Posted by Editoress on 07/16/04
Tour de France
Lance Armstrong and US Postal threw down the gauntlet on the first day of climbing in the Pyrennes, and none of the favourites could respond., Armstrong finished with Ivan Basso (CSC), who took the stage win at the top of the Col du Tourmalet, but the damage was done to his chief rival Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile), who finished in 20th place, two and a half minutes behind Armstrong.
US Postal set a punishing pace over the first climb (Col d'Aspin), thinning the field out, and then set the tempo even higher on the final Tourmalet climb., Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) attacked on the Col d'Aspin, taking the Climber points and continuing on into the descent., His gap reached a maximum of 30 seconds, but the blue train was setting a steady tempo to gradually bring him back on the Tourmalet., With 10 kilometres to go, US Postal had Landis, Rubiera, Hincapie and Azevedo working at the front for Armstrong, and the surprisingly resilient yellow jersey, Thomas Voeckler (Brioches La Boulangere) was still in the group.
At 7 km to go, the leaders started to drop off; first Tyler Hamilton (Phonak), then Richard Virenque and Voeckler, then, the big surprise, Ullrich at about 6 km to go., CSC's Carlos Sastre attacked, and the tempo upped higher, as Armstrong lost his last team mate, Azevedo.
With 3.5 km to go Armstrong jumped, taking Basso with him, and the two swept by Sastre., Behind, T-Mobile had Andreas Kloden riding steadily, and he may ending up taking over team leadership from Ullrich, with his third on the stage.
Stage 12: Castelsarrasin to La Mongie 197.5 km
1. Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC, 5:03:58
2. Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal - Berry Floor, s.t.
3. Andreas Kloden (Ger) T-Mobile Team, at 0:20
4. Francisco Mancebo Perez (Esp) Illes Balears - Banesto, 0:24
5. Carlos Sastre (Esp) Team CSC, 0:33
6. Oscar Pereiro (Esp) Phonak Hearing Systems, 0:50
7. Denis Menchov (Rus) Illes Balears - Banesto, 0:59
8. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Domina Vacanze, 1:02
9. Iban Mayo (Esp) Euskaltel - Euskadi, 1:03
10. Santos Gonzalez (Esp) Phonak Hearing Systems
11. Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner, both s.t.
12. Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Saeco, 1:32
13. Aitor Gonzalez (Esp), Fassa Bortolo, 1:39
14. Christophe Moreau (Fra), Credit Agricole, 1:59
15. Vladimir Karpets (Rus), Illes Balears-Banesto, 1:59
16. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Rabobank, 1:59
17. Pietro Caucchioli (Ita), Alessio-Bianchi, 1:59
18. Bobby Julich (USA), CSC, 2:28
19. Giuseppe Guerini (Ita), T-Mobile, 2:28
20. Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team, 2:30
41. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Brioches La Boulangere, 3:59
1. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Brioches La Boulangere, 51:51:07
2. Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal - Berry Floor, at 5:24
3. Sandy Casar (Fra) Fdjeux.com, 5:50
4. Richard Virenque (Fra) Quick Step-Davitamon, 6:20
5. Andreas Kloden (Ger) T-Mobile Team, 6:33
6. Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC, s.t.
7. Francisco Mancebo Perez (Esp) Illes Balears - Banesto, 6:43
8. Jakob Piil (Den), CSC, 6:53
9. Santos Gonzalez (Esp), Phonak, 7:23
10. Carlos Sastre (Esp), CSC, 8:11
11. Azevedo Jose (Por), US Postal - Berry Floor, 8:35
12. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Rabobank, 8:50
13. Gutierrez Jose Enrique (Esp), Phonak, 8:51
14. Oscar Sevilla (Esp), Phonak, 8:57
15. Rubiera Jose Luis (Esp), US Postal - Berry Floor, 8:58
16. Jan Ullrich (Ger), T-Mobile, 9:01
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