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91st Ronde van Vlaanderen - PT
Belgium, April 8, 2007
Ballan blasts Hoste for monumental win
By Gregor Brown and Brecht Decaluwé in Meerbeke
Italian Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-Fondital) proved he belongs with the best in the Belgian Classics by winning the 91st Ronde van Vlaanderen. The 27 year-old attacked an elite field, including 2006 winner Tom Boonen (Quickstep-Innergetic), on the Muur of Geraardsbergen and was immediately joined by Belgian Leif Hoste (Predictor-Lotto), who he later out-sprinted on the line in Meerbeke.
The duo went full-gas and fairly traded pulls over the final 16 kilometres from the Muur. Ballan was forced to lead over the final kilometre, where the two went increasing slower while the chase closed in at only a few seconds. At 150 metres, Hoste opened up his sprint on Ballan's left, thinking he had enough to hold it to the line. But the 1.90m tall rider that usually leads out for Daniele Bennati kept on his rival's wheel, finally coming around in the last ten metres to steal glory.
Hoste finished second for the second year running while Ballan scored the first Italian win since Andrea Tafi in 2002. "The last kilometre was crazy," said the rider from Castelfranco Veneto after the finish. "I still don't believe that I did it!
"I did the attack on the Muur and did a huge pull all the way to the end; it went great. This course was really suited for me.
"Then, in the last kilometre, Hoste forced me to lead-out. I did not think that he would ever come around me. When he did pass me I just hooked on and... [huge smile - ed.] After the crash in GP Chiasso I have been building now I am able to be so strong. I will go into Paris-Roubaix with calmness." Liquigas' Luca Paolini finished third, just ahead of CSC's Karsten Kroon, while pre-race favourite Tom Boonen and his QuickStep team completely lost out on the winning move.
Hoste came so close to his first victory in Flanders but the finish was just a couple of metres too far for the Belgian. Right after he finished the he sat down and swore up a storm, louder and louder. "F***, verdomme, I feel so bad right now, not only for me but for the whole team," he explained. "They were doing an excellent job all day long.
"Many people were laughing with us but we were probably the strongest team in the race," Hoste continued. The Belgian wasn't mentioned too much as favourite for the race as he performed bad in the races leading up to Flanders. "I wasn't hiding or anything and there wasn't anything wrong with my form. I crashed twice - being injured on the same spot - in a short space of time, and it's no wonder I was faced with such a hard time."
How it unfolded
It was a wonderful day at the start in Brugge for the 91st Ronde van Vlaanderen. The riders and directeurs sportifs were commenting on the weather, and how it had been years since it had been so warm for De Ronde, near 18°C.
The riders faced 259 kilometres of riding before the finish in Meerbeke; winding their way south, towards Kortrijk, before heading east and onto the pavé and Hellingen ('climbs'). The second half of the race presented the riders with 18 climbs in 125 kilometres.
Right away there were attacks and it took only until kilometre 29 for the first move to form. A group of seven riders moved free, consisting of José Vicente Garcia (Caisse d'Epargne), Enrico Franzoi (Lampre-Fondital), David Boucher (Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner), Maarten Tjallingii (Skil-Shimano), Laurent Mangel (Ag2r Prévoyance), Aleksandr Kuschynski (Liquigas) and Evert Verbist (Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen).
Oleg Tinkov's boys of Team Tinkoff were particularly active and trying to join the move before it gained too much distance. Mikhail Ignatiev and Nikolai Trusov both gave a go but could not get on. The Belgian Champion, Niko Eeckhout (Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen), also shot off the front but it was too late because the move had been formed. It lacked key teams Predictor, Quickstep and Rabobank but nonetheless it moved forward without too much difficulty.
The seven men worked their way south and by Gavere they had built up a lead of 13 minutes, the maximum they would see for the day. Behind, the peloton was allowing the escape to get its advantage, saving some energy for the latter half of the day. There was slight problem for Belgian favourite, Tom Boonen, he took a spill in Kortrijk but then quickly rejoined; he was reported with a sore right wrist.
