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Stage 16 Winner Mikel Astarloza

Stage 16 Winner Mikel Astarloza

It was a great stage win for Astarloza today escaping in the final kilometers from a 4 man group later forming into a 7 man group.  The highlight of the stage however was Lance Armstrong bridging to the Yellow jersey group on the final climb after being spit out the back moments before.  The gap had grown to nearly a minute between the Schleck brothers led break and the Peloton containing Vande Velde, Cadel and Sastre.  He looked like the Lance of old just powering to the group of seven leaders including Contador, Wiggins, Kloden, Frank and Andy.  While Sastre and Vande Velde were later able to bridge, Cadel could not, losing nearly 3 minutes to the GC contenders.  Zibriskie did an excellent turn on a completely bonkers 30km decent to lock in the Evans gap for Wiggins.  The stage was way more exciting than originally expected.  Nice to see Lance on top form and Astana in general looking more like a team.

Stage 16 Map

Stage 16 Map

Stage 16 Profile

Stage 16 Profile

Stage 16 Recap

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Stage 15 Results

1           Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi           4:14:20
2          Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux          0:00:06
3          Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom
4          Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale
5          Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Silence – Lotto
6          Amaël Moinard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne
7          Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas          0:00:11
8          Stéphane Goubert (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
9          Christophe Moreau (Fra) Agritubel          0:00:59
10          Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana
11          Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas
12          Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana
13          Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin – Slipstream
14          Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana
15          Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d’Epargne
16          Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin – Slipstream
17          Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Française des Jeux
18          Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas
19          Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
20          Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
21          Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team Columbia – HTC
22          Laurent Lefevre (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom
23          Yury Trofimov (Rus) BBOX Bouygues Telecom
24          Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Cervelo Test Team
25          Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha
26          Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
27          David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin – Slipstream          0:01:14
28          Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank          0:03:16
29          José Angel Gomez Marchante (Spa) Cervelo Test Team
30          Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne          0:03:55
31          Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram
32          Thomas Voeckler (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom
33          Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne
34          Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram
35          Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Team Katusha
36          Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
37          David Loosli (Swi) Lampre – NGC
38          Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
39          Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
40          Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre – NGC
41          Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Astana
42          Pierre Rolland (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom
43          Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha
44          Jérémy Roy (Fra) Française des Jeux
45          Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
46          Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence – Lotto
47          Haimar Zubeldia Aguirre (Spa) Astana
48          Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step
49          Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Cervelo Test Team
50          Peter Velits (Svk) Team Milram

Overall Standings

1           Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana           67:33:15
2          Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana          0:01:37
3          Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin – Slipstream          0:01:46
4          Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana          0:02:17
5          Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank          0:02:26
6          Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas          0:02:51
7          Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Française des Jeux          0:03:09
8          Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank          0:03:25
9          Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Cervelo Test Team          0:03:52
10          Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin – Slipstream          0:03:59
11          Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi          0:04:38
12          Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas          0:04:40
13          Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team Columbia – HTC          0:05:05
14          Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale          0:05:26
15          Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux          0:05:40
16          Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha          0:05:56
17          Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence – Lotto          0:07:23
18          Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne          0:08:23
19          Stéphane Goubert (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale          0:09:14
20          Brice Feillu (Fra) Agritubel          0:10:00

Allez915

Blah, blah, blah and blah.

Stage 15 Winner Alberto Contador

Stage 15 Winner Alberto Contador

Nuff Said!

Stage 15 Recaps

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Stage 15 Map

Stage 15 Map

Stage 15 Profile

Stage 15 Profile

Stage 15 Results

1           Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana           5:03:58
2          Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank          0:00:43
3          Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas          0:01:03
4          Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank          0:01:06
5          Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin – Slipstream
6          Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Cervelo TestTeam
7          Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence – Lotto          0:01:26
8          Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana          0:01:29
9          Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana          0:01:35
10          Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team Columbia – HTC          0:01:55
11          Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas          0:02:06
12          Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia – HTC          0:02:13
13          Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha
14          Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team Columbia – HTC          0:02:23
15          Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Française des Jeux          0:02:32
16          Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi          0:02:33
17          Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Silence – Lotto
18          Peter Velits (Svk) Team Milram          0:02:36
19          Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
20          José Angel Gomez Marchante (Spa) Cervelo TestTeam
21          Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi          0:02:41
22          Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin – Slipstream
23          Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux
24          Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Silence – Lotto          0:02:52
25          Brice Feillu (Fra) Agritubel          0:03:14

Green Jersey Standings

1           Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo TestTeam           218           pts
2          Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Columbia – HTC          200
3          Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne          126
4          Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram          122
5          Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin – Slipstream          110

Polka Dot Jersey Standings

1           Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas           109           pts
2          Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi          101
3          Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom          65
4          Brice Feillu (Fra) Agritubel          64
5          Christophe Kern (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne          63
6          Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi          56
7          Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step          56
8          Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana          52
9          Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale          46
10          Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervelo TestTeam          45

Overall Standings

1           Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana           63:17:56
2          Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana          0:01:37
3          Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin – Slipstream          0:01:46
4          Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana          0:02:17
5          Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank          0:02:26
6          Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale          0:02:30
7          Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas          0:02:51
8          Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia – HTC          0:03:07
9          Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Française des Jeux          0:03:09
10          Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank          0:03:25
11          Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Cervelo TestTeam          0:03:52
12          Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin – Slipstream          0:03:59
13          George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia – HTC          0:04:05
14          Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence – Lotto          0:04:27
15          Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team Columbia – HTC          0:04:38
16          Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas          0:04:40
17          Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team Columbia – HTC          0:05:05
18          Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne          0:05:27
19          Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi          0:05:37
20          Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha          0:05:56

Allez915

An emotional Heinrich Haussler does a brilliant performance to take Stage 13 for team Cervelo.  He powered up the last two climbs to distance himself from his nearest rival, a surging Txurruka, by over four minutes.

Stage 13 Winner - Heinrich Haussler

Stage 13 Winner - Heinrich Haussler

More to come.

Stage 13 Profile

Stage 13 Profile

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Stage 13 Map

Stage 13 Recaps

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Stage 13 Video

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Stage 13 Results

1           Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervelo Test Team           4:56:26
2          Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi          0:04:11
3          Brice Feillu (Fra) Agritubel          0:06:13
4          Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step          0:06:31
5          Peter Velits (Svk) Team Milram          0:06:43
6          Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team
7          Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) AG2R La Mondiale
8          Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin – Slipstream
9          George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia – HTC
10          Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
11          Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana
12          Thierry Huppond (Fra) Skil-Shimano
13          Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank
14          Christian Knees (Ger) Team Milram
15          Fränk Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
16          Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank
17          Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale
18          Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step
19          David Loosli (Swi) Lampre – NGC
20          Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana

Green Jersey Standings

1           Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team           205           pts
2          Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Columbia – HTC          200
3          Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne          116
4          Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin – Slipstream          110
5          Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram          100
6          Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank          97
7          Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas          81
8          Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale          74
9          Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne          64
10          Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step          57

Polka Dot Jersey Standings

1           Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas           98           pts
2          Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi          95
3          Brice Feillu (Fra) Agritubel          64
4          Christophe Kern (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne          59
5          Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step          53
6          Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom          49
7          Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale          46
8          Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi          46
9          Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervelo Test Team          45
10          Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux          43

White Jersey Standings

1           Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia – HTC           53:31:30
2          Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank          0:00:49
3          Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas          0:00:54
4          Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas          0:01:40
5          Brice Feillu (Fra) Agritubel          0:02:56

Overall Standings

1           Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale           53:30:30
2          Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana          0:00:06
3          Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana          0:00:08
4          Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin – Slipstream          0:00:46
5          Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana          0:00:54
6          Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia – HTC          0:01:00
7          Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin – Slipstream          0:01:24
8          Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank          0:01:49
9          Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas          0:01:54
10          Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne          0:02:16

Allez915

How do you turn a mountain stage into a sprint stage?  Put the climbs in the middle and add a 30km decent to a 30km flat into the finish.  The result was that what was expected to be a battle in the GC leadership turned into a

Stage 9 Winner Fedrigo Takes a Sprint Finish over Pellizotti

Stage 9 Winner Fedrigo Takes a Sprint Finish over Pellizotti

typical sprint stage. Pierrick Fedrigo and Franco Pellizotti go one, two after working seamlessly for over 100km to hold off a fast chasing peloton.  The GC battle fizzled as the mountains were just too far from the finish.

Leading the race on to the base of the Tourmalet was the veteran Jens Voigt accompanied by Franco Pellizotti and Pierrick Fedrigo. The first chase group included Broeck, Astana’s Paulinho, Garate, Van Den Broeck, Ten Dam, Martinez, Txurruka, Moncoutie, the KOM on the road Egoi Martinez, and Stage 5 winner, Thomas Voeckler.  Thirty seconds back and trying to get on was Bouet who had just passed the Cofidis rider, Duque, who was going the other way.  The peloton was 4:10 back and includes the GC favorites though several riders including Cancellara and Popovych have fallen off.  The AG2R team was doing a great job leading for their yellow jersey teammate.

