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2001 Tour de France
July 7 - July 29

Results, map, stages with running GC, elevation profiles and video

2000 Tour | 2002 Tour | Tour de France database | Quick Facts | Final GC | Stages with running GC | Teams | Predictions | Video


Prologue|Stage 1|Stage 2|Stage 3|Stage 4|Stage 5|Stage 6|Stage 7|Stage 8|Stage 9|Stage 10|Stage 11|Rest Day 1|Stage 12|Stage 13|Stage 14|Rest Day 2|Stage 15|Stage 16|Stage 17|Stage 18|Stage 19|Stage 20


Quick Facts:

The 2001 Tour had 20 stages covering 3,462 kilometers. Average speed, 40.07 km/hr.

This was the third consecutive Tour win for Armstrong, this one more dominating than his previous two. This was also Jan Ullrich's fourth second place after he again failed to come to the Tour in competitive condition.

Erik Zabel's earned his sixth green jersey (a record).

The 2001 Tour had the same podium as 2000, only 1978 and 1979 had that same repeat.


Complete Final 2001 Tour de France General Classification:

  1. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) 86hr 17min 28sec
  2. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 6min 44sec
  3. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 9min 5sec
  4. Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis) @ 9min 53sec
  5. Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (ONCE) @ 13min 28sec
  6. François Simon (Bonjour) @ 17min 22sec
  7. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) @ 19min 30sec
  8. Santiago Botero (Kelme) @ 20min 55sec
  9. Marcos Serrano (ONCE) @ 21min 45sec
  10. Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) @ 22min 38sec
  11. Didier Rous (Bonjour) @ 24min 22sec
  12. Inigo Chaureau (Euskaltel) @ 28min 9sec
  13. Francisco Mancebo (ibanesto) @ 28min 33sec
  14. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) @ 29min
  15. Roberto Heras (US Postal) @ 30min 44sec
  16. Alexandre Vinokourov (Telekom) @ 33min 55sec
  17. Alexandre Botcharov (Ag2r) @ 41min 15sec
  18. Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole) 2 48min 4sec
  19. Laurent Jalabert (CSC) @ 50min 6sec
  20. Carlos Sastre (ONCE) @ 50min 20sec
  21. Thomas Brozyna (ibanesto) @ 53min 35sec
  22. Axel Merckx (Domo-Farm Frites) @ 55min 29sec
  23. Laurent Brochard (Jean Delatour) @ 56min 1sec
  24. Wladimir Belli (Fassa Bortolo) @ 57min 29sec
  25. José Enrique Gutierrez (Kelme) @ 59min 17sec
  26. Andreas Klöden (Telekom) @ 59min 53sec
  27. Mario Aerts (Lotto-Asecco) @ 1hr 0min 6sec
  28. Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel) @ 1hr 2min 15sec
  29. Jörg Jaksche (ONCE) @ 1hr 6min 2sec
  30. Daniel Atienza (Cofidis) @ 1hr 7min 10sec
  31. Stéphane Goubert (Jean Delatour) @ 1hr 8min 40sec
  32. Luis Perez (Festina) @ 1hr 11min 7sec
  33. Michele Bartoli (Mapei) @ 1hr 13min 5sec
  34. David Etxebarria (Euskaltel) @ 1hr 15min 57sec
