acoralsea

life is like the tide…it comes and goes on its own time

Archive for Sastre

TDF – Stage 19: Breaking News, Easy Day

Roanne – Montlucon 102.8 miles

Breaking news: Damiano Cunego will reportedly withdraw from the Tour today as a result of his very nasty crash yesterday. We wish him well and hope to see him next year!

Dummy here forgot to pack my power cord for my laptop, so I’ll have to just get you started and pop in later, to conserve power. Sorry ’bout that, it’s what happens when I get distracted in the morning, lol!

Status: the riders have already climbed a Cat 3 and Cat 4 and are on their way through Vichy (yes, as in the waters), the Capital of occupied France and synonymous with “collaborator.” It’s a little overcast and humid, but cooler than the past few days. Today offers last chances for sprint points, so there have been cat-and-mouse games and attacks. The GC contenders, however, might be waiting to see what happens in the TT. As it stands, the prediction is Sastre taking the yellow in Paris.

OK – back in a bit. There really isn’t anything exciting to expect from today. The legs are tired; there is too much time to make up for the GC (of course, one never knows what can happen); CSC will win Team honors. What more can be said. I really am looking forward to the TT!!

UPDATE: Sylvain Chavanel is making his usual attacks, but doesn’t seem to be hurting the peloton very much. Like others, I’m wondering if we’ll ever see TTT again; those were fun to watch. But, the French have been doing all they can to restack things in their favor. Perhaps they should focus on better training for their cyclists? It’s not like they don’t have a talent pool! OK, back to the update: absolutely boring stage. How much you want to bet that Oscar Freire takes the green jersey in Paris? Back later.

Late update: by now, you already have the results. But, let’s just post them, anyway. My bet is on Carlos Sastre to stand on the podium in Paris as the Tour winner. There were surprising withdrawals after today. One more thing: people are still wondering why the Douane stopped John Schleck, the father of the Schleck boys. hmmm….

Stage results:
1 181 CHAVANEL, Sylvain FRA COF
2 168 ROY, Jérémy FRA FDJ
3 044 CIOLEK, Gerald GER THR
4 151 ZABEL, Erik GER MRM
5 114 HAUSSLER, Heinrich GER GST
6 186 DUQUE, Leonardo COL COF
7 061 POZZATO, Filippo ITA LIQ
8 081 HUSHOVD, Thor NOR C.A
9 112 FÖRSTER, Robert GER GST
10 193 DEAN, Julian NZL TSL

GC standings:
1 011 Carlos SASTRE ESP CSC 82h54’36” 00”
2 017 Frank SCHLECK LUX CSC 82h56’00” 1’24”
3 115 Bernhard KOHL AUT GST 82h56’09” 1’33”
4 001 Cadel EVANS AUS SIL 82h56’10” 1’34”
5 131 Denis MENCHOV RUS RAB 82h57’15” 2’39”
6 191 Christian VANDEVELDE USA TSL 82h59’17” 4’41”
7 031 Alejandro VALVERDE ESP GCE 83h00’11” 5’35”
8 027 Samuel SANCHEZ ESP EUS 83h00’28” 5’52”
9 109 Tadej VALJAVEC SLO ALM 83h02’46” 8’10”
10 104 Vladimir EFIMKIN RUS ALM 83h03’00” 8’24”

Withdrawals:
NO LONGER RIDING Stage 19
132 FLECHA Juan Antonio (ESP) RABOBANK outside time limit
124 FEILLU Romain (FRA) AGRITUBEL outside time limit
119 WEGMANN Fabian (GER) GEROLSTEINER outside time limit
71 CUNEGO Damiano (ITA) LAMPRE non-starter
3 BRANDT Christophe (BEL) SILENCE – LOTTO withdrawls
Stage 17
123 CASPER Jimmy (FRA) AGRITUBEL outside time limit

TDF – Stage 17: Awaken the Dragon, Part Deux

Voekler led the chase group, that included the Schleck brothers, Evans, Kohl et al, over the summit. The peoloton are nearing the summit and one has to wonder how much longer the CSC group will be able to control them.

Kohl looks positioned to keep the King of the Mountain title into Paris.

Cancellara is playing domestique for his mates, what a guy!

