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Leipheimer seizes control of German Tour

American Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner) won the most difficult stage of the Tour of Germany on Thursday, a tough 171.6 kilometer Alpine race from Kufstein and Sölden in Austria. Leipheimer, sixth at this year’s Tour de France, also grabbed the overall leader’s jersey as he rode away from race favorite Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) on the brutally difficult 15-kilometer final climb to the finish. Ullrich, who had made the German Tour his main post-TdF objective, conceded 50 seconds to the American on the final climb, which rises 2670 meters with an average grade of 12 percent. Only Leipheimer’s

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Totschnig (l) and Leipheimer soon after ridding themselves of Ullrich's company

Totschnig (l) and Leipheimer soon after ridding themselves of Ullrich’s company

Photo: AFP/Michael Kappeler GERMANY OUT

American Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner) won the most difficult stage of the Tour of Germany on Thursday, a tough 171.6 kilometer Alpine race from Kufstein and Sölden in Austria.

Leipheimer, sixth at this year’s Tour de France, also grabbed the overall leader’s jersey as he rode away from race favorite Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) on the brutally difficult 15-kilometer final climb to the finish.

Ullrich, who had made the German Tour his main post-TdF objective, conceded 50 seconds to the American on the final climb, which rises 2670 meters with an average grade of 12 percent. Only Leipheimer’s Gerolsteiner teammate, Austrian Georg Totschnig, managed to stay with his team captain before loosing ground on the last kilometer.

Ullrich, who now sits 56 seconds behind the American, said he hasn’t given up hope of taking his national tour. The T-Mobile leader finished in third place on the day, 22 seconds ahead of Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto) and 34 seconds up on fifth-placed Jörg Jaksche of Liberty Seguros.

22-year-old American Saul Raisin finished the day in seventh place at 2:46 behind Leipheimer and is now seventh overall at 2:56.

Ullrich fought to stay with the two Gerolsteiners, but faded near the top.

Ullrich fought to stay with the two Gerolsteiners, but faded near the top.

Photo: AFP/Michael Kappeler GERMANY OUT

It was that elite group of five that set a hard pace onto the day’s final climb, setting a pace that few others could match. From there, it became a battle of attrition among the stars, with Leipheimer driving hard at the front, progressively shedding the competition as the grind to Sölden continued.

By day’s end Leipheimer not only took the overall leader’s jersey from QuickStep’s Bram Tankink, but also the KOM jersey from his Gerolsteiner teammate Fabian Wegmann.

As expected this, the tour’s Königsetappe (stage of kings) ended as a battle between Germany’s two top squads, Gerolsteiner and T-Mobile. The day began with early attacks from those hoping to gain time on the approach to the finishing climb.

Antonio Colom (Illes Balears) and Team Wiesenhof’s André Greipel made an early attack but were reeled in on the day’s first hors categorie climb to the summit of the Kühtai pass.

The big squads would not allow the stage to be decided until the final climb. While Leipheimer emerged the victor, Ullrich said he has not conceded defeat in the nine-stage event, pinning his hopes of making up his defecit on Monday’s 31km pan-flat, individual time trial from Ludwigshafen to Weinheim.

Both Gerolsteiner and T-Mobile lost major riders as Sebastian Lang and Alexandre Vinokourov were among eight riders who withdrew along Thursday’s route. Vinokourov may not be too concerned by his decision to withdraw, as he has already signed a new deal with Manolo Saiz’s Liberty Seguros squad for next season, after excpressing frustration with the structure of T-Mobile during the Tour de France.

Stage Results
1. Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, at 5:11:56
2. Georg Totschnig, Gerolsteiner, at 0:15
3. Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, at 0:50
4. Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, at 1:12
5. Jörg Jaksche, Liberty Seguros, at 1:24
6. Tadej Valjavec, Phonak, at 1:41
7. Saul Raisin, Credit Agricole, at 2:46
8. Marco Fertonani, Domina Vacanze, at 2:48
9. Fabian Jeker, Saunier Duval, at 3:06
10. Patrik Sinkewitz, Quickstep
11. Danilo Di Luca, Liquigas-Bianchi, at 3:48
12. Wim Van Huffel, Davitamon-Lotto
13. Marzio Bruseghin, Fassa Bortolo, at 4:28
14. David Arroyo Duran, Illes Balears, at 5:03
15. Jesus Hernandez, Liberty Seguros, at 5:39
FullResultsOverall, after four stages
1. Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, 19:17:02
2. Georg Totschnig, Gerolsteiner, at 0:18
3. Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, at 0:56
4. Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, at 1:22
5. Jörg Jaksche, Liberty Seguros, at 1:28
6. Tadej Valjavec, Phonak, at 1:51
7. Saul Raisin, Credit Agricole, at 2:56
8. Fabian Jeker, Saunier Duval, at 3:16
9. Patrik Sinkewitz, Quickstep, at 3:16
10. Wim Van Huffel, Davitamon-Lotto, at 3:58

FullResults

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Results

Stage Results
1. Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, at 5:11:56

2. Georg Totschnig, Gerolsteiner, at 0:15

3. Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, at 0:50

4. Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, at 1:12

5. Jörg Jaksche, Liberty Seguros, at 1:24

6. Tadej Valjavec, Phonak, at 1:41

7. Saul Raisin, Credit Agricole, at 2:46

8. Marco Fertonani, Domina Vacanze, at 2:48

9. Fabian Jeker, Saunier Duval, at 3:06

10. Patrik Sinkewitz, Quickstep

11. Danilo Di Luca, Liquigas-Bianchi, at 3:48

12. Wim Van Huffel, Davitamon-Lotto

13. Marzio Bruseghin, Fassa Bortolo, at 4:28

14. David Arroyo Duran, Illes Balears, at 5:03

15. Jesus Hernandez, Liberty Seguros, at 5:39
16. Pieter Weening, Rabobank

17. Thomas LÖvkvist, Francaise des Jeux, at 6:29

18. Alexandre Moos, Phonak, at 7:03

19. Ryder Hesjedal, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, at 7:09

20. Ruben Lobato Elvira, Saunier Duval, at 7:18

21. Mauricio Ardila Cano A., Davitamon-Lotto

22. Guido Trentin, Cofidis, at 7:46

23. Axel Merckx, Davitamon-Lotto, at 8:25

24. Rory Sutherland, Rabobank, at 8:34

25. Sergio Escobar Roure, Illes Balears, at 8:41

26. Vladimir Karpets, Illes Balears, at 9:16

27. Antton Luengo Celaya, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 9:47

28. Alberto Contador Velasco, Liberty Seguros, at 9:50

29. Laurent Brochard, Bouygues Telecom, 10:03

30. Evgeni Petrov, Lampre, 10:28

31. Bobby Julich, CSC, 10:36

32. Christian Knees, Team Wiesenhof, 10:38

33. Theo Eltink, Rabobank, 10:45

34. Davide Rebellin, Gerolsteiner, 11:00

35. Bert Grabsch, Phonak

36. Peter Luttenberger, CSC, 11:47

37. Dario David Cioni, Liquigas-Bianchi, 12:16

38. Gorka Verdugo M., Euskaltel-Euskadi, 13:04

39. Markus Fothen, Gerolsteiner, 13:28

40. Christopher Horner, Saunier Duval

41. Matthieu Sprick, Bouygues Telecom, 14:02

42. Amaël Moinard, Cofidis, 14:26

43. Daniel Schnider, Phonak, 14:45

44. Grischa Niermann, Rabobank

45. Janez Brajkovic, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team

46. Frank Schleck, CSC

47. Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank

48. Christophe Kern, Bouygues Telecom, 15:58

49. Joost Posthuma, Rabobank, 16:09

50. Johann Tschopp, Phonak

51. Fabian Wegmann, Gerolsteiner, 16:39

52. Cristian Moreni, Quickstep, 16:58

53. Matthias Kessler, T-Mobile, 17:17

54. Steffen Wesemann, T-Mobile, 17:52

55. Tobias Steinhauser, T-Mobile

56. Devis Miorin, Liquigas-Bianchi, 18:01

57. Nicolas Fritsch, Saunier Duval, 18:07

58. Yannick Talabardon, Credit Agricole, 18:17

59. Cédric Vasseur, Cofidis, 18:23

60. Carlos Barredo Llamazales, Liberty Seguros, 18:58

61. Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho, Liberty Seguros

62. Vladimir Miholjevic, Liquigas-Bianchi, 21:01

63. Alessandro Bertolini, Domina Vacanze, 21:40

64. Iker Flores Galarza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 21:43

65. Iker Camano Ortuzar, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 22:13

66. Marcus Zberg, Gerolsteiner, 23:09

67. Jason Mccartney, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, 27:18

68. Antonio Colom Mas, Illes Balears, 29:15

69. Mauro Facci, Fassa Bortolo, 34:07

70. Matej Jurco, Domina Vacanze

71. Sebastian Siedler, Team Wiesenhof

72. Bert Roesems, Davitamon-Lotto

73. Baden Cooke, Francaise des Jeux

74. Jurgen Van Der Broeck, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team

75. David Navas Chica, Illes Balears

76. Vincenzo Nibali, Fassa Bortolo

77. Frédéric Bessy, Cofidis

78. Bram Tankink, Quickstep

79. Ronny Scholz, Gerolsteiner

80. Markel Irizar Aranburu, Euskaltel-Euskadi

81. Joseba Zubeldia Agirre, Euskaltel-Euskadi

82. Jens Voigt, CSC

83. Volodymir Gustov, Fassa Bortolo

84. Stephan Schreck, T-Mobile

85. David Etxebarria Alkorta, Liberty Seguros

86. Mads Christensen, Quickstep

87. Bradley Wiggins, Credit Agricole

88. Gianluca Bortolami, Lampre

89. Daniele Righi, Lampre

90. Michael Albasini, Liquigas-Bianchi

91. Maarten Den Bakker, Rabobank

92. Gennady Mikhaylov, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team

93. Kilian Patour, Credit Agricole

94. Maxim Iglinskiy, Domina Vacanze

95. Roger Hammond, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team

96. Vicente Reynes Mimo, Illes Balears

97. Carlos Da Cruz, Francaise des Jeux

98. Alessandro Ballan, Lampre

99. Enrico Poitschke, Team Wiesenhof

100. Luke Roberts, CSC

101. Giuseppe Guerini, T-Mobile

102. René Andrle, Liberty Seguros

103. Grégory Rast, Phonak

104. Bram Schmitz, T-Mobile

105. Mario Aerts, Davitamon-Lotto

106. Christoph Brandt, Davitamon-Lotto

107. Marco Marzano, Lampre

108. Rafael Casero Moreno, Saunier Duval

109. Walter Beneteau, Bouygues Telecom

110. Davide Vigano, Quickstep

111. Frédéric Mainguenaud, Bouygues Telecom

112. Ronald Mutsaars, Rabobank

113. Björn SchrÖder, Team Wiesenhof

114. Unai Etxebarria Arana, Euskaltel-Euskadi

115. Marco Milesi, Liquigas-Bianchi

116. Nicolas Jalabert, Phonak

117. Fabian Cancellara, Fassa Bortolo, 34:36

118. Sébastien Hinault, Credit Agricole

119. Davide Bramati, Quickstep

120. Juan Jose Cobo Acebo, Saunier Duval, 34:49

121. Christian MÜller, CSC, 35:05

122. Ralf Grabsch, Team Wiesenhof

123. Filippo Pozzato, Quickstep, 35:12

124. Wilfried Cretskens, Quickstep

125. Luis Leon Sanchez Gil, Liberty Seguros

126. Cyril Lemoine, Credit Agricole, 35:31

127. Matti Breschel, CSC

128. Peter Farazijn, Cofidis

129. Matthew Wilson, Francaise des Jeux

130. Nico Mattan, Davitamon-Lotto

131. Sébastien Portal, Credit Agricole, 35:48

132. Rony Martias, Bouygues Telecom, 35:54

133. André Greipel, Team Wiesenhof, 35:59

134. Martin MÜller, Team Wiesenhof

135. Steffen Radochla, Team Wiesenhof, 36:06

136. Andrej Hauptman, Fassa Bortolo, 36:09

137. Daniele Bennati, Lampre, 36:12

138. Volodymyr Bileka, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, 36:18

139. Luciano André Pagliarini, Liquigas-Bianchi, 36:38

140. Christian Bonfanti, Domina Vacanze, 37:16

141. Marco Righetto, Liquigas-Bianchi, 38:04

Overall, after four stages
1. Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, 19:17:02

2. Georg Totschnig, Gerolsteiner, at 0:18

3. Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, at 0:56

4. Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, at 1:22

5. Jörg Jaksche, Liberty Seguros, at 1:28

6. Tadej Valjavec, Phonak, at 1:51

7. Saul Raisin, Credit Agricole, at 2:56

8. Fabian Jeker, Saunier Duval, at 3:16

9. Patrik Sinkewitz, Quickstep, at 3:16

10. Wim Van Huffel, Davitamon-Lotto, at 3:58

11. Marzio Bruseghin, Fassa Bortolo, at 4:38

12. Marco Fertonani, Domina Vacanze, at 4:48

13. David Arroyo Duran, Illes Balears, at 5:13

14. Danilo Di Luca, Liquigas-Bianchi, at 5:23

15. Pieter Weening, Rabobank, at 5:49

16. Thomas LÖvkvist, Francaise des Jeux, at 6:39

17. Alexandre Moos, Phonak, at 7:12

18. Mauricio Ardila Cano A., Davitamon-Lotto, at 7:24

19. Guido Trentin, Cofidis, at 7:56

20. Ryder Hesjedal, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, at 8:44

21. Ruben Lobato Elvira, Saunier Duval, at 8:53

22. Jesus Hernandez, Liberty Seguros, at 8:54

23. Vladimir Karpets, Illes Balears, at 9:26

24. Sergio Escobar Roure, Illes Balears, at 9:47

25. Alberto Contador Velasco, Liberty Seguros, at 10:00

26. Bobby Julich, CSC, at 10:44

27. Davide Rebellin, Gerolsteiner, at 11:10

28. Laurent Brochard, Bouygues Telecom, at 11:38

29. Peter Luttenberger, CSC, at 11:57

30. Evgeni Petrov, Lampre, at 12:03

31. Theo Eltink, Rabobank, at 12:14

32. Dario David Cioni, Liquigas-Bianchi, at 12:26

33. Gorka Verdugo M., Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 13:14

34. Christopher Horner, Saunier Duval, at 13:38

35. Christian Knees, Team Wiesenhof, at 13:44

36. Bert Grabsch, Phonak, at 14:06

37. Axel Merckx, Davitamon-Lotto, at 14:49

38. Markus Fothen, Gerolsteiner, at 15:22

39. Rory Sutherland, Rabobank, at 15:23

40. Daniel Schnider, Phonak, at 16:20

41. Janez Brajkovic, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, at 16:20

42. Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, at 16:45

43. Johann Tschopp, Phonak, at 16:49

44. Grischa Niermann, Rabobank, at 17:51

45. Fabian Wegmann, Gerolsteiner, at 18:14

46. Cristian Moreni, Quickstep, at 18:33

47. Matthias Kessler, T-Mobile, at 18:52

48. Joost Posthuma, Rabobank, at 19:15

49. Steffen Wesemann, T-Mobile, at 19:27

50. Tobias Steinhauser, T-Mobile, at 19:46

51. Cédric Vasseur, Cofidis, at 19:58

52. Antton Luengo Celaya, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 20:15

53. Matthieu Sprick, Bouygues Telecom, at 20:26

54. Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho, Liberty Seguros, at 20:33

55. Amaël Moinard, Cofidis, at 20:50

56. Yannick Talabardon, Credit Agricole, at 21:23

57. Iker Camano Ortuzar, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 22:23

58. Vladimir Miholjevic, Liquigas-Bianchi, at 22:36

59. Iker Flores Galarza, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 23:18

60. Christophe Kern, Bouygues Telecom, at 23:49

61. Devis Miorin, Liquigas-Bianchi, at 24:25

62. Nicolas Fritsch, Saunier Duval, at 24:31

63. Marcus Zberg, Gerolsteiner, at 24:44

64. Alessandro Bertolini, Domina Vacanze, at 28:04

65. Frank Schleck, CSC, at 29:57

66. Antonio Colom Mas, Illes Balears, at 30:45

67. Bram Tankink, Quickstep, at 33:54

68. Filippo Pozzato, Quickstep, at 35:06

69. David Etxebarria Alkorta, Liberty Seguros, at 35:13

70. Vincenzo Nibali, Fassa Bortolo, at 35:40

71. Volodymir Gustov, Fassa Bortolo, at 35:42

72. Maxim Iglinskiy, Domina Vacanze, at 35:42

73. Giuseppe Guerini, T-Mobile, at 35:42

74. Mario Aerts, Davitamon-Lotto, at 35:42

75. Christoph Brandt, Davitamon-Lotto, at 35:42

76. Fabian Cancellara, Fassa Bortolo, at 35:52

77. Jens Voigt, CSC, at 35:58

78. Bradley Wiggins, Credit Agricole, at 36:01

79. Carlos Barredo Llamazales, Liberty Seguros, at 36:03

80. Jason Mccartney, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, at 36:05

81. Christian Müller, CSC, at 36:40

82. Marco Marzano, Lampre, at 36:46

83. Luis Leon Sanchez Gil, Liberty Seguros, at 36:47

84. Grégory Rast, Phonak, at 37:13

85. Björn SchrÖder, Team Wiesenhof, at 37:13

86. David Navas Chica, Illes Balears, at 37:22

87. Sebastian Siedler, Team Wiesenhof, at 38:22

88. Baden Cooke, Francaise des Jeux, at 38:26

89. Mads Christensen, Quickstep, at 38:26

90. Rafael Casero Moreno, Saunier Duval, at 38:26

91. Walter Beneteau, Bouygues Telecom, at 38:26

92. Markel Irizar Aranburu, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 39:03

93. Matej Jurco, Domina Vacanze, at 40:31

94. Ronny Scholz, Gerolsteiner, at 40:31

95. Maarten Den Bakker, Rabobank, at 40:31

96. Vicente Reynes Mimo, Illes Balears, at 40:31

97. Carlos Da Cruz, Francaise des Jeux, at 40:31

98. Alessandro Ballan, Lampre, at 40:31

99. Ronald Mutsaars, Rabobank, at 40:31

100. Nicolas Jalabert, Phonak, at 40:31

101. Frédéric Bessy, Cofidis, at 40:56

102. Michael Albasini, Liquigas-Bianchi, at 40:56

103. Cyril Lemoine, Credit Agricole, at 41:55

104. Peter Farazijn, Cofidis, at 41:55

105. Sébastien Portal, Credit Agricole, at 42:12

106. André Greipel, Team Wiesenhof, at 42:20

107. Volodymyr Bileka, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, at 42:42

108. Kilian Patour, Credit Agricole, at 42:49

109. Juan Jose Cobo Acebo, Saunier Duval, at 43:15

110. Daniele Righi, Lampre, at 43:46

111. Enrico Poitschke, Team Wiesenhof, at 45:20

112. Bert Roesems, Davitamon-Lotto, at 45:25

113. Gianluca Bortolami, Lampre, at 45:25

114. Luke Roberts, CSC, at 45:25

115. René Andrle, Liberty Seguros, at 45:25

116. Frédéric Mainguenaud, Bouygues Telecom, at 45:25

117. Mauro Facci, Fassa Bortolo, at 45:46

118. Sébastien Hinault, Credit Agricole, at 45:54

119. Marco Milesi, Liquigas-Bianchi, at 45:57

120. Ralf Grabsch, Team Wiesenhof, at 46:23

121. Stephan Schreck, T-Mobile, at 46:48

122. Daniele Bennati, Lampre, at 47:20

123. Steffen Radochla, Team Wiesenhof, at 47:24

124. Andrej Hauptman, Fassa Bortolo, at 47:27

125. Luciano André Pagliarini, Liquigas-Bianchi, at 47:56

126. Christian Bonfanti, Domina Vacanze, at 48:34

127. Joseba Zubeldia Agirre, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 49:19

128. Gennady Mikhaylov, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, at 49:19

129. Roger Hammond, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, at 49:19

130. Davide Vigano, Quickstep, at 49:19

131. Davide Bramati, Quickstep, at 49:48

132. Wilfried Cretskens, Quickstep, at 50:24

133. Nico Mattan, Davitamon-Lotto, at 50:43

134. Rony Martias, Bouygues Telecom, at 52:28

135. Bram Schmitz, T-Mobile, at 52:39

136. Marco Righetto, Liquigas-Bianchi, at 53:16

137. Unai Etxebarria Arana, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 54:52

138. Matti Breschel, CSC, at 55:42

139. Martin MÜller, Team Wiesenhof, at 56:05

140. Jurgen Van Der Broeck, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, at 59:44

141. Matthew Wilson, Francaise des Jeux, at 1:00:39