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Criterium Dauphiné Libéré - Stage 2 Live Coverage
By Staff
Date: 6/6/2006
Criterium Dauphiné Libéré - Stage 2 Live Coverage

Criterium Dauphiné Libéré - Stage 2 Live Coverage

Stage 2:  Bourgoin-Jallieu / Saint-Galmier - 203 Km
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 soil.

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 bales.

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 hands now.
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.

Related Articles
Criterium Dauphiné Libéré Prologue
Criterium Dauphiné Libéré - Stage 1Live Coverage
Criterium Dauphiné Libéré - Stage 1 G.C. & Photos

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