Dauphiné Libéré 5: Astana’s second 1-2 win; Kashechkin still in yellow

Vino's Army continues to roll through France and its preparation for the Tour, taking its second 1-2


Vino’s Army continues to roll through France and its preparation for the Tour, taking its second 1-2

PIC: Astana teamwork at the Dauphin Libr (Tim De Waele) Tour favorite Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) has been feeling generous in the 2007 Dauphin Libr, first acquiescing the leader’s jersey to teammate Andrey Kashechkin on Mount Ventoux, then gifting Stage 5 to Spaniard Antonio Colom, after the duo staged a successful two-man escape. It was the second Astana one-two win in just three days, reflecting the the focus Vino and Co. has on the Tour in July. Leonardo Duque (Cofidis) led home the chasers 14 seconds later for third. The peloton crossed 3:30 behind Colom, ensuring that another Astana rider, Andrey Kashechkin, keeps the race leader’s jersey. Vinokourov’s overall GC chances have also improved since Ventoux; he lies seventh overall with two big days in the mountains ahead. Teamwork Colom and Vino duo were part of a 22-man breakaway that went away after just 7km of the 195km trek from Nyons. And they built up a lead of over six minutes as they crossed three fourth category climbs. The 29-year-old Colom initiated an attack as the leaders tackled the lower slopes of the final climb of the day, the second category ascent of the Col du Corobin. Vuelta champion Vinokourov then bridged the gap to his trusty helper , summiting with a 35 seconds gap on the chasers. That lead was enough to see them through the final 16km to the finish in Digne-les Bains. The 59th Dauphin Libr continues Saturday with the decisive “queen stage” across the French Alps. The 192.5-kilometer sixth stage includes seven rated climbs, including the “beyond category” La Croix de Fer at 130.5 kilometers and the Cat. 1 Col du Tlgraphe, some six kilometers before a fast descent into the finish at Valloire. Vino and others in the GC race must be hoping to avoid the same stomach bug that has befallen a handful of others this week, including Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) and Bobby Julich (Team CSC). Results 1 Antonio Colom (Spa, Astana) 4:39:28 2 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz, Astana) 00:00:00 3 Leonardo Duque (Col, Cofidis) at 00:00:15 4 Matej Mugerli (Slo, Liquigas) 5 Stef Clement (Ned, Bouygues Telecom) 6 Preben Van Hecke (Bel, Predictor-Lotto) 00:00:18 7 Anthony Charteau (Fra, Credit Agricole) 8 Egoi Martinez (Spa, Discovery Channel) 9 Heinrich Haussler (Ger, Gerolsteiner) 00:01:08 10 Philippe Gilbert (Bel, Francaise des Jeux) General classification after stage 5 1 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz, Astana) 21:00:16 2 Christophe Moreau (Fra, Ag2r) 00:00:14 3 Denis Menchov (Rus, Rabobank) 00:00:25 4 Cadel Evans (Aus, Predictor-Lotto) 00:00:26 5 David Zabriskie (USA, Team CSC) 00:00:26 6 Levi Leipheimer (USA, Discovery channel) 00:00:53 7 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz, Astana) 00:01:47 8 Stef Clement (Ned, Bouygues Telecom) 00:01:50 9 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra, Cofidis) 10 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa, Euskaltel-Euskadi) 00:03:15