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Archive for Cavendish

Tour de France 2011 Stage 3 Sprint to Brittany

Lead by Garmin-Cervelo (1) and BMC (2), all 4 Teams USA ranked in the top 10. The mighty Thor goes into Stage 3 wearing the maillot jaune. Today, the Americans are dominating the French-born sport, which might not have ever happened, were it not for the guy from Texas who dominated for 7 years in a row. Yes, Greg LeMond, you were the first American to win the jersey; but, Armstrong really brought the sport forward for the rest of the world, too.

So, today’s route is good for the sprinters. Mark Cavendish says he wants to leave his mark. Hasn’t he already done? Phil Ligget’s picks have been spot on, so far, this year, and he says it will be Tyler Farrar’s day. Well, the younger ones are challenging the top, and this is turning out to be a very interesting Tour.

And what’s in store for Contador? Well, let’s not go there. Yes, the guy is talented; but…He does have amazing eyelashes, though. 😉

Meanwhile, it’s 100F in Central Texas for Independence Day, and I’d rather be by the sea in Brittany watching the boys ride by.

TDF Stage 18 Sprint to Bordeaux

I got a brand new pair of roller skates, you got a brand new bike…

Contador got to ride his brand new specialized bike through the Aquitaine region, where grands chateaux and wineries welcome the Tour for the 80th time. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, of course Bordeaux would be hosting A-list celebs, like Cameron Diaz and that Tom guy (being nice and biting my tongue). How sweet of Contador to give Cameron his bouquet as he motioned the two actors onto his podium.

Before that photo op, the comeback kid, Cavendish, claimed his 4th stage win of the Tour. Otherwise, nothing really changed in the GC standings. Sadly, unless something terrible happens to the guys up the time ladder, poor Levi doesn’t have a chance to win an individual spot on the podium in Paris, but Radio Shack could clinch the team spot. That would be nice for everyone, it would be nice for Lance.

I’m off doing some research for the end of this significant Tour…

TDF – Rest to Meet the Dragon

With the dragon mountain, L’Alpe d’Huez, just two days away, the riders need this rest day. Their rest would be like hard workouts to most of us…make that VERY hard workouts!

Current standings:
yellow 17 SCHLECK Frank TEAM CSC 63h 57′ 21″
green 133 FREIRE Oscar RABOBANK 219 pts
red 115 KOHL Bernhard GEROLSTEINER 85 pts
white 67 NIBALI Vincenzo LIQUIGAS 64h 02′ 43″
team TEAM CSC SAXO BANK 191h 43′ 49″

All withdrawals to date:
Stage 15
91 DEVOLDER Stijn (BEL) QUICK STEP withdrawls
Stage 14
126 JALABERT Nicolas (FRA) AGRITUBEL withdrawls
Stage 12
179 PIEPOLI Leonardo (ITA) SAUNIER DUVAL – SCOTT non-starter
177 JUFRE POU Josep (ESP) SAUNIER DUVAL – SCOTT non-starter
175 DEL NERO Jesus (ESP) SAUNIER DUVAL – SCOTT non-starter
174 DE LA FUENTE David (ESP) SAUNIER DUVAL – SCOTT non-starter
173 COBO ACEBO Juan Jose (ESP) SAUNIER DUVAL – SCOTT non-starter
171 RICCO Riccardo (ITA) SAUNIER DUVAL – SCOTT non-starter
55 COOKE Baden (AUS) BARLOWORLD withdrawls
Stage 11
56 DUENAS NEVADO Moises (ESP) BARLOWORLD non-starter
53 CARDENAS FĂ©lix (COL) BARLOWORLD withdrawls
Stage 10
Stage 8
62 BELTRAN Manuel (ESP) LIQUIGAS non-starter
Stage 7
192 BACKSTEDT Magnus (SWE) GARMIN CHIPOTLE outside time limit
166 JEGOU Lilian (FRA) FRANCAISE DES JEUX withdrawls
121 MOREAU Christophe (FRA) AGRITUBEL withdrawls
106 GADRET John (FRA) AG2R-LA MONDIALE withdrawls
95 FACCI Mauro (ITA) QUICK STEP withdrawls
Stage 6
178 PASSERON AurĂ©lien (FRA) SAUNIER DUVAL – SCOTT non-starter
Stage 5
51 SOLER HERNANDEZ Juan Mauricio (COL) BARLOWORLD withdrawls
Stage 3
176 GOMEZ Angel (ESP) SAUNIER DUVAL – SCOTT withdrawls
Stage 1

Good luck to the Cav on his upcoming Olympic performance, what a ride he had in this year’s Tour! Wishing the injured riders well and speedy recovery. As for those who continued to injure the sport – well, there’s one outfit that believes in second chances. However, it remains to be seen who would still be worth offering that option.

