Sunday, July 15, 2007

Young Gun Gerdemann Comes of Age

Linus Gerdemann has always been viewed as a rider of great talent and potential.  At just 24 years old, the T-Mobile cyclist is still maturing as a rider.  This year is his first year at the Tour de France, being brought by the team to gain experience for the future.  And, if yesterday's stage is anything to go by, we will see a lot more from the young German in the years to come. 

Part of an original 15 man breakaway, Gerdemann attacked his breakaway campinions on the final climb of the Col de la Colombiere multiple times, showing great strength and resistance.  He soon dropped everyone, crossing the summit with a lead of 18 seconds over the nearest chaser, Inigo Landaluze (Euskaltel).  He then flew down a technical descent over the last 14km to win the stage a full 40 seconds ahead of Landaluze.  In addition, he claimed the maillot jaune as the main peloton came in 3'38 behind.  He now holds a 3'39 lead over Andreas Kloden (Astana).

As for the main GC contenders, they all came in as a group of 35 riders.  None of the pre-race favorites, including the banged up Astana duo of Kloden and Alexandre Vinokourov, were caught out as the riders preferred to observe each other rather than go out on the attack.  The only rider of note to not make the main selection was Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC), the previous maillot jaune holder who lost almost 23 minutes by the end of the stage.


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