Friday, July 27, 2007

Stage 18: Cahors to Angoulême

Podium Cafe notes that Predictor Lotto has the chance to pull off the rare maillot jaune-Lanterne Rouge double if Cadel Evans rides well in the final time trial tomorrow. That's in addition to the feat of Vansevenant possibly becoming Lanterne Rouge in two consecutive Tours de France. Tomorrow will tell the tale! Unless something else crazy happens, most of the riders including our Lanterne Rouge Wim Vansevenant will hold position until that day when their tired legs will give it one final hurrah.

So let's take a look at Lanterne Rouge Wim Vansevenant's record, while we have a breather:
He's been a professional cyclist for 13 years, and has been a solid supporting player on a number of teams.

2007. Predictor-Lotto
9e une étape du Tour Down Under
2006. Davitamon-Lotto
139e du Tour de France (dernier)
2005. Davitamon-Lotto
11e du Tour de Belgique
154e du Tour de France
2004. Lotto-Domo
141e du Tour de France
2003. Lotto-Domo
3e du Grand Prix Tistaert
5e du Championnat de Belgique CLM
13e de Paris-Bruxelles
2002. Collstrop-Palmans
3e de Cholet-Pays de Loire
8e du Championnat de Belgique CLM
2001. Mercury-Viatel
2e une étape du Circuit Franco-Belge
4e du Championnat de Belgique CLM
5e du Grand Prix de Wallonie
6e du Grand Prix Tistaert
10e du Grand Prix Van Steenbergen
2000. Farm Frites
3e du Grand Prix de Villers-Cotterets
4e de la Clasica Sabinanigo
7e du Grand Prix Tistaert
1999. Collstrop
3e une étape du Tour de la Somme
15e du Grand Prix Pino-Cerami
1998. Vlaanderen 2002
3e une étape du Tour d'Autriche
8e du Circuit des Ardennes Flamandes, une étape du Grand Prix Midi-Libre, de la Flèche Ardennaise, du Tour d'Autriche
1997. Vlaanderen 2002
6e du Circuit Franco-Belge
9e de A Travers la Belgique, du Grand Prix Fréquence-Nord
Taux d'hématocrites trop élevé en avril
1996. Vlaanderen 2002
1er une étape du Tour du Vaucluse (Cairanne)
2e de la Course du Raisin
3e une étape du Tour de l'Avenir
5e une étape de la Hofbrau Cup
8e du Tour du Vaucluse
1995. Débuts pros chez Vlaanderen 2002
2e une étape du Regio Tour
18e des Trois Jours de La Panne
1994 (Août).
Stagiaire chez Word Perfect

This is Vansevenant's fourth Tour de France, which is a proud record for any professional cyclist. In 2004, he finished 140th. In 2005, 154th. In 2006, he was the 139th and last rider in the General Classification.

Rose Cantine found this information: The only other two riders to consecutive titles as Lanterne Rouge are the Belgian Daniel Masson (1922 and 1923) and Austrian Gerhard Schönbacher (1979 and 1980). There is also an interview with Vansevenant online in Flemish, with French subtitles. Neither of which help the linguistically-challenged like me, unfortunately!

In former Lanterne Rouge news, 28-year-old Sebastian Joly will be taking time out from cycling to undergo chemotherapy and radiation for a cancerous tumor. Best wishes to him for a complete recovery. He can be contacted here.

Just for the sake of completeness, here are today's stage results:

We had a lot of riders come in at 9 and 10 minutes, and then our Final Four, saving everything for tomorrow:

138. CANCELLARA Fabian 33 TEAM CSC 5h 24' 33" + 11' 02"
139. MILLAR David 201 SAUNIER DUVAL - PRODIR 5h 24' 33" + 11' 02"
140. CARDENAS Félix 212 BARLOWORLD 5h 24' 33" + 11' 02"
141. WILLEMS Frederik 159 LIQUIGAS 5h 24' 33" + 11' 02"

Our standings at the back of the peloton before the final deciding time trial are:

137. DE GROOT Bram 53 RABOBANK 89h 39' 01" + 3h 34' 45"
138. HUSHOVD Thor 101 CREDIT AGRICOLE 89h 39' 06" + 3h 34' 50"
139. KRAUSS Sven 96 GEROLSTEINER 89h 41' 35" + 3h 37' 19"
140. GERAINT Thomas 215 BARLOWORLD 89h 44' 00" + 3h 39' 44"
141. VANSEVENANT Wim 49 PREDICTOR - LOTTO 89h 49' 17" + 3h 45' 01"

So Vansevenant holds the Lanterne Rouge spot by 5:17, even though he finished the stage way up in 78th place today. I'm not sure what the cutoff will be for elimination during the time trial tomorrow, but I'd say Vansevenant has a pretty firm grip on the final slot in the General Classification of the 2007 Tour de France.

Wonderful article today by Samuel Abt about Wim Vansevenant here (first spotted by Podium Cafe, who also provide the first mention I've seen of a new doping result in Stage 14).

Stage reports are back in business at VeloNews:

Medical report:
Casar (FDJeux) and Willems (Liquigas), both crashed at 28km, minor cuts and scrapes. (Apparently another dog incident - I hope it wasn't a French Lab).
Hinault (Credit Agricole) breathing problems.
Burghardt (T-Mobile) breathing problems.
Gadret (Ag2r) headache.
Azanza (Euskaltel) digestive troubles.
Quinziato (Liquigas) digestive problems.
Boogerd (Rabobank) insect bite

Jury decisions: no report

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A new dog-incident today! Casar and Willems crash into an unleashed dog.
Soler being positive must be a hoax. If journalists would do their work properly they should have known that the riders tested after stage 14 were Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank), Contador(DSC), Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d`Epargne), Gorka Verdurgo (Euskaltel), Frank Schleck (CSC), Tadej Valjavec (Lampre), Christophe le Mevel (Crédit Agricole) and Staf Scheirlinckx (Cofidis). No sign of Soler!
Cyclingnews, today:

"Yesterday there were a lot of rumours about Mauricio Soler having tested positive after stage 14. Several outlets had reported that the Barloworld hotel was raided as well. Well, as it turns out there was an Ag2r car parked in front of the Barloworld hotel. And those cars look apparently just like (French?) police cars. From there the whole thing self-accelerated, with German TV (ZDF) immediately going to the hotel. They have the resources, as they have set up a special team that just covers doping cases at the Tour. It's easier to staff for them now that they don't do any live broadcasts anymore."
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