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Tuesday, July 22, 2008
  Stage 17: Visit the l'Alpe d'Huez
By Yokota Fritz 
Stage 17 of the Tour de France tomorrow will feature the famous Alpe de Wheeze. You can visit this alpine meadow virtually through Google Streetview.




The Alpe d'Huez, which has hosted a Tour de France stage almost every year since 1976, is probably the most famous mountain climb of the Tour de France, which large and enthusiastic crowds of fans crowding along the hairpin turns that lead to the ski resort in the French Alps.

A Frenchman gets his stage win

French cyclist Cyril Dessel got his stage win today, in Stage 16 that started in Italy.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008
  Tour de France 2008 Stage 14
By Yokota Fritz 
Mark Cavendish is pooped after his spectacular 4 stage wins this week, so he took it easy and finished towards the end of the pack on Stage 14 today. Oscar Freire wins the Stage today, Cadel Evans still has the yellow jersey, Garmin-Chipotle/H30's Christian Vande Velde is on the GC podium, Colubmia's Kim Kirchen is still in the top 10.

It's the weekend, I've got things to do and people to see, so I'll point you to KWC's Stage 14 link robot for more news and commentary.

But quickly before I go:
  • "I am God and I am Santa Claus. I own a car."
  • Why no outrage on Wall Street's recklessness?
  • A test of the OHM Cycles electic bicycle, in which the Wall Street Journal asks if electric bikes can take the place of cars.
And don't forget about the contest!

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Friday, July 18, 2008
  Mark Cavendish woo hoo!
By Yokota Fritz 
The boy from Britain can go go go!

Mark Cavendish wins Tour de France 2008 Stage 13

I called Cavendish as the winner on a Tweet I sent at 8:02 this morning while sitting on the train, about a half hour before he actually won.

For Stage 13 summaries, visit:
Speaking of Frank Steele of TdFBlog, hinted at some anti-Americanism by the TdF web team when he tweeted the lack of the American flag on the Tour de France website. In years past, the button for the English version of the site was a split UK/USA flag, while this year it's a UK flag only. Still, if you look at the English language link URL, the page is listed under "US", not "UK."

Is Cavendish clean?

Some of my friends look at the news of Ricco, Beltran and Duenas as proof that pro cycling and the Tour de France is awash in doping. Many people are asking the question of Cavendish: Are you really clean? Can we trust that your wins are real?

Agency for Cycling Ethics PURE Sport

Cavendish's Team Columbia uses the same "bio passport" system from the Agency for Cycling Ethics (ACE) that Team Garmin-Chipotle uses. While the T-Mobile cycling team had its share of doping scandals when Jan Ullrich, Oscar Sevilla and Patrick Sinkewitz were expelled from the team, Bob Stapleton worked to clean house when he took over management of the team in 2007. Team High Road began the ACE biological passport testing last October.

"Passports" are created for each cyclist participating in the program. Changes in blood and urine chemistry are measured and noted over time. Instead of measuring for specific banned substances or looking at absolute blood chemistry values that can vary greatly between individual like current doping protocols do, the biological passport instead detects the body's reaction to performance enhancing drugs over time.

Under standard doping tests, some athletes can dope and still remain under the official threshold for that measurement. According to ACE, the biological parameters they measure can vary greatly between individuals, but within an individual these measurements don't change much over time.

ACE bio passports cannot detect specifically which drug was used to, for example, enhance the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood, but they trade this lack of specificity with sensitivity. EPO, for example, can only be detected in the urine for up to four days at the most, but with the passport the effect of EPO can be detected for weeks afterwards.

To detect blood doping, ACE’s PURE Sport program measures Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, Recticulocyte count and MCV as its main biological markers. ACE also measures for various steroid markers in the blood and urine to test for steroid use. When an athelete takes an anabolic androgenic steroid that person immediately alters his body’s steroid profile. LH and FSH are immediately suppressed. This in turn suppresses the body’s own steroid production, altering the biological markers listed above for a substantial time and in a predictable manner. Because of the frequency of testing, ACE claims they can even detect human growth hormone use, which is currently considered undetectable.

I look at Cavendish's amazing fourth stage win today as evidence that you can ride clean and win.

More on this topic:
Photo: PASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008
  Tour de France 2008 Stage 12 *SPOILERS*
By Yokota Fritz 
Don't read this if you're waiting for the highlights video later tonight.




First the fun news: Team Columbia's Mark Cavendish sprinted for his third stage win today in the 105 mile 12th Stage from Lavelanet to Narbonne, showing that a team with a strong bio passport anti-drug program can still win and beat the cheaters. Silence Lotto's Cadel Evans retains the overall lead in spite of getting hung out to dry by his teammates who couldn't hang with the peloton towards the end of the stage. Julian Dean of Garmin-Chipotle/H30 -- another team with a bio passport program -- placed 9th in the field of 158 finishers. Team Columbia, Silence-Lotto, and Garmin-Chipotle are in first, second and third places respectively.

Some more commentary on today's stage and Ricco's bust:

Reminder: Don't forget the contest!!!

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  TdF: Another one bites the dust
By Yokota Fritz 
Maybe not too unbelievable, but disappointing none the less: Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco of Team Saunier Duval tested positive for synthetic EPO and CERA before the start of today's 12th Stage of the Tour de France. Saunier Duval has pulled out of the Tour de France.

Before he was pulled from the race this morning, Ricco was in the top 10 of the GC and points and led in the mountains. His team, Saunier Duval - Scott, was in third place when Stage 11 concluded yesterday.

As I write this, Stage 12 is almost concluded in Narbonne. Watch Velo.kwc.org for complete updates.

EPO is a hormone that stimulates the production of red blood cells. Continuous erythropoiesis receptor activator (CERA) is a new drug still undergoing FDA review that's used to enhance the effect of EPO on red blood cell production.


Trust But Verify plenty of commentary on how this story is breaking. The comments there at TBV are interesting, too. Among the tidbits there:
  • A comment from a drug expert who says there's no test for CERA.
  • ASO isn't testing French team riders: "Of the Crédit Agricole riders, only stage winner Thor Hushovd was tested since the start of the race."
  • "L'Equipe...has become the ersatz source of doping announcements for the ASO."

The comments about "il Cobra" coming out of Italian blogs are fascinating:
  • L’onestà è una speculazione (saying of l’ex maglia gialla Kim Kirchen's skepticism of Ricco): "Che smacco."
  • From a comment at the Italian Motor Sports blog: "As always when an Italian is likely to dominate in cycling come the doping allegations."
  • Oops, it looks like Ricco was on the Italian Olympic squad. His positive test puts his participation in question.
  • Finally, Diego @ Sui Pedali expresses his extreme disappointment:
    The disappointment is indescribably immense because of this new betrayal. Here on Sui Pedali I always focus on the sport of cycling and don't emphasize the problem of doping. We don't do this because of disinterest or because I'm convinced the problem doesn't exist, but because there are so many other beautiful stories to tell. Faced with this case, however, I cannot remain vague or leave this as a footnote of another article.

