Results tagged “Rinaldo Nocentini” from spare cycles

Are we clear yet?

Disco Posse - (c) Ken Conley

It's Contador's team

Nocentini - (c) Ken ConleyBrice Feillu and Christophe Kern went 1/2 for France from the breakaway as the race transitioned from Spain to France with its stop in the tiny country of Andorra. Cancellara put on a good show of defense of his yellow jersey, but the writing was on the wall as the climb in Arcalis dragged on. No one probably predicted that another rider in the breakaway, Rinaldo Nocentini, would be the one to take it off his shoulders, but that's the rare promise that motivates a great breakaway.

It feels good to put the Astana leadership debate to rest, for now. Contador showed why he can win the Tour by putting in an explosive attack that none of the other GC contenders could chase down. He went so fast it looked like he was descending as he freewheeled around a switchback. Armstrong and Levi were loyal teammates, following the wheels and keeping themselves in a strong position in the GC. Overall, Astana did a great job setting the early tempo on the Arcali, controlling the field up until the moment of Contador's attack.

If there's any doubt that Astana is in the driver's seat, just look at the GC standings:

  1. Nocentini
  2. Contador 0.06
  3. Armstrong 0.08
  4. Leipheimer 0.39
Nocentini - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley
Mavic - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley
Lance Armstrong - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley
Breakaway - (c) Ken Conley Big Hair Superfan - (c) Ken Conley

More Stage 7 Photos

Nocentini was a surprise winner, beating out a break that included the likes of Christian Vande Velde, George Hincapie, Frank Schleck, and Chris Baldwin. With most of the teams represented in the break, Astana was content to set tempo and keep the break at a comfortable three-minute lead.

I don't have a arms-raised finish photo to share -- Roulsten really looked to have the sprint, so I focused in on him. By the time I saw Nocentini raise his arms the buffer on my camera was full. I wasn't the only one to bet on Roulsten and loose the finish photo. The finishing straight was especially wide and with Roulsten on the far right and Nocentini on the far left, you had to pick your horse.

I rode today with in Mavic 2, the support car that follows the breakaway. Unfortunately, Astana was intent on reeling in nearly every breakaway that went. Svein Tuft and Oscar Sevilla were among the riders denied multiple times by Astana. As it was, we only got to jump into the support slow with 1km to go on Millcreek Summit, which limited the shooting opportunities. I was still happy to get some shots of the descent, Baldwin and Vande Velde chasing on, and Big Hair Superfan.

More Stage 7 Photos