Results tagged “Iban Mayo” from spare cycles

*Not* another doper: Mayo

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Update: Mayo's long delayed B-sample was negative and there were admissions of error in the first sample. Hmm, I guess this is why test results should remain confidential until confirmed and people like me should be more careful with headlines.

Not a whole lot of details yet, but CyclingNews reports:

Iban Mayo tested positive for EPO on the Tour de France's rest day, July 24, it was announced Monday night. His team Saunier Duval was informed of the positive test by the UCI and immediately suspended the rider.

Rasmussen in Yellow - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

They don't make yellow jerseys small enough for Rasmussen. Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

The Tour de France finally got some fireworks in the overall standings. Rasmussen showed why he wears the polka dots so much as he cranked over the Cat 1 climbs, dropped all who sat on his wheel, and took the stage win 2:47 over the nearest rider, Iban Mayo. Rasmussen took the triple polka-yellow-win as he racked up big KOM points and time gains on this stage.

Moreau - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Valverde - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Moreau almost single-handedly led a group of overall contenders (Valverde, Evans, Schleck, Kashechkin) up the road to chase Michael Rasmussen. Although they had no chance of catching Chicken Legs, they put in half a minute or more on some top contenders: 0:28 to Contador, 0:32 to Sastre and Menchov, 0:46 to Leipheimer, and 1:16 on Kloden and Vinokourov. They probably would have done better if it weren't for the fact that the other riders were content to jump on Moreau's wheel every time he tried to attack. Moreau was visibly frustrated as he gestured for Evans to pull through. On a day that saw the losses of three Aussies -- O'Grady, Rogers, and McEwen -- I can't say that Evans gave fans too much hope that he'll learn to attack this Tour. Valverde eventually pipped the group on the line by outsprinting them for a 1-second gap, but it was Mayo who was the only rider strong enough to launch an attack that wasn't pulled back. With a little more cohesion they could have put in bigger time gains and they may come to regret the energy they expended.

It was a day that the backup leaders/lieutenants shined: Rasmussen, who took yellow and polka dots while Menchov lost time; Kasheckin, who finished the top contenders; Kloden, who limited Vino's losses; Contador who still finish ahead of Leipheimer despite having a mechanical; and Schleck, who road the aggressive race for CSC today.

Plenty of teams missed their chance to shine today:

Discovery: I thought Discovery had its tactics sorted out as they managed to get both Hincapie and Paulinho up the road in a break, but those riders were quickly shot off the back on the final climb of the Tignes. Mechanical problems then upset their next move. Discovery then sent Contador and Popovych up the road and Popo did a good job of sacrificing himself to raise the pace for Contador. But notably absent from any Discovery moves was Levi Leipheimer. Contador was doing well and matching the moves of the Moreau group until a tire change forced him back into the Astana/Leipheimer group. Leipheimer sat on the wheels of the Astana train, Sastre, and Menchov, but couldn't follow when Contador decided to try and bridge back up to the Moreau group. Sastre and Menchov did and limited their losses to Rasmussen, Evans, Moreau, Valvderde, and Schleck. Discovery's plan had to been to have Levi ride conservatively and let Popo and Contador be aggressive, but mechanicals ruined Contador's efforts and Levi was a bit too conservative -- he's still waiting for the Pyrenees. As Levi himself said, he had an "okay day" -- what would have made a good day would be if he was able to follow Sastre and Menchov. Nevertheless, losing less than a minute on a mountain stage isn't much to worry about yet.

O'Grady - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
CSC: Schleck was a bright spot as their shadow leader showed good strength, finishing with the Valverde/Moreau/Evans group. Sastre rode conservatively, though a late effort with Menchov to follow Contador limited his losses. Sastre can't afford to lose much time in the mountains given his lacking time trial abilities, but perhaps is saving up. Harder to stomach for CSC was the loss of O'Grady, who crashed out of the Tour and was taken off in a stretcher with some pretty bad injuries. Cuesta also crashed, though appeared fine.

Astana: Astana's day was a mixed bag. Kashechkin was their sole rider who survived their stage 5 carnage and he had to carry the banner for Astana all by himself today. Kashechkin got into the Moreau group and looked strong pulling back Moreau's attacks. Back with the rest of the team things were not as well. Astana initially found itself at the front pulling for Vinokourov, but Vino was cracked when Contador launched his attack to jump back up. Kloden had to drop back to pace the wounded warrior back. In all of Vino's interviews, he can barely walk, so his efforts have nevertheless been amazing.

T-Mobile: They certainly had the worst day. All seemed promising as Michael Rogers was one of the few riders able to get onto Michael Rasmussen's wheel. Then a run-in with a guard rail and Caisse's Arroyo put him into some hurt. Rogers bridged back up, but his injuries were too much and eventually he was falling backwards, until he had to abandon into the team car. Focus shifted to Gerdemann, who rode valiantly to stay with the overall contenders as long as possible, but he still fell into second at 0:43 behind Rasmussen. At least he keeps the white jersey. Things got worse for T-Mobile after the race when Sinkewitz collided with a spectator and may be out of the Tour. Cavendish was yet-another abandon. Even though this last one was planned, it means the T-Mobile bus will be even more empty.

