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Archive for Saunier Duval

TDF – Stage 17: Enter the Dragon d’Huez

Embrun – l’Alpe d’Huez 210.5K

A CAT 3 precedes 2 HC climbs before meeting the dragon l’Alpe d’Huez. I have a feeling that we’ll know who will win the yellow jersey in Paris after today. Team CSC has been a formidable force this year. Both Schleck brothers are in the top 20 GC to make their parents, and all of Luxembourg, proud. Christian Vandevelde and Big George Hincapie turned in good, yet disappointing performances, and Kim Kirchen hung in Stage 16.

Here’s the starting jersey lineup:
GC Standings
yellow 17 SCHLECK Frank TEAM CSC SAXO BANK 68h 30′ 16″
green 133 FREIRE Oscar RABOBANK 219 pts
red 115 KOHL Bernhard GEROLSTEINER 85 pts
white 16 SCHLECK Andy TEAM CSC SAXO BANK 68h 39′ 17″
team TEAM CSC SAXO BANK 205h 22′ 34″

Stage 16
162 CHAVANEL Sébastien (FRA) FRANCAISE DES JEUX withdrawls
63 CHICCHI Francesco (ITA) LIQUIGAS outside time limit

Let’s roll!

An early start on the broadcast this morning found me still asleep, sorry! Got to bed late last night. But, here’s where our boys on wheels are now:

The Cat 3 and the Giant of the Alps, Gallibier, the third highest climb of the Tour, are done. Hoschovd is slipping behind; Kirchen had mechanical trouble, but is catching up now. Before I left my house this morning, Paul Sherwin wasn’t so sure that CSC’s strategy was the best for today. I’m sorry to have missed any shots of Briancon; I used to spend some time there, during my university days.

There are more doping rumors circulating, this time about Christophe Moreau, who had mysteriously withdrawn, and even about Schumacher! But, those rumors have apparently been quashed.

Schumacher is visibly angry with the breakaway group, and apparently had some words with the Euskatel rider on the descent from Telegraphe hill. Cadel Evans isn’t happy about the cameramen getting in his way.

The lead group, Schumacher, Velits and Ruben Perez have just gone through the feed zone. Their chase group is 1 min 7 secs behind, while the peloton is distanced by nearly 5:30 minutes.

Did you see Augustyn’s spectacular drop off the side of the mountain yesterday? I wonder who went after his bike! Good to have seen Augustyn make his way, with a bit of spectator’s help, back up to the road and walking about.

The lead group is approaches Croix de Fer – the Iron Cross (yikes), the second HC climb. Man, after Gallibier, I can’t imagine how sore those collective legs must feel…and the worst is yet to come!

Just in: Saunier Duval are ceasing operations immediately, fallout following the Ricco and Piepoli doping scandal.

Bernhard Eisel crashes at a rond point, the second for Columbia riders today! Adam Hansel was the earlier rider who crashed. Di Gregorio, who looked so promising earlier in the day, has fallen behind after being dropped on the last descent, and is being paced by his FDJ team car; but, he still chases the lead two by 3 minutes.

Magnus Backstedt is in one of the studios feeding live reports and commented that Croix de Fer is the hardest climb in the Tour. Yeh, we knew that, Magnus – the guys out on the side of that mountain know that (now, if they didn’t before). Tell us something new. Like: have you EVER finished a Tour de France?

The commentators are hoping Denis Menchov can pull off a stage win. We’ll see – he hasn’t had the best of luck going downhill! Schumi is in a foul mood, hehe.

Speaking of foul mood – I can’t stand these coffee withdrawals I’ve been having since trying to go off the brew! So, I’m going to cave in and make some. Also – I’m going to start a second section of this report when our boys on wheels are about to wake the Dragon. Right now, they’re about halfway up HC #2.

Velits hangs in with Schumi as Perez drops back by 1:25 minutes. Oscar Freire is behind the peloton, which is led by Cancellara. If you think the CSC pace hurts now, just wait! But, it’s been a bit much for Stuart O’Grady, and he dropped off the back of their pack.

39 miles to the finish, with the sleeping dragon in between. Velits has left Schumi behind with less than 7k yet to climb to the summit. I wonder what Hincapie and Valverde are thinking about the peloton…

Kirchen and Sastre are trailing the peloton.

One commentator remarked that there are spectators packing the road from out of nowhere, lol! The stragglers, including Cadel Evans, Kohl, Vandevelde, are perking up.

Velits takes the summit!

And I am going to start Part Deux of Enter the Dragon d’Huez.

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 Félix (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 Aurélien (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 – Post Stage 13 updates

Late updates:

Because I left the office early to take my hubby to lunch in celebration of his birthday, I got a chance to catch a televised re-broadcast of today’s Stage 13. It was, as described earlier, fairly uneventful until the final sprint through the city of Nimes. Rounding a left turn, a Gerolsteiner rider (if I’m not mistaking the jersey) managed to slice his bike in half when he got caught in the wrong spot over the turn post in the road – that cement traffic control structure with a metal post in the middle). The cyclist took a nasty fall, but was up and walking. His bike is toast, but he, fortunately, looked okay. I’m searching for a video that is actually available in my zone – aaaarghhh!

The title sponsor announced they will drop sponsorship of Saunier Duval.

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, Sébastien 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!