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Monday, July 14, 2008
  Tour de France Stage 10
By Yokota Fritz 
KWC really should consider a career in sports writing, although his current profession pays much better I'm sure. Check this out:
We get a rock 'em sock 'em mountain stage with carnage spread over two giant mountains. The race was blown up like a pinata by CSC and Saunier Duval swept in to pick up the candy.
The only thing missing was a metaphor about storming the gates of Bastille on this French national holiday in which French cyclist Rémy Di Grégorio of Française des Jeux win Most Aggressive Rider. Compare against this humdrum "just the facts" reporting from Velo News:
Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) seized the yellow jersey atop Hautacam on Monday as Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Scott) won the mountainous stage 10 of the Tour de France.

Alistair at Pez Cycling shows some enthusiasm about today's mountain stage, and Bike Hiker is camping in the woods so he's following and covering le Tour through his cell phone which sounds either abusive or dedicated. More also from TdF Blog, and the other usual suspects.

Who will win le Tour? Masiguy has a poll up at his site where most voters now are picking Cadel Evans. Before today's stage I would have picked Valverde but he's toast now.

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Friday, July 11, 2008
  Manuel Beltran - EPO
By Yokota Fritz 
Tour de France: Liquigas cyclist Manuel Beltran positive for EPO.

Update: Bobke on Beltran. Trust But Verify expresses some cynicism about L'Equipe breaking the story. Boulder Report says Beltran's an idiot. Bicycle.Net reports the whole team might be expelled.

Boo!!!!
l'Espagnol Manuel Beltran (Liquigas), 37 ans, présente des traces d'EPO dans l'échantillon A de ses urines prélevé à l'issue de la première étape du Tour de France, samedi 5 juillet entre Brest et Plumelec.

Professionnel depuis 1995, Beltran a débuté sa carrière chez Mapei avant de passer par Banesto, Team Coast et de devenir l'un des principaux équipiers en montagne de Lance Armstrong à l'US Postal et chez Discovery Channel.

Beltran fait partie de ceux qui avaient été ciblés par l'Agence Française de lutte contre le dopage (AFLD) lors des prélèvements sanguins effectués les 3 et 4 juillet derniers à Brest avant le départ.
That's French for "37 year old Spaniard Manuel Beltran of Liquigas is SO busted! His A sample from Stage 1 tested positive for EPO." Beltran has been pulled from competition.

Beltran started racing professionally in 1995 with Mapei. From 2003 to 2006, he raced on the USPS Team and Team Discovery, often assisting Lance Armstrong with his wins as his teammate.


For Tour de France Stage 7 news and commentary, don't miss KWC's link round up.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008
  Stefan Schumacher
By Yokota Fritz 
Who is this guy who won the Yellow Jersey in today's Stage 4 of the Tour de France?

German cyclist Stefan Schumacher came out of nowhere today to snag the first place finish during the individual time trial today during the Tour de France. Stage 4 today started and finished in a loop from the town of Cholet, France. Schumacher has been racing for Team Gerolsteiner since he made his UCI ProTour debut two years ago. He will celebrate his 27th birthday on the rest day in two weeks between Stages 15 and 16.

More on today's Individual Time Trial in the Tour de France:

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Monday, July 07, 2008
  Google maps announces Streetview Europe with Tour de France routes
By Yokota Fritz 
Google launched their European edition of Streetview last week which provides an interactive "street view" of various map locations. The really cool thing is that they launched with almost the entire Tour de France 2008 route included in their Streetview coverage. Here's the view from Avenue du Commandant de Champagny in Cholet near the beginning of Tuesday's Stage 4 time trial race.


View Larger Map


If you click on the view to go larger, you'll see that Google (appropriately enough) uses a bicycle icon to note the location of the street viewer on the map.

Scrolling through the Google Streetview isn't quite as exciting as the real thing, but it's a great way to see the Tour de France stages from the driver's seat, so to speak.

I just noticed that Carlton was on this news like stink on an old soiled chamois.

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  Danny Pate in Garmin / Chipotle kit
By Yokota Fritz 
Here's Danny Pate on his Felt bike looking sharp in the Team Garmin - Chipotle (nee Slipstream) kit during Stage 3 of the Tour de France 2008.



Pate's teammate Will Frischkorn made the podium today as Most Aggressive Rider. Team Slipstream has uploaded several photos to their Tour de France photo set on Flickr. They also have a separate set of "behind the scenes photos" under the Team Garmin account.

More Tour de France photos on Flickr. I've always wondered about how race organizers get the team name so quickly on the winner jerseys that are presented on the podium just moments after the race end. Ron at Cozy Beehive uncovers the magic of heat pressing podium jerseys. I guess they're like big iron ons.

Meanwhile over in South Carolina, James discusses the tech of le Tour.

KWC notes that Road Bike Action magazine has launched a new website that includes Tour de France updates. He also points out a few of his photos are in the print edition of the current issue. RoadBikeAction.com.

Earlier this morning I saw that bicycle.net is down, with a note about some quota was exceeded. It looks like Jonathan has upped his service plan, however, and the site is back up. As interest in cycling as skyrocketed over the past six months I've been keeping an eye on my bandwidth to ensure Cyclelicious doesn't go dark!

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  Tour de France 2008 updates
By Yokota Fritz 
KWC spent the weeekend writing a tool that automatically finds the best Tour de France stage summaries. The result is the amazing velo.kwc.org. He links to stage summaries, photos, commentary and analysis, team blogs, podcasts, video, and blog posts for each stage.

I need to figure out a way to manage my Tour de France Twitter tweets -- since le Tour started, my phone message box has been overflowing, but that's because I subscribe to too many tour updates. I need to cull some of that back.

Unfortunately, I haven't found any decent Tour de France 2008 photos posted to Flickr yet, though I ran across an interesting "Tour de Fleece" set of some Navajo textiles.

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Saturday, July 05, 2008
  How to ride in the Tour de France
By Yokota Fritz 
Google product manager Dylan Casey raced professionally for five years for the U.S. Postal Service Team. In this one hour "Google Tech Talk," he talks about the life of a professional cyclist racing in Europe. The video is an hour long so set some time aside to watch this.



Via Cozy Beehive. Ron also posted a humorous essay on commnicating with non-cyclists.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008
  Tour de France 2008 TV and streaming video
By Yokota Fritz 
NOTE: This page is about 2008 information. For Tour de France 2009 Internet Streaming Video, please visit this page.

Le Tour de France. Photo by Carlton Reid.
In the United States, Versus TV will show some live coverage from every stage of the 2008 Tour de France beginning this Saturday, July 5. Coverages begins at 8:30 AM on most days and continues through 11:30 AM, though Versus will begin coverage as early as 6:30 AM for some stages. The complete Versus TV schedule is available here.

Your options are very limited if you live in the United States, don't have cable TV and you want live Internet streaming video, and the streaming video providers in Europe are getting very good at blocking access from outside of their regions. Versus will show live streaming video online for the early risers before TV coverage begins in the States.

