|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
70th Flèche Wallonne - PT
Belgium, April 19, 2006
A very rare breed indeed
Valverde claims first major classic atop the Mur de Huy
By Anthony Tan & Brecht Decaluwé in Huy, with additional reporting from Shane Stokes
Alejandro Valverde is a rarity in cycling: he can climb like a mountain goat and sprint like a track cyclist. The Spaniard gave a glimpse of his talents when he arrived on the scene as a fresh-faced 21 year-old for Kelme in 2002. Four years later and at the top of one of the steepest sections of road in the world, the now 25 year-old showcased that amazing versatility to claim his first major classic in the 70th edition of La Flèche Wallonne.
"My main focus was to win this race, nothing else," said Valverde, "but there were a lot of other guys aiming for the same goal. It was a very fast race, but I had very good legs. I tried to wait as long as possible as the CSC train constantly brought everything back. When [David] Etxebarria attacked, I just followed him, and when I saw that Samuel Sanchez and Karsten Kroon were coming back to us, I accelerated at my maximum.
"It's only the second time I've competed at this race. The 'Mur' pleased me [the first time] and I wanted to come back here; yesterday, we did a reconnaissance ride with the team, and I liked it even more!" he joked.
One not in so jovial a mood was second-placed Samuel Sanchez from Euskaltel-Euskadi, looking particularly unhappy at the line, before saying his legs just about exploded trying to follow Valverde's wheel. Nevertheless, the Basque declared he would come back to win this race one day.
While the Mur de Huy may have decided the outcome in its typical 'last man standing' scenario, it was in fact the penultimate climb of the Côte de Ahin eleven kilometres before that created the winning selection. Matthias Kessler's savage acceleration, taking Igor Astarloa (Barloworld), Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step-Innergetic) and Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears) for company marked the first definitive split. Shortly afterwards, another eight or so more made it across to make a dirty dozen with all the usual suspects.
Third-placed Karsten Kroon (Team CSC) was one of those suspects, who indicated to Cyclingnews before the start in Charleroi he had come to the Ardennes for a specific reason: "I'm hoping to go for the win today. But in the end, the Mur de Huy is such a hard finish, it's everybody for himself, and the strongest rider will win there - and I hope that will be me," he said.
Unfortunately for him, the Dutchman fell two places short, but against an unbeatable Valverde and super Sanchez, he can walk away with confidence in time for a race he knows very well indeed: Sunday's Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
"It just felt great; guys like Basso and Sastre were doing the work for me today - can you imagine that?" smiled Kroon, still looking a little perplexed at the honour. "They brought me into an ideal position at the foot of the Mur de Huy, a type of finish that suits me very well. On every climb, I just set myself a pace which allowed me not to go into the red.
"After the penultimate climb, I didn't need to panic because some riders were dropped. When Valverde, Bettini, Kessler and Astarloa attacked, Basso set a high pace to bring them all back. That way, they lost a lot of energy going into the final sprint uphill. At that moment, I was still feeling very fresh."
"Until today, I've actually only done this race once before - but I know Liège," he forewarned, "and I know I can do well. My morale is extremely high, so I can get close there as well."
Kroon's fourth-placed team-mate and last Sunday's Amstel champion, Fränk Schleck, was his usual aggressive self during today's outing in the Belgian Ardennes. And like Kroon, the Luxembourger provided confirmation that Team CSC's success this spring has been no fluke, and he too will go to 'La Doyenne' in the form of his life. Equally, defending champion Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas) has nothing to be ashamed of. Despite his focus on the upcoming Giro d'Italia, the 'Killer from Spoltore' was part of the final move, but didn't quite have the last bit of oomph in a finale that simply rewards the rider with the best legs.
From sprint finishes at the Vuelta a España to a memorable mountain stage victory at last year's Tour de France, along with his world championship silver medal in Madrid last year, Valverde can do it all. But the question now begs: what will this man of many talents choose to specialise in? More classics, more stage wins? Or perhaps, just perhaps, overall victory in this year's Tour de France...
Responded Valverde: "My team manager was convinced that I could do it [today]. Last year, I already finished second at the world championships in Madrid - now I know that he's right: I should combine both, Classics and a Grand Tour.
"The program of this year is very different compared to last year. Last year, I was already at 100 percent in the early season at Mallorca. So at the Classics, I was already over my best form. We will have to see if I'm able to reach my best form again in the Tour de France, but first, there's another important race on Sunday."
How it unfolded
Following clear blood tests for the 28 riders from the QuickStep, Davitamon-Lotto, Team Milram and Lampre – Fondital teams this morning, they and 165 others lined out in sunny conditions for the start of the 70th Flèche Wallonne. There were two late withdrawals from the race, Manuele Mori (Saunier Duval) and Frank Vandenbroucke (Unibet) both missing from the départ in Charleroi.