  35. Benoît Salmon (Ag2r) @ 1hr 17min 7sec
  36. Stive Vermaut (Lotto) @ 1hr 20min 13sec
  37. Felix Manuel Garcia (Festina) @ 1hr 20min 33sec
  38. José-Luis Rubiera (US Postal) @ 1hr 21min 48sec
  39. Giuseppe Guerini (Telekom) @ 1hr 22min 1sec
  40. Stéphane Heulot (Bit Mat-Auber 93) @ 1hr 22min 2sec
  41. Javier Pascual (ibanesto) @ 1hr 22min 37sec
  42. Walter Bénéteau (Bonjour) @ 1hr 24min 28sec
  43. Kevin Livingston (Telekom) @ 1hr 24min 31sec
  44. Leonardo Piepoli (ibanesto) @ 1hr 26min 21sec
  45. Guido Trentin (Cofidis) @ 1hr 29min 40sec
  46. Jens Voigt (Credit Agricole) @ 1hr 30min 2sec
  47. Denis Menchov (ibanesto) @ 1hr 31min 50sec
  48. David Moncoutié (Cofidis) @ 1hr 32min 9sec
  49. Nicki Sørensen (CSC) @ 1hr 33min 14sec
  50. Laurent Roux (Jean Delatour) @ 1hr 35min 26sec
  51. Udo Bölts (Telekom) @ 1hr 34min 10sec
  52. Marco Pinotti (Lampre) @ 1hr 34min 29sec
  53. Gilles Bouvard (Jean Delatour) @ 1hr 35min 35sec
  54. Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) @ 1hr 36min 20sec
  55. Patrice Halgand (Jean Delatour) @ 1hr 38min 38sec
  56. Jean-Cyril Robin (Bonjour) @ 1hr 39min 33sec
  57. Daniele Nardello (Mapei) @ 1hr 41min 49sec
  58. Javier Pascual (Kelme) @ 1hr 44min 40sec
  59. Guennadi Mikhailov (lotto) @ 1hr 46min 23sec
  60. Matteo Tosatto (Fassa Bortolo) @ 1hr 50min 7sec
  61. Félix Rafael Cárdenas (Kelme) @ 1hr 55min 25sec
  62. Mikel Pradera (ONCE) @ 1hr 57min 9sec
  63. Iñigo Cuesta (Cofidis) @ 1hr 58min 31sec
  64. José Ivan Gutierrez (ONCE) @ 1hr 59min 12sec
  65. Sylvain Chavanel (Bonjour) @ 1hr 59min 40sec
  66. Daniel Schnider (FDJ) @ 2hr 0min 43sec
  67. Massimiliano Lelli (Cofidis) @ 2hr 1min 26sec
  68. Piotr Wadecki (Domo-Farm Frites) @ 2hr 2min 3sec
  69. Jon Odriozola (ibanesto) @ 2hr 5min 23sec
  70. Paolo Bettini (Mapei) @ 2hr 5min 38sec
  71. George Hincapie (US Postal) @ 2hr 5min 46sec
  72. Geert Verheyen (Rabobank) @ 2hr 5min 53sec
  73. Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel) @ 2hr 6min 17sec
  74. Franck Bouyer (Bonjour) @ 2hr 7min 1sec
  75. Maarten Den Bakker (Rabobank) @ 2hr 7min 42sec
  76. Antonio Tauler (Kelme) @ 2hr 8min 11sec
  77. Alberto Lopez (Euskaltel) @ 2hr 8min 19sec
  78. Ludovic Turpin (Ag2r) @ 2hr 9min 21sec
  79. Victor Hugo Peña (US Postal) @ 2hr 10min 5sec
  80. Sven Teutenberg (Festina) @ 2hr 11min 22sec
  81. Fabio Baldato (Fassa Bortolo) @ 2hr 11min 50sec
  82. Viatcheslav Ekimov (US Postal) @ 2hr 17min 4sec
  83. Bradley McGee (FDJ) @ 2hr 17min 54sec
  84. Michael Blaudzun (CSC) @ 2hr 22min 28sec
  85. Serge Baguet (Lotto) @ 2hr 22min 50sec
  86. José Angel Vidal (Kelme) @ 2hr 23min 9sec
  87. Pascal Lino (Festina) @ 2hr 24min 9sec
  88. Unai Ttxebarria (Euskaltel) @ 2hr 26min 4sec
  89. Nicolas Vogondy (FDJ) @ 2hr 27min 37sec
  90. Servais Knaven (Domo-Farm Frites) @ 2hr 27min 51sec
  91. Erik Dekker (Rabobank) @ 2hr 29min 16sec
  92. Paul Van Hyfte (Lotto) @ 2hr 29min 57sec
  93. Marc Lotz (Rabobank) @ 2hr 31min 2sec
  94. Tyler Hamilton (US Postal) @ 2hr 31min 35sec
  95. Eddy Seigneur (Jean Delatour) @ 2hr 34min 19sec
  96. Erik Zabel (Telekom) @ 2hr 34min 28sec
  97. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) @ 2hr 35min 8sec
  98. Nico Mattan (Cofidis) @ 2hr 35min 39sec
  99. Nicola Loda (Fassa Bortolo) @ 2hr 35min 51sec
  100. Florent Brard (Festina) @ 2hr 37min 5sec
  101. Steffen Kjærgaard (US Postal) @ 2hr 37min 24sec
  102. Chirstophe Mengin (FDJ) @ 2hr 40min 28sec
  103. Angel Castresana (Euskaltel) @ 2hr 42min 41sec
  104. Alexei Sivakov (Big Mat-Auber 93) @ 2hr 43min 2sec
  105. Eladio Jiménez (ibanesto) @ 2hr 43min 8sec
  106. Jérôme Bernard (Jean Delatour) @ 2hr 44min 9sec
  107. Anthony Morin (Credit Agricole) @ 2hr 46min 48sec
  108. Sebastien Demarbaix (Ag2r) @ 2hr 47min 19sec
  109. Damien Nazon (Bonjour) @ 2hr 48min 10sec
  110. Ravis Belohvoščiks (Lampre) @ 2hr 48min 14sec 
  111. Christophe Oriol (Jean Delatour) @ 2hr 49min 0sec
  112. Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto) @ 2hr 49min 17sec
  113. Emmanuel Magnien (FDJ) @ 2hr 50min 7sec
  114. Pascal Chanteur (Festina) @ 2hr 50min 26sec
  115. Nicolas Jalabert (CSC) @ 2hr 50min 31sec
  116. Franck Renier (Bonjour) @ 2hr 56min 0sec
  117. Jakob Piil (CSC) @ 2hr 58min 6sec
  118. Francisco Javier Cerezo (CSC) @ 2hr 59min 57sec
  119. Frédérick Bessy (Credit Agricole) @ 3hr 1min 2sec
  120. Christophe Agnolutto (Ag2r) @ 3hr 1min 24sec
  121. Gilles Maignan (Ag2r) @ 3hr 1min 27sec
  122. Marcelino García (CSC) @ 3hr 5min 5sec
  123. Christophe Capelle (Big Mat-Auber 93) @ 3hr 5min 12sec
  124. Frédérick Guesdon (FDJ) @ 3hr 7min 12sec
  125. Marco Serpellini (Lampre) @ 3hr 7min 47sec
  126. Sébastien Talabardon (Big Mat-Auber 93) @ 3hr 9min 2sec
  127. Jacky Durand (FDJ) @ 3hr 9min 58sec
  128. Matteo Frutti (Lampre) @ 3hr 13min 1sec
  129. Ján Svorada (Lampre) @ 3hr 17min 38sec
  130. Johan Verstrepen (Lampre) @ 3hr 21min 26sec
  131. Thierry Gouvenou (Big Mat-Auber 93) @ 3hr 24min 23sec
  132. Romans Vainsteins (Domo-Fram Frites) @ 3hr 24min 56sec
  133. Ludovic Auger (Big Mat-Auber 93) @ 3hr 26min 2sec
  134. Max Van Heeswijk (Domo-Farm Frites) @ 2hr 27min 22sec
  135. Stéphane Bergès (Ag2r) @ 3hr 29min 53sec
  136. Guillaume Auger (Big Mat-Auber 93) @ 3hr 30min 44sec
  137. Sébastien Hinault (Credit Agricole) @ 3hr 33min 21sec
  138. Olivier Perraudeau (Bonjour) @ 3hr 38min 0sec
  139. Christopher Jenner (Credit Agricole) @ 3hr 38min 21sec
  140. Rubens Bertogliati (Lampre) @ 3hr 39min 5sec
  141. Rolf Sørensen (CSC) @ 3hr 40min 36sec
  142. Davide Bramati (Mapei) @ 3hr 41min 14sec
  143. Enrico Cassani (Domo-Farm Frites) @ 3hr 42min 46sec
  144. Jimmy Casper (FDJ) @ 3hr 52min 17sec

