Results tagged “Stage 7” from spare cycles

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letour.jpgOn a hard, windy, peloton-fracturing day, Caisse d'Epargne's Luis Sanchez was the most daring and took the stage victory. After sitting in a four-man break that was swept back up, he attacked again on the run-in to the finish and held off the chase. He had plenty of help from his team -- he had two teammates, including Valverde, in the chase group, who marked the attempts to try and reel him in.

Caisse d'Epargne is either one of the strongest teams or burning a lot of matches. They've been patrolling the front of the peloton much of this first week and have two stage wins to show for it. Today was a stage that really challenged teams -- it was hard to figure out which group to call the peloton -- but Caisse d'Epargne showed up to play. The opposite can be said of Cadel Evans' Silence Lotto team. Whereas Caisse d'Epargne had three riders in the final selection of 23 riders, Evans had zero: his lieutenant Popovych was caught back in a chase group. Similarly isolated was Rabobank's Menchov and Columbia's Kirchen, though the latter is understandable given the amount of time that Columbia spent at the front.

CSC did a lot of work today, first to drive a split in the peloton and then help keep the breakaway contained. They didn't get the stage win, but all of their GC hopes -- the Schlecks and Sastre -- were in the final selection. Garmin-Chipotle wasn't expected to contend for GC, but Vande Velde continues to shine and finished with the chase group to hold fourth in the overall. Unfortunately they lost big Maggy Backstedt to the time cut -- he's battling some sort of acid buildup in the legs.

Cunego was the big loser of the GC hopefuls today. He crashed and ended up losing almost half a minute to the other GC contenders.

T-Mobile is attempting to one-up CSC. Gerdemann took the stage win and the overall lead. Cavendish didn't get last place on the stage, but he does have the coveted Lanterne Rouge: last place in the overall standings.

CSC took first and last place in Stage 3 -- Cancellara had first in the overall standings as well, but Zabriskie could only manage second-to-last.

Maybe another team will come along by the time this Tour is done to ride a perfect first-last: first/last on the stage, first/last in the overall.

Tour de France '07 Stage 7 Link Roundup

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Rest Day Update: Millar Diaries Stage 7

Updates 6:30PM-10PM: Vino Stage 7, CyclingNews Roundup 1, CyclingNews Roundup 2,

Updates 2PM: Graham Watson, Casey Gibson, Stage 7 Highlight Video, Linus Gerdemann Post-Race, Levi Post-Race, Fast Freddie Post-Race, T-Mobile's Bob Stapleton Post-Race, Lanterne Rouge, Cyclelicious: TdF Stage 7, Graham Watson Audio Report, WorldCycling.tv: Rolf Aldag, Cadel Evans, Linus Gerdemann; Carmichael Sez: GC Contenders Pass Test #1, Daily Peloton Stage 7

Updates 11:30AM: Can Gerdemann save German cycling?, VeloNews Stage 7 Notes, Bob Martin, Fabian Wegmann, Gerolsteiner T-Mobile, Discovery Channel, Team CSC Blog, Linus Gerdemann Post-Race, VeloNews Stage 7 Stats, T-Mobile bookends GC with high hopes for Rogers, Discovery bides its time with 4 in top 20

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Gerdemann - DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images

DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images

Linus Gerdemann left it all on the road: he destroyed the rest of his break on the slopes of the Colombiere and then took every risk to descend to victory in Le-Grand-Bornand. Gerdemann, mouth caked in dried spit, could barely stand when it was all over -- he got to trade T-Mobile pink for yellow when it was all over. The young rider can also wear the white jersey under that if he likes.

The breakaway had four-and-a-half minutes advantage at the start of the final climb. Gutierrez, Fovonov, Gerdemann, and Landaluze were the only riders from the 15-man break that had the legs to attack on the slopes. Gerdemann put in his big attack with 5k to go and never had to look back. Despite the pace set by Rabobank and Caisse, Gerdemann still managed to finish with three-and-a-half minutes over the peloton. Landaluze had the best effort of the breakaway chasers, finishing half a minute back.

Today was the start of Rasmussen's KOM effort in earnest. He took the early Corlier points and then was able to jump to take some points on the final Colombiere climb as well. Rasmussen might have taken more points if his line wasn't blocked by the AG2R team car that stopped in the road just behind Elimiger (AG2R).

This wasn't the stage to sort out the overall favorites. Pretty much anyone who mattered made the selection. Even Vino and Kloden were able to hang on, and Vino had already shed the bandages from his arms, so we'll have to wait until tomorrow to see some shakeup.

Stage 7: Saint-Gregoire - Rennes, ITT

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AP Photo/Christian HartmannTime-trial specialist Sergei Gontchar/Gonchar/Honchar dominated today's time trial and took the yellow jersey with a time of 1:01:43. This was the last chance for the time trial specialists to slip into the yellow jersey, and of that crowd -- Zabriskie, Rogers, Karpets, and Gontchar -- it was Gontchar who annihilated the rest of the field by a minute over the next best time. This was a T-Mobile day: 1st, 4th, 6th, and 8th. Who needs Ullrich? Or, rather, in the words of Johan Bruyneel, "It's lucky Jan Ullrich is not here, otherwise the Tour would be over."

Photo by AP Photo/Christian Hartmann

It was a surprisingly poor showing by the American riders, who were expected to dominate. Bobby J had it worst, crashing early on, sliding over a curb, and appearing to injure his arm. Levi had a terrible showing, losing a minute and a half by the first time check and six minutes overall with a time of 1:07:49. Hincapie did poorly as well with a time of 1:04:25, which was 30 seconds slower than Savoldelli -- we may see Savoldelli become Discovery's protected man in the mountains. My main pick, Zabriskie, had a respectable 1:03:40, but for those of us who thought he'd light the course of fire, it was a disappointment.

There was one bright light among the Americans: Landis is certainly the American to beat and has vaulted himself to the top of the overall contenders. Landis finished in second with a time of 1:02:44, which he did while apparently having to switch his bike on the course either due to a flat tire or to his bars slipping -- the UCI apparently ordered Landis to lower his bars just prior to the race. If Landis's mechanic can just get these mechanical issues under control, Landis should easily finish on the podium. Then again, his legs appeared to disappear in the mountains in the Dauphine, so I should wait until the first mountain stage.

Big Losers: Discovery (no riders in the top ten overall anymore), CSC (now have lost Basso and Julich, Zabriskie only managed 10th, O'Grady is still hurting, and Voigt isn't looking very strong after finishing in last place), Leipheimer

Big Winners: T-Mobile, which now has four riders in the top ten including Kloden; Cadel Evans and Denis Menchov, whose chances in the overall just got a whole lot better with strong top ten finishes today. Christophe Moreau also looks primed for a top five finish if he can hold in the mountains.

Prediction check:

  • My predictions: Zabriskie, Landis, Hincapie, Julich, Rogers, Levi
  • Actual: Landis was second, Rogers was fourth instead of fifth, scratch the rest of the picks.

Stage 7: Luneville-Karlsruhe

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keyhole.stage7.jpgMcEwen x 2

The finish line was in Karlsruhe, Germany, and the German rider Wegmann made a breakaway that lasted for about 150k on the long stage, but the peloton lazily pulled him back for the sprint at the end.

It was a messy sprint finish as it was a wide open boulevard finish with multiple sprint teams fighting for control. No team was strong enough to hold the leadout and there was a crash in the final sprint. Boonen couldn't find a wheel and McEwen sprinted up the side barrier to take the win.

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.