Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Events

Rasmussen soloes to Dauphiné stage win

Michael Rasmussen, the willowy Dane who came late to road racing after winning the 1999 world mountain-bike championship, was all smiles Saturday evening after taking a brilliant solo stage win at the Dauphiné Libéré. Tyler Hamilton, despite maintaining his second place on GC, 36 seconds down on Ivan Mayo, was just relieved to have finished the four-hour mountain stage in one piece. Phonak team leader Hamilton crashed halfway down the long, dangerous descent of the Col de la Morte (“Pass of the Dead”) along with two others, his Spanish teammate Santos Gonzales and Frenchman Walter Beneteau.

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

By John Wilcockson

Rasmussen grabs a win for Rabobank

Rasmussen grabs a win for Rabobank

Photo: AFP

Michael Rasmussen, the willowy Dane who came late to road racing after winning the 1999 world mountain-bike championship, was all smiles Saturday evening after taking a brilliant solo stage win at the Dauphiné Libéré. Tyler Hamilton, despite maintaining his second place on GC, 36 seconds down on Ivan Mayo, was just relieved to have finished the four-hour mountain stage in one piece.

Phonak team leader Hamilton crashed halfway down the long, dangerous descent of the Col de la Morte (“Pass of the Dead”) along with two others, his Spanish teammate Santos Gonzales and Frenchman Walter Beneteau. All three had superficial cuts and bruises, but only Hamilton — who said he lost about two minutes and needed two bike changes — managed to catch back to the lead group led by Mayo’s men in Euskaltel orange.

The American ripped his shorts and had a bloodied elbow, but he cast off the pain and made an amazing chase up the day’s toughest climb, the Col de Luitel, which averages 9.5 percent over 9km of bumpy, narrow pavement. Hamilton got an assist from another of his Spanish teammates, Oscar Pereiro, who dropped back to help his leader. They gained back half the two-minute deficit on the climb, the other half on the incredibly fast, curving descent to Uriage-les-Bains.

Hamilton's crash required two bike changes and a hard chase

Hamilton’s crash required two bike changes and a hard chase

Photo: Graham Watson

Rasmussen, just 30, is in only his fourth season as a road professional. But he’s made a true mark as a climber. The skinny Dane, who’s 5-foot-9 and weighs a shade under 130 pounds, hasn’t wasted his time. He took a summit-finish stage win at the Tour of Burgos in 2002, won a mountaintop stage of the 2003 Vuelta a España at Cauterets (and took seventh overall), and his goal this year is to win a stage of the Tour de France.

Saturday’s win was a great rehearsal, especially as he had some stomach problems on last Thursday’s Mont Ventoux time trial (but still finished ninth) and on Friday he lost 5:35 to the main pack on the easy stage to Sisteron. That put the Rabobank rider down to 35th overall, 9:22 behind Mayo, so he wasn’t considered a threat when he made an initial move on the Col Bayard just 3km into the 144km stage 6.

Basso and Rasmussen work together

Basso and Rasmussen work together

Photo: Graham Watson

“I attacked as soon as it got steep,” Rasmussen said. “Some others tried to come across, but only Basso made it.” CSC’s Italian rider Ivan Basso was even further back on GC than Rasmussen after using this race as training for the Tour. The pair topped the steep Bayard, a Cat. 2 climb of 6.5km, with just 15 seconds lead on the pack, knowing that they had a long road ahead of them, most of it into a head wind, with seven more climb to go.

“I knew if I could get to the 60km point with at least five minutes, I had a good chance of winning the stage,” said the Dane. In fact, Rasmussen and Basso, had 7:40 by that point, and knew they had an excellent chance of staying away to the finish in Grenoble. Then on a sharp switchback on the fifth climb, the Col de la Morte, Basso dropped his chain and had a hard time fixing it. “I waited for him,” Rasmussen said, “but he didn’t come back, and I was 40 seconds ahead at the summit.”

The Dane certainly wasn’t going to wait any longer, as the highly technical 15km descent required all of his bike-handling skills and concentration. Rasmussen opened up the gap to more than five minutes on Basso over the last three killer climbs, while the Mayo group — which featured a calm, strong-looking Lance Armstrong and three of his teammates — was pulled home by Phonak, once Hamilton had rejoined. Their deficit on the line was 6:43, with Rasmussen jumping to seventh overall, two places ahead of his Rabobank teammate Levi Leipheimer.

After the finish, Phonak’s Jose Gutierrez was unhappy and came to speak to Leipheimer, with Hamilton translating. “Did I cause the crash?” asked Leipheimer. “No,” replied Hamilton, “but he’s saying you blocked him.” The two Americans, who sometimes train together at the Spanish base of Gerona, agreed to talk things over later.

We can be sure that Leipheimer, who said he still has to hone his form for the Tour, won’t win Sunday’s stage. But few will disagree that, barring accidents, Mayo will keep the race lead on the final stage, which includes four more alpine climbs on a 200km loop out and back to Grenoble.

Photo Gallery

Results

Stage 6 Results

1. Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, 4:04:44

2. Ivan Basso, CSC, 5:20

3. Thomas Voeckler, Brioches La Boulangere, 6:43

4. Gutierrez José, Phonak, 6:43

5. Juan Miguel Mercado, Quick Step-Davitamon, 6:43

6. LÖvkvist Thomas, FDJeux.com, 6:43

7. Carlos Sastre, CSC, 6:43

8. Floyd Landis, U.S. Postal Service, 6:43

9. Richard Virenque, Quick Step-Davitamon, 6:43

10. Alexandre Botcharov, Crédit Agricole, 6:43

11. Goubert Stéphane, Ag2R Prevoyance, 6:43

12. Azevedo José, U.S. Postal Service, 6:43

13. Levi Leipheimer, Rabobank, 6:43

14. Oscar Pereiro, Phonak, 6:43

15. Oscar Sevilla, Phonak, 6:43

16. David Moncoutie, Cofidis, 6:43

17. Tyler Hamilton, Phonak, 6:43

18. Iban Mayo, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 6:43

19. Manuel Beltran, U.S. Postal Service, 6:43

20. Egoi Martinez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 6:43

21. Lance Armstrong, U.S. Postal Service, 6:43

22. Inigo Landaluze, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 6:43

23. Bessy Frédéric, Cofidis, 10:44

24. Iker Camano, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 10:44

25. Robin Jean-Cyril, FDJeux.com, 11:33

26. Laurent Dufaux, Quick Step-Davitamon, 11:33

27. Patrice Halgand, Crédit Agricole, 12:40

28. Thor Hushovd, Crédit Agricole, 12:40

29. Benjamin Noval, U.S. Postal Service, 12:40

30. George Hincapie, U.S. Postal Service, 16:09

31. Victor Hugo Pena, U.S. Postal Service, 16:09

32. Cyril Dessel, Phonak, 16:09

33. Gilles Bouvard, R.A.G.T. Semences-MG Rover, 16:09

34. Pierre Bourquenoud, R.A.G.T. Semences-MG Rover, 16:09

35. Matthew White, Cofidis, 16:09

36. Viatcheslav Ekimov, U.S. Postal Service, 16:09

37. Andrea Peron, CSC, 16:09

38. Michele Bartoli, CSC, 16:09

39. Ludovic Martin, R.A.G.T. Semences-MG Rover, 16:09

40. Salmon Benoît, Crédit Agricole, 16:09

41. Manuel Calvente, CSC, 16:09

42. Iker Flores, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 16:09

43. Nicolas Portal, Ag2R Prevoyance, 16:09

44. Mikel Astarloza, Ag2R Prevoyance, 18:52

45. Christophe Mengin, FDJeux.com, 21:26

46. Pineau Jérôme, Brioches La Boulangere, 21:26

47. Franck Renier, Brioches La Boulangere, 21:26

48. Nicki Sorensen, CSC, 21:26

49. Inigo Chaurreau, Ag2R Prevoyance, 21:26

50. Pecharroman José, Quick Step-Davitamon, 21:26

51. Stuart O’Grady, Cofidis, 21:26

52. Anthony Geslin, Brioches La Boulangere, 21:26

53. Andy Flickinger, Ag2R Prevoyance, 21:26

54. Sandy Casar, FDJeux.com, 21:26

55. Marc Lotz, Rabobank, 21:26

56. Erik Dekker, Rabobank, 21:26

57. Bram De Groot, Rabobank, 21:26

58. Pedro Horrillo Munoz, Quick Step-Davitamon, 22:16

59. Christophe Laurent, R.A.G.T. Semences-MG Rover, 22:16

60. Santos Gonzalez, Phonak, 22:16

61. Maryan Hary, Brioches La Boulangere, 22:16

62. Walter Beneteau, Brioches La Boulangere, 22:16

63. Nicolas Reynaud, R.A.G.T. Semences-MG Rover, 22:16

64. Yuriy Krivtsov, Ag2R Prevoyance, 22:16

65. Kevin De Weert, Rabobank, 22:16

66. Janek Tombak, Cofidis, 22:16

67. Laurent Lefevre, Brioches La Boulangere, 22:16

68. David Millar, Cofidis, 22:16

69. Nick Nuyens, Quick Step-Davitamon, 23:32

70. Jaksche Jörg, CSC, 23:32

71. Bert Grabsch, Phonak, 23:32

72. Inaki Isasi Flores, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 23:32

73. Michael Rogers, Quick Step-Davitamon, 23:32

74. Baden Cooke, FDJeux.com, 23:32

75. Josu Silloniz, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 23:32

76. Guesdon Frédéric, FDJeux.com, 23:32

77. Nicolas Jalabert, Phonak, 23:32

78. Joseba Albizu, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 23:32

79. Carlos Dacruz, FDJeux.com, 23:32

80. Christophe Le Mevel, Crédit Agricole, 23:32

81. Dmitriy Muravyev, Crédit Agricole, 23:32

82. Bernhard Eisel, FDJeux.com, 23:32

Overall

1. Iban Mayo, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 23:58:51

2. Tyler Hamilton, Phonak, 0:36

3. Oscar Sevilla, Phonak, 1:14

4. Lance Armstrong, U.S. Postal Service, 2

5. Juan Miguel Mercado, Quick Step-Davitamon, 2:32

6. Gutierrez José, Phonak, 2:36

7. Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, 2:39

8. Inigo Landaluze, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 2:43

9. Levi Leipheimer, Rabobank, 3:33

10. Oscar Pereiro, Phonak, 3:58

11. Goubert Stéphane, Ag2R Prevoyance, 4:17

12. David Moncoutie, Cofidis, 4:25

13. Azevedo José, U.S. Postal Service, 4:46

14. Floyd Landis, U.S. Postal Service, 4:59

15. Carlos Sastre, CSC, 5:33

16. LÖvkvist Thomas, FDJeux.com, 6:39

17. Egoi Martinez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 7:12

18. Thomas Voeckler, Brioches La Boulangere, 7:12

19. Manuel Beltran, U.S. Postal Service, 7:56

20. Alexandre Botcharov, Crédit Agricole, 8:16

21. Iker Camano, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 10:02

22. Richard Virenque, Quick Step-Davitamon, 10:14

23. Robin Jean-Cyril, FDJeux.com, 11:27

24. Laurent Dufaux, Quick Step-Davitamon, 12:14

25. Ivan Basso, CSC, 13:13

26. Cyril Dessel, Phonak, 13:31

27. Benjamin Noval, U.S. Postal Service, 14:39

28. Victor Hugo Pena, U.S. Postal Service, 16:33

29. Salmon Benoît, Crédit Agricole, 17

30. Ludovic Martin, R.A.G.T. Semences-MG Rover, 17:52

31. Stuart O’Grady, Cofidis, 17:53

32. George Hincapie, U.S. Postal Service, 18:50

33. Mikel Astarloza, Ag2R Prevoyance, 18:52

34. Nicolas Portal, Ag2R Prevoyance, 20:12

35. Andrea Peron, CSC, 20:33

36. Sandy Casar, FDJeux.com, 20:45

37. Bessy Frédéric, Cofidis, 21:11

38. Pineau Jérôme, Brioches La Boulangere, 22:11

39. Iker Flores, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 22:47

40. Inigo Chaurreau, Ag2R Prevoyance, 23:01

41. Laurent Lefevre, Brioches La Boulangere, 23:43

42. Patrice Halgand, Crédit Agricole, 24:07

43. Pecharroman José, Quick Step-Davitamon, 24:44

44. Santos Gonzalez, Phonak, 25:27

45. Manuel Calvente, CSC, 26:07

46. Michael Rogers, Quick Step-Davitamon, 26:54

47. Yuriy Krivtsov, Ag2R Prevoyance, 27:44

48. Guesdon Frédéric, FDJeux.com, 28:41

49. Walter Beneteau, Brioches La Boulangere, 28:48

50. Gilles Bouvard, R.A.G.T. Semences-MG Rover, 29:36

51. Maryan Hary, Brioches La Boulangere, 30:57

52. Michele Bartoli, CSC, 32:11

53. Nicolas Jalabert, Phonak, 32:46

54. Anthony Geslin, Brioches La Boulangere, 33:08

55. Baden Cooke, FDJeux.com, 33:19

56. Jaksche Jörg, CSC, 34:26

57. Christophe Mengin, FDJeux.com, 34:41

58. Franck Renier, Brioches La Boulangere, 34:49

59. Dmitriy Muravyev, Crédit Agricole, 34:50

60. Marc Lotz, Rabobank, 36:32

61. Pedro Horrillo Munoz, Quick Step-Davitamon, 37:31

62. Pierre Bourquenoud, R.A.G.T. Semences-MG Rover, 37:57

63. Viatcheslav Ekimov, U.S. Postal Service, 38:01

64. Carlos Dacruz, FDJeux.com, 38:17

65. Christophe Laurent, R.A.G.T. Semences-MG Rover, 38:44

66. Bert Grabsch, Phonak, 38:47

67. David Millar, Cofidis, 39:10

68. Matthew White, Cofidis, 42:41

69. Janek Tombak, Cofidis, 43:51

70. Bram De Groot, Rabobank, 44:04

71. Erik Dekker, Rabobank, 44:09

72. Nicki Sorensen, CSC, 44:44

73. Kevin De Weert, Rabobank, 45:48

74. Bernhard Eisel, FDJeux.com, 47:00

75. Andy Flickinger, Ag2R Prevoyance, 47:28

76. Christophe Le Mevel, Crédit Agricole, 47:39

77. Nicolas Reynaud, R.A.G.T. Semences-MG Rover, 49:53

78. Thor Hushovd, Crédit Agricole, 50:38

79. Joseba Albizu, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 52:21

80. Inaki Isasi Flores, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 53:38

81. Nick Nuyens, Quick Step-Davitamon, 1:00

82. Josu Silloniz, Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:08:56