Results tagged “Stage 8” from spare cycles

Please check http://velo.kwc.org/race/tdf2008/stage8/ for more frequent updates

Now Covering: Tour de France

VeloNews TV

SAAB Fly to the Finish Codes: Jet inspired

Stage Summaries

Photos

Experts/Riders

Teams

Video

Podcasts

Blogs

Tech

Related

Tour de France '07 Stage 8 Link Roundup

|

Rest day updates: Cyclelicio.us: Stage 8 Long Tail, Vande Velde's View: The mountains, the Chicken and losing Stuey, Casey Gibson Stage 8 Photos, Erik Breukink (Rabobank Team Manager) Stage 8, Sinkewitz's Tour over after freak accident, Lanterne Rouge: The medical report for Stage 8, Neil@ROAD: The Schamber Ramblings, TDF 07, First Real Mtn Stage, WorldCycling.tv: Cadel Evans Stage 8, WorldCycling.tv: Linus Gerdemann Stage 8, WorldCycling.tv: Michael Rasmussen Stage 8, CyclingNews Roundup, CyclingNews Roundup 2, CyclingNews Roundup 3, Vino Stage 8, Kloden Stage 8

Video:

Photos:

Stage Summaries/Results:

Riders/Experts:

Teams:

Blogs:

Related:

Rasmussen in Yellow - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

They don't make yellow jerseys small enough for Rasmussen. Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

The Tour de France finally got some fireworks in the overall standings. Rasmussen showed why he wears the polka dots so much as he cranked over the Cat 1 climbs, dropped all who sat on his wheel, and took the stage win 2:47 over the nearest rider, Iban Mayo. Rasmussen took the triple polka-yellow-win as he racked up big KOM points and time gains on this stage.

Moreau - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Valverde - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Moreau almost single-handedly led a group of overall contenders (Valverde, Evans, Schleck, Kashechkin) up the road to chase Michael Rasmussen. Although they had no chance of catching Chicken Legs, they put in half a minute or more on some top contenders: 0:28 to Contador, 0:32 to Sastre and Menchov, 0:46 to Leipheimer, and 1:16 on Kloden and Vinokourov. They probably would have done better if it weren't for the fact that the other riders were content to jump on Moreau's wheel every time he tried to attack. Moreau was visibly frustrated as he gestured for Evans to pull through. On a day that saw the losses of three Aussies -- O'Grady, Rogers, and McEwen -- I can't say that Evans gave fans too much hope that he'll learn to attack this Tour. Valverde eventually pipped the group on the line by outsprinting them for a 1-second gap, but it was Mayo who was the only rider strong enough to launch an attack that wasn't pulled back. With a little more cohesion they could have put in bigger time gains and they may come to regret the energy they expended.

It was a day that the backup leaders/lieutenants shined: Rasmussen, who took yellow and polka dots while Menchov lost time; Kasheckin, who finished the top contenders; Kloden, who limited Vino's losses; Contador who still finish ahead of Leipheimer despite having a mechanical; and Schleck, who road the aggressive race for CSC today.

Plenty of teams missed their chance to shine today:

Discovery: I thought Discovery had its tactics sorted out as they managed to get both Hincapie and Paulinho up the road in a break, but those riders were quickly shot off the back on the final climb of the Tignes. Mechanical problems then upset their next move. Discovery then sent Contador and Popovych up the road and Popo did a good job of sacrificing himself to raise the pace for Contador. But notably absent from any Discovery moves was Levi Leipheimer. Contador was doing well and matching the moves of the Moreau group until a tire change forced him back into the Astana/Leipheimer group. Leipheimer sat on the wheels of the Astana train, Sastre, and Menchov, but couldn't follow when Contador decided to try and bridge back up to the Moreau group. Sastre and Menchov did and limited their losses to Rasmussen, Evans, Moreau, Valvderde, and Schleck. Discovery's plan had to been to have Levi ride conservatively and let Popo and Contador be aggressive, but mechanicals ruined Contador's efforts and Levi was a bit too conservative -- he's still waiting for the Pyrenees. As Levi himself said, he had an "okay day" -- what would have made a good day would be if he was able to follow Sastre and Menchov. Nevertheless, losing less than a minute on a mountain stage isn't much to worry about yet.

O'Grady - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
CSC: Schleck was a bright spot as their shadow leader showed good strength, finishing with the Valverde/Moreau/Evans group. Sastre rode conservatively, though a late effort with Menchov to follow Contador limited his losses. Sastre can't afford to lose much time in the mountains given his lacking time trial abilities, but perhaps is saving up. Harder to stomach for CSC was the loss of O'Grady, who crashed out of the Tour and was taken off in a stretcher with some pretty bad injuries. Cuesta also crashed, though appeared fine.

