Results tagged “Tom Danielson” from spare cycles

Danielson to Slipstream

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Tom DanielsonIt looks like Vaughters still had some cash left in the bank: Tom Danielson is the latest of many signings to the Slipstream squad. With Zabriskie and Vande Velde, Slipstream has really stocked up on the American Pro Tour riders and it should be a fun team to follow in the coming years.

Fellow American and Discovery rider Levi Leipheimer is reportedly closing in on a contract with an unnamed team -- perhaps an announcement will arrive this week.

Tom Danielson Junior Cycling Cup poster

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Promoting the Tom Danielson Junior Cycling Cup for my own selfish reasons ;)

Vuelta Stage 17: Adra - Granada

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Tom Danielson answered some critics today by winning a suprising stage 17 that saw Vino end up in the overall lead. After Danielson and Discovery were unable to defeat the efforts of Euskatel in stage 16 -- the Vino/Valverde battle worked against Danielson's chances -- Danielson this time found himself on the right side of the GC competition. Danielson managed to solo off the front while behind Valverde desperately chased Vino and Kashechkin. Just as Valverde caught the Astana riders, Vino took off and jumped all the way up to Danielson. There must have been some agreement between Vino and Danielson as the two worked together all the way to the finish -- Vino working for the golden jersey and Danielson working to just up the top ten standings and the stage win.

I really didn't expect to see Vino in the golden jersey. The first several stages of the Vuelta made Vino's teammates look as good if not better than Vino, and Vino certainly looked worse than Valverde, but Vino's stage 7 and stage 8 victories started to bring him back into contention. The stage 14 time trial seemed to close the door on Vino's chances, though, as VIno only managed to scrape back 9 seconds on Valverde. Valverde, looking so strong in both the mountains and the time trial, seemed well-suited to hold off an Astana assault.

I meant to keep the Vuelta posts more regular but I've had a bit of trouble following the Vuelta as cycling.tv has been a bit wonky -- I can't wake up early enough for the live broadcast and they've been unpredictable with when they make the stage highlights available. This year's Vuelta has been very exciting with all the battling between Valverde and Vino, with some Sastre punches thrown in. Astana has been amazing with its ability to get riders up at the front of the race and Discovery has been taking their chances ever since Danielson's then Brajkovic's chances were dashed.

Tour de Georgia Stage 5 and Stage 6

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I was a doubter. I shouldn't be anymore. Floyd Landis has shown that he is the best American rider right now. Landis didn't win the climb up Brasstown Bald -- it was Tom Danielson's victory, as expected. However, I think most people, like myself, expected Tom Danielson to win by a huge margin. Instead, Danielson couldn't get even one of the four seconds he needed to take the overall lead from Landis. Landis managed to hold his own even with Discovery attacking with their three great weapons, Danielson, Popovych, and McCartney. Landis' defense on Stage 5 sealed his overall victory as Stage 6 was one for the sprinters -- JJ Haedo continued to make bank for Toyota United with his sprint victory.

Landis is a better climber and a better time trialer than he has ever been before. If he can manage to preserve this form into the Tour de France, I'll have to revise my early Tour de France predictions and put Landis on that podium. As is, he has to be very happy with Tour of California, Paris-Nice, and Tour de Georgia overall victories.

Even with Danielson not winning the overall, it was still a fairly dominating performance by Discovery: two stage wins, first in the team competition, McCartney was King of the Mountain, Brajkovic was Best Young Rider, and they took second (Danielson) and third (Popovych) in the overall competition.

Stage 5 prediction check: Danielson won the stage, but he didn't take the overall
Stage 6 prediction check: Fast Freddie finished 4th

Tour of California: San Francisco Prologue

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Levi Leipheimer Tour of California Levi Leipheimer Post-Race Tour of California

Coit TowerThe prologue was so much fun to watch. We got a great spot on the final bend going to the finish line and go to see all of the pros warming up. Jackson Stewart's opening time of 5'38" made us wonder how long it would be before the magical five-minute-barrier would be broken. Discovery's Old Man Ekimov was the first to really start pushing the barrier by setting a time of 5'14" for the rest of his teammates to follow. Ekimov's time didn't last very long, but it was Tour-de-France-Prologue-Winner Fabian Cancellara who really set the next standard with an impressive 5'03". Discovery's Jason McCartney quickly followed up with a slightly slower 5'03" and it seemed that the five-minute barrier could be breached at any moment.

Ekimov 2 Jason McCartney

We had to wait quite a bit of time. It seemed that the major teams sent some of their fast men (Ekimov, Cancellara) early to set a good pace for the rest of the team, but the middle part of the race was filled with 5'10"s. The most exciting event of the middle part was when Olivier Kaisen came around the bend. The riders started at one minute intervals and every time a rider approached the crowd would begin to cheer. You could use the gap between cheers to estimate how fast a rider had gone through the course. As Kaisen started to pass, a second, louder cheer started coming from just around the bend. Discovery's young hope Tom Danielson came zooming around the corner and passed Kaisen at the finish line:

Tom Danielson Danielson's Pass-2 Danielson's Pass-3 Danielson's Pass-4 Danielson's Pass-5

We settled back down again for awhile until we heard the news that Bobby Julich was on the course. The roar from around the bend as Julich approached was awesome and his time earned every bit of it: 4'58.19. I keep telling myself that my Bobby J and Cancellara photos are so blurry because they were so much faster.

Bobby Julich

The final part of the race was big rider after big rider also trying to break the five-minute barrier and Julich's time. Giro di Italia champion Paolo Savoldelli (5'04.83), Floyd Landis (4'59.55), Dave Zabriskie (5'02), Cadel Evans (5'05), George Hincapie (4'59.11). (update: in the prologue video, you can see Zabriskie having shifting problems at the start of the Coit Tower ascent, which certainly cost him valuable time).

Paolo Savoldelli Floyd Landis Cadel Evans George Hincapie

Al and I started talking at this point after watching big name after big name fail to beat Julich's time. Simoni, Leipheimer, and Rogers were the only big riders left of note. I put my money on Levi as the only rider left that could beat Bobby J's, but I didn't really believe it.

Leipheimer Climbs to the FinishEven with big name after big name, the crowd roar for Levi can be called huge. Leipheimer came flying up the final leg (video), so much faster than we had seen anyone else finish. His final time of 4'53.43 clobbered everyone else's efforts, and neither Simoni nor Rogers were even close.

Stage links: * VeloNews Prologue Summary * Prologue Results * Graham Watson Prologue photos * Levi Leipheimer Prologue journal * Grassy Knoll Project Prologue Media

Photo sets: * Main contenders: Leipheimer, Landis, Savoldelli, Zabriskie, Julich, Hincapie, Horner, Voigt, Danielson, O'Grady, Evans, Simoni, and more. There's also a sequence of Tom Danielson passing the rider that started a minute in front of him. * Big riders warming up: Photos of Leipheimer, Landis, Savoldelli, Hincapie, Ekimov, Horner, and others testing the final climb to Coit Tower * More riders: Photos of Tony Cruz, Michael Barry, Nicolas Jalabert, Saul Raisin, Fabian Wegmann, Robbie Hunter, Christian Vande Velde, and more * Even more riders: Photos of riders I couldn't identify as I don't have the starting order for the prologue (anyone happen to have a copy?).

Stage profile (from official Amgen Tour of California site):

prologue profile