tour de france bike tour, beaux voyages logo image
Cycling News
France Pro Cycling Trips | Normandy Bike Tour | Dordogne Bike Tour | Dordogne Culinary Tour | Rhone Valley Wine Tour | Alsace Hiking Tour |
Loire Bike Tour | Provence Bike Tour | New! Paris Sightseeing Tours | Just Announced- Meet with Frankie Andreu in France!
Scroll down to read these articles from the web site of L'Equipe.  Translated by Walt
Cycling News Home Page

Tour of Italy- And Ullrich returns- 05/18/06
Tour of Italy- Pellizotti at the finish- 05/16/06
Tour of Italy- McEwen again in a sprint- 05/12/06
Tour of Italy- Honchar takes the pink jersey- 05/11/06
Tour of Italy- McEwen in a sprint- 05/09/06
Tour of Italy- Schumacher a force- 05/08/06
Tour of Italy- McEwen in a sprint- 05/07/06
Tour of Italy- Savoldelli puts on the colors- 05/06/06

Tour of Italy- And Ullrich returns- 05/18/06

Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) has returned to the top ranks.  The German rider, who put his stamp on the Giro
with  this individual time trial, took the victory on Thursday in this race of 50 km raced around Pontedera
in Tuscany.  Ullrich thus responded to some of the questions regarding his condition and won his first-
ever victory in a Tour of Italy.

The winner of the Tour de France in 1997 and double champion of the world in the individual time trial
(1999 and 2001) beat out the next fastest rider, Ivan Basso (CSC) by 28” and the third place rider,
Marco Pinotti, by 1’01”.

Taking off more slowly than the riders who preceded him, he was 17 seconds behind the best time of
Wauters at the second time check, Jan Ullrich then turned up the motor and finished the second half of
the race in an impressive manner.

Certainly the German benefited from weather conditions that were more favorable than for those who
started later, since a gusty wind came up later in this 11th stage.  But this wind did not prevent the
Italian Ivan Basso, leader in the general classification, from taking time from his closest rivals for the
final victory.

The big loser of the day was the Italian Damiano Cunego, who finished more than six minutes behind
Basso in the general classification.  Paolo Savoldelli and Gilberto Simoni  also lost time.  Two things are
apparent after this stage, Ivan Basso is more than ever the favorite to win this Giro, and Jan Ullrich has
regained his place as one of the favorites for the next Tour de France.

Tour of Italy- Pellizotti at the finish- 05/16/06

Franco Pellizotti won the 10th stage of the Tour of Italy between Tremoli and Peschisi. The Italian from
the Liquigas team beat out Vladimir Efimkin (Iles Baléares-Caisse d'Epargne) and Sergueï Yakovlev
(Liberty Seguros). Hubert Dupont (AG2R) took an excellent 4th place.

The stage was animated by an escape by about twenty riders who left the peleton before the San
Marco climb, after about 50 kilometers of racing.  Among them Axel Merckx in particular was pushing the
pace.  The Belgian from the Phonak team did everything he could to escape alone on the descent of
the Parchetto with about 20 km to the finish.  He made an extraordinary descent but only managed to
build a small gap of about 10 seconds.  Behind, several riders in the escape group reacted, including
Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) and Fransisco Perez (Iles Baléares-Caisse d'Epargne).

It was in the end the Italian who was the strongest, and he said he expected that, and this win opens up
new ambitions:  “I knew the course would be favorable for me.  In the group everyone was looking at me
over the last 35 km.  Fortunately, Wegelius did an exceptional job.  He deserves a part of this victory.  
Now I am back among the leaders of the general classification.  I prepared well for the Giro, both to win
stages and to place well in the general classification.  Our leader, however, is still Danilo Di Luca.  With
two riders in contention it is easier to do battle”.

The last climb before the finish, which had slopes of about 10% at times, was fatal for poor Merckx who
was passed with only 150 meters to the line.  This caused him big regrets, which has often been the
case this season.  “I was really hoping to win.  It is really difficult to be caught with only 150 meters to
the finish.  I tried hard because I knew I would be beaten in a sprint.  I’ve had a lot of bad luck this
season.  I came to the Giro to win a stage.  That will be difficult now when I look at what lies ahead.  But
that is sport, that is cycling.  The strongest won”.  

It should be noted that Jan Ullrich once again had great difficulty to keep up with the pace at the back of
the peleton.  Ivan Basso finished easily with the peleton at more than three and a half minutes behind
the stage winner, but he kept his pink leader’s jersey without problems.  The 11th stage is a time trial of
50 kilometers around Pontedera.

Tour of Italy- McEwen again in a sprint – 05/12/06

The Australian Robbie McEwen (Davitamon – Lotto) did it again by adding his third stage win of this
week in the Giro.  Once again he won the victory in a sprint finish of this 6th stage which was from
Busseto, the town of the composer Verdi, and Forli, over 227 km in a flat stage.  As in the second
stage, he crossed the line in front of Olaf Pollack (T-Mobile) and the Lituanian Tomas Vaitkus (AG2R).

It was a good day for Pollack who took the pink leader’s jersey from his teammate on T-Mobile,
Honchar, who only wore it for one day.

Tour of Italy- Honchar takes the pink jersey- 05/11/06

At the end of 35 km of racing between Piacenza and Cremone, Ivan Basso was able to carry his CSC
team to the finish and win the team time trial.  The Danish team pulled out the first Italian stage, the 5th
in this Giro, with a time of 36’56”, and this was 1 second ahead of the T-Mobile team.

