Tour de France Update
With two weeks to go in the 2007 Tour de France, two of Oakley’s Spanish riders, Iban Mayo of Saunier Duval and Alejandro Valverde of Caisse d’Epargne, are only 2:39 and 2:51 behind the overall leader, Denmark’s Michael Rasmussen. Oakley’s Cadel Evans of Predictor-Lotto is also within three minutes.
Rasmussen was part of a breakaway halfway through the 165km eighth stage. Oakley’s T-Mobile leader Michael Rogers was in the same group as Rasmussen – and the race leader on the road – on the descent of the Cormet de Roseland when he hit a roadside barrier. He bravely carried on before being forced to pull up later with a dislocated shoulder.
"It’s a real shame because I could see the yellow jersey," said Rogers. “One moment I was in the lead, the next I was lying on the ground with my back wheel where my front wheel should have been."
Fellow Oakley rider Stuart O’Grady was taken to hospital after a crash on the same descent as Rogers. X-rays showed that O’Grady suffered fractures to five of his front ribs, three in his back lower ribs, a punctured lung and a fracture shoulder.
French champion and Oakley rider Christophe Moreau was rewarded for a day of attacks on the big names with fourth place on the stage, moving up to seventh overall. He finished in a group with overall contenders Cadel Evans and Frank Schleck, just behind Spain’s Alejandro Valverde.
Vinokourov, still in pain after a crash on Thursday, was unable to go with those men as they chased Moreau and finished 4:29 behind the leader. Vinokourov, now 22nd in the overall standings, believes he can still win the title even though he trails Rasmussen by 5:23. "The Tour is not lost,” he said. “If I had lost five minutes, it would have been over," he said.
Oakley TDF Stats:
- 7 Days of Yellow Jersey for Fabian Cancellara.
- 4 Stage victories: Cancellara 2, Mc Ewen and Hushovd.
- 2 days on Polka dot jersey (best climber) for David Millar.
- 1 day on Green jersey for Robbie Mc Ewen.
- 7 days on White Jersey for Vladimir Gusev.
- 9 Oakley riders placed in Top 15 of general classification