Climbers' Competition:

  1. Laurent Jalabert (CSC): 258 points
  2. Jan Ullrich (Telekom): 211
  3. Laurent Roux (Jean Delatour): 200
  4. Lance Armstrong (US Postal): 195
  5. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei): 164
  6. Robert Laiseka (Euskaltel): 147
  7. Joseba Beloki (ONCE): 145
  8. Alexandre Vinokourov (Telekom): 134
  9. Patrice Halgand (Jean Delatour): 123
  10. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme): 120

Points Competition:

  1. Erik Zabel (Telekom): 252 points
  2. Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole): 244
  3. Damien Nazon (Bonjour): 169
  4. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo): 148
  5. Sven Teutenberg (Festina): 141
  6. Lance Armstrong (US postal): 134
  7. Jan Ullrich (Telekom): 127
  8. Ján Svorada (Lampre): 124
  9. Christophe Capelle (Big Mat-Auber 93): 114
  10. François Simon (Bonjour): 108

Young Rider:

  1. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) 86hr 35min 58sec
  2. Francisco Mancebo (ibanesto) @ 10min 3sec
  3. Jörg Jaksche (ONCE) @ 47min 32sec
  4. Denis Menchov (ibanesto) @ 1hr 13min 20sec
  5. Marco Pinotti (Lampre) @ 1hr 15min 59sec

Team Classification:

  1. Kelme: 259hr 14min 44sec
  2. ONCE @ 4min 59sec
  3. Telekom @ 41min 6sec
  4. Bonjour @ 41min 49sec
  5. Rabobank @ 51min 53sec
  6. US Postal @ 54min 51sec
  7. Cofidis @ 1hr 20min 41sec
  8. ibanesto @ 1hr 22min 24sec
  9. Festina @ 1hr 45min 33sec
  10. Jean Delatour @ 1hr 49min 18sec

Stages with running GC:

July 7 Saturday: Prologue. Dunkirk individual time trial, 8.2 km.

Flat stage. At 3:00 PM local time it is presently cloudy with a slight breeze from the northwest. Weather predicted for Dunkirk is showers and a high of 70F (21C) and the wind from the west at 14 mph (about 21 kph). First rider is off 4:00 PM local time. Last rider should finish at 7:30 PM. The wind is supposed to grow stronger in the evening. At the presentation yesterday, Echelon-velo reports that the US Postal team (with bodyguard for Lance) were booed as well as cheered by many members of the crowd, probably for Cedric Vasseur's exclusion from the Postal Tour team.

The rain held off, with only a few drops falling during Armstrong's ride, and the wind died down to allow the favorites to have a clean ride. The French should be happy. They gained the Yellow Jersey (Moreau) and the White Jersey for the best young rider (Florent Brard).

Results:

1. Christophe Moreau (Festina) 9min 20sec
2. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ONCE) @ 3sec
3. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) @ 4sec
4. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 7sec
5. Florent Brard (Festina) @ 7sec
6. Santi Botero (Kelme) @ 10sec
7. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 13sec
28. Laurent Jalabert (CSC Tiscali) @ 22sec
62. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) @ 31sec
77. Wladimir Belli (Fassa Bortolo) @ 36sec
110. David Millar (Cofidis) @ 42sec (Crashed)
120. Francesco Casagrande (Fassa Bortolo) @ 45sec

elevation, prologue


July 8, Sunday: Stage 1, St. Omer - Boulogne sur Mer, 194.5 km. This stage is nearly flat with two category 4 climbs near the end. It starts at 12:40 at S. Omer, about 35 kilometers south of Dunkirk (on the North Sea coast). The finishing city, Boulogne-sur-Mer is only about 50 kilometers to the west of St. Omer. But, the route heads in a big loop south and east to the North Sea Coast, then north up the coastal road until just before Boulogne-sur-Mer. Then, they circle around the city to enter it from the north. In this little extra loop they climb the Cote des Desvres (1 km at 5.4%) at kilometer 155 and the Cote du Cap Gris Nez (1.7 km at 5.6%) at kilometer 176 just on the coast, then on into town for the sprint. The two little climbs will give us our first climber's jersey. At 43 kph, they should finsh at 5:30 PM local time (8:30 AM Pacific Daylight Time).

Ascents:

Côte de Devres (Category 4)
Côte du Cap Gris-Nez (Category 4)

Results:

  1. Erik Zabel (Telekom) 4hr 55min 15sec 39.53 km/hr
  2. Romans Vainsteins (Domo) s.t.
  3. Jimmy Casper (FDJ) s.t.
  4. Thor Hushvovd (Credit Agricole) s.t.
  5. Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2R) s.t.
  6. Damien Nazon (Bonjour) s.t.
  7. Steven De Jongh (Rabobank) s.t.
  8. Christophe Capelle (Big Mat-auber 93) s.t.
  9. Sven Teutenberg (Festina) s.t.
  10. Robert Hunter (Lampre) s.t.

GC after stage 1:

  1. Christophe Moreau (Festina) 5hr 4min 35sec
  2. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ONCE) @ 3sec
  3. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) @ 4sec
  4. Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2R) @ 7sec
  5. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) s.t.
  6. Florent Brard (Festina) s.t.
  7. Santiago Botero (Kelme) @ 10sec
  8. Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) @ 11sec
  9. Jacky Durand (FDJ) @ 13sec
  10. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) s.t.

Green Jersey (points): Erik Zabel (Telekom)
Polka Dot Jersey (Climber): Jacky Durand (FDJ)
White Jersey (Young Rider) Florent Brard (Festrina)
Combativity leader: Jacky Durand (FDJ)
Leading Team: Festina

elevation, stage 1


July 9, Monday: Stage 2, Calais - Antwerp, 218.5 km.

A pan flat stage with no rated climbs. They'll start on the coastal city of Calais and head east to Dunkirk, then a little dog-leg south for a few kilometers and then east into Belgium. The route takes the racers between Brugge and Gent on their way to Antwerp You may see references, especially in the official Tour literature, to Anvers, the French name for Antwerp. Antwerp is mostly Flemish speaking and they call their city Antwerpen. The weather forecast is rain from Calais to Antwerp with a high of 66F (19C). I'm sure Tom Steels would like to have a home-country field-sprint win. We'll see what Zabel, Caspers and the rest of the speedsters have to say about it.

Results:

16 riders got away. Kirsipuu (17th) lead in the bunch as they rolled in 22 seconds later.

  1. Marc Wauters (Rabobank) 4hr 35min 47sec
  2. Arnaud Pretot (Festina) s.t.
  3. Robert Hunter (Lampre) s.t.
  4. Servais Knaven (Domo) s.t.
  5. Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) s.t.
  6. Davide Bramante (Mapei) s.t.
  7. Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto) s.t.
  8. Ivan Basso (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.
  9. Marco Milesi (Domo-Farm Frites) s.t.
  10. Erik Dekker (Rabobank) s.t.
  11. Daniele Nardello (Mapei) @ 22sec. Yesterday, after his crash his start today was in doubt. He finished in the main field with Ullrich, Armstrong, etc.

GC after Stage 2:

1. Marc Wauters (Rabobank) 9hr 40min 17sec
2. Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) @ 12aec
3. Servais Knaven (Domo) @ 27sec
4. Christophe Moreau (Festina) @ 27sec
5. Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2R) @ 28sec
6. Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto) @ 28sec
9. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ONCE) @ 30sec
10. Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole) @ 31sc
11. Lance armstrong (US Postal) @ 31sec
12. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 34 sec
17. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 40sec

Yellow Jersey (GC leader): Marc Wauters (Rabobank)
Green Jersey (Points): Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2R)
Polka Dot Jersey (Climber): Jacky Durand (FDJ)
White Jersey (Young rider) Robert Hunter (Lampre)
Combativity Prize: Jacky Durand (FDJ)
Leading Team: Credit Agricole 29hr 2min 3sec

elevation, stage 2


July 10, Tuesday: Stage 3, Antwerp - Seraing, 198.5 km.

This stage is entirely in the borders of Belgium. It starts flat enough, but there are 3 category-three rated climbs in the last 40 kilometers with an uphill finishing run into Seraing, a city sitting just southwest of Liege. Weather forecast for Tueday at Liege; Cloudy and 70F (21C).

Rated climbs:

Km 164.5: Cote de Mont Theux (330m) 2.6 km at 5.9% (Cat 3)
Km 174: Cote des Forges (301m) 1.9 km at 6.4% (Cat 3)
Km 186: Cote de Sart-Tilman-Tilff, 3.6 km at 5.2% (Cat 3)

Results:

  1. Erik Zabel (Telekom) 4hr 35min 17sec. 43.22 km/hr
  2. Emmanuel Mangien (FDJ) s.t.
  3. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) s.t.
  4. Fabio Baldato (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.
  5. François Simon (Bonjour) s.t.
  6. Guennadi Mikhailov (Lotto) s.t.
  7. Christophe Capelle (Big Mat-Auber 93) s.t.
  8. Franck Bouyer (Bonjour) s.t.
  9. Serge Baguet (Lotto) s.t.
  10. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) s.t.
  11. Christophe Moreau (Festina) s.t.
  12. José Enrique Gutierrez (Kelme) s.t.
  13. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) s.t.
  14. Joseb Beloki (ONCE) s.t.
  15. Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) s.t.

GC after Stage 3:

  1. Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) 14hr 14min 52sec
  2. Christophe Moreau (Festina) @ 17sec
  3. Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto) @ 18 sec.
  4. Jens Voigt (Credit Agricole) @ 20sec
  5. Igor Gonzales Galdeano (ONCE) @ 20sec
  6. Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole) @ 21sec
  7. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) @ 21sec
  8. Erik Zabel (Telekom) @ 23sec
  9. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 24sec
  10. Florent Brard (Festina) s.t.
  11. Francesco Casagrande (Fassa Bortolo) @ 5min 56sec
  12. Marc Wauters (Rabobank) @ 6min 26sec

Yellow Jersey: Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole)
Green Jersey (points): Erik Zabel (Telekom)
Leading Team: Credit Agricole
Combativity Prize: Jacky Durand (FDJ)
White Jersey (young rider) Florent Brard (Festina)

elevation, stage 3


July 11, Wednesday: Stage 4, Huy - Verdun, 215 km.

