61st Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré - Stage 7 Live
It's judgement day in the 61st Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré - A 20 man
group leads the race currently climbing rhe Col de la Croix de Fer...
Stage 7: Briançon - Saint-François-Longchamp 157 km
It's judgement day in the 61st Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré this afternoon. 157
grueling kilometres lie between Briancon and Saint-Francois-Longchamp; the route
passes over the iconic Col du Galibier, the Col de la Croix de Fer (with a 5.5%
average gradient before finishing at the top of the first-category climb. The
ride up to Saint-Francois-Longchamp covers the first 14.5km of the Col de la
Madeleine, which has several sections averaging over 8%.
The 80km of climbing will result in Stage 7 being the decisive day in this
year's Dauphiné. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) proved on the Thursday's
stage up the Mont Ventoux that he is in excellent shape, and will need to ride
as well as he did forty-eight hours ago since Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) lies
sixteen seconds behind him in the GC. Alberto Contador has just over a minute to
make up on his fellow Spaniard, though some are predicting he will use today's
stage as preparation for a bigger race in July......
The escapees climb the Galibier. Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti
It will be interesting to see how David Millar, currently in 5th place and my
rider of the race thus far, copes with the three Mountains today. He has
forty-nine seconds in hand over Rabobank's Robert Gesink, though an excellent
ride could see him leapfrog Mikel Astarloza (Euskatel, three seconds ahead of
1600 CEST - Welcome to the Daily
Peloton's live coverage, Nick Bull calling the race today. We are 44km away from
the finish. We have a 20 man leading group out front; they currently have a
3m35s advantage over the Caisse d'Epargne led Peloton. Our breakaway is on the
descent of the Col de la Croix de Fer, the main bunch still climbing it.
Our leading group consists of: Arrieta, Nocentini and Turpin (AG2R) Van den
Broeck (SIL), Dyachecnko (AST), Flecha and Garate (Rabobank), Landaluze,
Martinez and Nieve (EUS), Le Mével (FdJ), Pauriol, Moinard, Moncoutie (COF),
Meier (Milram), Fedrigo, Lefevre, Trofimov (BBoxBouyguesBbbbbbbBox or whatever
it they're called) Mejias (FUJ) and Frank (BMC)
1613 CEST - 33.5km to go. Our leading
group has become slightly fragmented on the descent, but will rejoin in the
Valley, one suspects.
Oscar Pereiro and Xabier Eschaide Zandio lead the escort of team leader
Alejandro Valverde over the Galibier. Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti
Four Caisse d'Epargne riders are protecting Valverde. He's ridden well this
week, but if he wins I'm not sure I can cope with people saying he'll be able to
win the Tour one day..... I don't think he's good enough, and secondly, I
wonder if he'll be allowed to race in it in the forthcoming years.
1617 CEST - BMC's Mathias Frank seems to
be gaining some ground over his escapees on the descent. One of the Ag2R riders
is in his wheel, something no-one else seems able to do. It's Nocentini.
1620 CEST - 29km to go One wonders about
the possibility of an Alberto Contador attack today. If he was to drop both
Evans and Valverde, that would be a massive pyschological advantage going into
the Tour. The flipside to that is that the Spaniard may seek to keep his cards
close to his chest. After all, he may not be in peak condition just yet.
Robert Gesink - currently 6th overall - could be one to watch today.
This finishing climb, although 'only' a first category' is extremely steep.
The final kilometre has sections of 9%, so it's relentless.
1623 CEST - 23km to go. One of the
Euskatel riders is trying to bridge the gap to our two leaders. I don't
think he'll get very far, as it merely increases the pace a little. Everyone is
looking at each other; with Arrieta and Turpin there for Ag2r - who have
Nocentini out front - it makes chasing difficult. Nieve and Moinard (Cofidis)
are trying to escape once more.
1627 CEST - Flecha and Trofimov have now
joined our two chasers in pursuit of Nocentini and Frank. 20km to go for our
1629 CEST - 3'51" is the gap back to the
Peloton. As soon as our breakaway groups hit the bottom of the final climb in 3
km time, this time difference will decrease rapidly.
1631 CEST - Frank and Nocentini have 30
seconds advantage over our chasers. I think this is called the quiet before the
Juan Antonio Flecha leads Christophe Le Mevel and David Montcoutie.
Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti
1634 CEST - Evans is seen talking on his
radio. I wonder if his Director is telling him that he needs to attack to win
Yes, Cadel, ATTACK. Even if it doesn't work, a move by the sit-in-the-wheel
Australian could provide some explosive action. Saxo Bank are seen moving to the front of
1637 CEST - Our leaders are at the
bottom of the final climb.
1640 CEST - 12km to go. 3m02s is
the lead for Frank (BMC) and Nocentini (Ag2R), who attacked on the descent of
the Col de la Croix de Fer. Did someone say they'd get reeled in? No, not me!
Frank has dropped Nocentini, who has been caught by the Flecha chasing group.
Nieve, Moinard and Trofimov are with Rabobank's Spanish madman...
Hold onto your hats, ye ticker followers.......it's all going to happen
in the next ten minutes.
1644 CEST - 11km to go, the lead for
Frank is now 2:37. I think the Austrian leader will get reeled in with 8 km to
go. Saxo Bank are really working hard in the pack. Nikki Sorensen has just done
a great turn up front.
Garate has dropped back from our leading group, and is now helping
Robert Gesink, who started today 2:41 off Valverde.
1647 CEST - Attack from a Saxo Bank
rider, its Jacob Fuglsang. Upfront, David Moncoutie has caught Frank.
1648 CEST - 10km to go. Our leaders are
approaching several kilometres of 9% climbing.