Links:

Giro Stage 18&19: 4x4

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Alessandro Petacchi easily took his fourth win on Stage 18 -- it helps when all the other sprinters have abandoned -- and Iban Mayo soloed through the rain for Saunier Duval's fourth win by the fourth different rider (Piepoli, Ricco, Simoni). PezCyclingNews didn't give Di Luca their #1 pick, but you do have to credit them for having this to say about Saunier Duval pre-Giro:

Saunier Duval Should Be The Team Of The Race Gilberto Simoni is the unquestioned leader of the Saunier Duval squad, but they're bringing an explosive combination of riders that should make for some most excellent racing.

Leonardo Piepoli returns to the Giro after setting the mountains on fire last year. Simoni and Piepoli alone were fireworks on the road, but it just gets better with the addition of this year's breakout success, Riccardo Ricco. I can't wait to see the three of them light up the slopes of the mountains all over Italy. And those are just the three sure-things - heaven help us if the Iban Mayo of old returns. I'm not holding my breath on Mayo, but just think of the possibilities...

Tomorrow's time trial looks to be interesting. Danilo Di Luca looks to have things sewn up but a rainy course has a way of mixing things up. I also look forward to seeing if Dave Zabriskie can deliver on another Giro TT win. With Team CSC losing MAN as a sponsor, they could badly use a win right now.

(I just got back from Comic-Con this morning - which I'll have plenty of posts from. Trusty TiVo recorded the TdF for me while I was gone, but I've only had time to catch up on the Individual TT and this morning's Stage 15)

stage profile

photoStage 15 was simply awesome. If you thought the attacks on Stage 8 had drama, this morning's stage had all of that and then some.

The drama first started on the Col du Tourmalet (site of last year's Armstrong-Heras-Beloki train). Ullrich attacked 3/4 of the way up, but Armstrong was able to contain the attack. However, damage was being done to Vinokourov who was dropped and did not catch back up until Luz-Ardiden. With neither able to assert an advantage, Armstrong and Ullrich both waited for their teammates to return to the group for the final ascent.

They didn't get to use their teammates for too long as Mayo launched an attack which Armstrong caught up with and continued. Vinokourov was dropped again and wouldn't recover. And then came the watercooler moment of the ascent: Armstrong was leading the attack with Mayo on his back wheel. As he came around a turn, a fan's musette caught his right brake lever and dropped the bike to the group, with Mayo falling on top. CheChu led Armstrong back into the chase group, and Ullrich and Hamilton slowed the chase group to wait for Armstrong's return. As Armstrong bridged back up to the chase group his right foot slipped out of the pedal, making everyone wonder what sort of damage had been done to his bike.

However, rather than pause to switch bikes, Armstrong caught up to the chase group and then launched the final attack of the day, leaving Ullrich unable to respond. Armstrong caught up to Chavanel, gave him a respectful pat on the back, and then continued his climb to the finish line on Luz-Ardiden. Armstrong finally gets his individual stage win of the tour, and on a stage that people hoped he would leave his mark on.

Congrats to Chavanel who dominated the mountains today, but was caught in the final kilometers of Luz-Ardiden.

stage profile

I didn't get to watch this one as my TiVo didn't pick it up, but here's what I gather from the various summaries out there:

  • US Postal put Spanish teammate Manuel Beltran up front in a breakaway. Beltran even got to be the virtual leader of the tour on the stage 14 course that briefly winds into Spain
  • Vinokourov and Mayo took advantage of the Armstrong/Ullrich competition to make big time gains, especially Vinokourov who snagged 43" to move 18" behind Armstrong in the GC. Ullrich and Armstrong worked together on the descent to try and chase the lead group.
  • Big-mouth-no-game rider Simoni got a stage win, which is a small redemption for his pre-tour statements.
  • Virenque rode up front (2nd place finish) and has almost closed up the King of the Mountains competition.

Links

stage profile

Today was an awesome race to watch:

  • Beltran leading a blazing acceleration at the very base of Alpe d'Huez causing Ullrich (now 2'10" behind Armstrong in the GC) and Virenque to be dropped
  • Iban Mayo blazing up Alpe d'Huez looking faster than I do on the flats and landing himself 1'10 (3rd) in the GC
  • Tyler "Superman" Hamilton staying with Lance Armstrong the entire way up and evening launching multiple attacks. He now sits 6th in the GC at 1'52"
  • Beloki launching multiple attacks and getting reeled in. He's still in attacking distance for the Pyreness at 0'40" back (2nd) in the GC.
  • Heras pulling himself back into Armstrong's group to help control the tempo
  • Armstrong sprinting for the third place time bonus showing that he was still in control
  • At the end of the race Armstrong claiming that his brake was rubbing him back wheel for the first 200km. Whatever the reason, he admits it wasn't a "great day," though by the yellow jersey on his shoulders it was certainly a good result.

I'm really looking forward to the individual time trial a couple of days as well as the finish at Luz-Ardiden in Stage 15.