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60th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré Stage 7 Live
 
By Staff
Date: 6/15/2008
60th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré Stage 7 Live
 

60th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré Stage 7 & Photos
Final stage and last chance for Alejandro Valverde's rivals to challenge... A break of seven is up the road as we approach the three climbs on the menu


Stage 7 elevation profile courtesy of Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré

Stage 7 Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - Grenoble 127 km
The seventh and final stage of the Dauphine Libere's 1,092.7 kilometers goes from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Grenoble a test of 127 km. During the stage the riders will have to do three tough climbs namely the Col du Granier, the Col du Cucheron and the Col de Porte.

The climb details:
77 km - 1rst Cat. Col du Granier: 10.5 km length, average 8 %
95 km - 1rst Cat. Col du Cucheron: 18 km length, average 6,1 %
108 km - 2nd Cat. Col de Porte: 8 km length, average 6,4 %.

Alejandro Valverde starts this final stage as leader with 39 seconds on Cadel Evans and 1.24 on Levi Leipheimer. The Spanish rider of Caisse d'Epargne also leads the points classification for the green jersey.

After 15 km of racing the break of the day made its escape. It's a break of seven riders with Stéphane Augé (Cofidis), Christophe Riblon (AG2R-La Mondiale), Sébastien Chavanel (Française des Jeux), Daniele Righi (Lampre), the winner of stage 5 Yuri Trofimov (Bouygues Telecom), Jurgen Van de Walle (Quick Step) and Dmitriy Fofonov (Crédit Agricole).

The maximum gap of the seven in front was 6.45 but after 66 km of racing just before they enter the first climb the gap is down to 4.50 due to the work of Caisse D'Epargne leading the peloton; they're only job today to deliver Valverde to the finish for the final victory in the 60th edition of the race. The only real threats today are Aussie Cadel Evans and USA Leipheimer.

The break has been reduced to two leaders: Yuri Trofimov and Dimitri Fofonov. Jurgen van de Walle was just dropped, the other 4 break members suffered the same fate earlier on the climb. The riders are now on the Col du Granier, still 2 more climbs to go as they near the summit. The two leaders are now at the top of the Granier. Fofonov takes the points ahead of Trofimov. Fofonov takes the points so others can't take them as Fofonov's team mate Pierre Rolland who is the current leader of the KOM jersey.

1535 CEST - Pierre Rolland, Matteo Carrara, Sandy Casar and Charly Wegelius just attacked out of the peloton. At the back of the bunch riders are sliding off as the climb heats up.

We have 4 leaders again as Jurgen van de Walle and Christophe Riblon rejoin Fofonov and Trofimov. The leaders have 3:20 on the 4 chasers with Rolland and around 4.00 on the bunch. From now on it's constantly up and down. The riders will need to use the descents for a bit of recovery.

Women's Racing - Marianne Vos has won the final stage and the general classification at the Emakumeen Bira in Spain; the Dutch lass dominated the race.


Race leader Alejandro Valverde in escort followed by the race leaders.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1543 CEST - 42 km to go, We have 5 leaders again as Daniele Righi (Lampre) rejoined the break too. So we have Yuri Trofimov (Bouygues), Dimitri Fofonov (Credit Agricole), Christophe Riblon (Ag2r), Jurgen van de Walle (Quick Step) and Daniele Righi (Lampre). Righi and Syvester Szmyd are only ones left from the Lampre squad after the food poisoning incident earlier this Dauphine

The chasers with Rolland are coming closer , 2.50 down on the break now. In this group Sebastien Chavanel was picked up on the road, he was a member of the break of seven. He is now working for his team mate Sandy Casar. So far in this stage Garcia Acosta and Coyot (Caisse D'Epargne) have abandoned the race. Other abandons are Benat Albizuri, Kevin van Impe and Julien Loubet.

1548 CEST - Gap 4:50,  The break is now on the Col du Cucheron, the 2nd climb of the day. Yuri Trofimov (Bouygues) attacks but the others are able to respond. Fofonov and Trofimov are the strongest in front. Righi, Van de Walle and Riblon drop off the break. Trofimov, a neo pro from Russia, is very amazing this year; Trofimov won a stage and the final ranking in the Etoile de Besseges this year and he won the 5th stage in the Dauphine 2 days ago, very impressive.

Riblon found a good pace and rejoins the break again, 3 leaders. But it's likely that Riblon will be the first to drop off again if Trofimov or Fofonov will accelerate. Behind, the Caisse d'Epagne squad lead the peloton up the climb with Alejandro Valverde in escort looking comfortable. 4 leaders now as Van de Walle came back too. They have 2,20 on Rolland, Casar, Carrara and Wegelius and 4.20 on the bunch led by Caisse D'Epargne. It doesn't look like anyone has plans to attack Valverde on the first two climbs.