At 80km, Pellizotti jumped followed by Fedrigo.  Voigt was riding within himself to keep contact without blowing up.  Halfway up the climb the peloton was still a conspicuously large group.  With 8km to go to the summit it was surprising that none of the contending teams pushed the pace forcing Astana to cover.

At the summit of the HC climb, Pellizotti and Fedrigo took the double points for 1st and 2nd place.  The first chase came across at 2:50 minutes back having just picked up a struggling Jens Voigt.  Martinez took seventh padding his lead in the KOM by 16 points.  Bouet went to all the trouble to bridge up to the chase group only to fall back to the peloton after he was dropped on a steep section.  The number of RV’s and cars that lined the final km was astounding.  The peloton climbed steadily but didn’t make up much time on the climb at 4:50 back.  The placement of the mountains in the center of the stage as expected really sucked the life out of what could have been another exciting stage.  Considering tomorrows rest day, what was the point?

The first half of the Armstrong led decent was uneventful.  Columbia was given the go ahead to catch the breaks and force a sprint for the team.   At just under 5 minutes down, their work was cut out for them.  The peloton caught the chase at 40km to go narrowing the gap to 3:50. Caisse d’Epargne came to the front in support of their sprinter Rojas.  Rabobank came to the front to help salvage some glory today perhaps as Menchov has not panned out as expected.  They were attempting to set up Oscar Freire for the sprint if possible.  At 20km to go, the break was holding a tenuous lead over the peloton of 2:30 minutes.  It was still touch and go whether Pellizotti and Fedrigo could hold out.  They certainly were giving it there all.  The teams for the breakaway riders, Liquigas and Bbox, moved to the front in an attempt to disrupt chasing peloton.

With 10 km to go the gap between the break and the peloton had dropped to 1:22.  It seemed that the break would hold at this point.  Caisse was doing the lion’s share of the work to bring the break back stringing out the peloton in the process.

  • At 7km the gap was 60 seconds.
  • At 5km the gap was 44 seconds thought the peloton was bunching
  • At 4km the gap was 42 seconds Schleck flatted outside the 3km safety zone.  The whole team fell back to help.
  • At 3km the gap was 41 seconds. Voigt dragged Schleck back in no time flat
  • At 2km the gap was 39 seconds. Liquigas did a great job of disrupting the fading Caisse chase.
  • At 1km the gap was 36 seconds.  The break was going to hold.  Pellizotti no longer took a turn at the front.  Pellizotti jumped prior to the final turn at the 500 meter mark.  Bbox’s Pierrick Fedrigo tagged Pellizotti and came around to take the line.

Rabobank’s Oscar Freire took the field sprint for third.  Rojas was only able to muster sixth.  There was no change to the GC standings.

Well it looks like GC racing will be put on hold till the Stage 13 in the Alps on Friday.  Tomorrow is a rest day followed by three stages through central France.

Stage 9 Map

Stage 9 Map

Stage 9 Profile

Stage 9 Profile

Stage 9 Recap

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Stage 9 Results

1           Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom           4:05:31
2          Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas
3          Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank          0:00:34
4          Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Team Katusha
5          Peter Velits (Svk) Team Milram
6          Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
7          Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Silence – Lotto
8          Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel
9          Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre – NGC
10          Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale

Polka Dot Jersey Standings

1           Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi           78           pts
2          Christophe Kern (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne          59
3          Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas          55
4          Brice Feillu (Fra) Agritubel          49
5          Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) BBOX Bouygues Telecom          49

Green Jersey Standings

1           Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team           117           pts
2          Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Columbia – HTC          106
3          Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne          75
4          Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram          66
5          Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank          62

Overall Standings

1           Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
2          Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana          0:00:06
3          Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana          0:00:08
4          Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana          0:00:39
5          Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin – Slipstream          0:00:46
6          Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana          0:00:54
7          Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia – HTC          0:01:00
8          Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin – Slipstream          0:01:24
9          Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank          0:01:49
10          Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas          0:01:54

Allez915

Cavendish utilized his team to perfection winning his second stage in as many days.  The real news was a crosswind induced break that led to an irreparable split in the field that shook up the GC standings.

