Tour de France Cycling News for July 23, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones and Shane Stokes
Stage 19 wrap up
Guerini outfoxes breakaway companions
By Shane Stokes
Giuseppe Guerini (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: AFP
Giuseppe Guerini unleashed a perfectly-timed attack to win today's 19th
stage of the Tour de France, jumping from a four man breakaway group just
over a kilometre from the line in Le Puy en Velay and finishing ten seconds
clear. Although the T-Mobile climbing specialist was probably the least
suited to a flat finish, he surged at just the right moment to leave Sandy
Casar (Francaise Des Jeux), Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas-Bianchi) and Oscar
Pereiro (Phonak) behind.
These four had attacked 40 kilometres after the start in Issoire, opening
up a good lead over 10 chasing riders. This second group never got organised,
and while riders such as Salvatore Commesso (Lampre) and Sylvain Chavanel
(Cofidis) tried on several occasions to create a smaller, more efficient
group, they were unable to shake off the others. Commesso had to make
do with fifth, 2'43 down, with Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Team CSC) taking sixth.
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon.Lotto) led home the main bunch 4'31 down, but
with maillot vert Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) and Stuart O'Grady (Cofidis)
hot on his heels, the Australian looks to have lost his chance of taking
his third green jersey.
Race leader Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel) finished safely alongside
his rivals in the peloton and remains on course for a record seventh successive
Tour win on Sunday. The only significant change in general classification
was Pereiro's move up to 10th overall, overtaking best Frenchman Christophe
Moreau (Credit Agricole).
Stage 19 full results,
report & photos
Complete stage maps &
An interview with Giuseppe Guerini
Beppe's simple plan succeeds
Giuseppe Guerini's victory in the 19th
stage of the Tour de France was another one for the gregarios,
the hard workers that are so essential to every team. After doing the
job for his leader Jan Ullrich in the mountains, Guerini was given his
own chance to get into the break today, and he took it by the horns. Cyclingnews'
Hedwig Kröner reports from Le-Puy-en-Velay.
Giuseppe Guerini (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
The final move which gave Giuseppe 'Beppe' Guerini (T-Mobile) his second
stage win in the Tour de France, and an Italian's 250th victory at the
Tour de France, was an expected one. In the breakaway, that still led
by 2'20 minutes on the next group of chasers, everyone knew that the lean
Italian climber would attack before the finish so as to not risk getting
outsprinted by any of his three breakaway companions - namely Sandy Casar
(Française des Jeux), Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas-Bianchi) and Oscar Pereiro
(Phonak). And the plot worked out perfectly for the man from Bergamo (the
same Italian region that brought Felice Gimondi to cycling): He attacked
just before the famous flamme rouge, and the other three played
poker just long enough for him to get a 10 second lead on the line.
"I've been trying to get into breakaways for some time now - today I
finally succeeded," Guerini said after the stage. "During the race, I
felt a little tired, but my legs were good. It was a great break. When
we got to the last kilometres, I knew that Casar would beat me in the
sprint, so I had to leave before the finale. Pereiro was there mainly
for the General Classification, so I knew it was between Casar, Pellizotti
and me. When I left, they looked at each other just a little bit too long!"
here for the full story
Last standoff in Saint Etienne
By Shane Stokes
Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel)
Photo ©: Sirotti
The race may be just two days from finishing but the stakes are nevertheless
high for tomorrow's
time trial in the Tour de France. Taking place on a tough 55 kilometre
course in and around Saint Etienne, the big guns will be motivated to
pull out their best possible performances.
Barring accident or serious mechanical problems, Lance Armstrong is
too far ahead of his rivals to lose the Tour, but the proud Texan has
yet to win a stage of the race. He's taken the final time trial five out
of the past six years and will be aiming to do so again. Only five riders
have won the Tour without winning a stage, namely Greg LeMond (1990),
Lucien Aimar (1966), Gastone Nencini (1960), Roger Walkowiak (1956) and
Firmin Lambot (1922), and while the Discovery Channel rider has made a
habit out of joining or surpassing others in the Tour record books, this
is one statistic that he'd gladly turn down.
Most likely to get in Armstrong's way tomorrow is Jan Ullrich, who finished
1'01 back in last year's final time trial and just 0'25 down in 2000.
The former world TT champion is looking stronger as the Tour goes on and
while he's lost the war, winning this final battle against Armstrong will
be a small but significant act of defiance.
