Stage 15 preview

Riders often perform very different in the Alps than the Pyrenees, especially since their form can drastically change over the course of a race (see: Levi Leipheimer). I pulled the top 30 2004 time trial results for the Alpe d'Huez and started bolding the top 20 riders from this year's Tour. Originally I deleted the riders no longer present, but I found it striking how many riders are not racing this year, be it retirement (Armstrong), abandon (Brochard), or doping (just about everyone else). I also included their current GC differential so you can try and guess whether or not vaulting into yellow would be a reasonable goal for that rider based on past performance. Stage 15 won't be ridden like a time trial, but the Alpe d'Huez does have a tendancy to isolate riders.

Some notes: Landis' time is probably the most important here, but both he and Azevedo were riding for Armstrong. In fact, many of the riders were riding in support of their leader, though Kloden somehow rode for Ullrich and ended up higher in the GC. There are also several top 20 riders that didn't compete in this race: Cadel Evans, Denis Menchov, Yaroslav Popovych, Marcus Fothen, Franck Schleck, Cedric Dessel, and Patrik Sinkewitz.

I wouldn't make exact predictions based on this list, especially with Menchov missing, but I will say this: this Tour isn't over yet, though no one has appeared to be in Landis' league. Kloden and Sastre look to be within striking distance of Landis and I would also throw Menchov in there even though I don't have a time for him. Pereiro could also hold onto the yellow jersey for at least another day based on these results.

  1. Lance Armstrong (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 39:41
  2. Jan Ullrich (G), T-Mobile, 01:01
  3. Andréas Kloden (G), T-Mobile, 01:41 (GC -3.58)
  4. José Azevedo (P), U.S. Postal Service, 01:45 (GC -9.11)
  5. Santos Gonzalez (Sp), Phonak, 02:11
  6. Giuseppe Guerini (I), T-Mobile, 02:11
  7. Vladimir Karpets (Rus), Illes Balears-Banesto, 02:15 (GC -8:36)
  8. Ivan Basso (I), CSC, 02:23
  9. David Moncoutie (F), Cofidis, 02:23
  10. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 02:27 (GC -3:21)
  11. Stephane Goubert (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 02:33
  12. José Enrique Gutierrez(Sp), Phonak, 03:04
  13. Michael Rogers (Aus), Quick Step-Davitamon, 02:34 (GC -4:51)
  14. Oscar Pereiro Sio (Sp), Phonak, 03:06 (GC leader)
  15. Marcos Serrano (Sp), Liberty Seguros, 03:09
  16. Georg Totschnig (A), Gerolsteiner, 03:15 (GC -8:16)
  17. Sandy Casar (F),, 03:19
  18. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Ag2R Prevoyance, 03:25
  19. Juan Miguel Mercado (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, 03:25 (GC -5:02)
  20. Christophe Moreau (F), Crédit Agricole, 03:25 (GC -5:13)
  21. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 03:35 (GC -1:29)
  22. Axel Merckx (B), Lotto-Domo, 03:40
  23. Gilberto Simoni (I), Saeco, 03:40
  24. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), Illes Balears-Banesto, 03:41
  25. Sylvain Chavanel (F), Brioches La Boulangere, 03:43
  26. Michele Scarponi (I), Domina Vacanze, 03:53
  27. Pietro Caucchioli (I), Alessio-Bianchi, 03:58
  28. Laurent Brochard (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 04:03
  29. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Rabobank, 04:06

related articles: Tour de France 2006

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