Simon Gerrans Rides to a Breakaway Win!

Credit Agricole ride Simon Gerrans took the stage win today in the first stage in the Italian Alps. Gerrans was part of a four man breakaway that was able to attack the main pack early and stayed away. Gerrans then broke away once again and won the stage ahead of second place Egoi Martinez by 2 seconds, followed by Danny Pate who finished 10 seconds behind.

Frank Schleck of Team CSC - Saxo Bank takes over the Maillot Jaune after the team attacked Cadel Evans on the final climb of the day. Younger brother Andy Schleck, was able to surge ahead forcing Cadel Evans to work harder, eventually allowing Frank Schleck to out pace the Australian. "For me to take the yellow jersey, it's a childhood dream," Schleck said.

Stage 15 Results
1 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Crédit Agricole - 4.50.44
2 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi - 0.03
3 Danny Pate (USA) Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30 - 0.10
4 José Luis Arrieta Lujambio (Spa) AG2R La Mondiale - 0.55
5 Bernhard Kohl (Aut) Gerolsteiner - 4.03
6 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC - Saxo Bank
7 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne - 4.12
8 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank - 4.23
9 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC - Saxo Bank - 4.41
10 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30 - 4.43

General classification after stage 15
1 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC - Saxo Bank - 63.57.21
2 Bernhard Kohl (Aut) Gerolsteiner - 0.07
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence - Lotto - 0.08
4 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank - 0.38
5 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30 - 0.39
6 Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Team CSC - Saxo Bank - 0.49
7 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team Columbia - 2.48
8 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) AG2R La Mondiale - 3.36
9 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne - 4.11
10 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi - 4.34

Full results here..

Jersey Standings:
Frank Schleck
Oscar Freire
Bernhard Kohl
Vinvenzo Nibali

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Links to news sites...

"Schleck takes Tour lead after 15th stage

PRATO NEVOSO, Italy (AP) - Frank Schleck of Luxembourg seized the overall lead in the Tour de France on Sunday, drawing on his strength in the mountains and getting an assist from his brother as the three-week race headed into the Italian Alps.

"For me to take the yellow jersey, it's a childhood dream," Schleck said.

Cycling's premier event got a new leader on a day when Simon Gerrans of Australia captured the 15th stage. This was his first stage victory in four Tour appearances, and he called it a "beautiful thing." Read more from The Associate Press...

"Schleck in yellow after dramatic Tour stage

Frank Schleck of Luxembourg seized the overall race lead in the Tour de France after a dramatic first stage in the Alps, won by Australian Simon Gerrans.

Schleck outpaced Cadel Evans up the final climb to Prato Nevoso in Italy to wrest the yellow jersey away from the Australian, who was put under severe pressure by Schleck's CSC team throughout the final 10km of an epic day in the high mountains." Read more from CNN International...

"Frank Schleck takes yellow from Cadel Evans as the GC race tightens

Team CSC-Saxo Bank battered and isolated race leader Cadel Evans in the first Alpine stage Sunday, coming away with the yellow jersey on the shoulders of Frank Schleck as the GC race tightened.

Evans fell to third, one second behind Gerolsteiner's Bernard Kohl and eight seconds behind Schleck. American Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Chipotle) is in fifth at 38 seconds, still very much in the hunt.

Vande Velde's teammate Danny Pate (Garmin-Chipotle) was third on the stage, won by Aussie Simon Gerrans (Credit Agricole). Pate, Gerrans, Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel), and Jose Luis Arrieta (Ag2r) were in a day-long break that finished about four minutes ahead of the yellow jersey group." Read more from

"See-saw day for Australian cycling as Schleck takes over
Gerrans wins, Evans loses race lead

By Shane Stokes and Bjorn Haake, with additional reporting by Gregor Brown, Hedwig Kröner and Brecht Decaluwé in Prato Nevoso

Suffering on the climb but shining in the sprint, an ecstatic Simon Gerrans sped to his first ever Tour de France stage at the summit finish of Prata Nevoso in Italy. The Australian from Crédit Agricole was away for much of the tough, wet Alpine stage with Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Danny Pate (Garmin-Chipotle) and Jose Luis Arrieta (AG2R La Mondiale), and decisively out-galloped the first two in the final 200 meters. Arrieta finished 55 seconds back.

There was a ferocious scrap behind for the yellow jersey, with Fränk Schleck and his CSC -Saxo Bank team-mates Andy Schleck and Carlos Sastre putting considerable pressure on race leader Cadel Evans on the final climb. Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner), Sastre, Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) and Denis Menchov (Rabobank) managed to jettison the maillot jaune, while Fränk Schleck was more conservative, waiting for the final few hundred metres to jump away in a bid for yellow. Schleck finished 4'41" behind Gerrans, but more importantly nine seconds ahead of Evans." Read more from

Photos by CorVos