For worldwide television schedules and Internet viewing options, Steve has a comprehensive listing of global television schedules and Internet video options at Steephill.TV.


Tour de France teams

Of the 20 teams participating in the 2008 Tour de France, three will have new title sponsors. Team CSC is now Team CSC Saxo Bank; Team High Road became Team Columbia after signing Columbia Sportswear as title sponsor; and Slipstream Chiptotle is now Team Garmin-Chipotle Presented by H30. Ken writes about the new sponsorships. I've seen the new CSC/Saxo kit; I've missed it if Garmin and Columbia kit has been unveiled yet.

Does anybody have idea when Garmin/Chipotle will be promoted to a ProTour team? They certainly have the roster for it and it looks like they now have the sponsorship commitment.

More Tour de France 2008 news.

Thanks for dropping in at Cyclelicious, but my updates will be sparse this week. I recommend Velo.kwc.org, The Fredcast, and Masiguy for Tour de France information.

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Monday, June 30, 2008
  Floyd Landis loses CAS appeal
By Yokota Fritz 
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by Floyd Landis. Landis has also been ordered to pay $100,000 to the US Anti Doping Agency for the costs incurred by his appeals.

The full details are posted everywhere; Trust But Verify is dedicated to tracking Floyd Landis and his doping appeals so it seems like as good a place as any to following the discussion.

Moving forward, the Tour de France starts this Saturday! Woo hoo!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008
  Team CSC finds sponsor
By Yokota Fritz 
Riis Cycling (RC) announced that Saxo Bank will be a title sponsor for the cycling team. The agreement will let Saxo Bank become a co-sponsor of Team CSC together with CSC. The agreement becomes effective immediately, which means that Team CSC will appear as Team CSC/Saxo Bank at the upcoming Tour De France. Computer Sciences Corporation announced last March that they would not renew their sponsorship of the cycling team after the 2008 season.

The agreement runs to the end of this year, and on January 1st 2009 Saxo Bank becomes the sole main sponsor of the team that, from then on, will be known as Team Saxo Bank. The duration term of the contract is three years.

"With Saxo Bank, we have found the perfect partner for the future. We are extremely proud to become associated with such a strong brand and a company that has a great passion for our team and our values. It has been a pleasure closing a deal with such dedicated and professional people as Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen. From day one, we have found a great understanding and this promises to become a first class collaboration for the years to come," says Bjarne Riis.

Signing the agreement with RC, Saxo Bank's founders and joint CEOs, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen pointed out that this is an opportunity they have been waiting for for a long time. "For a global bank like ours, this is the perfect match and when it became possible, we just could not let this chance pass by," they said in a joint statement. "Team CSC/Saxo Bank has the international reach and name recognition that means that we will be able to get our message out to most of our clients group around the globe. We love the sport, we trust Bjarne Riis, and believe that together we will be winners."

"At the same time, I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to our main sponsor CSC for their passionate and consistent support," Riis said. "They have made it possible for us to become the best team in the world. We have achieved fantastic results thanks to their dedication. The level and the quality of this partnership is what we want to continue with Saxo Bank as our new sponsor."

Saxo Bank takes over the sponsorship from CSC whose contract with the team expires by the end of the year: CSC has been the team's main sponsor since 2001.

In explaining their decision to sponsor the team, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen in their statement said that, in addition to being one of the world's most popular and watched sports with an audience of billions of viewers, cycling on this level expresses the same kind of values and attitudes that Saxo Banks identifies with. "Winning and team work, is what Saxo Bank has been about from the outset," they said. "Endurance and passion are some of the other features that we have in common. We are proud that we now will have the opportunity to highlight these values and show what sports and business can do together."

The two CEOs have worked closely with their counterparts at CSC during this transition, and they point out that the CSC executives generously have shared their sponsorship experience with them. "We are very pleased that CSC has included us a co-sponsors for the remainder of their contract with RC creating the best possible transition for the team and us as the new main sponsors," Fournais and Christensen said. "It goes without saying that this is the best possible scenario for all stakeholders."

At CSC, this is also significant and good news.

"We are pleased to welcome Saxo Bank onboard as a co-sponsor of Team CSC for the remainder of 2008 and thrilled that they will become the team's title sponsor in 2009," said David Booth, President of Global Sales and Marketing for CSC. "We have enjoyed an incredible partnership with the Team for these past eight years; helping them secure another strong partner like Saxo Bank is in keeping with that spirit of partnership."

For Bjarne Riis, the partnership with Saxo Bank will secure the kind of stability that is necessary for the team's future success. He too, sees the sponsorship agreement with Saxo Bank as a match between two partners that have much to offer each other.

"Now we can focus on the next big event - Tour de France knowing that we have the possibility to build a team for the future with Saxobank. We are very ambitious about being the best team in the world and with Saxobank on board we have found the best possible partner for this project," says Bjarne Riis.

The nine RC riders will get started as Team CSC-Saxo Bank in Brest when Tour de France takes off on July 5th.

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Friday, March 21, 2008
  Tour de France: Slipstream/Chipotle is in!
By Yokota Fritz 
Yesterday's news: I forgot to hit the "PUBLISH POST" button on this yesterday!

I've got to run, but here's the news. It's not entirely unexpected, but this is a really big deal.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007
  Tour de France Finale
By Yokota Fritz 
Discovery Team's Alberto Contador rode victorously into Paris looking like a yellow canary with his yellow jersey, yellow shorts, yellow framed shades, yellow Trek bike and yellow Giro helmet as Lance Armstrong cheered Team Discovery on from a team car. The tradition of a rolling parade and party onto the Champs-Elysées prevailed and the 141 remaining riders completed the 94th Tour de France.

Stage Twenty Results
1. BENNATI Daniele LAMPRE-FONDITAL 3h 51' 03"
2. HUSHOVD Thor CREDIT AGRICOLE 3h 51' 03"
3. ZABEL Erik TEAM MILRAM 3h 51' 03"
4. HUNTER Robert BARLOWORLD 3h 51' 03"
5. BOONEN Tom QUICK STEP - INNERGETIC 3h 51' 03"
6. CHAVANEL Sébastien FRANCAISE DES JEUX 3h 51' 03"
7. CANCELLARA Fabian TEAM CSC 3h 51' 03"
8. MILLAR David SAUNIER DUVAL - PRODIR 3h 51' 03"
9. FÖRSTER Robert GEROLSTEINER 3h 51' 03"
10. QUINZIATO Manuel LIQUIGAS 3h 51' 03"
Final General Classification
1. CONTADOR Alberto DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 91h 00' 26"
2. EVANS Cadel PREDICTOR - LOTTO 91h 00' 49" + 00' 23"
3. LEIPHEIMER Levi DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 91h 00' 57" + 00' 31"
4. SASTRE Carlos TEAM CSC 91h 07' 34" + 07' 08"
5. ZUBELDIA Haimar EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI 91h 08' 43" + 08' 17"
6. VALVERDE Alejandro CAISSE D’EPARGNE 91h 12' 03" + 11' 37"
7. KIRCHEN Kim T-MOBILE TEAM 91h 12' 44" + 12' 18"
8. POPOVYCH Yaroslav DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 91h 12' 51" + 12' 25"
9. ASTARLOZA Mikel EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI 91h 14' 40" + 14' 14"
10. PEREIRO SIO Oscar CAISSE D’EPARGNE 91h 14' 51" + 14' 25"
Link Roundup:

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Saturday, July 28, 2007
  TdF Stage 19: Individual Time Trial
By Yokota Fritz 
Wow, Leipheimer really poured on the steam today in the Individual Time Trial averaging 33 mph! This gives him the fourth fastest time trial speed in the history of the Tour de France and his first career win of the Tour de France in today's stage, bringing him within seconds of race leader Alberto Contador. Although one more stage remains in the 94th Tour de France, the final ride to the Champs-Élysées in Paris is considered almost ceremonial for the GC contenders and the Yellow Jersey is foreordained for Contador, though with less than a minute between 1st and 3rd place we'll see what kind of action happens tomorrow.

David Millar had hoped to win today's time trial, but as he came off the starting ramp his carbon fiber Mavic TT wheel flew apart. He threw is bike down and got another one, but this mechanical failure cost Millar some time.

Results:
1 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 1.02.44 (53.068 km/h)
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto 0.51
3 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne 1.56
4 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 2.01
5 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 2.18
6 José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 2.27
7 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 2.33
8 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 2.36
9 Leif Hoste (Bel) Predictor - Lotto 2.48
10 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 2.50
GC:
1 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 87.09.18
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor - Lotto 0.23
3 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 0.31
4 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC 7.08
5 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 8.17
6 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 11.37
7 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile Team 12.18
8 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 12.30
9 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 14.14
10 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 14.25
Elsewhere:
  • Bob Roll: Tour of Redemption
  • Phil Ligget: Standing together
  • Paul Sherwen: Epic:
    That was an epic time trial today through the Cognac region of France. It was billed as the battle between Albert Contador and Cadel Evans- which it was but that would do the race an injustice.

    Leipheimer was superb, riding the race of his life, admitting that he had always dreamed of winning the time trial stage, this afternoon that was dream achieved - added to that was his other dream of a podium finish at the Tour.

  • Versus Stage 19 daily videos
  • Steephill.TV Stage 19 report
  • Cyclingnews Stage 19 report and photos.
  • TdF Blog: Leipheimer dominant.
  • Spare Cycles Stage 19 report:
    Discovery Channel had an amazing day with Lance in attendance. They finished 1-4-5-7 on the stage and will head into the final Paris stage tomorrow in 1-3 overall. Levi will start 8" behind Evans, so the final standings are not settled yet. Contador has a 23" lead and should be able to cruise to the top podium spot tomorrow.

  • What's the 94th TdF without doping news? Though Andreas Kloden claims he's never doped, he plans to retire from cycling because he fears prison if "somebody pours something banned in my salad and I test positive." Uh huh.

Watch the live Twitter links at Cyclelicious for the latest Tour de France news.

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Friday, July 27, 2007
  Tour de France: Stages of grief
By Yokota Fritz 
First of all, check out Masi Guy's passionate expression of his love for the sport of cycling:
Why love a dirty sport? Well, because not all riders are dirty and because it's a beautiful sport. The roads of France were still lined today as the Tour rolled through their towns. Sure, many people booed and chided the riders, but they were still there to watch because of the amazing spectacle that is the Tour and cycling.
Tim links to quite a few other commentaries about the whole doping scandal:
  • Bike Hugger's: "With Interbike coming up, the Fall, and another bike season, I expect many are thinking of “other things” than racing. Like, comfort bikes, SUBs, cargo bikes, and the like."
  • Rich Kelly on watching le Tour with the kids: “Daddy? Where’s Vino today?” Ooof.
  • I also liked Donna's post: "We as the every day bike riders can still make sure that kids find the love of bike riding. It's not all about the pros. It's about all of us bike riders - there are a ton of us out there. Start your own Tour Day Neighborhood today. Don't sit around and stew about the 'state of the sport'. It's only the state of the pro sport that is in shambles. The state of bike riding is as great as it has always been."
  • This article from ESPN on the transparency of le Tour athletes is fantastic.
    The Tour is open. Most of the course is free of barricades. No tickets, no exorbitant parking, no luxury boxes. All it takes to be part of it is whatever effort you want to put into getting there and setting up your folding chairs and your picnic table.

    Fans can walk right up to the top-heavy rolling locker rooms called team buses at the finish and plant themselves in a rider's path when he wheels in still lathered in sweat from covering more than 100 grueling miles.

    If doping scandals make you doubt that the physical feats you see in a bike race are real, look again. Look at the whole sport. It's convulsing in a very real, human, imperfect way. Things may get worse before they get better, though it's hard to imagine how much worse they could be than they were this week at the Tour de France.

Finally, here's some more troubling news about Rasmussen, who's been accused now of smuggling plums. (Via TdF Blog.)

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Thursday, July 26, 2007
  Tour de France good news
By Yokota Fritz 
Over the years several people have commented that pro cycling needs to get serious about doping and the drug culture that's rampant among the ranks of professional cyclists.

UCI and le Tour organizers finally are cracking down on the problem -- and I believe pro cycling is probably the only organized sport that is serious about a problem that exists across almost every sport and almost every level of competition -- and we're seeing the results. Evidence of drug use is decimating the peloton, with entire teams eliminated from the world's premier cycling race.

While we shouldn't exactly be rejoicing, we should stand behind those who choose to race clean and continue to support them. The news this week has been a hard pill to swallow, but I think cycling has possibly reached a tipping point toward no tolerance to drug use.

I will continue to follow the 2007 Tour de France. Velonews writer Jason Sumner wonders if the competition matters anymore. Of course it matters -- I believe the competition is more meaningful now than last week. I'm excited to know that those who compete and win will have done so without the benefit of banned substances.

Allez! Allez!

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007
  RASMUSSEN SACKED!
By Yokota Fritz 
Hat tip to Frank in Illinois.

For a lighter view of the Tour de France, watch the polka dot bikini video over at Quick Release TV.

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  TdF Stage 16: Who's clean?
By Yokota Fritz 
Tour de France 2007 Stage 16 Today's stage started 20 minutes late as the French and German teams protested the doping scandals with a brief sit-in. Stage 16 at 130 miles and five categorized climbs -- including two hors catégorie -- is probably the toughest stage of the 2007 Tour de France.

If Europeans historically have had a laissez-faire attitude toward doping, this was not in evidence today as many spectators booed the GC leaders as they rode by. With all of the scandal, I have to wonder if anybody in the top five today are drug free? Rasmussen rode strong and confidently through the entire stage, seemingly unaffected by the controversy swirling around him. His Stage 15 rival, Alberto Contador, held back as Contador's teammate Levi Leipheimer took second place.

Todays results:
1 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 6.23.21 (34.20 km/h)
2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel 0.25
3 Alberto Contador (Spa) Discovery Channel 0.35
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor-Lotto 0.43
5 Mauricio Soler (Col) Barloworld 1.25
GC as of today -- let's see how much this holds up after today's doping control tests:
1 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank
2 Alberto Contador (Spa) Discovery Channel 3.10
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor-Lotto 5.03
4 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel 5.59
5 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 9.12
6 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 9.39
7 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 13.28
8 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile 14.46
9 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel 16.00
10 Mauricio Soler (Col) Barloworld 16.41
TdF Stage 16: Other Tour de France news:
  • Wiggins suspected doping (Via Honk de Bonk):
    "I know how well I went in the time trial, what power output I had," said Wiggins. "I know that in order to put two minutes into me, what power Vino would have had to have put out and the effort he would have had to make and it didn't add up. I didn't want to accuse people because they had beaten me outright. But when you saw him limping the week before you couldn't help thinking about it." He added "I think everyone has been suspicious of Astana"
  • Cristian Moreni positive for testosterone. Also: Basque seperatist terrorist along the Tour route and Vinokorouv pleads his case.
  • VeloNews on blood doping: What, How, and Why.
  • T-Mobile to review Tour sponsorship.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007
  I want to puke
By Yokota Fritz 
I guess there's a reason Vinokourov performed so well over the last couple of days after a week of lackluster cycling. *sigh*

I admit that this possibility was in the back of my mind after Vino's amazing turnaround. Homologous blood transfusion -- that's what Tyler Hamilton was busted for not so long ago.

Reactions: Why why why why why?

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Monday, July 23, 2007
  TdF Stage 15: Eye of the Tiger
By Yokota Fritz 
Wow, another amazing Stage as Contador and Rasmussen battled it out on the Col de Peyresourde today. But the story of the day is watching Alexander Vinokourov get another stage win. After his crash early in the 2007 Tour de France, the man looks hungry, and nobody deserves it more than the Kazakh. I feel like I'm watching Rocky Balboa coming up against the odds to win the fight, except this isn't a movie.

Vinokourov, though is in 23rd place overall, a full 28 minutes behind Michael Rasmussen, who continues to hold the yellow jersey. American Levi Leipheimer is in 4th place overall with a five minute deficit.

Suspicions of doping continue to dog Michael Rasmussen. Rasmussen recently was booted from the Danish national team for September's world cycling championships and the 2008 Olympic games because he missed mandatory random dope tests. David Millar spoke out against Rasmussen telling L'Equipe that Rasmussen has ruined the Tour de France with his presence. Several other teams are expressing their anger about Rasmussen's participation peloton. There's a lot of suspicion that the Danish cycling federation purposely withheld the news about Rasmussen's failure to take the tests because Rasmussen might have been barred from le Tour.

Meanwhile, French customs officials searched TdF team buses in a surprise inspection, apparently to search for contraband.

Elsewhere: Tuesday is a rest day; Wednesday, July 25 is another mountain stage.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007
  Best Stage 13 commentary...
By Yokota Fritz 
The best Tour de France 2007 Stage 13 commentary has to be this one from Masi Guy:
Road-rash Rasmussen actually rode a very respectable TT today- likely the best of his life. It's amazing what the yellow jersey can do for you- it'll either weigh you down or give you wings. Raz-ma-taz finished an impressive 11th, only 2'55" behind a very resurgent Vinokourov. The Krazy Kazakh stormed across the finish line with the fastest time of the day to get his first stage win of this Tour and a taste of redemption.

[Valverde & Mayo's poor showing in the time trial] So much for the resurgence of the Spanish Armada... that ship has sunk.
Read more from Masi Guy.

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  TdF Stage 13: Vinokourov strikes back!
By Yokota Fritz 
Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) was hurting yesterday and he went into today's stage hoping to just make it to Paris. Vinokourov found his legs in the 54 kilometer individual time trial today and blew away the competition, coming in more than 7 minutes faster than second place Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto). The look of determination on his face was amazing as he pushed himself hard. He showed he wanted it and he got it.

"I am happy with my performance," said Vinokourov after his run on the rainy road. "I am finding my legs again. Now I want to attack in the Pyrénées. I want to thank everyone in and around the team that gave me the encourage to get through the Alps."

Way to go, Vino! It's good to see him find his legs. With today's stage win, Vinokourov moves into the top 10 of the General Classification. Michael Rasmussen, who placed 11th today, retains the yellow jersey.

What a race! With just another week to go, the 2007 Tour de France is still anybody's to win. Here's Levi Leipheimer tearing it up to make ninth place in the ITT today.
More coverage:
  • Spare Cycles: Stage 13 with that great photo of Vino's raw determination chiseled into his face with spittle running down his chin.
    Early rain saw many riders finish with wet and bloody skinsuits. Cancellara put in a good early time check but quickly fell from the standings after he crashed and appeared to hurt his arm. Wiggins instead had the top early mark on the day, which stood until Vinokourov put in a shockingly fast TT: 2:13 faster than Wiggins. Gusev was putting in a good time until he crashed into a roundabout and went skidding over the curb.
  • Group News Blog The race of truth. An hour of pain and oxygen debt.
  • TdFBlog gets all alliterative with the title Astana awesome in Albi.
  • Tour de France For the Rest of Us: Vino's back.
  • TdF07: Vinokourov Wins ITT, Rasmussen Not a Disaster.
    Today’s rain soaked Individual Time Trial was remarkable not so much for the fine performances put in by Vinokourov, Evans and Kloden, but for the meltdown that did not appear. Michael Rasmussen was widely considered vulnerable in the yellow jersey because of his self professed dificulty in the ITT, which was highlighted by his disastrous performance in the the Tour in 2005 which lost him a spot on the podium. But while Rasmussen’s 11th place finish today lost him a few precious minutes to Vinokourov, Kloden and Evans, it was not the disaster that was feared or expected.
  • And speaking of expectations....
  • Pez Cycling News: Vino improves with age
  • [Land of colors] 雨の中、勝ったのは、ビノクロフ.
For live Tour coverage every day, don't forget about the Twitter feeds that are automatically posted to the front page of Cyclelicious.

Stage 13 Top 10
1. Alexander Vinokourov (Kz), Astana, 54km in 1:06:35
2. Cadel Evans (Aus), Predictor-Lotto, at 1:14
3. Andréas Klöden (G), Astana, at 1:39
4. Andrey Kashechkin (Kz), Astana, at 1:44
5. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Cofidis, at 2:14
6. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr), Discovery Channel, 2:16
7. Alberto Contador (Sp), Discovery Channel, 2:18
8. Sylvain Chavanel (F), Cofidis, 2:38
9. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Discovery Channel, 2:39
10. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 2:42
GC Rankings
1. Michael Rasmussen (Dk), Rabobank, 58:46:39
2. Cadel Evans (Aus), Predictor-Lotto, at 1:00
3. Alberto Contador (Sp), Discovery, at 2:31
4. Andréas Klöden (G), Astana, at 2:34
5. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Discovery Channel, at 3:37
6. Andrey Kashechkin (Kz), Astana, at 4:23
7. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, at 4:45
8. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 5:07
9. Alexander Vinokourov (Kz), Astana, at 5:10
10. Kim Kirchen (Lux), T-Mobile, at 5:29

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  TdF update straight from Bob Roll!
By Yokota Fritz 
Bob Roll is friends with the folks at Kryptonite Locks. He even provided a TdF update over at the Kryptonite company blog. How cool is that?

のブログ 自転車 magic

Let me also take the opportunity to mention to my bilingual Japanese guests that a machine-translated Japanese feed of Cyclelicious is available here. See sample output here for news about ツール・ド・フランス, 自転車, and even ママチャリ. Japanese-language TdF updates can be found at this American blogging in Japanese with a French name.

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Friday, July 20, 2007
  Friday Tour de France 2007 Stage 12
By Yokota Fritz 
Stage 12: Go Tom Boonen!!! Erik Zabel and Robbie Hunter (go Barloworld!) tried to pass Boonen up at the end of the race but they couldn't quite out-sprint the Belgium's legs. See the recap at TDF Blog, Spare Cycles, Group News Blog, Biking Bis, and TdF07.

More Stage 12 links: For those who missed the news, Dave Zabriskie was dropped after Stage 11 yesterday because he finished outside of the time allowance. He's been struggling through le Tour this year. His contract with CSC is up this year.

Dope Tour de France dope

  • Rasmussen accused of past doping.
    Rasmussen asked Whitney Richards to transport a box containing cycling shoes. In an effort to fit all his belongings in his luggage, Richards opened the box to discard it and just bring the shoes. "I was blown away," Richards told VeloNews. "This wasn't a pair of SIDIs... it was frickin' dog medicine or something."

    According to labels, the bags were filled with a hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier (HBOC) known as Hemopure, manufactured by the U.S.-based Biopure Corporation. The product is made from hemoglobin molecules that have been removed from the red cells of cow's blood.

  • Patrik Sinkewitz wants his B sample tested. In the meantime, German prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into Sinkewitz's alleged doping.
  • Trust But Verify notes today is the anniversary of Floyd Landis's amazing breakaway win on Stage 17 to Morzine. That seems soooo long ago.
Stage 12 Top Ten finishers:
1. Tom Boonen (B) Quick Step, 178.5km in 4:25:32
2. Erik Zabel (G), Milram
3. Robert Hunter (RSA), Barloworld
4. Daniele Bennati (I), Lampre-Fondital
5. Thor Hushovd (N), Crédit Agricole
6. Bernhard Eisel (A), T-Mobile
7. Sebastien Chavanel (F), Française des Jeux
8. Nicolas Jalabert (F), Agritubel
9. Robert Forster (G), Gerolsteiner
10. Andrey Kashechkin (Kz), Astana
Stage 12 GC standings:
1. Michael Rasmussen (Dk), Rabobank, 57:37:10
2. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, 2:35
3. Iban Mayo (Sp), Saunier Duval-Prodir, 2:39
4. Cadel Evans (Aus), Predictor-Lotto, 2:41
5. Alberto Contador (Sp), Discovery Channel, 3:08
6. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 3:39
7. Andréas Klöden (G), Astana, 3:50
8. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Discovery Channel, 3:53
9. Kim Kirchen (Lux), T-Mobile, 5:06
10. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 5:20

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Thursday, July 19, 2007
  German television and drug-free cycling
By Yokota Fritz 
After Jan Ullrich, Erik Zabel, Rolf Aldag and Bjarne Riis were implicated in the Puerto scandal last year, the German TV networks ARD and ZDF threatened they would suspend Tour de France coverage if new doping allegations against German cyclists appeared. ARD and ZDF followed through on this threat after the news was released that Patrik Sinkewitz tested positive for testosterone.

According to L'Equipe, the German networks made it clear to German cycling that they would only broadcast cycling events if the sport is clean. "It is a warning to cycling and all the other sports," says ZDF Editor in Chief Nikolaus Brender. "We discussed this in length with the team managers, the German Cycling Federation, and race organizers, telling them that we were ready to support cycling if doping is controlled. However, this news shows that the teams are not even able to control what their cyclists do."

TdF organizer ASO is critical of German TV's decision to suspend broadcast of le Tour. "It is hypocritical to sanction the drug testing by not publishing the results," said ASO president Patrice Clerc.

In the meantime, the private German Sat 1 broadcaster quickly arranged broadcast rights for the Tour de France in the aftermath of the ZDF and ARD boycott. Sat one now has exclusive broadcast rights in Germany.

And after I painstakingly and slowly translated the French reports, I see the same thing in the English language International Herald Tribune. Oh well.

See also Sat1.de/sport.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007
  TdF Stage 10: Twitter Death!
By Yokota Fritz 
Believe it or not, I get my Tour de France updates via the Twitter reports from Dave, Ken, and Frank. Sure, I can get the live reports by continually hitting the reset button at Cyclingnews and VeloNews, but I really like just getting this stuff asynchronously. I was a little disappointed, then, when Twitter went down during the last part of Stage 10. Twitter is headquartered in San Francisco, but I wonder if maybe they have a datacenter in the East Bay, which has been plagued with power outages this morning. Ah well, the gift and the curse of technology.

Frenchman Cedric Vasseur of Quick Step-Innergetic claimed a win for the host nation today when he took the lead in a breakaway in the final quarter mile in today's 130 mile stage. His countryman Sandy Casar of Française des Jeux took second place. Overall, Michael Rasumussen continues to hold the yellow jersey, while American Levi Leipheimer of Discovery remains in the top 10 at 9th place.

As usual, an excellent link roundup of stage 10 can be found at Spare Cycles, with videos, photos, news and commentary. See also Steephill.TV for more Stage 10 results.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007
  TdF: Who is Team Barloworld?
By Yokota Fritz 
Colombian Mauricio Soler of the underdog Team Barloworld took stage 9 of the Tour de France on Tuesday, breaking away and leaving the chase group in the wind.

The team sponsor Barloworld is an "Industrial Brand Management Company", whatever that's supposed to mean. The website is horrible to navigate, but they seem to be a truck, car and heavy equipment distributor in South Africa.

Team Barloworld is a UCI Professional Continental cycling team based in the United Kingdom. The obtained a wild card entry to the 2007 Tour de France, making them the first British-based team to compete in the TdF since 1987.

Read more about Soler's win at Spare Cycles. The Stage 9 Link Roundup is also there for you to peruse.

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  What's your source of news for le Tour?
By Yokota Fritz 
Hello fellow netizens. What's your primary source of news for the Tour de France 2007?
What's your favorite? What Tour de France news sources have I missed?

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Sunday, July 15, 2007
  Tour de France 2007: Stage 8
By Yokota Fritz 
That's an old photo of Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen. He placed first in today's stage in the Tour de France 2007, also winning the Yellow Jersey and King of the Mountain. Visiting the long tail once again for Stage 8 commentary:
  • Chooky Fuzzbang: "So the big question is, “who’s the favorite to win GC?” I’ll be honest. I don’t have a clue. Leip, Vino, Kloden, etc. don’t look like contenders on a day like today. They didn’t do poorly but they didn’t ride like leaders. But they could be saving themselves. They didn’t look particularly strained. Valverde looks pretty good here."
  • Tour de Denver -- this guy is riding his bike every day, trying to recreate the stages of the Tour de France in Colorado.
  • Julie writes about "TdF Stage 8: Wicked Game". Instead of "Risky Game" because "that would entail recreating a scene from Friends featuring Jennifer Aniston."
Monday is a rest day, so maybe I'll catch up on the other cycling news and issues that continue during this race.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007
  TdF Stage 7: The Long Tail
By Yokota Fritz 
You already know about the updates from Spare Cycles, tdfblog and so forth. Let's see what else we can find in the blogosphere about today's stage.
  • Original reporting on the Tour de France from the Group News Blog.
  • Tour de France 2007 is "coverage of the Tour de France by professional journalist Jeff Cutler." Mr. Cutler is in Europe covering this on his blog.
  • TheRoad Bike.com
  • Who is Linux Gerdemann.
  • Today is Bastille Day. That's the French national holiday in which they commemorate the storming of a nearly empty prison. To avoid hurting the invading hordes, the prison commander opened the gates. The rioters then proceeded to slaughter everybody inside, including the commander who let them inside.
Also don't miss:
  • Paul Sherwen's audio report.
  • A meeting with Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwen.
    Over the years, Phil has come up with some great one-liners affectionately known as Liggettisms. One of my favorites goes all the way back to 1986 when Bernard Hinault had his sixth Tour victory all but wrapped up when he betrayed Lemond in the Pyrenees. Sitting on a five-minute lead Hinault was unable to control his bravado and attacked solo with three huge Pyrenean climbs remaining. Phil's words were prophetic as he exclaimed, "is he a superman or a fool?" Bernie blew up and Greg beat him by 5 minutes setting the match all square.
The Stage 7 top 10 finishers were:
1. Linus Gerdemann (G), T-Mobile, 4:53:13
2. Inigo Landaluze (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 0:40
3. David De La Fuente (Sp), Saunier Duval-Prodir, at 1:39
4. Juan Mauricio Hernandez Soler (Col), Barloworld, at 2:14
5. Laurent Lefevre (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 2:21
6. Fabian Wegmann (G), Gerolsteiner, at 3:32
7. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Quick Step-Innergetic, at 3:38
8. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Bouygues Telecom, same time
9. Christophe Moreau (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, s.t.
10. Alejandro Valverde (Sp) Caisse D'epargne, s.t.

Linus Gerdemann also took the Yellow Jersey today, as well as Best Young Rider recognition. Sylvain Chavanel is King of the Mountains.

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Friday, July 13, 2007
  Streaming video: How to bypass country restrictions
By Yokota Fritz 
Steephill.TV provides an excellent list of links to live streaming video of the Tour de France. Unfortunately, most of them have country restrictions due to their licensing agreements with the Tour organizer. There is a way to bypass these restrictions. I haven't done this in a long time, but here's the theory. If you get this to work, please comment with your experience or link to your own how to.

1. Find proxy servers in the broadcasting country. For example, if you want to watch the French streaming video feed, find a web proxy server in France. Here's one list.

2. Choose a public proxy that will anonymize or hide your origin. Software that will automatically test this for you is Charon. Charon will also automatically search proxy lists for you and tell you which proxies are good, saving you a lot of time and effort. Within Charon, select "Check Proxies" and "Check anonymity of proxies." Then select "Connect Options" and "Use External Judges." Let Charon due its magic and wait for it to generate the report. Charon can sort proxies by country so pick one in France or whatever country to you want to browse in.

3. Change your web browser settings to use the proxy.
  • In Firefox, select Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Network -> Settings. Click the "Manual Proxy Configuration" button and fill in the proxy IP address and port number (as reported by Charon).
  • In Internet Explorer, Select Tools -> Internet Options -> Connections (tab) -> Lan Settings. Click the button for "Use a proxy server for your LAN." Enter the proxy server IP address and port.
  • In Safari, select Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced. Click the "Change Settings" button next to the "Proxies" label. Click the "Web Proxy" button and enter the proxy server IP address and port.
Select your country-restricted video feed and let me know how it works! After you're finished, don't forget to reverse the steps above to disable proxy usage. You typically don't want to send any sensitive information like usernames and passwords through untrusted proxy servers.

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  Flickr blog features Tour de France photos
By Yokota Fritz 
Tour De France 2007 London

Flickr blog: Allez! Allez!
“DO NOT speak of TODAY’s TOUR DE FRANCE (I haven’t watched it yet.)”


That’s a sign that adorns the chair of the most recent member to join our team — Richard Crowley. He was willing to assist with image selection for this post as long as it didn’t become a spoiler for the 3 hours of Tour (apologies if this lodges the theme song for Gilligan’s Island in your noggin*) he’ll enjoy tonight.
Read more. Photo by Will Rose of London.

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  TdF Stage 6: 120 miles trhough the countryside
By Yokota Fritz 
Tom Boonen finally gets his stage win today! He squeezed past Freire and Hunter in the final sprint of today's picturesque race to cross the finish line first and regain the Green Jersey. The results:
1 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic
2 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
3 Erik Zabel (Ger) Milram
4 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française Des Jeux
5 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crédit Agricole
6 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
7 Robert Förster (Ger) Gerolsteiner
8 Robert Hunter (RSA) Barloworld
9 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel
10 Murilo Fischer (Bra) Liquigas

Today is a busy day for me, so I'll just point you to my buddy up the road, Spare Cycles for his Tour de France news and commentary. Also don't forget:

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Thursday, July 12, 2007
  Tour de France Stage 5: 50 mph finish sprint!
By Yokota Fritz 
Stage 5: Chablis to Autun. It was another exiting day on the Tour de France as the sprint to the finish line hit almost 50 mph / 79 kph! Italy's Filippo Pozzato of Liquigas pushed his way passed Millar, Hincapie, Zabel, Bennati, Freire and others to win Stage 5.

Yellow Jersey Fabian Cancellara was chasing a Disovery Team rider toward the end of the stage when they both missed a turn and ended up in the grass. Though they stayed upright, Cancellara lost valuable seconds but, surprisingly, he still holds the Yellow Jersey at the end of the Stage.

Several crashes in the stage resulted in numerous cyclists going down, including today's favorite Alexandre Vinokourov.

The 2007 Tour de France is like watching a college football game. We're missing a lot of the big names from the past, but we have some talented and strong newcomers mixing it up with the veterans and really shaking things up. Click here for live streaming video options for the Tour de France. Elsewhere: Don't forget the various rich media updates that are available on the Internet: TdF Stage 5 results:
1 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Liquigas
2 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
3 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
4 Kim Kirchen (Lux) T-Mobile
5 Erik Zabel (Ger) Milram
6 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel
7 Cristian Moreni (Ita) Cofidis
8 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Gerolsteiner
9 Bram Tankink (Ned) Quickstep-Innergetic
10 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007
  No dope = slow tour
By Yokota Fritz 
2007 Tour de France. I've noticed that Versus has had to adjust their television programming because the races are running a little longer than planned. Spare Cycles joked about "slow peloton, no attacks = no doping" during Stage 3 before Cancellara's finishing sprint. Graham Watson notes in his audio report that perhaps the riders feel "funny" without their drugs.

More Tour de France news


Subscribe to Procycling Magazine's Tour de France podcast or visit the iTunes page.
Spare Cycles Stage 4 Link Roundup with video, audio, photos, news and commentary.

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  Tour de France Stage 4
By Yokota Fritz 
Tour de France Stage 4: Villers-Cotterêts to Joigny 190 kilometers. I was busy this morning so I missed the race live, but you can catch up on the details, as usual, at Spare Cycles.

Steephill.TV has also posted links to Stage 4 video, audio and photos on the 2007 Tour de France live coverage page.

Don't forget about the Flickr Tour de France photo pool.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007
  TdF: Fabian Cancellara takes Stage 3! Wow!
By Yokota Fritz 
2007 Tour de France Stage 3 AMAZING SPRINT FINISH! CSC's Fabian Cancellara hammered hard over the cobbles in the last kilometer of Stage 3 and won Stage 3 of the Tour de France, passing up some of the favorites in the peloton such as Robbie McEwen, Tom Boonen and Erik Zabel. That final sprint was amazing to watch as the Yellow Jersey took the lead and the rest of the pack tried to catch him but falling short at the finish line.

Tom Boonen retains the point leader green jersey, while Stephane Auge takes the polka dots as King of the Mountains. The Stage 3 results:
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC
2 Erik Zabel (Ger) Milram
3 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Lampre-Fondital
4 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic
5 Robert Hunter (RSA) Barloworld
6 Robert Förster (Ger) Gerolsteiner
7 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Predictor-Lotto
8 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) T-Mobile
9 Mark Cavendish (GBr) T-Mobile
10 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner

2007 Tour de France article archive here.

More Stage 3 news and commentary:

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  Twitter and le Tour
By Yokota Fritz 
If you visit Cyclelicious you might have noticed the automatic Tour de France Twitter updates in the left sidebar. I've aggregated a number of feeds from those who are sending their Tour de France live updates to Twitter and displaying them here on Cyclelicious. As of this writing, I'm grabbing Twitter output from TdFBlog's Frank Steele, Dave Bernstein aka FredCast, and Phil aka Spinopsys. Dave has also created several 2007 Tour de France podcasts which you can download from The FredCast.

If you want to automagically display the Twitter updates on your website, feel free to look at the Javascript that's in this page. It's a mess -- if there's enough interest I may give a how-to with cut-and-paste code for you to use.

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  SRAM Force group ad
By Yokota Fritz 
The SRAM Force group is in its inaugural Tour de France, with all Saunier Duval-Prodi team bikes equipped with this new high-end road group from SRAM. David Millar of Saunier Duval-Prodi is currently in third place overall after the 2nd Stage.

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Monday, July 09, 2007
  2007 Tour de France live video
By Yokota Fritz 
2008 update: For 2008 Tour de France live video information, visit the Tour de France 2008 TV and streaming video page.



I haven't tried all of these, but here are the live streaming video streams as reported by Steephill.tv:
Visit Steephill.TV for the complete list of streaming video, audio and live ticker coverage.

Spinopsys also created TwitTour so you can follow the tour in real time via the web, IM, SMS, or RSS.

Update: Don't also miss the Twitter feeds from David @ FredCast as well as David @ DailyTour and Frank @ TdFBlog. Thank you to Phil @ Spinopsys for that info.

Click here for 2007 Tour de France television schedules.

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  Tour de France and bike design
By Yokota Fritz 
James geeks out on the bike designs at the Tour de France. I imagine he'll have some updates through the week so check back with his Bicycle Design blog regularly.

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  Stage 2: Tour de Crash
By Yokota Fritz 

Stage 2 of the 2007 Tour de France from Dunkirk to Ghent was marked by a spectacular pileup in the final stretch. The big crash knocked down nearly two dozen riders and created a blockade that held most of the peloton back as Belgian Gert Steegmans of Quick Step-Innergetic pulled ahead to win the stage in his home country.

Although CSC Fabian Cancellara fell in the crash, he retains the yellow jersey ahead of Andreas Kloden (Astana), David Millar (Saunier Duval - Prodir) and Discovery Team's George Hincapie. Cancellara cross the finish line holding his arm in obvious pain.

The top finishers of Stage 2 are:
1. Gert Steegmans / Quick Step-Innergetic / Belgium
2. Tom Boonen / Quick Step-Innergetic / Belgium
3. Filippo Pozzato / Liquigas / Italy
4. Robert Hunter / Barloworld / South Africa
5. Romain Feillu / Agritubel / France
6. Robbie McEwen / Predictor-Lotto / Australia
7. Erik Zabel / Team Milram / Germany
8. Heinrich Haussler / Gerolsteiner / Germany
9. Oscar Freire / Rabobank / Spain
The Stage 2 Link Roundup with links to video, photos and news. See also

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Sunday, July 08, 2007
  ESPN: Everyone can and should bike
By Yokota Fritz 
ESPN.com senior writer Jim Caple lists his top 10 reasons to watch the Tour de France. I really like what he writes about reason number 10:
Bicycles are the new SUV. I'm way ahead of the curve on this one, but bicycles are poised for a quantum leap in popularity. Continuing concerns about global warming, rising obesity, diabetes and traffic snarls will prompt more people to ride bicycles in the coming years.

Which is the biggest reason I love the Tour. Most of America's most popular sports are enjoyed only from the couch. Not biking. No matter your age or weight, everyone can bike -- and should. It's fun, and a good way to get around -- the extra time it takes to bike somewhere is easily made up by the time you save not looking for a parking space or going to the club for a workout.

More importantly, it's good for you, good for the environment and good for the country. Who is more patriotic, the person who commutes to work on a bike, or the guy who slaps a U.S. flag decal on his SUV that gets 12 miles per gallon?

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  TdF: McEwen takes Stage 1
By Yokota Fritz 

Australian Robbie McEwen of team Predictor-Lotto recovered from a crash to win Stage 1 of the 2007 Tour de France from London to Canterbury in the UK. Team CSC Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland retains the overall lead and the Yellow Jersey after finishing 22nd.

Ken Conley's Stage 1 Link Roundup will take you to Graham Watson photos, YouTube videos, stage reports, and news about today's stage of the TdF.

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