Results tagged “Stage 12” from spare cycles

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Stage 12: Cavendish x 3, Ricco idiot

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letour.jpgCavendish has more than established himself as the sprinter of now and future. Three stage wins in his first Tour de France is an amazing feat and there may be more to come. It was a messy setup for the sprint finish. No team could really hold the front. Columbia drove it until about 1k to go, then got swarmed by Milram, which got overtaken by Credit Agricole, which got overtaken by Quick Step. Cavendish was attentive throughout and surged to the front with his impressive acceleration. Poor sprinter Robbie Hunter, who lost Cooke today as well continuing Barloworld's streak of losses. Hunter was forced to grab whatever wheel he could.

The big news today was of course the loss of Stupido Ricco, who demonstrated that his poor judgment when he runs his mouth is as bad as his judgment otherwise. Also, it is too much to have two amazing mountain stages in a row. Saunier Duval became the first team to withdraw, which makes me wonder what they caught Ricco with. Perhaps it was inevitable: his idol is Pantani.

Today's break was Oroz, Dumoulin and Gerard, who seemed to dangle just off the front of the peloton forever. Stuart O'Grady did the final reel-in, but then switched into an interesting tactic. TV cameras showed Cadel Evans with nary a teammate in sight, so O'Grady moved back to the front with Schleck on his wheel. Evans was forced to take third wheel, at least until the sprint teams reasserted control. It's not a move that cost Evans much, except perhaps the sly insult at his team. It's a sprint stage, Silence-Lotto. There's gotta be one rider you have left that can watch after your yellow jersey rider.

Tour de France '07 Stage 12 Link Roundup

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Updates 7/21: Bob Martin's Stage 12 by the Numbers, Graham Watson: Time Will Tell, CyclingNews Roundup 2, CyclingNews Roundup, Fabian Wegmann Stage 12 Diary (translated from German), Vande Velde's View: The Motorcycle diaries, VeloNews Stage Notes: Astana on the rebound; Boonen California dreamin'

Updates 12:30-5PM: Cyclelicio.us Stage 12, Casey Gibson Stage 12 Photos, Graham Watson Stage 12 Photos, Gerolsteiner Stage 12, VeloNews Stage 12 Stats WorldCycling.tv: Tom Boonen Interview, WorldCycling.tv: Robbie Hunter Interview, WorldCycling.tv: Michael Rasmussen Interview Graham Watson audio report, Versus Stage 12 Diaries, Carmichael: Headwind Saved Boonen, Tour de PEZ: Let The Real Tour Begin!, SBS Stage 12 Video Podcast

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Boonen - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Steegmans lead out Boonen from the front and the rest of the field was stuck with a view of Boonen's rear end. Zabel stuck to Boonen's wheel like glue, which propelled him to second place just ahead of Robbie Hunter.

Breakaway - JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty ImagesTxurruka (Euskatel) and Fredrigo (Bouygues Telecom) put pressure on the peloton with a breakaway that went with over 130km to go. Many riders couldn't hold on as the peloton charged over the final climb and into headwinds. The peloton pushed its luck with the reel-in, but was able to catch the two riders just before the 1k kite.

Millar was unlucky with his breakaway attempt again as his earlier break was reeled in, making way for Txurruka and Fredrigo to go away.

Stage 12: Luchon - Carcassonne

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One, two, three, four times the charm -- Popovych attacked four times from the break. Four times Ballan and Freire gave chase, but Popovych had too much power. Discovery may have lost two riders today -- Savoldelli and Noval -- but today they looked a bit more like the team they were expected to be as they finally have a rider in the top ten again. The strategy for Discovery seemed fairly clear -- send their 'GC' riders into the breaks and hope for a win. Hincapie was in the first, Popovych covered the next and was rewarded with a stage win and 4:25 in the overall, which netted him tenth place by two seconds.

Freire had a decent day as well, as the intermediate sprint and third place got him 26 points while McEwen only got 15.

It was a long hot day, 99 degrees with a road temp of 122. The stage was long, windy, and just after yesterday's queen stage. The riders were tired, Phonak didn't want to spend too much energy chasing on a day like this, and the sprinters are still recovering from yesterday's climbs. In otherwords, this was a day for a break, and Discovery played it well.

Prediction check: * A breakaway, probably someone French. I jokingly guessed Horner * Actual: The break succeeded, but Horner finished in 150, 2 minutes behind the peloton, clearly still suffering