VDB’s place was taken up by Erwin Thijs, giving Unibet their full complement of riders, but Phonak were left a man down when Koos Moerenhout crashed before the official drop of the flag, briefly losing consciousness but not breaking any bones.
The first attack of the day was by Daniel Musiol (Milram), but no move succeeded in staying clear for any length of time until José Luis Arrieta (Ag2R Prevoyance) and Frédéric Finot (Française Des Jeux) powered away after 30 kilometres. Despite the delay of a puncture by Finot, the two continued to pile on their advantage. They were 4’25 clear of the Danilo Di Luca-led peloton at the top of the first ascent of the Mur de Huy (65.5 km), then reached their maximum lead of 7’35 by the same point one lap later (95 km).
However a pursuit by Milram and then the Discovery Channel team saw the lead drop to 4'08 with 94 kms to go. Past winner Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) and Wim van Huffel (Davitamon) had both pulled out of the race by this point, struck down by stomach problems.
Two kilometres later a group containing Stijn Devolder (Discovery Channel), Andriy Grivko (Team Milram), Marcus Fothen (Gerolsteiner), Jörg Jaksche, Alan Davis (Liberty Seguros - Würth), Vicente Garcia Acosta (Caisse D’Epargne-Illes Balears), Matthias Kessler (T-Mobile), Tadej Valjavec (Lampre-Fondital) and Jens Voigt (CSC) set off in pursuit. However, although this move was eventually reeled in by the peloton, Kessler had flown the coop by that point and, with 87 kilometres to go, he was just 1’20 back.
The peloton was becoming more active. Two kilometres later, it had hauled back the German. A succession of attacks then further reduced the advantage of Arrieta and Finot, including a short effort by former Italian national champion Salvatore Commesso (Lampre-Fondital). With 78 kilometres to go their move had come to an end, prompting a jump six kilometres later by Joost Posthuma (Rabobank). The Dutchman got 15 seconds but by the start of the Cote de Pailhe (69 km) he was caught by Matej Mugerli (Liquigas) and Voigt. These were reeled in, as was Stijn Devolder (Discovery Channel), but when Oscar Freire (Rabobank) and Phonak rider Alex Moos struck out 63 kilometres from the finish, they finally succeeded in getting some daylight on the bunch.
Despite the efforts of riders such as Stefano Garzelli (Liquigas), David Etxebarria (Liberty Seguros – Würth) and others to get across, the leading duo continued to preserve their advantage. After hovering between 15 and 25 seconds clear for several kilometres, they started to pull further away and with 50 kilometres to go, they were just under a minute clear. The gap then rose to 1’19 ten kilometres later and stayed around that point for another 10 clicks, until a big attack by Peter Lüttenberger (CSC) on the Côte de Bohissau sparked off aggression by others such as Paolo Bettini (Quick Step – Innergetic), 2003 winner Igor Astarloa (Barloworld), and a general acceleration by the peloton.
The efforts by Bettini, Astarloa, Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom), Frank Schleck, Karsten Kroon (Team CSC), Di Luca, Kessler, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) and several others were beginning to take their toll. With 28 kilometres to go the leaders were just 39 seconds clear of Koldo Gil Perez (Saunier Duval), who had scooted off the front of the 50-rider peloton. This lead continued to ebb under the pressure of Juan Manuel Garate and Serge Baguet, the Spanish and Belgian national champions driving the pace for their teammate Bettini, and once onto the Côte de Ahin, Moos cracked and slipped backwards. Freire soldiered on but he too succumbed on the climb, being passed by the splintering, surging front group with 12 kilometres to go.
Kessler (T-Mobile) then put in a serious acceleration, jumping away with Astarloa for company. Bettini quickly grabbed their wheels but overbalanced and drifted off the road, just about avoiding running into a parked car. Despite the time lost, he was about to get back up to the leading two, as was Alejandro Valverde. Then, with 10 kilometres to go, these were joined by approximately a dozen others, who each began jumping around in a determined effort to get clear.
Valverde attacked, taking Kessler and Astarloa with him, but chasing efforts by Basso and others got them back. Valverde tried again, though, dragging a seven man group clear. Also present were Di Luca, Schleck, Bettini, Sinkewitz, Etxebarria (Liberty) and Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel), while Basso was amongst those who had slipped back. However he, Kroon, Rodriguez (Caisse d'Epargne), Marzoli (Lampre), Bertagnolli (Cofidis), Astarloa, Wegmann (Gerolsteiner), Gil and Leukemans (Davitamon) were able to catch on with four kilometres to go. The latter wasted no time in surging clear, accelerating away at an impressive pace and carrying a few seconds' advantage onto the climb.
