Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

Tour de France Cycling News Extra for July 9, 2006

Edited by John Kenny

Contenders and pretenders sorted out in the TT

By John Trevorrow in Rennes

Michael Rogers (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Michael Rogers and Cadel Evans both passed the first real test of the 2006 Tour de France. The 52 kilometre time trial loop from St Gregoire to Rennes was always going to show up the pretenders and it certainly did. A few of the contenders fell away including Americans Levi Leipheimer and George Hincapie, who dropped out of real contention.

But the two Aussies showed that they are still major threats. Rogers finished fourth in the stage 1 min 24 sec behind teammate Ukrainian Serhiy Gonchar but more importantly improved his position in the general classification to 1 min 8 sec. With Gonchar unlikely to survive the mountain stages in yellow, it means that Rogers is perfectly placed, only eight seconds behind American Floyd Landis. "I started well and I can't be too disappointed. My teammate's in the lead and I went as hard as I could I just didn't have the strength. Live to fight another day," Rogers said.

Evans finished eleventh in the time trial and is now eighth overall at 1 min 52 sec. He is also well placed for his mountain assault in a few days. "It all depends on how I climb I suppose. I will have a look at how it all pans out after today but the mountains are whole different scenario," Evans said.

George Hincapie (Discovery)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Stuart O'Grady managed to finish a stage without any dramas and feeling much more confident about his chances of making it to Paris. "I felt a lot better today. The chiropractor has been great and I'm starting to feel about 65 instead of 80. With another couple of flat days and a rest day before the mountains, I may just recover enough for the challenge."

Stage 7 quotes

Simon Gerrans

"We started in a cross wind, rode into a head wind for a long way and then finished with a tail wind. So you couldn't go out too hard or you risked blowing yourself up. I didn't feel too bad as I'm not a big fan of long time trials. Matter of fact I'm not too keen on the small ones either.

"My main aim was not to get eliminated, and I seem to have achieved that, then to ride steady and get a bit of recovery in. I was feeling pretty comfortable but then the boss was in the car and he started getting a bit excited so I lifted it a bit.

Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

"Tomorrow could be a real chance for a breakaway to succeed. I don't reckon T Mobile will try to defend the jersey so it's going to be hard for the sprinters teams to ride on the front all day. As long as we get an AG2R rider up there I will be happy. Hopefully it will be me."

Gerrans starts a bout of coughing.

Q: Is that a touch of pursuiter's cough Simon?

SG: No, I'm still a bit crook. I wasn't too good after the Tour of Swiss and after spending three months on antibiotics after the accident with my shoulder, I wasn't too keen to take something to knock it on the head straight away. It was a mistake because after a week when it didn't clear up, I had to start them again and it didn't clear up before the tour.

Actually I thought I had got rid of it but after the prologue it started back up again. With all the stuff I've had to take over the last week, I haven't been able to venture too far from the toilet. Hopefully it will be all cleared up by the mountains.

Cadel Evans

Q: Not a bad ride Cadel?

Serguei Gonchar (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

CE: I think the best riders are still to come. I was more concerned with limiting my losses than doing anything special. It was definitely windier when we went off later. The guys who got out early had much better conditions. It was a better first up time trial than I did last year.

Q: A good position to be in as we head to the mountains?

CE: It depends how I climb I suppose. I will have a look at how it all pans out after today but the mountains are whole different scenario.

Michael Rogers

"It was really hard. Not a bad ride, a bit off the pace, I would have liked to have done a bit better but hey, it is the Tour de France.

"I started well and I can't be too disappointed my teammate's in the lead. I went as hard as I could. I just didn't have the strength. Live to fight another day."

Q: There's always another time trial Mick?

MR: That's a long way away yet.

Q: Gonchar is in the lead right?

MR: Yeah, he was awesome. I was expecting big time gaps as it was a hard time trial. As I said I'm pretty happy with my ride, I gave it everything.

Previous News    Next News

(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)