Events

Armstrong takes over at Dauphiné

With a long time trial awaiting him, Denis Menchov knew his time in the yellow jersey at the 54th edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré would be finite after his win on Mount Ventoux yesterday. And the young Russian was right as he lost more than two minutes to U.S. Postal’s Lance Armstrong, the new overall leader of the eight-day Tour de France warm up. Perhaps a bigger surprise, however, was that Armstrong finished only second in Wednesday’s 41-kilometer time trial losing by 42 seconds to Kelme’s Santiago Botero, winner of last weekend’s Classique des Alpes. Haimar Zubeldia

By VeloNews Interactive wire services

Armstrong takes second to Botero, but takes the jersey.

Armstrong takes second to Botero, but takes the jersey.

Photo: Graham Watson

With a long time trial awaiting him, Denis Menchov knew his time in the yellow jersey at the 54th edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré would be finite after his win on Mount Ventoux yesterday. And the young Russian was right as he lost more than two minutes to U.S. Postal’s Lance Armstrong, the new overall leader of the eight-day Tour de France warm up.

Perhaps a bigger surprise, however, was that Armstrong finished only second in Wednesday’s 41-kilometer time trial losing by 42 seconds to Kelme’s Santiago Botero, winner of last weekend’s Classique des Alpes. Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at 1:49 and prologue winner Brad McGee (La Francaise Des Jeux) and Didier Rous (Bonjour) rounded out the top five.

“I was a little disappointed not to have won at Mont Ventoux yesterday, but the fact that I haven’t won a stage yet isn’t important, that’ll come,” said Armstrong. “You can never be at your best in June.”

The TT was Botero’s big goal for the Dauphiné.

Photo: Graham Watson

It’s a point that can apply to Botero as a well, as the Kelme rider won Saturday’s Classique des Alpes, but finished Tuesday’s stage to the top of Mount Ventoux more than 15 minutes behind Armstrong. Armstrong said that while he would have liked a stage win, it was obviously not his primary concern.

“In this time trial, which was made all the more difficult with the heat, I knew I wasn’t going to win towards the end but I also knew I’d take over the leader’s jersey,” Armstrong said.

Botero, who describes himself as more of a road racer than a climber, had made winning the time trial as his week’s objective.

“The Tour de France isn’t one of my priorities this season, but the Vuelta is … because Lance Armstrong won’t be there!” Botero said with a smile. “Lance did a great time trial,” said Johan Bruyneel, the USPS team’s director sportif. “He was very comfortable throughout the race and stayed within himself from start to finish. Bottero is a very strong time trialist and when he has one of those days, nobody can beat him. Yet you see the big difference Lance put into everyone else and realize Bottero is really powerful.”

Armstrong entered the stage in fifth place overall, 23 seconds back of yesterday’s stage winner Denis Menchov or iBanesto.com. Armstrong finished seventh in yesterday’s stage, 37 seconds back of Menchov, while Bottero finished the stage in 69th place, losing 15:06 to Menchov.

It will now be up to the USPS team to defend Armstrong’s lead.

“The Dauphine is still the Dauphine, it’s a very hard race,” said Bruyneel. “Saturday’s stage is very, very hard with several climbs including the Joux Plane. On the other hand, it’s time for the USPS team to start defending a jersey – we did it for only one day this year at the Midi Libre. It’s good training and a good way for us to get used to the team system of defending the jersey. I feel our team here is strong, all are possible Tour (de France) riders. It will be a good test to see how everyone is. It will also be a good test for me, to get used to the tactics again. It’s time to get going.”

Other top Postal riders in Wednesday’s stage were Victor Hugo Pena in 10th place, at 2:50, and Floyd Landis in 17th place, at 3:25.

Landis, following an impressive 10th place finish in yesterday’s stage to Mount Ventoux, is in 11th place overall and has impressed Bruyneel.

“Yesterday Floyd was very good – it was the first time I gave him some freedom in a race, the chance to ride his own race and not have to work for Lance,” said Bruyneel.

“It is good for us tactically and gives us something else to play with. He did an amazing climb and he was very happy after the stage. The team has expressed confidence in him right from the start of the season and yesterday he really proved us right.”

Another pleasant surprise for Postal has been the performance of Viatcheslav Ekimov, who re-joined the team prior to the Dauphine after retiring at the end of last season. Ekimov was solid at Mount Ventoux – 23rd place, at 4:30 – and was 30th today, at 4:27. Overall, Ekimov is in 23rd place, just under eight minutes back.

“Over here, everyone is really surprised at Ekimov’s performance, but I’m not,” added Bruyneel. “He came with our team to a mountain training camp after the Midi Libre and was already in great shape. We still must be careful with him. He needs to get through this race and then recover from it.

“It’s strange to say, but its like he has never left. That is how I feel and that is how the guys feel.”

Thursday’s fourth stage is a 209km run between Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Digne with the riders having to tackle the second category Corobin climb just 15km from the finish.

Photo Gallery

Results

1. Santiago Botero (Col) Kelme-Costa Blanca, 41km in 52:30 (46.847 kph)

2. Lance Armstrong (USA) U.S. Postal Service, at 0:42

3. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:49

4. Bradley McGee (Aus) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 2:12

5. Didier Rous (F) Bonjour, at 2:23

6. David Millar (GB) Cofidis, at 2:30

7. Jonathan Vaughters (USA) Credit Agricole, at 2:39

8. Marzio Bruseghin (I) iBanesto.com, at 2:42

9. Christophe Moreau (F) Credit Agricole, at 2:44

10. Victor-Hugo Pena (Col) U.S. Postal Service, at 2:50

11. Anthony Morin (F) Credit Agricole, at 2:57

12. Antonio Tauler (Sp) Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 2:58

13. Denis Menchov (Rus) iBanesto.com, at 3:03

14. Oscar Sevilla (Sp) Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 3:21

15. Andrea Peron (I) Team CSC Tiscali, at 3:23

16. Jacky Durand (F) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 3:25

17. Floyd Landis (USA) U.S. Postal Service, at 3:25

18. Laurent Lefevre (F) Jean Delatour, at 3:32

19. Jurgen Van Goolen (B) Domo-Farm Frites, at 3:47

20. Inigo Charreau (Sp) Ag2R, at 3:49

21. Andrei Kivilev (Kaz) Cofidis, at 3:50

22. Richard Virenque (F) Domo-Farm Frites, at 3:50

23. Jerome Bernard (F) Jean Delatour, at 4:03

24. Nicolas Portal (F) Ag2R, at 4:05

25. Aitor Kintana Zarate (Sp) Bigmat-Auber 93, at 4:06

26. Kurt Van De Wouwer (B) Lotto-Adecco, at 4:07

27. Felix Garcia Casas (Sp) Bigmat-Auber 93, at 4:09

28. Alexei Sivakov (Rus) Bigmat-Auber 93, at 4:14

29. Cedric Vasseur (F) Cofidis, at 4:22

30. Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus) U.S. Postal Service, at 4:27

31. Eddy Seigneur (F) Jean Delatour, at 4:29

32. Stephane Goubert (F) Jean Delatour, at 4:32

33. Benoit Poilvet (F) Credit Agricole, at 4:33

34. Laurent Jalabert (F) Team CSC Tiscali, at

35. Nicolas Vogondy (F) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 4:35

36. Nico Mattan (B) Cofidis, at 4:36

37. David Moncoutie (F) Cofidis, at 4:41

38. Massimiliano Lelli (I) Cofidis, at 4:43

39. Andrei Kashechkin (Kaz) Domo-Farm Frites, at 4:48

40. Unai Osa (Sp) iBanesto.com, at 4:57

41. Pavel Padrnos (Cze) U.S. Postal Service, at 4:58

42. Ruben Plaza (Sp) iBanesto.com, at 4:59

43. Benoit Joachim (Lux) U.S. Postal Service, at 5:00

44. Alexandre Grux (F) Ag2R, at 5:01

45. Unai Etxebarria (Ven) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 5:01

46. Patrice Halgand (F) Jean Delatour, at 5:01

47. Serge Baguet (B) Lotto-Adecco, at 5:02

48. Guido Trentin (I) Cofidis, at 5:02

49. Stephane Heulot (F) Bigmat-Auber 93, at 5:02

50. Sebastie Talabardon (F) Bigmat-Auber 93, at 5:07

51. David Latasa (Sp) iBanesto.com, at 5:08

52. Mickael Pichon (F) Bonjour, at 5:12

53. Jean-Cyril Robin (F) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 5:13

54. Jose Enriq Gutierrez (Sp) Kelme-Costa Blanca, at

55. Christophe Oriol (F) Ag2R, at 5:15

56. Iker Flores (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 5:16

57. Franck Renier (F) Bonjour, at 5:16

58. Samuel Sanchez (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 5:18

59. Francois Simon (F) Bonjour, at 5:23

60. Tomas Brozyna (Pol) iBanesto.com, at 5:28

61. Mikel Astarloza (Sp) Ag2R, at 5:29

62. Christophe Edaleine (F) Jean Delatour, at 5:31

63. Koos Morenhout (Nl) Domo-Farm Frites, at 5:33

64. Cyril Dessel (F) Jean Delatour, at 5:34

65. Frederic Guesdon (F) La Francaise Des Jeux, at

66. Marcelino Garcia (Sp) Team CSC Tiscali, at 5:35

67. Walter Beneteau (F) Bonjour, at 5:36

68. Wilfried Cretskens (B) Domo-Farm Frites, at 5:39

69. Steffen Kjaergaard (Nor) U.S. Postal Service, at 5:40

70. Ludovic Turpin (F) Ag2R, at 5:42

71. Frederic Bessy (F) Credit Agricole, at 5:49

72. Cesar Solaun (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 5:50

73. Alexandre Bocharov (Rus) Ag2R, at 5:50

74. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol) iBanesto.com, at 5:50

75. Joaquim Lopez (Sp) Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 5:51

76. Sandy Casar (F) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 5:52

77. Gorka Arrizabalaga (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 5:54

78. Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC Tiscali, at

79. Franck Boyer (F) Bonjour, at 6:02

80. Xavier Jan (F) Bigmat-Auber 93, at 6:10

81. Bram Tankink (Nl) Domo-Farm Frites, at 6:11

82. Christophe Laurent (F) Jean Delatour, at 6:18

83. Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus) Lotto-Adecco, at 6:19

84. Claude Lamour (F) Cofidis, at 6:20

85. Laurent Estadieu (F) Ag2R, at 6:27

86. Gorka Gonzalez (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 6:29

87. Tomas Bodo (F) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 6:35

88. Santiago Perez (Sp) Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 6:35

89. Jose Luis Rubiera (Sp) U.S. Postal Service, at 6:39

90. Kevin Van Impe (B) Lotto-Adecco, at 6:41

91. Lylian Lebreton (F) Bigmat-Auber 93, at 6:44

92. Sebastien Hinault (F) Credit Agricole, at 6:44

93. Francisco Javie Vila (Sp) iBanesto.com, at 6:45

94. Ludovic Martin (F) Credit Agricole, at 6:48

95. Ruben Diaz De Cerio (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 6:49

96. Alexis Rodriguez (Sp) Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 6:51

97. Christophe Brandt (B) Lotto-Adecco, at 6:53

98. Ief Verbrugghe (B) Lotto-Adecco, at 6:53

99. Michael Rasmussen (Den) Team CSC Tiscali, at 7:03

100. Olivier Asmaker (F) Team CSC Tiscali, at 7:15

101. Loic Lamouller (F) Bigmat-Auber 93, at 7:16

102. Stefan Van Dijck (Nl) Lotto-Adecco, at 7:19

103. Baden Cooke (Aus) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 7:37

104. Anthony Charteau (F) Bonjour, at 7:46

105. Christopher Jenner (F) Credit Agricole, at 7:50

106. Steve De Wolf (B) Domo-Farm Frites, at 8:29

107. Ignacio Gutierrez (Sp) Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 8:32

108. Francisco Cerezo (Sp) Team CSC Tiscali, at 9:21

109. Nicolas Jalabert (F) Team CSC Tiscali, at 11:46

DNS Sylvain Chavanel (F) Bonjour

OVERALL

1. Lance Armstrong (USA) U.S. Postal Service, at 9:57:25

2. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:12

3. Denis Menchov (Rus) iBanesto.com, at 1:59

4. Christophe Moreau (F) Credit Agricole, at 2:18

5. Oscar Sevilla (Sp) Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 2:57

6. Aitor Kintana Zarate (Sp) Bigmat-Auber 93, at 3:07

7. David Millar (GB) Cofidis

8. Felix Garcia Casas (Sp) Bigmat-Auber 93, at 3:15

9. Andrei Kivilev (Kaz) Cofidis, at 3:22

10. Marzio Bruseghin (I) iBanesto.com, at 3:52

11. Floyd Landis (USA) U.S. Postal Service, at 3:56

12. Unai Osa (Sp) iBanesto.com, at 4:03

13. Richard Virenque (F) Domo-Farm Frites, at 4:29

14. Kurt Van De Wouwer (B) Lotto-Adecco, at 4:51

15. Inigo Chaurreau (Sp) Ag2R, at 5:07

16. Nicolas Vogondy (F) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 5:16

17. David Moncoutie (F) Cofidis, at 5:25

18. Stephane Goubert (F) Jean Delatour, at 5:49

19. Marcelino Garcia (Sp) Team CSC Tiscali, at 6:49

20. Laurent Jalabert (F) Team CSC Tiscali, at 6:56

21. Laurent Lefevre (F) Jean Delatour, at 7:06

22. Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2R, at 7:10

23. Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus) U.S. Postal Service, at 7:42

24. Stephane Heulot (F) Bigmat-Auber 93, at 8:22

25. Jonathan Vaughters (USA) Credit Agricole, at 8:24

26. Tomasz Brozyna (Pol) iBanesto.com, at 8:56

27. Andrea Peron (I) Team CSC Tiscali, at 9:06

28. Cyril Dessel (F) Jean Delatour, at 9:26

29. Gorka Arrizabalaga (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 9:28

30. Jose Luis Rubiera (Sp) U.S. Postal Service, at 9:40

31. Christophe Oriol (F) Ag2R, at 9:48

32. Mikel Astarloza (Sp) Ag2R, at 10:17

33. Anthony Morin (F) Credit Agricole, at 10:18

34. Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team CSC Tiscali, at 10:36

35. Cedric Vasseur (F) Cofidis, at 11:10

36. Sebastie Talabardon (F) Bigmat-Auber 93, at 11:40

37. Massimiliano Lelli (I) Cofidis, at 11:41

38. Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus) Lotto-Adecco, at 12:01

39. Jean-Cyril Robin (F) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 12:12

40. Guido Trentin (I) Cofidis, at 12:33

41. Xavier Jan (F) Bigmat-Auber 93, at 12:34

42. Benoit Poilvet (F) Credit Agricole, at 12:38

43. Samuel Sanchez (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 12:39

44. Walter Beneteau (F) Bonjour, at 12:43

45. Christophe Edaleine (F) Jean Delatour, at 12:46

46. Sandy Casar (F) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 12:53

47. Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Domo-Farm Frites, at 12:58

48. Gorka Gonzalez (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 13:25

49. Jurgen Van Goolen (B) Domo-Farm Frites, at 13:38

50. Santiago Botero (Col) Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 13:52

51. Patrice Halgand (F) Jean Delatour, at 13:57

52. Michael Rasmussen (Den) Team CSC Tiscali, at 14:35

53. Bradley Mcgee (Aus) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 14:52

54. Jose Enriq Gutierrez (Sp) Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 14:58

55. Ludovic Martin (F) Credit Agricole, at 15:14

56. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol) iBanesto.com, at 15:50

57. Steve De Wolf (B) Domo-Farm Frites, at 16:11

58. Frederic Bessy (F) Credit Agricole, at 16:35

59. Christophe Laurent (F) Jean Delatour, at 16:52

60. Sebastien Hinault (F) Credit Agricole, at 17:01

61. Benoit Joachim (Lux) U.S. Postal Service, at 17:08

62. Loic Lamouller (F) Bigmat-Auber 93, at 17:18

63. Serge Baguet (B) Lotto-Adecco, at 17:34

64. Didier Rous (F) Bonjour, at 17:41

65. Alexandre Grux (F) Ag2R

66. Victor-Hugo Pena (Col) U.S. Postal Service, at 18:14

67. Unai Etxebarria (Ven) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 18:25

68. Jerome Bernard (F) Jean Delatour, at 18:33

69. Francisco Cerezo (Sp) Team CSC Tiscali, at 18:36

70. Antonio Tauler (Sp) Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 18:49

71. Laurent Estadieu (F) Ag2R, at 19:07

72. Nicolas Portal (F) Ag2R, at 19:35

73. David Latasa (Sp) iBanesto.com, at 20:04

74. Lylian Lebreton (F) Bigmat-Auber 93, at 20:26

75. Nicolas Jalabert (F) Team CSC Tiscali, at 20:28

76. Mickael Pichon (F) Bonjour, at 20:38

77. Franck Renier (F) Bonjour, at 20:41

78. Santiago Perez (Sp) Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 20:43

79. Iker Flores (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 20:49

80. Frederic Guesdon (F) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 20:58

81. Bram Tankink (Nl) Domo-Farm Frites, at 21:04

82. Christophe Brandt (B) Lotto-Adecco, at 21:05

83. Ludovic Turpin (F) Ag2R, at 21:10

84. Franck Bouyer (F) Bonjour, at 21:23

85. Nico Mattan (B) Cofidis, at 21:41

86. Ruben Plaza (Sp) iBanesto.com, at 21:49

87. Thomas Bodo (F) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 22:01

88. Ief Verbrugghe (B) Lotto-Adecco, at 22:19

89. Pavel Padrnos (Cze) U.S. Postal Service, at 22:50

90. Baden Cooke (Aus) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 22:52

91. Jacky Durand (F) La Francaise Des Jeux, at 23:11

92. Christopher Jenner (F) Credit Agricole, at 23:15

93. Francisco Javie Vila (Sp) iBanesto.com, at 23:47

94. Koos Moerenhout (Nl) Domo-Farm Frites

95. Cesar Solaun (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 25:02

96. Eddy Seigneur (F) Jean Delatour, at 25:05

97. Alexei Sivakov (Rus) Bigmat-Auber 93, at 25:35

98. Francois Simon (F) Bonjour, at 26:06

99. Steffen Kjaergaard (Nor) U.S. Postal Service, at 26:13

100. Wilfried Cretskens (B) Domo-Farm Frites, at 26:26

101. Olivier Asmaker (F) Team CSC Tiscali, at 26:39

102. Stefan Van Dijck (Nl) Lotto-Adecco, at 27:55

103. Ruben Diaz De Cerio (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 28:30

104. Anthony Charteau (F) Bonjour, at 29:21

105. Claude Lamour (F) Cofidis, at 31:18

106. Alexis Rodriguez (Sp) Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 35:50

107. Kevin Van Impe (B) Lotto-Adecco, at 36:33

108. Joaquim Lopez (Sp) Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 40:27

109. Ignacio Gutierrez (Sp) Kelme-Costa Blanca, at 48:45

AFP 2002