Abandon: Juan José Cobo Acebo (Saunier Duval). Daniele Righi has come back to the front too, 5 leaders again. So the pace at the front is not that fast. The riders have just climbed through the forest coming out into a clearing with outstanding scenery of the mountains covered in snow, and the meadows with flowers in bloom, quite nice, not that they will have time to enjoy the scenery.

1600 CEST - The bunch with Valverde is 5.00 down on the break now. It might be that the stage winner is in front. Or the chasing group will be able to bridge up to the break. The four in the lead are busy watching each other, looking unsure if their fellows will attempt an attack. They would be wise to save that for the final 20 km descent into Grenoble and focus on arriving in Grenoble ahead of the chase.

In the bunch we have an attack of an Euskaltel rider, the name of the Orange Warrior is... we have to wait for that; but Maxime Monfort (Cofidis) reacts as he counter attacks out of the bunch too - Monfort bridges up to the Euskaltel rider now. The name of the Orange Warrior is Ruben Perez.

1607 CEST - The break is now on the top of the Cucheron as Fofonov takes the max points ahead of Trofimov, Riblon, Righi and Van de Walle. Again two riders attack out of the bunch. A rider of FDJ and another Euskaltel. Monfort is now alone as Perez waits on his team mate Astarloza who just attack out of the bunch together with Francaise des Jeux rider Jelle Vanendert.

1609 CEST - The chasing group with Rolland is on the top of the Cucheron 2.00 down on the break. Caisse d'Epargne has responded to the attacks and pumped up the pace. One of the Euskaltel riders is now caught by the Valverde group not sure who it was. The other Euskaltel rider is caught.

1611 CST - 28 km to go, The bunch is on top of the Cucheron, 4.00 down on the break. Samuel Sanchez attacks out of the bunch in the descent. He is a good descender so he can make up some time really fast. The final climb on the menu today the Col de Porte is 8km long in distance with an average of 6,4% - The break has started on the Col de Porte.

Attack! Yuri Trofimov (Bouygues) attacks in the break again, but he is not able to get rid of his companions yet. The next one to attack is Ag2r Christophe Riblon, he is the twice world champion in the points race... the attack is a blistering one, but he gets pulled back by Righi. Caisse d'Epargne steps up the pace another notch to discourage breaks and thins the field. The second group of 4 are closing in on the lead quintet.

The next one to attack is the Kazakh Fofonov but not much power in that attack, but it does raise the pace of the 5. The break has 55 seconds on the fast moving chasing group with Rolland, Casar, Wegelius and Carrara. Trofimov makes his 4th, 5th or is it the 6th attempt already and it seems he finally got rid off the others - Van de Walle tries to bridge across. Fofonov bridges up to Van de Walle. They are 50 meters behind the Russian youngster. Trufimov has tasted victory once this week and he is looking for another.


Riblon chases Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1624 CEST - Behind Ag2r throws two riders to the front to help Caisse. Ag2r is now leading the pace, Caisse follow at the font of the bunch. They are 3.40 down on the break. It's going fast now in the peloton  as lots of riders dropped off the back.

Trofimov has 5 seconds on Fofonov and Van de Walle. Riblon and Righi dropped off for sure it seems but what is normal right now. Matteo Carrara is rid of Casar and Rolland. From Wegelius no sign anymore of being near the group. Wegelius is still up there with Rolland and Casar. So only Carrara attacked out of that group; no news on Monfort, Vanendert and Sanchez. They attacked on the Cucheron so they have to be between the break, the first chasing group and the pack somewhere. No news on if they were already caught.


Wigelius, Rolland and Casar fight to regain the lead group. 
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

23 km to go - Trofimov has 11 seconds on Van de Walle and Fofonov.

1 km to the top of the Col de Porte for the Tofimov. News on Vanendert he crashed in the descent of the Cucheron and has been brought to the hospital. Trofimov is on top of the Col de Porte now, only 17 km of descent and 2 to 3 km of flat roads to the finish in Grenoble to go. Trofimov has 20 seconds on Fofonov and Vandewalle. Can they come back on the descent? or is Trofimov on his way to his 2nd stage win in the Dauphine?


Vandewalle and Fofonov chase Trofimov on the Col de Porte.
 Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Riblon over the summit at about 30 seconds down. Righi and Carrara are on top at 1.06. Rolland is on top in  7th at 1.25. Trofimov also takes over the lead in the KOM ranking and as there are no climbs to come he will win that ranking. Rolland had to be on top in the first 6 and he came on top as 7th. what a pity for the young French guy. Casar and Wegelius were in Rolland's wheel at 1.25 down on Trofimov.

1643 CEST - The descent of the Col de Porte is a little dangerous with some dangerous passages; hope the peloton can come through it without accidents

1635 CEST - The bunch is on top of the Porte now 3.40 down on Trofimov, the GC contenders didn't attack each other, so for the overall win it never got exciting today. Fofonov and Vandewalle have done a great descent as they bridge up to Trofimov again. 3 leaders, the stage winner should be one of these three normally - a really great battle between these guys as they race towards the finish. Ag2r is still leading the pace in the bunch, they want to secure the 6th place overall of Dessel.

1645 CEST - 7 km to go, The peloton strings out on the descent riders looking for an advantage. The trio up front are taking chances on the descent and moving very fast.

The Delta Tour in the Netherlands, a stage race of 3 days is won by Chris Sutton (Slipstream). The stages went to Jens Mouris (prologue), Robert Wagner (stage 1) and Borut Bozic (final stage)

Descent done 3 km to go, 3:15 the gap, they won't be caught. Unofficial it seems that Trofimov and Rolland have equal points in the KOM ranking. So it's not sure yet who won the KOM ranking.

Trofimov, Van de Walle and Fofonov are looking to each other, as they all three can win the stage today. The bunch has broken into chasing groups on the descent. It will be hard to close down these gaps again as the pace is high.

2 km to go for our three leaders -In the bunch the groups came together - Ag2r still setting the pace. Euskatel puts two riders on the front the pace is furious... The break has 10 seconds on the first chasers with Riblon, Carrara and Righi.


The sprint Fofonov starts to raise his hands for victory...
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

1km to go... Fofonov starts the sprint... Vandewalle and Trufimov try to respond... they spread out across the road, Vandewalle moves up as Trufimov fades and the winner is...

DIMITRI FOFONOV!!!

He is from Credit Agricole Jurgen Vandewalle is 2nd and Yuri Trofimov third.

At a couples of seconds Christophe Riblon is fourth, Matteo Carrara 5th and Daniele Righi 6th... here comes Casar, Rolland and Wegelius. Casar is 7th, Wegelius 9th and Rolland 9th.


Riblon, Righi and Carrara sprint to the finish. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Rolland and not Trofimov as we mentioned earlier wins the KOM jersey a great day for Team Credit Agricole. Lars Bak wins the sprint of the bunch for 10th and Monfort is 11th

The final winner of the 2008 Dauphine Libere is:

ALEJANDRO VALVERDE (CAISSE D'EPARGNE)!!

The gaps to the leaders remain the same on the G.C. for the top three.

General Classification
1. Alejandro Valverde
2. Cadel Evans
3. Levi Leipheimer
4. Robert Gesink
5. Haimar Zubeldia
6. Cyril Dessel
7. Mikel Astarloza
8. Sylvester Szmyd
9. Maxime Monfort
10. Matteo Carrara

In the Delta Tour the overall win of Chris Sutton is provisional as they are still in doubt. It could be that Skil-Shimano rider Wagner is the overall winner

Thanks for joining us for the live coverage of the 60th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré. Check back later for full official results (top ten below) and photos. This conclude our live coverage of the race; remember you can always chat about this on our forums and chat room (linked below) with other fans and riders around the world.

Official General Classification (top 10)
1. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/Caisse d'Epargne)
2. Cadel Evans (AUS/Silence-Lotto) à 39"
3. Levi Leipheimer (USA/Astana) à 1'24"

4. Robert Gesink (PBS/Rabobank) à 2'47"
5. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/Euskaltel) à 3'19"
6. Cyril Dessel (FRA/AG2R-La Mondiale) à 4'01"
7. Mikel Astarloza (ESP/Euskaltel) à 4'25"
8. Sylvester Szmyd (ITA/Lampre) à 4'29"
9. Maxime Monfort (BEL/Cofidis) à 4'45"
10. Matteo Carrara (ITA/Quick Step) à 5'13"

Stage 7 Results
1. Dmitryi Fofonov (KAZ/Crédit Agricole)
2. Jurgen Van de Walle (BEL/Quick Step)
3. Yuri Trofimov (RUS/Bouygues Télécom)

4. Christophe Riblon (FRA/AG2R-La Mondiale) à 11"
5. Matteo Carrara (ITA/Quick Step)
6. Daniele Righi (ITA/Lampre)
7. Sandy Casar (FRA/Française des Jeux) à 1'31"
8. Charly Wegelius (GBR/Liquigas) à 1'34"
9. Pierre Rolland (FRA/Crédit Agricole)
10. Lars Bak (DAN/CSC)

60th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
Climbers Classification - KOM (final)

2 128 TROFIMOV Yury RUS BTL 110
3 43 FOFONOV Dmitriy KAZ C.A 72
4 64 EFIMKIN Vladimir RUS ALM 70

5 56 VAN DE WALLE Jurgen BEL QST 60

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