Saturday, July 22, 2006
Check out our latest wallpaper, in
the wallpaper section:
Floyd Landis Time Trial and Lance Armstrong Paris Panorama
Matteo Tosatto (Quick Step) won yesterday's 18th stage of the Tour
de France to Macon. Part of a 15 man breakaway earlier in the
day, Tosatto and Christian Moreni counter-attacked Ronny Scholtz's move
with 18 km to go, catching him to form a 3-man lead group to the finish.
Scholtz, the slowest of the three men in a sprint, inexplicably did most
of the work in the final kilometers, including leading the other two riders
out for the last kilometer. With Scholtz's chances blown, Tosatto
simply took advantage of the work done and outsprinted Moreni.
Friday, July 21, 2006
In June, we called it
The Landis Way
. A week ago today, I suggested Floyd Landis might have
trouble holding on to the yellow jersey
in the Alps and forecast yesterday's stage to Morzine as "potentially
very dramatic." Little did anyone know that Floyd would have to
come back from over eight minutes down to put himself into position to
take the yellow jersey back in the final time trial, like Greg LeMond in
1989. All I hoped for was a little exchanging of the jersey this
final week; a minute deficit would have sufficed after the stage to La Toussuire.
But Floyd gave us so much more; ask for an inch and he gives us a
mile! That was a truly historic ride yesterday. And thanks,
too, to Carlos Sastre and Oscar Pereiro who battled like real champions
for every second. Barring incident or illness, this race should
be Floyd's after Saturday's long time trial. At 57km, that stage
is made for Floyd. - Pete
|The Return of Floyd
What can you say about yesterday's stage? Absolutely phenomenal.
Floyd Landis, the man left for dead just 24 hours before, broke away
from the peloton with 127km to go and stormed his way to his first ever
stage victory in the Tour. More importantly, though, was the 5:40
he put into Carlos Sastre and 7:08 he put into maillot jaune wearer Oscar
Pereiro and everyone else. Landis now sits in 3rd place on the general
classification, a mere 30 seconds behind Perreiro. With the final
57km time trial coming on Saturday, Landis, the biggest favorite for that
time trial, is suddenly poised to claim final glory in Paris.
The stage started out like almost any other stage of the Tour,
when 11 riders in a breakaway went up the road.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Profile: Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero
Note: What's the quickest way
to see photos of today's stage? Click on the "Yahoo photo gallery"
link in our live coverage programme. AP and AFP photographers
are equipped to transmit photos from the road.
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at the Tour
Yesterday's 16th Stage of the Tour de France to La Toussuire
completely blew apart the race. Floyd Landis, the "Mennonite Menace"
and seemingly in-control leader of the race, completely broke down
on the final climb and lost 10 minutes by the end of the day. Looking
untroubled all day, he raced up the first 6km of the climb seemingly in
good shape. Carlos Sastre's attack at 10 km to go, however, completely
put the pressure on to split the group and sent Floyd flying backwards.
It was a sad sight to see the maillot jaune pedalling so feebly, as riders
who had just a few kilometers beforehand been dusted by Landis were suddenly
passing him in waves.
Meanwhile, Oscar "The Grouch" Pereiro had a phenomenal day
to finish 3rd and reclaim the maillot jaune. Following wheels
the entire way and looking very composed, he managed to stay with or ahead
of every one of his major rivals except Sastre, whose attack was whittled
down to a mere 13 seconds gain by the end. Pereiro, who was half
an hour behind by the end of the Pyrenees but gifted all of it back,
suddenly looks like one of the strongest climbers in the race.
He even managed to sprint around fellow group members Andreas Kloden
and Cadel Evans to take the 3rd place time bonus. With everyone
around 2 minutes back and just one more mountain stage to go, it's looking
like a possibility that Pereiro could just steal the maillot jaune all
the way to Paris.
The winner of the day, though, was Michael "Chicken" Rasmussen.
