Results tagged “Stage 1” from spare cycles

ToC 2010 Stage 1: Cavendish

Stage 1 Mark Cavendish Wins - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Stage 1 goes to Mark Cavendish, who avoided the spills in the finishing circuits to easily beat the remaining sprinters. My galleries will be going up on Road Bike Action and I'm keeping a sparser collection here until I have time to put together fuller galleries.

Congrats to Jim, who wins the first of the Liz Hatch DVDs.

Contest note: you can lock-in your predictions whenever you want. I think Jim happened to have a very good prediction that I'm surprised hasn't been used for future stages...

Golden Gate Bridge - (c) Ken Conley
1k to go - (c) Ken Conley
Thomas Peterson - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Stage 2 Photo Gallery

It seems that Mother Nature was intent on compressing an entire California winter into a single day. We saw near-freezing cold rain, sunshine, wind, and even brief hail. On TV it just looks like normal rain, but this is my-fingers-don't-work sort of rain and, my-camera-won't-work sort of rain. Rain blew directly into my camera while shooting the Golden Gate Bridge -- I managed to squeeze off three shots before rain drops started blurring out riders and bridge suspension. Tunitas Creek was coated in cold fog, rain -- and yet tons of Bay Area riders rode up to line the climb. I was hoping to catch the riders at Bonny Doon but mudslide repair took out a lane of Highway 17 into Santa Cruz and I shot from the top of a bike rental shop 1 kilometer from the finish instead. Thankfully there was finally sunshine in Santa Cruz; I felt warm for the first time this Tour of California.

Yesterday was bad enough that my 30D is still non-functional. Whenever I turn it on, the shutter immediately starts clicking and never stops. I'm hoping for recovery by tomorrow. Big thanks goes to Mario of Vero, who lent me a camera body in lieu of my ToC-killed one.

Update: the 30D lives!

Stage 2 Photo Gallery

Francisco Mancebo - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley
Francisco Mancebo - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Tour of California Stage 1 Photo Gallery

Usually when you go off the front in terrible weather and get caught by two riders who bridged on the finishing circuits, you're toast. But Francisco Mancebo was all kinds of tough today and outjumped those who tried to take his victory, single-handedly delivering Rock Racing perhaps its greatest victory (only Hamilton's championship can compare).

The rain was equally tough, doing its best to destroy my camera equipment. As I dry it out and hope that it still functions tomorrow, I'll continue to post photos, including from the women's criterium that Columbia's Emilia Fahlin took in the breakaway sprint.

Tour of California Stage 1 Photo Gallery

Tour de France '08 Stage 1 Link Roundup


letour.jpgI'm hastily writing some software to do the link roundup for me, so this is hopefully the last of the hand-made roundups. I flew in this morning at 9AM, so today will be slightly less attentive.

Versus Highlight Video:

SAAB Fly to the Finish Codes: SAAB, Brittany

Stage Summaries








letour.jpgI'd like to pretend that my Valverde overall prediction last night somehow applied to the results of today's stage, but the fact is that I hardly expected the GC contenders to come and play today. Valverde's win today had little to do with time gains as he was already sitting up and celebrating far before the line. Instead, it was a mental strike at Cadel Evans and the rest of the GC field. I worried that the lack of a Prologue would leave less room to make a statement about form, but there are already three distinct groupings in the standings: Valverde up top, Evans, Kirchen, Ricco, and Cobo one second back, and Sastre, Menchov, Sanchez, and Cunego seven seconds back. Poor Soler, who crashed and then had his chase slowed down by poor turning. His sights will be readjusted onto the polka dot mountain jersey now that he lost 3'04" today.

On a snotty note: those Columbia jerseys suck -- you can hardly tell if it's a Milram or Columbia train up front, and it's even worse when you have Erik Zabel riding in the Columbia train. I thought I didn't like the High Road jerseys, but the legion of the light blues does it.

Stage 1: More Photos

Rock Racing - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Sausalito - (c) Ken Conley

Bjarne Riis - (c) Ken Conley Paolo Bettini - (c) Ken Conley Michael Ball - (c) Ken Conley Peloton - (c) Ken Conley Levi Leipheimer - (c) Ken Conley Fabian Cancellara - (c) Ken Conley JJ Haedo - (c) Ken Conley Henrich Haussler - (c) Ken Conley Gerald Ciolek - (c) Ken Conley Jackson Stewart - (c) Ken Conley

What happened to Zabriskie?


Just noticed this in the Stage 1 results:

184 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC 2.27

Also caught behind the peloton were Cavendish, Herve, Vansevenant, and Lancaster, as well as the breakaway riders Auge and Kuchynski.

update according to VeloNews, "Just a handful of seconds before Cavendish, US TT champ Dave Zabriskie (CSC) crossed the finish line in 184th, 2'27" back as the American dropped off the pace in the final kilometres after his hard tempo work on the front today for his teammate Cancellara."

update 2: "To set the record straight - I am not here for the GC," Zabriskie told VeloNews. "I don't know why people haven't realized that. If I soft pedal for the last few kilometers to save my legs to help Carlos Sastre later in the mountains, that's because I am here to work for the team...I am tranquilo. I wish everyone else would relax a little bit.

