Criterium Dauphiné Libéré - Stage 7 Live
Welcome to our live coverage of the final stage of the Criterium Dauphiné
Libéré the riders have 4 climbs in the
challenge today after they leave the Hotel d'Ville start:
3rd catégory,col du Barioz, 1038 m, km 74,
the col des Ayes, 4th catégory, 944 m. km 84,
col des Mouilles, 4th catégory, 1020 m. km 92
and the 4th catégory côte des Roussets, 889 m, km 11.5
Three riders have been dropped from the race
for rule violations Benoît Sinner was pulled along by the Agritubel car. Joseba
Albizu (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Mauro Da Dalto (Liquigas) were also caught pacing
on race motorbikes. Wim Van Huffel of Davitamon/Lotto did not show for the
Today Levi Leipheimer is in the Maillot jaune et
bleu of race leader, Christophe Moreau in the red polka dot climbers jersey,
Francisco Mancebo in the Maillot Vert of points and Denis Menchov of the Maillot
Bleu of combination points leader. Its a hot day today and temperatures are
expected in the 29 centigrade range so it will be a hot day on the climbs that
could effect the riders.
There are 2 intermediary sprints on this stage:
Aiguebelle, km 31 and Allevard, boulevard Jules Ferry, km 64.5. In the early
action a few half hearted attempts were made for breakaways without success. but
O'Grady of CSC finally escaped the peloton and was joined by Agributel rider
Coutouly and quickly gained 1:20 on a disinterested peloton.
By the first intermediate sprint at 31km which
O'Grady won, the lads had 2:49 gap over the peloton and were joined by Guido
Trenti. By km 53 in la Rochette the trio had a gap of over 4 minutes.
Stage 7: Juin, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne / Grenoble -
Going through the second intermediate sprint in
Allevard the order was O'Grady, Coutouly and Trenti as they rolled toward the
first climbing challenge of the day the col du Barioz. The three lads have 4:35
as they start the climb of 6.5 km to the top of the col du Barioz.
No surprise Guido Trenti more known as a sprinter,
has faltered on the climb, which makes me wonder how long O'Grady can drive the
break on a day with some serious climbing challenges. O'Grady is first over the Barioz followed by Coutouly and Trenti only a remarkable 15 seconds
Only 3kms to the col des Ayes as the trio forges
on Charteau and Fofonov cross the summit leading the peloton.
O'grady now leads on the climb of the
81 kms into the race O'Grady has 3:15 as he
solo's to the Ayes summit. Back at the Peloton Credit Agricole looks to be
serious as they drive the front and start eating at O'Grady's lead.
The Yellow Jersey group on stage 6 led by CSC.
Photo (c) Tim DeWaele
38 km to go
the peloton is 2: 35 behind O'Grady, Coutouly at 1:25 behind the man from Oz, as Trenti
is swamped by the green jerseys of Credit Agricole leading the peloton.
Levi Leipheimer and Christophe Moreau look comfortable in the pack as the
chase continues. Floyd Landis has dropped off the back and is having a talk with his
D.S. he may trying to decide whether he will continue the stage or drop out
having suffered with a cold the last three days.
Coultouly is 1:50 behind Stuart O'Grady as he
starts the descent of the col des Mouilles. O'Grady is flying down the
32 km to go:
O'grady is 1: 58 ahead of the peloton still led by Credit Agricole as the gap
comes down. Noval has regained the peloton after a crash earlier on the descent. Credit
Agricole is driving the pace now as the pack stretches out single file on the
valley floor on the way to the next col.
O'Grady pushes on toward the last climb up the 4th catégory côte des Roussets, 889 metres
elevation climb with a descent to the finish of 16 kms to Grenoble...
O'Grady was hardly the CSC rider I expected to attack today, but he looks solid
for the win if he can stay away with any time at the summit of Roussets.
Stuart is climbing strongly and he still has 1:50
over the peloton with a bit of luck he's on his way to the top step of the
podium. Speaking of podiums, barring any bad turns of events Levi Leipheimer
will have the victory in Grenoble and a nice addition to his palmares with the
win for this Dauphine.
