injuries from the crash in stage 4 may also be acting up as he was seen seeking assistance from the tour doctor during the stage.

With Vinokourov’s current standing, the focus of Team Astana should shift over to support Andreas Kloden’s GC efforts, as the co-leader is still within striking distance with 4’38” to catch the yellow jersey and 1’34” to make it to the podium.

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″

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.

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″

Zabriskie Gone July 19, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Ag2r, CSC, Igor Anton, Stage 11, Tour de France.
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American rider David Zabriskie exceeded the time limit on Stage 11 today and will be heading home this evening, nursing a sore knee.  Zabriskie has been trailing the crowd all Tour, and has been trying to recuperate a knee that was reconstructed following an accident in 2003.  Zabriskie told reporters that the knee has been sore all spring, the result of a team mandated move to a new shoe, and that the brisk pace over the last couple of days had made it impossible to let the knee recover from the mountain stages.

Euskadi rider Igor Anton was also lost to the Tour today, abandoning the race during today’s stage.

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″

Sylvain Calzati Drops Out July 19, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Ag2r, Christophe Moreau, Sylvain Calzati, Team Ag2r.
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Calzati abandoned during the stage today, leaving AG2R and Christophe with one less climber to help out in the Pyrenees.

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″

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″

Here Comes Moreau…But Watch Out For Astana July 16, 2007

Posted by dperry1ma in Ag2r, Alexander Vinokourov, Andreas Kloden, Andrey Kashechkin, Astana, Christophe Moreau, Team Ag2r, Team Astana.
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Christophe Moreau, AG2R’s leader and the French National Champion, has got to feel pretty good about where he’s sitting. He hasn’t had a bad stage yet, has finished strongly in the mountains (9th in the 7th Stage and 4th yesterday in the 8th) and he has his entire team intact. Though he admitted to VeloNews today that he isn’t a great time trialist and the attack yesterday took a lot of energy, he didn’t hurt himself at all in the early stages, and his attack yesterday proved he can still handle the biggest climbs with the best of the leaders. The key, according to Moreau will be recovery. If he can recover quickly and continue to press the attack in the mountains, he feels he will stand a chance of ending up on the podium.

With the Astana boys a little banged up, Moreau, Evans, Menchov, Valverde and the rest of the contenders need to try and pick up some separation before the Pyrenees and the Time Trials. Vino and Kloden appear to be recovering from their wounds and that only means trouble for the other contenders, especially because Kashechkin is also riding so well. Three Astana riders, all still in contention and helping each other late in the Tour will be tough to beat….