Astana: Astana's day was a mixed bag. Kashechkin was their sole rider who survived their stage 5 carnage and he had to carry the banner for Astana all by himself today. Kashechkin got into the Moreau group and looked strong pulling back Moreau's attacks. Back with the rest of the team things were not as well. Astana initially found itself at the front pulling for Vinokourov, but Vino was cracked when Contador launched his attack to jump back up. Kloden had to drop back to pace the wounded warrior back. In all of Vino's interviews, he can barely walk, so his efforts have nevertheless been amazing.

T-Mobile: They certainly had the worst day. All seemed promising as Michael Rogers was one of the few riders able to get onto Michael Rasmussen's wheel. Then a run-in with a guard rail and Caisse's Arroyo put him into some hurt. Rogers bridged back up, but his injuries were too much and eventually he was falling backwards, until he had to abandon into the team car. Focus shifted to Gerdemann, who rode valiantly to stay with the overall contenders as long as possible, but he still fell into second at 0:43 behind Rasmussen. At least he keeps the white jersey. Things got worse for T-Mobile after the race when Sinkewitz collided with a spectator and may be out of the Tour. Cavendish was yet-another abandon. Even though this last one was planned, it means the T-Mobile bus will be even more empty.

Links:

A great win by Calzati on a solo breakaway. Calzati went with Zabriskie, Aerts, Kessler, Carlstrom, and Halgand. It was an interesting break, with both a Lotto and Credit Agricole rider, which meant that QuickStep would be on its own chasing the break down for a sprint finish. With a long week in the yellow jersey for QuickStep, that seemed to be the last thing QuickStep was going to do. The presence of Kessler and Zabriskie, though, made the break too dangerous for the overall positions, so Phonak and FD Jeux gave mild chase. Calzati decided to jump from the break and try his chances on his own, and it played out well. The peloton stopped giving chase and Calzati was actually able to expand his lead by the finish. Calstrom and Halgand attempted to follow Calzati, but went too late to catch onto his wheel. Calzati's win was a great for the French fans; too bad about the World Cup...

Zabriskie's presence in the break gave him the opportunity to rack up 10 seconds in time bonuses and move up in the overall classification. In his post-race interviews, though, there doesn't appear to have been an actual strategy to move Zabriskie into a break today. In his words, it was his turn to cover a break and it just happened that it stayed away. When Calzati jumped, Zabriskie was a little too tired to follow and let it go, thinking it wouldn't succeed and also having to watch Kessler (according to VeloNews, Zabriskie had a bee sting). Zabriskie's teammate Voigt had tried a breakaway earlier in the day -- CSC is now saying that Voigt intentionally threw the previous day's time trial to save strength -- but that breakaway wasn't able to stick.

McEwen won the field sprint to take the fourth place sprint points. Boonen continues to by mystifyingly bad in planning the sprints as he went too early and ended up sitting up.

Prediction check: * My prediction: Boonen first, McEwen second * Actual: Calzati wins from the breakaway, McEwen wins the field sprint for 4th

Stage 8: Pforzheim-Gerardmer

|

photo photo photo

(AP Photo/Christophe Ena/Alessandro Trovati/Ena)

Under Pressure. Big first mountain stage to break in the legs. The GC contenders mostly held together, but the final climb demonstrated that T-Mobile is ready to put the smackdown on Discovery. Vino soften up the yellow jersey by relentlessly attacking Armstrong up the final climb. Ullrich sat on Armstrong's wheel while Kloden launched an attack. Armstrong didn't respond to Kloden's move, and Kloden, catching up to a breakaway by Weening, was able to tag team his way to the finish and gain 0:27 on Armstrong.

photo finishWeening nicked the stage on the line by sitting in Kloden's slipstream for the final kilometer and doing no work. Kloden had more to gain because he would get time in the overall classification, so Weening could play that to his advantage. I would think it's a litle embarrassing for Weening to only win by a hair under those circumstances, but you wouldn't be able to tell with Weening jumping onto the stage to celebrate.

Armstrong probably won't be worrying too much about Kloden's 0:27 time gain as much as (1) T-Mobile has a stronger one-two-three punch than thought with Kloden suddenly on form and (2) his Discovery team disintegrated: after Vino's initial volley there were no teammates left.

Armstrong looked strong and responded as necessary to the attacks that mattered, but he will have to hope his team puts in a better performance in the coming stages or there are going to be some long, lonely climbs ahead. Armstrong is mentioning some "talking" that his team is going to have to do tonight; he also said that he wasn't strong today (coulda fooled me).

The overall standings were cleaned up by this stage. No major riders dropped, but the non-contenders moved down. Also, Discovery lost the white young rider's jersey as Popo gave it over to Karpets, who is a favorite in the competition.

1 Lance Armstrong
2 Jens Voigt 1.00
3 Alexandre Vinokourov 1.02
4 Bobby Julich 1.07
5 Ivan Basso 1.26
6 Jan Ullrich 1.36
7 Carlos Sastre
8 George Hincapie 1.47
9 Andreas Kl�den 1.50
10 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems