FRANK SCHLECK TARGETS YELLOW JERSEY
Frank Schleck (CSC) missed out on the yellow jersey by just one second but emerged as Cadel Evans? biggest threat because of the strength in depth of the CSC team.
The lanky Luxembourg national champion now knows he has a shot at winning the Tour de France but carefully played down his chances, happily letting Evans handle the pressure and responsibility of the yellow jersey.
?It would’ve been perfect if we’d managed to secure the yellow jersey, but let’s see if we can do so at a later stage,” Schleck said on the CSC official website.
“We’ll revise our strategy and tactics as we go along in this race and we still have a lot of good cards to play. Whether I’m able to reach the podium or win the Tour is far too early to speculate on, but our main goal has always been for one of us to win this year’s Tour de France ? and nothing’s changed as far as that’s concerned.”
“I’m happy and proud of my performance and the fantastic team work by everyone out there, it was incredible what they did and I would never have been able to do what I did without them.?
VALVERDE AND CUNEGO ADMIT DEFEAT
Both Damiano Cunego (Lampre) and Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d?Epargne) have admitted they now have no chance of winning the Tour de France after losing almost six minutes on the stage to Hautacam on Monday.
Worked over by CSC on the Col du Tourmalet and unable to pull back time on the final climb, the two pre-race favourites have said they will now focus on winning stages in the second half of the Tour.
?From now on, we will have to concentrate on stage wins rather than on the general classification,? Valverde said after slipping to 14th at 4-41.
?It is obvious that it was not been our best day, but it was not such a bad one either. Some riders, and teams – CSC and Saunier – were very, very strong while I had some difficult moments on the Tourmalet. I was more than two minutes down at the foot of Hautacam that means that it was of course impossible to come back. Now we will analyze the situation and decide what to do. Fortunately there are a lot of stages left before we reach Paris that I think I can win.?
Cunego was in serious trouble on the Tourmalet. He fought back on the climb to the finish but lost 5-51 to Schleck and 3-34 to Evans, Ricco and Menchov. Cunego is 16th overall at 5-37.
?Everything went wrong on the Tourmalet, I tried to hang on with the help of my team mates but I couldn?t keep up with the best riders. I tried to get back on during the descent but there was a head wind and it was impossible. I caught some riders on the final climb but the truth is I can?t ride at the same pace as the best riders on the climbs.?
EVANS TO LEAD AUSTRALIAN TEAM IN OLYMPIC ROAD RACE
Cadel Evans has been named in the Australian team for the Beijing Olympics and is set to lead the five-man team in the road race and could also ride the time trial.
Also named in the green and gold Aussie team are Stuart O’Grady, Simon Gerrans, Michael Rogers and Matthew Lloyd.
Evans won the time trial test event on the Beijing circuit last year and may double up with Micheal Rogers.
Sara Carrigan, Oenone Wood and Kate Bates will ride the women?s road race, while Brad McGee will take on Bradley Wiggins in the individual and team pursuit events on the track. Australia has rebuilt its Athens team pursuit squad, naming the experienced Graeme Brown, Brett Lancaster and Luke Roberts, along side McGee.
CAVENDISH AND RICCO IN THE MONEY
Mark Cavendish and Riccardo Ricco have both won two stages in the Tour de France and helped the Columbia and Saunier Duval teams top the prize money list at the halfway point in the Tour.
The Tour de France organisers have already distributed 341,350 Euros in prize money, approximately £270,000, with a large chunk of the money going to Columbia and Saunier Duval.
Thanks to three stage wins from Ricco and Piepoli, Saunier Duval have earned 50,970 Euros, with Columbia a few quid behind on 50,680 Euros thanks to Cavendish and Kim Kirchen?s time in the yellow and green jerseys.
Despite Alejandro Valverde losing any chance of overall victory, Caisse d?Epargne are third in the money table just behind Columbia, while the paupers so far in the 2008 Tour are Quick Step and Lampre with just 3,220 and 1,050 Euros in prize money.
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: STAGE REPORTS|
Stage 10: Evans takes yellow jersey by one second
Stage nine: Ricco wins in the Pyrenees
Stage eight: Cavendish wins again in Toulouse
Stage seven: Sanchez takes action-packed stage
Stage six: Ricco storms to win
Stage five: Cavendish takes first Tour win
Stage four: Schumacher wins TT and takes race lead
Stage three: Dumoulin wins stage from break
Stage two: Hushovd wins chaotic sprint
Stage one: Valverde wins
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: NEWS|
Analysis: Tour de France rest day summary
Cavendish battles through Pyrenees
Evans suffers but takes yellow jersey [stage 10]
Analysis: Hautacam shakes up 2008 Tour
Ricco silences critics with solo attack in Pyrenees [stage nine]
Cavendish talks about his second stage win [stage eight]
Beltran heads home but doubts remain about other Tour riders
David Millar: the dope controls are working
Manuel Neltran tests positive for EPO at the Tour
Comment: How the Tour rediscovered its spirit
Doping back in Tour de France headlines
Millar: close but no cigar in Super-Besse [stage six]
Super-Besse shows form of main contenders [stage six]
Millar to go for yellow [stage six]
Team Columbia’s reaction to Cavendish’s win [stage five]
Cavendish talks about his Tour stage win
Tour comment: Why Evans should be happy [stage four]
Millar: Still aiming for Tour yellow jersey [stage 4]
Who is Romain Feillu?
Cavendish disappointed with stage two result
Millar too close to Tour yellow jersey
Stage 2 preview: A sprint finish for Cavendish?
Millar happy after gains precious seconds in Plumelec
Valverde delighted with opening Tour stage win
Comment: Is Valverde’s win a good thing for the Tour?
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: PHOTOS|
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: BLOGS|
|TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: GUIDE|