Evans has attacked! Evans has attacked! Valverde responds. Contador responds.
1649 CEST - Moncoutie his on his own
upfront, Frank has dropped back. Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) has also attacked, the
Valverde trio has not responded. Cadel is looking pretty racy thus far.
He's just caught his team-mate Van den Broeck who was in the breakaway today.
David Mncoutie solo. Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti
1651 CEST - 9km for Moncoutie. He has
1:34 over the Valverde group. He's just caught his team-mate Van den
Broeck who was in the breakaway today. Gesink is being helped by Flecha, Evans
has his team-mate, Contador and Valverde are on their own. Millar has been
dropped. One of the Ag2R riders is also in this elite group. I think it's
7:53 AM [Nick]
Contador is sitting behind the Maillot Jaune, and is looking very
comfortable. Valverde is looking back to see who is in his wheel. A few riders
who had been in the breakaway are holding onto this group
1654 CEST - 8 km to go Fair play to
Moncoutie, his lead is remaining at1:33. Very impressive; despite the attacks
he's riding, There are days that the Frenchman looks like a top rider -
notably during races such as this and Paris - Nice. I've always wondered what
his true potential is/was.....
Astarloza is another rider who has not made the cut; this is a great chance
for Gesink to move up in the GC.
1702 CEST - Gesink has attacked! He has a
good lead already over the Valverde group. He has 1:31 to make up on David
Moncoutie, who remains out front.
Cadel Evans responds to Alberto Contadors atttack, Valverde remains cool and
increases his pace without leaving the saddle. Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti
1704 CEST - 5km to go. Evans injects a
little pace behind The Australian is good Contador has attacked! Evans is right
on his wheel. And he counters!
Valverde is STILL there though, but is facing a two-up attack I really
hope this is a precursor for July...
1705 CEST - Valverde in his shades isn't
giving much away, but he's looking pretty cool. Evans is doing most of the
work, Valverde - unsurprisingly - doing none. Evans goes again! Every so often
he increases the pace
Sadly for him, the two Spaniards are matching it. The Maillot Jaune is
looking laboured in his pedaling style now - is he weakening? It's not as
fluid as it was a few minutes ago.
1709 CEST - 3.5km to go. Moncoutie
has 1:26 over the Maillot Jaune group, Robert Gesink (Rab) is between the two,
but no time checks have been reported.
1:12 the gap with 2.7 km to go, Moncoutie
continues to look strong.
Evans attacks, both Contador and Valverde respond and regain his wheels.
Valverde sits, Contador and Evans out of the saddle, Contador looks labored.
1km to go for Moncoutie... 500 meters for
Moncoutie he's going to do it.... 100 meters... 50... and our winner is...
David Moncoutie Wins!!!!!!! Bravo to the Cofidis rider
Victory David Montcoutie of Cofidis! Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti
1719 CEST - Gesink crosses the line 41
seconds behind Moncoutie, Evans and Valverde are right in his wheel
Fuglsang was caught by the Maillot Jaune group on the finishing straight,
Contador dropped back and did not contest the sprint for the top five
placings.Valverde is being ushered away by members of his team, I doubt he could
have given anything more than he did today.
Fuglsang is caught near the finish as Evans and Valverde sprint but it is Gesink
who holds on to take second. Photo © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti
That was a classy ride by Moncoutie, Evans, Contador AND Valverde today.
Gesink looked good but faded towards the end, and in Jacob Fuglsang, Saxo Bank
have another strong rider for the Tour. What did we learn today, then? Evans is
looking extremely good, I just hope his form continues a few more weeks.
Contador was not as aggressive as the Australian - dare I say he was holding
Provisional Stage Results
1 David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis
2 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence - Lotto
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
5 Jacob Fuglsang (Den) Team
Results and photos
Links to previous stage coverage below
1725 CEST - David Millar lost over four
minutes today. He will slip down the GC rankings - he may stay in the top ten,
Alberto Contador lost 14 seconds to Evans and Valverde in the sprint
for the line. I doubt he's bothered, third place overall looks very secure now.
Robert Gesink will move up to forth overall, I believe.
This concludes our stage 7 live coverage. Thanks for joining Nick and
me for the live ticker. Join us tomorrow for the final stage 8 over146
kilometers from Faverges to Grenoble where the final battle will be waged for
the 2009 Dauphiné Libéré maillot jaune. With three climbs on the menu expect a
battle between Pierrick Fedrigo and David Moncoutie with 120 points up for grabs
and the two riders only separated by 29 points. It's a day for the adventurers
and stage hunters wwith two Cat. 3 climbs on the menu, the Col de Leschaux
coming out of the gate in the first hour of the race at 29 km (900 m) and
900 meter Col du Frene at 57 km. A the finishing off with the Cat. 1Montée
de Saint Bernard - du Touvet that summits 20 kilometers from the finish in
Grenoble. The riders will arrive with 884 kilometers in their legs and the final
climb will be the last and best chance for the Contador and Evans to shake the
grip of Alejandro Valverde's on the race lead.
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2009 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré Stages
June 6 - 14
Stage 1: Nancy - Nancy (12.1 km) ITT 12.1 km
Stage 2: Nancy - Dijon 228 km
Stage 3: Tournus - Saint-Étienne 182 km
Stage 4: Bourg-les-Valence - Valence ITT 42.4 km
Stage 5: Valence - Mont Ventoux 154 km
Stage 6: Gap - Briançon 106 km
Stage 7: Briançon - Saint-François-Longchamp 157 km
Stage 8: Faverges - Grenoble 146 km
Total length: 1,027.5 km
Start List &
Race Map -
2008 Race Coverage:
60th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré