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le Tour de France, 2008
- the race renewed

 

 

Map of the Tour de France 2005

Tour de France route 2013
official website for le Tour de France
[also official website in French]

 

the cycling zone

la Vuelta a España, 2014 - climbs to glory

il Giro d’Italia 2014 - a more humane race?

 

TDF current and previous years, as seen by abelard.org:

index
who’s left from previous years’ doping scandals?
the results of the 2008 tour de france
green is the new green
the map
this year’s stages
the teams

last year (2007): the first thirty riders
22 July 2008, after the sixteenth stage -from Cuneo, Italy to Jausiers, France
17 July 2008, after the twelfth stage - Lavelanet to Narbonne
this year’s longest stage - british winner!

who’s left from previous years’ doping scandals?

After the doping upheavals of 2006 and 2007, many previous top names are nowhere to be seen - Ullrich, Basso, Landis, Kashechkin, Mancebo, Heras, Contador, Kloden, Leipheimer, Vinokourov, Moreni. With three weeks to go, who is left to be the possible front-runners for the 2008 Yellow Jersey?

Probable riders from last year’s top ten are:

    Cadel Evans, from Australia, Silence-Lotto, no. 2 last year,
    Carlos Sastre, from Spain, Team CSC, last year’s no.4,
    Haimar Zubeldia, from Spain, Euskaltel-Euskadi, no.5 last year,
    Alejandro Valverde, from Spain, Caisse d’Epargne, last year’s no.6,
    Kim Kirchen, from Luxembourg, Team Columbia, last year’s no.7,
    Yaroslav Popovych, from Ukraine, Silence-Lotto, no.8 last year,
    Mikel Astrarloza, from Spain, Euskaltel-Euskadi, last year’s no.9,
    Oscar Pereiro, from Spain, Caisse d’Epargne, no.10 last year,

so they could be in with a good chance to win this year’s 3,500 kilometre race and become the real successor to Lance Armstrong. Of the seven, Cadel Evans showed himself with a margin over the others taking part this year. Popvych, Astrarloza and Pereiro are riding second-string in their teams, making the top five in the list the most likely to appear on the leader board when the Tour ends in Paris on 27 July.

The finalised list of riders, by team, is now available. It includes:

001 EVANS Cadel
006 MC EWEN Robbie
007 POPOVYCH Yaroslav
011 SASTRE Carlos
015 O’GRADY Stuart
019 VOIGT Jens
021 ZUBELDIA Haimar
022 ASTARLOZA Mikel
031 VALVERDE Alejandro
037 PEREIRO SIO Oscar
041 KIRCHEN Kim
043 CAVENDISH Mark
047 HINCAPIE George
055 COOKE Baden
081 HUSHOVD Thor
151 ZABEL Erik
161 CASAR Sandy
198 MILLAR David

The Yellow Jersey group approaching the Port de Larrau at the top of the first steep HC climb on the 16th stage.
The 16th stage in the 2007 Tour de France

 

the results of the 2008 tour de france

2008: the first thirty riders [for 2009 results]

Pos.NameFirst nameTeamNat.Time diff.
1011SASTRE CarlosCSCESP87h 52' 52"
2001 EVANSCadelSILAUS87h 53' 50" + 00' 58"
3115 KOHL BernhardGSTAUT87h 54' 05" + 01' 13"
4131 MENCHOV DenisRABRUS 87h 55' 02" + 02' 10"
5091 VANDEVELDE ChristianTSLUSA87h 55' 57" + 03' 05"
6017 SCHLECK FrankCSCLUX87h 57' 20" + 04' 28"
7027 SANCHEZ SamuelESCESP87h 59' 17" + 06' 25"
8141KIRCHEN Kim COLUKR87h 59' 47" + 06' 55"
9031 VALVERDE AlejandroGCEESP 88h 00' 04" + 07' 12"
10102 VALJAVEC TadejALMRUS88h 01' 57" + 09' 05"
11104 EFIMKIN VladimirGCERUS88h 02' 47" + 09' 55"
12016SCHLECKAndyCSCLUX88h 04' 24" + 11' 32"
13065 KREUZIGER RomanLIQCZE 88h 05' 51" + 12' 59"
14161 CASARSandyFDJFRA88h 12' 15" + 19' 23"
15187 MOINARDAmaëlCOFFRA88h 16' 23" + 23' 31"
16022 ASTARLOZA MikelEUSESP88h 16' 32" + 23' 40"
17049SIUTSOU KonstantsinCOLBLR88h 17' 47" + 24' 55"
18183BOTCHAROV AlexandreC.ARUS88h 20' 03" + 27' 11"
19085FOFONOV DmitriyC.AKAZ 88h 21' 23" + 28' 31"
20067NIBALI VincenzoLIQITA88h 21' 25" + 28' 33"
21107GOUBERT StephaneALMFRA88h 24' 42" + 31' 50"
22138TEN DAM LaurensRABNDL88h 25' 51" + 32' 59"
23189MONFORT MaximeCOFBEL88h 28' 33" + 35' 41"
24007POPOVYCH YaroslavSILUKR88h 29' 16" + 36' 24"
25111SCHUMACHER StefanGSTGER88h 30' 12" + 37' 20"
26078SZMYD SylvesterLAMPOL88h 37' 35" + 44' 43"
27074 BRUSEGHIN MarzioLAMITA88h 38' 11" + 45' 19"
28101DESSEL CyrilALMFRA88h 39' 23" + 46' 31"
29153KNEES ChristianMRMGER88h 40' 35" + 47' 43"
30032ARROYO DavidGCEESP88h 41' 15" + 48' 23"
       