Tour de France '07 Stage 1 Link Roundup




Stage Summaries/Reports:




An amazing sprint by Robbie McEwen for the win. McEwen had got caught up in a crash with 20km to go and had to spend the next 15km chasing back with the help of his teammates. McEwen was nowhere to be seen as Quick Step lead the peloton towards the last mile. Milram took over the sprint from Quick Step and had two riders to leadout Zabel. Boonen glued himself to Zabel's wheel, but they quickly found their leadout swamped as Robbie Hunter stirred things up. Hunter jumped early to the right with Discovery's Vaitkus just behind. Hunter ran out of gas and sat up just as McEwen accelerated out of nowhere around the outside of the pack and shot past ten+ riders. Boonen tried to catch McEwen's wheel but McEwen was accelerating too fast -- McEwen by at least a bike length ( video stills). Hushovd was able to jump off Boonen's wheel to take second.

McEwen fans will worry that this is his last of this year's Tour as McEwen's wrist is questionable: "When it happens you're not really thinking too much about it, you get back on your bike, you don't feel anything..But now I'm starting to feel the pain, in my hand, my wrist and my knee. It was a great day for me, but now I'm starting to get a bit worried for the rest of the Tour."

Today's race started across the famous London Tower Bridge. The early story was all about David Millar, who wanted to put on a show while the race was still on his soil. He helped launched an early break and then managed to drop the rest of the riders. He was eventually chased down by four riders from that break: Auge (Cofidis), Kuschynski (Liquigas), Grivoko (Milram), and Bichot (Agritubel). The break extended its lead to over 6 minutes with 90k to go. Along the way Millar picked up two early intermediate sprints, but it wasn't the green jersey he was going for: he was thinking of polka dots.

At first it wasn't clear what Millar was shooting for and I'm not sure he did either: "So today I thought, ‘You know what, I'm just going to go on a suicide mission.' And it ended up being productive, which is a real bonus." Millar didn't bother contesting the Goudhurst Hill KOM. Bichot put in an attack early up the climb-- it looked like he mistimed it as he was caught by Kuschynski, but the Cat 4 climb was longer than Kuschynski thought and Bichot was able to pass again. Millar's plan to take the KOM seemed to hatch once he got caught by the peloton after he was dropped from the break. Correction: According to Millar, "...I decided to radio behind and get my team riding and drop back to the peloton. I was not sure if I could hold my lead in the last KOM and it was 26 km away and we had 2minutes 20seconds. So I decided it would be best to shut the break down and get points after having a rest in the bunch."

Saunier Duval sent some riders to the front to reel in the rest of the break before the final KOM. Auge was the last of the break to stay off the front and managed to survive until the Farthing Common KOM to briefly move into the polka dot jersey. Millar was able to retake the lead by taking second in the KOM while the rest of the peloton was busy reorganizing itself due to the McEwen/etc crash.

McEwen's and Cavendish's troubles made things a bit more interesting for the sprint. Lotto had to organize a chaseback for McEwen and were joined by about 20 other riders. Cavendish appeared caught out by himself and looked very angry as he endured wheel changes then a bike change. Cavendish ended up losing 3:37. This left just Quick Step and Lampre to drive the peloton towards the finish.

Argritubel's Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez was the first abandon of the Tour, apparently due to a crash. There were several crashes today. Lancaster (Milram), Zandio (Caisse d'Epargne), and Mercado (Agritubel) were among riders who crashed into a road island. There was also the big crash that put McEwen and Cavendish (T-Mobile) into trouble.


Course profile, Versus predictions, my predictions after the jump.

Stage 1: Strasbourg - Strasbourg


Jimmy Caspar took advantage of the favorites marking each other to sprint around for the finish. Boonen came to the front and looked over his shoulder at McEwen, Zabel, and Hushovd on his wheel. In the meantime, Caspar came flying around Boonen's left and there was little Boonen and the others could do to hold it. Caspar got the stage win and the green jersey as a result, which should make for great celebrations in France right now -- a double win, really, given their World Cup victory over Brazil.

The biggest prize on the day went George Hincapie, who snuck in an attack at the final sprint point to take 2 bonus seconds, which was enough to take back the yellow jersey from Thor Hushovd. This is Hincapie's first ever yellow jersey, which has to feel sweet after helping Lance put on so many and after narrowly missing out on getting one yesterday. Hincapie's lead on Hushovd and Boonen is very narrow, especially with a week of sprint stages still left, but we shall see how Discovery chooses to defend it. It does appear that Discovery wants to attack this race from start to finish, which should make for some exciting racing to come.

There was a long seven-man breakaway during the stage that didn't lead to the stage win, but Fabian Wegmann managed to get himself the first KOM jersey by winning the sprint up the baby climb on the day.