It was another hot stage today in southern France.  The 196km Marseille to Le Grande Motte route was rolling on the first half and dead flat on the later half.  Strong crosswinds were expected on the flats which have the potential to force echelon formations and possibly induce breaks in the peloton.

Stage 3 Winner, Mark Cavendish

Stage 3 Winner, Mark Cavendish

A single break got away from the gun which included Moreno, Bouet, De Kort and Domoulin.  They held a lead over much of the stage with a gap of as much as 11 minutes.  The peloton was content to pedal at a comfortable pace, seemingly not worried about the break.  About halfway through the stage Saxo Bank, Rabobank then Columbia moved to the front in sequence to do the work of reeling in the escapees.  The lead steadily fell over the next 70km.  As the Columbia led peloton approached the break, the pace and cross winds, fractured the field.  Almost all of the Columbia team made the front group of 29 as well as Cancellara, Cavendish, Martin and Hushovd.  Three Astana riders made it including Armstrong, Zubeldia and Popo. Many contenders were in the chase group including Contador, Evans, Sastre, Leipheimer, the Schlecks and several of the sprinters. The gap hovered between 20 to 40 seconds into the final kilometers.  Even with strong chase effort the lead group held on to the line taking 40+ seconds out of the chase.

Cavendish was well positioned for the sprint with a single rider left on lead out.  Hushovd was on his wheel but didn’t have enough to get by.  Another great win for Cav.  Cancellara made a nice effort to snag 6th.  The GC changed considerably with Armstrong and Martin moving up and Contador, Kloden, Evans and Leipheimer moving down.

I’ll be very interested in reviewing the video and race reports today.  It seems Armstrong was urging his team on in the lead group even though his team lead, Contador, got caught in the chase group.  Hopefully an interviewer will extract an explanation.  Regardless, Lance has situated himself to possibly take the Yellow Jersey tomorrow with a high probability win tomorrow in the TTT.  That of course would have him protected as leader till the mountain top finish in Arcalis on Stage 7.  All bets are off at that point.

P.S. After reading and viewing interviews and commentary, It seems to me that Lance thought under the conditions that it was wise to stay up front in case a split developed.  Contador had been near the split but missed by a hair.  At that point, Lance mostly hung on to the Columbia freight train and ended up with a windfall.  Lance was unapologetic mind you but seemed to have a proper perspective of the time gain relative to the weeks ahead in the context of team politics.  Contador didn’t seem concerned in the least.

Stage 3 Race Reports

ESPN (best of the reports)
Velonews
Cycling News
Cycling Weekly
Yahoo Sports
Cycling Weekly (Lances Motives…Not to Top Contador)

Stage 3 Video

Versus Race Recap
Versus Post Race Recap

Stage 3 Results

1. Mark Cavendish Team Columbia – Htc in 5:01:24
2. Thor Hushovd Cervelo Test Team
3. Cyril Lemoine Skil-Shimano at 00:00
4. Samuel Dumoulin Cofidis Le Credit En Ligne at s.t.
5. Jérôme Pineau Quick Step at s.t.
6. Fabian Cancellara Team Saxo Bank at s.t.
7. Fabian Wegmann Team Milram at s.t.
8. Fumiyuki Beppu Skil-Shimano at s.t.
9. Maxime Bouet Agritubel at s.t.
10. Linus Gerdemann Team Milram at s.t.

GC Standings

1. Fabian Cancellara Team Saxo Bank in 9:50:58
2. Tony Martin Team Columbia – Htc in 9:51:31
3. Lance Armstrong Astana in 9:51:38 at 00:40
4. Alberto Contador Astana in 9:51:57 at 00:59
5. Bradley Wiggins Garmin – Slipstream in 9:51:58 at 01:00
6. Andréas KlÖden Astana in 9:52:01 at 01:03
7. Linus Gerdemann Team Milram in 9:52:01 at 01:03
8. Cadel Evans Silence – Lotto in 9:52:02 at 01:04
9. Maxime Monfort Team Columbia – Htc in 9:52:08 at 01:10
10. Levi Leipheimer Astana in 9:52:09 at 01:11
11. Michael Rogers Team Columbia – Htc in 9:52:11 at 01:13
12. Roman Kreuziger Liquigas in 9:52:11 at 01:13
13. George Hincapie Team Columbia – Htc in 9:52:15 at 01:17
14. Vincenzo Nibali Liquigas in 9:52:16 at 01:18
15. Gustav Larsson Team Saxo Bank in 9:52:20 at 01:22
16. Mikel Astarloza Euskaltel – Euskadi in 9:52:23 at 01:25
17. David Zabriskie Garmin – Slipstream in 9:52:26 at 01:28
18. David Millar Garmin – Slipstream in 9:52:27 at 01:29
19. Jérôme Pineau Quick Step in 9:52:29 at 01:31
20. Haimar Zubeldia Astana in 9:52:29 at 01:31

