Results tagged “Pau” from spare cycles

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DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images

Bennati takes Lampre's first stage win as the breakaway couldn't shake the sprinter from their midst. Fothen scored a good second-place victory for Gerolsteiner as he led out the final sprint. Voigt attempted to jump for the win with a couple miles to go, but Bennati nullified his effort and he seemed to shake his head in the final mile as if to say that was all that was left in the legs.

Boonen had little trouble taking the field sprint to solidify his green jersey lead.

Related: * Rasmussen calls ex-boss 'mad,' denies being in Italy * European press writes Tour's obituary

Stage 10: Cambo-les-Bains - Pau

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Mercado takes a stage win over Dessel on a long break of attrition. What was originally a 13-man break became a battle between Mercado and Dessel as the two managed to drop the rest of the break going over the massive Col du Soudet. Five riders caught back on in the runup to the Col du Marie Blanc, but Mercado and Dessel dropped them once more and held onto the finish. As they approached the line, Dessel had already secured his new KOM and yellow jerseys, but he wanted it all -- overall, mountain, and stage. Mercado asked Dessel to let him have the win, Dessel said no, so Mercado decided to sit on Dessel's wheel in the final kilometers. Dessel still made it a go in the final sprint and was just barely beat to the line. The smartest move they made on the day was probably not allowing Landaluze to join their break. Landaluze managed to get within ten seconds of latching onto their break, but they pushed away from him and kept the spoils to themselves. Dessel is now the fifth rider to wear yellow this Tour in just ten stages, and I'm betting on that jersey passing to someone else's shoulders tomorrow. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

Bennati took the field sprint just over Zabel for some more points in the green jersey competition. Bennati also made it into the break earlier in the day and took an intermediate sprint for more points.

The mountains are finally here, but this wasn't a stage designed to be decisive in the overall competition. The long run-in to the finish meant that none of the overall contenders were going to waste too much energy attacking, and tomorrow's very difficult stage means that everyone wants to save as much energy as possible. The result was a breakaway that the peloton barely gave chase to -- it held about a ten minute lead nearly the whole day that was only pulled back to seven-and-a-half minutes by day's end. T-Mobile set tempo most of the day but probably didn't want to given their seven-man status, and we may have seen some of the effect of the departure of the Tour boss, Lance Armstrong: there's no clear leader or favorite in the peloton anymore, so every team is doing its best to pretend that it doesn't have to do work, that it doesn't have a clear leader. Hopefully this will sort itself out tomorrow, or else the breakaways will have a huge advantage in the mountains.

Seventy-three riders made the selection in the main peloton, which doesn't whittle things down too much. Cunego and Levi had been dropped but reintegrated, as was Simoni, but Simoni had a flat tire to blame Zabriskie barely held on, but he's probably working for Sastre. The only real surprise was how bad Mayo did -- he's not really an overall favorite anymore, but now it's doubtful that he'll even do well in the mountain stages to come. Mayo was dropped early and finished with the likes of McEwen.

Prediction check: * My prediction: Sprinters win, Freire first, Zabel second, Hincapie third, Gonchar still in yellow * Actual: Minus the breakaway, I might have actually done quite well :). Zabel finished second in the field sprint behind Bennati, but with the breakaway this put Zabel in 9th place. Gonchar lost the yellow to Dessel. Freire made the first selection over to the Col du Soudet but got dropped on the Col du Marie Blanc.

Stage 17: Pau-Revel

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(AP Photo/Ena/Trovati/Trovati)

A great Tour for Team Discovery as another Armstrong teammate, Paolo Savoldelli, gets a stage win after getting into a very large breakaway and attacking on the last small climb. That attack whittled the breakaway down to four riders. Arvesen attacked with a little over a kilometer to go and Savoldelli chased him down, passing him just before the finish line.

Team Discovery/USPS must be trying to make up for the dearth of non-Armstrong stage victories in the past as lieutenant Hincapie got Stage 15 and now Giro winner Savoldelli gets Stage 17. Armstrong still has no stage victory for himself this Tour, but there's always the Stage 20 time trial.

Team Disco has had plenty of success this Tour and at the end of Stage 17 they now are: * First in the General Classification (Armstrong) * First in the Young Rider Classification (Popovych) * First in the Team Classification * Three stage victories (Team Time Trial, Hincapie, Savoldelli)

Their lead in the team classification is slim (37 seconds over T-Mobile), and it will be largely dependent on the Stage 20 time trial, which T-Mobile will have to race without Kloden (abandoned due to wrist injury).

Stage 16: Mourenx - Pau

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arm pereiro finish

(AP Photo/Ena/Edme/Trovati)

Pereiro loudly complained about Hincapie's victory yesterday -- Hincapie had sat on Pereiro's wheel on the final climb and came around at the end to take the victory. That was uphill, where drafting doesn't matter as much.

Today, Pereiro and two other riders sat on Evans wheel on a flat stage sprint, letting Evans pull for the final 5k or so. In the final sprint Pereiro jumped around Evans' wheel and took the stage victory. Evans did all the work because he wanted to jump into the top ten in the overall standings, so he had no time to lose time and play games.

This is not to say Pereiro didn't deserve to win today -- he more than earned this finish after riding himself into the "Most Aggressive Rider" designation and doing his work for teammates Botero and Landis. He also nearly soloed his way to victory on this stage but was stopped short by a rock in his wheel that forced him to wait for repairs. Perhaps he should be more careful, though, about what he chooses to complain about, lest people like me make these snarky comparisons.

Despite not getting the stage victory, it was a big day for Evans who climbed all the way into seventh place, with Landis and Vino right behind him. It should make for a good time trial performance by all three. The Tour from here on out is about the sprinters green jersey competition and a time trial to determine who places in the Top Ten, or rather, in 2nd-10th place, as everyone has long conceded that Armstrong is The Boss. Rasmussen is probably in the toughest spot right now: he's riding in a podium position right now (3rd), but sitting in 4th place in Jan Ullrich who can tear the cranks off his bike when it comes to the time trial. Rasmussen has already accomplished all of his goals for this Tour -- King of the Mountains and a stage win -- but those suprise accomplishments are always welcome.

Stage profile and my stage log in the extended.

Tour de France Stage 16: Pau-Bayonne

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stage profile

Hamilton Finish PhotoToday was Super Hamilton's day. After the peloton split and Hamilton fell into the back group, five of his teammates came back and bridged him back to the peloton.

With about 140 kilometers to go in the race Hamilton launched went off the front of the peloton to chase down the lead group. His teammate Sorenson, who up in the lead group fell back to bridge Hamilton into the lead group.

Hamilton joined the lead group on the first big climb (Col du Soudet) and never looked back. With Sorenson helping him along he was able to drop the other riders on the second big climb. He broke out a 5 minute lead on the peloton with about 30 kilometers to go, at which point he pretty much had the win sealed up. Despite possibly needing the seconds for the GC, he took the time to point at his team manager, Bjarne Riis, shake hands, and then cross the finish line. Armstrong even came up and gave him a hug as headed into the trailer to change for the podium.