Tour de France Cycling News for July 15, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones
Stage 12 wrap up
Quatorze Juillet success for Moncoutié
By Shane Stokes
David Moncoutié (Cofidis)
Photo ©: AFP
Frenchman David Moncoutié has taken his second-ever Tour stage victory,
celebrating Quatorze Juillet (Bastille Day) in style with a superb
solo victory into Digne-Les-Bains. The Cofidis rider was part of a large
break which went clear approximately 70 kilometres into today’s lumpy
187 kilometre stage, opening up a good lead over an uninterested peloton.
Present in the initial 11-man move were Moncoutié, Stephan Schreck (T-Mobile
Team), Giovanni Lombardi (Team CSC), José Luis Arrieta (Illes Balears-Caisse
d'Epargne), Axel Merckx (Davitamon-Lotto), Massimo Giunti (Fassa Bortolo),
Juan Manuel Garate (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Angel Vicioso (Liberty Seguros-Würth),
Patrice Halgand (Credit Agricole), Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas-Bianchi),
and Sandy Casar (Française Des Jeux).
These were joined shortly afterwards by green jersey contenders Thor
Hushovd (Credit Agricole) and Stuart O'Grady (Cofidis). Robbie McEwen
missed out and, despite Merckx’s presence up front, the Davitamon-Lotto
team mounted what was a desperate but ultimately unsuccessful chase.
Once the break opened up a sizeable lead Merckx lit the blue touchpaper
with an attack at the 38 kilometre to go point. Moncoutié countered and
raced clear, riding strongly all the way to the line to follow up his
July 15th stage win of last year’s Tour. Casar sprinted in ahead of Vicioso
and Halgand, making it a 1-2-4 for the home riders, while points leader
Hushovd outsprinted O’Grady and the rest of the fragmented break for ninth.
"It is great to win on the national holiday...It is a very important
day for the French," Moncoutié said. "It was a very nice race today, especially
as there were many spectators along the route supporting the French riders."
Stage 12 full results,
report & photos
Complete stage maps &
An interview with David Moncoutié
Fireworks! French win on Quatorze Juillet
David Moncoutié fulfilled a nation's hopes today when he won
on the French national holiday Quatorze Juillet (Bastille Day)
celebrating the famous revolution in the late 18th century. The Cofidis
rider is sure to enjoy the obligatory fireworks tonight, as he achieved
the first French win in this Tour de France. The prospect of victory,
and the cheers of his fellow countrymen alongside the road made him stay
clear of his chasers all the way into the finish, as Hedwig Kröner
David Moncoutié (Cofidis)
Photo ©: Sirotti
"It's fabulous," the 30 year-old said after his victory, and one could
see that he had trouble believing it. "I'm just too happy, too happy!"
Moncoutié scored his second stage win in the Tour de France today, the
first one being the 12th stage from Saint Flour to Figeac in 2004, which
he won under similar conditions.
"I saw that the ascent was fast and that everybody was riding flat out,
so I knew that this was the moment to go," he said, describing his final
attack on the Cat. 2 Col du Corobin with 37 kilometres to the finish in
Digne. "I needed at least 20 seconds at the top, and I knew if I could
keep a certain distance before the finish, they would look at each other."
here for the full interview
Houston, we have a 'situation'
By Anthony Tan in Digne-les-Bains
Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank)
Photo ©: Sirotti
"We have a little bit of a 'situation' now, because we are close in the
general [classification]," said Rabobank directeur-sportif Frans Maassen
to Cyclingnews the day of the opening Alpine stage in Grenoble.
Before the race began, the team's plan was to have Denis Menchov and
Michael Rasmussen as the team's leaders, with Michael Boogerd and Pieter
Weening also having a degree of freedom to go for stage wins. But so far,
Rabobank have fared better than expected, with Weening winning the eighth
stage to Gérardmer and Rasmussen in the form of his life, taking the
following stage in
Mulhouse and with it the mountains classification, which he now has a
sizeable lead in.
Not only that, but the lanky Rasmussen is now lying second overall on
the overall classification, six-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong the only
name proceeding his, and by only 38 seconds. "The first goal for him was
to win a stage and the second goal was to go for the mountains jersey,
but now... well, we will see day by day," said Maassen, who sounded like
the team never expected to be in this position. "Maybe we go a little
bit to the left, maybe we go a little bit to the right; we will wait to
see what happens and then we make a new decision how to go further in
With Menchov falling out of contention in the mountains, the team's
focus is firmly placed on Rasmussen's skinny shoulders, and only time
will tell if the 31 year-old Dane can match it with the best come the
Pyrenées. However, '91 Amstel Gold winner Maassen is quietly confident,
and like most rivals' teams, is spurred on by a slight chink in the armour
of Discovery Channel, who lost climber Manuel 'Triki' Beltran early on
in today's stage to Digne-les-Bains. "We will see whether Lance and his
team are in the best condition - I think he is - but still, it's a little
bit twiggy," he said.
Feverish Voigt gave it all, in vain
By Hedwig Kröner in Digne-les-Bains
The yellow jersey
Photo ©: Luc Claessen
Team CSC's Jens Voigt is out of the Tour de France after he finished
39 seconds out of the time limit in stage
11 from Courchevel to Briançon. The German, who rode into the
yellow jersey last Sunday, has been suffering from a bronchitis since
Tuesday. His illness deteriorated, and Voigt came into the finish with
40° fever yesterday and was diagnosed with beginning pneumonia.
"When I started in today's stage, I knew it was against all odds, but
I still wanted to do everything I possibly could to continue," a disappointed
Voigt said. "Kim Andersen gave me a lot of motivation during the stage,
but in the end it just wasn't enough," he continued, refusing the team's
management to appeal the race jury's decision. His state of health would
probably not have made further racing possible. Team CSC is down to seven
riders in this Tour de France, after David Zabriskie, who also had the
Yellow jersey earlier in the race, abandoned on Sunday.
No change to the plan, says Roberts
By Anthony Tan in Digne-les-Bains
When Cyclingnews spoke with Team CSC's Australian Luke Roberts
a couple of days ago in Grenoble, he said his team wasn't going to defend
Jens Voigt's maillot jaune, but instead stick to the plan of keeping
their leaders Ivan Basso and Carlos Sastre out of trouble.
"We'll stick to the same plan as to what we doing before - we're not
going to change anything," Roberts said. "Ivan and Carlos are still our
best bet for the podium finish in Paris, so we'll just ride to protect
those guys still. It's nice to have the yellow jersey, but Jens is the
first to admit that realistically, he can't hold it for too long in the
Alps. We can't waste energy on trying to protect it when there's a very
slim chance of him keeping it."
He was right. That day, his German teammate lost more half an hour to
stage winner Alejandro Valverde, and the day after, on Stage 11, Voigt
was forced out of the race after missing the time cut, leaving just seven
riders left in the CSC camp. As the first two mountain stages have shown,
though, Basso and Sastre are coping just fine, and appear poised to launch
a serious assault in the Pyrenées.
However, losing two of your best riders no doubt has an impact on the
strength of a team, and as a consequence, 28 year-old Roberts will have
his work cut out for him over the coming days. But the good thing is that
he's up for it. "I still feel pretty good," he said.
"The first week was a big goal for me, and there was a lot of work for
me to do in that first week. But now that's behind me; I'm ready for the
next challenge and the next stage of the race, and I'll give it my best
Fines in stage 12
Johan Vansummeren (Davitamon-Lotto), Robert Förster (Gerolsteiner),
and Unai Etxebarria (Euskaltel) were fined 2 x 50 Swiss francs for holding
onto bidons from team cars on two occasions, plus penalised 5 points on
the points classification and 0'10 on GC.
Jan Ullrich was fined 100 Swiss francs for not signing in.
Five vehicles searched
At the motorway toll station of Tallard, a few kilometres South of Gap,
French customs have searched five team cars this morning before the start
of stage 12. The vehicles belonged to the teams Liberty Seguros, Phonak,
Davitamon-Lotto, Bouygues Télécom and AG2R, and were selected at random
according to an official communiqué, who also stated that there had been
no outcome to the search. French custom officers do not need a special
warrant for these kind of searches; they can intervene at their will.
Tour on big screen in USA
The Tour de France's 14th
stage will be shown in 53 movie theatres across the United States
on July 16, with portions of the proceeds benefiting the Tyler Hamilton
Foundation and the Davis Phinney Foundation. The OLN coverage of the stage
from Agde to Ax-3 Domaines will start at 8:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. CT/6:30
a.m. MT/5:30 a.m. PT. and run for just over 6 hours, culminating with
the mountaintop finish at Ax-3 Domaines.
Tickets are $20.00 and are available at participating theatre box offices
or online at www.BigScreenRaces.com.
In addition to the nationwide event, Tyler Hamilton will also host a
VIP fundraiser at the Colorado Mills movie theatre in Lakewood, CO, featuring
the live simulcast, breakfast, and a bike ride with Tyler. For more information
or to sign up to attend this special event, please visit www.tylerhamiltonfoundation.org/
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)