The Week That Was...

News & Results

06/15/2004| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin

The Week That Was...

Ian comments on the happenings in the world of cycling.

Sunday afternoon saw the curtain fall on this year?s final major Tour de France warm-up race, Dauphine-Libere.  After seven stages, Euskaltel-Euskadi rider Iban Mayo ran out a deserving winner after smashing the record for an ascent of Mont Ventoux by almost one minute in stage four?s mountain time-trial.  Not only did he take 59 seconds off the record previously held by American Jonathon Vaughters, but he also beat Tour de France rival Lance Armstrong by 1 minute 57 seconds; Armstrong finished in 5th place.  Mayo held the lead until the end of the race with Armstrong finishing two minutes behind in fourth place.  Team Phonak riders Tyler Hamilton and Oscar Sevilla finished second and third.  US Postal Director Sportif, Johan Bruyneel, commented that, ?I?m a little disappointed.  Not in Lance but in the differences between him and Mayo. It shows we are still not ready for the Tour.  Lance did what he could today.  Mayo beat the record by almost a minute, which is an incredible performance.?   Armstrong himself added that, ?two minutes is a lot.  But it?s a long time until the Tour de France.  The Tour de France was not decided today.  I knew Mayo would be tough and he?s clearly super right now, but I?m not pulling my irons out of the fire.? <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>


Another rider struggling through the Dauphine-Libere after returning to racing at the recent Classique des Alpes was World Time Trial Champion, David Millar.  After finishing the Tour du Languedoc- Roussillion, the Cofidis team leader treated an outbreak of eczema on his legs with an ointment that reacted with the sun, burning his legs and eventually forcing him to take ten days completely off the bike.  Millar placed 11 th in the opening prologue of the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
, his highest placing on any of the stages.


Mickael Pichen of the Brioches La Boulangere team suffered serious injury when he crashed off the side of the road whilst descending in stage three of the race, falling 15m into the ravine below.  Pichen suffered a cranial trauma with cerebral edema, a complex fracture to his left shoulder blade,

and a fracture to his right tibia, a fractured left collarbone and several broken bones in his face.  Pichen is in hospital in
where he has been undergoing a series of operations.  Everybody here at sends him our best wishes for a speedy and successful recovery.


No sooner had the
finished before a number of tour hopefuls and their Directors began promoting their chances.  After his success in the Dauphine-Libere, Iban Mayo said that, ?this year is different, more ambitious.  Even if I know that it?ll be very difficult.  I want to win another stage but also finish closer to first place overall.?   He added, ?I?m more ambitious too because I know it could be possible to win the Tour.?


Urs Freuler, Director Sportif with Phonak says that the team isn?t putting too much pressure on their leader, Tyler Hamilton, for the race. ?Just a repeat of the 4th place finish


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