Results tagged “Richard Virenque” from spare cycles

Ascendency: Five in a Row

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The first was "The Comeback," the second was "The Confirmation." No one seems to have a good term for the third or fourth (Armstrong called the fourth "The Year of the Team;" I have a cool t-shirt that says "4-titude"). I prefer to call this year "The Ascendency" b/c he's finally climbed the ranks to join Indurain, Merckx, Hinault, and Anquetil as the elite set of tour riders that have one five tours. Also, he and Indurain are the only riders to have the dominant ability to win five years in a row.

This year has also set the stage for the future of Tyler Hamilton and Alexandre Vinokourov. Both will certainly figure in future TdF battles. Euskatel, with Mayo and Zubeldia, should also be a fun team to watch in the coming tours. Finally, let's hope that this year's performance that Ullrich will continue to come to play in TdF's and have less written about him in the offseason.

In other tour news: * Hamilton's efforts helped secure CSC's team win over Ibanesto.com. * Cooke beat out McEwen on the line to take the green jersey * Virenque kept his king of the mountains with his dominant lead of 137pts.
* Menchov also had a dominant lead in the youth jersey competition with a gap of 42'29". * In the jersey no one cares about, O'Grady gets to don the "Centenaire" jersey for this year's 100th Tour de France

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

lance armstrong photo by graham watsonVirenque gets to finish with two jerseys on his shoulders, which is a nice gift for his countrymen. He gunned through the stage and picked up both the Maillot Jeune (02' 37" in front of Armstrong overall) and the King of the Mountain.

Today was most interesting for me in who didn't finish, namely Petacchi who dropped out very early in the race after winning four of the previous six stages. With Petacchi dropping out so early I wish that they had let Cipo into the race so that the two sprinters could have duked it out. Also interesting was Botero and Simoni being broken on the climb, and Tyler Hamilton (broken collarbone) NOT being broken and gunning through.