Breaking away at the beginning of the stage, he managed to power his
way over every mountain in the stage in first place and reclaim the
king of the mountains jersey, in addition to the stage win. With
a 45 point lead over the gallant David de la Fuente in the mountains
competition and a stage victory in the queen stage of the Tour de France,
it's mission accomplished for Rasmussen and for Rabobank, who saw their
leader Denis Menchov lose a further 2 minutes on the stage. If
only Rasmussen could ever learn to time trial (or at least not have 12
different mechanical incidents while time trialling, that would help)....
What an incredible day. Landis completely tumbled out
of the top 10. Let's just hope he ran out of energy and bonked
so that he can recover to save some glory for the rest of the Tour.
And who would have thought that Spain would be sitting 1-2 in the general
classification (Pereiro and Sastre) this late in the race with their
three best climbers (Iban Mayo, Francisco Mancebo, and Alejandro Valverde)
and two of their teams (the ex Liberty Seguros and Communitat Valenciana)
out of the race.
But before we think about any of that, let's all remember
that everyone still has to go up the Col de Joux Plane today.
And lest we forget, the Joux Plane is the only road stage to ever seriously
crack a certain otherwise invincible Texan. I have a prediction:
the Joux Plane will completely alter the Tour's landscape (again).
Then again, try to name a stage in this year's Tour that hasn't done so.
Bring it on!
- Chris, cyclingfans.com columnist
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Lord of the Yellow Jersey,
or Floyd of the Rings?
(with apologies to JRR Tolkien)
Paris (cyclingfans.com) - They set out on July 1 with one
goal: take the yellow jersey to Paris. Nine riders (but not
the Nine Riders of evil) in Middle-earth (photo, aka the Galibier
Pass) forming Phonak's Fellowship of the Yellow Jersey. But
poor Floyd and his weary companions; the weight of the jersey was too
much to bear the entire distance. Floyd succeeded in getting rid
of the ring, er, jersey the other day and didn't want it back just yet.
The other 143 riders remaining in the race known as the Tour de
France would gladly wear it, for the yellow jersey gives one great powers.
But it seems the jersey WANTS to be worn by Floyd. And there
apparently isn't much Floyd can do about it, so he is back again in yellow
after Alpe d'Huez. The Fellowship will have to defend it too. It
is Floyd's destiny perhaps to take the jersey to Paris...where the French
media will probably want to destroy it in the fires of Issy-les-Moulineaux,
home too of race organizer Amaury Sport Organization (A.S.O.).
Or will Floyd find himself in danger today on Mount Doom?
The race travels over the Two Towers that are the Galibier and
Croix-de-Fer passes, both rated Hors Categorie (beyond category),
before finishing on La Toussuire where hobbit Iban Mayo won in the Dauphiné
Libéré last month. But Mayo has dropped out of
the Tour because, c'mon, how could a hobbit ever be happy with just
three pockets for food if he can avoid it?
Yesterday saw the Return of the King: Lance. Today,
Frodo, er, Floyd will surely see the break-up of the Fellowship and
find himself isolated with dangerous attackers wanting that jersey
for themselves. And if he survives today, it could still all come
apart in tomorrow's final day in the mountains. For even a hobbit
has a bad day. And if not, then we will have a new American king
in Paris on Sunday. (Bet you didn't know hobbits can time-trial
with the best of them...)
heavy usage of video and audio streams today. If you can't get in,
keep trying and/or try a different stream.
Sputnik live video (below) has kicked in early today, as the riders
are climbing the Galibier...
Profiles: Fränk Schleck and
Wins, Landis in Yellow
Frank Schleck of Team CSC won yesterday's epic 15th stage
to the mythical Alpe d'Huez. Attacking breakaway companion Damiano
Cunego in the final kilometers, Schleck powered away from the Italian
young gun to finish 11 seconds in front and win his first ever stage
in the Tour de France. They were part of a 25 man breakaway that
got away after 30 kilometers, including big names such as George Hincapie,
Jens Voigt, Axel Merckx, Eddy Mazzoleni, and David Zabriskie.
They built up a maximum advantage of 6:30, which was enough to propel
the man from Luxembourg, winner of the 2006 Amstel Gold Race, to perhaps
his greatest victory ever as a professional.
Floyd Landis, meanwhile, got tired of people asking whether
or not he wanted the maillot jaune and answered with an emphatic "yes!"
