2006 Tour de France
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|Tour de France 2006 - Course Outline|
|Dates||July 1–July 23, 2006|
|Distance||3,639 km (2,261 mi)|
|Winning time||89h 40' 27" (40.789 km/h/25.345 mph)|
|Winner||Óscar Pereiro (Spain)||(Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears)|
|Second||Andreas Klöden (Germany)||(T-Mobile Team)|
|Third||Carlos Sastre (Spain)||(Team CSC)|
|Points||Robbie McEwen (Australia)||(Davitamon-Lotto)|
|Mountains||Michael Rasmussen (Denmark)||(Rabobank)|
|Youth||Damiano Cunego (Italy)||(Lampre-Fondital)|
The Tour began with a prologue in Strasbourg, on the French-German border, and ended Sunday July 23 in Paris. The distance of the course (run counterclockwise around France) was 3657 km (2272 miles). The race was the third fastest in average speed. Along the way, the cyclists passed through six different countries including France, The Netherlands (a stop at Valkenburg in Stage 3), Belgium (at Huy, Stages 3 and 4), Luxembourg (at Esch-sur-Alzette, Stages 2 and 3), Germany (though not stopping there, Stage 1) and Spain (Pla-de-Beret, Stage 11). The presentation of the course was made by the new director of Le Tour, Christian Prudhomme. For the first time since the 1999 edition, there was no team time trial.
The event, as with some of the Tours of the late 1990s, was marred by doping scandals. Prior to the tour, numerous riders - including the two favourites Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso - were expelled from the Tour due to their link with the Operación Puerto doping case.
After the Tour, the apparent winner Floyd Landis was found to have failed a drug test after stage 17; Landis contested the result and demanded arbitration. On September 20, 2007 Landis was found guilty and suspended retroactive to January 30, 2009 and stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title making Óscar Pereiro the title holder. Landis appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport which upheld the ban.
Drugs controversy before the Tour
In the most controversial scandal since the 1998 tour, thirteen riders were expelled from the tour on the eve of Strasbourg prologue to the 93rd edition stemming from a Spanish doping scandal. Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso, two favourites to win the race, were among those excluded from the Tour along with podium candidate Francisco Mancebo and 2007 champion Alberto Contador. Alexandre Vinokourov, another race favourite, was not linked to the doping scandal, but was forced to withdraw when the eligible riders on his Astana-Würth Team fell below the minimum starting requirement of six. Because of this and the retirement of seven-time consecutive winner Lance Armstrong, this year's Tour started without the top five riders from the 2005 edition. It was also the first Tour since 1999 that did not contain a past champion.
The initial doping controversy foreshadowed the contested outcome of the 2006 Tour involving the race leader Floyd Landis who was found guilty of doping.
American Floyd Landis was initially awarded the victory in the closest three-way finish in the race's history until then.
While Landis was a leading favorite even before the Spanish doping scandal came to light, in an epic eight minute loss of performance in Stage 16, it appeared he had lost all hope to finish on the podium, much less win.
But the following day, during Stage 17, Landis set a very high pace on the first climb of the day that no other rider could match. He then caught a breakaway group that had escaped earlier, passed them, and continued to the finish line solo, making up almost all of his deficit, ending up 30 seconds behind yellow jersey wearer Óscar Pereiro, which he made up with an extra minute in the final Stage 19 time trial.
However, a urine sample taken from Landis immediately after his Stage 17 win has twice tested positive for banned synthetic testosterone as well as a ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone nearly three times the limit allowed by World Anti-Doping Agency rules. Landis indicated that he would appeal the test results with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.
On September 20, 2007, Landis' doping accusation was upheld by an arbitration panel deciding between him and USADA and will be banned for two years. In response to this, International Cycling Union formally stripped him of his 2006 Tour de France title. Second place finisher Óscar Pereiro was officially declared the winner. The only previous Tour de France winner to be disqualified was 1904 Tour de France winner Maurice Garin.
|P||Strasbourg||7 km||File:History.gif Individual time trial||Saturday, July 1|
|1||Strasbourg - Strasbourg||183 km||Flat stage||Sunday, July 2|
|2||Obernai - Esch-sur-Alzette||223 km||Flat stage||Monday, July 3|
|3||Esch-sur-Alzette - Valkenburg||216 km||Transition stage||Tuesday, July 4|
|4||Huy - Saint-Quentin||207 km||Flat stage||Wednesday, July 5|
|5||Beauvais - Caen||219 km||Flat stage||Thursday, July 6|
|6||Lisieux - Vitré||184 km||Flat stage||Friday, July 7|
|7||Saint Grégoire - Rennes||52 km||File:History.gif Individual time trial||Saturday, July 8|
|8||Saint-Méen-le-Grand - Lorient||177 km||Flat stage||Sunday, July 9|
|Rest day||Monday, July 10|
|9||Bordeaux - Dax||170 km||Flat stage||Tuesday, July 11|
|10||Cambo-les-Bains - Pau||193 km||Mountain stage||Wednesday, July 12|
|11||Tarbes - Val d'Aran-Pla-de-Beret||208 km||Mountain stage||Thursday, July 13|
|12||Luchon - Carcassonne||211 km||Transition stage||Friday, July 14|
|13||Béziers - Montélimar||231 km||Flat stage||Saturday, July 15|
|14||Montélimar - Gap||181 km||Transition stage||Sunday, July 16|
|Rest day||Monday, July 17|
|15||Gap - L'Alpe d'Huez||187 km||Mountain stage||Tuesday, July 18|
|16||Bourg d'Oisans - La Toussuire||182 km||Mountain stage||Wednesday, July 19|
|17||Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - Morzine||199 km||Mountain stage||Thursday, July 20|
|18||Morzine - Mâcon||193 km||Transition stage||Friday, July 21|
|19||Le Creusot - Montceau-les-Mines||56 km||File:History.gif Individual time trial||Saturday, July 22|
|20||Antony-Parc de Sceaux - Paris Champs-Élysées||152 km||Flat stage||Sunday, July 23|
- Jersey wearers when one rider is leading two or more competitions
- In stage 1, George Hincapie wore the green jersey.