Allez915

The 15km time trial in Monaco exposed the field in this year’s tour.  As Phil Liggett predicted, Fabian Cancellara took the podium.  Considering his win at the Tour de Suisse this year beating out Martin, KlÖden and Cunego, the rest of

Contador Pounds the Field

Contador Pounds the Field

the field will be keeping an eye on him.  Great performance but the spots below reveal the GC potential on the non-specialists.  Contador solidified his position as Astana team lead with a blistering performance today.   Only Cancellara had the guns to keep him at bay.  Lance put in a solid performance but for the second time this year appears to be fetching bottles for his ridiculously strong team.  Astana has 4 riders in the top 10 for the love of god. Joining Contador in the top ten were KlÖden, Leipheimer and Lance.

Cadel Evans had a great performance today besting Leipheimer to take 5th.  He looks to be on form and likely able to stick with the leaders on the tough stuff.  Unfortunately his GC hopes are a tough road considering the poor performance of his team.  Not only will Lotto probably take a beating on Tuesday’s TTT but he is unlikely to have much support as the grade steepens.  While Cadel is very strong in the mountains, in the past he has been unable to attack in a way that will help him reclaim the time required to find a podium spot.

Sastre 21st and Menchov 53rd each gave up a minute or more to leader.  Sastre had a great Giro showing best of the bunch form on the mountains.  This field is stronger still.  While Levi and Lance maintained their relative placing in the field of racers from the Giro to the Tour, this trio appears to have faded from top form.  Sastre in particular has shown an ability to bury himself on a time trial when necessary.  This day it was not to be.  He has some ground to make up.  His team didn’t fair to well either today.  The stage is set for widening the gap on the TTT.   What is up with Menchov?  I find it hard to understand his lack of form.  He has some ground to make up and probably more still on Tuesday.

The Stage 4 team time trial set for Tuesday should prove out that Astana is the cream of the field. Team Garmin and Team Columbia looked very strong today and aught to be able to elevate the team riders as a whole in the TTT as well.  I for one can’t wait.  There will likely be a stack of green and yellow riders at the top of the GC on Wednesday morning.  Many of the American riders should have a great showing.

Stage 1 Race Reports

Stage 1 Video

Stage 1 Results

1. Fabian Cancellara Team Saxo Bank in 19:32
2. Alberto Contador Astana in 19:50
3. Bradley Wiggins Garmin – Slipstream in 19:51 at 00:19
4. Andréas KlÖden Astana in 19:54 at 00:22
5. Cadel Evans Silence – Lotto in 19:55 at 00:23
6. Levi Leipheimer Astana in 20:02 at 00:30
7. Roman Kreuziger Liquigas in 20:04 at 00:32
8. Tony Martin Team Columbia – Htc in 20:05 at 00:33
9. Vincenzo Nibali Liquigas in 20:09 at 00:37
10. Lance Armstrong Astana in 20:12 at 00:40
11. Gustav Larsson Team Saxo Bank in 20:13 at 00:41
12. Mikel Astarloza Euskaltel – Euskadi in 20:16 at 00:44
13. David Zabriskie Garmin – Slipstream in 20:19 at 00:47
14. David Millar Garmin – Slipstream in 20:20 at 00:48
15. Jérôme Coppel Francaise Des Jejuna in 20:23 at 00:51
16. Sylvain Chavanel Quick Step in 20:28 at 00:56
17. Christian Vande Velde Garmin – Slipstream in 20:29 at 00:57
18. Andy Schleck Team Saxo Bank in 20:32 at 01:00
19. Linus Gerdemann Team Milram in 20:35 at 01:03
20. Rémi Pauriol Cofidis Le Credit En Ligne in 20:37 at 01:05
21. Carlos Sastre Cervelo Test Team in 20:38 at 01:06
22. Vladimir Karpets Team Katusha in 20:39 at 01:07
23. Alessandro Ballan Lampre – N.g.c in 20:42 at 01:10
24. Maxime Monfort Team Columbia – Htc in 20:42 at 01:10
25. Broeck Jurgen Van Den Silence – Lotto in 20:43 at 01:11

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In the Men’s race, Cancellara put the hammer down to take the Men’s Olympic Time Trial. It was another

Olympic Time Trial Medalists

Olympic Time Trial Medalists

superb performance by the Swiss rider will add a gold metal to his bronze earned a few days ago on the road race. Cancellara collapsed and gasping put it all out there accelerating to the line.