Hushovd had the worst day of the bunch: in addition to losing his yellow jersey lead, he arm made contact with a spectator's banner as he raced up the right side. He was seen bleeding quite a bit at race's end, but according to his team he will be alright.

Prediction check: * My prediction: Boonen 1st, McEwen 2nd * Actual: Caspar 1st, McEwen 2nd, Boonen 13th


stage1.z.jpg stage1.z.jpg stage1.z.jpg

keyhole.stage1.c.jpgThe opening stage may not matter too much in the long run in terms of time, but in terms of gamesmanship, it's all about showing who's on form and who's not. Riders often hold back on their performances in the races leading up to the Tour, relying on them for training instead. Armstrong, for example, rode the 2005 Tour de Georgia in support of Tom Danielson and he made no serious attempt at the win in the Dauphine. Ivan Basso hasn't been seen in a race since the Giro, so his condition was an even bigger unknown. A strong performance by one of the contenders, namely Armstrong, can easily demoralize the rest of the field and cause them to shift their goals. This year's Tour, in particular, offered a bigger chance than usual to make a big statement. While most Tours start with a short 5-10km prologue, where the end-of-day time gaps are small, this year starts with a mini time trial of 19km, which even allows for the chance the a rider could wear the yellow jersey from start to finish.

So what were today's statements?

photoThe opening time trial was a great win for American cycling: Dave Zabriskie, who started too early in the day to even be featured on TV, set a fast mark that most of the field couldn't even get within a minute of. One exception was Lance Armstrong, who finished two seconds back and at this point already looks set to win his seventh Tour de France. Zabriskie, while not contending for the overall, earned the special distinction of having won a stage in all three grand tours (Tour, Giro, Vuelta) -- all in the past year.

Ullrich started a minute ahead of Armstrong, but things stated to look bad for Armstrong's rival when the referee started pulling away Ullrich's support car to make room for Armstrong's advance. Armstrong caught sight of Ullrich around the first time check and then easily caught and passed him. Despite having the fastest time at the second time check, Armstrong wasn't able to win the stage, so he loses his chance at making history by wearing yellow from start to finish. However, Armstrong will go into Stage 2 with a 1'06" lead on Ullrich and a 1'24" on Basso. Although Ullrich ceded less time than Basso, it had to be the most demoralizing to him as he watched Armstrong easily zoom past him.

Of Armstrong's big rivals, Vino looks the best at only 0'51" back. Given this performance, future stages may have Ullrich working for Vino.

Another American with a big day was George Hincapie. He stayed on form from his Dauphine time trial win and came in 4th, 0'57" back of Zabriskie. Discovery Channel overall did very well, with four riders finishing in the top 20 (even their 'climber' CheChu Rubiera). CSC also did well with four riders in the top 20, but their top man Basso was #20.

  1. Zabriskie David, CSC, USA
  2. Armstrong Lance, Discovery, USA 0'02"
  3. Vinokourov Alexandre, T-Mobile, KAZ 0'53"
  4. Hincapie George, Discovery, USA 0'57"
  5. Bodrogi Laszlo, Credit Agricole, HUN 0'59"

Stage profile and my live stage log from the stage are in the extended.

Stage 1: Liege-Charleroi


07-04-04.stage1 profile

Stage 1 was an ugly stage, not ugly in the way last year gave us a spectacular crash on the finish line, but ugly in the constant, crash here, crash there, lots of rain-slicked roads sense. Many riders were wearing torn shorts and riding spare bikes by the end of this race, and even Hamilton managed to have a crash of his own, though he recovered immediately. Eisel got the award for most spectacular crash on camera, as he tapped the wheel of the rider in front of him while he was talking with manager in the team car. He managed to do a somersault on the pavement, spilling his team radio and other goodies out on the roadway.

Piil was part of a two-man breakaway, and perhaps he was hoping for a repeat of his breakaway from last year's tour, but the day was not ugly enough to cause that sort of mistake from the peloton.

What surprised me most about this stage was the finish. I was expecting the typical, Fassa Bortolo leadout that was so dominant in this year's Giro, but the leadout was broken apart, with Petacchi boxed in. Jaan Kirsipuu edged out an accelerating McEwen to add another stage victory to his belt (O'Grady and Cipollini had crashed late in the race). Perhaps the riders aren't going to let Petacchi get his stage victories as easily this year?

stage profile

The Tour de France started yesterday with today being the first real stage (Saint-Denis/Montgeron - Meaux). It sounds like it was a doozy. Alessandro Petacchi took the sprint but plenty of top contenders crashed behind. Armstrong crashed with a bunch of other bikers but appears fine. Tyler Hamilton, unfortunately, is not, so we won't get to see him try to challenge his former boss. I'm currently missing all of this, so I think I'm gonna go to Circuit City tomorrow and get me a DirectTiVo to supplement my basic cable TiVo, as American sports bars simply don't appreciate the Tour de France (nor the fact that it's at 7 in the morning).