Results tagged “TTT” from spare cycles

Ride - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Cancellara could change his nickname from Spartacus to Hercules -- it wasn't hard to spot his yellow jersey at the front of the Saxo Bank train at the start, in the middle, and in the finish. As he zipped through the technical course and his teammates struggled to keep his wheel it was easy to see why he's the best time trialist in the worlds. Saxo Bank may not have won the stage, but Cancellara's final effort protected the yellow he wore today -- by 1/10th of a second over Lance Armstrong and the victorious Astana team.

Astana won the day and their train was a very different story. Armstrong, Contador, Leipheimer, and Kloden all powered together. They each surged to the front in the final kilo to fight for that extra tenth of a second that was denied. A yellow jersey for Armstrong was on the line, but so were important seconds for the GC battle. They may have the most drama, but they also delivered a commanding victory in the TTT.

Garmin would have had the day if it weren't for Astana. As Columbia faded from their efforts yesterday, Garmin shed the chaff and did the team time trial with just five riders. Poor Ryder Hysedal struggled to stay slotted in the back as the likes of Wiggins, Zabriskie, Millar, and Vande Velde put the hammer down.

Is there any doubt that the TTT should be part of every TdF?

Vandevelde leads warmups at the Tour de Georgia TTT
Vandevelde leads warmups at the Tour de Georgia TTT
Fresh off a Tour de Georgia TTT victory and with additional horsepower from David Millar, Magnus Backstedt, Julian Dean, and Ryder Hesjedal, Slipstream decisively took the opening TTT at the Giro d'Italia. In fact, the Slipstream train flew three national championship jerseys: US (Zabriskie), UK (Millar), and Canada (Hesjedal). It's easily the biggest win for Slipstream, yet, and probably helps put them and organizers at ease with the big invites they scored this year.

High Road and CSC finished second and third at six seconds back, and Barloworld did well to place 13 seconds back to potentially launch Soler into pink later this Giro. Surprisingly, Astana was nearly half a minute back and is perhaps feeling the lack of preparation for the big opener.

Stage 4: Slipstream!

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Slipstream TTT - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Slipstream TTT - (c) Ken Conley Top Secret Helmet Covers - (c) Ken Conley

Tour de Georgia Stage 4 Photo Gallery

Today was the start of the Tour de Georgia overall: more fans, more reporters, and the appearance of the head honchos: Jonathan Vaughters, Bob Stapleton, Michael Ball, and Johan Bruyneel all showed up to watch their teams do battle.

Teams did four circuits of the Road Atlanta speedway that proved to be fast and viscious. Nearly all the teams shed riders in their attempt to stick to the sub-five-minute-lap pace required to win. Slipstream set the mark to beat. Astana followed with an ever-increasing pace that landed them only 4 seconds short of victory. High Road was last on the road and came out blazing, beating the splits that Slipstream had set. But they lost time in the second half and ended up 6 seconds down.

Just Go Harder - (c) Ken Conley

The Slipstream riders were spurred on by "Just Go Harder" labels on the back of their seatpost, a reference to Tim Duggan's Web site. The labels were added by team mechanic Tom Hopper as a sign of respect for Duggan, who crashed hard in yesterday's stage. The team opted to not go with the "Top Secret, Allen Lim Edition" aerodynamic helmet covers, though they did make a brief appearance on Zabriskie's head before Jonathan Vaughters jokingly told him to hide it.

Mechanicals and snafus were impossible for riders to overcome and Tom Zirbel, JJ Haedo, and Fuyu Li were among the riders that saw their teammates quickly speeding away. I was riding moto behind JJ Haedo as his foot came out of the pedal on the first climb. His team was far away by the time he clipped back in.

Tour de Georgia Stage 4 Photo Gallery

Giro Stage 1: Liquigas dukes it out

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After a bit of complaining, the opening TTT of the Giro got underway. Liquigas' Gasparotto drove the team's final efforts and ended up sparking a little bit of team controversy as he took the maglia rosa instead of captain Danilo Di Luca. Di Luca was a little unhappy at the time (photo), but he is now singing the, "it's all for the team" line.

As opening stages go, this one seems to have shaken things up a great deal. Simoni will go into stage 2 already 1:25 down on Di Luca, while Cunego lost 0:42. Savoldelli managed best of the other contenders as Astana finished second at 0:13 back. Popovych took a spill on the technical final km and the team had to sit up. Discovery may have to wonder "what if" as they finished the stage only 42 seconds down.

2 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas
8 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Astana 0.13
18 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre 0.42
27 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel 0.49
29 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone 1.02
56 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval 1.25

stage profile

Woot! Woot! An awesome day for US Postal. They avoided a spill like last year and dominated the team time trial winning by 30" over ONCE. I was surprised to see Bianchi in 3rd place at 43" back - this may mean that will get to see Ullrich this tour. Today's race puts Armstrong 32" in front of Beloki, 38" in front of Ullrich, and 1'32" in front of Botero. Simoni who was talking trash before the TdF is now 3'8" back. Armstrong's teammate Pena will get to wear the yellow jersey tomorrow on his birthday.

USPS TTT

ESPN.com: OLY - Armstrong's team takes Tour time trial