Events

Armstrong takes over at Dauphine

As if there was ever any doubt. Of course, just in case there was any, Lance Armstrong made a point of reminding the cycling world that he's the alpha male of the pack with a blistering performance under Texas-like heat of central France. Armstrong blasted his way to his first victory of the 2003 season in Wednesday's 33.4km individual time trial and jumped into the overall lead of the Dauphine Libere race. The win comes just in time to remind everyone that Armstrong won't be arriving at the July 5 start of the Tour in anything but winning form. "I think it's more important to show myself

By Andrew Hood

Armstrong in his favorite color

Armstrong in his favorite color

Photo: Graham Watson

As if there was ever any doubt. Of course, just in case there was any, Lance Armstrong made a point of reminding the cycling world that he’s the alpha male of the pack with a blistering performance under Texas-like heat of central France.

Armstrong blasted his way to his first victory of the 2003 season in Wednesday’s 33.4km individual time trial and jumped into the overall lead of the Dauphine Libere race.

The win comes just in time to remind everyone that Armstrong won’t be arriving at the July 5 start of the Tour in anything but winning form.

“I think it’s more important to show myself and the team that their leader is in good shape for the Tour,” Armstrong said after finishing 1 minute, 7 seconds ahead of rival David Millar. “I wanted to make a good test today.”

Looking to Paris?

Looking to Paris?

Photo: Graham Watson

Armstrong said he felt some pressure to win, especially since he’s coming off more than a 40-day break from racing. As has been habit the past few years, there’s already been some chatter that Armstrong might not be as strong as in year’s past. Armstrong erased that notion on Wednesday, taking just about 49 minutes, 32.58 seconds to accomplish the task.

If anything, Armstrong looks stronger than ever before.

“The team needs to see that their leader is ready. It’s a good sign. We’ll fight to protect the lead and try to win the race,” Armstrong said. “There was a little pressure today, but pressure is good.”

Armstrong said Postal will work to win the race with four stages left.

“We will ride to defend the jersey and win the race. It’s good experience for the team,” Armstrong said. “This season, we haven’t had to control a race. We want to see how the team is working.”

Millar still in second

Millar still in second

Photo: Graham Watson

Armstrong’s win is only the second this season by the U.S. Postal Service (Victor Hugo Pena won a stage at the Tour of Murcia).

Armstrong was fastest over both time checks. The course opened with a steep climb up the Category 2 Cote de la Croix Blanche and the final 20km were like a roller coaster, without a single stretch of flat road.

Armstrong said he decided to ride his new time trial bike despite the up-and-down profile of the stage.

Armstrong shared the podium with the wife of fallen racer Andrei Kivilev, who lived in the area before his fatal accident during Paris-Nice in March. Armstrong cradled Kivilev’s young son in his arms during the emotional podium presentation.

“People put out banners today and I had some time to think about that. His death is the biggest tragedy in recent times because he was such a great rider, a strong rider,” Armstrong said. “It’s a sad situation.”

Cycling’s governing body now requires all riders to wear helmets except in uphill finishes. Armstrong said he supports the policy.

Mayo didn't expect to keep the jersey

Mayo didn’t expect to keep the jersey

Photo: Graham Watson

“You ask me about that when it’s 37 degrees, so burning. It’s a major temptation to pull off the helmet, but in the end it’s best decision to take,” he said.

Americans in the mix
Rabobank’s Levi Leipheimer started the day in seventh place overall, meaning he rolled out of the starting gate seventh from last. He finished seventh in the stage to remain seventh overall, now 2:49 in arrears of Armstrong.

“The first climb was difficult and I couldn’t get into my rhythm,” Leipheimer said after finishing in 52:17. “I felt better on the second half of the course, but today went pretty well. It went better than any time trial I’ve done all season.”

Floyd Landis (USPS) finished 75th at 6:41 slower in what’s been a hard road back from a broken hip he suffered this winter. He went under the knife again in May just before returning to Europe to adjust some pins that are attached the bone.