TDF – Stage 15: Bring it On in the Alps

Embrun – Prato Nevoso 182km

OK, I lied – I did not come back yesterday, and I’ll tell you why: it was my husband’s birthday, our son’s best friend was in town, we just had other things to do. But, I did get my little 3 mile morning walk in yesterday, and a nice 6 miler this morning.

So, here we are in Stage 15 and I’m watching the video of a nasty crash on both sides of a huge rond point at somewhere around 50k to go. The initial word is that Vandevelde crashed, Garmin-Chipotle definitely did, on rain-slick roadway.

Vandevelde is back on his bike – phew!

Time for a little recap of this weekend’s events:

  • Cavendish won his 4th Stage, packed up and left for home where he will prepare for the Olympics. I was hoping he’d stick it out to Paris; but, there was always that expectation that he’d leave early. What a great way to bow out, though!
  • Baroloworld will no longer sponsor the Tour and out of cycling.
  • GC standings after Stage 14:
    1 001 Cadel EVANS AUS SIL 59h01’55” 00”
    2 017 Frank SCHLECK LUX CSC 59h01’56” 01”
    3 191 Christian VANDEVELDE USA TSL 59h02’33” 38”
    4 115 Bernhard KOHL AUT GST 59h02’41” 46”
    5 131 Denis MENCHOV RUS RAB 59h02’52” 57”
    6 011 Carlos SASTRE ESP CSC 59h03’23” 1’28”
    7 041 Kim KIRCHEN LUX THR 59h03’51” 1’56”
    8 104 Vladimir EFIMKIN RUS ALM 59h04’27” 2’32”
    9 022 Mikel ASTARLOZA ESP EUS 59h05’46” 3’51”
    10 067 Vincenzo NIBALI ITA LIQ 59h06’13” 4’18”
  • Stage 14 results:
    1 133 FREIRE, Oscar ESP RAB
    2 186 DUQUE, Leonardo COL COF
    3 151 ZABEL, Erik GER MRM
    4 193 DEAN, Julian NZL TSL
    5 094 DE JONGH, Steven NED QST
    6 072 BALLAN, Alessandro ITA LAM
    7 026 PEREZ, Ruben ESP EUS
    8 145 PINEAU, JĂ©rĂŽme FRA BTL
    9 098 TOSATTO, Matteo ITA QST
    10 081 HUSHOVD, Thor NOR C.A

I just noticed that the markings on the rond point the riders just passed through – safely – has I-Ching markings…interesting…I’ll get back to this, later.

UPDATE on the earlier nasty crash involving Oscar Pereiro and Robbie Hunter: Oscar – broken shoulder and femur, he’s in hospital, otherwise okay; but out of the race. Best wishes to Oscar!

David Millar was also in that earlier rond point crash; looks like Robbie Hunter is on his bike.

So, we’re headed into Italian territory before tomorrow’s rest day.

Had to scan back through the route reports to see what happened on the HC climb: Danny Pate shoved a bunch of newspapers under his jersey for warmth on the descent. Y’know – I always wondered what that was all about!

Egoi Martinez – go Eqgoi! – took the HC points. Mark Renshaw abandoned, one less support man for Huschovd.

Martinez allowed another rider to take the next points on the Cat 3 climb. Let me double-check spelling for Arriete – Arrieta (AG2R) – how very gentlemanly of Egoi – go Egoi! Another example of why we love this sport!!

Will there be a change in the GC standings? Most likely another rider will be in yellow, making the 6th change this year. Am I speaking too soon? Are the commentators speaking too soon? Is Paul Sherwin ever wrong? haha!

CSC is making their move on the Cat 1 climb! The last of the stage – CSC wants to upset Cadel Evans with either Frank Schleck or Carlo Sastre – but, who would they be kidding. Wouldn’t Cadel already expect this?

Sprinters hate to climb.

My apologies if you’re refreshing your browser while I’m editing my commentary – my live feeds have been slow to recover from that first nasty crash around the rond point (everyone’s scrambling to figure out what happened to whom), and I’m trying to keep up with Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin, LOL!

