What's Cool In Road Cycling

TDF06 St15: Schleck Storms The Alpe!

Team CSC’s lost Tour improved again today when Luxembourger Frank Schleck stuck it to his early break companions on the feared slopes of Alpe d’Huez, and finally dropped former Giro champ Damiano Cunego after a 10km slug-fest with the Italian to go solo. Floyd Landis took over GC duties by forcing his rivals to either do the work or get off the bus.

PEZ is there – and James Hewitt reported by phone that it was pure ‘madness’ on the mountain. His roadside adventures will be coming soon, and our full race report and photos will be posted shortly.

Talk about a career defining moment, Frank Schleck slams down the big hammer and drops Cunego.

Frank Schleck flashed a look of pure maniacal ecstacy, and then became little Frank Schleck again. A colossal win for the young star, who already has had a break-out year with a win at Amstel Gold.

The peloton arrived at the foot of L’Alpe D’Huez largely whole (with the 15-man break still 3:45 up the road) – that of course changed VERY quickly, and within a few minutes the strongest were separating themselves – Kloeden and Landis.

Around the midway point, Landis came hauling up to teammate Axel Merckx who was dropping back to the break. Merckx handed Landis a bottle, put his head down, and rode his heart out for Landis. A HUGE ride for Merckx on the day.

After that, there were a few accelerations from Kloeden and Landis and that was all – the two were all alone.

1:10 behind Schleck were the true players (sans Garzelli who was dropped from the break) – Kloeden and Landis put their stamp all over the mountain and put time into all of the possible hopes in Paris.

Denis Menchov followed shortly thereafter; he put in a huge fight and suffered in truly beautiful fashion. Such faces are not appropriate for TV – that man looked like he was having an appendectomy sans anesthesia for most of the climb. He lost 1:11 to Landis – a very good effort to control the damage.

Oscar Pereiro came SO close to holding his Yellow Jersey for one more day. Coming into the final straight he had less than 5 seconds to make it to the line, but it was just too little. Still – a fantastic effort.

Results: TDF 2006 Stage 15: Gap – Alpe D’Huez
2 081 CUNEGO Damiano LAM ITA 00′ 11″
3 166 GARZELLI Stefano LIQ ITA 01′ 10″
4 071 LANDIS Floyd PHO USA 01′ 10″
5 021 KLЦDEN Andrйas TMO GER 01′ 10″
6 145 LOBATO Ruben SDV ESP 01′ 14″
7 134 CHAVANEL Sylvain COF FRA 01′ 18″
8 025 MAZZOLENI Eddy TMO ITA 01′ 28″
9 014 SASTRE Carlos CSC ESP 01′ 35″
10 041 LEIPHEIMER Levi GST USA 01′ 49″
11 051 MENCHOV Denis RAB RUS 02′ 21″

Tour de France GC After Stage 15
1 071 LANDIS Floyd PHO USA
2 097 PEREIRO SIO Oscar CEI ESP 00′ 10″
3 035 DESSEL Cyril A2R FRA 02′ 02″
4 051 MENCHOV Denis RAB RUS 02′ 12″
5 014 SASTRE Carlos CSC ESP 02′ 17″
6 021 KLЦDEN Andrйas TMO GER 02′ 29″
7 061 EVANS Cadel DVL AUS 02′ 56″
8 026 ROGERS Michael TMO AUS 05′ 01″
9 041 LEIPHEIMER Levi GST USA 06′ 18″
10 129 ZUBELDIA Haimar EUS ESP 06′ 20″
11 031 MOREAU Christophe A2R FRA 06′ 22″
12 015 SCHLECK Frank CSC LUX 07′ 07″
13 007 POPOVYCH Yaroslav DSC UKR 07′ 36″
14 191 MERCADO Juan Miguel AGR ESP 07′ 39″
15 042 FOTHEN Marcus GST GER 08′ 23″
16 052 BOOGERD Michael RAB NED 09′ 15″
17 134 CHAVANEL Sylvain COF FRA 09′ 56″
18 076 MERCKX Axel PHO BEL 10′ 25″
19 137 PARRA Ivan Ramiro COF COL 10′ 43″
20 046 TOTSCHNIG Georg GST AUT 10′ 53

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