Overall winnerSASTRE Carlos011CSCESP87h 52' 52" (Yellow Jersey)
By points FREIRE Oscar 133RABESP 270 pts (Green Jersey)
ClimberKOHL Bernhard 115GSTAUS128 pts (Polka dot Jersey)
Under 25SCHLECK Andy 016CSCLUX88h 04' 24" (White Jersey)
CombativityCHAVANEL Sylvain181COFFRA 
Team winnerTEAM CSC SAXO BANKDEN263h 29' 57"

 

green is the new green

The Green Jersey for 2008 and the previous, 2007 version

This year, the Green Jersey - le Maillot Vert, will have something special. The wearer will still have as much energy and tactical sense to get hold of it, but its colour will have changed.

So that this jersey will be more visible in the peleton, the Green Jersey will be lighter, in a shade exactly identical to that which it had at the moment of its creation in 1953. The colour had been modified at the beginning of the 1990s

Those ancient spectators that vibrated to the blows given to pedals by Sean Kelly, Freddy Maertens, or André Darrigade, will find again a familiar shade of green. The new heroes racing to the finish line, Tom Boonen, Robbie McEwen or Thor Hushovd, will not be slow to get a taste for this new old colour.

 

The 2008 Tour de France

This year’s Tour de France race starts from Brittany on 5th July, drops into Italy for a couple of days’ cycling, and finishes on the Champs-Élysées, Paris, after 21 days racing.

Map of the 2008 Tour de France
Note that stage 15 now starts from Embrun, not Dignes-les-Bains.
There was too great a risk of rock falls in the climb up the Col de Larche on the original route.

Here is advice on watching the circus by the roadside, with further advice for mountain stage spectating.

this year’s stages

There are 21 stages, of which five are high mountain stages [Alps 3, Pyrenees 2], four are medium mountain stages and two are individual against-the-clock [contre-le-montre] time trials. There are 2 rest days. All other days are ‘on the plain’ - relatively flat days, almost touring through France. The total distance ridden will be about 3,500 kilometres, or roughly 1,900 miles.

1Brest/Plumelec
5 July [ 197.5 km]
12 Lavelanet/Narbonne
17 July [168 km]
2Auray/Saint-Brieuc
6 July [164.5 km]
13 Narbonne/Nimes
18 July [182 km]
3 Saint-Malo/Nantes
7 July [208 km]
14 Nimes/Dignes-les-Bains
19 July [182 km]
4

Cholet/Cholet
8 July [29.5 km]
individual time-trial

15 Embrun/Prato Nevoso
(France-Italy)
20 July [185/216? km]
5Cholet/Châteauroux
9 July [232 km]
R 21 July - rest day
Cuneo
6 Aigurande/Super-Besse
10 July [195.5 km]
16Cuneo/Jausiers
(Italy-France)
22 July [157 km]
7Brioude/Aurillac
11 July [159 km]
17 Embrun/L'Alpe-d'Huez
23 July [210 km]
8 Figeac/Toulouse
12 July [172.5 km]
18 Bourg-d'Oisans/Saint-Étienne
24 July [197 km]
9Toulouse/Bagnères-de-Bigorre
13 July [224 km]
19 Roanne/Montluçon
25 July [163 km]
10Pau/Hautacam
14 July [156 km]
20 Cérilly/Saint-Amand-Montrond
26 July [53 km]
individual time-trial
R 15 July - rest day
Pau
21 Étampes/Paris Champs-Élysées
27 July [143 km]
11 Lannemezan/Foix
16 July [166 km]
Detailed itineraries for the 2008 Tour de France stages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




the teams

The twenty teams that have been invited to participate in this year’s Grand Boucle [Great Loop] are:
 

BELGIUM
Quick-step (QST)
Silence-Lotto (SIL)

DENMARK
Team CSC (CSC)

FRANCE
Bouygues Telecom (BTL)
Credit Agricole (C.A)
Cofidis, le crédit par
téléphone (COF)
Française Des Jeux (FDJ)
AG2R - La Mondiale
(ALM)
Agritubel (AGR)

GERMANY
Gerolsteiner (GST)
Team Milram (MRM)

GREAT BRITAIN
Barloworld (BAR)

ITALY
Lampre (LAM)
Liquigas (LIQ)

NETHERLANDS
Rabobank (RAB)

SPAIN
Caisse d’Epargne (GCE)
Euskaltel - Euskadi (EUS)
Saunier Duval-Scott (SDV)

USA
Garmin Chipotle (TSL)
Team Columbia (COL)

last year (2007): the first thirty riders

Pos.NameFirst nameTeamNat.Time diff.
1112CONTADORAlbertoDSCESP91h 00' 26"
2041 EVANSCadelPRLAUS91h 00' 49"
3111 LEIPHEIMERLeviDSCUSA91h 00' 57"
4031SASTRECarlosCSCESP91h 07' 34"
5071 ZUBELDIAHaimarEUSESP91h 08' 43"
6018 VALVERDEAlejandroGCEESP91h 12' 03"
7027 KIRCHENKimTMOLUX91h 12' 44"
8118 POPOVYCHYaroslavDSCUKR91h 12' 51"
9073 ASTRARLOZAMikelEUSESP91h 14' 40"
10011 PEREIRO SIOOscarGCEESP91h 14' 51"
11219 SOLER HERNANDEZJuan MauricoBARCOL91h 17' 17"
12052BOOGERDMichaelRABNED91h 21' 41"
13012 ARROYODavidGCEESP91h 22' 15"
14015 KARPETSVladimirGCERUS91h 24' 41"
1544 HORNERChristopherPDLUSA91h 25' 45"
16207MAYOIbanSDVESP91h 27' 35"
17036SCHLECKFrankCSCLUX91h 32' 14"
18153BELTRANIManuelLIQESP91h 34' 40"
19088VALJAVECTadejLAMSLO91h 37' 34"
20204COBO ACEBO Juan JoseSDVESP91h 37' 40"
21174GARATEJuan ManuelQSIESP91h 38' 42"
22014GUTIERREZ José IvanGCEESP91h 46' 08"
23078TXURRUKA AmetsEUSESP91h 50' 00"
24114HINCAPIE GeorgeDSCUSA91h 55' 16"
25037VANDEVELDE ChristianCSCUSA91h 56' 16"
26106FOFONOV DmitriyC.AKAZ91h 56' 49"
27068GOUBERT StephaneA2RFRA92h 06' 56"
28038VOIGT JensCSCGER92h 08' 48"
29089VILA ERRANDONEA PatxiLAMESP92h 10' 03"
30107HALGAND PatriceC.AFRA92h 13' 11"

 

22 July 2008, after the sixteenth stage -from Cuneo, Italy to Jausiers, France

After a tourist trip in Italy, we are now back in France and headed towards Paris.

Saving catastrophes and Herculean performances, Cadel Evans still has the Tour well under control. There are only five left in any sort of conntention: in order, Frank Schleck, Berhard Kohl - seven seconds back, Cadel Evans - eight seconds behind Schleck, Carlos Sastre - forty-nine seconds in arrears, and Denis Menchov at 1 minute 13 seconds.

None of these four can have much hope against Cadel Evans on the time trial [contre le montre], scheduled for the penultimate stage [26 July, 53 km]. It is very likely that Evans will then take at least a minute or two out of all these riders.

Kim Kirchen, at seventh, is only 3 minutes 23 back, but one of the very few who could use the time trial to pull back time from Evans.

In historical terms, this Tour is very close with only just over five minutes separating the first ten riders.

However, all is not over yet. Tomorrow, 23 July, the seventeenth stage - 210 km from Embrun to L’Alpe-d’Huez, is an unusually horrific challenge, even for the Tour de France, complete with with three HC climbs [HC: hors classification; unclassified, because they are simply ridiculous]. Evans did give a hint of weakness on stage fifteen; thus, tomorrow must remain the last chance for the top riders to challenge, or even crack, him - a task that will require optimism as well as bionic strength. After all, today’s sixteenth stage was hard enough and Evans just treated it as a walk in the park.

[skoda ad - to follow]

For much more detail see the Tour de France website.

Le tour toujours. Image: Tour de France

17 July 2008, after the twelfth stage - Lavelanet to Narbonne

The remarkable dominance of English-speaking cyclists on the world stage is becoming impressive. After seven years of complete dominance by the American Lance Armstrong; Mark Cavendish (COL) has now won his third stage in the 2008 Tour de France - the first time this has been done by a British rider. His dominance in finishing melee sprints is currently looking overwhelming.

Meanwhile, Cadel Evans of Australia (SIL), although having an overall lead of just one second, looks set to dominate the podium in Paris. Despite a nasty crash, leaving him the worse for wear, he is maintaining his lead and putting real margins between himself and rivals. Evans has impressively tremendous strength in both climbing stages and contre le montre.

The rider immediately behind Evans, Frank Schleck - the CSC rider from Luxembourg, dropped over a minute to Evans in the fourth stage, 29.5km, Cholet time trial. With the twentieth stage, 53 km time trial [26 July] between Cérilly and Saint-Amand-Montrond still to come, saving more hiccups, the Australian looks home and dry to me.

And this all after British cyclists took nine gold medals at the world track cycling championships last March.

Le tour toujours. Image: Tour de France

this year’s longest stage - british winner!

Twenty-two year old Mark Cavendish from the Isle of Man, riding for High Road/Columbia, cycled to victory after 232 kilometres - the longest stage in this year’s Tour de France.

Giant ant 
		at Rond-point de l'Europe, Descartes. Ant sculpture by Michel Audiard
Giant yellow ant at Rond-point de l’Europe, Descartes, finished just in time for the Tour.
The peleton races round the roundabout with its ant sculpture by Michel Audiard

After five warm-up stages, the top ten places are held by

1SCHUMACHER S.GerGST19h 32' 33"
2KIRCHEN K.NethTHR00' 12"
3MILLAR D.UKTSL00' 12"
4EVANS C.AusSIL00' 21"
5CANCELLARA F.SwiCSC00' 33"
6VANDEVELDE C.USATSL00' 37"
7HINCAPIE G.USATHR00' 41"
8LÖVKVIST T.NorTHR00' 47"
9NIBALI V.ItaLIQ00' 58"
10GUTIERREZ J.SpaGCE01' 01"

Schumacher leads the overall classification by virtue of a surprise win in the 29.5 km contre le montre (against the clock). Britain’s David Miller came second. However, these two riders are not rated as top climbers, and you cannot win the Tour without being a great climber.

Thus, as you can see from the table above, Cadel Evans and Christian Vandevelde (both of whom can climb) are already moving into threatening positions. This as the Tour speeds towards three days of ‘practice’ climbing around the Central Massif. And then the real Tour starts in the Pyrenees.

Note that the sixteen seconds advantage is no minor problem. If Vandevelde hopes to finish in the Yellow Jersey, he will have to seriously crack Evans in the hills, especially with another time trial looming on the penultimate day [26 July].

Marker at abelard.org

As the efforts to get drugs out of the Tour continue, Quickstep lost their star sprinter, Tom Boonen (2007 Green Jersey), over a positive test for cocaine. Surprisingly, strictly, this was not a cycle doping incident, but out he had to go. Meanwhile, Schumacher also has a similar shadow over a police stop regarding amphetamines, after a drink-driving arrest. The Tour organisers are trying to argue that Boonen and Schumacher incidents are somehow ‘different’, but no-one sentient seems to be able to explain why.

After fighting for two years, Floyd Landis finally lost his last doping appeal, and Oscar Pereiro has been declared the official winner of the 2006 Tour de France.

Le tour toujours. Image: Tour de France





 

 

 

 


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