- In stage 4, Daniele Bennati wore the green jersey.
- In stage 11, Juan Miguel Mercado wore the polka-dot jersey
- Other notes
- Stage 17 was originally won by Floyd Landis, who also wore the yellow jersey on the 19th and 20th stage. After the court's decision to forfeit all his results in the 2006 Tour de France, Carlos Sastre became the winner of the 17th stage, and Cyril Dessel and Óscar Pereiro should be considered having lead the general classification as shown in the table.
King of the Mountains classification
Young Riders' Classification
|1||T-Mobile Team||269h 08' 46"|
|2||Team CSC||+ 17' 04"|
|3||Rabobank||+ 23' 26"|
|4||AG2R Prévoyance||+ 33' 19"|
|5||Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears||+ 56' 53"|
|6||Lampre-Fondital||+ 57' 37"|
|7||Team Gerolsteiner (GER)||+ 1h 45' 25"|
|8||Discovery Channel||+ 2h 19' 17"|
|9||Euskaltel-Euskadi||+ 2h 26' 38"|
|10||Phonak Hearing Systems (CHE)||+ 2h 49' 06"*|
Teams and riders
After the retirement of seven-time winner Lance Armstrong, the main contenders for the overall win were expected to be Ivan Basso from Team CSC, the 2005 runner-up; and Jan Ullrich from T-Mobile Team, the third man on the podium in 2005, winner in 1997, and the only previous winner still racing. However, both Ullrich and Basso were suspended by their teams on June 30 after UCI told T-Mobile and Team CSC that the riders were involved in the anti-doping investigation in Spain.
Francisco Mancebo of the French team AG2R Prévoyance, who finished fourth last year and sixth the year before, was also suspended by his team, and subsequently announced his retirement. Alexander Vinokourov would have been the only returning rider with a top-five finish from last year's race. However, his team, Astana-Würth Team, was forced to pull out of the race because they would not be able to start with the minimum of six riders.
As a result of the drug scandal, many believed Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Épargne), or the Americans Floyd Landis (Phonak), Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner), or Australian Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto) would probably win the race.
The main contenders for the podium were those who placed well on GC last year, especially if they have had notable results since:
The 2006 Tour also saw the return of former yellow jersey holder and three-time stage winner David Millar (Saunier Duval-Prodir) after serving a two year ban for admissions of the use of the drug EPO, which was discovered in a police search of his house before the 2004 Tour de France, in June 2004.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: 2006 Tour de France|
- ^ Jacques Augendre (2009). "Guide Historique" (in French). Amaury Sport Organisation. Archived from the original on 2009-10-09. http://www.webcitation.org/query?id=1255114110690607. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
- ^ "'I am innocent,' Landis says after losing verdict". MSNBC. 2007-09-20. Archived from the original on 2007-10-05. http://web.archive.org/web/20071005203439/http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20889737.
- ^ Tour de France 2006: Floyd Landis | Outside Online
- ^ "Backup Sample on Landis Is Positive". New York Times. 2006-08-05. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/05/sports/05cnd-landis.ready.html. Retrieved 2009-10-05.
- ^ Larry Fine (2008-03-24). "Landis appeal hearing ends, decision expected in June". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/sportsNews/idUSN2424870720080325.
- ^ "Backup Sample on Landis Is Positive". Velonews. 2007-09-20. http://www.velonews.com/news/fea/13354.0.html.
- ^ "United States Anti-Doping Agency vs Floyd Landis". velonews. 2007-09-20. http://www.velonews.com/media/LandisDecision.pdf. Retrieved 5-3-2009. "The violation of the UCI Rules having occurred as a result ofan In-Competition test will result under UCI Articles 256 and257.2 in the automatic disqualification of the Athlete’s resultsin the 2006 Tour de France and forfeiture of any medals,points or prizes."
- ^ Ullrich and Basso out of Le Tour, from BBC. Retrieved June 30, 2006.
- ^ "Bookies react quickly to Tour scandal". velonews. 2006. http://www.velonews.com/tour2006/news/articles/10182.0.html. Retrieved 2006-06-30.
- ^ cyclingnews.com 2005 Tour final results
- (English) Official page
- (English) Official Tour de France press releases on Strasbourg
- (English) 2006 Tour de France coverage on RoadCycling.com
- (French) Press release