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92nd Liège-Bastogne-Liège - PT
Belgium, April 23, 2006
Action-man Alejandro first Spaniard to win La Doyenne
By Anthony Tan in Ans
A childhood nickname given to him by one of his friends continues to hold true. His performance last Wednesday was stunning; today was simply confirmation that it was no fluke, as Alejandro Valverde claimed yet another Spring Classic with victory in La Doyenne and became the first Spanish rider to do so. Two days shy of his 26th birthday, this rider from Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears now adds one of the five monuments to his rapidly-growing palmarès, and can approach the 2006 Tour de France with supreme confidence in his own ability.
Asked about his tactics in the final kilometres, Valverde said: "Well, I can tell you it was easy, because before that, we had [Joaquin] Rodriguez in the lead and I didn't have to do anything except wait. And after that, when [Patrik] Sinkewitz attacked, I was on his wheel and when we got to the last finishing straight, I just had to pass him.
"I knew I was one of the fastest riders," he continued, "but there was also [Paolo] Bettini and Martin Perdiguero who are also very fast, so I was confident but not absolutely certain; you have to finish first to be sure."
The 178 centimetre-tall, 61 kilogram boy-wonder from Las Lumbreras, Murcia was again asked about his comments made last Wednesday, where he told the press he rated his mountain-top victory at last year's Tour de France above his win in Flèche Wallonne. 'Do you still feel the same way?' he was asked.
Answered Valverde: "Flèche Wallonne was very important, being a ProTour race, but this is a bigger race with a longer history, and also the fact that I'm the first Spanish rider [to win]. However, beating Armstrong in the Tour was also very important, so the three [wins] are all important but different; there are no words to express how I feel after each of these victories."
If it wasn't for this man nicknamed 'El invencible', Paolo Bettini may well have taken his third win in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Being one of fastest finishers at the end of hard race, it appeared Il Grillo was banking on a small bunch sprint, reacting rather than forcing or attacking throughout the day. Clearly, though, he was unable to match the speed of Valverde; maybe he'll think differently next time.
Said Quick.Step team manager Patrick Lefevre: "Bettini rode a nice race; he did what he had to do."
"On the Côte du Sart-Tilman, he caused pain to everybody with his acceleration. Sadly though, they got caught and so he lost a lot of energy for the sprint. There he was in the right wheel, he was just not strong enough to overtake Valverde. Maybe the team should've had somebody else in the break of twenty riders, though I noticed most of them were team leaders so you can't expect miracles from the guys," added Lefevre.
Armed with a podium place and a string of recent victories in the Giro d'Oro, Giro del Trentino and Settimana Ciclista Coppi-Bartali, Bettini's compatriot Damiano Cunego can be counted on as one of Ivan Basso's biggest rivals at the upcoming Giro d'Italia. However, the latter was equally impressive - possibly more so - today, setting the pace on La Redoute and the final climb to Ans, although still not showing the explosiveness his team manager Bjarne Riis was boasting about at last Thursday's press conference.
Finally, how did Valverde get his nickname?
"When I started racing from when I was 10 years old till 13, I never lost a race; I did around 18 or 20 races a year and I won all of them," he said casually.
A new ProTour leader
Until this week, one may have thought Tom Boonen's ProTour leader's jersey was safe at least till Le Tour. But two wins within the space of a week has elevated Alejandro Valverde to the top of the leaderboard, now seven points clear of Boonen (Quick.Step) and 31 ahead of Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital). There's been plenty of goings on in the middle and lower order, too: CSC's Frank Schleck is now fourth (100 points) and Patrik Sinkewitz from T-Mobile is fifth (90), while today's most aggressive rider, Michael Boogerd, has moved into the top ten, the Rabo pro occupying ninth spot with 75 points.
"Of course," said Valverde when asked if he would defend his newly acquired jersey. "The ProTour is very important, but I won't change my calendar. Next week I do the Tour de Romandie; after that, I rest for one month, then I will be back at the Dauphiné and then the Tour.
"It's a very hard race, but I know there are some stages that are very good for me," he said about his upcoming appointment in Switzerland. "The rest of my team is also very strong and I hope it can be my turn to help one of my team-mates win something there."
How it unfolded
Like Wednesday's La Flèche Wallonne, sunny, blue skies greeted the peloton gathered at the Place Saint-Lambert for the 92nd edition of the oldest classic of them all, Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
195 riders left Liege's Place Saint-Lambert with the exception being Marcus Fothen (Gerolsteiner), who became a dad at 7.30 this morning and needed to sleep, not race. "Mother and child are well, and we are very happy," said Pa Fothen. For the rest, plenty were looking for the early breakaway in order to have some hope of surviving the hilly finale, and it took just 16 kilometres before a group of 13 tried to break clear, although unsuccessful.