Although missing first place, the German T-Mobile team took over the leader’s pink jersey with Sergey
Honchar taking the lead at the expense of Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner), who only held it for 48
hours.  In the general classification Honchar is followed by the German Jens Voigt (CSC) at 6 seconds
behind, and Michael Rogers.

“It was an excellent victory”, said Basso, leader of the CSC team, and the victory allowed him to climb
into 5th place in the general classification.  “Of course the Giro could not be won in this stage.  But it’s
good for the moral to win”.  Basso is above all satisfied by the 39 seconds his team took from the
Discovery Channel team of the Italian Paolo Savoldelli.  They were co-favorites but only finished 3rd in
the stage.  

The Giro heads south to connect the towns of Busseto, home of the composer Verdi, and Forli over 227
kilometers.  The sprinters will have their cards to play tomorrow.

Tour of Italy- McEwen in a sprint- 05/09/06

Robbie McEwen (Davitamon) won the 4th stage of the Tour of Italy on Tuesday raced between Wanze
and Hotton (Belgium) over 193 km.  The German Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner), the winner the day
before, keeps the pink leader’s jersey on his shoulders.

It was at the finish that the Australian made the decisive move, at the expense of the Olympic champion,
Paolo Bettini.  McEwen already won stage in a sprint on Sunday.  Third place went to another Italian
rider, Alberto Loddo, who beat out Axel Richeze from Argentina and the German Olaf Pollack.

After the departure of Alessandro Petacchi, who was a victim of a fracture in his left knee area,
McEwen, 33 years of age, took his tenth victory in the Giro.  After ten kilometers of racing five riders
(Casar, Calcagni, Van de Walle, Bertolini, Niermann) escaped and built up a lead of 6’45” over the
peleton at the 107th kilometer, before being caught with 17 kilometers to the finish.

The Giro will have a rest day tomorrow with an air transfer from Liege to Parma.

Tour of Italy- Schumacher a force- 05/08/06

At the end of the third stage on Monday, the German Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner), 24 years of
age, took the victory in the rain in the stage which went between Perwez and Namur.  He was able to
bread away with 1,300 meters to the finish ahead of the Spaniard Luis Rubiera and the Italian Davide
Rebellin. Schumacher also took the leader’s pink jersey.

The Italian Paolo Savoldelli thus falls out of the lead, but he had a good result as well since he took
some time out of his main rivals for the final victory.

In fact Damiano Cunego, Danilo Di Luca and Ivan Basso were not able to remain in the front group and
lost time to Savoldelli, 7 seconds for the first two and 23 seconds for Basso.  

The stage was marked by a crash by the Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi with 45 km to the finish
line.  This rider, winner of 19 stages in the Giro in the last 3 years, finished the stage a quarter hour
behind.  X-rays taken at the hospital in Namur indicated that he had a fracture in his left knee area.

Tomorrow the fourth stage will be the last one in Belgium and will take place between Wanze and Hotton
over 193 km and will use a number of the roads that are part of the classic Liège - Bastogne - Liège.

Tour of Italy- McEwen in a sprint- 05/07/06
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) won the second stage of the Tour of Italy, run between Mons and
Charleroi Marcielle over 197 km, in a sprint.  The event from across the alps is still in Belgium.  Coming
on strong at the end, the Australian beat out the German Olaf Pollak (T-Mobile) and the Italian Paolo
Bettini (Quick Step) at the finish.  The sprinter from Italy, Alessandro Petacchi (Team Milram), the big
favorite in the event today, only was able to manage a fourth place, even though his team took
command of the peleton in the final kilometers of the race.  “Alessandro wanted to make it a tactical
sprint”, explained McEwen with a smile.  “I am without doubt the only one to make him commit an error”.

Four riders Delage, Labbe, Albizuri, Missaglia), who escaped in the first hour, held the lead and
animated the second stage for a long time.  The foursome built up a lead of 7 minutes over the peleton
at km 86 before being caught in the final twenty kilometers.  Monday the event stays in Belgium for the
third stage, a race of 202 kilometers between Perwez and Namur where the finish will take place at the

Tour of Italy- Savoldelli puts on the colors- 05/06/06

Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel), the defending champion, rediscovered his good habits and won
at Seraing in Belgium.  The Italian took the time trial of 6.2 km which kicks off the Tour of Italy and leads
the Australian from the Française des Jeux team, Bradley McGee, by 11 seconds.  He took back the
pink leader’s jersey that he won last year.  The Spaniard Cataluna Gutierrez finished third.

In the battle of the big favorites for this Giro, Savoldelli, the winner in 2002 and 2005, is in a good
position.  He leads his countryman Danilo Di Luca by 19 seconds, and above all he has a 23 second
lead over Ivan Basso.  He road the 6.2 kilometer course in a speed of 47.489 km/hr.

As for other favorites like Damian Cunego, trailing by 25 seconds, or Gilberto Simoni, 26 seconds back,
they limited their losses since they are not big specialists in time trials.

The German Jan Ullrich, riding to prepare for the Tour de France, finished 80th and is 49 seconds
behind Savoldelli.  The task was difficult for the sprinters who might have had an eye on the pink
jersey.  The Italian Alessandro Petacchi and the Australian Robbie McEwen trailed by 35 and 56
seconds respectively.

The top Frenchman was Laurent Lefèvre (Bouygues Telecom) who finished 27th at 32 seconds behind
the leader of the day.  On Sunday the second stage of 197 km will take the riders from Mons to
Charleroi/Marcinelle, still in Belgium.