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Re: TOUR DE FRANCE THREAD


Casar Hits Dog, Crashes But Wins Stage of Doping-tainted Tour De France

Jul 27, 1:23 PM (ET)

By JEROME PUGMIRE

 Overall leader Alberto Contador of Spain gestures while talking to Tom Boonen of Belgium prior to the 18th stage of the 94th Tour de France cycling race between Cahors and Angouleme, central France, Friday, July 27, 2007. (AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski)
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ANGOULEME, France (AP) -Sandy Casar crashed after hitting a spectator's dog but won the 18th stage of the Tour de France before home fans Friday. Alberto Contador of Spain kept the overall lead as the doping-stained race neared its weekend finish in Paris.

Casar scraped his hip in the crash and went on to capture a Tour stage for the first time. He prevailed in a sprint among four cyclists who broke away from the main pack during the 131-mile ride from Cahors to Angouleme.

The 29-year-old Frenchman pumped his right fist as he crossed the line in 5 hours, 13 minutes, 31 seconds. He was followed by Axel Merckx of Belgium and Laurent Lefevre of France.

"Finally! It's been awhile that I've been waiting for this," Casar said. "I almost dropped out after the fall - I didn't see it coming."

Tom Boonen of Belgium cemented his hold on the green jersey given to the race's best sprinter by leading the pack across the finish line, 8:34 after Casar.

With the race heading into Saturday's crucial stage - a 35-mile individual time trial from Cognac to Angouleme - Cadel Evans of Australia gained three seconds against Contador in the overall standings as the pack split near the finish.

He trails Contador by 1:50 with two stages left until the finish Sunday along the Champs- Elysees. U.S. cyclist Levi Leipheimer is third, 2:49 back.

"This yellow jersey is very important. It's important that I have it tonight," said Contador, who rides with the Discovery Channel team. "Tomorrow is the most difficult day of my career as an athlete. In this time trial, everything can change, my entire life can change."

The Tour has been reeling from doping scandals, highlighted by the withdrawal of race leader Michael Rasmussen. The Dane was kicked out of the race by his Rabobank team Wednesday.

Denmark's cycling federation said July 19 it ousted Rasmussen for missing doping tests in June. He called it an oversight and claimed he was in Mexico, where his wife is from, in June. Former rider Davide Cassani said he had seen Rasmussen in Italy.

Rasmussen left a pack of dispirited riders heading toward Paris, burdened by the latest jolt to the sport. On Tuesday, crowd-pleasing Kazakh cyclist Alexandre Vinokourov was ejected for testing positive for a blood transfusion after Saturday's stage.

Midway through Wednesday's stage it was announced Cristian Moreni had tested positive for testosterone. The Italian rider didn't deny it, and he was carted off by police.

"Too much, too much," said Germany's Markus Fothen, who rides for the Gerolsteiner team. "Every day it's new news. Moreni yesterday, Rasmussen. I'm so tired."


7/27/2007, 10:48 am Link to this post   
 
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Re: TOUR DE FRANCE THREAD


Two loose dogs this year!!


GOD DAMN FRENCH PEOPLE ARE STUPID!!!

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7/27/2007, 12:58 pm Link to this post   
 
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Re: TOUR DE FRANCE THREAD


Today was the greatest time trial since Greg Lemond overtaking Laurent Fignon!!!

Cantador has it pretty much locked up but Levi was freaking out of his mind today!!!

Discovery will take 1st & 3rd as well as the team victory and PTS leader jersey!!!!

All this without one Lance Armstrong!!!

Unbelievable!!!!

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7/28/2007, 3:04 pm Link to this post   
 
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Re: TOUR DE FRANCE THREAD


Contador of Spain Captures Doping-tainted Tour De France
Jul 29, 1:47 PM (ET)
By JAMEY KEATEN


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 Overall leader Alberto Contador of Spain, foreground, pedals during the 20th and last stage of the 94th Tour de France cycling race between Marcoussis, southwest of Paris, and Paris, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski)


PARIS (AP) -Alberto Contador won the doping-scarred Tour de France on Sunday, a new, young and unlikely winner for the three-week race shaken to its core by scandals.

The 24-year-old rider for the American Discovery Channel team was the youngest champion since Jan Ullrich of Germany in 1997. He also was the first Spaniard to win the crown since the last of Miguel Indurain's five titles in 1995.

His margin of victory - just 23 seconds ahead of Cadel Evans of Australia - was the second-narrowest in the Tour's 104-year history, after 2,200 miles of racing through Britain, Belgium, Spain and France.

"It's an extraordinary joy," said Contador, who kissed his winner's yellow jersey on the podium and thrust his arms ecstatically, the Arc de Triomphe in the background. On the Discovery team bus, staffers uncorked champagne.

"I think we've seen the future of Spanish cycling and perhaps international cycling," seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong said.

Another Discovery Channel rider, Levi Leipheimer of the United States, finished third, 31 seconds behind.

Contador, speaking through a translator, called his victory a "dream come true." In 2004, he suffered a massive blood clot in his brain. While in the hospital, Contador drew inspiration from a book about Armstrong, who survived testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain.

Asked on French television about his brain surgery, Contador took off his helmet and showed a large scar running down the side of his head.

"It really marked me for life," Contador said, "but allowed me to better savor this moment."

Contador had seemed destined for second place until the Tour was hit by a bombshell just five days from the finish: the ouster of race leader Michael Rasmussen. His Rabobank team accused the Dane of having lied about his whereabouts before the Tour to evade doping controls.

Rasmussen's departure catapulted Contador into the race lead, Evans of Predictor-Lotto to the runner-up spot and Leipheimer to third. Those standings held through the closing four days - including a thrilling time trial Saturday that Leipheimer won and the 91-mile final ride Sunday to Paris' fan-lined Champs-Elysees from Marcoussis. The stage was won by Daniele Bennati of Italy.

Contador high-fived and hugged his teammates after crossing the line. His original goal was to take the white jersey for the best young rider. In the end, he got both white and yellow jerseys.

Contador was a new star for a race searching for a successor to Armstrong, who retired in 2005, and which is struggling to repair its credibility after two straight years marred by doping.

The 2006 winner, Floyd Landis, did not defend his crown because of doping charges hanging over him. This Tour turned into a circus after it emerged that Rasmussen was competing despite missing doping controls in May and June, and after Kazakh star Alexandre Vinokourov - a pre-race favorite - and Cristian Moreni of Italy failed doping tests. They and their teams left the race, and police raided their hotels, searching for doping products.

Instead of putting the doping cloud left by Landis behind them, Tour organizers again found themselves having to contend daily with the issue. The feel-good factor generated by the race's July 7 start in London, England - watched by millions of fans - quickly faded.

A split emerged as Tour organizers blamed the sport's governing body, the UCI, for not telling them that Rasmussen had missed doping tests. The organizers said they would have prevented him from taking the start had they known. Some newspapers in France declared the Tour dead and said that it should be suspended until the sport cleans up.

The first week of the Tour's 94th edition was dominated by sprinters and marked by crashes in the pack. Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland took the lead on the first day and wore the yellow jersey for the first week. The doping demon quickly returned.

First came news that Patrik Sinkewitz of Germany tested positive for the male hormone testosterone in a sample taken in June while he was training.

Then, over 48 dramatic hours in the last week, came the successive punches of Vinokourov's test for a banned blood transfusion, Moreni's positive test for testosterone and Rasmussen's ouster - a race-changing decision that emerged in the dead of night.

On Rasmussen's last day of racing before he was sent home, riders from French and German teams refused to ride off with him at the start, protesting all the scandals.

Tour officials have been looking to the younger generation in the hope these riders have been less influenced by the doping rife in the late 1990s. Riders in their 20s - not in their 30s like Vinokourov and Rasmussen - swept the Tour's top honors.

The winner of the polka-dot jersey given to the top mountain rider was Juan Mauricio Soler, a 24-year-old Colombian competing in his first Tour.

Tom Boonen of Belgium, 28, earned his first green jersey as the best sprinter in four Tour appearances. Bennati, who also won a stage Thursday, is 26. He said he wept after winning the sprint on the Champs-Elysees.

"I still can't believe it," Bennati said. "I am very, very happy. ... My career starts today."

---=

Associated Press Writers Jerome Pugmire, Elaine Ganley and John Leicester in Paris and Daniel Woolls in Madrid, Spain, contributed to this report.


7/29/2007, 11:50 am Link to this post   
 
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Re: TOUR DE FRANCE THREAD


Contador winning at 24!

This guy has a chance to be a hell of a cyclist!!!

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7/29/2007, 4:53 pm Link to this post   
 
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Re: TOUR DE FRANCE THREAD


quote:

zito4cyyoung wrote:

Contador winning at 24!

This guy has a chance to be a hell of a cyclist!!!



Kid Contador! Discovery kicked some serious ass this year. They didn't end up winning the team classification, but between Pop, Gus and Levi, they did a hell of a job.

could've been fun to see Levi pick up that last 40 seconds on Kid in the time trial. He would've made nine straight american "wins."

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7/30/2007, 5:30 pm Link to this post   
 
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Re: TOUR DE FRANCE THREAD


Hey Chef..

Did they not receive it for some reason?

According to the Tour website

1. DISCOVERY CHANNEL TEAM 273h 12' 52"
2. CAISSE D’EPARGNE 273h 32' 28" + 19' 36"
3. TEAM CSC 273h 35' 02" + 22' 10"
4. RABOBANK 273h 49' 16" + 36' 24"
5. EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI 273h 59' 38" + 46' 46"
6. SAUNIER DUVAL - PRODIR 274h 57' 25" + 1h 44' 33"
7. PREDICTOR - LOTTO 275h 03' 13" + 1h 50' 21"
8. LAMPRE-FONDITAL 275h 32' 33" + 2h 19' 41"
9. CREDIT AGRICOLE 275h 38' 36" + 2h 25' 44"
10. AG2R PREVOYANCE 275h 39' 00" + 2h 26' 08"
11. LIQUIGAS 275h 41' 22" + 2h 28' 30"
12. QUICK STEP - INNERGETIC 276h 10' 07" + 2h 57' 15"
13. T-MOBILE TEAM 276h 30' 18" + 3h 17' 26"
14. BOUYGUES TELECOM 277h 02' 45" + 3h 49' 53"
15. BARLOWORLD 277h 12' 04" + 3h 59' 12"
16. GEROLSTEINER 277h 22' 20" + 4h 09' 28"
17. AGRITUBEL 279h 30' 12" + 6h 17' 20"
18. TEAM MILRAM 280h 01' 20" + 6h 48' 28"
19. FRANCAISE DES JEUX 280h 01' 37" + 6h 48' 45"

Contador won the Yellow and White!! [sign in to see URL] which he wears during stage one next year...

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7/30/2007, 6:09 pm Link to this post   
 
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That was Contador's first Tour de France?

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7/30/2007, 6:26 pm Link to this post   
 
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Re: …


quote:

Jason86 wrote:

That was Contador's first Tour de France?



Hey J,

No, Contador was on Liberty Seguros last year. He was only a domestique. Actually this year he was a domestique as well until they realized he could win...

The rest of his career he will be El Capitan!!

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7/30/2007, 8:34 pm Link to this post   
 
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Re: TOUR DE FRANCE THREAD


my bad, Z. I totally misread the results from [sign in to see URL]. You're right, I just misread that quickstep one for the day on teh final day and thought they won the overall.

Discovery whooped ass.

Any chance Kid runs with Discovery in teh Tour of California next year.



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7/30/2007, 10:07 pm Link to this post   
 


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