Ullrich has the additional - and considerable - motivation of a podium
place to aim for. Last year was the first time he ever finished outside
the first three and he's no intention of doing that again. Rabobank's
Michael Rasmussen is currently third overall but the King of the Mountains
leader has no pedigree in races against the clock. He lost 5'15 to Ullrich
last year over the same distance of 55 kilometres, and on the opening
stage of this year's Tour conceded 2'06 in just 19 kilometres. Rasmussen
has said that for the first time in his career he is psyched to ride well
in a time trial, but transforming his physical capabilities by the amount
needed to maintain his 2'12 lead is unlikely, to say the least.
Ivan Basso (CSC)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Ivan Basso has a comfortable buffer of 3'12 over Ullrich and it would
take a disaster for the CSC rider to lose his second place overall. He
finished 1'49 behind the German twelve months ago but has improved against
the clock since, as evidenced by his good performances against the clock
in this year's Giro. As the maillot jaune said yesterday, the final podium
does indeed look like being Armstrong, Basso and Ullrich in Paris.
Floyd Landis (Phonak) and Bobby Julich (Team CSC) were fourth and fifth
in last year's time trial and will each aim for another strong showing.
Julich's motivation is for a high stage result, while Landis is engaged
in a three way scrap for 7th place. Cadel Evans (Davitamon.Lotto) currently
occupies that slot but with Alexandre Vinokourov (T-Mobile) just 0'22
adrift and Landis 0'53 down, a shuffling of their placings is very possible.
Further up the GC, Francisco Mancebo's fifth place is under serious threat
by Levi Leipheimer, with just 1'04 separating the Illes Balears climber
from the Gerolsteiner all-rounder.
Oscar Pereiro's fourth place on today's stage saw him overtake Christophe
Moreau in the general classification. Although the Frenchman was tenth
this morning, his Credit Agricole team didn't see fit to protect that
placing, starting their chase way too late to make a difference. Moreau
is now 0'36 adrift of the Phonak rider but will be encouraged by the fact
that he was 16 seconds quicker over 19 kilometres on day one of this year's
Tour. Pereiro was off the front for most of today's stage and that too
will favour Moreau.
Of those further down in GC, riders such as George Hincapie (Discovery
Channel), Laszlo Bodrogi (Credit Agricole) and Fabian Cancellara (Fassa
Bortolo) will be aiming to crack the top ten. Brad McGee (Française Des
Jeux) has the ability to also post a decent time, but this is totally
dependant on how he has recovered from the injury and fatigue which hampered
him over the past two weeks.
Ullrich wants podium and stage win
Photo ©: AFP
Jan Ullrich, who was very happy about his teammate's stage win today,
has declared that he wants to ride for victory in tomorrow's time trial,
as well as for an overall podium placing. "This time trial should suit
me," he wrote on his personal website, JanUllrich.de. "It's hard,
but there are parts where you have to be a strong rouleur. That should
be an advantage for me especially against Rasmussen, who hasn't made particularly
strong appearances in time trials. There is a chance of me getting on
the podium, but I also want to go for the win on that stage."
Meanwhile, T-Mobile's directeur sportif Mario Kummer does not want to
underestimate the Dane's capacities. "We've seen that he's going strong,
and it's also one of the most difficult time trial in recent years because
of that hilly terrain," he concluded. The wearer of the mountains jersey
will set out on the course around St. Etienne at 16.16 pm CET, just three
minutes after Ullrich.
After the last stage preceding the closing time trial in St Etienne,
the following riders were experiencing some health problems and had seen
the Tour doctor, Gérard Porte, about them.
Iñigo Landaluze (Euskaltel-Euskadi): Ongoing pain in left hip (the same
rider was fined for having held on to a bidon at the team's car four times)
Fred Rodriguez (Davitamon-Lotto): Digestive troubles
Peter Wrolich (Gerolsteiner): Ophtalmological problem
Yuriy Krivtsov (AG2R): Pain in right knee
Iker Camano (Euskaltel-Euskadi): Pain in right leg
Tour coming to Belgium in 2007
Speaking on Belgian television, the Flemish prime minister Yves Leterne
said that the Tour de France would feature two or three stages in Belgium
in 2007. "By September or October everything will become finalised, but
I can say that the Tour will certainly come to Flanders. Six or seven
municipalities have submitted their candidacy to the Société du Tour de
According to Leterne, Middelkerke, Kortrijk, Waregem, Bilzen and Werchter
have the greatest prospect of attracting the Tour. Before then, the Tour
may also pass through Belgium when the race goes from Strasbourg to Limburg
British cycling fans are hoping that the Tour de France will begin in
London in 2007. Today's news does not rule this out, as the race could
begin in the UK and then travel to Belgium via the Channel tunnel.
Further ahead, Utrecht (The Netherlands) is listed as possible Tour
start in 2008 or 2009.
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)