Huy is still in Belgium, about midway between Liege and Namur, on the Meuse River. This stage is an almost straight south shot down to Verdun. The first 75 kilometers contain 4 categorized climbs as the pack rolls through the Ardennes as they did late in yesterday's stage.

After these climbs, the terrain remains rolling to the end as they head due south, entering France and followng the Loison River. Just before they reach Verdun, they rejoin the Meuse River and roll into Verdun. With the team time-trial on Thursday, I would expect the teams with GC pretensions to try to ride as conservatively as possible. But, Kelme, Bonjour, and other scrappy teams will be using this hard ride to get away. I expect an extremely aggressive day with the major teams trying to contain any possible damage with the absolute minimum of energy expenditure. Credit Agricole excepted, as they will surely work to defend O'Grady's Yellow Jersey.

The day's rated climbs:

1. Km 42, Cote de Celles (277m), Cat 4, 1.4 km at 6.6%
2. Km. 46, Cote de la Marquisette, Cat 4, 1.5 km at 6%
3. Km. 59, Cote de Ave-et-Auffe, Cat 4, 1.4 km at 5.6%
4. Km 72, Cote de Redu, Cat 3, 4.1 km at 5.1%

Results:

Stage 4 finish

  1. Laurent Jalabert (CSC-Tiscali) 5hr 17min 49sec. 40.6 km/hr
  2. Ludo Dierckxsens (Lampre) s.t.
  3. Damien Nazon (Bonjour) @ 7sec
  4. Fred Rodriguez (Domo-Farm Frites) @ 7sec
  5. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) @ 7sec
  6. Sven Teutenberg (Festina) s.t.
  7. Robert Hunter (Lampre) s.t.
  8. Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) s.t.
  9. Paul Van Hyfte (Lotto) s.t.
  10. Sébastien Talabardon (Big Mat-Auber 93) s.t.

GC After Stage 4:

  1. Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) 19hr 32min 49sec
  2. Laurent Jalabert (CSC) @ 18sec
  3. Christophe Moreau (Festina) @ 23sec
  4. Jens Voigt (Credit Agricole) @ 26sec
  5. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ONCE) @ 26sec
  6. Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole) @ 27sec
  7. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) @ 27sec
  8. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 30sec
  9. Florent Brard (Festina) s.t.
  10. Santiago Botero (Kelme) @ 33sec
  11. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 36sec

Yellow Jersey: Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole)
Green Jersey (Points): Erik Zabel (Telekom)
Polka Dot Jersey (Climber): Patrice Halgand (Jean Delatour)
White Jersey (Young Rider) Florent Brard (Festina)
Combativity: Jacky Durand (FDJ)
Leading Team: Credit Agricole

Stage 4 as it happened:

Km 133, 3:30 PM. local time, Stage 4. After being away for 81 km, the 9-man break is caught. ONCE joined the Postal squad to bring the escapees back.

Km 90, 2:30 PM, local time, Stage 4. 9 riders are away with a 10min 10sec gap on the peloton and working well together: Bolts, Perez, Boogerd, Julich, Agnolutto, Halgand, Vidal, Mengin, and Lamouller. Julich is the virtual leader on the road and Patrice Halgand has wrapped up enough of the climbing points available today to wear the Polka Dot Jersey in Stage 5 tomorrow. Posties are chasing. They have to. Telekom, Kelme, Ag2R, C.A, and Rabo have riders in the break and Postal doesn't feel like spotting Bobby Julich 10 minutes.

elevation, stage 4


July 12, Thursday: Stage 5, Verdun - Bar le Duc, 67 km team time trial.

This is an almost straight south trip down to Bar-le-duc. The course is gently undulating with a nasty surprise at the end, 2 kilometers of 3.9%. Did the Posties use up too much energy chasing down the Julich-Boogerd break on Wednesday's stage 4? Armstrong said that the team was tired after the chase. I expect ONCE (winner of last year's TTT), Telekom, Postal (who came apart somewhat last year with uncoordinated hard pulls, wasting time and energy) and Credit Agricole (who are good at TTT and want to keep O'Grady in Yellow) to be the top placers. First team is off at 2:05 PM local time. The teams will go every 5 minutes. The last team should finish a little after 5:00 PM (8:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time). The Tour organizer's schedule assumes a 52 kph average.

