Results tagged “Vinokourov” from spare cycles

Welcome to the post-Astana order

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Dopers SuckWithout Astana in the standings and assuming that Vino is stripped of his wins (still no B-test yet, so speculative):

...Cadel Evans gets his first stage win for the Stage 13 TT.

...Kim Kirchen gets his first stage win as well for Stage 15.

...In the overall, Sastre is now a top-five rider and Valverde and Popo are once again top ten:

1 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 69.52.14
2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 2.23
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto 4.00
4 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 5.25
5 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC 6.46
6 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 7.27
7 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team 8.24
8 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 9.21
9 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 10.41
10 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 12.29

...Astana had a 3.24 lead in the team competition -- the top four is now more compact:

1 Euskaltel-Euskadi
2 Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 1.27
3 Team CSC 1.55
4 Caisse D’epargne 2.32

CyclingNews only has brief details:

The Tour de France was rocked by news that Astana's battered team leader, Alexandre Vinokourov tested positive for a homologous blood transfusion after Saturday's time trial in Albi. L'Equipe reported on Tuesday afternoon that the Kazakh's blood had shown evidence of a transfusion from another person with a compatible blood type in an analysis done in the Châtenay-Malabry laboratory.

...Upon receiving the news, the Astana team has allegedly quit the Tour, according to the French newspaper.

Update: VeloNews News Flash

This on the same day that Petacchi was cleared of doping charges.

DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images

Contador took the stage win on a great day for Discovery -- and me, as I got my pick :). It was a battle of the skinny boys and Contador's white jersey was lighter on the shoulders than Rasmussen's yellow. Rasmussen and Contador initially worked well together to get separation on an elite group of Leipheimer, Sastre, Evans, and Soler. That cooperation shutdown with a couple kilometers to go as Contador took advantage of Rasmussen's need to defend his yellow jersey. Contador grabbed a hold of Rasmussen's wheel and didn't come around until the final meters for the victory. Rasmussen can't be too disappointed: he put lots of time into strong TT riders like Kloden and Evans, and he defended both the yellow and polka dot jerseys.

Astana and Discovery traded roles today. Yesterday Astana finished 1-3-4 while Discovery finished 6-7-9. Today Discovery finished 1-4-10 while Astana finished 6-8-9. Discovery is also now 2-4-10 in the GC. Contador only got eight seconds closer to the yellow jersey, but he did leapfrog Cadel Evans for second place. Leipheimer did a great job of riding to finish in 4th -- he yoyo'd with Sastre quite a bit as they were both unable to match the frightening accelerations of Rasmussen and Contador. Leipheimer's time gains moved him past Kloden in the GC into 4th and he closed his gap on Evans. Popovych was Discovery's hero today: fighting to bridge back after the Port de Pailheres to bring bottles up to his teammates, then setting the tempo on the Plateau de Baille that whittled the field down to eight riders. And he finished in 10th. Hincapie did similar work to bridge back after the Pailheres and was in the driver's seat on the lead-in to the Plateau de Beille.

Astana's 6-8-9 was a bit of a mixed bag. Kloden did well to finish in sixth, despite being the main rider dropped by Popovych's pace making. Colom and Kashechkin both fought to keep Kloden's losses to 1:52. The big hurt for Astana is Vinokourov. Vino appears to have left it all on the line with yesterday's TT victory: Vino was already in trouble on the Port de Pailheres and lost gigantic time on the Plateau de Beille.

CSC had a so-so day. Sastre managed fifth place and moved up a spot in the GC to 6th, but Schleck was far behind. Whereas Discovery had three riders in the final selection of eight, Sastre had none and found himself at a big disadvantage. Levi was able to just sit on Sastre's wheel because of Contador's place up the rode and Soler sat on as well.

Soler was a surprising rider to make the selection. He took enough points on the Pailheres to move into the KOM lead by 10 points, but Rasmussen's second place finish regained his lead by 2 points. After impressive moves on the Pailheres and the lower slopes of Plateau de Beille, I was a bit disappointed by the way Soler rode in the end -- he didn't have a good excuse like Levi to sit on Sastre's wheel and then he had the nerve to launch a big attack to get the third place KOM points.