The chase by the peloton didn't discourage further attacking, however, and after a few more attempts, a counter-attack from Frenchman Pierrick Fedrigo (Bouygues Telecom) and Belgian Serge Pauwels (Chocolade Jacques-Topsport) at km 34 became the impetus for a larger breakaway that would shape events for the following five hours. The 24-man chase group included: Pauwels' team-mate Martin Wynants, Marcos Serrano (Liberty Seguros-Würth), Jens Voigt (CSC), Michael Rogers, Steffen Wesemann (T-Mobile), Juan Antonio Flecha, Alexandre Kolobnev (Rabobank), Torsten Hiekmann (Gerolsteiner), Addy Engels (Quick.Step-Innergetic), Salvatore Commesso (Lampre-Fondital), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Discovery Channel), Christophe Brandt (Davitamon-Lotto), Jose Vicente Garcia Acosta, Nicolas Portal (Caisse d'Epargne), Luis Perez Rodriguez (Cofidis), Remi Pauriol (Credit Agricole), Unai Etxebarria (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Arkaitz Duran Arroca (Saunier Duval), Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas), Stephane Goubert (AG2R), Bert De Waele, Steven Kleynen, Jean-Paul Simon (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) and Ryan Cox (Barloworld) - who became one with the pair up front in Hotton (km 62), also the stage finish for the fourth stage of this year's Giro d'Italia.
With 20 out of 25 teams represented, 69 kilometres covered and the gap tipping over the seven-minute mark, it became obvious the peloton had decided not to chase, although 10 kilometres later, the time gap had stabilised to around six minutes. The break's notable exceptions were Phonak and Milram, whose domestiques were doing what they could to keep the gap within reach.
Approaching the Côte de Saint Roch, the third of 12 categorised climbs and the race's midway point, the lead of the front group of 26 was still five and a half minutes. But with nine difficult climbs awaiting those bound for the return leg, the break was by no means home and hosed. Aiding the peloton's chances was the fact that a number of the teams up front did not have their best riders represented, including Liberty Seguros, CSC, Lampre-Fondital and Quick.Step, and a century of kilometres out from the finish in Ans, the lead had been cut to exactly three minutes.
Passing Trois-Ponts (km 170, 92km to go) and sensing a recapture, Perez (Cofidis) and Wesemann (T-Mobile) attacked their breakaway companions with Voigt (CSC) chasing, before the latter attacked again, deciding to go it alone as he did in the Amstel Gold Race one week ago; over the top of the Côte de Wanne, Wese's lead was 1'55 on the main bunch.
10 kilometres later on the Côte de Stockeu, the favourites began moving to the head of a dwindling peloton, with Sorensen, Kroon (both CSC), Cunego (Lampre-Fondital), Boogerd (Rabobank) and Bettini (Quick.Step) all there. Giro favourite Ivan Basso (CSC) suffered an untimely puncture before the Côte de la Haute-Levée, but with plenty of help from his team, the Italian was back in the fold. However, just prior to Basso rejoining the bunch, Belgian Rik Verbrugghe (Cofidis) shot off the peloton, catching Martin Wynants (Chocolade Jacques) and Steven Kleynen (Landbouwkrediet) on the way; at km 190 (72km to go), Wesemann was 1'25 ahead of the first chase group with Verbrugghe's group closing in five kilometres later.
Just before the 200 kilometre mark, the peloton, now driving, had caught all but one rider - the indefatigable Steffen Wesemann, who was still enjoying a minute and a half's advantage. But just over the top of the Côte de la Vecquée, the scene of last year's winning move, the German's day out came to an abrupt halt after 180+ kilometres, swept up and brushed away by a fast-moving peloton, which was due to tackle the infamous 2.1 kilometre, 8.4 percent Côte de la Redoute en masse...
Right then, Garate, Horner, Bettini, Schleck, Kroon, Basso, Merckx, Sinkewitz, Boogerd, Vinokourov, Cunego, Valverde, Evans and Horner were part of a estimated fifty-strong lead group, with the second just over a minute in arrears. Attacks came from Cunego, Bettini, Kessler, but with such a large bunch, no-one was prepared to risk everything and go full-gas. More than anything, it was some very solid hard tempo from Basso that slimmed this group down to roughly 15 riders over the top.
