Results tagged “Paris-Nice” from spare cycles

Video of Farrar Crash

|

Chute Paris Nice 2008 FARRAR Tyler
by Maxio

WARNING: contains language often associated with bike crashes

Some folks managed to capture video of Tyler Farrar's crash at the Paris-Nice prologue (via Slipstream). The ToC was wet and wild, but at least we avoided slip-and-slide time trials. This doesn't rate up there with the fan-captured Brad Huff crash at ToM, but we all feel the pain nevertheless.

Paris-Nice Stage 5: Popo all the way

|

Popovych got in the early break (13-man break that included Zabriskie) and then attacked with about 40km to go. From there on out, it was Popo to the finish. He was in the virtual yellow jersey for some time on the road, but in the end he could only hold off the charging peloton by 0:14. The chase was difficult enough to only leave 50 riders in the main peloton.

There was no change in the overall as Rebellin and Contador finished with the same time. Discovery clearly has many weapons for putting pressure on Rebellin and they will start tomorrow will Contador 0:06 back and Leipheimer 0:50 back. With 16 riders within a minute of Rebellin, it could be interesting. Stage 6 has plenty of hills, but its a 20km run to the finish from the top of the final Cat 2 climb.

Discovery Channel got a well-earned victory to day with Alberto Contador -- their strongest rider at their Solvang training camp. Discovery did all of the work to chase down the early three-man break of Casar, Moinard and Muravyev and got them within striking distance.

The real fireworks began on the final, short-but-steep climb up to the airport of Mende, aka "montée Laurent Jalabert." The early attacks were contained, but eventually it was Contador, Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), Cadel Evans (Predictor), Tadej Valjavec (Lampre), and Frank Schleck (CSC), with David Lopez Garcia (Caisse) tacking on late. CSC was hoping for a chance at the overall with Schleck, but he was shelled from this group as Contador and Rebellin charged. Rebellin did his best to keep Contador in sight, but the steep grade was better suited for the Spanish rider. At the finish line approached and the grade decreased, Rebellin was able to put in a final charge, but Contador held him off by two seconds at the finish. Cadel Evans finished thirteen seconds back, putting him 0:35 back overall. Leipheimer came in 0:33 back.

Contador thought he would get the yellow jersey at the finish, but Rebellin was able to keep the lead by six seconds. Today's stage was billed as the most decisive for Paris-Nice and seconds are hard to come by in this early season race.

Paris-Nice 2007

|

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

Paris-Nice/ProTour olive branch?

|

Things are looking slightly better on the other side of the pond as CyclingNews is reporting that the UCI and ASO/RCS/Unipublic seem to have somehow hammered out temporary grievances long enough for Paris-Nice and the rest of the cycling season to go forward. There is a bit of a cloud over Unibet and Astana in that they get wild card invitations to the organizers events, with caveats:

"Without prejudicing their right to grant wild cards to all other teams of their choice, for the duration of this agreement ASO, RCS and Unipublic will examine in a positive spirit the granting of wild cards to the teams Astana and Unibet, in particular insofar as such decisions are not likely to expose or be likely to expose the organisers to legal consequences, of whatever nature they might be."

This clause seems to mostly target Unibet. Unibet's team has been in trouble as their jerseys run afoul of French laws prohibiting advertisements for gambling that compete with the French national lottery FD Jeux (coincidentally, also a cycling team).

The silliest bit of the whole deal to me is that ASO/RCS/Unipublic seem to have won the concession that they don't have to award the ProTour jersey at their events. I mean, they handed out awards for best port-a-potty at the Tour of California Solvang time trial -- is it really that hard to acknowledge the current ProTour leader (likely to be a fan favorite anyway)?

With things looking better over there, hopefully so miracles will start happening in the US to rescue the US Open Cycling Championships and Tour de Georgia, which are in a serious funding shortfall. The US Cycling Open in particular lost is executive director with only six weeks to go. As much as I wanted to judge the state of US cycling from the Tour of California, it may just be in an oasis in the current turmoil.

Update: slight edits and note about jersey presentation

Update 2: the US Open Cycling Championships have named a new executive director. Also, Unibet is not happy.

Bobby Julich Warming UpBobby Julich looked on fire again when he won the Paris-Nice prologue wearing the #1 for his victory last year (OLN video clips from the prologue). From his interviews, it seems though that he didn't want to come out of the blocks as hot as he did last year (Paris-Nice, Criterium International and Tour of the Benelux wins) and instead is focusing on hitting the sweet spot of his form come Giro time in order to pull Basso over the mountains.

Julich quickly lost his lead to Boonen, who is on fire this year with his World Champion stripes on and has taken a hat-trick of victories at Paris-Nice so far. Boonen lost his lead to Landis, who is having the season that Julich did last year. Landis pulled Patxi Xabier all the way to the finish line of stage 3 and was poached for the victory, but he got the overall lead that he was looking for. After winning the Tour of California, Landis is now in position to win Paris-Nice, assuming he can hold off any final charges in the mountains. Much like the Tour of California, there are no mountiantop finishes, but Landis' Phonak team is also still having trouble staying close to Landis and protect him. I'm looking forward to OLN's coverage on the 12th and 13th to see how this all turns out.

Julich doesn't seem too disappointed to be out of contention at Paris-Nice, but his CSC teammates aren't doing so well. Four CSC riders have crashed out of races this week: Vande Velde (shoulder), Breschel (two broken vertebrae), O'Grady (broken collarbone and five ribs), and Bak. It looks like we may have to wait until a little later in the season to see CSC blowing up the scoreboard.

Update: neglected to include Lars Bak's crash at Tirreno-Adriatico that also took out Bettini.

Update 2: Bobby Julich crashed in stage 6 of Paris-Nice and didn't start the final day. Zabriskie also abandoned after complaining of pain in his achilles tendon. Sounds like the CSC infirmary is full this week. At least Cancellara pulled off a time trial victory at Tirreno-Adriatico.