Results tagged “David Millar” from spare cycles

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Yeah, yeah, this is in the link roundups, but this is one of the most thrilling bits of reading I've read this Tour, taking you right in to the heart of a shattering peloton:

Millar: Looking after our yellow numbers

At this point, I realized that the shit was hitting the fan. It became more apparent as I saw Fedrigo pulling out of the line further ahead, then Cobo, then Kreuziger. This is when I knew that all hell had broken loose. When riders of that quality can’t hold the wheel, you have to face the fact that the race is ON and you’re on your own.

Stage 4: Schumacher?

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letour.jpgSome quick thoughts, since a cold has been cutting into my sleep:

What a stage -- Pate taking the early lead, Cancellara going all out to nick Menchov's best time by less than a second, and then Schumacher coming in and laying waste to everyone's time.

Stefan Schumacher: the man has great palmares, but the conventional wisdom must suck because not many would have thought he could put in 18 seconds over his nearest competitor

Kim Kirchen: in this era of specialists, you have to appreciate a guy who thinks he can win every stage (and nearly does).

Alejandro Valverde: methinks people's expectations were overinflated for all the dire analysis of his 1'07" that he lost to Evans.

Garmin-Chipotle: a podium finish by Millar, Vande Velde in 8th, and Pate setting an early fastest time. I'd say that's a pretty good day for them. Shame there wasn't a TTT as they and Columbia had the best team performances on the day

Columbia: Second place with Kirchen got them podium and an 11th-place finish by Lövkvist got them the white jersey. And Hincapie got 9th place. A strong day for Stapleton's crew.

Hincapie Wins - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

George Hincapie - (c) Ken Conley George Hincapie - (c) Ken Conley

Stage 7 Photo Gallery

Team High Road got redemption today as George Hincapie delivered from the breakaway. After misjudging Dominique Rollin in Stage 4 and losing victory in Stage 6, High Road can at last celebrate. You had the feeling that there were many in the peloton content to see if Hincapie or any of the other riders in the break could pull one out for their teams. Tom Zirbel had the boldest move, surviving several laps off the front, Michael Creed made a go for Rock Racing, Rory Sutherland put his Most Aggressive jersey to use, and Jason McCartney tried to bookend the ToC for CSC, but Hincapie had the best legs.

It's only fitting that the 2008 Tour of California end with soggy conditions, though more severe snow and flash flood conditions were avoided. As if tuned to race time, the sun and a rainbow emerged for Levi Leipheimer to gaze upon as he accepted his second straight overall victory. Leipheimer used the platform to continue to argue for Tour de France entry, as well as spray David Millar and Christian Vande Velde with champagne.

Slipstream-Chipotle has made impressive gains in just a year. With second and third place overall, best team, and Steven Cozza animating the breaks, it looks like they will be a team to watch on the international stage.

Millcreek Summit Descent - (c) Ken Conley

Millcreek Summit Descent - (c) Ken Conley Cavendish Takes the Bunch Sprint - (c) Ken Conley

Stage 7 Photo Gallery

Stage 5: Levi Wins in Solvang Again

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Levi Leipheimer - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

David Millar - (c) Ken Conley Christian Vandevelde - (c) Ken Conley

Dave Zabriskie - (c) Ken Conley Fabian Cancellara - (c) Ken Conley George Hincapie - (c) Ken Conley Podium - (c) Ken Conley

Stage 5 Solvang Photo Gallery

Today started off ominously -- the skies poured rain off and on before the stage start and the navigation dial on my camera, which has the important duty of selecting my autofocus point, was only recognizing two out of its nine directions. Riders were stilled dazed from yesterday's efforts: Danny Pate talked about only being able to put down 1000 calories yesterday on a day he burned 5000. There seemed to be a lot less riders taking warmup rides than last year. And then it got better, much better. The roads dried off. Blue skies rolled in. My camera started working again.

Levi Leipheimer and Astana were the big winners on the day as Levi once again defended his overall lead in Solvang. Slipstream had a banner day as well -- they weren't able to beat Levi, but they took second, third, and sixth places. CSC took fourth and fifth, but Cancellara wasn't pull off his best effort after a rough week in the rain.

Stage 5 Solvang Photo Gallery

Steven Cozza
Slipstream rider Steven Cozza at the ToC
I may be the last cycling site reporting this, but Millar, Zabriskie, and Vande Velde are all confirmed to be future argyle-sporting riders. Millar and Vande Velde are training partners according to ROAD Mag, and DZ + VV are already teammates. Add Millar's reformed anti-doping stance and the CSC drug testing program and it seems like a good trio of riders to pick up. I'm happy as it means that I should be able to see more of those riders state-side.

Update: "Former Paris-Roubaix winner" to Slipstream as well, which, according to CyclingNews, means either Stuart O'Grady (2007), Fabian Cancellara (2006), Tom Boonen (2005), Magnus Backstedt (2004), or Peter Van Petegem (2003). Backstedt was part of early rumors, so my money's on him.

Millar almost confirms Slipstream move

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The Vino news trampled the Saunier Duval press conference like a Kazakhstan Railways trainwreck. Lost in the implosion were:

  1. Saunier Duval's announcements about its "100 years from a million trees" program in Mali. VeloNews carried some coverage back in January: A week in Mali - A Glenn Myrent Gallery.

  2. Millar may have been about to announce his move to Slipstream (quote from VeloNews:

"The irony here is that I was hoping to make an announcement today about my future plans," Millar said, likely referring to rumors that next year he will ride for Slipstream Sports, the strict anti-doping squad run by Jonathan Vaughters.

"I have some projects in the works. I am hoping to work with young riders, to show them that you don't have to dope to succeed."

The Slipstream has long been speculated and even 'confirmed' by Reuters, though Millar denied any actual confirmations in the Tour interviews I've seen.

I've been awaiting official Slipstream news as there has been a ton of speculation for big names that Slipstream will supposedly try to sign this year including Zabriskie, Hincapie, and Laurent.

An amazing sprint by Robbie McEwen for the win. McEwen had got caught up in a crash with 20km to go and had to spend the next 15km chasing back with the help of his teammates. McEwen was nowhere to be seen as Quick Step lead the peloton towards the last mile. Milram took over the sprint from Quick Step and had two riders to leadout Zabel. Boonen glued himself to Zabel's wheel, but they quickly found their leadout swamped as Robbie Hunter stirred things up. Hunter jumped early to the right with Discovery's Vaitkus just behind. Hunter ran out of gas and sat up just as McEwen accelerated out of nowhere around the outside of the pack and shot past ten+ riders. Boonen tried to catch McEwen's wheel but McEwen was accelerating too fast -- McEwen by at least a bike length (Steephill.tv video stills). Hushovd was able to jump off Boonen's wheel to take second.

McEwen fans will worry that this is his last of this year's Tour as McEwen's wrist is questionable: "When it happens you're not really thinking too much about it, you get back on your bike, you don't feel anything..But now I'm starting to feel the pain, in my hand, my wrist and my knee. It was a great day for me, but now I'm starting to get a bit worried for the rest of the Tour."

Today's race started across the famous London Tower Bridge. The early story was all about David Millar, who wanted to put on a show while the race was still on his soil. He helped launched an early break and then managed to drop the rest of the riders. He was eventually chased down by four riders from that break: Auge (Cofidis), Kuschynski (Liquigas), Grivoko (Milram), and Bichot (Agritubel). The break extended its lead to over 6 minutes with 90k to go. Along the way Millar picked up two early intermediate sprints, but it wasn't the green jersey he was going for: he was thinking of polka dots.

At first it wasn't clear what Millar was shooting for and I'm not sure he did either: "So today I thought, ‘You know what, I'm just going to go on a suicide mission.' And it ended up being productive, which is a real bonus." Millar didn't bother contesting the Goudhurst Hill KOM. Bichot put in an attack early up the climb-- it looked like he mistimed it as he was caught by Kuschynski, but the Cat 4 climb was longer than Kuschynski thought and Bichot was able to pass again. Millar's plan to take the KOM seemed to hatch once he got caught by the peloton after he was dropped from the break. Correction: According to Millar, "...I decided to radio behind and get my team riding and drop back to the peloton. I was not sure if I could hold my lead in the last KOM and it was 26 km away and we had 2minutes 20seconds. So I decided it would be best to shut the break down and get points after having a rest in the bunch."