By the first of 18 climbs, Molenberg, the seven men were down to 9'30" over the peloton. The chase was not being driven by any team in particular, but they were slowly closing the gap. Over the next three climbs, the Wolvenberg, Kluisberg and Knokteberg, the gap was further whittled away. The seven men, although working in harmony, now only had 6'42" in hand as they started the 1260 metre climb up Knokteberg. Spaniard Vicente Garcia led the way up the smooth, non-cobbled climb.
Behind, at kilometre 165, a crash involved Matti Breschel (Team CSC). The Dane rider was rolling around on the pavement for some time and had to abandon. This crash was followed by another when Renaud Dion (Ag2r Prévoyance) took a spill on the right had side of the road. There was yet another crash, involving Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner), Manuele Mori (Saunier Duval-Prodir), Manuel Quinziato (Liquigas) and Erik Zabel (Milram), but the race continued its march towards the Oude Kwaremont and left the German holding his left collarbone.
At this point, 80 kilometres to go, there was a noticeable building of speed in the peloton. T-Mobile, with help from Quickstep, was revving up the pace and had the whole group in one long line. The move put Marcus Burghardt in prime position to unload on the Oude Kwaremont.
The 23 year-old fired up the 2200 metre climb (averaging 4% gradient with 1600m of cobbles). His teammates setup his move and by the left-hand turn at the top the difference was made. Burghardt showed his form in recent races was no fluke and the weaker riders were being shot out the back.
The pace kept rising over the Paterberg, 20.3% maximum gradient and 360m long, and on to climb number seven, the Kortekeer. By the Kortekeer, the difference to the seven leaders was down to 3'58". This climb was the replacement for the near-by Koppenberg, which was deemed too dangerous due to the gaps between the cobbles.
The fact that Belgian's number one team, Quickstep, had missed putting a man in the day's escape was starting to become troublesome. The blue-men were moving to the front to start an offensive. After Steenbeekdries, 530m long and a dangerous descent, Sébastien Rosseler (Quickstep-Innergetic) pushed towards the Taaienberg for Boonen. The 2005 World Champ was finally coming forward to show himself. While Lorenzo Bernucci (T-Mobile) took a spill leading to the climb, compatriot Paolo Bettini was moving up.
The World Champ came to the front and did a huge pull for his Quickstep teammate; the orders must have been for him to work as a super-domestique to Boonen. Meanwhile, Quickstep's Peter Van Petegem was hurting and drifting off the back. The move by Bettini and Rosseler did not succeed in an escape but it helped eliminate further men.
Running towards the Eikenberg, Luca Paolini (Liquigas) lost it on a right hand bend. He was quick to get back up but his bike needed mechanical help, forcing him and a waiting teammate into a long chase.
Kevin Hulsmans (Quickstep-Innergetic) and Johan Van Summeren (Predictor-Lotto) darted off the front on the Eikenberg (61 km to go). The duo, representing Belgian's super-squads, spent about five kilometres away before being pulled back; a further attempt by the teams to put their men up the road and to ease the pressure, but the pressure only increased.
CSC's Fabian Cancellara starting hammering shortly after the Berendries and he forced the favourites to react. He split the field on an undulating cobbled section and winner of Three Days of De Panne stage three, Gert Steegmans (Quickstep-Innergetic) was sent to follow. The Belgian joined the Swiss man for a ride, as they closed the gap to the leaders ahead.
The duo joined the front men and quickly Cancellara went to the business-end and started driving the new escape, minus Vicente Garcia, who had been dropped in the warfare. The move proved Cancellara to be strong but he lacked the right mix of men to make it to the finish clear of the chase.
Stuart O'Grady (Team CSC), Hulsmans, Van Summeren, Michael Boogerd (Rabobank), Leif Hoste (Predictor-Lotto), Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Fondital), Steegmans were part of a smaller move, which was chased by Bettini, Karsten Kroon (Team CSC) and Philippe Gilbert (Française Des Jeux). But the moves all merged before the start of the Muur of Geraardsbergen, leaving 17 kilometres to go.