Where in blazes is Team Columbia? C’mon guys!

I have to say, along with a million other fans I’m sure, that Garmin-Chipotle is certainly performing incredibly well in their first appearance in the Tour. Way to go, G-C (hey, I like that)!

Inside 10K to go and it’s finally getting fun!

Frank Schleck wants to shut down that 1 second lead of Cadel Evans.’ Meanwhile, Cadel is every vigilant; he doesn’t need to react right now, with 5K to go.

If you were Andy, would you sacrifice yourself for Frank?

Vandevelde is still hanging in; Kirchen is not having the best of days; Danny Pate is working hard.

Team CSC is on a mission!

Martinez surprised Danny Pate with an unexpected attack, but Pate is right after his wheel. Menchov went down! He’s back up, but the rain had just started – no fun on a hard uphill push!

Andy Schleck is doing his brother proud by pushing the lead group hard up the climb to the summit with 2k to go!

Cadel Evans is in trouble, but Menchov’s attack didn’t deter him.

Frank Schleck may be in a little trouble, sitting on Cadel’s wheel. Andy is wavering at the front of the lead group. Valverde is moving ahead.

1k to go and Danny Pate takes the lead!

Valverde has lost time, Andy has dropped back, Cadel Evans and Frank Schleck are battling for position.

I’m exhausted just watching!

Simon Gerrans takes the stage!

Gerolsteiner’s Bernhard Kohl pushes forward, trying to take the yellow jersey away!

Kohl crosses the line and Cadel must cross inside of 4’49” to keep the yellow!

Frank Schleck is in!

Results are still coming in, but this is what I have, so far:

Stage 15 results:
1 086 GERRANS, Simon AUS C.A
3 199 PATE, Danny USA TSL
4 102 ARRIETA, Jose Luis ESP ALM
5 115 KOHL, Bernhard AUT GST
6 011 SASTRE, Carlos ESP CSC
7 031 VALVERDE, Alejandro ESP GCE
8 131 MENCHOV, Denis RUS RAB
9 017 SCHLECK, Frank LUX CSC
10 191 VANDEVELDE, Christian USA TSL

GC Standings after Stage 15:
1. SCHLECK Frank 17 TEAM CSC SAXO BANK 63h 57′ 21″
2. KOHL Bernhard 115 GEROLSTEINER 63h 57′ 28″ + 00′ 07″
3. EVANS Cadel 1 SILENCE – LOTTO 63h 57′ 29″ + 00′ 08″
4. MENCHOV Denis 131 RABOBANK 63h 57′ 59″ + 00′ 38″
5. VANDEVELDE Christian 191 GARMIN CHIPOTLE 63h 58′ 00″ + 00′ 39″
6. SASTRE Carlos 11 TEAM CSC SAXO BANK 63h 58′ 10″ + 00′ 49″
7. KIRCHEN Kim 41 TEAM COLUMBIA 64h 00′ 09″ + 02′ 48″
8. EFIMKIN Vladimir 104 AG2R-LA MONDIALE 64h 00′ 57″ + 03′ 36″
9. VALVERDE Alejandro 31 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 64h 01′ 32″ + 04′ 11″
10. SANCHEZ Samuel 27 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 64h 01′ 55″ + 04′ 34″
11. ASTARLOZA Mikel 22 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 64h 02′ 39″

Well, so there it is: the yellow jersey will change hands, perhaps to Cadel’s relief. Andy did his brother Frank proud. Danny Pate was vocally disappointed (but, word is he’s typically pessimistic, anyway). CSC will most likely keep pushing toward greatness in the Alps.

The monster climb is 3 days away.

Have a terrific weekend.

TDF – Stage 13: Another Big Sprint Opportunity

Narbonne – Nimes 182k

The riders have traversed one of the most heavily Roman occupied regions in history, evident by the massive fortifications, aqueducts and temples dotting the area. Trivia: the word “denim” comes from the name of the town Nimes. Just thought I’d toss in a bit of something different today.

As the riders travel parallel to the lovely Mediterranean Sea, one of my personal favorite locations, on another hot summer’s day, I’d like to start you off with a quote from another blogger:

“Just wanted to say, having watched the replays and highlights of yesterday, what a relief it is to only have one rider wearing yellow. I know that’s not the issue, but SDV’s yellow jerseys have been annoying me for ages. Can you ask them to sort that out, while they’re sorting out next year’s riders” Peter Gosselin

By the way – for my readers – you do know that I’m editing these entries as the races progress, don’t you? So, you’re getting live commentary as fast as I get the news and can type (barring interruptions from people like my boss, lol!). Just keep refreshing the page every few minutes!