Larsson surprised the field posting an incredible time that proved to be the mark to beat. He held off the big guns to earn a silver medal. Levi Leipheimer accelerated throughout the course to demand a place on the podium. He explained that he drew strength from the disappointment of missing this year’s Tour.

Contador started out strong but faded steadily. Cadel Evans put in a strong performance but just couldn’t get into the winners circle. Schumacher could not get it together finishing a disappointing 13th. Cummings and Zabriskie were just not able to get in the game.

Time Trial - Time Check Positions

Time Trial - Time Check Positions

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Gold Medalist Kristen Armstrong

Gold Medalist Kristen Armstrong

In the Women’s Race, Emma Pooley put up the time to beat riding fifth out of the gate. In the end only Kristin Armstrong of the USA was able to best the time. Karin Thürig won bronze edging out Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli and Christine Thorburn by a handful of seconds. This was a great ride by the US placing 1st and 5th.

Judith Arndt put in a great ride but could manage only sixth. Christiane Soeder finished 7th. You could argue that the road race took something out of her. Hanka Kupfernagel struggled to hold on to 11th

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Men’s Time Trial Results
1. CANCELLARA (SUI); Result: 1:02:11.43
2. LARSSON (SWE); Result: 1:02:44.79 (+0:33.36)
3. LEIPHEIMER (USA); Result: 1:03:21.11 (+1:09.68)
4. CONTADOR (ESP); Result: 1:03:29.51 (+1:18.08)
5. EVANS (AUS); Result: 1:03:34.97 (+1:23.54)
6. SANCHEZ (ESP); Result: 1:04:37.24 (+2:25.81)
7. TUFT (CAN); Result: 1:04:39.44 (+2:28.01)
8. ROGERS (AUS); Result: 1:04:46.85 (+2:35.42)
9. CLEMENT (NED); Result: 1:04:59.42 (+2:47.99)
10. GESINK (NED); Result: 1:05:02.88 (+2:51.45)
11. CUMMINGS (GBR); Result: 1:05:07.91 (+2:56.48)
12. ZABRISKIE (USA); Result: 1:05:17.82 (+3:06.39)
13. SCHUMACHER (GER); Result: 1:05:25.38 (+3:13.95)
14. GRABSCH (GER); Result: 1:05:26.20 (+3:14.77)
15. NIBALI (ITA); Result: 1:05:36.01 (+3:24.58)
16. HESJEDAL (CAN); Result: 1:05:42.33 (+3:30.90)
17. TAARAMAE (EST); Result: 1:05:47.33 (+3:35.90)
18. KARPETS (RUS); Result: 1:05:52.38 (+3:40.95)
19. SOERENSEN (DEN); Result: 1:05:55.42 (+3:43.99)
20. MENSHOV (RUS); Result: 1:06:10.54 (+3:59.11)
21. KIRYIENKA (BLR); Result: 1:06:12.19 (+4:00.76)
22. BRUSEGHIN (ITA); Result: 1:06:20.95 (+4:09.52)
23. KIRCHEN (LUX); Result: 1:06:29.63 (+4:18.20)
24. MIZUROV (KAZ); Result: 1:06:32.05 (+4:20.62)
25. BOTERO (COL); Result: 1:06:35.43 (+4:24.00)
26. MONFORT (BEL); Result: 1:07:12.71 (+5:01.28)
27. BODROGI (HUN); Result: 1:07:27.49 (+5:16.06)
28. SPILAK (SLO); Result: 1:07:34.86 (+5:23.43)
29. JURCO (SVK); Result: 1:07:52.92 (+5:41.49)
30. MEDICI (ARG); Result: 1:07:53.09 (+5:41.66)
31. GEORGE (RSA); Result: 1:07:55.21 (+5:43.78)
32. GRIVKO (UKR); Result: 1:08:01.25 (+5:49.82)
33. VANDBORG (DEN); Result: 1:08:10.20 (+5:58.77)
34. NIEMIEC (POL); Result: 1:08:43.43 (+6:32.00)
35. ASKARI (IRI); Result: 1:08:46.30 (+6:34.87)
36. BELOHVOSCIKS (LAT); Result: 1:08:54.96 (+6:43.53)
37. KOSTYUK (UKR); Result: 1:09:04.04 (+6:52.61)
38. KVASINA (CRO); Result: 1:09:06.49 (+6:55.06)
39. BEPPU (JPN); Result: 1:11:05.14 (+8:53.71)

