Tour de France '07 Stage 7: Bourg-en-Bresse - Le-Grand-Bornand

Gerdemann - DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images

DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images

Linus Gerdemann left it all on the road: he destroyed the rest of his break on the slopes of the Colombiere and then took every risk to descend to victory in Le-Grand-Bornand. Gerdemann, mouth caked in dried spit, could barely stand when it was all over -- he got to trade T-Mobile pink for yellow when it was all over. The young rider can also wear the white jersey under that if he likes.

The breakaway had four-and-a-half minutes advantage at the start of the final climb. Gutierrez, Fovonov, Gerdemann, and Landaluze were the only riders from the 15-man break that had the legs to attack on the slopes. Gerdemann put in his big attack with 5k to go and never had to look back. Despite the pace set by Rabobank and Caisse, Gerdemann still managed to finish with three-and-a-half minutes over the peloton. Landaluze had the best effort of the breakaway chasers, finishing half a minute back.

Today was the start of Rasmussen's KOM effort in earnest. He took the early Corlier points and then was able to jump to take some points on the final Colombiere climb as well. Rasmussen might have taken more points if his line wasn't blocked by the AG2R team car that stopped in the road just behind Elimiger (AG2R).

This wasn't the stage to sort out the overall favorites. Pretty much anyone who mattered made the selection. Even Vino and Kloden were able to hang on, and Vino had already shed the bandages from his arms, so we'll have to wait until tomorrow to see some shakeup.

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CyclingNews Stage 7 Preview: "Stage six [sic] starts out with an early climb up Cote de Corlier in the foothills of the Ain region, where key team riders will try to get out front early to help their team leaders on the decisive final 16-kilometre ascent of the Col de la Colombiere before the descent to Le Grand-Bornand."

My predication: Hincapie (second pick: Popovych). Every team still thinks it has a shot in the overall, which may have contributed to a lack of attacking thus far. Stage 7 is hard to predict as teams still haven't figured whether their ambitions are for stage wins or the overall. Nevertheless, Discovery Channel is hunting for sponsorship and could use some first-week publicity. Hincapie seems suited for this stage as the final climb may not be selective enough, allowing for a small group to sprint it out for the win. Hincapie is tied for 5th place overall and could move into first with a stage win. Update: of course, Bastille Day followers may place their bets with Moreau as his teammate Gadret said at the start of the day, "it's a special day - I'm going to be at the front, but I don't have the liberty to attack - it's all for Moreau." I'm sticking with Hincapie.

Other coverage

Versus Picks

  • Bob: Valverde
  • Phil: Hincapie
  • Al: Rasmussen
  • Paul: Menchov

kwc.org Stage Log

Freire and Lobato did not start today. Degano did not abandon yesterday but abandoned today.

Boonen took the first sprint to collect 6; Zabel took 4

Rasmussen showed himself on the Corlier to take the KOM points. Chavanel took third to try and protect his jersey.

Interesting to see Predictor-Lotto at the front of the peloton. Evans must feel good.

15 riders in the breakaway 8+ minutes ahead: Savoldelli (Astana), Wegmann (Gerol), Elmiger (AG2R), Pineau (BT), Flecha (Rab), Tankink (Quick Step), Gutierrez (Caisse), Martinez (Discovery), Gerdemann (T-Mobile), Fofonov (CA), Lefevre (BT), De La Fuente (Saunier Duval), Landaluze (Euskaltel), Vaugrenard (FD Jeux), Perez (Euskaltel)

Gerdemann took the second sprint.

The break is on the Cruseilles. de la Fuentes took the KOM. It looks like Zabriskie is leading the peloton up the climb. After they go over the top it's Cancellara helping to lead the peloton, now back to domestique duties. Cancellara drops the peloton trying to pull things back -- he's just too strong.

The Peguin climb is next, just a short distance from the Cruseilles.

de la Fuente wants the points and gets them easily.

Zabriskie has to do work at the front again. It looks like it DZ uphill, Cancellara downhill.

Perez (Euskaltel) attacks the break. It comes back together.

Gutierrez (Caisse) and de la Fuente (SD) start the attack on the Colombiere, which is dropping Perez, Savoldelli, Vaugrenard, and others. The break only has 4:16 on the peloton.

Cancellara waves goodbye to his camera and the yellow and he's falls off the back of the peloton on the slopes. Cancellara has done terrific work for CSC today pacing things back.

Gerdemann and Fofonov have caught back on with de la Fuente and Gutierrez... now they are going on past on their own.

Rabobank is controlling the front of the peloton. They're getting some water bottles from one of the team cars, which pulled over along the side of the road.

The peloton is realy whittling down as a Barloworld rider hangs off the front with Rabobank pacing behind. Flecha hands a bottle back to his Rabobank teammates as he's caught from the break.

Chavanel in the KOM jersey is being dropped as the peloton hits 20k to go.

Gerdemann is all alone at the front with Fofonov behind. Savoldelli is being caught by the peloton.

My pick Hincapie is being dropped in a second group behind the Rabobank group.

Levi and Horner are both up near the front. Valverde has two teammates.

Gerdemann is 4:30 ahead still with Landaluze behind. Despite the fast tempo of the peloton, it doesn't seem like Gerdemann is going to be caught.

Caisse takes over the pacemaking of the peloton.

Levi has Contador, Popovych, and Gusev. Vino is holding on strong.

Gerdemann looks like he's starting to have difficulty with the climb. Dried spit is caked around his mouth and he's laboring on the cranks. Landaluze doesn't look any better.

Gerdemann swerves around the stopped motorbike and Landaluze gets a bit too much assistance from the Basque fans.

The peloton is just under a kilometer behind and Gerdemann takes the KOM

Schleck and Sastre are in the peloton. It looks like all the big contenders are there.

Rasmussen jumps for the KOM and easily zooms around Wegmann, who's being caught from the early break.

Rasmussen swoops around an AG2R roadblock. That may have cost Rasmussen some KOM points as he almost caught Elmiger (AG2R).

Gerdemann is just flying down the descent with a 3 minute lead on the peloton. He'll also have to hold off Landaluze.

Haven't seen Kloden. Looks like he may be the only overall contender who's chances were eliminated today -- though really the crash did that. (correction: Kloden was in the pack)

Gerdemann is taking huge risks, nearly hitting a barrier on the oustide of a turn.

3k to go -- the stage is Gerdemann's at this point.

Victory to Gerdemann with no one in sight behind. Landaluze finished 40 seconds behind.

Wegmann like sto attack this Tour. He's going off he front of the peloton after being caught from the break.

related articles: Tour de France 2007
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