The Côte de Sprimont (km 233, 29km to go) was next, and Joaquin Rodriguez (Caisse d'Epargne) decided to take his chances on the 1.4 km climb, the move also inspiring Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) to join him. Rather interesting was the situation behind, as the first and second chase groups merged before the third-to-last climb of the Côte du Sart-Tilman - Tilff.
More interesting, however, was the situation up front as Rodriguez and Boogerd began believing in themselves when their advantage crept over the half-minute mark, and by the crest of the 3.6 kilometre climb, the pair was 40 seconds in front. Boogerd in particular was forcing the pace, making Rodriguez suffer, while back in the chase, Bettini attacked, briefly having Valverde for company until the former was alone.
Taking the less-travelled road to the Côte de Saint-Nicolas, the front duo was flying, still with a 28 second lead, but attacks from Kashechkin, Di Luca, Perdiguero and Sinkewitz on the climb saw that lead evaporate. Hitting the Côte d'Ans at one and a half kilometres to go, 12 riders were left in contention: Perdiguero (Phonak), Boogerd (Rabobank), Sinkewitz (T-Mobile), Rodriguez, Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne), Horner (Davitamon-Lotto), Cunego (Lampre-Fondital), Basso, Schleck (CSC), Bettini (Quick.Step), Di Luca (Liquigas) and Kashechkin (Liberty Seguros).
Sinkewitz was first to try his luck; then Basso; then Schleck; then Boogerd; then Basso again shortly before the final left-hander, 300 metres before the line - but last Wednesday's winner Alejandro Valverde simply bided his time, coming off Sinkewitz's wheel with 150 metres to go and holding off a desperate-looking Bettini and the 'Kid' Cunego to score what could be the first of a few victories in La Doyenne in years to come.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by AFP Photo
Images by Luc Claessen/www.ctm-images.com
Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti
Images by Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com
Images by Roberto Bettini/www.bettiniphoto.net
1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne-Illes Balears 6.21.32 (41.202 km/h) 2 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step - Innergetic 3 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 4 Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger) T-Mobile Team 5 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 6 Martin Perdiguero M.Angel (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 7 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC 8 Christopher Horner (USA) Davitamon - Lotto 9 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas 0.04 10 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 0.07 11 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team 0.12 12 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne-Illes Balears 0.24 13 David Etxebarria (Spa) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team 0.28 14 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank 0.29 15 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0.31 16 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 17 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Team Milram 18 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC 19 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 20 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 21 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Barloworld 22 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saunier Duval - Prodir 0.45 23 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0.47 24 Matthias Kessler (Ger) T-Mobile Team 0.51 25 Pedro Arreitunandia (Spa) Barloworld 0.57 26 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 1.18 27 Francesco Bellotti (Ita) Credit Agricole 1.21 28 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner 29 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Lampre-Fondital 30 Alexandre Vinokourov (Liberty Seguros - Würth Team) 1.31 31 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone 32 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Liquigas 2.13 33 Axel Merckx (Bel) Phonak Hearing Systems 4.29 34 Didier Rous (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 4.33 35 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Ag2R Prevoyance 36 Ruben Lobato (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 37 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Discovery Channel Team 38 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Francaise Des Jeux 39 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) T-Mobile Team 40 Iker Camano (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 41 Bjorn Leukemans (Bel) Davitamon - Lotto 42 Serge Baguet (Bel) Quick Step - Innergetic 43 Bram Tankink (Ned) Quick Step - Innergetic 44 Jorg Jaksche (Ger) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team 45 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 5.26 46 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone 6.58 47 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Credit Agricole 7.31 48 Gianpaolo Cheula (Ita) Barloworld 49 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Credit Agricole 9.53 50 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Quick Step - Innergetic 10.51 51 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 52 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance 11.00 53 Beat Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner 54 Constantino Zaballa (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne-Illes Balears 55 David De La Fuente (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 56 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 57 Jose Luis Arrieta (Spa) Ag2R Prevoyance 58 Christophe Laurent (Fra) Agritubel 59 Walter Beneteau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 60 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Rabobank 61 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Davitamon - Lotto 62 Steve Zampieri (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 63 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Team Milram 64 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank 65 Cédric Vasseur (Fra) Quick Step - Innergetic 66 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Davitamon - Lotto 67 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Francaise Des Jeux 68 Mario Aerts (Bel) Davitamon - Lotto 69 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone 70 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 