Criterium Dauphiné Libéré - Stage 2 Live Coverage
Stage 2: Bourgoin-Jallieu / Saint-Galmier -
Welcome to our Live Coverage... on the day of the beast 06-06-06 - commentary by
Locutus as we join the race in progress
0648 PDT - 40 km left. There are two men
out front on this flattish stage: teammates Sebastian Joly and Philippe Gilbert
of Francaise des Jeux. They are chased at 3' by their countryman Vasseur, who
was originally in the break but was dropped. The peloton is about 6' 30" behind
the two leaders right now.
Dave Zabriskie Stage 1 and one day to enjoy the leaders jersey.
Photo (c) Tim DeWaele
The last climb of the day is coming up. Gilbert won the last climb, and he
will wear the mountains jersey tonight. He will likely win this last climb too.
Behind, Gerolsteiner is picking up the chase in the pack. Gilbert is actually
something of a GC threat, so the chase will likely be really strong now. Wegmann
is in his Yellow Jersey looking good behind his teammates, and a couple of other
teams are starting to help chase.
0655 PDT - Joly has lost the wheel of
his teammate. Gilbert is on the final climb, and he has gone off now. Joly will
try to come back on the descent, but if not, Gilbert will try to finish this off
on his own.
Today is 6-6-06... too bad that Damiano "The Omen" Cunego (Lampre) is not in
this race, as this might be the day where he would rule. Also, the new "The
Omen" movie is being released today, which means that a whole new generation
will understand my nickname for Cunego now.
In the peloton, Gerolsteiner has three men chasing. AG2r also has a few men
up there chasing with Gerolsteiner. They are protecting their GC men Mancebo and
Moreau, and also they don't want to be shown up by another French team on home
Fabian Wegmann Stage 2 leader. Will he enjoy more than one day in the leaders
jersey? Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti
0700 PDT - 30 km left. The gap is still
6' 28" for Philippe Gilbert. The gap isn't coming down at all! He will not only
take the Mountains Polka-Dot Jersey today, but also make a run at the Yellow
Jersey as well.
The peloton is now hitting the climb. This will make the chase a bit harder.
The team that was Liberty Seguros, and is now just Wurth (for this race), has a
couple of men at the front of the peloton setting the pace with Gerolsteiner and
AG2r. Of course the Wurth boys are looking out for Alexandre "Wineman"
Vinokourov. Wegmann is showing himself in Yellow near the front of the peloton.
Discovery also has some men up there. Valverde is right behind Wegmann. It is
surprising that this little Cat 4 climb is causing so much trouble. This is a
great ride by Gilbert!
Vinokourov is of course the darling of his home country, so his prime
minister, who is also the head of the cycling federation, was able to help find
a new sponsor to replace Liberty Seguros. That new sponsor is Astana, so the
team is called Astana-Wurth. For this race, the Astana-Wurth boys are wearing
largely blank uniforms. For the Tour de Suisse, they will have their new Astana
team kits. Vinokourov, of course, is from Kazakhstan.
0709 PDT - Gilbert has cleared the climb
and is on the descent. Credit Agricole is setting the pace in the peloton,
Wegmann is 2nd wheel. They are still on the climb. It's pretty much downhill
after the climb to the finish.
Wegmann is 2nd wheel taking care of his team captain, Leipheimer, who is 3rd
wheel. Moreau, Hincapie, and Mancebo are all near the front of the pack.
0714 PDT - The gap is still quite large
for Gilbert. The peloton crests the climb at 5' 58" back. Gilbert has about 25
km left, and he is looking quite good for the win now.
0717 PDT - 22 km left, and the gap is
down to 6' 30". Vasseur, by the way, was brought back into the peloton on that
climb. Joly is still in no-man's land between Gilbert and the peloton.
19 km left, 6' 25" is the gap. Gilbert is going to stay away, because this
gap is not coming down nearly fast enough.
0722 PDT - Gilbert is looking strong on
a flattish section of road. Whoa, Horner of Davitamon-Lotto has attacked the
field on the descent. He isn't getting far... maybe he's just stretching his
legs a bit, bored with just sitting on. Wait, it's Mertens of Davitamon, not
C-Ho. The peloton is all strung out behind him.
