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2010 Tour de France – Stage 13 News and Updates

| by Sports Nickel

97th Tour de France

Stage 13 – Rodez to Revel – 196.0 km (121.5 mi)

17 July 2010

 2010 Tour de France - Stage 13 Map

2010 Tour de France - Stage 13 Profile

Everything came full circle on lucky Stage 13 at the Tour de France today, as two veteran riders were at the forefront of the discussion. Both are returning to the sport after serving suspensions for doping offenses; however, that is about where their similarities end. One sanction was wholly justified, an airtight case of performance enhancement. The other, based on a legitimate medical application for which the rider had a therapeutic use exemption, was anything but legitimate. Despite the variance in their respective histories, though, both riders will share the glory of 17 July 2010 for a lifetime.

Astana’s Alexander Vinokourov succeeded in staying away to the finish in Revel to win his first Tour stage since 2007, soloing the last seven kilometers to foil the sprinters’ hopes of one last battle before the Pyrenees. The Kazakh rider, one of the sport’s truest manifestations of the attacking spirit, has shown that his two forced years away from the sport haven’t dampened his skills in the least. He is a polarizing figure in the sport, having only returned this year to full-time racing after the drug test following his time-trial victory — his second stage win of the 2007 Tour following his Pyrenean assault —  revealed the presence of another person’s blood in his system.

He may have served his time, but the court of public opinion still harbors much enmity toward the veteran. Witness the chilly reception he received from Belgian fans after winning the prestigious Liege-Bastogne-Liege in April… far more boos than cheers greeted Vino as he claimed his second career victory in La Doyenne. But without any pressure these days to be the alpha male — defending champion and teammate Alberto Contador is the undisputed leader of Astana this year — Vinokourov is content to hunt stage victories and leave the general classification fight to his captain. And public sentiment is starting to come around, despite his past indiscretion.

Petacchi: Wins by Year

YR/age

WINS

CLSC

TOURS

1998/24

1

0

0

1999/25

0

0

0

2000/26

9

0

2

2001/27

5

0

0

2002/28

12

0

1

2003/29

23

0

15

2004/30

21

0

13

2005/31

24

1

9

2006/32

12

0

0

2007/33

13

1

1

2008/34

5

0

0

2009/35

10

0

2

2010/36

6

0

2

The reverse side of the coin is the case of Alessandro Petacchi. The heir to the Italian sprinting tradition, Petacchi was among the fastest riders in the peloton over the past decade. The fact that he has enjoyed so much success despite battling chronic asthma throughout his career is a testament to his dedication and perseverance. But when elevated levels of salbutamol (the active ingredient in asthma inhalers) were discovered in his system during the Giro d’Italia in 2007 — just two months prior to Vinokourov’s getting popped at the Tour de France — even his career-long medical exemption couldn’t stave off a one-year suspension.

So Petacchi was forced to bide his time on the sidelines, a victim of an often overreaching UCI/WADA witch hunt to catch “dopers”. In his absence he could only watch as a new generation of finish-line speedsters — among them Columbia’s Mark Cavendish, Garmin’s Tyler Farrar and Milram’s Gerald Ciolek — took up preeminent positions in the sprints. The big question looming this year was whether or not, with so many starts and stops to the last five years of his career (in addition to his year-long suspension, he also was forced to pull out of the 2006 Giro d’Italia with a broken patella from a crash during Stage 3 and lost most of that year) and Father Time creeping up on him, he could reclaim that form that made him the most feared stage-stealing sprint sensation from 2003 to 2005.

He’s pulled it off magnificently so far this year, taking the sprints in both Stage 1 and Stage 4 to up his career grand-tour total to 43 stages won. But, perhaps even somewhat unexpectedly for him, he finds himself heading into the Pyrenees with the green jersey back on his shoulders after taking third behind Vinokourov and Cavendish. The placement put him two points over defending points champion Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) after the Norwegian managed to finish just 8th on today’s stage. The race continues to be tight; and going forward on the type of terrain in store, Hushovd is the more likely rider to get into at least one breakaway before Paris to take the intermediate points to snatch back the lead. So while Contador and Schleck grapple for the maillot jaune in the high mountains this weekend and clear through to Paris, keep an eye on what the veteran points contenders are doing as well.

And with the kind of form all these riders are exhibiting into the third weekend of the 2010 Tour, GC contenders and mountain climbers and sprinters alike, we’re bound to have a hell of a show every day to the end. If the points stay this close — Cavendish, third behind Petacchi and Hushovd in the standings, is currently sitting on 162 points and is only 25 points adrift after a late-blooming race so far — we could have a major three-way battle all the way to the Champs-Elysees. If the tight cobblestones of that Parisian street (nothing like the cobblestones of the Paris-Roubaix route endured on Stage 3 of the race) are in play on the final day, the fireworks will be popping over the Seine.

After all, while both Hushovd (2006) and Cavendish (2009) have each won a Champs-Elysees stage at the Tour, Petacchi is the hungriest of the three. If the Italian is in green, he’ll be fighting like crazy to get that elusive first win in Paris already garbed as the champion. And if he isn’t, the points at the finish will likely determine that outcome — even greater incentive to fight…

STAGE 13 RESULTS

1 Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 4:26:26  
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team HTC – Columbia 0:00:13  
3 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini    
4 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team    
5 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne    
6 Julian Dean (NZl) Garmin – Transitions    
7 Anthony Geslin (Fra) Française des Jeux    
8 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team    
9 Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini    
10 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

1 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 63:08:40  
2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0:00:31  
3 Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 0:02:45  
4 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 0:02:58  
5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:03:31  
6 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack 0:04:06  
7 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 0:04:27  
8 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:04:58  
9 Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0:05:02  
10 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas-Doimo 0:05:16  

POINTS CLASSIFICATION

1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini 187 pts
2 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team 185  
3 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team HTC – Columbia 162  
4 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 144  
5 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha 138  
6 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team 120  
7 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram 102  
8 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom 101  
9 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 81  
10 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 80  

KING OF THE MOUNTAINS

1 Anthony Charteau (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom 107 pts
2 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quick Step 92  
3 Mario Aerts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 65  
4 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 64  
5 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Caisse d’Epargne 62  
6 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française des Jeux 56  
7 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini 56  
8 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 52  
9 Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 50  
10 Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 48  

BEST YOUNG RIDER

1 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 63:08:40  
2 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 0:04:27  
3 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas-Doimo 0:05:16  
4 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom 0:31:01  
5 Julien El Farès (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne 0:33:54  
6 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom 0:42:25  
7 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Footon-Servetto 0:45:59  
8 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:56:23  
9 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0:58:04  
10 Arkaitz Duran Daroca (Spa) Footon-Servetto 0:58:55

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