The Race: Vandevelde and Heras of Postal crashed, the team waited and continued complete. Armstrong took long, monster pulls during the TTT. Zabel of Telekom flatted with a few kilometers to go and was left by the team. Julich of C.A. flatted and rejoined the team.

Results:

1. Credit Agricole 1hr 21min 32sec
2. ONCE @ 31sec
3. Festina @ 54sec
4. US Postal @ 1min 26sec
5. Kelme @ 1min 38sec
6. Rabobank @ 1min 47sec
7. Telekom @ 1min 50sec
8. Cofidis @ 2min 55sec
9. Big Mat @ 2min 56sec
10. Mapei @ 2min 58sec
11. CSC-Tiscali @ 3min 1sec
12. Bonjour @ 3min 9sec
13. IBanesto @ 3min 45sec
14. Domo @ 3min 40sec
15. Fassa Bortolo @ 4min 1sec
16. Jean Delatour @ 4min 22sec
17. Euskaltel @ 4min 45sec
18. Ag2R @ 4min 52sec
19. FDJ @ 4min 58sec
20. Lotto @ 5min 14sec
21. Lampre @ 5min 58sec

GC after Stage 5:

1. Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) 20hr 54min 21sec
2. Jens Voigt (Credit Agricole) @ 26sec
3. Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole) @ 27sec
4. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ONCE) @ 57sec
5. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 1min 7sec
6. Carolos Sastre (ONCE) @ 1min 6sec
7. Jorg Jaksche (ONCE) @ 1min 12sec
8. Christophe Moreau (Festina) @ 1min 17sec
9. Ivan Gutierrez (ONCE) @ 1min 20sec
10. Marcos Serrano (ONCE) @ 1min 23sec
15. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) 1min 53sec
19. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 2min 32sec
29. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) @ 3min 44sec
45. Wladimir Belli (Fassa Bortolo) @ 5min

Yellow Jersey: Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole)
Green Jersey (Points): Erik Zabel (Telekom)
Polka Dot Jersey (Climber) Patrice Halgand (Jean Delatour)
White Jersey (Young Rider) Jorg Jaksche (ONCE)

The Wise Pro Writes. With stage 5's TTT on his mind, Celestino Vercelli, owner of Vittoria Shoes sent me an e-mail about time-trialing. He was a finisher of many Giros and Tours as a pro for Brooklyn and SCIC. I thought you would enjoy it.

"Personally, I loved the chrono. I had the right concentration for this type of race. When I was an amateur, I won a lot of time-trials (actually, in all modesty, I almost always won them).
In my career as a professional, my best result was a 3rd place in the 1964 Giro, finishing just behind Adorni and Bitossi, the champions of the 70's.
In this type of race it is very important to be predisposed towards it, just like climbing or sprinting.
It is the race of truth. It's a combination of power/strenth, the ability to concentrate upon the measurement of one's energy, and a capacity to suffer.
The time trials are the barometer of the racer's physical form.
The moment before starting is the most delicate. The concentration and stress are at the maximum point; the start is a liberation, but the beginning of the suffering. You give all of yourself for a few kilometers. Then, the clock's answer...joy or disappointment.
Regarding the team-time-trial, the most important point is to get on well together. The best racer, who drives the team, has to measure the strength of the others, in order to give the maximum, but to avoid arriving alone.
"Saluti e complimenti vivissimi,

Celestino"


July 13, Friday: Stage 6, Commercy - Strasbourg, 211.5 km.

Commercy, on the Meuse River, is almost due south of Verdun and east of Bar-le-Duc, where the Tour finished yesterday. The route heads south and almost immediately hits the first of the day's 3 rated climbs, At Vaucoulers (km 16.5), they depart from the major road. From then on, until just before the outskirts of Strasbourg, they will be riding on very small secondary roads. They head east, out of the Meuse Valley and into the Vosges, the hills of northeastern France that parallel the Rhine. Just before reaching the official Vosges region boundry, they climb the second rated hill, Then, a few kilometers later, at km 153, the first real test of the climbers, the 2nd category Col du Donon. You don't think the Kelme guys haven't been licking their chops over this for days? The pack descends down the eastern face of the Vosges for about 60 kilometers to the finish at Strasbourg, which sits on the western shore of the Rhine.

