56th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
France, June 6-13, 2004
live report Results
Stage 4 - June 10: Bédoin - Le Mont Ventoux ITT, 21.6 km
Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Chris Henry and
Complete live report
Live coverage starts: 14:30 CEST
Estimated finish time: 16:30 CEST
Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the fourth stage of the Critérium du
Dauphiné Libéré, the all-important race against the clock (and the mountain)
from Bedoin to the top of Le Mont Ventoux. Although there are still some tough
stages before the finish in Grenoble, this stage should determine who has the
legs to be Dauphiné champion in 2004.
Of particular interest will be the performances of Lance Armstrong, Iban Mayo
and Tyler Hamilton, all of whom will be using this as a litmus test for the
Alpe d'Huez TT stage in the Tour de France. Only 2 seconds separates these three
on the general classification, and it's likely that one of them will take over
the lead from Phonak's Jose Enrique Gutierrez at the end of the day. But which
one will it be?
Today's stage will be run in warm (30 degrees) and fairly calm conditions, which
will make for a very testing 60-70 minutes of climbing. Not all riders can handle
the heat in the same way.
The climb to Mont Ventoux is very challenging, as the riders ascend 1629 metres
in 21.6 km, an average gradient of 7.5%.
The first rider, Josu Silloniz (Euskaltel), was off today at 12:30, eventually
finishing the climb in 1:08:40. The record for this climb is 56:50, held by
Jonathan Vaughters, a former pro with US Postal and Credit Agricole and now
a director of the US TIAA-Cref team. Cyclingnews spoke to Vaughters at
the start today in Bedoin, and he gave us his prognostic:
"My prediction is that the record will be broken and that it will be Mayo who
does it," he said. "Whoever beats it will be around 56 minutes flat. I think
Armstrong will be second but I think Mayo will beat Armstrong by so much that
it'll worry him..."
Vaughters added that "Third place will be some Phonak guy, but not Tyler Hamilton."
Another rider off early was Erik Dekker (Rabobank), who finished in a time of
1:05:02, so it's definitely not easy work out there. Similarly David Millar
(Cofidis) ended in 1:08:51. The best time thus far is Credit Agricole's Pierrick
Fedrigo, who clocked 1:01:36 for his 21.6 km.
One of Fedrigo's teammates, Dmitri Muravyev, has also done a relatively good
time of 1:03:21, which puts him in third (provisionally) at the moment. Credit
Agricole's hopes are resting with Christophe Moreau today.
Riders are starting at 2 minute intervals today, with the last rider off being
Jose Enrique Gutierrez (Phonak). He will be preceded by Iban Mayo, Tyler Hamilton,
Lance Armstrong and Oscar Pereiro in reverse order.
At the moment, Fedrigo still has the quickest time in 1:01:32, but there have
been some other good times done at the intermediate check points. Michael Rogers
(Quick.Step) has started very fast and passed through the 5.7 km mark in 10'47.
His teammate Richard Virenque, who beat Lance Armstrong on this climb in the
Tour two years ago, did 11'11 at the same point.
Jorg Jaksche (CSC) has finished his ride in a time of 1:04:45, which is not
going to be one of the better times today. When we spoke to him at the start,
he said, "I'm feeling ok but I'm still getting better after the crash [where
he broke his arm]. I'm omproving but I still have a bit of a way to go."
Jaksche's teammate Ivan Basso (CSC) has summited in 1:02:35, which will put
him in second place provisionally behind Fedrigo, who still has the best time.
Here comes Michael Rogers! The Australian has ridden a solid time trial and
has dethroned Fedrigo from the top spot with a time of 1:00:36. That's the fastest
time by a minute. Iker Flores (Euskaltel) has also ridden well, finishing in
1:01:43, which puts him in third overall behind Rogers and Fedrigo.
One rider who knows Mont Ventoux fairly well is retired Italian pro Eros Poli,
who actually won a Tour stage in 1994 that passed over the climb and finished
in Carpentras. Poli will be the first to admit that he's no climber, but he
was out on his bike today and managed to get up Ventoux in about 1 hour 50 minutes.
Some news about Floyd Landis, who started at 2:30pm today. He has gone through
the 15.5 km check in a time of 41'48, which is definitely the best to that point
so far today. With 6 km to go, he's looking good to go under the hour.
Christophe Moreau has started well, passing the 5.7 km check in 10'39, that's
8 seconds quicker than Rogers at the same point. Landis went through in 11'19,
but has obviously picked up his pace since then.
Yesterday's stage winner Nicolas Portal (Ag2r) has finished in a decent time
Of the sprinters, Baden Cooke (FDJeux.com) has ridden up in 1:08:22, some eight
minutes slower than his compatriot Michael Rogers, who still holds the best
US Postal's Victor Hugo Pena has ridden himself into second overall (provisionally)
behind Rogers, with a time of 1:01:21. Still no-one has managed to break the
David Moncoutie (Cofidis) has equalled Moreau's time at the 5.7 km check with
Things are looking good for Quick.Step at the moment, as Juan Miguel Mercado
flies through the 15.5 km check in 39'37! He's the first rider under 40 minutes,
and will surely go under the hour. But his teammate Virenque wasn't quite as
quick at that point in 45'26.
The crowds today are quite large, considering it's a work day and it isn't the
Tour de France. Most of the riders are choosing to ride standard road bikes,
sans aero-bars or disc wheels. Aerodynamics are still important, but getting
the weight down to the magic 6.8 kg mark (UCI limit) is also a priority.
The times are gradually improving now, as Chaurreau comes home in 1:02:59, Jean-Cyril
Robin in 1:01:25 and Manuel Beltran in (1:02:46).
Lance Armstrong, who will start very soon, was looking a little nervous last
night in the hotel. Well he should be, as he knows this is a big stage, one
where he has a very good chance to finally conquer Mont Ventoux with a victory.
He won't be holding back today, you can be sure.
Landis comes across in 1 hour flat! He has the new best time, 36 seconds quicker
than Mick Rogers.
Landis' time doesn't last long as Juan Miguel Mercado (Quick.Step) powers to
the top in an impressive 57'39, just 49 seconds shy of Vaughters' 1999 TT record.
Note: Armstrong rode a quicker time during the 2002 Tour stage when he was chasing
Virenque, but that wasn't an official TT.
Stephane Goubert (Ag2r) comes up behind Mercado in a time of 59'27, the second
rider to go under the hour.
Further down the mountain, Iban Mayo has started very well in a time of 10'04
for the first 5.7 km. Not sure of the other favourites' times to that point
The race leader, Jose Gutierrez, has already lost 30 seconds to Mayo at the
5.7 km mark. He didn't expect to hold onto yellow today, and he won't.
Moreau is past the 15.5 km mark in 42'01, which is one of the better times to
date but it's still nearly 2'30 slower than Mercado. The Quick.Step climber
holds the top time at the moment in 57:39.
Benjamin Noval (USPS) has finished in 1:03:49.
The top three thus far: Juan Miguel Mercado (Quick.Step) in 57'39, Stephane
Goubert (Ag2r) in 59'27 and Floyd Landis (USPS) in 1:00'00.
Lance Armstrong has started, but we're still waiting on his first time
Iker Camano (Euskaltel) is at the top in 1:01:22, just a little slower than
Sandy Casar (FDJ) in 1:01:20.
Inigo Landaluze (Euskaltel) is second quickest at 15.5 km in 40'53. Mercado's
time will take some beating.
José Azévédo (USPS) is at the top now in 1:00:09, fourth fastest to date.
The wind is generally against the riders today, although it's not particularly
strong. This will have the effect of slowing the times down a little.
David Moncoutie (Cofidis) is home in 59'50, third best time so far.
At the first time check, Lance Armstrong has caught Stuart O'Grady, who started
four minutes in front of him!
Oscar Sévilla (Phonak) has ridden well to the second time check at 15.5 km,
coming through in 39'39, just a handful of seconds slower than current leader
Correction to earlier correction: Mercado did in fact ride 57'39. Glad we got
that sorted out.
Thomas Voeckler (Brioches) is hauling, according to our reported Chris Henry
on the mountain. He has passed Moreau, who started a minute in front of him.
Oscar Sevilla (Phonak) should be finishing his ride soon. He was only 2 seconds
slower than Mercado at 15.5 km, so he could well find that extra bit to go faster
than his compatriot, who still holds the best time in 57'39.
Lance Armstrong has passed the 15.5 km mark in 40'02 in the fourth best time
behind Mercado (39'37), Sevilla (39'39) and....Tyler Hamilton in 39'21!!
Tyler Hamilton has obviously acclimatised to the heat, having knocked 16 seconds
off Mercado's time at the 15.5 km mark. Will Armstrong be beaten on Mont Ventoux
again today? He needs 41 seconds in the last 6 km to catch Hamilton.
But Hamilton is not quick enough for Iban Mayo, who flies past the 15.5 km mark
in 39'04! Jonathan Vaughters predictions are starting to look quite good at
Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) has ridden very well to finish in 59'24, the second
best time after Mercado's 57'39. But what will Mayo, Hamilton, Sevilla and Armstrong
Here comes Sevilla...excellent time by Spaniard in 56'54, just 4 seconds shy
of Vaughters' ITT record.
Race leader Jose Gutierrez (Phonak) went past 15.5 km in a good time of 40'28,
but he has effectively already lost the lead.
Levi Leipheimer is now home in 59'12, third best behind Sevilla. Mikel Astarloza
(Ag2r) has also finished in 1:02:15.
Mayo is riding very well, and is on track to set the best time. We're just waiting
for him, Armstrong, Gutierrez and Hamilton to finish.
It was Sevilla who posted the 56'54. He started the day at 19 seconds down on
GC, so he is effectively the overall leader (for a short while). We're still
waiting for Hamilton and co. Apologies!
The next riders to follow Sevilla are Laurent Lefevre, Stuart O'grady, Cyril
Dessel, Oscar Pereiro, Lance Armstrong, Tyler Hamilton, Iban Mayo and José Enrique
Gutierrez. We'll have their times as soon as they are available.
Tyler Hamilton comes through in 56'26, closely followed by Lance Armstrong in
But the new best time and the new leader of the Dauphine Libere is Iban Mayo,
who has blizted Vaughters' record by a minute with an incredible time of 55'51!!
He wins the stage and takes the jersey. Hamilton second ahead of Sevilla, Mercado
What a nail biting stage! The Dauphine GC has been turned on its head again,
with Iban Mayo the new race leader ahead of Hamilton by 36 seconds and Sevilla
by 1'14. Phonak certainly has the numbers to attack Mayo in the final three
stages, so it's not over yet...
Armstrong was fifth today, and lost nearly 2 minutes to Mayo. As Vaughters said
to us at the start, "This will worry him".
That's all from us here at the Dauphine. We hope you enjoyed our "cameo" live
coverage of the ITT. Unfortunately it's not possible to do more this week. But
please check in later for full results, report and photos from this stage.
1 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 55.51
2 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 0.35
3 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 1.03
4 Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa) Quick.Step-Davitamon 1.48
5 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 1.58
6 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank 3.21
7 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 3.33
8 Stéphane Goubert (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance 3.36
9 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, le credit par Telephone 3.59
10 Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 4.09
General classification after stage 4
1 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
2 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 0.36
3 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 1.14
4 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal presented by Berry Floor 2.00
the commentary team Results
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