July 6/00 11:40 am - New Tour Leader After Stage 6
Posted by Editor on 07/6/00
Tour de France
Stage 6 - Vitre to Tours 198.5 km
The Tour has a new overall leader - Alberto Elli (Telekom). A group of 12 formed at the 14 kilometre mark and rode away from a disinterested peloton to reach a maximum gap of 12:57 after 54 kilometres off the front. In the front group, along with Elli: Jose Luis Arrieta (Banesto), Leon van Bon, Marc Wauters, Marckus Zberg (Rabobank), Pascal Chanteur (AG2R), Salvatore Commesso (Saeco), Servais Knaven (Farm Frites), Jacky Durand (Lotto), Emmanuel Magnien (FDJ), Arvis Piziks (Memory Card) and Fabrice Gougot (CA) The peloton, led by Bonjour and Polti for much of the stage worked sporadically to bring them back, and did reduce the final gap to 7:49, but neither race leader Laurent Jalabert's ONCE team nor the US Postal squad of Lance Armstrong were willing to put the effort in to bring back the breakaways. Elli started the stage 2:15 down on Jalabert, with fellow breakaway Gougot a further 10 seconds back (however, Elli also picked up some time bonuses in intermediate sprints during the stage). ONCE did join Pantani's Mercatone Uno team in the final 45 kilometres to limit the gap, but to no avail. The breakaway group worked well together all day, with attacks beginning with 10 kilometres to go. Durand tried first, but was brought back by Rabobank's Wauters, who kept the pace high while team mate Zberg rested. With 2 kilometres to go it was the turn of Knaven, but again Wauters covered him. Rabobank's tactics worked to perfection, with van Bon coming off the wheel of Zberg to take the stage victory. Zberg was second and Knaven third.
- Credit Agricole's Australian sprinter Stuart O'Grady was involved in a crash and appears to have a shoulder injury.
- Sergei Ivanov has been fired by the Farm Frites team after failing a pre-race haematocrit blood test.
1. Leon Van Bon (Ned) Rabobank 4:28:06
2. Markus Zberg (Sui) Rabobank
3. Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) Francaise des Jeux
4. Servais Knaven (Ned) Farm Frites
5. Arvis Piziks (Lat) Memorycard Jack&Jones
6. Alberto Elli (Ita) Telekom
7. Fabrice Gougot (Fra) Credit Agricole
8. Jose Luis Arrieta (Esp) Banesto
9. Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Saeco
10. Jacky Durand (Fra) Lotto all s.t.