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60th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré - ProT

France, June 8-15, 2008

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Stage 3 - June 11: Saint-Paul-en-Jarez (ITT), 31km

Complete live report

Live commentary by Gregor Brown

Live coverage starts: 15:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:00 CEST

15:30 CEST   
Welcome to our live coverage of the time trial.

15:34 CEST   
Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) will be the last rider off today as he is in the race leader's jersey. He has a good shot of keeping the yellow top as his a quick TT man; however, today could be too long for his abilities.

15:35 CEST   
Here is our current top five right now:
1 Stef Clement (Bouygues Telecom) 46.05
2 Juan José Cobo (Saunier Duval-Scott)
3 Sergio Paulinho (Astana)
4 Josep Jufré (Saunier Duval-Scott)
5 Rémi Pauriol (Crédit Agricole)

15:36 CEST   
The last riders will be going off at two-minute intervals, but right now we are seeing the riders go off at one-minute spacing.

15:37 CEST   
Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), who rode and won the Collado Villalba TT in the Vuelta last year, takes off.

The 2006 race, led by Spain's Alejandro Valverde, tops the Galibier
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

15:42 CEST   
Does Dauphiné success guarantee Tour de France victory? The Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré has long been considered the preparation race for the Tour de France. If you do well in the Dauphiné, you will do well in the Tour, is how the theory goes. From looking at the last nine years is this a golden rule or just a rash assumption?

If your name is Lance Armstrong, then yes, you did well in both races. However few other riders have replicated their form in both races. Andrei Kivilev finished fifth in the Dauphiné and fourth in the Tour in 2001. Iban Mayo finished second and sixth in 2003. In 2005, Alexander Vinokourov finished fifth in both races. And last year, Cadel Evans was the runner-up in both, while Alberto Contador was sixth in the Dauphiné and yet went on to win La Grande Boucle.

Some Dauphiné winners went on to either crash out of the Tour (Christophe Moreau in 2001 and Iban Mayo in 2004). Others simply bombed once they got to the Tour (Vinokourov 1999, Iñigo Landaluze 2006). And some were so focused on the Dauphiné that they simply peaked too soon. (Iban Mayo 2003, Levi Leipheimer 2006)

Here is a year-by-year look at the 1999 to 2007 editions. Read on...

15:43 CEST   
2006 Tour de France champion Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne) comes in for the third best time, at 47'07".

15:46 CEST   
If Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) can't hold on to the yellow top, look for Leipheimer or Evans. The former just came off the Giro d'Italia and is on hot form. While Evans proved his knee trouble is not troubling with the opening prologue in this race.

15:48 CEST   
The weather here is terrible. Europe has been nailed with rain for the last month and, despite the last two days being dry, today is wet. Making it hard for the riders on their TT machines.

Australia's Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto), 2nd in the 2007 Tour, is on the start ramp. He has his game face on and is ready for a winning ride.

15:49 CEST   
Evans blasts out of the start 'house' and we have another six riders to go.

15:50 CEST   
Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale) takes off...

15:50 CEST   
Maxime Monfort (Cofidis) is up next.

15:52 CEST   
Iouri Trofimov (Bouygues Telecom) comes home with a time of 46.34. Speaking of Time... Maxime Monfort (Cofidis) mounts his French Time machine and readies to fire.

15:53 CEST   
He may be Belgian, but the Belgians likely have their eyes on Tom Boonen. The Sprinter is in trouble with cocaine and is making news.

USA's George Hincapie (High Road), 34, wins Dauphiné Libéré stage two
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

15:55 CEST   
George Hincapie (High Road), winner of yesterday's stage 2, fires off. He will use every bit of muscle he has to power his Giant machine on the French roads. He has won two TT tests in the Dauphiné.

15:57 CEST   
Levi Leipheimer (Astana) takes off. The USA rider has nothing to lose here in the Dauphiné, as he will not be riding the Tour de France. The 2006 Dauphine winner will be one to watch in today's time trial and in the overall.

