Tour de France Cycling News for July 14, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones and Shane Stokes
Stage 11 wrap up: Vino bounces back
By Shane Stokes
Alexandre Vinokourov (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Kazakh hardman Alexandre Vinokourov bounced back from a disappointing
ride yesterday with a stomping performance on today's 11th stage of the
Tour de France. Showing great determination plus a complete recovery from
his problems 24 hours earlier, the T-Mobile rider reached the line 1 minute
15 seconds clear of the Lance Armstrong group, outsprinting Phonak's Santi
Botero for his second-ever stage win in the race.
Armstrong's Discovery Channel teammates drove hard in the closing kilometres,
trying to reduce the time gap and to also set the Discovery leader up
for the time bonus. However his efforts to take third on the stage were
frustrated when Frenchman Christophe Moreau (Credit Agricole) burst from
the group to grab the eight seconds. Bobby Julich (CSC) continued his
good Tour by taking fourth, with Eddy Mazzoleni (Lampre) fifth and Armstrong
Vinokourov and Botero were part of a small breakaway which went clear
on the first climb of the day, the Hors Categorie Col de la Madeleine.
The group had attacked in pursuit of two early leaders, green jersey contender
Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) and Samuel Dumoulin of Ag2R-Prévoyance.
Vino, Botero and Phonak teammate Oscar Pereiro were the strongest in the
group, pressing on ahead over the summit, with the first two staying clear
until the end.
Lance Armstrong retains his comfortable lead over the other contenders,
although Christophe Moreau's third place moves him up into the same position
overall. Botero is up to sixth while Vinokourov is now twelfth.
"Once we were clear, today was about getting as much time as possible,"
the Kazakh national champion said, "although we did concentrate on the
stage result at the end.
"I had a bit of cramp near the finish. But I know Santi, he is not really
a rider for the sprint. I realised I had a good chance for the victory.
As regards the rest of the race, the Tour is not finished. There are some
important stages left. My morale is good after this stage win."
One who will not be continuing is former race leader Jens Voigt, who
was eliminated today. His CSC team said this evening that he has been
ill for the past few days.
Stage 11 full results,
report & photos
Complete stage maps &
An interview with Alexandre Vinokourov
No gifts at the Tour: Mission accomplished
Alexandre Vinokourov showed his guts and class by attacking a long way
from home to win the 11th
stage of the Tour de France. For the Kazakh champion who lost five
minutes the day before, it was the best way to bounce back as Cyclingnews'
Anthony Tan reports from Briançon.
Photo ©: Sirotti
When the winner of the eleventh stage of the Tour de France was asked
if his victory today was a 'gift' from Lance Armstrong, the softly spoken
Kazakh was a little taken aback.
"Well... I think you have to ask that to Lance," muttered Vino, who
told French sports newspaper L'Equipe a few days ago that the only
other team he'd consider riding for in 2006 would be Discovery Channel.
Armstrong's response: "Our main concern was to keep the team together.
He was six and a half minutes behind on GC and we can't chase down everybody
who's at 5, 6, 7 minutes - we have to prioritise. And he was not on our
list of priorities, so we let him out there and controlled the pace. If
his objective was to win a stage - mission accomplished. If his objective
was to blow up the Discovery team - mission not accomplished."
here for the full interview
Frigo and wife implicated in serious doping situation
By Tim Maloney, European Editor
Dario Frigo of the Fassa Bortolo pro cycling team was sitting in 52nd
place on GC in the Tour de France, but didn't take the start on Stage
11 in Courchevel Wednesday, as he was taken from the Hotel Mercure Wednesday
morning around 8am by the Gendarmes of Chambery. Frigo's wife Susanna
was stopped Tuesday afternoon in a supposedly routine road patrol on her
way to Courchevel to meet her husband. French customs agents searched
Susanna Frigo's vehicle on the A43 autoroute near Chambery and allegedly
found ten ampoules of doping products, allegedly EPO and HGH hidden in
a thermos bottle packed with ice stored in the trunk.
Dario and Susanna Frigo were interrogated in the gendarmerie of Chambery,
then transported to Albertville where the Fasso Bortolo rider and his
wife appeared before a judge. In the court appearance, the French prosecutor
Henri-Michel Perret charged the couple with the "importation and trafficking
of prohibited substances, a crime that has the maximum penalty of three
years in jail. French authorities didn't request detention for the Frigos,
but released them under judicial control. However, it's still uncertain
whether the court will allow the couple to return to their home near Biella,
Italy until formal charges are filed.
Frigo has been implicated in doping before, as four years ago, the icy
blonde rider was implicated in the Giro d'Italia San Remo doping blitz,
where he was fired and then rehired by Fassa Bortolo. In a bizarre interview
with RAI Sport TV, Fassa Bortolo team manager Giancarlo Ferretti attacked
Frigo, saying "Frigo is garbage...our team policy is to put the rider
out, to fire the rider, so that's that for his. We had this happen once
with Frigo and we gave him a second chance. But with his face of an angel
and his disingenuous way, we were fooled. Yes, it was his wife who was
caught, but he was behind it. I think we should change the (ProTour) rules
so that riders have to pay damages to the team when this type of thing
happens (to their team)."
Luckily for Ferretti, according to an official TDF communique', the
Tour de France direction acknowledges that the Fassa Bortolo team isn't
involved in the Frigo family doping affair and the team can stay in the
race, despite the doping situation.
Boonen injured, participation uncertain
By Hedwig Kröner in Briançon
Tom Boonen (Quick.Step)
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
The wearer of the Green jersey might not be able to take the start of
stage 12. Tom Boonen crashed on the very first descent of today's race
to Briançon after only 12 kilometres. He injured his right knee,
but was able to continue and finish today's stage within the time limit.
Later during the evening, his knee was reported to be seriously swollen,
endangering his departure to Digne-les-Bains tomorrow.
Ludewig eyes stage 12
By Hedwig Kröner in Briançon
At the start of stage 11 from Courchevel to Briançon, Cyclingnews
intercepted Domina Vacanze's Jörg Ludewig on his way to signing in. It
was a beautiful sunny day, so the tall German was in good spirits. Looking
back on the difficult climb to Courchevel, though, he sighed.
"I'm actually stronger than in the last years but there were still 50
or 60 guys in front of me in that climb," he said. "That's frightening
- the level is just incredibly high. And when you see the guys in front,
you just don't know what to say anymore. The pedal stroke of some people
is so easy! It's just a different league.
"I just couldn't hold on with that pace yesterday, but I can't stand
to fall back into the gruppetto either," Ludewig continued. "So I rode
steadily looking at my heart-rate in order not to get to the anaerobic
level. I didn't want to exhaust myself for nothing as my plan is to try
and attack tomorrow."
Stage 12 of this year's Tour is hilly, not too hard, and the main GC
contenders will keep the bunch together. "I think tomorrow is the first
realistic chance of a break actually getting through to the finish - and
I would like to be in it," he continued. "Just once, you know, at least
try to go for a stage win. We'll see if I can make it."
Jaksche up in captain's position
There has been a switch of team leaderships at Liberty Seguros. The
German Jörg Jaksche has moved up from helper to captain after his teammate
Roberto Heras did not perform well enough in the mountains in the last
couple of days. The former US Postal rider finished more than 17 minutes
down of today's winner Alexandre Vinokourov, whereas Jaksche was able
to hold on to Armstrong's group, placing 13th on GC at the moment, 5'33
minutes away from the Yellow jersey.
"I've been in the mountains all the time since I live there now. So
I trained in the mountains...," Jaksche explained his improved climbing.
"I hope I will get support from my team now. A top ten placing on the
overall classification would be nice, and maybe I can be in front on a
stage as well," he added, when asked about his further goals.
The Tour de France of give-aways and competitions
Don't miss out at Tour time!
Resident freebies expert, Rufus Staffordshire, sniffs out some competitions
where up to $1 million in prizes are on offer as manufacturers clamber for your
Lucky 7 Sweepstakes'
Photo ©: Trek
The Tour de France is not only a reasonably popular bike race, ahem, it's also
a great opportunity to win an incredible range of prizes and competitions on
offer from manufacturers, publishers and distributors.
Many of our sponsors are offering Cyclingnews readers a schwag-fest
of give-aways during the lap-around-France. The prizes on offer range from Volkswagens
and vaccuum cleaners through to trips to Paris for the 2006 TdF, as well as
actual kit being ridden by top pros in the Tour - including top bikes from Trek,
Cervelo, and Avanti.
So that you don't have to go hunting around the Internet for all these goodies,
we've assembled the Cyclingnews complete
guide to Tour freebies and competitions.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)