Landis admits he’s not in the same condition as last year that carried him to second overall in Dauphine and secured him a spot on Postal’s 2002 Tour team.

“The hip is fine, there’s no problem with that,” Landis told VeloNews Tuesday morning, prior to the start of Stage 2. “I won’t know if I’m going to the Tour or not until after the team is selected after Cataluyna. I’m being realistic. If I don’t make the Tour, there are still plenty of other races to focus on this year.”

Team CSC’s Tyler Hamilton said he rode “steady” on the course, finishing 44th, at 4:51. The New Englander says he’s recovered from the stomach problems that derailed his prologue ride Sunday, but still lacks the zing in his legs.

“The plan was to go for it if I was feeling okay,” Hamilton said. “My stomach is better, but my legs are just getting back to full strength. We’ll see how things go this weekend, but this race is for preparing for the Tour.”

The Dauphine Libere continues Thursday with the 239km fourth stage from Vienne to Morzine high in the French Alps. The first half of the stage is largely flat with the Cat. 3 Mont des Princes at 125km and the Cat. 4 Cote de Crusseilles at 151km. The racers then face the hardest climb so far with the Cat. 1 Col de la Ramaz at 219km. There’s another unrated climb going into Les Gets with just 7km to go, then it’s a fast descent into Morzine.

Photo Gallery

Results

Stage 3 Results, Saint Paul en Jarez to St. Heand, ITT

1. Lance Armstrong (USA), U.S. Postal Service 49:32:58 @ 40.450 km/h

2. David Millar (GB), Cofidis, 01:06

3. Iban Mayo (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 01:26

4. Inigo Chaurreau (Sp), Ag2R Prevoyance, 01:59

5. Didier Rous (F), Brioches La Boulangere, 02:09

6. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), iBanesto.com, 02:31

7. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Rabobank (Netherlands), 02:45

8. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 02:56

9. Andrea Peron (I), CSC, 03:01

10. Grischa Niermann (G), Rabobank (Netherlands), 03:02

11. Vladimir Karpets (Rus), iBanesto.com, 03:13

12. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Ag2R Prevoyance, 03:25

13. Sylvain Chavanel (F), Brioches La Boulangere, 03:26

14. Christophe Moreau (F), Credit Agricole, 03:26

15. Laurent Dufaux (Swi), Alessio, 03:30

16. Albe Lopez De Munain (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 03:32

17. Massimiliano Lelli (I), Cofidis, 03:37

18. Remmert Wielinga (Nl), Rabobank (Netherlands), 03:40

19. Salmon Benoît (F), Phonak, 03:40

20. Cyril Dessel (F), Phonak, 03:42

21. Pena Victor Hugo (Col), U.S. Postal Service, 03:42

22. Gilles Bouvard (F), Jean Delatour, 03:54

23. Denis Menchov (Rus), iBanesto.com, 04:04

24. Nicolas Vogondy (F), FDJeux.com, 04:08

25. Mercado Juan Miguel (Sp), iBanesto.com, 04:08

26. Laurent Brochard (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 04:11

27. Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr), Jean Delatour, 04:13

28. David Moncoutie (F), Cofidis, 04:16

29. Michael Boogerd (Nl), Rabobank (Netherlands), 04:16

30. Mcgee Bradley (Aus), FDJeux.com, 04:17

31. Kurt Van De Wouwer (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 04:19

32. Manuel Beltran (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 04:23

33. Iker Flores (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 04:24

34. Michael Blaudzun (Dk), CSC, 04:25

35. Laurent Lefevre (F), Jean Delatour, 04:31

36. Talabardon Sébastie (F), BIG, 04:35

37. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz), Cofidis, 04:35

38. Rubiera José Luis (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 04:36

39. Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz), Quick Step-Davitamon, 04:37