It looked promising, but the ferocious Mur de Huy proved far too steep. Sanchez flew across to him and then the former world champion Igor Astarloa bridged and went clear. It looked like he was on course to repeat his 2003 win but he dramatically cracked near the top, the Spaniard being passed by Etxebarria, Sanchez, Valverde and Kroon. Valverde then kicked a few metres later and powered away to take an impressive victory, leaving the minor spoils for the others to scrap over.
The Tour de France may be still two and a half months away, but like Floyd Landis, Alexandre Vinokourov and Ivan Basso, Valverde has shown the motivation and condition to win before July.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti
Images by AFP Photo
Images by Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com
Images by Luc Claessen/www.ctm-images.com
Images by Roberto Bettini/www.bettiniphoto.net
Images by Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews.com
1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 4.42.45 (42.865 km/h) 2 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 3 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC 4 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC 5 Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger) T-Mobile Team 0.03 6 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas 0.05 7 David Etxebarria (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 0.07 8 Koldo Gil Perez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 0.10 9 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) T-Mobile Team 0.12 10 Matthias Kessler (Ger) T-Mobile Team 0.14 11 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner 0.16 12 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step-Innergetic 13 Benoit Salmon (Fra) Agritubel 0.23 14 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) T-Mobile Team 0.24 15 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 0.26 16 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Barloworld 17 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Team Milram 0.29 18 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 19 Christopher Horner (USA) Davitamon-Lotto 20 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 0.31 21 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française des Jeux 0.32 22 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 0.34 23 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) AG2R Prevoyance 24 Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank 25 Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 0.36 26 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 27 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone 0.42 28 Didier Rous (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 0.44 29 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Rabobank 0.48 30 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Liquigas 0.51 31 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Saunier Duval-Prodir 0.52 32 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 0.53 33 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Team Milram 0.57 34 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 1.00 35 Angel Vicioso (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 1.07 36 Bjorn Leukemans (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 1.15 37 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 1.42 38 Mario Aerts (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 1.44 39 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 1.45 40 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 41 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 1.48 42 Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Davitamon-Lotto 43 Christophe Laurent (Fra) Agritubel 1.50 44 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance 45 Alberto Contador (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 1.51 46 Cédric Vasseur (Fra) Quick Step-Innergetic 1.53 47 José Azevedo (Por) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 1.55 48 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 1.56 49 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 50 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone 1.59 51 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone 52 Joseba Albizu (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 53 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) Lampre-Fondital 54 Inaki Isasi (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 55 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Unibet.com 2.04 56 Manuel Calvente (Spa) Agritubel 57 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 58 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Credit Agricole 59 Christophe Moreau (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance 2.08 60 Hugo Sabido (Por) Barloworld 2.10 61 Luis Pasamontes (Spa) Unibet.com 62 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank 63 Uros Murn (Slo) Phonak Hearing Systems 2.12 64 Stephane Goubert (Fra) AG2R Prevoyance 65 Ryan Cox (RSA) Barloworld 66 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux 67 Walter Beneteau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 68 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen 69 Steven Kleynen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 70 Jorg Jaksche (Ger) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 71 Iker Camano (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 2.17 72 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 73 David Arroyo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 2.20 74 Aitor Perez Arrieta (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 75 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank 2.23 76 Axel Merckx (Bel) Phonak Hearing Systems 2.25 77 Vicente Reynes (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 2.27 78 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) Unibet.com 79 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 80 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 81 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Team Milram 82 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 2.30 83 Steffen Wesemann (Swi) T-Mobile Team 84 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Phonak Hearing Systems 85 Serge Baguet (Bel) Quick Step-Innergetic 86 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team 87 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 88 Evgeni Petrov (Rus) Lampre-Fondital 89 Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom 90 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 2.35 91 Gianpaolo Cheula (Ita) Barloworld 2.46 92 Alexandre Moos (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 4.59 93 Steve Zampieri (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 94 Jonathan Patrick Mc Carty (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 5.18 95 Peter Lüttenberger (Aut) Team CSC 7.54 96 Patrick Calcagni (Swi) Liquigas 8.55 97 Beat Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner 8.57 98 Ronny Scholz (Ger) Gerolsteiner 8.58 99 Matej Mugerli (Slo) Liquigas 100 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Credit Agricole 101 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen 102 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Credit Agricole 103 Benoit Joachim (Lux) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 9.00 104 Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen 9.01 105 Steve Morabito (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 106 Fumuyuki Beppu (Jpn) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 9.04 107 Björn Schröder (Ger) Team Milram 9.11 108 Benoit Poilvet (Fra) Credit Agricole 9.12 109 Johan Coenen (Bel) Unibet.com 110 Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 9.15 111 Frederik Willems (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen 112 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas 113 Philip Deignan (Irl) AG2R Prevoyance 114 Benny De Schrooder (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen 115 Aitor Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 116 Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 117 Bram De Groot (Ned) Rabobank 118 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Unibet.com 119 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Team Milram 120 Sven Renders (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 121 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Credit Agricole 122 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 123 Ivan Ramiro Parra (Col) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone 124 Bram Tankink (Ned) Quick Step-Innergetic 9.21 125 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Française des Jeux 126 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Française des Jeux 127 Moises Duenas Nevado (Spa) Agritubel 128 Angel Castresana (Spa) Unibet.com 9.23 129 Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Liquigas 130 Olivier Bonnaire (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 131 Tiaan Kannemeyer (RSA) Barloworld 132 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Quick Step-Innergetic 9.26 133 Addy Engels (Ned) Quick Step-Innergetic 134 Constantino Zaballa (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 135 Mauro Facci (Ita) Barloworld 136 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone 137 Ruben Lobato (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 138 Scott Davis (Aus) T-Mobile Team 9.30 139 Bradley Mc Gee (Aus) Française des Jeux 9.35 140 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC 9.36 141 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Credit Agricole 142 José Alberto Benitez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 9.43 143 Marcos Serrano (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 9.45 144 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Credit Agricole 145 Matthé Pronk (Ned) Unibet.com 9.50 146 Jose Luis Arrieta (Spa) AG2R Prevoyance 147 Diego Caccia (Ita) Barloworld 148 Jean-Claude Lebeau (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 149 Wesley Van Der Linden (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen 11.43 150 Pierre Drancourt (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 151 Unai Etxebarria (Ven) Euskaltel-Euskadi 152 Christophe Detilloux (Bel) Française des Jeux 153 Matthias Russ (Ger) Gerolsteiner 11.49 154 Jose Antonio Redondo (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 11.53 155 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner 12.03
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step - Innergetic 129 pts 2 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 105 3 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 89 4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse D'epargne-Illes Balears 86 5 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC 85 6 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC 84 7 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Team Milram 72 8 Antonio Colom Mas (Spa) Caisse D'epargne-Illes Balears 71 9 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Quick Step - Innergetic 70 10 Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger) T-Mobile Team 60 11 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 60 12 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC 60 13 José Angel Gomez Marchante (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 53 14 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 52 15 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 51 16 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 50 17 Steffen Wesemann (Swi) T-Mobile Team 50 18 Francisco Javier Vila Errandonea (Spa) Lampre-Fondital 48 19 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole 44 20 Leif Hoste (Bel) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 42 21 Jörg Jaksche (Ger) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team 40 22 Luca Paolini (Ita) Liquigas 35 23 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Française Des Jeux 32 24 David Kopp (Ger) Gerolsteiner 30 25 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Rabobank 30 26 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 30 27 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 30 28 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank 29 29 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team 29 30 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 26 31 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step - Innergetic 26 32 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 23 33 Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 22 34 José Azevedo (Por) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 22 35 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 15 36 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 15 37 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Liquigas 15 38 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française Des Jeux 15 39 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 14 40 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas 11 41 Bert Roesems (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 10 42 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 10 43 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Credit Agricole 10 44 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team 9 45 David Etxebarria Alkorta (Spa) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team 7 46 José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 5 47 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team 5 48 Erki Pütsep (Est) Ag2R Prevoyance 5 49 Christophe Mengin (Fra) Française Des Jeux 5 50 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 5 51 Andreas Klier (Ger) T-Mobile Team 5 52 Koldo Gil Perez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 5 53 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram 4 54 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner 4 55 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) T-Mobile Team 4 56 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 3 57 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 3 58 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Caisse D'epargne-Illes Balears 3 59 Markus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner 3 60 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 2 61 Thomas Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 2 62 Evgeni Petrov (Rus) Lampre-Fondital 2 63 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 2 64 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 2 65 Riccardo Ricco (Ita) Saunier Duval - Prodir 2 66 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 2 67 Christopher Horner (USA) Davitamon-Lotto 2 68 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank 2 69 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 2 70 Matthias Kessler (Ger) T-Mobile Team 1 71 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 1 72 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 1 73 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team CSC 1 74 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner 1 75 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française Des Jeux 1 76 Bradley Mcgee (Aus) Française Des Jeux 1 77 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 1 Teams 1 Team CSC 132 pts 2 T-Mobile Team 117 3 Rabobank 116 4 Gerolsteiner 113 5 Lampre-Fondital 109 6 Quick Step - Innergetic 109 7 Davitamon-Lotto 106 8 Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 105 9 Phonak Hearing Systems 98 10 Caisse D'epargne-Illes Balears 95 11 Liberty Seguros - Würth Team 93 12 Team Milram 84 13 Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 82 14 Credit Agricole 70 15 Française Des Jeux 67 16 Saunier Duval - Prodir 63 17 Euskaltel - Euskadi 59 18 Bouygues Telecom 53 19 Liquigas 41 20 Ag2R Prevoyance 35