Tour de France Cycling News for July 6, 2006
Edited by Hedwig Kröner
Stage 4 wrap-up
McEwen flies to victory in Saint-Quentin
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto)
Photo ©: AFP
In a similarly chaotic finale as three days ago in Strasbourg, Robbie
McEwen was the strongest sprinter today in Saint-Quentin. Beating his
rivals by several bike lengths, the Davitamon-Lotto rider again showed
that he is the best when it comes down to profiting from hectic, uncontrolled
situations, which put others far behind. Isaac Galvez (Caisse d'Epargne)
finished second and Oscar Freire (Rabobank) third, with yellow jersey
bearer Tom Boonen only fourth (after Thor Hushovd was relegated), but
doing enough to keep the maillot jaune.
"I have such a great team," said McEwen after the victory, which he dedicated
to Fred Rodriguez. "Gert Steegmans got me to the front at 200 metres -
he is such a TGV train, it's unbelievable."
Coming up on
Cyclingnews will cover the 60th edition of
the Dauphiné Libéré live
as of stage 4 on Wednesday, June 10, at approximately 15:00 local Europe
time (CEST)/ 23:00 Australian time (CDT)/ 9:00 (USA East).
WAP-enabled mobile devices: http://live.cyclingnews.com/wap/
Boonen retained his overall lead. Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) punctured with
only three kilometres to go, so he could not participate in the sprint.
A breakaway made of Egoi Martinez (Discovery), Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis),
Christophe Mengin (Française des Jeux), Laurent Lefèvre (Bouygues) and
Cédric Coutouly (Agritubel) had led the race for 180 kilometres before
getting reeled in by the swarm with 2 km to go. Julian Dean (Credit Agricole)
crashed in the finale when he hit Steven de Jongh (Quick.Step), while
to his left, Thor Hushovd almost pushed Bernhard Eisel into the barriers.
That cost the Viking his fourth place.
Click here for the Full
results, report & photos, live
report and video
from stage 4.
An interview with Floyd Landis
Make no mistake
After the debacle last Friday, the names of Valverde, Landis, Evans,
Schleck, Leipheimer, Menchov, and Hincapie have gone from outside favourites
to real podium contenders. And with T-Mobile and Team CSC both losing
their lead riders, the Phonak Cycling Team have, by default, strengthened
themselves, placing 30 year-old American Floyd Landis in the spotlight
as a man who could win overall. Anthony Tan reports.
Phonak's Floyd Landis
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
"Well, I think my team will stay behind me, that's the important thing...
assuming that I've done my job - would you like a number?" laughed Landis.
At 20 years of age, this lanky Mennonite with soft ginger hair rejected
his parent's wishes to ignore the temptations the modern world had to
offer, and hasn't looked back since. His typically quiet nature, skewed
humour and softly spoken voice belie a rare inner determination, although
his faces changes to one of a grinch as he pedals in anger up the mountains
of France, a place where he took arguably his biggest victory to date
in Paris-Nice earlier this year.
However, there was another race in France where things didn't go too
well. Less than three weeks ago at the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, a
promising second place in a 43 kilometre time trial around Bourg-de-Péage
was followed by a flop the very next day up Le Mont Ventoux, losing nine
and a half minutes to stage winner Denis Menchov.
"From the beginning of the season, our objective has been the Tour. I
didn't expect a few races to go as well as they did - and I didn't expect
the Dauphiné to go as bad as it did!" he laughed again. "But I was happy
with the time trial; the first day on Ventoux was not so good, and after
that, I decided to use it as a training race. I didn't go there with that
in mind - I would say I was disappointed with myself - but like I said,
the objective is the Tour."
here for the full interview
Boogerd ready to Boogie-Woogie
By Anthony Tan in Valkenburg
Michael Boogerd already has two
Tour stage wins
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
Resplendent in his national champion's stripes of Holland - and for the
third time in his career - charismatic Dutchman Michael Boogerd is ready
the Boogie-Woogie his way through his eleventh Tour de France.
