Monday, July 23, 2007

Stage 14 - Sunday, July 22: Mazamet - Plateau-de-Beille, 197km

Alberto Contador showed shades of Lance Armstrong in his attack of the favorites today, especially Dane Michael Rasmussen. Contador now sits in 2nd place overall and could contend for the Tour de France title at just 24 years of age.
Amazing scenery on the way to Plateua-de-Beille.
Popo set amazing tempo on the front to propel Contador to the stage win.
A winner the previous day Vino fell off the back and is completely out of Tour contention.

The sorting out continued at the Tour de France on Sunday as Alberto Contador and Michael Rasmussen emerged as the race's most serious contenders, finishing one-two atop the Plateau de Beille at the end of a dramatic 197km stage from Mazamet.

On the Tour's first foray into the Pyrénées, it was Discovery's Contador, the leader in the best young rider competition, who proved the only man capable of staying with race leader Rasmussen of Rabobank. While finishing second on the stage, Rasmussen more than doubled his advantage in the overall standings, placing himself in a comfortable position as the Tour heads to two more days in the Pyrénées.

Contador, the winner of this year's Paris-Nice stage race, claimed his first Tour de France stage win after easily countering Rasmussen's final acceleration in the last 300 meters of a brutally difficult stage that featured two hor categorie climbs over the final 68km.

Stage 14
1. Alberto Contador (Sp), Discovery Channel, 197km in 5:25:48
2. Michael Rasmussen (Dk), Rabobank, s.t.
3. Juan Mauricio Soler (Sp), Barloworld, at 0:37
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Discovery Channel, at 0:40
5. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, at 0:53
6. Andréas Klöden (G), Astana, at 1:52
7. Cadel Evans (Aus), Predictor-Lotto, s.t.
8. Antonio Colom (Sp), Astana, at 2:23
9. Andrey Kashechkin (Kz), Astana, s.t.
10. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr), Discovery Channel, at 3:06

1. Michael Rasmussen (Dk), Rabobank, 64:12:15
2. Alberto Contador (Sp), Discovery Channel, at 2:23
3. Cadel Evans (Aus), Predictor-Lotto, at 3:04
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Discovery Channel, at 4:29
5. Andreas Kloden (G), Astana, at 4:38
6. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, at 5:50
7. Andrey Kashechkin (Kz), Astana, at 6:58
8. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 8:25
9. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, at 9:45
10. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr), Discovery Channel, at 10:55

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