Tour De France 2006

This year will be interesting…
Quick summary:

  • 10 riders in scheduled to compete in this years tour will not be. Two of the most promising riders, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich and the others have been suspected for blood doping. Blood doping is a very hard thing to catch, the only way to tell is through the hematocrit, or the number of red blood cells per given volume of blood.
  • Team Discovery Channel’s Rider after Lance: George Hincapie
  • Who will win this year’s tour? No one knows. Hincapie, O’Grady, Zabel, Hushovd, McEwen, or any of the other 150+ riders. It should turn out to be a great tour.

Winner: Thor Hushovd
The prologue is a short (7.1km) time trial before stage one. It seems to just be a time when the TV announcers can provide some history and general information about the tour. For instance, there are 176 riders, 20 teams, and 26 nations.

Stage 1:
Jimmy Casper has won his first Tour stage. The top three are:

  1. Jimmy Casper (COF)
  2. Robbie McEwen (DVL)
  3. Erik Zabel (MRM)
    Yellow Jersey holder becomes George Hincapie.
  • Thor Hushovd had his arm lacerated by Europe’s equilivent of the foam finger. The big difference is that it wasn’t foam, it was still cardboard, and at 35-40 mph, it can cause a decent cut. He was nearly complete with the stage when it happened, but he is worried that he will not be able to sprint as well because he cannot pull up on the handlebar without pain.

Stage 2:
The Top Three In Stage Two:

  1. Robbie McEwen (AUS - DVL) [His 9th career stage win]
  2. Tom Boonen (BEL - QSI)
  3. Thor Hushovd (NOR - C.A)
    Yellow Jersey holder returns to Hushovd, he is leading Boonen by 5 seconds and McEwen by 8 seconds.

Stage 3:
Top Five In Stage Three:

  1. Matthias Kessler (GER - TMO)
  2. Michael Rogers (AUS - TMO) at 5"
  3. Daniel Benatti (ITA - LAM) at 5"
  4. Tom Boonen (QSI - BEL) at 5"
  5. Erik Zabel (GER - MRM) at 5"
    Matthias Kessler claimed his first stage win in the Tour de France with an excellent attack on the final climb.
  • The General Classification (GC) is as follows…
  1. Tom Boonen (BEL - QSI)
  2. Michael Rogers (AUS - TMO) at 1"
  3. George Hincapie (USA - DSC) at 5"
  4. Thor Hushovd (NOR - C.A) at 7"
  5. Paolo Savoldelli (ITA - DSC) at 15"
    Tom Boonen has achieved his quest of wearing the yellow jersey. The world champion was fourth in the stage and now leads the time trial world champion by one-second in the general classification.

I’ll post again later today about the outcome of today’s stage.

My dad is big into bike racing, so the Tour De France is always on in our house in July. :rolleyes:

I did hear that there was one team (I think it might have been T-Mobile, but I’m not sure) where six out of the ten riders weren’t allowed to ride because they were caught for blood doping. Apparently that was the team that had Jan Ullrich on it, too, and he was expected to do extremely well in the Tour.

actually, it was Astaná-Würth that lost 5 of its 9 riders and had to drop. unfortunatly, this means that tour prospect Alexandre Vinokourov (who was clean) couldn’t compete. t-mobile lost only ullrich and sevilla.

Oops. Sorry. Like I said . . . I wasn’t sure. My dad talks about so many different people and teams that sometimes it’s just easier to smile and nod.

Stage 4:

  • In today’s stage their are two climbs are three sprints. It is 207km long and goes from Huy, Germany to Saint-Quentin, France.
  • More doping tests were taken today. The UCI subjected 54 riders from six teams to blood controls. The squads involved were Saunier Duval-Prodir, Credit Agricole, Francaise des Jeux, Discovery Channel, Cofidis and Agritubel. No abnormalities were found and all riders were clear to start the stage.
  • The second attack on the day started at the 18.5km mark.
  • The lead continues to climb at the 91km mark where it stands at 4:55. The lead group contained:
    Egoi Martinez (ESP - DSC) 22nd - at 28" (time behind yellow jersey)
    Laurent Lefevre (FRA - BTL) 64th - at 52"
    Christophe Mengin (FRA - FDJ) 136th - at 6’33"
    Cedric Coutouly (FRA - AGR) 140th - at 7’29"
    Bradley Wiggins (GBR - COF) 152nd - at 9’54"
  • With 37 km to go the excapees are 2:40 ahead of the peloton. From here the started closing fast and caught up with them over 4 hour after their escape, with less than 2 km to go in the stage.
  • There is no change to the top of the general classification after the fourth stage.
  • The top five in Saint-Quentin is:
  1. Robbie McEwen (AUS - DVL) (10th career stage win)
  2. Isaac Galvez (ESP - CEI)
  3. Oscar Freire (ESP - RAB)
  4. Thor Hushovd (NOR - C.A)
  5. Tom Boonen (BEL - QSI)
    Tom Boonen Holds the Yellow (leader’s) jersey, and Robbie McEwen the Green (sprinter’s)

There was some contraversy over yesterday’s finish…

  • Thor Hushovd’s 4th place finish was removed and he was given a 148th place finish. Apperently he had an irregular line when he was sprinting at the end. His points were taken away for thie sprint and he is no longer in contention for the green jersey. “We have watched the replay of the finish of yesterday’s stage and really couldn’t see where the irregularity in the sprint was,” said Serge Beucherie. “Thor never strayed from his line! There’s no doubt that the finish was frantic but Eisel and Hushovd didn’t do anything wrong. We believe that the decision by the race jury is unfair, Thor is distressed because he is now well down in the rankings for the points classification. He lost 24 points and is out of contention for the green jersey now. It’s the same situation as what happened to McEwen in Tours last year. Now we can only wait to see if something happens to McEwen and Boonen but that’s not what we’re really wishing for. Today we will not cooperate in the pursuit of any escapees because we have no jersey to defend… nor the catalyst of chasing points in the race for the green jersey.”

  • Erik Zabel and Julian Dean where awarded with the same finishing time as McEwen yesterday. In cycling, if you finish the race in the same group as the first person, you recieve the same time, but the first few finishers often get bonuses. Zabel had a flat with 2 km to go yesterday, and becuase of his wait for a new wheel, he was awarded a better time. Dean had a crash in the final sprint, and because of the proximity of the two events to the finish, they were awarded the same time as the peloton.

Stage 5:

Stage 5 has 4 climbs and 3 sprints. It is 255 km and goes from Beauvais to Caen.

  • At around the 20km mark 8 riders made an escape. The peloton began the chase of the group while 2 of the 8 had thier own attack. The 6 were caught and the two’s lead continued to grow. The riders are Dumoulin (A2R) and Schroder (GST).
  • At the 72km mark the two leaders where 8:40 in front of the peloton, 5 km later they had worked it up to a 10 minute lead.
  • Sometime you don’t expect everything to happen during the tour. The two lead riders stopped around the 80km mark. One needed to fix his bike, and the other relieve his bladder. They both got back on the bike and rode again, losing only a small fraction of thier lead.
  • Halfway through, it starts to rain, and the leaders are being reeled back in after the greatest lead of over 11 minutes.
  • There was a crash in the peloton after the last sprint, spliting it in two. Luckly all riders involved got back on thier bikes and continued.
  • With 20km to go the leaders are still ahead by about 2:30, they were caught in the final kilometers of the stage.
  • Egoi Martinez crashed today within 20 km of the finish.
  • Another crash within 5 km of the finish caused several riders to fall. It didn’t affect the top contenders however.
    Top Five in this stage are:
  1. Oscar Freire (ESP - RAB)
  2. Tom Boonen (BEL - QSI)
  3. Inaki Isasi (ESP - EUS)
  4. David Kopp (GER - GST)
  5. Robbie McEwen (AUS - DVL)

Jerome Pineau holds the Polka Dot climbing jersey, Robbie McEwen continues to hold the sprinters jersey, and Tom Boonen remains in yellow.

Stage 6

  • One climb (1.7km, 6.7% grade), three sprints. 189 km from Lisieux to Vitre.
  • There were many attacks today in the early stages of the race. A few gained a decent lead on the peloton, but they were brought back in due to an extremely high average speed. Over 45 km per hour for the first two hours.
  • One escape included the yellow jersey wearer, Tom Boonen, but that one was also reeled back to the swift peloton.
  • Many of the escapes this year look very similar. A group will go out during the first 3rd of the race, and stay out until the last 5-30 km of the stage, where the peloton catches them. The escapees are still benifiting. They are taking points at each of the sprints and climbs, and there is always the chance that the peloton will not start chasing soon enough, or a fast team doesn’t take control of the peloton and the escapee’s get away. That is the hope of each rider leading the stage.
  • There was another great spirint my McEwen today, bringing home his 11th career tour stage win.
  • The Top Seven were:
  1. Robbie McEwen (AUS - DVL)
  2. Daniele Bennati (ITA - LAM)
  3. Tom Boonen (BEL - QSI)
  4. Bernhard Eisel (AUT - FDJ)
  5. Thor Hushovd (NOR - C.A)
  6. Oscar Freire (ESP - RAB)
  7. Erik Zabel (ITA - MRM)
    You will notice some big names in that finish. A lot of great sprinters got to the front, but were still warded off by McEwen.
  • Boonen is still in Yellow, although McEwen gained some time and not only trails by 12 seconds.
    Jersey Holders:
    Yellow: Boonen
    Green: McEwen
    Polka Dot: Pineau
    Youth: Benoit Vaugrenard

Top teams:

  1. Discovery Channel
  2. Team CSC
  3. T-Mobile

Stage 7

Time Trial.

