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Archive for Kim Kirchen

TDF – Rest Day Recap

Yes, I know – I skipped a couple of stages. We had connectivity issues in my neighborhood (seems to happen this time every year, we must have a lot of cycling fans?). But, by Stage 10, you already knew the outcome. We expected Kim Kirchen to give up the yellow jersey; didn’t quite expect he’d also relinquish the green. We didn’t expect Cadel Evans’ spectacular finish. We will expect more shakeouts and shakeups in the mountains to come.

So, here we are in the Pyrenees on the first rest day and about halfway into the Tour. One of the fellows at work said he’s having a tough time caring about the Tour. Personally, I think all the cyclists in this year’s event deserve our attention. Take back the Tour? Sure, why not. I just love to watch the event. There was a time, not so very long ago, when we didn’t get this much coverage. Another reason to thank Lance Armstrong.

Is anyone playing the Kenda fantasy team game?

What are your predictions for this upcoming week of mountain stages?

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?

TDF – Stage 6: Kirchen captures yellow

Did you miss me? I was really busy at work, today; even had lunch with a buddy from my Austin Plone User Group who, I learned, is an avid distance cyclist and takes to the hills around here with the best of them. This is, after all, Lance’s hometown.

Neither rain, nor wind, nor heat of sun was going to stop Kim Kirchen from taking the best of Super-Besse. He may not have taken the stage, but he did take back the green, and the best prize of all, the yellow jersey for the day. What a lucky break that he didn’t go down with Schumacher on that most unfortunate fall just inside the last kilometer up to the finish!

Bravo, Valverde, for pushing up right behind Ricco to a hard finish line, with Cadel Evans at his side. While new faces are capturing the stages, the veterans are still proving they have the right stuff to keep things fresh and interesting.

Tomorrow’s stage heads toward the Pyrenees, one of my favorite segments of any Tour. Why? The pure beauty and challenge.

1. Riccardo RICCO
2. Alejandro VALVERDE
3. Cadel EVANS
4. Frank SCHLECK

GC standings
2. Cadel EVANS
4. Christian VANDEVELDE
5. David MILLAR

Question: Do you miss the in-car videos of Johan Bruyneel careening around the mountains while chatting up his riders?

TDF 2008 – Stage 1: and the winner is Valverde

2008 Route
Brest to Plumelec

A bit of wind on a beautiful day to start the 2008 Tour de France from historic Brest, Bretagne, and then a crash takes out Duclos-Lasalle. Cadel Evans, Tour favorite, and Robbie McEwen, sprint master par excellence, led the peloton into the last few kilometers to the finish at Plumelec, and another crash nearly claims another rider. Then we saw Team Columbia (High Road) push forward causing us to believe we may be singing “Hail, Columbia!” Up pops Erik Zabel with less than a kilometer to climb. Kim Kirchen led briefly until Alejandro Valverde dominated the finish.

Congratulations to Valverde for taking the first yellow jersey of this Tour. Good for Columbia, Kirchen (place 4) may have more to show us as the Tour continues. It’s going to be a very interesting 3 weeks. At least I can find one set of blue jerseys in the pack (yellow band on Columbia sleeve). As for Chipotle, I’m still trying to identify their jersey as they fly past cameras!

Anyone out there have photos to share?