Speaking to Cyclingnews shortly before the kick-off in Strasbourg,
a congratulations was first in order before asking him the significance
of his third Dutch title. "It's always important to win - especially when
it's the national championship. You want to have the jersey, and I want
to show it in the Tour," said a fired-up Boogerd.
Interesting is that the team's two oldest riders, Boogerd and Erik Dekker,
34 and 36 years-old respectively, behave like two of the youngest. At
their national championships two Sundays ago, Rabobank general manager
Theo De Rooy said their faces looked like a pair of juniors on the start
line in Maastricht: "A heartbeat of 120, waiting for the start, then 'Whoof!',
full gas y'know, like, 'Let's see if we can make a decisive split on the
first lap of this circuit'," he recalled.
"That's the quality of these riders," said De Rooy. "As far as Erik Dekker
was concerned, the strange thing is, two or three years ago, he was already
expressing his doubts about whether he will do another Tour de France,
saying, 'Well, I don't know, I've already done so many Tours de France,
I think this will be my last... '
here for the full interview.
Wilfried Cretskens diary: What I do
Have you ever wondered aout the life of a pro cyclist in the service
of Tom Boonen? Here's ypur chance to find out first hand. Throughout the
Tour de France, Quick.Step's Wilfried Cretskens will provide Cyclingnews
with his insights. The first entry was made on Monday - here it is.
"Most people who read this on CN might lift an eyebrow when they see
my name. It doesn't bother me that I'm not that famous worldwide, because
that's not my goal. I've got an assisting position in the team, so the
others are more in the picture of course. People who need to know, they
know; and that's what's most important to me.
"Some people compare me with Wilfried Peeters (current coach of the
Quickstep team, and lieutenant of Johan Museeuw). Comparisons are something
I dislike; I'm Wilfried Cretskens and that's it. You can't compare all
those careers, and it doesn't make sense either. I know that Peeters and
I didn't win much. But if I get some good results, that's never intended
to be like that. I just do my job; and if I'm still in the front at the
end, that's just alright. At the end of the year, there are some smaller
races where I get a free role. Then I can race in a different way; and
of course, that's great fun!"
for the full diary entry of Wirlfried Cretskens.
Millar will get to Paris
By Brecht Decaluwé in Saint-Quentin
David Millar (Saunier Duval-Prodir)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
David Millar is back in the peloton, quite a special peloton actually:
The Scotsman has returned to the Tour de France competing at the highest
level. Millar, born in Malta, was suspended for two years but kept training
and recently found a ProTour team that adopted him - Spanish Saunier Duval.
Before his suspension, the 29 year-old was known to be very strong against
the clock; a quality you don’t lose, even being out of competition for
so long. Cyclingnews' Belgian diarist, Wilfried Cretskens, predicted
a win for David Millar in the prologue. The actual result proved to be
a 17th placing, fourteen seconds down on winner Thor Hushovd...
"No, but I knew that I wasn’t going fast enough," Millar said. "So realistically,
I know I have to be happy with that result, but I know I can do better.
My training was focused on time trialling, not on doing a prologue." The
first time trial in the Tour de France this year will be on Saturday,
July 8 - that should suit the tall Saunier Duval man even more.
"Saturday, I hope to do really well in the long individual time trial,
but maybe I might do really crap," Millar cautioned. But he is still sure
of his overall objective: "I’m pretty sure I can get to Paris! I don’t
know if I’ll be 'lanterne rouge' or not, but I will get to Paris!"
Any rider supporting Portugal at the TdF?
By Brecht Decaluwé in Saint-Quentin
Running concurrently with the Tour de France are the World Cup football
finals in Germany. This evening, the second semi-final is on schedule
between France and Portugal.
Sure, there are enough Frenchmen in the peloton, but Cyclingnews
went searching for a supporter of Portugal. It turns out José Azevedo
is the only rider from Portugal in this year's Tour de France peloton,
but 31 year-old Carlos Da Cruz has some Portuguese roots as well, even
though his nationality is French.
In 2003, Da Cruz came second in a stage of the Tour behind Pablo Lastras.
We asked the rider from the FdJeux team if he would watch the game tonight,
and which team he would support: "I'll be watching the game tonight, for
sure," he replied.
