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Archive for Vandevelde

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!

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, Jérôme 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
2 024 MARTINEZ, Egoi ESP EUS
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 – 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 10: Shakeout in the mountains

Pau – Hautacam 156k

We’ve been waiting for this day, when the “real” contenders will be revealed after the first truly hard mountain battle to shake and wake up the competition. Caisse d’Espagne took the lead early, not so smart in my opinion, on a day that otherwise should be all about the French. It is, after all, Bastille Day, but the Pyrenees, well, they *are* the Pyrenees.

Big George Hincapie (why can’t Craig Hummer pronounce his name!) and former teammate Popovych slid behind at 55km. Valverde has been fading, but one never knows what he has up his sleeve, and Di Gregorio takes Tourmalet.

Who will take Hautacam – toss out all predictions, this has been a bumpy ride! Kirchen already seemed ready to let go of the yellow jersey, but he’s no slacker. Evans is riding amazingly well after his nasty crash and is headed for the summit with an impressive group that includes Vandevelde, Sastre and Ricco, leaving Kirchen now 2.5 mins behind. BUT – it looks as though Frank Schleck will take the yellow today!

Saunier Duval takes the summit with a Peipoli and Cobbo 1-2 punch. Evans takes the yellow by a single second!

Stage 10 results
1. Leonardo PIEPOLI
2. Juan Jose COBO ACEBO
3. Frank SCHLECK
4. Bernhard KOHL
5. Vladimir EFIMKIN

GC Standings
1 001 Cadel EVANS AUS SIL 42h29’09” 00”
2 017 Frank SCHLECK LUX CSC 42h29’10” 01”
3 191 C VANDEVELDE USA TSL 42h29’47” 38”
4 115 Bernhard KOHL AUT GST 42h29’55” 46”
5 131 Denis MENCHOV RUS RAB 42h30’06” 57”
6 011 Carlos SASTRE ESP CSC 42h30’37” 1’28”
7 041 Kim KIRCHEN LUX THR 42h31’05” 1’56”
8 173 Juan Jose COBO ESP SDV 42h31’19” 2’10”
9 171 Riccardo RICCO ITA SDV 42h31’38” 2’29”
10 104 Vlad EFIMKIN RUS ALM 42h31’41” 2’32”

TDF 2008 – Stage 4: Shumacher sets best time, takes GC lead

Time Trial: Cholet 29.5k

It’s a relatively quiet day at the office and I was anxiously watching my favorite live commentary, but got completely confused as to where Kim Kirchen finished up. So, here are the standings after Stage 4 Time Trials at Cholet:

General classification after stage 4
Pos. No. Name Nat. Team Time Gap (in secs)
1 111 SCHUMACHER, Stefan GER GST 14:04:41 :00
2 041 KIRCHEN, Kim LUX THR 14:04:53 :12
3 198 MILLAR, David GBR TSL 14:04:53 :12
4 001 EVANS, Cadel AUS SIL 14:05:02 :21
5 013 CANCELLARA, Fabian SUI CSC 14:05:14 :33
6 191 VANDEVELDE, Christian USA TSL 14:05:18 :37
7 047 HINCAPIE, George USA THR 14:05:22 :41
8 048 LÖVKVIST, Thomas SWE THR 14:05:28 :47
9 067 NIBALI, Vincenzo ITA LIQ 14:05:39 :58
10 035 GUTIERREZ, José Ivan ESP GCE 14:05:42 :01:01

Great results for both our USA teams just over the midpoint of week 1 of the Tour!