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Stack of rotating SIM cards, wine from Rihs' vineyards and more
All the best bikes, gear and other tech from the Tour de France
The bike of the tallest man in the Tour de France
Mechanics equip riders with special bikes, tubulars and modifications
The Columbia boys after a successful day's work.
American team lead the peloton both as a team and as individuals
Team Columbia-HTC has dominated the stage wins in the Grand Tour this season, taking 15 of the 48 stages raced so far. It is also the only team to have won stages in all three Grand Tours in 2009. To add to its dominance, Columbia has more wins than any other team and its two top sprinters have both claimed more victories than any other rider in the peloton.
Columbia have claimed six stages at each of the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, and three at the Vuelta a España. No other team has won stages in all three races this year. Behind the American squad, Cervélo TestTeam has has won six stages; four at the Giro and two in the Tour.
Columbia also leads with the most different winners, but just barely. The 15 wins are divided among five individual riders plus one team time trial, Cervélo have also won with five different riders. Columbia's five winning Grand Tour riders are Mark Cavendish with nine, André Greipel with two, and Edvald Boasson Hagen, Kanstansin Siutsou and Gregory Henderson with one each. Cervelo's Carlos Sastre has two stage wins, while Simon Gerrans, Ignatas Konovalovas, Thor Hushovd and Heinrich Haussler have claimed one each.
Saxo Bank and LPR-Brakes both have four stage wins to date, but LPR may stand to lose two of those if Danilo Di Luca is disqualified from the Giro due to doping. Rabobank and Astana have three Grand Tour wins each. Both Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni - Androni Giocattoli, and BBox Bouygues Telecom have recorded two.
Of the ProTour teams, AG2R La Mondiale, Cofidis, Française des Jeux, Fuji-Servetto, Garmin-Slipstream, Lampre-NGC and Quick Step have no Grand Tour stage wins so far in 2009. Euskaltel-Euskadi has one through Mikel Astarloza, although the Basque may be stripped of his victory after failed drug test. If so, the stage victory will be awarded to Française des Jeux's Sandy Casar.
An overwhelming percentage of Columbia's stage wins came from sprints, with the team's fast men bringing in 12 of the 15 wins. Not surprisingly, that reflects the team's season. Mark Cavendish, with nine stage wins, leads the peloton with his season tally of 21 individual victories. He is followed by teammate Greipel, with two stage wins and 17 season wins. Third ranked is Jose Rujano, who rides for Continental team Gobernación del Zulia and has 12 wins in South American races.
Beyond Grand Tours Columbia also has more wins than any other team this year, with its 75 wins so far this season far outnumbering its rivals. In fact, Columbia's tally eclipses the combined total of wins by the second and third ranked teams. Saxo Bank is second with 38 wins, and Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni - Androni Giocattoli third with 33. No other team has more than 22 season wins. The lowest ranked ProTour team, incidentally, is Fuji-Servetto, with three season wins.
Columbia's 75 wins have come from 16 different riders, plus two team time trials. The team can also claim eight national champions, seven of which are National time trial titles. George Hincapie's win in the US road championship last weekend was added to the time trial jerseys of Maxime Monfort (Belgium), Bert Grabsch (Germany), Frantisek Rabon (Czech Republic), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway), Kim Kirchen (Luxembourg), Marco Pinotti (Italy) and Michael Rogers (Australia).
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