Tour de France News Extra for July 8, 2004
Edited by Jeff Jones and John Stevenson
Spanish armada happier
Photo ©: Jon Devich
After Illes Balears, Liberty Seguros and Euskaltel-Euskadi all placed
in the top eight in yesterday's team
time trial, there was more cause for happiness in the Spanish camps.
Illes Balears, which had lost Menchov in the split on the previous day,
finished third in the TTT and kept Francisco Mancebo in a good position
(19th at 1'01 from Armstrong). "We can be satisfied," said team director
Eusebio Unzue. "Particularly because the weather conditions were really
not in our favour. US Postal also had some luck there. We rode 64 kilometres
in the pouring rain, while Armstrong had dry weather in the finale."
Euskaltel's performance surprised many, starting first of the 21 teams
but managing to hold the best time for quite a while before Illes Balears
beat it. Thus instead of losing another 2-3 minutes to Armstrong, Iban
Mayo only lost 1'20 today, and now sits 5'27 behind the American on GC.
"The Spanish teams are happily no longer the cripples of the peloton in
this discipline," commented Euskaltel's team manager Julian Gorospe.
Rabobank acquits itself well
Photo ©: Sirotti
Despite top man Levi Leipheimer crashing during the fourth
stage team time trial, Rabobank finished in 6th place behind US Postal
and expressed its satisfaction with the result. "It was good for the morale,"
said Bram de Groot to ANP. "[Leipheimer's crash] maybe cost us
thirty seconds. With the exception of that, it went really super."
Leipheimer said that "I felt my front wheel slip and I went over. Don't
ask me how it happened. I've no idea. About the race, I'm really satisfied.
This weather was actually good for us, we have a team that can ride very
well in the rain."
33 riders tested
After the end of the fourth stage, 33 riders from four different teams
underwent anti-doping tests. Riders from Euskaltel-Euskadi, RAGT-Semences,
Domina Vacanze and Lotto-Domo were tested, and all were given the OK to
Stage 8 live on SBS
This Sunday, July 11, Australian free-to-air broadcaster SBS will televise
the first of its four live stages of the Tour de France from Lamballe
to Quimper, beginning at 10:25pm AEST. The stage is expected to suit the
sprinters, but after more than a week of hard racing, a breakaway could
well stay clear.
In addition to four live stages, SBS is also broadcasting highlights
of the Tour in its usual 6:00pm spot, with late night repeats.
Just two days to go for fantasy Tour
New prize: Win a Bikestyle trip to a Grand Tour
With entries for the Cyclingnews
fantasy Tour de France closing in two days' time, there's never been
a better moment to pick your team or teams and sign up as a virtual directeur
sportif in this year's Tour de France. The Tour sections most likely to
cause an upset to the general classification - the trenches of Belgium
and northern France, and the team time trial - are past and you can decide
now which riders are unlikely to recover from the misfortunes of the last
Neil Stephens & Lawrie Cranley
And as if the head-start of the last few days weren't enough, we're delighted
to announce a terrific new prize: a ten-day trip with Bikestyle Tours
to any of the 2005 Grand Tours. Travel to France, Italy or Spain is not
included but once you're there, you'll be looked after by Lawrie and Natalie
Cranley and their team of guides including former pros Neil Stephens,
Patrick Jonker and Mike Wilson. Bikestyle Tours are famous for their friendly
atmosphere, great riding, excellent hotels, good food and spectacular
Giant's new TCR Advanced
The Fantasy Tour still offers a wealth of other great prizes too. The
grand prize is a T-Mobile livery 2005 Giant TCR Advanced frame, the sophisticated
new carbon fiber frame from Giant that weighs just 1250g for the frame,
fork and built-in seatpost. The TCR Advanced uses a scientifically selected
and custom made combination of several different special aerospace grade
high strength high modulus fibres combined with a new nano resin to make
the frame both lighter and stiffer than the existing TCR Composite.
Zero Gravity brake
From Zero Gravity comes the super-light Ciamillo brakes - worth US$355
a pair. The CNC-machined, 7075 aluminium stoppers weigh just 96g for a
rear caliper and 98g for a front.
CycleOps E-Trainer plus
With the CycleOps Electronic Trainer Plus you can train on five different
courses of varying levels or choose between interval sessions, tracking
heart rate, power, calories, distance and speed on the handlebar-mounted
console. The Electronic Trainer Plus comes with software and heart rate
chest strap, and would usually cost US$799.
Bontrager has come to the party with two pairs of wheels - the high-zoot
Bontrager XXX Lite OCLV carbon fibre tubular wheels worth US$1499 and
the zippy Race X lites worth US$849.99.
Tyler's pedals - yours to win!
Speedplay has joined the prize list offering a pair of Tyler Hamilton
Signature Edition Zero Pedals and a pair of Team CSC Edition Zero Pedals.
Rudy Project Tour de France edition
As the official sunglass sponsor of the Tour de France, Rudy Project
is once again part of the Cyclingnews Fantasy Game, this time with the
special Tour de France edition glasses. Rudy Project is giving away 21
sets of glasses, one pair to the winner of each stage of the Fantasy Game.
Salsa has joined the Cyclingnews Fantasy Game and is giving away its
Competidor™ six panel shorts. Five winners will receive a pair of these
shorts. They have a Primero chamois, silicone leg grippers and are made
from Literoubaix® fabric.
To take part this year all you need to do is pick a team of 15 riders
to race and select 9 riders each day during the tour. You can join up
until stage 6 begins. It's a great way to follow the tour. To register
go to fantasy.cyclingnews.com
. Good luck!
For more information on joining, see the rules
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)