O'Grady is powering up the climb of the Roussetes
in and out of the saddle as he presses on toward the victory, if he loses this
one it won't be due to a lack of pure effort, his gap is down to 1:30 as the
peloton is flying through the valley in the beautiful French countryside. Ag2R
is now on the front giving Moreau's team a bit of a hand in the chase as the gap
closes down to 1:15 to Stuart.
19kms to go:
O'Grady has a few kms to the summit 1:11 is the gap. The peloton is 3 km in
arrears but moving fast.
Peloton at 20km to go... Levi Leipheimer is near the front as AG2R lead the
pace, with a few Credit Agricole in attendance. O'Grady nearing the top of la
Roussetes grabs a water bottle from the CSC support vehicle as drives it up this
skinny country road surrounded by the green of the Spring grasses.
Valverde now at the front of the chase as O'Grady powers over the summit. Man
they are driving the chase madly behind O'Grady. Go Stuart! If there ever was a
time to put your time trial and descent skills to work it's right now.
15 kms to go :45 seconds lead for O'Grady
is absolutely flying down the mountain.
13 kms to go: :20 seconds gap... O'Grady
full out in his time trial position...
8 kms to go: : 27 seconds gap as
the a Disco and Phonak rider attack. Gusev gets a gap
5 kms to go: the peloton, what's left of
them... only 50 or so riders stretches out in the chase, but O'Grady holds on
with 15 seconds...
2 kms to the finish O'Grady dangles a
hundred metres out in front of the peloton as they are ready to bring him back.
Rabo on the front now Posthuma, now Quickstep to the front.
1 kms to go its FDJ to the front for
Gilbert and Credit Agricole driving the sprint trains, Stuart O'Grady is
absorbed after a super effort! ... Hincapie makes a jump with the group as they
race to the finish.
600 metres Gilbert to the front, Thor
Hushvod comes around Gilbert and Dumoulin
200 metres and its
Thor Hushvod for the
Win!!!!!!!!!! two bike lengths gap to what looks like Gilbert 2nd and Dumoulin third. Hincapie
in there for a placing but hard to tell from the camera angle just what the
riders took on the finish.
Hammer Down for Thor Hushvod in Grenoble!
Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti
Levi Leipheimer is comfortably tucked in the peloton for the win.
Result Stage 7Thor Hushvod steps on the podium smiling broadly to accept the kisses from
the lovely miss almost as tall as the Norwegian giant and the flowers for the stage win.
1. Thor Hushvod
2. Samuel Dumoulin
3. Philippe Gilbert
4. George Hincapie
5. Jerome Pineau
6. Francisco Mancebo
O'Grady steps to the podium to receive the well deserved trophy for the most
aggressive rider on the stage, his face mirrors his disappointment of being
caught a mere kilometer from the line.
The AG2R team now on the stage to accept the trophy for top team, with
Moreau in 2nd they've ridden a strong race. Christophe Moreau follows to accept
the red and white polka dot jersey for the mountains competition and Mancebo to
take the maillot vert as points leader... nice to see the French team do so
well, this bodes well for le tour and the animation they will bring to the race.
Moreau is back again to receive the maillot bleu as the combined points
A smiling Levi Leipheimer steps to the stage to stand alongside the beautiful
podium lass to receive his maillot jaune et bleu as the winner of the 2006
Dauphiné Libéré improving his performance of last year's 3rd place, showing very
good form for the tour de France.
No changes to the G.C. after today's stage:
1 LEIPHEIMER Levi 21 GST (USA) :00
2 MOREAU Christophe 107 A2R (FRA)
3 KOHL Bernhard 114 TMO (AUT)
4 AZEVEDO Jose 32 DSC (POR)
5 MANCEBO Francisco 101 A2R (ESP)
6 MENCHOV Denis 121 RAB (RUS)
7 VALVERDE Alejandro 81 CEI (ESP)
8 PIEPOLI Leonardo 61 SDV (ITA)
9 CAUCCHIOLI Pietro 71 C.A (ITA)
10 HINCAPIE George 36 DSC (USA)
This concludes our live coverage... Thanks for joining us.
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Full official results and
photos to follow.