Saunier Duval is probably in a sour mood. Millar and others did a lot of work up front on the Pailheres to set things up for Mayo, but Mayo didn't have the legs today and performed disappointing for his team.

Valverde had a second-straight awful day. Perhaps its because he's used to bowing out of Tours at this point, but he picked two of the worst days to be off, especially after having look so strong in the first week. Valverde actually managed to move into the top ten despite his weak legs. He can thank Arroyo and Pereiro for forming a train for him as well as Vino and Kirchen for plummeting.

GC Shakeup (previous position holder in ()'s ):

1 Rasmussen
2 Contador 2.23 (Evans)
3 Evans 3.04
4 Leipheimer 4.25 (Kloden)
5 Kloden 4.38
6 Sastre 5.50 (Kascheckin)
7 Kashechkin 6.58
8 Astarloza 8.25
9 Valverde 9.45 (Vinokourov)
10 Popovych 10.55 (Kirchen)

Tour de France '07 Stage 13: Albi TT

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Vinokourov - JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

13 was a lucky number for Astana as they turned their disasterous Stage 5 on its head: Vinokourov first, Kloden third, and Kashechkin fourth. Vino's effort jumped him from 19th to 9th place in the overall standings, 5:10 behind. Kloden is 4th and Kashechkin is 6th, giving Astana several weapons in the GC.

Evans broke up the Astana 1-2-3 by finishing in second, 1:14 behind, but he will be disappointed that he didn't take the yellow jersey with his effort: Rasmussen did the time trial of his career and even passed Valverde on the finishing straight. Valverde's poor 47th-place finish dropped him out of the overall top ten after starting in second.

Discovery didn't have an Astana day but put in a respectable 6-7-9 in the standings with Popovych (despite crashing), Contador, and Leipheimer. Contador appears to be taking over the leader status from Leipheimer as he finished 0:21 faster and moves into third in the overall, while Levi takes fifth. CSC, as expected, couldn't deliver a strong effort with Sastre or Schleck, but Sastre was able to stay seventh overall.

Early rain saw many riders finish with wet and bloody skinsuits. Cancellara put in a good early time check but quickly fell from the standings after he crashed and appeared to hurt his arm. Wiggins instead had the top early mark on the day, which stood until Vinokourov put in a shockingly fast TT: 2:13 faster than Wiggins. Gusev was putting in a good time until he crashed into a roundabout and went skidding over the curb.

Despite drying road conditions, none of the riders who started later than Vino could match his pace. Kloden nipped at his teammate's heels but lost time when he crashed in a wet, slippery corner.

Pozzato wins - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Filippo Pozzato called his own shot today and won the stage in a mass uphill sprint finish. Freire, Zabel, Bennati, and Hincapie were in the mix, but Pozzato had the best line to the finish line. Zabel lost the stage but he must still be very happy: he took the green jersey from Tom Boonen, who was dropped from the front group.

It's not exactly the finish that I expected as the breaks were relatively contained. Sylvain Chavanel used an early 4-man break to catapult into the KOM lead by taking all but the last climb. Various riders attempted to get a gap on the final ascent and descent, but things remained tight. Popovych had his chances ruined as he overshot a turn into the grass, quickly followed by Cancellara who was putting in another impressive defense of his yellow jersey.

thumbe.getty-tdf2007-cycling-vinokourov_11_53_25_am.jpg
JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images
The biggest news on the day is that Vinokourov lost over a minute on the day after crashing and now sports a big welt on his right butt cheek. The peloton was busy chasing down the break, so Vino quickly found himself far behind. All of his teammates except for Kloden came back to help him chase and he ended up burning them all to try and catch back on, eventually using the Astana team car as his final teammate. Still, Vino could only catch onto one of the rear groups near the top of the final climb and didn't get much help in the finale.

I thought Cancellara would lose the yellow jersey today as CSC started the day claiming that they wouldn't defend. This tactic seemed to work -- the other teams contributed most of the pace-making early in the day. But CSC was nearly in full force in the final pullback of the breakaway and then it was Cancellara himself who was driving to bring back Popovych's break.

It was an odd day for team leaders: Sastre, Valverde, Zabel, Hushovd, Mayo and Vino all found themselves off the back for mechanical, crash, and other reasons. Also, second-in-command's Kloden and Pereiro were off the back. Perhaps it was a nervous day with the first day of climbing and Stage 7 mountains looming in the distance.

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.

Stage 11: Courchevel-Briancon

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Vino's simply too good to let a bad day on Stage 10 keep him down. The time he lost yesterday also worked to his advantage: unlike previous attacks Armstrong no longer had any reason to respond. He attacked with a group on the Col de la Madeleine climb, whittled it down to just him and Botero, and outsmarted Botero for the finish in Briancon. He had dropped Botero on the Col du Galibier climb, taking the prize for winning the highest climb in the Tour, but Botero caught him on the descent and they rode together into Briancon.

This shouldn't matter too much for Armstrong and Discovery. Vino lost too much time yesterday to be a threat, so Armstrong could afford to give Vino the minute of time. Discovery rode in a defensive mode today and managed to keep a team of five riders all the way from the top of the Col du Galibier climb to the finish. With that many riders at his side, there was no way that any of the contenders could hope to attack -- their own teammates had already fallen away.

Moreau made a go for some King of the Mountain points. He did well over the first two climbs, but Rasmussen took the remaining points on the final climb. Moreau also took the third place sprint bonus to move into third place overall.

Stage 8: Pforzheim-Gerardmer

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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

stage profile

I didn't get to watch this one as my TiVo didn't pick it up, but here's what I gather from the various summaries out there:

  • US Postal put Spanish teammate Manuel Beltran up front in a breakaway. Beltran even got to be the virtual leader of the tour on the stage 14 course that briefly winds into Spain
  • Vinokourov and Mayo took advantage of the Armstrong/Ullrich competition to make big time gains, especially Vinokourov who snagged 43" to move 18" behind Armstrong in the GC. Ullrich and Armstrong worked together on the descent to try and chase the lead group.
  • Big-mouth-no-game rider Simoni got a stage win, which is a small redemption for his pre-tour statements.
  • Virenque rode up front (2nd place finish) and has almost closed up the King of the Mountains competition.

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stage profile

photoThis is backposted as I'm catching up via TiVo on all the Tour de France happenings. The big bullets from this one were:

1) Ullrich is the man and is back in form. He was the only rider to break the hour barrier at 58'32". He is also good at finding air conditioning.

2) Armstrong lost only his second time trial out of eight due to Ullrich's truckin' performance. Armstrong finished second at 1'36" behind. Apparently he lost about 8% of his body weight due to dehydration. He is not as good at finding air conditioning, but probably will be in the future (as he is also much better at eating now).

3) Vinokourov loses 30" to Armstrong.

4) How the hell did Tyler Hamilton pull on his handlebars (and ignore his back pain) long enough to finish 5th? I look forward to seeing him leading his team in future tours at full strength.

stage profile

photoVinokourov gets his first tour win but the real news from this stage was the crash. On the final descent Armstrong, Beloki, and others were bombing down in pursuit of Vinokourov, who was less than a minute ahead. The heat had actually melted the tar on the road and as Beloki headed into a minor right turn his tire blew out. His bike slid and Beloki hi-sided in the concrete hard right on his hip and right elbow. Armstrong, who was right on Beloki's wheel, dodged left into an open field, crossed to the other side of the switchback, swiftly dismounted and jumped down a drop-off, and then remounted to join the pursuit group. Armstrong's instincts were amazing to watch. It just goes to show that anything can happen to anyone, even a rider as good as Beloki. (video)

The other stories of the day were:

  • Jaksche attacking to get the virtual yellow before being pulled back (Jaksche got the most combative award)
  • the last category 2 climb stringing out the peloton with its steepness
  • David Millar launching attack but being caught then dropped by the peloton

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