The front group went over the train tracks and it was immediately on the Muur, heading towards Moerbeke. The climb is nasty, with 475m of pavé and a maximum gradient of 19.8%, and was the perfect place for Ballan to stretch his legs. His teammate, Bennati, pushed forward with Boonen before Ballan rode clear.
2006 winner Boonen faded and left only Leif Hoste (Predictor-Lotto) to bridge up to Ballan. By the top, the two were flying on their way to victory. Kroon and Tomas Vaitkus (Discovery Channel) moved free to begin a chase but could not close on the two, who stayed about 15" ahead until the finish.
The Italian and Belgian traded equal pulls over the closing 10 kilometres. In the final 1500 metres there was a slight game of cat-n-mouse before Hoste opened the sprint that Ballan finished off.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti
Images by Brecht Decaluwé/Cyclingnews.com
Images by Luc Claessen/www.ctm-images.com
Images by AFP
1 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 6.10.15 (41.97 km/h) 2 Leif Hoste (Bel) Predictor-Lotto 3 Luca Paolini (Ita) Liquigas 0.05 4 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC 5 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Discovery Channel 6 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Discovery Channel 0.13 7 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Cofidis 8 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana 9 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 10 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team CSC 0.35 11 Jesús Del Nero (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 12 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic 13 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) T-Mobile 14 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Liquigas 15 Gregory Rast (Swi) Astana 16 Steffen Wesemann (Swi) Wiesenhof-Felt 17 Staf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Cofidis 18 Cristian Moreni (Ita) Cofidis 19 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 20 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Predictor-Lotto 0.42 21 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quickstep-Innergetic 0.48 22 Gorik Gardeyn (Bel) Unibet.com 1.32 23 Andy Cappelle (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner 24 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Tinkoff Credit Systems 25 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Française Des Jeux 26 Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner 27 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Milram 28 Maarten Den Bakker (Ned) Skil-Shimano 29 Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Unibet.com 30 Aart Vierhouten (Ned) Skil-Shimano 31 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Milram 32 Bas Giling (Ned) Wiesenhof-Felt 33 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Ag2r Prévoyance 34 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 35 Leon Van Bon (Ned) Rabobank 36 Ralf Grabsch (Ger) Milram 37 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 38 Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr) Discovery Channel 39 Bert Roesems (Bel) Predictor-Lotto 40 Markel Irizar (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 41 Matthew Wilson (Aus) Unibet.com 42 Filip Meirhaeghe (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner 43 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Discovery Channel 44 Koen De Kort (Ned) Astana 45 Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) Team CSC 46 Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Liquigas 47 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) Saunier Duval-Prodir 48 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Unibet.com 49 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank 50 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner 51 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Predictor-Lotto 52 Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank 53 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC 54 Jörg Ludewig (Ger) Wiesenhof-Felt 55 Andreas Klier (Ger) T-Mobile 56 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Skil-Shimano 57 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile 58 Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Astana 59 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic 60 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole 2.57 61 Franck Renier (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 62 Matthew White (Aus) Discovery Channel 63 Vincent Jérôme (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 64 Elio Aggiano (Ita) Tinkoff Credit Systems 65 Christophe Laurent (Fra) Crédit Agricole 66 Laurent Mangel (Fra) Ag2r Prévoyance 67 Alessandro Cortinovis (Ita) Milram 68 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank 69 Evert Verbist (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen 70 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 71 Francisco José Ventoso (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 72 David Boucher (Fra) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner 73 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 74 David Kopp (Ger) Gerolsteiner 75 Massimiliano Mori (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 6.50 76 