Tour de France Cycling News for July 6, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones
No yellow for Lance
Cyclingnews sources near the Discovery Channel team bus at the
start of Stage 5 report that Lance Armstrong will not wear the yellow
jersey today, to honour the fact that Dave Zabriskie lost the jersey because
of an accident yesterday.
Discovery Channel team rider George Hincapie told Cyclingnews' Tim
Maloney, "Lance and the team felt that even though we might have
won by one or two seconds, it was that close, it's not right to take the
yellow jersey that way. So he's not going to wear it to honour that fact."
Update: According to official reports, Armstrong didn't wear the
almost sacred maillot jaune to the start of today's stage, but
the commissaires forced the peloton to stop at the end of the neutral
section, allowing Armstrong to don the yellow and wear it for the stage
Dave Zabriskie (CSC)
Photo ©: AFP
David Zabriskie (CSC) has been confirmed as starting today's fifth stage
between Chambord and Montargis, although he won't have an easy time of
it after his spectacular crash towards the end of yesterday's team
time trial. Although X-rays taken on Tuesday evening showed that there
was nothing broken, Zabriskie did have to have stitches in his elbow,
and is nursing bruised ribs on his right side and a sore, swollen knee.
With another windy, cool day with a chance of rain predicted today,
it's hard to know if Zabriskie will hang in there. At the very least,
he will hope for dry weather.
Luke Roberts assesses the situation
By John Trevorrow and Gennie Sheer
Team CSC, before things went pear-shaped
Photo ©: Sirotti
Australian Tour rookie Luke Roberts was in a good position to see what
happened to maillot jaune Dave Zabriskie in yesterday's team time
trial, as he was on the American's wheel. But even Luke couldn't tell
exactly what caused the crash.
"It is really disappointing, we just anted to win so badly," he related
after the stage. "At the last time check with six kilometres to go, we
had five seconds, and we had been as much as 17 seconds up. I was right
behind Dave when he crashed, not sure what happened, whether his chain
slipped or his foot came out of the pedal. I had to brake to miss him
and they opened a gap in front of us.
"I was lucky actually: If Dave hadn't slid away from me I would have
come down too, the old track skills came in handy. Two guys fell back
because of Dave and we had to get five to the finish line, so I had to
try to close the gap again without having the four slow up in front. In
the end they hesitated a bit too, which threw us off a bit and probably
cost us the stage win in the end. So pretty disappointing to be so close
to keeping yellow and winning the stage and then to not get either. Not
our lucky day.
"It was all running so smoothly, we were in the lead and we knew it
was coming down to the final kilometres and we were strong. I thought
we would get there. When they gave us six seconds on one of the last climbs,
Jens Voigt put in a couple of pearlers, we were going fast, I knew it
was going to be close."
Could it have been the pressure of having Discovery breathing down your
neck that caused the crash? "I don't think so, it was just one of those
things. I feel really bad for him but that's bike racing. Not much you
can say to Dave to make him feel any better.
"The plan was at the start that coming into the last five or ten kilometres
or so that wouldn't wait for anyone but Ivan Basso even if Dave flatted.
We knew we had to keep going for the time. It was the way we'd planned
it from the start. We had ridden the course as recently as last Wednesday
and the last few kilometres a second time. This morning we rode another
30 km. The guys at the front had it really well controlled when the crash
happened. It would have been great to keep the jersey and in the stage
but unfortunately we didn't get either.
"I suppose it takes the pressure off the team not having to control
the race at the front, but that's not much consolation. We still have
Ivan and Carlos in a good position and we will keep protecting them getting
them ready for the mountains.
"Looking back I am sure we would have won. There was that moment of
hesitation because it was David but over the radio they said "What are
you doing, there is only one km to go." We have to put it behind us now.
Bjarne Riis just said, 'bad luck, you did a good job'."
This morning before the start of Stage 5, we spoke to Roberts again,
asking him how he backed up after yesterday. "I feel all right - I certainly
feel better than Dave. He's lost a lot of skin but nothing's broken and
he seems okay."
What was Bjarne's reaction yesterday? "Bjarne came in straight away
and congratulated us on doing a good job, and made the point that we probably
needed a little bit of luck as well on that stage when it just wasn't
there for us."
How do you rate your own performance? I was really good along the first
40 kilometres where it was flat along the river. That suited me well and
was really like one big teams pursuit, but once we hit those climbs towards
the finish Jens and Bobby were really strong and that hurt me quite a
bit. But I stuck in there and stuck with them and on the descent into
town did what I could to hang on for last couple of kilometres.
What's the plan now for CSC? "Our job is to look after Ivan and Carlos
(Luke's Tour room mate) and keep them well protected in the next few hectic
bunch sprint days. But having said that, I'm 17th on GC so maybe a breakaway
is an option for me. We also have Jens and Kurt who can play the breakaway
card and perhaps CSC might get back the jersey but that will depend on
what Discovery has in mind."
Davis and co. just off the pace
By John Trevorrow in Blois
Allan Davis was part of the Liberty Seguros challenge that came in fourth
yesterday, conceding 53 seconds to Armstrong's Discovery Channel team.
"It was disappointing to lose by a small amount. It's a funny course:
it was a straight tail wind for three quarters, and then a bit lumpy and
twisty towards the end. Today's instructions were for short progressive
efforts and then to lift the pace towards the end.
Last year, Manolo Saiz held you back until the team time trial, this
year you've had more of an open slather. "I have come into the race a
bit fresher this year. I think as the years go along I should get a bit
better, hopefully I will keep progressing in a way that I have for the
past couple of years."
Inside the Gerolsteiner TTT
The rules say that five riders have to finish the team time trial, and
one assumes that the teams will start with nine riders. One assumes that
all nine riders will be at the start....and not left sitting at the hotel,
right? Well, sometimes it doesn't work out that way. And apparently even
the riders aren't sure who was where.
"In all the excitement we totally forgot three riders," notes Ronny
Scholz on his website, www.ronnyscholz.de. According to him, Robert Förster,
Paco Wrolich and Sebastian Lang "sat in the car in front of the hotel
and waited for someone to come and drive them away. When nobody came,
Frösi (Förster) got behind the wheel and drove away."
Förster remembers it differently, as he related to www.radsport-news.com:
"Zberg, Fabian and I came a little later out and got in the fourth car.
The first three cars drove away - we don't. Someone said, hey, who's driving
us, anyway? Oh well, they won't start without us, someone will be here
in a minute. Ha! They forgot us! We laughed ourselves silly. We couldn't
reach anyone over the radio. I said, come, Paco, turn the navigation control
on, we'll drive ourselves. We just started to program it when they called
us over the radio, said they had forgotten us, could we come by ourselves?"
Förster finished 186th, over 11 minutes down. "Time trialing is just
not my thing," he acknowledged, and added, "The yellow jersey is out of
my reach now! My Tour victory has slipped away...." After the time trial,
his adventures continued. "In the bus I laughed at Fabian (note: his roommate
at the Tour), because he got this funny cramp and hopped around. I was
immediately punished: I hadn't even stopped laughing when I got the same
cramp...In the hotel we both lay on our beds for an hour and called for
Wegmann wrote on www.fabianwegmann.de, "I just arrived at the hotel,
can neither lie down nor sit. My whole body is totally cramped, the legs
hurt - I can barely hold out. I think, team time trialing will never be
my favourite discipline...What interests me most right now: How am I going
to get on the bike Wednesday?"
Captain Georg Totschnig wasn't at all satisfied with his performance,
as he wrote on www.step2web.at/totschnig. "I rode absolutely the worst
time trial of my life. During the entire distance I never found the right
rhythm and sometimes had the feeling that my teammates had to wait for
me - what a disappointment!"
Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer
Ludewig not happy to wait
Jörg Ludewig, Domina Vacanze, doesn't understand the team management's
decision to wait for two riders who fell back near the end of the TTT.
"I think we were in about 6th or 7th place at that stage. And then we
heard from the team management that we had to wait for two riders who
had fallen back. You take your tempo out, lost 20 or 30 seconds, need
more time to get back into your routine, to get your speed up and to find
the rhythm again," he told www.radsport-news.com. "You work the whole
year for the Tour. The team time trial is an absolute highlight. Everyone
wants to show what he can do...Over an hour at your absolute limit. And
then you have to wait."
Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer
London gets the nod for 2007
The Tour de France will start in London in 2007, reports Het Nieuwsblad.
Organisers ASO will make it official next week. It will be the first time
that the Grand Boucle has started in the British capital, although it
has visited the British Isles several times in its history, most recently
in the 1998 Tour when it started in Dublin.
The 2006 Tour is set to start in Strasbourg, the home of the European
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)