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94th Tour de France; Team Notes Stage Twenty
 
By Podofdonny
Date: 7/29/2007
94th Tour de France; Team Notes Stage Twenty
 
A word from the winner, Gerdemann, Kirchen comment, Saunier Duval, "the outcome is positive”


Children waving at vehicles in the publicity caravan that precedes the race. . Photo © www.benrossphotography.com

A Word from the winner

Lampre Website

Daniele Bennati conquered Paris with an outstanding sprint.

Lampre-Fondital's athlete won the most charming stage of Tour, the last one with arrival in Paris, thanks to a perfect long sprint. The whole blue-fucsia team had made a very good job in the last kilometres in order to prepare Bennati's sprint. Bennati preceded Hushovd, Zabel, Hunter and Boonen.

Valjavec classified in 50th position and succeded in conserve the 19th place in the overall standing led by Contador.

Daniele Bennati "I can't believe I've won here, I came here to win a stage and now I'm going home with two, and the most prestigious one on the Champs Elysees.

Alberto Contador "It's a dream, it's paradise. Yesterday (time trial) was a very difficult day. I went all out for the 55km to keep my lead against Evans. I kept a small advantage which allowed me to win today. I'm marked for life by the brain operation which saved my life and allowed me to savour this moment even more."


T-Mobile Kim Kirchen - Mauricio Soler of Barloworld

T Mobile Website

Twelve years after Miguel Indurain, 24-year-old Alberto Contador has brought the yellow jersey of the 94th Tour de France back to Spain after finishing safely in the pack on the Champs Elysées. The stage was won in a sprint finish by Italian Daniele Bennati (Lampre), his second win after stage 17 in Castelsarrasin. T-Mobile's Kim Kirchen finished seventh overall.

In one of the most controversial races in the Tour's 104-year history, the young Discovery Channel rider won by 31 seconds from Australian, Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto) and by 31 seconds from team mate, American, Levi Leipheimer. Tom Boonen managed to hold on to green from Robbie Hunter and Erik Zabe land Columbia's Mauricio Soler won the polka dot jersey.

The T-Mobile Team had a difficult Tour but are pleased with Kim Kirchen's seventh place overall and Linus Gerdemann's stage win.

Kim Kirchen, "We're all happy to reach Paris . I have my seventh place and I earned it - but, especially, the team earned it. During the first part of the Tour I was feeling very good. I had a very bad day in the Pyrenees but I continued to give everything also yesterday in the time trial, I had a great day. I think I clinched one of the greatest results in my career."

Gerdemann added, "I've great hopes for next year. In the end, I've seen in my first Tour that I can keep up with the best."


A fan collects some of the Tour signs as souvenirs.
Photo © www.benrossphotography.com

Saunier Duval Website Team Comments

SAUNIER DUVAL-PRODIR fought indefatigably for their first victory in the "Grande Boucle," but unfortunately the red birds´ efforts did not result in triumph.

SAUNIER DUVAL-PRODIR AT THE 2007 TOUR DE FRANCE

Final General Classification: 16th Iban Mayo; 20th Juanjo Cobo

Stages: 2nd Iban Mayo (stage 8)
3rd David de la Fuente (stage 7)
4th Juanjo Cobo (stage 15)
5th David Millar (stage 17)
5th Iban Mayo (stage 9)
Final Team Classification: 6th SAUNIER DUVAL-PRODIR


Father and daughter, she waves at the publicity caravan as it goes by hoping for a trinket. Photo © www.benrossphotography.com

Joxean Fernández, Matxin : "This Tour de France has been bittersweet to us. Our squad had the primary goal of snatching at least one stage victory, and it hasn´t been achieved. We´ve tried hard, though, and were in the lead for most of the race, showing what an aggressive team we can be. This was especially true the first 10 days, where we stepped onto the stage podium on several occasions, with Millar, De la Fuente, and then Mayo.

We never gave up, as could be seen in Plateau-de-Beille, where we neutralised a breakaway with a 12´ gap, but our achievements could never be translated into victories: we landed spots 5, 4, 3, and 2, but never won. We´ll come back and try harder next year. The Tour de France is the most important cycling event in the world, and we feel we won´t really make it until we make it here."

"This has been a controversial edition of the Tour: Vinokourov, Rasmussen, and others. To me, however, the outcome is positive, since I believe we´re witnessing a rebirth of cycling, something like a cleaning process, which shows that all riders are treated equally. We all have to be aware that if you make a mistake, if you don´t comply with the rules, there´s no room for you in this new kind of cycling

. I even think this is one of the more transparent sports right now. It´s high time we stand up for the values cycling embodies: sacrifice, tenacity, willpower, epic effort. And I´m proud that in Saunier Duval everybody understands this. We all believe in cycling and we stand by this sport now that it´s more difficult to do so. With a history of over one century, there´s pedalling for a long, long time."

Iban Mayo: ”I´m glad with my performance here in France, especially if I take into account how the previous editions unfolded for me. I even hit the headlines this year, and this is very important to me. Even when I was third overall I said my goal was to grab a stage win. I could have changed my mind and seek for a good overall standing, but I bid on a triumph. Unfortunately, Rasmussen managed to build a huge advantage in Tignes, and in Aubisque I was close as well."


A statue of Christ on the road to the Col d'Aubisque.
Photo © www.benrossphotography.com

 
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