40. Nicolas Portal (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 04:39

41. David Canada Gracia (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, 04:39

42. Christophe Oriol (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 04:45

43. Pablo Lastras (Sp), iBanesto.com, 04:45

44. Tyler Hamilton (USA), CSC, 04:51

45. Patrice Halgand (F), Jean Delatour, 05:02

46. Ekimov Viatcheslav (Rus), U.S. Postal Service, 05:02

47. Ludovic Turpin (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 05:04

48. Joseba Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 05:27

49. Vasseur Cédric (F), Cofidis, 05:30

50. Beat Zberg (Swi), Rabobank (Netherlands), 05:33

51. Peter Luttenberger (AUT), CSC, 05:36

52. Egoi Martinez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 05:37

53. Alexandre Botcharov (Rus), Ag2R Prevoyance, 05:38

54. Nicolas Jalabert (F), CSC, 05:38

55. Maryan Hary (F), Brioches La Boulangere, 05:48

56. Philippe Gilbert (B), FDJeux.com, 05:54

57. Christophe Edaleine (F), Jean Delatour, 05:55

58. Pierrick Fedrigo (F), Credit Agricole, 05:59

59. Pavel Padrnos (Cz), U.S. Postal Service, 06:03

60. Richard Virenque (F), Quick Step-Davitamon, 06:03

61. Jan Boven (Nl), Rabobank (Netherlands), 06:06

62. Walter Beneteau (F), Brioches La Boulangere, 06:06

63. Poilvet Benoît (F), Credit Agricole, 06:07

64. Franck Renier (F), Brioches La Boulangere, 06:10

65. Finot Frédéric (F), Jean Delatour, 06:10

66. Fragniere Cédric (Swi), Credit Agricole, 06:13

67. Javier Pascual (Sp), iBanesto.com, 06:22

68. Pineau Jérôme (F), Brioches La Boulangere, 06:26

69. Iker Camano (Sp), Phonak, 06:29

70. Christophe Mengin (F), FDJeux.com, 06:29

71. Piotr Wadecki (Pol), Quick Step-Davitamon, 06:34

72. Manuel Calvente (Sp), CSC, 06:40

73. Bessy Frédéric (F), Cofidis, 06:43

74. Thor Hushovd (Nor), Credit Agricole, 06:49

75. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 06:50

76. Anthony Morin (F), Credit Agricole, 06:52

77. Josu Silloniz (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 06:52

78. Felix Garcia Casas (Sp), BIG, 06:57

79. Yannick Talabardon (F), BIG, 07:04

80. Guennadi Mikhilov (Rus), U.S. Postal Service, 07:06

81. Bram Tankink (Nl), Quick Step-Davitamon, 07:09

82. Nicki Sorensen (Dk), CSC, 07:09

83. Samuel Dumoulin (F), Jean Delatour, 07:10

84. Fabrice Gougot (F), Phonak, 07:13

85. Miguel Martinez (F), Phonak, 07:13

86. Vicent Garcia Acosta (Sp), iBanesto.com, 07:19

87. Andy Flickinger (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 07:20

88. Gonzalo Bayarri (Sp), Phonak, 07:26

89. Alexei Sivakov (Rus), BIG, 07:26

90. Eddy Seigneur (F), Jean Delatour, 07:31

91. Addy Engels (Nl), Rabobank (Netherlands), 07:31

92. Ruslan Ivanov (MDA), Alessio, 07:36

93. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 07:40

94. Anthony Geslin (F), Brioches La Boulangere, 07:43

95. Clain Médéric (F), Cofidis, 07:56

96. Jacky Durand (F), FDJeux.com, 08:00

97. Christophe Le Mevel (F), Credit Agricole, 08:01

