Tour de France Cycling News for July 3, 2005
Edited by Hedwig Kröner & Jeff Jones
Stage 1 wrap up
Zabriskie completes the set; Armstrong makes a big step forward
Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel)
Photo ©: AFP
Americans shone in today's Tour de France opening 19 km time trial between
Fromentine and Noirmoutier, with 26 year-old Dave Zabriskie (CSC) claiming
the biggest win of his career and the maillot jaune of race leader, after
beating six-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel) by two
seconds. Zabriskie has now won stages in all three Grand Tours (Tour,
Giro, Vuelta), and all of that in the space of less than 12 months. His
winning time of 20'51 for the 19 km was an amazing average speed of 54.676
km/h, 0.15 km/h faster than his compatriot Greg Lemond's record average
in the closing time trial of the 1989 Tour.
The stage victory could have easily gone to Armstrong as well, as the
Discovery captain pulled out of his pedal at the start, but then found
his rhythm and powered over the course, even catching his minute man Jan
Ullrich with 5 km to go. At that stage, Armstrong was three seconds up
on Zabriskie, but faded in the final kilometres to finish two seconds
down. However, the blow that he dealt to Ullrich and the rest of his rivals,
who were all more than 50 seconds down today, was more than psychological.
For them to get that back and fend off Armstrong and his team in the mountains
is already looking like a monumental task.
The best of the rest today was Alexandre Vinokourov (T-Mobile), who
finished third at 53 seconds from Zabriskie. Because of his attacking
style, Vino is one rider that can challenge Armstrong, but the American
has always had the measure of the gutsy Kazakh rider in the past.
Stage 1 full results,
report & photos
Complete stage maps &
An interview with the winner
Zabriskie means Zoom!
By Anthony Tan in Noirmoutier-en-I'lle
Zabriskie means Zoom
Photo ©: AFP
The 19th rider to leave Fromentine
at two minutes to four this afternoon, America's TT top-gun David Zabriskie
was always going to be one of the early men to watch. And the 26 year-old
didn't disappoint, setting the best time that stood and stood and stood
- going all the way to become the first maillot jaune of the 92nd
Tour de France.
"Unbelievable...I really don't know quite what to say. I never thought
this would happen, never, ever, ever," said Zabriskie with an facial expression
that implied it still hadn't happened.
On whether there was a particular strategy he used before starting today's
stage, he said the only strategy he used - and always uses - was to go
as hard as he could for as long as he could. "[In time trials] you have
to go hard the whole time, so the whole thing was hard."
here for the full interview
Post stage comments
Lance Armstrong (Discovery, 2nd at 0'02)
"I've already said that I want to have fun at this Tour. Jan was unlucky
yesterday when he crashed. And when I saw him in front of me today I knew
that nobody else had that kind of advantage, having his rival right there
in front of him. Of course that's good and helpful when you can chase
somebody down, it's very motivating."
Fabian Cancellara (Fassa Bortolo)
Photo ©: Sirotti
Fabian Cancellara (Fassa Bortolo, 7th at 1'02 and Best Young
On defending the white jersey of Best Young Rider: "It will be hard,
but it's possible to change this jersey tomorrow and get the yellow jersey
Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile, 12th at 1'08)
"I went flat out, I gave all I had. Of course I'm not satisfied with
the fact that Lance caught me. I don't know if it had anything to do with
my crash yesterday. I did lose some blood. I didn't have the feeling of
being so bad [on the road], so I'll continue fighting. It's not my lucky
day getting overhauled by Lance. I would have liked to ride better, and
gave it all - it wasn't a nice feeling when he passed me. I'm down over
it at the moment, but the Tour lasts three weeks. We'll see what's in
it in time."
Carlos Sastre (CSC, 29th at 1'32)
"It was a good stage for me; I felt good in the end." On his recent
training, Sastre added, "Yeah, I did a big training [block] after the
Tom Boonen (Quick.Step, 40th at 1'48)
"I think I've done a decent time, but that Zabriskie seems to be from
Scott Sunderland (CSC directeur sportif)
On the overall winning chances of Ivan Basso:
Ivan Basso (CSC)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
"Bjarne (Riis) told me the other day that Ivan (Basso) is ready for this,
and I too believe very much in his chances for the overall win. Basso
always works very hard to achieve his goals. Technically and mentally
you can't get better a champion than Riis himself to coach you. Ivan did
some very specific training, like some 180 km training rides on his time-trial
bike, when you hear that you know that this guy is not kidding around.
Also, for a three week tour, the frame of mind is important, Bjarne said
that Basso's feeling good and radiates confidence . All elements for a
successful campaign in France are present; and I think Ivan can bring
it to a good end. I'll definitely put my pennies on him!"
What about young Australian Luke Roberts' role?
"I'm really happy that Luke's starting in his first Tour de France. Tell
you, this guy has got a ton of talent and it's great to help him dig into
it even more. Earlier this year, we were looking at him as a possible
rider for the Giro. But we needed experienced and hard core climbers there
in support of Basso, and that created a question mark. We weren't sure
how Luke was going to tackle those mountains, his climbing abilities weren't
at their best level yet. I know Luke was slightly disappointed to miss
out on his first three week tour, but when I told him he was to have a
rest and then get ready for a possible Tour de France start he went full
out for that."
"In such a big team as ours it is a luxury to have more than nine riders
ready to go to the Tour. And for some time it was undecided between Luke
and Jacob Piil. In the Pro Tour Teams TimeTrial in Eindhoven both riders
showed that their form was solid. Luke was ready and focused, but has
not ridden a Tour before. Jacob is very much a team player and is a great
rider, extremely experienced and also a former Tour de France stage winner,
so it wasn't easy to make a decision. Riis waited until the very last
moment to make this very hard call; I didn't envy him being put in that
position. Riis asked them both to be patient and continue the hard work,
after the national championships the final decision would be made."
"That's when Luke showed me again how professional he deals with things.
Even though he only had a 50/50 chance of going to France, he kept going
full blast in his preparation. I discussed it with Bjarne and called Luke
over to my place for a couple of days of time-trial training. I can assure
you, he did two days of hard yakka behind the scooter. I was impressed
and informed Riis with his training data after every ride."
"Because Jacob had a bit of a lesser performance at the Nationals, Riis
decided in Luke's favour. I'm pretty sure that Luke will be an ideal helper
for Basso during the first ten days of the Tour and it will interesting
to see how he goes in the team time trial."
Johan Bruyneel (Discovery directeur sportif)
"The analysis of the day is totally positive," Bruyneel told Belgian
Sporza TV. "There was only one thing more we could have asked
for: to win the stage and take the yellow. The Tour is three weeks long
and a lot can happen. It's good to see that Lance gave the peloton a taste
of his strength; some of the favourites already got a moral punch today.
I knew Zabriskie was going to be good here, especially on a parcours like
this. It was ideal for him. At the start there might have been a bit less
wind, but that's no excuse. We have to be very happy with this result."
Walter Godefroot (T-Mobile directeur sportif)
"I had expected more, that's true, but we'll see," Godefroot said
to Sporza "I don't know if this is a result of the crash.
We can't say really what the consequences of the crash are; it didn't
look too bad yesterday, but we'll have to wait and see. All in all Jan
was lucky for it not to be worse. Yes, Armstrong is strong, he's at his
top. But we had a good ride with Vinokourov."
Wilfried Peeters (Quick.Step directeur sportif)
"This is not a normal performance by Rogers," Peeters told Sporza.
"He had prepared for this time-trial in peace, we expected a top
five. I don't have any explanation for it; unless the wind was a factor.
"Zabriskie has ridden an incredible time-trial. His intermediate time
is exceptional; I think there was a bit more wind in the back at that
Patrick Lefevere (Quick.Step team manager)
"This is the second time I have this happening with Rogers, that we expect
great things from him and that he doesn't deliver," a rather annoyed Manager
Patrick Lefevere commented to Sporza. "Probably he is not capable
of dealing with the stress of the Tour. A topper needs to be able to do
Lefevere was happier with Tom Boonen's ride, as the young Belgian finished
in 40th, a few spots ahead of Rogers. "I followed Tom in the car and I
didn't go underneath the 50km/h," he said. "That gives a clear
picture. He gives a really good impression. He is strong. Tom had a bad
night, tooth problem. He had to go and see the dentist at 11.30am this
morning and had serious work done without anaesthetics. He's a top athlete
and it is promising for the following days."
Roberts just enjoying the moment
By Anthony Tan in Noirmoutier-en-I'lle
The second-best of the Aussie contingent from yesterday's time trial,
Luke Roberts, shares a few things in common with its stage winner, Dave
Zabriskie. Not only are the two from the same team, but Roberts is also
riding his first Tour de France, although his place wasn't assured until
the eleventh hour.
"To all of a sudden be in the Tour de France.... I wasn't expecting
it to happen [so soon] - and to be here [now], it's like, 'Oh, shit!'"
he said to Cyclingnews with a smile from ear to ear.
Finishing 1'30 down on Zabriskie to claim 30th place, Roberts, one of
the members of the gold medal-winning teams pursuit squad from Athens,
said the 'prologue' of sorts was a little long for his liking, but felt
positive about his ride. "19 kilometres is starting to get a bit long
for what I like - I prefer a shorter and faster sort of course - but I
felt okay, and I hope [my time's] up there with some of the best times,"
he said straight after his ride.
"Every time I looked down, I was doing 52 or 53k an hour. It was a really
smooth, fast road and with the crowds out there, it was really noisy and
the adrenalin was high. It [the stage] went a lot faster than I thought
The 28 year-old, who now lives in Germany, added the much talked-about
crosswinds experienced earlier in the week wasn't nearly as much of a
factor as previously thought. "The wind was coming from the left side
but also a little bit from behind, so it kept the speed really high. Sometimes
it got a bit difficult, but if the wind stays like it is, it's going to
be very fast for everyone," he said at the time.
Roberts also mentioned his team reconnoitred and rode Stage 4's team
time trial parcours last Wednesday, and judging from today's performance,
where six of the team's nine riders finished in the top 30, Team CSC are
an odds-on favourite.
Baguet: Zabriskie no surprise
Belgian Champion Serge Baguet, left at home for the Tour by his Davitamon-Lotto
team and a guest at the VRT sports studio discussed the results
of the opening time-trial in the Tour. For Baguet, David Zabriskie was
not a surprise winner: "I didn't think it was a surprise to see him win.
I rode the ProTour team time trial in Eindhoven and CSC put in a great
ride there. I spoke to their team director Scott Sunderland only a few
days after and he commented on how Zabriskie was pretty much responsible
for that result on his own. He was so strong, Scott tipped him for the
win today so I sort of expected it."
Fantasy Le Tour - still time to join
The Trek Madone 5.9
©: Zapata Espinoza
Discovery Channel Giro helmet
The prologue has been ridden and the Fantasy Le Tour game is now officially
under way. There is still time to join this year's game, as you can join
up until Stage 9. There is NO tactical disadvantage in joining after the
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Daily Stage Prizes
is giving away a pair of its sunglasses every day to the manager with
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First prize - a TREK
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Stage by stage prizes - Specialized
- 21x pairs of sunglasses
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Read some of our previous Le Tour game winners recommendations for your
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You can begin creating your team/s now. You can play the first 8 stages
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The Fantasy Cyclingnews Team
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)