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Predictor-Lotto 77 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic 78 Paolo Fornaciari (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 6.55 79 Igor Abakoumov (Bel) Astana 80 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française Des Jeux 81 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic 82 Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 83 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic 84 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Milram 7.10 85 William Bonnet (Fra) Crédit Agricole 86 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) T-Mobile 87 Olaf Pollack (Ger) Wiesenhof-Felt 88 Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 89 Alexandre Usov (Blr) Ag2r Prévoyance 90 Baden Cooke (Aus) Unibet.com 91 Ludovic Auger (Fra) Française Des Jeux 92 Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas 93 Claudio Corioni (Ita) Lampre-Fondital 94 Floris Goesinnen (Ned) Skil-Shimano 9.47 95 Frederik Willems (Bel) Liquigas 10.22 96 Christophe Mengin (Fra) Française Des Jeux 97 Yohann Gène (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 98 Rony Martias (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 99 Sven Krauss (Ger) Gerolsteiner 100 José Vicente Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 101 Steffen Weigold (Ger) Tinkoff Credit Systems 12.37 102 Alan Pérez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 103 Pedro Horrillo (Spa) Rabobank 104 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Crédit Agricole 105 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Gerolsteiner 106 Wim De Vocht (Bel) Predictor-Lotto 107 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner 108 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Cofidis 109 Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic 110 Sven Renders (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen 111 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen 112 Allan Johansen (Den) Team CSC 113 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis 114 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Française Des Jeux 115 Matthé Pronk (Ned) Unibet.com 116 Jan Boven (Ned) Rabobank DNF Steven De Jongh (Ned) Quickstep-Innergetic DNF Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Predictor-Lotto DNF Roy Sentjens (Bel) Predictor-Lotto DNF Markus Eichler (Ger) Unibet.com DNF Jimmy Casper (Fra) Unibet.com DNF Matti Breschel (Den) Team CSC DNF Kasper Klostergård (Den) Team CSC DNF Lars Michaelsen (Den) Team CSC DNF José Joaquín Rojas (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne DNF Eric Berthou (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne DNF Florent Brard (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne DNF Vicente Reynes (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne DNF Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne DNF Nicolas Portal (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne DNF Andoni Aranaga (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi DNF Unai Uribarri (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi DNF Iban Mayoz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi DNF Andoni Lafuente (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi DNF Iban Iriondo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi DNF Koldo Fernández (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi DNF David Millar (GBr) Saunier Duval-Prodir DNF Luciano Pagliarini (Bra) Saunier Duval-Prodir DNF Ángel Gómez Gómez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir DNF Raúl Alarcón (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir DNF Manuele Mori (Ita) Saunier Duval-Prodir DNF Stéphane Poulhiès (Fra) Ag2r Prévoyance DNF Loyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2r Prévoyance DNF Christophe Riblon (Fra) Ag2r Prévoyance DNF Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) Ag2r Prévoyance DNF Renaud Dion (Fra) Ag2r Prévoyance DNF Mathieu Claude (Fra) Bouygues Telecom DNF Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Bouygues Telecom DNF Michiel Elijzen (Ned) Cofidis DNF Tyler Farrar (USA) Cofidis DNF Mathieu Heijboer (Ned) Cofidis DNF Sébastien Hinault (Fra) Crédit Agricole DNF Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Crédit Agricole DNF Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Crédit Agricole DNF Julian Dean (NZl) Crédit Agricole DNF Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française Des Jeux DNF Christophe Detilloux (Bel) Française Des Jeux DNF Fabien Patanchon (Fra) Française Des Jeux DNF Sebastian Lang (Ger) Gerolsteiner DNF Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner DNF Oscar Gatto (Ita) Gerolsteiner DNF Marcel Strauss (Swi) Gerolsteiner DNF Bert Grabsch (Ger) T-Mobile DNF Servais Knaven (Ned) T-Mobile DNF Lorenzo Bernucci (Ita) T-Mobile DNF Roger Hammond (GBr) T-Mobile DNF Roberto Petito (Ita) Liquigas DNF Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas DNF Murilo Fischer (Bra) Liquigas DNF Erik Zabel (Ger) Milram DNF Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Milram DNF Volodymyr Dyudya (Ukr) Milram DNF Bram De Groot (Ned) Rabobank DNF Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus) Astana DNF Aaron Kemps (Aus) Astana DNF Benoît Joachim (Lux) Astana DNF Pavel Padrnos (Cze) Discovery Channel DNF