Monday, July 23, 2007

Stage 15 - Monday, July 23: Foix - Loudenvielle - Le Louron, 196km

Two stage wins in three days Vino has shown the sever ups and downs of the tour but he continues to battle on. His show of heart and determination is what cycling is all about.
Spaniard Alberto Contador looks like he is enjoying his tour and most of all inflicting pain on all the other riders.
American Levi lost a little more time today, but still remains 4th overall. Can he contend for a podium spot?

Barring catastrophe on the bike or unforeseen events off it, the 2007 Tour de France has become a two-man race with five stages to go. The combatants are yellow-jersey holder Michael Rasmussen and rising star Alberto Contador, who for the second day in a row waged an epic battle on the steep slopes of the Pyrénées.

Neither rider was a player in the final outcome of Monday's stage-15 run from Foix to Loudenvielle. That glory went to Astana's Alexander Vinokourov, who rose from the dead to take his fifth career Tour victory, and second in three days, just 24 hours removed from an epic collapse that saw him lose 28:50 to the GC leaders.

But Rasmussen and Contador did increase their advantage over the rest of the yellow-jersey contenders, following a one-on-one slugfest that saw Rasmussen (Rabobank) survive a half-dozen attacks from Discovery Channel's Spanish phenom on the cat. 1 Col du Peyresourde, the last of the 196km stage's five rated climbs.

"I attacked Rasmussen to try to challenge him," said Contador. "I saw that he was a little worse than yesterday, but he was able to follow me. On Wednesday, I am going to play for it all. Second place doesn't matter. I am going to risk all to win. If I end up in sixth, it doesn't matter."

Stage 15
1. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kz), Astana, 5:34:28
2. Kim Kirchen (Lux), T-Mobile, 0:51
3. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 0:51
4. Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Sp), Saunier Duval-Prodir, 0:58
5. Manuel Juan Manuel (Sp), Quick Step-Innergetic, 2:14
6. David Arroyo (Sp), Caisse D'Wpargne, 3:23
7. Bernhard Kohl (A), Gerolsteiner, 4:25
8. Christian Vande Velde (USA), CSC, 4:25
9. Ludovic Turpin (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, 5:16
10. Alberto Contador (Sp), Discovery Channel, 5:31

1. Michael Rasmussen (Dk), Rabobank, 69:52:14
2. Alberto Contador (Sp), Discovery Channel, at 2:23
3. Cadel Evans (Aus), Predictor-Lotto, at 4:00
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Discovery Channel, at 5:25
5. Andreas Kloden (G), Astana, at 5:34
6. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, at 6:46
7. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 7:27
8. Andrey Kashechkin (Kz), Astana, at 7:54
9. Kim Kirchen (Lx), T-Mobile, at 8:24
10. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 9:21

No comments: