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Archive for EPO

TDF – Stage 11: Go Tell It in the Mountains

Lannemezan – Foix
Another doper caught:
Spain’s Moises Duenas Nevado (Barloworld) tested positive for the blood boosting drug EPO after the fourth stage and was immediately withdrawn from the race by his team. The 27 year old rider is the second Spaniard in less than a week to fail a drugs test. I tellya – it’s that Spanish clinic thing again!

Cadel Evans begins the day in yellow. However, the mountains almost always shake out the sprinters while the climbers get into their zone. CSC has been, for the most part, leading the charge and chasing Oscar Pereiro – who nearly flies off the road!

Moinard (Cofidis) appears poised to take the stage. But, this *is* the Tour, anything can happen. The riders have already climbed a Cat 3, the Cat 1 at Col de Portel, and have another Cat 3 at Col del Bouich before the finish at Foix.

COL DE BOUICH: 1. Moinard, 2. Ballan, 3. Arvesen, 4. Velo (perfect name)

CSC and Silence Lotto lead the peloton as the riders are nearing the end of the downhill run toward flatter ground into Foix. Moinard holds his lead by 17 seconds; but, there are about 12km to go.

The peloton swallows Pereiro and spits him out!

Moinard lost his scant 5 second lead and the new leaders, Elmiger and Arvesen, need to figure out who’s going to help whom. 2km to go…can Arvesen hold on? YES!

No change in GC

Stage results
1 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team CSC – Saxo Bank 3.58.13 (42.19 km/h)
2 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
3 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre
4 Koos Moerenhout (Ned) Rabobank 0.02
5 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Crédit Agricole 0.11
6 Pierrick Fédrigo (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 0.14
7 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Liquigas
8 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française des Jeux
9 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner
10 Marco Velo (Ita) Team Milram

GC standings
1 001 EVANS, Cadel AUS SIL 46:42:13 00:00:00
2 017 SCHLECK, Frank LUX CSC 46:42:14 00:00:01
3 191 VANDEVELDE USA TSL 46:42:51 00:00:38
4 115 KOHL, Bernhard AUT GST 46:42:59 00:00:46
5 131 MENCHOV, Denis RUS RAB 46:43:10 00:00:57
6 011 SASTRE, Carlos ESP CSC 46:43:41 00:01:28
7 041 KIRCHEN, Kim LUX THR 46:44:09 00:01:56
8 173 COBO ACEBO ESP SDV 46:44:23 00:02:10
9 171 RICCO, Riccardo ITA SDV 46:44:42 00:02:29
10 104 EFIMKIN, V RUS ALM 46:44:45 00:02:32

TDF – Stage 7: Another First Tour Win, The First Tour Arrest

Brioude – Aurillac 159k

Commentary to follow later, meanwhile:

Stage 7 results
1 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 3.52.53 (40.964 km/h)
2 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner 0.06
3 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Liquigas
4 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team Columbia
5 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
6 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
7 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
8 Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Saunier Duval – Scott
9 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30
10 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team CSC – Saxo Bank

GC standings
1 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team Columbia 28.23.40
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence – Lotto 0.06
3 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner 0.16
4 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30 0.44
5 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 1.03
6 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 1.12
7 David Millar (GBr) Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30 1.14
8 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Quick Step 1.21
9 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
10 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team Columbia

192 BACKSTEDT Magnus (SWE) GARMIN CHIPOTLE outside time limit
166 JEGOU Lilian (FRA) FRANCAISE DES JEUX withdraw
121 MOREAU Christophe (FRA) AGRITUBEL withdraw
106 GADRET John (FRA) AG2R-LA MONDIALE withdraw
95 FACCI Mauro (ITA) QUICK STEP withdraw
Stage 6
178 PASSERON Aurélien (FRA) SAUNIER DUVAL – SCOTT non-starter
Stage 5
51 SOLER HERNANDEZ Juan Mauricio (COL) BARLOWORLD withdraw
Stage 3
176 GOMEZ Angel (ESP) SAUNIER DUVAL – SCOTT withdraw
Stage 1

OK, I’m back!

Slipstream (Garmin Chipotle) made a big deal about signing on Magnus Backstedt to ride with the Tour team. Has he actually ever finished a Tour?

The mountain stages are always exciting, with the hard climbs to the summit, then the rocket fast descent. Paul Sherwin’s Freudian slip of the tongue, referring to Team Columbia as Team Discovery, made me wonder if anyone is an overall cyclist. We’ll probably never see another Lance Armstrong in our lifetime; but, to win the Tour means being as good in the mountains as on the flats as in the time trials. Can Kirchen take this Tour? There are two more weeks to go.

Sadly, Manuel Beltran (Liquigas), 26th place following today’s stage, was arrested after testing positive for EPO. If the “B” test also returns positive, he will certainly be fired from the team. This strikes another blow to the otherwise highly-ranked team, as Ivan Basso has been suspended from the Tour for two years.

Question: Do you think another “cheat” will be found in this year’s Tour? Can this be the first “clean” Tour, or do you think that’s an impossible quest?