Steve Cummings (GBr) Discovery Channel DNF Antonio Cruz (USA) Discovery Channel DNF Niko Eeckhout (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen DNF Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen DNF Johan Coenen (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen DNF Glenn D'Hollander (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen DNF Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-Topsport Vlaanderen DNF James Vanlandschoot (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner DNF Jan Kuyckx (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner DNF Kevin Neirynck (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner DNF Robert Wagner (Ger) Wiesenhof-Felt DNF Daniel Musiol (Ger) Wiesenhof-Felt DNF Stefan Van Dijck (Ned) Wiesenhof-Felt DNF Felix Odebrecht (Ger) Wiesenhof-Felt DNF Mikhail Ignatiev (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems DNF Ilya Chernetsky (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems DNF Nikolai Trussov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems DNF Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems DNF Anton Mindlin (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems DNF Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Skil-Shimano DNF Christian Müller (Ger) Skil-Shimano DNF Christoph Meschenmoser (Ger) Skil-Shimano DNF David Deroo (Fra) Skil-Shimano
Individual ranking 1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 56 pts 2 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 53 3 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank 52 4 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre - Fondital 50 5 Davide Rebellin (Ita) Gerolsteiner 42 6 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team 41 7 Leif Hoste (Bel) Predictor - Lotto 40 8 Allan Davis (Aus) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 40 9 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 38 10 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 38 11 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep - Innergetic 37 12 Luca Paolini (Ita) Liquigas 36 13 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner 35 14 Robbie Mcewen (Aus) Predictor - Lotto 33 15 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC 30 16 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) Lampre - Fondital 30 17 Stuart O'grady (Aus) Team CSC 29 18 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas 28 19 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 25 20 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 25 21 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 23 22 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 20 23 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Milram 20 24 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC 20 25 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone 15 26 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto 15 27 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana 10 28 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Team Milram 10 29 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC 10 30 Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 7 31 Riccardo Ricco (Ita) Saunier Duval - Prodir 6 32 Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 5 33 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 5 34 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 3 35 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre - Fondital 3 36 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 3 37 Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 3 38 David Millar (GBr) Saunier Duval - Prodir 3 39 Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre - Fondital 3 40 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team CSC 3 41 Jean-Patrick Nazon (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance 3 42 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir 2 43 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Liquigas 2 44 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas 2 45 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Team Milram 2 46 Sebastian Siedler (Ger) Team Milram 2 47 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole 1 48 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank 1 49 Sven Krauss (Ger) Gerolsteiner 1 50 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 1 51 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Quickstep - Innergetic 1 52 Sébastien Joly (Fra) Française des Jeux 1 53 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance 1 Team ranking 1 Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 71 pts 2 Team CSC 66 3 Liquigas 61 4 Caisse d'Epargne 53 5 Astana 45 6 Lampre-Fondital 45 7 Predictor-Lotto 45 8 Team Milram 42 9 Ag2R Prevoyance 42 10 T-Mobile Team 42 11 Saunier Duval - Prodir 40 12 Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone 39 13 Rabobank 37 14 Quick Step - Innergetic 35 15 Credit Agricole 20 16 Unibet.com 19 17 Française des Jeux 16 18 Bouygues Telecom 16 19 Gerolsteiner 16 20 Euskaltel - Euskadi 15 Country ranking 1 Spain 174 pts 2 Italy 166 3 Germany 130 4 Australia 118 5 Belgium 92 6 Slovenia 55 7 Luxembourg 51 8 Kazakhstan 48 9 Netherlands 37 10 Russian Federation 28 11 Lithuania 20 12 France 6 13 Ukraine 3 14 Great Britain 3 15 Czech Republic 2 16 Norway 1