Mens Time Trial Splits

First check at km 10.8
1 Alberto Contador (Spain), 17.49 (36.370 km/h)
2 Gustav Erik Larsson (Sweden), 18.07
3 Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland), 18.17
4 Levi Leipheimer (USA), 18.19
5 Cadel Evans (Australia), 18.24
6 Samuel Sánchez (Spain), 18.31
7 Kim Kirchen (Luxembourg), 18.36
8 Cummings (Great Britain), 18.40
9 Robert Gesink (Netherlands), 18.42
10 Chris Anker Sorensen (Denmark), 18.44

Second check at km 23.5
1 Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland), 30.36 (46.078 km/h)
2 Alberto Contador (Spain), 30.52
3 Gustav Erik Larsson (Sweden), 31.02
4 Levi Leipheimer (USA), 31.20
5 Cadel Evans (Australia), 31.38
6 Steve Cummings (Great Britain), 31.39
7 Kim Kirchen (Luxembourg), 31.50
8 Samuel Sánchez (Spain), 31.52
9 David Zabriskie (USA), 31.56
10 Robert Gesink (Netherlands), 32.02

Third check at km 34.6
1 Gustav Erik Larsson (Sweden), 49.52 (41.631 km/h)
2 Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland), 49.58
3 Alberto Contador (Spain), 50.09
4 Cadel Evans (Australia), 50.37
5 Levi Leipheimer (USA), 50.44
6 Samuel Sánchez (Spain), 51.17
7 Svein Tuft (Canada), 51.39
8 Robert Gesink (Netherlands), 51.40
9 Michael Rogers (Australia), 51.46
10 David Zabriskie (USA), 52.03

Women’s Time Trial Results
1 Kristin Armstrong (United States), 34.51.7 (40.459 km/h)
2 Emma Pooley (Great Britain), 0.24.3
3 Karin Thurig (Switzerland), 0.59.3
4 Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (France), 1.00.9
5 Christine Thorburn (United States), 1.02.5
6 Judith Arndt (Germany), 1.08.1
7 Christiane Soeder (Austria), 1.29.0
8 Priska Doppmann (Switzerland), 1.36.1
9 Zulfiya Zabirova (Kazakhstan), 1.37.8
10 Susanne Ljungskog (SwedenSweden), 1.41.8
11 Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany), 1.43.4
12 Tatiana Guderzo (ItalyItaly), 1.46.3
13 Linda Melanie Villumsen Serup (DenmarkDenmark), 1.58.9
14 Marianne Vos (Netherlands), 2.07.0
15 Nicole Cooke (Great Britain), 2.22.6
16 Natalia Boyarskaya (Russia), 2.22.9
17 Min Gao (ChinaChina), 2.23.5
18 Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel (Netherlands), 2.59.9
19 Marta Vilajosana (SpainSpain), 3.03.3
20 Maryline Salvetat (FranceFrance), 3.18.0
21 Emma Johansson (SwedenSweden), 3.37.1
22 Oenone Wood (Australia), 4.01.8
23 Edita Pucinskaite (Lithuania), 4.03.7
24 Alexandra Wrubleski (CanadaCanada), 4.23.7
25 Lang Meng (ChinaChina), 5.59.9

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Great Brittan’s Nicole Cooke took the gold in the Beijing Olympic Women’s Road Race Emma Johansson of 2008 Olympic Women\'s Road Race MedalistsSweden and Tatiana Guderzo of Italy earned the silver and bronze respectively. Kristin Armstrong of the USA finished 43 Seconds back for 25th, Amber Neben finished 33rd and Christine Thorburn finished 52nd

The women’s race started under threatening skies which turned to rain on the road to the Great Wall. The pack stuck together for most of the first 80km with a handful of riders reigning in any potential threats. Thorburn was apparently working for Armstrong to keep the peloton contained on the flats.