15:57 CEST   
'The Green Bullet' Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) is in the start house...

15:58 CEST   
He holds the green points jersey as Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole), the points leader, is in the overall leader's yellow jersey.

16:02 CEST   
The last rider, Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole), powers out on to the course. He holds the 2005 Norwegian TT championship title.

16:04 CEST   
Valverde, winner of stage one, does not look comfortable on this very windy road. It is better he plays it safe and not destroy himself in view of July's Tour de France.

16:11 CEST   
Evans last time trial was in the País Vasco, where he finished second in Orio.

16:13 CEST   
Laurent Lefèvre (Bouygues Telecom) comes in with a time of 47'34".

16:15 CEST   
Levi Leipheimer (Astana) is out of the saddle on this riser. He looks to be riding well on the wet roads.

16:17 CEST   
Andriy Grivko (Team Milram) comes in with the third best time.

16:18 CEST   
Maxime Monfort (Cofidis), professional since 2004, smooth very smooth on this parcours. He leads Evans by nine seconds at the first time check with a time of 23'12".

16:21 CEST   
Here comes Carlos Sastre (Team CSC). The Spaniard is on a normal bike and does not seem concerned with the TT today, posting a time of 48'51". Maybe he chose the bike so that he would have better control on the parcours.

16:24 CEST   
'The Green Bullet' - Valverde - is flying! At the 12.1-kilometre time check he posts 22'53"... That is 19" faster than Stef Clement (Bouygues Telecom), 28" faster than Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) and 36" faster than Levi Leipheimer (Astana).

16:26 CEST   
Hincapie is flying through a city centre here and looking very smooth.

16:27 CEST   
Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi) comes in with a time of 45 minutes and some change... Okay, nearly 46 minutes – 45'59" – the fastest time up until now.

We can report that the yellow jersey will change hands as Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) is posting a bombing time.

16:28 CEST   
The standings at kilometre 12.2
1 Valverde 22'53"
2 Clement 23'12"
3 Evans 23'21"
4 Leipheimer 23'29"

16:29 CEST   
If Valverde continues like this then he will take the yellow top by 40 seconds on Levi Leipheimer (Astana) and 45 seconds on Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto).

16:33 CEST   
Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) leads Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) by 31 seconds at the second time check.

16:34 CEST   
Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) comes in on Carlos Barredo's wheel. The Aussie posts 45'19" – the fastest time to this point.

16:38 CEST   
Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale) is no longer smiling after 47'42" of racing. Maxime Monfort (Cofidis) is right behind him with a time of 46'00"

16:40 CEST   
Bad news for Chris Horner (Astana) fans, the USA rider did not start today.

Another USA rider, Levi Leipheimer (Astana), enters the final kilometre of the race. He just passed Hincapie.

16:41 CEST   
Here comes Levi Leipheimer (Astana)...

Hola France! Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

16:42 CEST   
Levi Leipheimer (Astana) posts a time of 45'18", one second over Evans.

16:44 CEST   
'The Green Bullet' Valverde comes home with a time of 44'59"79! He should take the yellow top from Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole).

16:50 CEST   
Poor Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) is really struggling on this course. He enjoyed his two days in the yellow top, but now it is over to Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne). Thor posts a time of 49'55".

16:53 CEST   
Thanks for joining us today. We will have a complete report to follow. Come back tomorrow for more live coverage as the Dauphiné heads towards the mountains.


1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne              44.59
2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana                            0.19
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto                         0.20
4 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi                 1.00
5 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis                            1.01
6 Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom
7 Iouri Trofimov (Rus) Bouygues Telecom
8 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Team Milram
9 Juan José Cobo (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott
10 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
General classification after stage 3
1 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana                            0.23
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto                         0.37
4 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Cofidis                            1.17
5 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
6 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Team Milram        

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