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94th Tour de France - Stage 7 Live Coverage Part 2
By Staff
Date: 7/14/2007
94th Tour de France - Stage 7 Live Coverage Part 2

94th Tour de France - Stage 7 Live Coverage Part 2
The riders face the last obstacle as they approach the Categorie 1 Col de la Colombière...

Stage 7: Bourg-en-Bresse Le Grand-Bornand 197.5 km
Stage Map, stage profile
183 km: Col de la Colombière - 16.0 km 6.8 %

1529 CET - 60 km to go, and the 15 riders in the break have 6.28 as they go over the summit. The peloton is still on the Peguin. Donkey-man O'Grady and Yellow Jersey Cancellara are still leading the pack for CSC.

Only 50 km left, but in many ways the race has yet to start. The climb of the Colombiere looms ahead, promising to provide the first serious GC sort-out of the Tour. Some men will be eliminated from contention today. Predictor-Lotto and CSC still leading the chase.

1547 CET - 45 km to go, 6.20 the gap to the leaders. The climb of the Col de la Colombiere is looming in front of the riders. It's huge. There is a headwind on the climb today, which might discourage some from attacking. Times like this, I'm glad I'm sitting comfortably in a chair with a nice cup of Peet's coffee. I bet Armstrong is watching thinking the same thing right now.

40 km to go - 6.10 the gap to the 15 escapees, 10 kilometers to the start of the climb up Col de la Colombière. Armstrong, of course, is a self-confessed Peet's coffee addict. Good thing the French labs don't have a test for Peet's, or he would have been doomed.

The break is a bit disorganized right now. An Euskaltel rider is pushing away, getting a gap.

35 km to go, Perez is stretching his legs, and he's got a good gap on the break. Tankink on the move as he is searching for Perez's wheel. These don't seem like attacks as much as pace-increasing maneuvers. Perez and Tankink now in the lead. Not sure why they are so anxious to get on the Colombiere. It's not an easy climb. Guess they want a head start on the climbers like Savoldelli. The two give up there efforts and wait for the others. Prolly they try again on the Colombiere.

The gap is down to 5.43 I'm picking Savoldelli to win the stage at this point. If he doesn't blow up on the climb, that is. Big if. could be a smart move of Astana to sent ll Falco in the break. If Vino feels good, attacks and catches the break. Il Falco can lead him in the descent in order to gain some time back of the 1.20 he lost on the others. Tankink of Quick Step in the front of the break.

The gap is down to 5.12 In the break Egoi Martinez of Discovery is also a good climber, as is De La Fuente of Saunier Duval. Don't underestimate the two boys in the Basque orange either, or German young gun, Linus Gerdemann.

1600 CET - The break is on the Colombiere now. 30 km to go, gap to the peloton is 4:37
Perez seems to have been doing a lot of work by Perez and Landaluze to make this break work. They'll want to drive it home with a good ascent up this final climb. This climb is 14,5 km long in distance, the gap is down to 4.37 over the yellow jersey group as the break starts the climb.

Recapping the break the 15 out riders are: Benoit Vaugrenard (FDJ), Paolo Savoldelli (Astana), Egoi Martinez (Discovery), Ruben Perez (Euskaltel), Inigo Landaluze (Euskaltel), Linus Gerdemann (T-Mobile), Dmitriy Fofonov (Crédit Agricole), David de la Fuente (Saunier Duval) and Laurent Lefevre (Bouygues Telecom), José Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse), Bram Tankink (Q-Step), JA Flecha (Rabo), Martin Elmiger (Ag2r), Jerome Pineau (Bouygues Telecom) and Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner)

1615 CET - Paolo Savoldelli drops off the back in the lead as Gutierrez and de la Fuente attacks. Flecha of Rabobank attacks. Gutierrez of Caisse d'Epargne and De La Fuente of Saunier Duval attack.  Savoldelli, obviously feeling the weight of my prediction, bonks hard. Vaugrenard, the best ranked rider in the break dropped as well.

 So the break has disintegrated. They are in ones and twos now on the climb. Hushovd is off the back of the peloton, as does Robbie McEwen. Cancellara is dropped now. He waves to the camera, his job done. We will have a new leader by the top of the climb today. Wiggins and Boonen drop anchors and fall off the back.t

At the front Gutierrez and de la Fuente got company of Gerdemann. Three leaders now as Calzati attacks in the bunch. The grupetto is taking shape in the back of the peloton. At the front of the peloton there are some attacks too. Gerdemann of T-Mobile leads with De La Fuente and Gutierrez at the front of the race. 4 leaders now as Fofonov bridges across.  Calzati is reeled in as Rabobank sets the pace in the bunch. Rabobank leads the peloton, working for Rasmussen and Menchov. 

Attack Gerdemann and Fofonov drop the other two.De la Fuente and Gutierrez dropped. This is going to be a crazy climb. Fofonov at the front of the race with Gerdemann on his wheel. De La Fuente and Gutierrez chase. The rest of the break is gone. Rabobank winds up the peloton. Cyrille Dessel (Ag2r), the yellow jersey of a year ago, is off the back as well it seems.

1618 CET - 26 km left. The peloton is 4' 08" behind the two leaders. Kanstantsin Sioutsou (Barloworld) and former U23 world champion attacks out of the bunch. Geez, this road looks under construction. There are large wire fences and construction materials across the right half of the road. No big moves yet at the front of the peloton. They might be waiting for tomorrow. Or the final few kilometers, which are the toughest. David Millar (Saunier Duval) is right near Michael "SuperBooger" Boogerd of Rabobank near the front of the race.

The peloton is getting thinner all the time. Guys are getting shelled steadily from the pack. No big GC riders are having problems yet. Fofonov and Gerdemann have 25" on Gutierrez and De La Fuente. The peloton is 4' 43" behind.

The peloton goes under the 25 km left banner. The two in front have 40 sec on Gutierrez, De la Fuente and Landaluze.  Gerdemann is riding well, and may be riding himself into the Yellow Jersey. The pace in the bunch is not high. I think the winner is in front. Vinokourov is still in the much smaller peloton. Rabobank is still setting the pace as they chase the break. Gutierrez drops with Landaluze and de la Fuente

1628 CET - 20 km to go,  Here's the situation: Gerdemann and Fofonov have 40" on De La Fuente and Landaluze. Then there are the remnants of the break. 4' 00" back is Sioutsou. 4' 50" is the peloton, led by Rabobank. Linus Gerdemann attacks, Fofonov dropped. Gerdemann is really being inspired by the prospect of winning and taking the yellow jersey and the white jersey. Another Barloworld attack in the peloton as Cardenas flies away. Lot of good it will do them. They won't catch Gerdemann.

About 5 km to the KOM of the Colombiere. Mayo and Sandy Casar drop off the back in the bunch as Boogerd has accelerated at the front of the peloton, and a whole new slew of riders have fallen away. Flecha reeled in by the bunch.  He hands off water to his teammates. So Flecha reinforces the Rabobank crew trying to destroy the peloton. Efimkin, Chavanel, Millar off the back now as well. Mayo is still up there he didn't drop, it was Camano who dropped. There are stlll about 40 men left in this pack led by Rabobank.

1634 CET - Gerdemann has about 20" on Fofonov, who is about to be caught by De La Fuente and Landaluze. Savoldelli reeled in by the bunch; Fofonov is caught by Landaluze and De la Fuente. Klöden and Vinokourov are still in the peloton. They have Savoldelli for reinforcement now.

18 km left. Gerdemann is solo with about 40" on three chasers, De La Fuente, Landaluze, and Fofonov. Hincapie and Sinkewitz dropped. The peloton is about 4' 40" behind Gerdemann still. Landaluze now drops the other chasers in pursuit of Gerdemann.

In the Tour of Austria it's another Discovery win as Stijn Devolder wins the time trial. Devolder is also the new leader. Tomorrow is the final stage.

Gerdemann has 40 sec on Landaluze - Linus "Security Blanket" Gerdemann is looking strong still. He may well pull off this ride for Yellow, but Landaluze isn't giving up the chase. The peloton is caught up in their own infighting.

 2 km to the KOM of the Colombiere, Moreau, in his French Champion's jersey, is near the front of the peloton. Valverde and Pereiro and Leipheimer and Sastre and Rasmussen and Menchov and all the big GC favorites are still in that peloton. Caisse D'Epargne leads the chase in the bunch. Gadret has problems to follow the pace.

1643 CET - At the front, Gerdemann is hitting a steeper section of the climb. The gradient is biting into his legs now, and Landaluze is closing. Landaluze and de la Fuente within the 40 sec of Gerdemann.  Contador of Discovery is prominent near the front of the peloton, and Popovych, Gusev, and Leipheimer are all there as well. For Astana, Kashechkin and Vinokourov and Klöden are still in there. Impressive.

1 km to the summit of the Colombiere,  it's still looking good for Gerdemann. He's really looking forward to this descent. The peloton won't catch these men at the front of the race.

1646 CET - 15.2 km left. Gerdemann leads, Landaluze chases at about 32". The peloton led by Caisse d'Epargne is at 4' 00". Gerdemann is into the mental part of the climb. All the wack-job fans are running along with their halloween costumes on, trying to cheer him on. Oh, there's Elvis. Surprise. Whoa, Gerdemann almost tagged a motorbike that stopped. He had to zag mightily to avoid it. Tankink reeled in by the bunch, Gutierrez as well. All of the riders seem to be all the way to the right on their back gears. They are grinding their easiest gears to try to make it up this climb. Markus Fothen (Gerolsteiner), the 2nd in the white jersey of last year, is off the back as well. 

Gerdemann takes the KOM points on the Colombiere and turns into the descent;  Landaluze is 2nd on the top at 17 sec.  Landaluze got a big push from an orange-clad Basque fan earlier on the climb. Hope that doesn't cost him. Rasmussen attacks the peloton. Nobody cares. They know he's going for mountains points, and that's it.

1653 CET - 13 km to go, Looks like no big sort-out will happen among the big GC contenders today. The AG2r team car almost took down Rasmussen. They just stopped in the road in front of him. The bunch is over the summit  3.20 after Gerdemann. Rasmussen leads the peloton over the top of the climb. This descent will be a bit stressful.

10 km to go, Gerdemann is flying. This may be the biggest day in his career. He's going for it on this descent. Whoa, there are some tough corners on this descent. Gerdemann is pulling away from Landaluze. He has added 10" to his lead on this descent so far. He now has 27" on Landaluze. 8 km as Gerdemann is on his way to take the stage, and the yellow and white jerseys.

Gerdemann has 28 sec on Landaluze; Landaluze is fading. Gerdemann is not. The peloton is still a distant 3' 15" behind with 6 km to go for Gerdy!

1658 CET - 5 km to go, Gerdemann comes close to the edge of the pavement on a corner, but he pulls it off well. He's bombing. There was a wall at the edge of the pavement, a wall of the cement sort. In the peloton, Vinokourov smiles for the camera. He made it over the climb with the leaders.

1700 CET - Gerdemann is driving home his epic attack. He has outfoxed them all today. Gerdemann pulls hard as he sees his glory, 4 km The peloton is 3' 25" behind Gerdemann. Landaluze is at 34". Germany is going to have a diaper crisis soon, as a German on T-Mobile is going to be in the Yellow Jersey once again. Gerdemann will be another yellow jersey wearer for T-Mobile. The last one was good old Ukranian hammer Sergiy Honchar last year.

2 km to go Gerdemann is finished with the descent. He's now on the slight uphill to the finish line.

final km So a German wins big on Bastille Day. Oh well, it's one big happy EU these days, right?

 Linus Gerdemann of T-Mobile Wins!!!!!!

Gerdemann comes in and wins the stage. It's his biggest win thus far. On top of that he is also the new leader in the yellow jersey.  His tongue is out. He's spent. He raises his arms. Landaluze rode well today. He'll get 2nd on the stage. Landaluze comes in as second at 40 sec

De La Fuente will get 3rd on the stage. He got a lot of KOM points today enough to take the white and red polka dot climbers jersey not certain at the moment. David de la Fuente comes in as 3rd at 1.38 Kanstantin Sioutsou is 4th at 2.13, Laurent Lefevre 5th at 2.20

 Wegmann is attacking the peloton. Why? Who knows. He's the German champ, so maybe he is inspired by his compatriot. Discovery now leads the pack to the finish. Mauricio Soler was 4th not Sioutsou. Wegmann is 6th.  Garate wins the sprint of the bunch for 7th, Florencio was 8th, Moreau 9th and Valverde fills out the top ten.

Gerdemann takes over the GC with a 1' 24" lead over Landaluze.
Linus Gerdemann is 24 years old of age, this is his first Tour de France. Linus is a promising young gun and German prospect for the Grand Tours in the future. For this years Tour de France his goal pre-tour was to do well in the best young rider classification, "It is my first Tour start and it will be part of the learning process, but of course I also want to race well."

That's how you make a name for yourself in cycling, kids. In your first Tour de France, go on a long attack, drop everyone else in the break on the final climb, and drive it home for the stage win, the Yellow Jersey, and the White Jersey. Not bad for a rookie.

Can Gerdemann hold off the favorites tomorrow? Bart: I think he will lose that jersey tomorrow on the road to  Tignes; as the favorites will make it a hard race, Linus will lose the jersey as he is going to feel his efforts of today.

Locutus, Tomorrow starts with a Cat 4 and gets progressively harder: A Cat 3 climb, then a Cat 2 climb, and the finish has three consecutive Cat 1 climbs. I don't think Gerdemann will be able to hold off the onslaught, because tomorrow will be a serious GC smackdown.

General Classification
1.Linus Gerdemann 25 T-Mobile Team 34:43:40
2. Landaluze Inigo 76 Euskaltel/Euskadi   :01:24
3. De La Fuente David 205 Saunier Duval/Prodir  00:02:45

4. Lefevre Laurent 125 Bouygues Telecom  00:02:55
5. Soler Hernandez Juan Mauricio 219 Barloworld  :03:05
6. Klöden Andréas 196 Astana  3:39
7. Gusev Vladimir 113 Discovery Channel Team    3:51
8. Karpets Vladimir 15 Caisse D’epargne  3:52
9. Astarloza Mikel 73 Euskaltel - Euskadi   03:55
10. Dekker Thomas 54 Rabobank  03:57

Thanks for joining us for the live coverage of stage 7. Photos and official results to follow.
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