  • Saturday’s stage was a chance for some of the new great American riders to show thier stuff. Levi Leipheimer, George Hincapie, Dave Zabriskie, and Floyd Landis.
  • Levi, George and Dave had less than stellar performances, and they all lost precious seconds and even minutes in the GC.
  • Landis on the other hand, finished second. Despite an early bike change, he rode hard and finished 1 minute and 1 second behind Sergiy Honchar, the Ukranian stage winner and new yellow jersey wearer.
    Top Five:
  1. HONCHAR (UKR, TMO) 52.0km in 1h01’43"600 (50.6km/h)
  2. LANDIS (USA, PHO) at1’01"
  3. LANG (GER, GST) at 1’04"
  4. ROGERS (AUS, TMO) at 1’24"
  5. LARSSON (SWE, FDJ) at 1’33"

New Yellow: Honchar
New Youth Leader: Fothen
New Team Leader: T-Mobile
Other Jerseys remain the same.

Stage 8

  • This stage was host to some excellent breakaways, that were unsuccessful. During the first 2/3rds of the race, there was a breakaway containing 6 riders from 6 different teams. None of the riders were very close to contention with Serhiy Honchar. One of these riders was Sylvain Calzati, the eventual stage winner. There were some comments made about early break-aways and thier purpose for the ridesr i them. Some said that the purpose was for publicity, for a chance to be on international tv, and for the other media coverage, but for all the riders in the Tour de France, it is for a chance like Calzati, break away early, get a lead on a peloton that has little organization, and bring home a stage win for your country.

Top Five for the Stage:

  1. Sylvain Calzati (A2R)
  2. Kjell Carlstrom (LIQ) at 2’05"
  3. Patrice Halgand (C.A) at 2’05"
  4. Robbie McEwen (DVL) at 2’15"
  5. Daniele Bennati (LAM) at 2’15"


  1. Honchar
  2. Landis +1.00
  3. Rogers +1.08

Yellow: Honchar
Green: McEwen
Polka Dot: Pineau
Youth: Fothen
Team: T-Mobile

Stage 9

The 169.5km ninth stage from Bordeaux to Dax is scheduled to start at 1.15pm. The road that hugs the coastline is pancake flat; there’s no hill to be found on the route that begins in the Girone department and concludes in Landes.
The conditions are warm and, at the start of the stage, relatively still.

  • An attack in the early km of the following three riders gained an almost 8 minute lead before being brought back in with just 3.5 km to go.
  1. Walter Beneteau (BTL)
  2. Stephane Auge (COF)
  3. Christian Knees (MRM)
  • The Group claimed all three sprints in the stage for valuable points.

There was a very close finish today, but Oscar Freire holds off McEwen, Zabel, and Boonen for the stage win.

The distance you are seeing seperating them is about 5 cm.

There is no change in the overall standings.

Nice picture! Keep these reports comin’, Ben. I appreciate them, so I assume that a few others may also.

Andy B.

Oh, I will, it was a shorter report becuase I had a shorter lunch today. That’s what I get for having a job.

Stage 10

There are two sprints, and 3 climbs today. Quite a change from yesterday’s stage. Stage 9 is the flattest stage of the tour, with no climbs.
On the map you will see three of the 5 categories of climbs.
HC: Literally means “out of category,” Usually this climb is to a mountain summit, and is the hardest of the 5
1-4: One being harder, 1 easiest.
The categories are based on the gradient of the climb.

  • Due to the climbs today, there was a group of around 12 riders that got ahead, and had since spread out all over in front of the peloton.
  • The peloton dropped many riders today. The dropped riders formed another group behind it. The T-Mobile team took charge and showed now mercy to the riders that couldn’t keep up.
  • The Peloton continued to drop riders through all three climbs and afterward. The after the third climb, the peloton, of over 150 riders at the beginning of the stage, was down to less than 35.
  • Two riders out front of them all are Juan Miguel Mercado and Cyril Dressel, both of the Euskaltel team.
  • Both of these riders ended up taking the stage, with Mercado just edging out Dressel. There were many changed on the leaderboard, including a new Yellow Jersey holder, Dressel.
    Top Five in the GC:
  1. Cyril Dressel
  2. Juan Miguel Mercado
  3. Serhiy Honchar
  4. Cristian Moreni
  5. Floyd Landis

Points leader (Sprinters)
Robbie McEwen

Climbing Jersey:
Cyril Dessel

Youth Leader:
Marcus Fothen

Team standings:

  1. AG2R Prevoyance
  2. T-Mobile
  3. Phonak Hearing Systems
  4. Discovery Channel Team

I can’t wait to get home and watch the stage…

Stage 11

  • Wow, today had some tough climbs. 4 cat. 1 climbs and 1 HC.
  • The peloton was again riding fast and lost riders out the back for much of the stage.
  • With 6km for the 4th climb of the day, T-Mobile swamped the AG2R riders at the head of the yellow jersey’s group. It thinned out to only 16 riders. (Azevedo, Sastre, Schleck, Rogers, Kloden, Moreau, Boogerd, Rasmussen, Toschnig, Leipheimer, Fothen, Evans, Landis, Zubeldia, Parra, Arroyo and Cunego and Simoni). This group had slowly dropped all the other riders in the peloton. They all joined a group behind.
  • The only real attack of this group of 16 came from Leipheimer; this caused Sastre and Evans to lose contact 2.5km from the finish. Menchov burst into the lead with 250 meters to go and won his first Tour de France stage.
    Skipping toward the end of the stage…
  • Rasmussen set the tempo in the valley between the 4th and 5th climbs
    The top 5 in the stage is:
  1. Denis Menchov (RUS - RAB)
  2. Levi Leipheimer (USA - GST) at st
  3. Floyd Landis (USA - PHO) at st
  4. Cadel Evans (AUS - DVL) at 17"
  5. Carlos Sastre (ESP - CSC) at 17

GC leader: Floyd Landis
Points Leader: Robbie McEwen
Climbing Leader: David De La Fuente
Youth Leader: Marcus Fothen
Team Leading: T-Mobile

Stage 12

  • The stage today has 4 climbs of moderate difficulty, and 2 intermediate sprints. There is an overall drop in altitude of about 500m as the begin to ride from the Pyrenees to the Alps.
  • This stage started out with a few decent sized escapes during the first 100 km. Most were brought back easily.
  • In the 95km 4 riders escaped [Oscar Freire (Spain - Rabobank); Yaroslav Popovych (Ukraine - Discovery Channel); Christophe Le Mevel (France - Credit Agricole); Alessandro Ballan (Italy - Lampre-Fondital)]
  • 40 km after the escape, they lead by 4 minutes
  • This escape has a good chance of doing very well. With the closest threat Popovych at 9 minutes behind the leader Landis in the GC and 4 different teams represented, it is hard to find a team that wants to lead the peloton in the hard work of reeling them in.
  • During the last 10km in the stage, the group of 4 was still leading, they each attached the others in order to get a lead and gain stage honors.
  • Papovych attacks with 3 km to go. He is success in breaking away from his escapee group. He takes the stage and has an average of 46.15 km per hour over 211.5km.
  • The overall leaders remain the same after today’s stage, and Papovych moved in to 10th and gained over 4 minutes on Landis.

Personally, I’m rooting for Thor. He probably could have won the first stage if it wasn’t for that friggin’ finger.

EDIT: I like the updates as well, since I don’t get OLN.

Sorry, I probably won’t be able to do them anymore. I am really busy at work, and I am taking night classes so I don’t have enough time to check out the stage and summarize.
but, go here and at the end of each stage, the right a quick article which captures a summary of the stage.

DO check it out. An amazing ride by Floyd Landis today :smiley:

true… here’s a compressed rundown:

stage 15
Near the end of the stage, Landis breaks away from the peloton, catching, and (for the most part) dropping an earlier breakaway. He beats the current race leader, Pereiro, by approximately 1:40, earning him the yellow jersey by 10 seconds. After such a strong showing, it is generally assumed that he will gain even more time in the next two mountain stages, and has more or less one le tour. Until…

stage 16
Isolated in a leading group full of big GC names, Landis suffers constant attacks and challenges, but has no teammates to support. He was unable to respond to an attack by rival Menchov with 14 km to go or one by Sastre at 12 km. He bonks spectacularly, and finishes a devastating 10:04 behind the stage winner. With a gap of 8:08 between him and the yellow jersey, it is generally assumed that he is out of the running for an over-all victory, and probably won’t even make a podium finish. Until…

**stage 17
**50 km into the stage, and 150 from the end, in a move that’s been described as “one of the most audacious and bravest…seen in the modern era of the Tour de France” Landis launches a solo attack on a already winded and disorganized peloton. He chased down, and dropped an earlier breakaway that had a significant time advantage. Despite a mechanical problem that forced him to change bikes at 150 km, and the best efforts of an angry peloton, Floyd finished alone, with a 5:42 advantage of a the next racer, and 7:08 over the yellow jersey. After time bonuses, Landis is in third place, :30 behind the yellow jersey, and back in the race.

Anyone else hear the news?

hopefully this is untrue!