The riders are at around 53k into the race and approaching their first climb of the day, a Cat 4 at Resclauze.

Two riders, Florent Brard (Cofidis) and Niki Terptsra (Milram) lead the peloton by 6.52 minutes; the peloton doesn’t seem very anxious to chase them down, just yet. They’re about to descend Resclauze.

What say we look to Cavendish for another spectacular sprint today?

Sebastien Lang, wearing the polka dot jersey, took the final point over the summit and the peloton is slightly over 7 mins behind. Anyone want to tell the guys out front that the peloton is happy to let them wear themselves out?

Seriously, folks, the most excitement among the Tour bloggers this morning is the celebrity look-alike “contest” – Cadel Evan’s spooky grin makes him look like Jim Carey’s Grinch; Andy Schleck looks like…well, Frank Schleck; Patani resembles Dumbo. The list is growing and rather hysterical. I’ll save you the pain, though.

By now, the riders have conquered their second Cat 4 of the day and enjoying a nice, easy descent to the flats with about 69k to go. Correction: 65k

Cavendish takes another stage!

McEwen, Feillu, Haussler follow.

Stage results
2 006 MC EWEN, Robbie AUS SIL
3 124 FEILLU, Romain FRA AGR
4 114 HAUSSLER, Heinrich GER GST
5 133 FREIRE, Oscar ESP RAB
6 081 HUSHOVD, Thor NOR C.A
7 186 DUQUE, Leonardo COL COF
8 151 ZABEL, Erik GER MRM
9 193 DEAN, Julian NZL TSL
10 162 CHAVANEL, SĂ©bastien FRA FDJ

GC standings
1 001 Cadel EVANS AUS SIL 54h48’47” 00”
2 017 Frank SCHLECK LUX CSC 54h48’48” 01”
3 191 Christian VANDEVELDE USA TSL 54h49’25” 38”
4 115 Bernhard KOHL AUT GST 54h49’33” 46”
5 131 Denis MENCHOV RUS RAB 54h49’44” 57”
6 011 Carlos SASTRE ESP CSC 54h50’15” 1’28”
7 041 Kim KIRCHEN LUX THR 54h50’43” 1’56”
8 104 Vladimir EFIMKIN RUS ALM 54h51’19” 2’32”
9 022 Mikel ASTARLOZA ESP EUS 54h52’38” 3’51”
10 067 Vincenzo NIBALI ITA LIQ 54h53’05” 4’18”

The Cav-man is on a roll, literally! I cannot believe he actually outpaced Robbie McEwen, the one who has been known to rocket out of nowhere. We are really seeing a changing of the guard in this Tour. woo-hoo!

I’ll be back sometime tomorrow (have a short 3-mile group run to kickoff a new training season). The boys on wheels will be back tomorrow as they head into the Alps. Two Cat 4 climbs on the second half of the route, the last being within the final 10k, should provide another shakeout in the GC and see the sprinters begin to drop off.

Have a good afternoon!

TDF 2008 – Stage 5: Columbia hails Cavendish

The commentators said this would be the longest stage of the Tour. It seems it was also ridden in sunny weather with just a little break from the heat. In the end, Mark Cavendish was finally able to pull out all the stops and take the stage, and is the best young rider, for Team Columbia.

Both new USA teams are enjoying a successful Tour, so far.

The standings:

Stage 5 results Top 10
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Columbia 5.27.52 (42.45 km/h)
2 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank
3 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram
4 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole
5 Baden Cooke (Aus) Barloworld
6 Robert Hunter (RSA) Barloworld
7 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis – Le CrĂ©dit par TĂ©lĂ©phone
8 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Silence – Lotto
9 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas
10 Julian Dean (NZl) Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30

GC Top 10
1 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner 19.32.33
2 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team Columbia 0.12
3 David Millar (GBr) Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence – Lotto 0.21
5 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC – Saxo Bank 0.33
6 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30 0.37
7 George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia 0.41
8 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team Columbia 0.47
9 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas 0.58
10 JosĂ© IvĂĄn Gutierrez (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 1.01

Question: Do you think it unfair of the Tour to have stuck to its ban of Team Astana, even though it is a rebuilt team, thereby preventing Alberto Contador from defending his yellow jersey?