Saunier Duval sent some riders to the front to reel in the rest of the break before the final KOM. Auge was the last of the break to stay off the front and managed to survive until the Farthing Common KOM to briefly move into the polka dot jersey. Millar was able to retake the lead by taking second in the KOM while the rest of the peloton was busy reorganizing itself due to the McEwen/etc crash.

McEwen's and Cavendish's troubles made things a bit more interesting for the sprint. Lotto had to organize a chaseback for McEwen and were joined by about 20 other riders. Cavendish appeared caught out by himself and looked very angry as he endured wheel changes then a bike change. Cavendish ended up losing 3:37. This left just Quick Step and Lampre to drive the peloton towards the finish.

Argritubel's Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez was the first abandon of the Tour, apparently due to a crash. There were several crashes today. Lancaster (Milram), Zandio (Caisse d'Epargne), and Mercado (Agritubel) were among riders who crashed into a road island. There was also the big crash that put McEwen and Cavendish (T-Mobile) into trouble.

Links:

Course profile, Versus predictions, my predictions after the jump.

Tour de France '07 Prologue: London

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Cancellara did his world champion stripes proud. After Kloden set a shockingly fast time on the day that no one could beat, Cancellara came in a full 13 seconds faster -- the only rider to crack the nine-minute barrier. The is Cancellara's second Prologue win and turn in yellow -- TdF fans may remember Cancellara's tearful victory in the 2004 Tour Prologue when he raced for Fassa Bortolo.

The Great British Hopes Wiggins and Millar couldn't crack the podium. In post-race interviews, Millar seemed to be promising a stage win later on. Not all was good for CSC, either. American favorite Dave Zabriskie was all the way down in tenth place at 9:22 and O'Grady crashed on one of the final turns (redubbed "O'Grady Corner" by Liggett).

Discovery Channel will be happy as Gusev placed well enough to move into the young rider's jersey and Hincapie did America proud by finishing in third. Leipheimer had a respectable 9:30.

Astana should be even happier as Vino is the highest placed overall favorite in 7th (9:20) and Kloden showed amazing form that only Cancellara could trump.

  1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC 8.50 (53.7 km/h)
  2. Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 9.03
  3. George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel 9.13
  4. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Cofidis 9.13
  5. Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Discovery Channel 9.15

Links:

Live stage log after the jump.

Paris-Nice 2007

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After much battling between race organizers and the UCI, Paris-Nice finally went off as it should, keeping all happy except for Unibet.

David Millar nearly broke six-minutes with his 6:01 time, which is a promising result for his road towards re-earning the World TT Championship he lost as a result of his doping. Fans of the Millar Line will be pleased. Millar's result today clears the entire field of doping -- think of the money the Paris-Nice organizers could save with the testing.

David Millar rejected his wind-tunnel-determined TT position; Levi Leipheimer's new wind-tunnel-determined position finished 0:03 behind in sixth. Overall it was a tight grouping with the top five all within 2 seconds of Millar. Former Paris-Nice winner Bobby Julich finished just outside the top-ten at 0:06 back. Zabriskie finished 0:11 behind, so he appears to be telling the truth about his lighter winter training schedule designed for later-season peaking.

FYI: Race coverage on cycling.tv, including free low-bandwidth coverage

Vuelta Stage 13-17

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One advantage of not having to go to work today and having a TiVo is I got to catch up on a lot of stages from the Vuelta a Espana (unfortunately my TiVo lost stage 12, but the rest were plenty).

Stage 17:
After a disappointing Tour, Millar finally grabbed the stage victory that he's been seeking. He made a well-timed attack
- Millar grabs stage 17 at Vuelta
- Stage 17 Minute-by-Minute (velonews)
- Stage 17 Route Profile

Stage 16:
Cardenas' cherry picking tactics finally paid off, and he has the King of the Mountain jersey clinched as a reward, and a couple more enemies. This time he let Kelme's Sevilla and Valverde do the work for him and attacked in the final kilometer, surging past Mercado at the very end.

Heras and US Postal attack multiple times, but ONCE was able to close each gap with steady tempo work. Heras didn't escape until the final 5km, which didn't give him much road to put a whole lot of time on Nozal (Heras gained 53" on the race leader). He did, however, close the gap to second place Gonzalez de Galdeano, and is now six seconds away from a second place podium finish. Landis and Beltran did a good deal of work for Heras, as Hincapie went home to get ready for the World Championships.
- Cardenas grabs Vuelta win at Sierra Nevada
- Stage 16 Minute-by-Minute (velonews)
- Stage 16 Route Profile

Stage 15:
Today was supposed to be Heras' big day if he wanted to win the Vuelta. Having won the same stage last year by a minute and a half, hopes were up that he would put big time on Nozal. Instead, despite excellent, persistent attacks, Heras was only able to shake Nozal with 4km to go, and only gained 1'11" overall.

The mountain-top finish went to Valverde in a surprise finish. With teammate Sevilla helping him close in, Valverde was able to grab the race victory with less than half a kilometer to go, surprising both Cardenas and Heras who were leading the final attack up La Pandera. Cardenas is certainly becoming the hated man on the tour, as he continues to try and cherry pick a win. He sat on Heras' wheel and refused to do tempo work, despite Heras telling Cardenas that he wasn't interested in the win. If only Cardenas had put in a little bit of effort Valverde most likely wouldn't caught them in the final bend.

The other interesting news of the day was that Zabel was able to grab the points lead back from Petacchi. This will hopefully remain an interesting see-saw battle between the two sprinters.
- Nozal hangs on as Valverde steals a stage
- Stage 15 Minute-by-Minute (velonews)
- Stage 15 Route Profile

Stage 14:
Petacchi helped himself to another Vuelta victory, now bringing his total up to four. After falling back in the sprint to the finish, Hincapie and Lombardi sprinted ahead to try and grab the stage, but Petacchi surged back and took the exciting sprint. In other news, reigning champ Aitor Gonzalez took the easy route to Madrid and dropped out after 90km.
- Vuelta: Another milestone for Petacchi
- Stage 14 Minute-by-Minute (velonews)
- Stage 14 Route Profile

Stage 13:
David Millar had his thunder stolen by Nozal once again, as the rider in the golden jersey turned in his second time trial victory and most likely has sealed up his overall victory with his strong (and surprising) display. Heras had a good day for himself as well, as the climber lost little time overall.
- Nozal takes command at the Vuelta
- Stage 13 Minute-by-Minute (velonews)
- Stage 13 Route Profile

Stage 12:
Petacchi continues to have a fun Vuelta and great year overall, as he brings his Vuelta total to a hat trick. He also grabbed the points jersey from Zabel, as the two continue to trade the jersey back and forth.

US Postal had a great day, as they were able to set a high tempo and fracture the peloton on the open flats with high crosswinds. Fassa Bartolo was caught off guard, and Frigo and Aitor Gonzalez both got hit hard. Both will be hard pressed to have good overall finishes now.
- Petacchi gets No. 3; Postal takes advantage of the wind
- Stage 12 Minute-by-Minute (velonews)
- Stage 12 Route Profile

stage profile

photoVinokourov gets his first tour win but the real news from this stage was the crash. On the final descent Armstrong, Beloki, and others were bombing down in pursuit of Vinokourov, who was less than a minute ahead. The heat had actually melted the tar on the road and as Beloki headed into a minor right turn his tire blew out. His bike slid and Beloki hi-sided in the concrete hard right on his hip and right elbow. Armstrong, who was right on Beloki's wheel, dodged left into an open field, crossed to the other side of the switchback, swiftly dismounted and jumped down a drop-off, and then remounted to join the pursuit group. Armstrong's instincts were amazing to watch. It just goes to show that anything can happen to anyone, even a rider as good as Beloki. (video)

The other stories of the day were:

  • Jaksche attacking to get the virtual yellow before being pulled back (Jaksche got the most combative award)
  • the last category 2 climb stringing out the peloton with its steepness
  • David Millar launching attack but being caught then dropped by the peloton

Links