C-Ho was 7th on the stage yesterday, so he's looking good right now. He's
waiting for the mountains to really have a go. Watch out for Ventoux, Chris!
It's a real butt-kicker! (The race hits Ventoux on Stage 4 in two days).
Tomorrow is a long time trial, a 43 km job that will see some decent time
gaps. Guys like Landis, Hincapie, Zabriskie, Leipheimer, and Vinokourov will do
much better on a longer time trial like that.
0728 PDT - Well, Gilbert hits another
little uphill section that isn't marked well on the race map. He still looks
strong. If he can hold this lead, he'll be in Yellow. Gilbert started the stage
in 28th on GC at only 17" back... if he can hold just half of this lead, he'll
be in Yellow for the next two days. Gilbert is a Belgian, though he has a French
name and rides for a French team.
The chase is still trying to bring Gilbert back into the peloton. Discovery
has a man on point of the peloton. He is helped by Gerolsteiner, but the chase
isn't bringing him back. His lead is still well over 6'.
0734 PDT - AG2r and Astana-Wurth are
pulling in the peloton up this small incline. Gilbert will win the stage. The
only question now is how big his lead on GC will be. Will it be enough to help
him win the entire race at the end of the week? It could be.
Of course, Gilbert is making a huge effort here, and he'll pay for it sooner
or later. With a long time trial tomorrow and Mont Ventoux waiting on Thursday,
it will probably be SOONER.
So some more little attacks off the front of the peloton now. A Liquigas
rider and a CSC rider have attacked for some reason. Whatever... they won't even
come close to catching Gilbert. Whoa, the CSC rider Arvesen almost bit some hay
0739 PDT - Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) is
the man attacking the peloton with Arvesen. Both riders are in the top fifty,
and might be looking for GC positioning. They'll have to make some real time to
keep any time gains in that time trial tomorrow. Joly is now caught by the pack.
He is toasted for sure. Gilbert, however, is still flying along at the front of
the race nearing the finish. The peloton is only about 50 meters behind Joly,
but Gilbert has about 6'.
Final kilometer - Gilbert has really gone
out and caught the peloton with their shorts around their ankles. This is a
great victory, and will give him a real shot at winning the overall GC at the
end of the race.
This is an uphill drag to the finish in the final kilometer. Gilbert is out
of the saddle trying to maximize his time gains. He pumps his fist and waves his
Gilbert wins the stage! And the Yellow and Blue Jersey
of Race Leader!
The French home crowd is happy, even though he's Belgian: he's a French
Belgian and he's on a French team. Given the limited success and talent in
French cycling today, the French fans will take anything they can get!
0745 PDT - The peloton swallowed up that
attack by Nibali and Arvesen. A Davitamon-Lotto rider is swapping turns with
Moreau on the front of the peloton. They really want to bring this gap down and
limit Gilbert's time gains.
Of course, they can't catch Gilbert now! He's already won the stage, and is
somewhere drinking some water and being tended to by French models.
Caisse d'Epargne and Davitamon are doing a leadout. This is going to be a
real sprint for 2nd: points and time bonuses are on the line. Whoa, an attack by
an AG2r and a Gerolsteiner rider as the peloton nears the finish.
The peloton comes across around 5' 20" behind Gilbert. That AG2r rider (who
was not Mancebo) took 2nd with the associated time bonus.
Gilbert is quite happy getting interviewed. He's going to enjoy that Yellow
Jersey for sure. He'll have a lead of over 5' on GC heading into tomorrow's time
trial. An Epic lead for the next few days if with the inspiration of the leaders
jersey he can hold onto that time cushion to the finish.
Sammy "Demolition" Dumoulin of AG2r was the man in 2nd, Peter Wrolich of
Gerolsteiner was 3rd, Hushovd of Credit Agricole was 4th.
1. Gilbert (FDJ)
2. Wegmann (GST) @ 5' 22"
3. Voeckler (BTL) at 5' 27"
4. Zabriskie (CSC) at 5' 27"
5. Martinez (DSC) at 5' 29".
This concludes our live coverage... Discuss the race in progress tomorrow with
fans and riders from around the world in the
Daily Peloton Chat Room
and debate the outcome of tomorrow's stage, race tactics and your favorite riders on the
Daily Peloton Forums.
Full official results and
photos to follow.