Velits leads the way toward Bourg-d’Oisans. There, the beast will be awakened. Meanwhile, my butt is getting sore from sitting here and waiting for something to happen. So far, it’s been pretty much the same story – CSC in control, a couple of guys who haven’t a chance in hell break loose, the chasers are all GC contenders, people drop like flies.

Are there any Dutch out there? The Alpe d’Huez has a Dutch parish priest, and a long association with the Dutch, and is known as the Dutch Mountain.

The yellow jersey group is chasing Pineau and Velits. They include Valverde, Vandevelde, Kohl, Menchov, Evans, Cancellara and Popo. The peloton is 1:49 minutes behind.

The lakeside peace of this lovely part of the Isere will soon give way to the mountain battle ahead. Who are you pulling for to wear the yellow jersey in Paris?

Speaking of awakening the beast – my readers are starting to wake up, too, haha!

CSC just passed the 20K to go banner and continue to lead the charge toward the beast.

The battle begins!

As expected, Velits hits the wall and Pineau pushes ahead on the steepest of the climbs on Alpe d’Huez. Cancellara falls off the front, Menchov and Sastre break away. Evans and Vandevelde hang in with the Schleck crew. Hang on to your seats, boys, it’s going to be a 21-hairpin-turn ride!

The Dragon has beaten Menchov! He’s falling behind by 30 bike lengths. Just don’t come out and say the entire CSC Team has been taken mystery drugs!!

Sastre turns up the heat. Evans and Kohl have taken turns at the lead. Andy is leading his brother, again. What brotherly love! Vandevelde moves ahead (can’t wait to see the enhanced re-broadcast with Paul Sherwin jumping up and down in the background).

Valverde attacks, to no avail. Vandevelde and Evans remain calm and strong. Will CSC crack under the pressure?

Menchov returns! Sastre is the virtual yellow…but, things change when the beast awakens, and the beast is wide awake!

hehe…CSC got to cheer Sastre under their bridge before Team CSC got there.

Unless he falls, Sastre will be the lead after today, and on the mountain. Sanchez followed by Andy Schleck complete the first three to the finish.

Valverde is in…followed by F. Schleck…

Stage results
1. SASTRE Carlos 11 TEAM CSC SAXO BANK 6h 07′ 58″
2. SANCHEZ Samuel 27 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI 6h 10′ 01″ + 02′ 03″
3. SCHLECK Andy 16 TEAM CSC SAXO BANK 6h 10′ 01″ + 02′ 03″
4. VALVERDE Alejandro 31 CAISSE D’EPARGNE 6h 10′ 11″ + 02′ 13″
5. SCHLECK Frank 17 TEAM CSC SAXO BANK 6h 10′ 11″ + 02′ 13″
6. EFIMKIN Vladimir 104 AG2R-LA MONDIALE 6h 10′ 13″ + 02′ 15″
7. EVANS Cadel 1 SILENCE – LOTTO 6h 10′ 13″ + 02′ 15″
8. MENCHOV Denis 131 RABOBANK 6h 10′ 13″ + 02′ 15″
9. VANDEVELDE Christian 191 GARMIN CHIPOTLE 6h 10′ 13″ + 02′ 15″
10. KOHL Bernhard 115 GEROLSTEINER 6h 10′ 13″ + 02′ 15″

GC Standings
1 011 Carlos SASTRE ESP CSC 74h39’03” 00”
2 017 Frank SCHLECK LUX CSC 74h40’27” 1’24”
3 115 Bernhard KOHL AUT GST 74h40’36” 1’33”
4 001 Cadel EVANS AUS SIL 74h40’37” 1’34”
5 131 Denis MENCHOV RUS RAB 74h41’42” 2’39”
6 191 Christian VANDEVELDE USA TSL 74h43’44” 4’41”

Team CSC has kept the yellow jersey, even though it changes shoulders. Kirchen’s hopes are 8 minutes behind, Vandevelde needs to make up 4 minutes, while Evans is a minute behind.

The forthcoming Time Trial can’t make up for too much, disasters notwithstanding.

OK, my boss has been patient enough with me this morning; I need to get to work! Cya later, thanks for reading!