He was in complete control the entire day, finishing atop the mountain
with Andreas Kloden, ahead of all his other major rivals. His
only spot of difficulty was at the bottom of the Alpe on the wheel of
his teammate Perdiguero, who could not hear Landis' instructions to
slow down a bit, a la Lance Armstrong in 2002 with Roberto Heras (the
similarities between Lance and Floyd are becoming scary. The
list goes on and on, being dropped by a teammate, the yellow jersey
giveaway tactics, the fact that they both ride bicycles, it's pretty
incredible). By the way, does anyone else see irony in the fact
that the Phonak riders couldn't hear each other, given the fact that
their major sponsor is a hearing aid company! They do wonders
nowadays I hear (pun intended).
So Landis is now back in yellow, with a comfortable margin
of two minutes ahead of everyone else except previous maillot jaune
holder Oscar Pereiro. Give credit to Pereiro for fighting all
the way to the finish, but at the end it was just not quite enough,
losing out by just 10 seconds. As for those rumors involving a
Discovery/Rabobank agreement to knock off the Phonak team, well, both
teams had a bad day. Despite having two riders in the breakaway
(Hincapie, Martinez), Discovery completely disappeared in the finale.
As for Rabobank, Menchov lost 1'11 on the day.
But today is a new day, and everything could be completely
flipped on its head again. In fact, it'd be quite surprising
if things didn't. La Toussuire awaits!
- Chris, cyclingfans.com columnist
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
L'Alpe d'Huez Awaits
The Tour today enters the first of three key stages in
the Alps, from Gap to the mythic L'Alpe d'Huez. Phonak's Floyd
Landis, previously the race leader, handed that responsibility over
to Caisse d'Epargne's Oscar Pereiro when he allowed Pereiro to take
the yellow jersey in stage 13. It was a questionable decision
for purists such as
(the yellow jersey is something to be honored and defended),
and indeed a rare decision heading into the final week, a "good
tactic" for those who perhaps believe anything goes in modern cycling.
Phonak has an ally in Caisse d'Epargne to the extent that the latter
works hard to defend the jersey today, something they may be expected
to do to the best of their abilities. But Phonak will have to
work too. Phonak denies there was any secret agreement with the
team of their former rider, Pereiro. There have also been rumors
of a Rabobank/Discovery Channel alliance to counter the perceived strength
of Landis. Collusion is against race rules, however, and there
is no proof that any such agreements have taken place. Landis
has a one minute lead on his closest rival, Denis Menchov of Rabobank,
so it is up to Menchov and others to attack Landis, who can ride defensively.
Who will attack today and who will wait for tomorrow? Today
should be exciting with the race still so wide open.
Expect heavy usage of video and audio streams today. If you
can't get in, keep trying and/or try a different stream.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Profile: David De La Fuente
If you are joining us for the Tour de France , please
note that we do publish "Live Guides" all season long for big
and small races, February to October. We hope you stick around!
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Live video stream
flash: We have yet another
live Tour de France video stream (sputnik.dk) for you today. Bernie
S. has been monitoring this one for awhile and it was a surprise that today
they are suddenly showing the Tour on this stream, available outside Denmark.
So we do not know at this time, however, if this stream will be fully
available for the final week of the race. More as we know...
Serbian TV stream should go live after replay of yesterday's
Friday, July 14, 2006
Landis in yellow
After Lance, does Floyd own the road
A Tour that moves counter-clockwise around France.
Luxembourg. Liège. A big time trial
to Rennes. Bordeaux. Pau. An American in yellow
by just eight seconds over a Frenchman. Luchon. L'Alpe
d'Huez. There are indeed some striking similarities to the
1989 Tour, considered by many to be the best-ever edition of the race.
Photojournalist Pete Geyer in France looks back at 1989 and
contemplates how Floyd Landis, like Greg Lemond and Laurent Fignon,
might find it tough to hold on to the yellow jersey all the way to
Serbian TV live streaming
of Tour stages starts after their replay of the previous day's
Profile: Marcus Fothen
If you are joining
us for the Tour de France , please
note that we do publish "Live Guides" like the one below all season
long for big and small races, February to October. We hope you