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July 21/97 10:36 am - Pantani Takes Second Stage Win

Posted by Editor on 07/21/97

Todays 208 km stage from Courchevel to Morzine began slowly, not surprising given the 6 ranked climbs the riders faced (including 2 Cat 1 climbs and final ŒBeyond Category‚ climb). Laurent Jalabert attacked at the 50 kilometre mark and quickly moved to a 3 minute lead within 20 kilometres. Despite chasing by Festina and Telekom, the French rider managed to stay in front for 88 kilometres, only being rejoined on the Cat 1 Col de la Colombiere climb. In spite of numerous attacks, the pack was back together with 20 kilometres to go, as the riders were beginning the final climb of the day - the Beyond Category Col de Joux Plane. It was at this point that the race could be said to have really begun. A group of 15 containing all the top riders - Riis, Ullrich, Virenque, Pantani, Escartin, Casagrande and Olano dropped the remainder of the field. As the pace increased riders began to drop off the front group, including Olano. Pantani launched an attack, quickly gaining 30 seconds. The chasers were down to Riis, Ullrich, Virenque, Escartin and American Bobby Julich. Virenque attacked and only Riis, Ullrich and Escartin could respond. After a second attack it was down to Virenque and Ullrich, now more than 50 seconds behind a charging Pantani. Once again Ullrich let Virenque do all the work and didn‚t sprint (Pantani was more than 11 minutes back, but could threaten the French rider‚s hold on second place). Pantani took his second victory in three days and jumped back into third overall after Riis finished over 2 minutes down. Note: after over half the pack finished outside the time limit yesterday (12% of the winner‚s time), the limit was raised (to 14%). 1. Marco Pantani (Ita) 5:57:16 2. Richard Virenque (Fra) at 1:17 3. Jan Ullrich (Ger) s.t. 4. Beat Zberg (Sui) 1:59 5. Francesco Casagrande (Ita) 6. Bobby Julich (US) 7. Fernando Escartin (Spa) all s.t. 8. Bjarne Riis (Den) 2:06 9. Jose Maria Jimenez (Spa) 2:37 10. Oskar Camenzind (Sui) 3:29 11. Abraham Olano (Spa) 12. Giuseppe Guerini (Ita) all s.t. 13. Udo Bölts (Ger) 3:44 14. Laurent Roux (Fra) 3:49 15. Laurent Madouas (Fra) 4:02 16. Manuel Beltran (Spa) s.t. 17. Roberto Conti (Ita) 4:14 18. Angel Casero (Spa) 5:01 19. Pascal Chanteur (Fra) 5:11 20. Stephane Heulot (Fra) 5:50 GC 1. Jan Ullrich (Ger) 76:58:59 2. Richard Virenque (Fra) at 6:22 3. Marco Pantani (Ita) 10:13 4. Bjarne Riis (Den) 11:55 5. Fernando Escartin (Spa) 16:05 6. Abraham Olano (Spa) 16:40 7. Francesco Casagrande (Ita) 17:14 8. Jose Maria Jimenez (Spa) 23:42 9. Roberto Conti (Ita) 28:26 10. Laurent Dufaux (Sui) 28:46 11. Oskar Camenzind (Sui) 30:21 12. Beat Zberg (Sui) 31:39 13. Peter Luttenberger (Oos) 32:06 14. Manuel Beltran (Spa) 43:15 15. MICHAEL BOOGERD (Ned) 48:54


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