The first attack of consequence was executed by Boyarskaya (RUS) who was set up by a flyer from her compatriot Burchenkova. A lead was built then slowly reduced by Neben (USA) again probably working for Armstrong. Pooley (GB) and Guderzo (ITA) got away on the final circuit of two and finally captured the Russian.

Judith Arndt (GER) put in a strong effort to close to the break. Attacks by several favorites in including Longo-Ciprelli (FRA) were closed down before any damage was done. Soeder of Austria put in several strong efforts one of which allowed Guderzo to catapult on a solo break. Soeder later gapped the peloton joined by Johansson (SWE), Villumsen (DEN), and Cooke (GB). They chased down Guderzo. The five worked to the line maintaining enough of a gap to stay clear.

Cooke Crashes the Finish

Cooke Crashes the Finish

With a half kilometer to go Cooke faded slightly then shot out with only Johansson and Guderzo were able to hang on. Villumsen and Soeder faded unable to hold the pace. Cooke powered to the line to take the prize.

That was another fabulous road race on a spectacular course.

Race Reports:

Cycling News

Velonews

Race Results

1 Nicole Cooke (Great Britain), 3.32.24 (35.706km/h)
2 Emma Johansson (Sweden), st.
3 Tatiana Guderzo (Italy), st.
4 Christiane Soeder (Austria), 0.04
5 Linda Villumsen Serup (Denmark), 0.09
6 Marianne Vos (Netherlands), 0.21
7 Priska Doppmann (Switzerland), st.
8 Paulina Brzezna (Poland), st.
9 Edita Pucinskaite (Lithuania), st.
10 Zulfiya Zabirova (Kazakhstan), st.
11 Jolanta Polikeviciute (Lithuania), st.
12 Julia Martisova (Russian Federation), st.
13 Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (France), st.
14 Maryline Salvetat (France), st.
15 Noemi Cantele (Italy), st.
16 Min Gao (China), 0.28
17 Leigh Hobson (Canada), st.
8 Nicole Brändli (Switzerland), st.
19 Anna Sanchis (Spain), st.
20 Trixi Worrack (Germany), st.
21 Susanne Ljungskog (Sweden), st.
22 Yevgeniya Vysotska (Ukraine), 0.31
23 Emma Pooley (Great Britain), st.
24 Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (France), 0.33
25 Kristin Armstrong (United States), 0.43
26 Anita Valen De Vries (Norway), 0.53
27 Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Lithuania), st.
28 Joanne Kiesanowski (New Zealand), st.
29 Oenone Wood (Australia), st.
30 Grete Treier (Estonia), st.
31 Miho Oki (Japan), st.
32 Tatiana Stiajkina (Ukraine), st.
33 Amber Neben (United States), st.
34 Marissa Van Der Merwe (South Africa), st.
35 Sharon Laws (Great Britain), st.
36 Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel (Netherlands), st.
37 Erinne Willock (Canada), 0.59
38 Sara Carrigan (Australia), 1.01
39 Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany), st.
40 Natalia Boyarskaya (Russian Federation), st.
41 Judith Arndt (Germany), 1.27
42 Oksana Kashchyshyna (Ukraine), 1.49
43 Alexandra Burchenkova (Russian Federation), st.
44 Lieselot Decroix (Belgium), 4.11
45 Alessandra Giusseppina Grassi (Mexico), st.
46 Monika Schachl (Austria), 4.13
47 Chantal Beltman (Netherlands), 4.38
48 Lang Meng (China), 5.18
49 Sigrid Corneo (Slovenia), 7.05
50 Alex Wrubleski (Canada), 7.12
51 Clemilda Silva (Brazil), 8.37
52 Christine Thorburn (United States), 8.44
53 Catherine Cheatley (New Zealand), st.
54 Daniely Del Valle Garcia Buitriag (Venezuela) 11.01
55 Marta Vilajosana (Spain), st.
56 Sara Mustonen (Sweden), st.
57 Angie Sabrina Gonzalez Garcia (Venezuela), st.
58 Sungeun Gu (Korea), 13.35
59 Cherise Taylor (South Africa), 16.09
60 Yumari Gonzalez (Cuba), 19.15
61 Chanpeng Nontasin (Thailand), 19.27
62 Aurelie Halbwachs (Mauritius), 19.47
DNF Heejung Son (Korea)
DNF Vera Carrara (Italy)
DNF Katherine Bates (Australia)
DNF Jennifer Hohl (Switzerland)

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