71 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Unibet.Com 72 Stephane Goubert (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance 73 Matej Mugerli (Slo) Liquigas 74 José Azevedo (Por) Discovery Channel Team 75 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Credit Agricole 76 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) Lampre-Fondital 77 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone 78 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago 79 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 80 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon - Lotto 81 Alberto Contador (Liberty Seguros - Würth Team) 82 Angel Vicioso (Spa) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team 83 Uros Murn (Slo) Phonak Hearing Systems 84 Evgeni Petrov (Rus) Lampre-Fondital 85 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank 86 Benoit Salmon (Fra) Agritubel 87 Steve Morabito (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 16.36 88 Benoit Joachim (Lux) Discovery Channel Team 17.25 89 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Team Milram 90 Johan Coenen (Bel) Unibet.Com 91 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport 92 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Credit Agricole 93 Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Davitamon - Lotto 94 Antonio Colom (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne-Illes Balears 95 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 96 Patrick Calcagni (Swi) Liquigas 97 Ryan Cox (RSA) Barloworld 98 Steven Kleynen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago 99 Inaki Isasi (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 100 Michael Rogers (Aus) T-Mobile Team 101 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 102 Marcos Serrano (Spa) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team 103 Addy Engels (Ned) Quick Step - Innergetic 104 Matej Jurco (Svk) Team Milram 105 Frédéric Finot (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux DNF Jose Antonio Redondo (Spa) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team DNF Peter Lüttenberger (Aut) Team CSC DNF Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC DNF Christian Vandevelde (USA) Team CSC DNF Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team DNF Bernhard Kohl (Aut) T-Mobile Team DNF Steffen Wesemann (Swi) T-Mobile Team DNF Thomas Ziegler (Ger) T-Mobile Team DNF Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank DNF Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner DNF Thomas Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner DNF Matthias Russ (Ger) Gerolsteiner DNF Marcus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner DNF Torsten Hiekmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner DNF José Antonio Garrido (Spa) Quick Step - Innergetic DNF Hubert Schwab (Swi) Quick Step - Innergetic DNF Matteo Carrara (Ita) Lampre-Fondital DNF Fumuyuki Beppu (Jpn) Discovery Channel Team DNF Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus) Discovery Channel Team DNF Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Discovery Channel Team DNF Bart Dockx (Bel) Davitamon - Lotto DNF Jonathan Patrick Mc Carty (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems DNF Martin Elmiger (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems DNF Victor Hugo Pena (Col) Phonak Hearing Systems DNF Vicente Garcia Acosta (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne-Illes Balears DNF Aitor Perez Arrieta (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne-Illes Balears DNF Nicolas Portal (Fra) Caisse D’Epargne-Illes Balears DNF Vicente Reynes (Spa) Caisse D’Epargne-Illes Balears DNF Daniel Musiol (Ger) Team Milram DNF Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Team Milram DNF Björn Schröder (Ger) Team Milram DNF Carlo Scognamiglio (Ita) Team Milram DNF Frédéric Bessy (Fra) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone DNF Cristian Moreni (Ita) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone DNF Luis Perez-Rodriguez (Spa) Cofidis Credit Par Telephone DNF Anthony Charteau (Fra) Credit Agricole DNF Benoit Poilvet (Fra) Credit Agricole DNF Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Credit Agricole DNF Freddy Bichot (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux DNF Christophe Detilloux (Bel) Francaise Des Jeux DNF Gustav Larsson (Swe) Francaise Des Jeux DNF Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux DNF Joseba Albizu (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi DNF Andoni Aranaga (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi DNF Unai Etxebarria (Ven) Euskaltel - Euskadi DNF Aitor Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi DNF José Alberto Benitez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir DNF Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir DNF Koldo Gil Perez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir DNF Jose Angel Gomez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir DNF Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom DNF Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Bouygues Telecom DNF Franck Renier (Fra) Bouygues Telecom DNF Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Bouygues Telecom DNF Kjell Carlström (Fin) Liquigas DNF Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas DNF Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Liquigas DNF Philip Deignan (Irl) Ag2R Prevoyance DNF Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance DNF John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance DNF Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) Ag2R Prevoyance DNF Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) Unibet.Com DNF Angel Castresana (Spa) Unibet.Com DNF Luis Pasamontes (Spa) Unibet.Com DNF Matthé Pronk (Ned) Unibet.Com DNF Erwin Thijs (Bel) Unibet.Com DNF Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Unibet.Com DNF Koen Barbe (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport DNF Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport DNF Jens Renders (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport DNF Wesley Van Der Linden (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport DNF Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport DNF Frederik Willems (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport DNF Maarten Wynants (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport DNF Andy Cappelle (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago DNF Jean-Claude Lebeau (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago DNF Sven Renders (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago DNF Jean Paul Simon (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago DNF James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago DNF Johan Verstrepen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago DNF Mauro Facci (Ita) Barloworld DNF Tiaan Kannemeyer (RSA) Barloworld DNF Hugo Sabido (Por) Barloworld DNF Tom Southam (GBr) Barloworld DNF Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa) Agritubel DNF Aivaras Baranauskas (Ltu) Agritubel DNF Manuel Calvente (Spa) Agritubel DNF Nicolas Crosbie (Fra) Agritubel DNF Moises Duenas Nevado (Spa) Agritubel DNF Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez (Spa) Agritubel