98. Ruben Diaz De Cerio (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 08:02

99. Guillaume Auger (F), BIG, 08:06

100. Davide Frattini (I), Alessio, 08:14

101. Mads Kaggestad (Nor), Credit Agricole, 08:15

102. Alexandre Usov (Blr), Phonak, 08:22

103. Andrea Brognara (I), Alessio, 08:22

104. Janek Tombak (Est), Cofidis, 08:24

105. Lamouller LoïC (F), BIG, 08:26

106. Aitor Silloniz (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 08:31

107. Raffaele Ferrara (I), Alessio, 08:33

108. Anthony Charteau (F), Brioches La Boulangere, 08:51

109. Vaugrenard BenoïT (F), FDJeux.com, 08:58

110. Roger Beuchat (Swi), Phonak, 09:03

111. Angelo Furlan (I), Alessio, 09:07

112. Wilfried Cretskens (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 09:16

113. Plamen Stoianov (BUL), BIG, 10:03

114. Baden Cooke (Aus), FDJeux.com, 10:59

115. Ludovic Auger (F), BIG, 13:21

Ludovic Auger (), BIG

Overall Results after Stage 3

1. Lance Armstrong (USA), U.S. Postal Service, 10:01:24

2. David Millar (GB), Cofidis, 1:01

3. Iban Mayo (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:15

4. Inigo Chaurreau (Sp), Ag2R Prevoyance, 2:26

5. Didier Rous (F), Brioches La Boulangere, 2:34

6. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), iBanesto.com, 2:36

7. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Rabobank (Netherlands), 2:49

8. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, 3:15

9. Vladimir Karpets (Rus), iBanesto.com, 3:31

10. Christophe Moreau (F), Credit Agricole, 3:35

11. Albe Lopez De Munain (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

12. Grischa Niermann (G), Rabobank (Netherlands), 3:47

13. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Ag2R Prevoyance, 3:51

14. Remmert Wielinga (Nl), Rabobank (Netherlands), 3:55

15. Laurent Dufaux (Swi), Alessio, 3:56

16. Pena Victor Hugo (Col), U.S. Postal Service, 3:57

17. Cyril Dessel (F), Phonak, 4:03

18. Massimiliano Lelli (I), Cofidis, 4:04

19. Salmon Benoît (F), Phonak, 4:13

20. Mcgee Bradley (Aus), FDJeux.com, 4:16

21. Denis Menchov (Rus), iBanesto.com, 4:19

22. Gilles Bouvard (F), Jean Delatour, 4:23

23. Laurent Brochard (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 4:25

24. Mercado Juan Miguel (Sp), iBanesto.com, 4:39

25. Iker Flores (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 4:51

26. Pablo Lastras (Sp), iBanesto.com, 4:53

27. David Moncoutie (F), Cofidis, 4:55

28. Nicolas Vogondy (F), FDJeux.com, 4:56

29. Michael Boogerd (Nl), Rabobank (Netherlands), 4:58

30. Laurent Lefevre (F), Jean Delatour, 5:01

31. Kurt Van De Wouwer (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 5:05

32. Rubiera José Luis (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 5:06

33. Manuel Beltran (Sp), U.S. Postal Service, 5:14

34. David Canada Gracia (Sp), Quick Step-Davitamon, 5:18

35. Michael Blaudzun (Dk), CSC

36. Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr), Jean Delatour

37. Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz), Quick Step-Davitamon, 5:23

38. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz), Cofidis

39. Tyler Hamilton (USA), CSC, 5:26

40. Patrice Halgand (F), Jean Delatour, 5:27

41. Talabardon Sébastie (F), BIG, 5:31

42. Ludovic Turpin (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 5:33

43. Christophe Oriol (F), Ag2R Prevoyance

44. Nicolas Portal (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 5:34

45. Ekimov Viatcheslav (Rus), U.S. Postal Service, 5:39

46. Beat Zberg (Swi), Rabobank (Netherlands), 6:10

47. Peter Luttenberger (AUT), CSC, 6:12

48. Egoi Martinez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 6:28

49. Pavel Padrnos (Cz), U.S. Postal Service, 6:32

50. Alexandre Botcharov (Rus), Ag2R Prevoyance, 6:44

51. Nicolas Jalabert (F), CSC, 6:47

52. Vasseur Cédric (F), Cofidis

53. Philippe Gilbert (B), FDJeux.com, 6:48

54. Richard Virenque (F), Quick Step-Davitamon, 6:49

55. Finot Frédéric (F), Jean Delatour, 6:50

56. Jan Boven (Nl), Rabobank (Netherlands), 6:57

57. Fragniere Cédric (Swi), Credit Agricole, 6:58

58. Poilvet Benoît (F), Credit Agricole, 7:01

59. Walter Beneteau (F), Brioches La Boulangere, 7:11

60. Sylvain Chavanel (F), Brioches La Boulangere

61. Pierrick Fedrigo (F), Credit Agricole, 7:13

62. Manuel Calvente (Sp), CSC, 7:14

63. Christophe Edaleine (F), Jean Delatour

64. Iker Camano (Sp), Phonak, 7:15

65. Piotr Wadecki (Pol), Quick Step-Davitamon, 7:19

66. Pineau Jérôme (F), Brioches La Boulangere, 7:22

67. Andrea Peron (I), CSC, 7:26

68. Felix Garcia Casas (Sp), BIG, 7:30

69. Thor Hushovd (Nor), Credit Agricole, 7:32

70. Bessy Frédéric (F), Cofidis, 7:36

71. Samuel Dumoulin (F), Jean Delatour, 7:43

72. Maryan Hary (F), Brioches La Boulangere, 7:47

73. Anthony Morin (F), Credit Agricole, 7:49

74. Yannick Talabardon (F), BIG, 7:52

75. Vicent Garcia Acosta (Sp), iBanesto.com, 7:56

76. Alexei Sivakov (Rus), BIG, 8:06

77. Andy Flickinger (F), Ag2R Prevoyance, 8:12

78. Guennadi Mikhilov (Rus), U.S. Postal Service, 8:17

79. Ruslan Ivanov (MDA), Alessio, 8:19

80. Miguel Martinez (F), Phonak, 8:21

81. Nicki Sorensen (Dk), CSC, 8:31

82. Fabrice Gougot (F), Phonak, 8:39

83. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 8:53

84. Clain Médéric (F), Cofidis

85. Christophe Le Mevel (F), Credit Agricole, 9:00

86. Vaugrenard BenoïT (F), FDJeux.com, 9:19

87. Anthony Geslin (F), Brioches La Boulangere, 9:22

88. Alexandre Usov (Blr), Phonak, 9:28

89. Davide Frattini (I), Alessio, 9:37

90. Janek Tombak (Est), Cofidis, 9:39

91. Floyd Landis (USA), U.S. Postal Service

92. Joseba Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

93. Lamouller LoïC (F), BIG, 9:44

94. Roger Beuchat (Swi), Phonak, 10:15

95. Franck Renier (F), Brioches La Boulangere

96. Plamen Stoianov (BUL), BIG, 10:50

97. Javier Pascual (Sp), iBanesto.com, 11:00

98. Christophe Mengin (F), FDJeux.com, 11:09

99. Josu Silloniz (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 11:11

100. Bram Tankink (Nl), Quick Step-Davitamon, 11:44

101. Baden Cooke (Aus), FDJeux.com, 11:47

102. Mads Kaggestad (Nor), Credit Agricole, 12:49

103. Guillaume Auger (F), BIG, 13:02

104. Aitor Silloniz (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi

105. Raffaele Ferrara (I), Alessio, 13:34

106. Ruben Diaz De Cerio (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 13:38

107. Jacky Durand (F), FDJeux.com, 14:10

108. Wilfried Cretskens (B), Quick Step-Davitamon, 14:24

109. Angelo Furlan (I), Alessio, 14:28

110. Addy Engels (Nl), Rabobank (Netherlands), 23:37

111. Eddy Seigneur (F), Jean Delatour, 32:02:00

112. Gonzalo Bayarri (Sp), Phonak, 32:20:00

113. Andrea Brognara (I), Alessio, 33:51:00

114. Anthony Charteau (F), Brioches La Boulangere, 34:09:00