"If Portugal wins, the French riders in the team will have a party in
our room; otherwise, we'll surely find a room to party elsewhere. I'm
supporting Portugal together with my friend Sandy Casar; he's not a big
football supporter but, for some reason, he chose to support Portugal
during this World Cup.
"We hope to enjoy a great evening, and of course, I'm supporting France
as well... after all, I'm French! But for tonight, I'll support Portugal
because that's going to deliver more suspense while we watch the game."
Just over 1 day left to join Fantasy Le Tour
Giant TCR Advanced
BBB's BSG-23 Winner Quick-Step
World Champion glasses
Photo ©: Santini
Speedplay Zero pedals
Deda Alanera handlebars
DedaTre RS Corsa clincher
Reynolds SV KOM carbon wheels
There's still time to join the Fantasy Le Tour Game - with over one day
left until registration closes. Register
your teams now and win some amazing prizes!
You can join
until stage 6 begins and there's ample time to learn how the game
This year we've increased the amount of time you have to enter your teams
to the official pre-start time on the day of Stage 6 at 12:50 CEST. You
need to make sure your teams have the "Race Fees Paid" status next to them
by the following times around the world:
Fri 7th July - 12:50 Central European Summer Time
Fri 7th July - 06:50 US Eastern Daylight Time
Fri 7th July - 05:50 US Central Daylight Time
Fri 7th July - 03:50 US Pacific Daylight Time
Fri 7th July - 20:50 Australian Eastern Standard Time
5 Daily Stage winners announced!
The first five winners of daily
stage prizes have been confirmed. Winning a pair of BBB
Parts BSG-23 Winner Quick-Step World Champion glasses, designed for
Tom Boonen. Their teams had the highest cumulative stage points for the
first stages of the Tour.
Daily Stage Prize winners
Prologue winner - Team McGuire (Manager - McGuire)
Stage 1 winner - Team 3 (Manager - Johann Ribbens)
Stage 2 winner - Team Once More (Manager - Hercules III)
Stage 3 winner - Team Bleu Touchpaper (Manager - Nigel)
Stage 4 winner - Team 2Tourstimul (Manager - Stimulleke)
no disadvantage in joining the game once the Tour has started so try
the game out for FREE until stage 6 begins. Experiment with different
team selections and see how they fare every day live here at Cyclingnews.
There are plenty more winners to come with over 49 prizes confirmed for
the prize rosta this year, with more prizes to come. We'll keep you updated.
The Fantasy game is a great way to get to know the Tour in more detail,
as you take on the role of being a team manager during each day of the
Tour, making the best of your team selections as the Tour unfolds stage
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get a much more intimate knowledge of the lesser seeded riders as you
watch their progress in your own teams and in other Fantasy manager's
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the riders perform over the coming weeks through the sprints and the mountains.
Remember you can change your 15 riders right up until stage 6 begins
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There is plenty time to get your team right before the game closes to
Fantasy Game Prize List
Grand Prize from Giant
TCR Advanced T-Mobile Team bike.
Daily Prize from BBB
Parts - 21 pairs of BSG-23 Winner Quick-Step glasses.
Runner-up Prizes - Set of wheels from Reynolds.
- Cirro SV KOM carbon wheels
Runner-up Prizes - Ten pairs of tyres from DedaTre.
Runner-up Prizes - Handlebars from Deda
Runner-up Prizes - Three Giro
Runner-up Prizes - Three sets of Speedplay's
Runner-up Prizes - Three fi'zi:k
Runner-up Prizes - Six complete sets of Santini
ProTour replica team kit.
Play for FREE in the Fantasy Le Tour 2006 game
Try the game out and see how best to play before you pay. It's easy to
play the Tour games - all you need to do is pick your dream team of 15
from the riders racing in this year's Le Tour start list. Then each day
pick 9 riders to race for your fantasy team from these 15. You'll need
a good combination of climbers, sprinters and general classification riders.
For more details go to the rules
section of the site. There're also some great tips and tricks in the
sections of the site. It's a great way to follow Le Tour 2006.
The Fantasy Cyclingnews Team
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)