1 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse D'epargne-Illes Balears 136 pts 2 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step - Innergetic 129 3 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 105 4 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC 100 5 Patrik Sinkewitz (Ger) T-Mobile Team 90 6 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 89 7 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC 84 8 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 75 9 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Team Milram 72 10 Antonio Colom Mas (Spa) Caisse D'epargne-Illes Balears 71 11 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Quick Step - Innergetic 70 12 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step - Innergetic 66 13 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC 60 14 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 60 15 José Angel Gomez Marchante (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 53 16 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 52 17 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 51 18 Steffen Wesemann (Swi) T-Mobile Team 50 19 Francisco Javier Vila Errandonea (Spa) Lampre-Fondital 48 20 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole 44 21 Leif Hoste (Bel) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 42 22 Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 42 23 Jörg Jaksche (Ger) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team 40 24 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 35 25 Luca Paolini (Ita) Liquigas 35 26 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Française Des Jeux 32 27 David Kopp (Ger) Gerolsteiner 30 28 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Rabobank 30 29 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 30 30 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 30 31 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team 29 32 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank 29 33 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 26 34 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 23 35 José Azevedo (Por) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 22 36 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 17 37 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Liquigas 16 38 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Liquigas 15 39 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 15 40 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française Des Jeux 15 41 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 14 42 Christopher Horner (USA) Davitamon-Lotto 12 43 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Credit Agricole 10 44 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 10 45 Bert Roesems (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto 10 46 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team 9 47 David Etxebarria Alkorta (Spa) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team 7 48 Koldo Gil Perez (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 5 49 Erki Pütsep (Est) Ag2R Prevoyance 5 50 Christophe Mengin (Fra) Française Des Jeux 5 51 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems 5 52 Andreas Klier (Ger) T-Mobile Team 5 53 José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 5 54 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Liberty Seguros - Würth Team 5 55 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) T-Mobile Team 4 56 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner 4 57 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram 4 58 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Caisse D'epargne-Illes Balears 3 59 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 3 60 Markus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner 3 61 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 3 62 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 2 63 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 2 64 Thomas Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 2 65 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 2 66 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 2 67 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank 2 68 Evgeni Petrov (Rus) Lampre-Fondital 2 69 Riccardo Ricco (Ita) Saunier Duval - Prodir 2 70 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 2 71 Matthias Kessler (Ger) T-Mobile Team 1 72 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team CSC 1 73 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner 1 74 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 1 75 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 1 76 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française Des Jeux 1 77 Bradley Mcgee (Aus) Française Des Jeux 1 78 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 1 Teams 1 Team CSC 152 pts 2 Rabobank 134 3 T-Mobile Team 131 4 Lampre-Fondital 126 5 Quick Step-Innergetic 121 6 Gerolsteiner 113 7 Davitamon-Lotto 113 8 Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 109 9 Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 109 10 Phonak Hearing Systems 108 11 Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 107 12 Team Milram 87 13 Cofidis, le Credit par Telephone 87 14 Euskaltel-Euskadi 78 15 Credit Agricole 77 16 Saunier Duval-Prodir 72 17 Française des Jeux 68 18 Liquigas 57 19 Bouygues Telecom 56 20 AG2R Prevoyance 41 Nations 1 Spain 397 pts 2 Italy 348 3 Belgium 213 4 Netherlands 203 5 Germany 169 6 Switzerland 142 7 United States Of America 129 8 Luxembourg 100 9 Norway 45 10 Austria 32 11 France 26 12 Australia 22 13 Portugal 22 14 Russian Federation 6 15 Kazakhstan 5 16 Estonia 5