US Postal Win Dauphine
– Reported by Dan Osipow for Tailwind Sports –
Lance Armstrong dominated at the Dauphine Libere over the weekend, winning Saturday’s difficult stage from Albertville to Morzine-Avoriaz en route to a convincing overall victory, while teammate Floyd Landis finished second overall. It was the second straight time in the Dauphine Libere that the USPS team placed two riders on the final podium. In 2000, Tyler Hamilton and Armstrong finished first and third, respectively. In 2001, the team opted to compete in the Tour of Switzerland.
Following his stage victory, Armstrong commented on the work done by his team. “My first impression is that the team was superb, maybe the best team I’ve had in the past three years,” he said, “It’s a great sign.”
Agreeing was the USPS team’s director sportif Johan Bruyneel.
“The most important thing I have seen has been the domination of the team,” said Bruyneel. “The team has just been amazing. We have been setting the pace on the flats and then controlling things in in the mountains. For example (on Saturday), through all of the climbs leading up to the Joux Plane, we still had six guys in the group out of something like 35. And (on Friday), basically for the whole stage, we pulled for 206 kilometers. From the start, we did it with four guys pulling – (Steffen) Kjaergaard, Benoit (Joachim), (Victor Hugo) Pena and Pavel (Padrnos). It was a great job.”
Following Armstrong in the GC was Landis, who turned in a solid ride on Saturday, placing eighth, 1:47 back of Armstrong. Overall, Landis finished just over two minutes back of Armstrong.
STAGE 6, DAUPHINE LIBERE
1. Lance Armstrong, U.S. Postal Service; 146 kms in 4:26:42
2. Christophe Moreau, Credit Agricole; at :06
3. Andrei Kivilev, Cofidis; s.t.
4. Haimar Zubeldia, Euskaltel-Euskadi; at 1:32
5. Richard Virenque, Domo-Farm Frites; at 1:42
8. Floyd Landis, U.S. Postal Service; at 1:47
37. Viatcheslav Ekimov, U.S. Postal Service; at 13:21
38. Victor Hugo Pena, U.S. Postal Service; s.t.
50. Benoit Joachim, U.S. Postal Service; at 22:36
51. Jose Luis Rubiera, U.S. Postal Service; s.t.
69. Pavel Padrnos, U.S. Postal Service; at 24:51
71. Steffen Kjaergaard, U.S. Postal Service; at 27:18
STAGE 7, DAUPHINE LIBERE
1. Jose Enrique Gutierrez, Kelme-Costa Blanca; 150 kms in 3:38:45
2. Christophe Oriol, Ag2R; s.t.
3. Bradley Mcgee, La Francaise Des Jeux; at :35
4. Jerome Bernard, Jean Delatour; at :42
5. Patrice Halgand, Jean Delatour; at 1:17
21. Pena; at 5:11
35. Landis; s.t.
37. Armstrong; s.t.
38. Ekimov; s.t.
65. Joachim; s.t.
67. Rubiera; s.t.
68. Padrnos; s.t.
80. Kjaergaard; at 5:37
FINAL GC, DAUPHINE LIBERE
1. Armstrong; 28:38:50
2. Landis; at 2:03
3. Moreau; at 2:24
4. Zubeldia; at 2:44
5. Kivilev; at 3:28
28. Ekimov; at 24:09
41. Rubiera; at 32:16
55. Pena; at 42:06
63. Joachim; at 50:15
74. Padrnos; at 58:12
80. Kjaergaard; at 1:04:28