Will the pack come back together for a sprint finish after the big climb? My guess is that with the frenzied aggression of this Tour, it's going to break up early and get shattered on the Donon. And this is just a transition stage for the hard stuff to come. Any race course is hard if you race it hard.

Rated ascents:

Côte de Void-Vacon (330m), 1.3 km @ 6.7%. (Category 4)
Côte de Chapelotte (431m) at km 135, 4.6 km @ 2.3 %. (Category 4)
Col du Donon (727m), 4 km at 7.9%. (Category 2)

Results:

  1. Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r) 4hr 50min 39sec
  2. Damien Nazon (Bonjour) s.t.
  3. Jan Svorada (Lampre) s.t.
  4. Erik Zabel (Telekom) s.t.
  5. Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) s.t.
  6. Jimmy Casper (FDJ) s.t.
  7. Nico Mattan (Cofidis) s.t.
  8. Christophe Capelle (Bigmat Auber 93) s.t.
  9. Alexei Sivikov (Bigmat Auber 93) s.t.
  10. Romans Vainsteins (Domo-Fram-Frites) s.t.

GC after Stage 6:

  1. Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) 25hr 45min 0sec
  2. Jens Voigt (Credit Agricole) @ 26sec
  3. Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole) @ 27sec
  4. Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (ONCE) @ 57sec
  5. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 1min 7sec
  6. Carlos Sastre (ONCE) @ 1min 8sec
  7. Jörg Jaksche (ONCE) @ 1min 12sec
  8. Christophe Moreau (Festina) @ 1min 17sec
  9. Ivan Gutierrez (ONCE) @ 1min 20sec
  10. Marco Serrano (ONCE) @ 1min 23sec


July 14, Saturday: Stage 7, Strasbourg - Colmar, 162.5 km.

This is another day in the Vosges mountains that parallel the Rhine. These aren't the high Alps or Pyrenees, but with 5 rated climbs, two of them Category 2, this stage will be hard. They start by leaving Strasbourg on the route they came in at the end of Stage 6, heading east now, away from the Rhine. At kilometer 15, they turn south. They wander among little roads in the Vosges, roughly paralleling the Rhine as they head south, encountering several mid-category climbs.

After the last climb, its a quick drop into Colmar, sitting just a few kilometers west of the Rhine.

Rated ascents:

Km 48: Col du Kreuzweg, 15.6 km at 3.6%, Category 3
Km 67: Col de Fouchy, 5 km at 5.7%, Category 3
Km 90: Col d'Adelspach, 9.5 km at 5%, Category 2
Km 111: Col du Bonhomme, 12.3 km at 4.4%, not rated, part of Calvaire.
Km 124: Col du Calvaire, 2.4 km at 6.5%, Category 2
Km 138: Collet du Linge, 5.8 km at 3.2 %, Category 3

Results:

1. Laurent JALABERT (CSC-Tiscali) 4hr 6min 4sec
2. Jens VOIGT (Credit Agricole) @ 11sec
3. Laurent ROUX (Jean Delatour) @ 11sec
4. Inigo CUESTA (Cofidis) @ 13sec
5. Ivan BASSO (Fassa Bortolo) @ 1min 3sec
6. David ETXEBARRIA (Euskaltel) @ 4min 28sec
7. Alexandre VINOKOUROV (Telekom) s.t.
8. Laurent BROCHARD (Jean Delatour) s.t.
9. Matteo TOSATTO (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.
10. Frank BOUYER (Bonjour) s.t.
11. Stuart O'GRADY Stuart (Credit Agricole) s.t.
12. Paolo BETTINI (Mapei) s.t.

GC after Stage 7:

1. Jens VOIGT (Credit Agricole) 29hr 51min 29sec
2. Laurent JALABERT (CSC-Tiscali) @ 2min 34sec
3. Stuart O'GRADY (Credit Agricole) @ 4min 3sec
4. Bobby JULICH (Credit Agricole) @ 4min 26sec
5. Igor GONZALEZ GALDEANO (ONCE) @ 5min
6. Joseba BELOKI (ONCE) @ 5min 10sec
7. Carlos SASTRE (ONCE) @ 5min 11sec
8. Jorg JAKSCHE (ONCE) @ 5min 15sec
9. Christophe MOREAU (Festina) @ 5min 20sec
10. Ivan GUTIERREZ (ONCE) @ 5min 23sec
15. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) @ 5min 56sec
19. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 6min 23sec
27. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) @ 7min 47sec

Jerseys:

Yellow gersey: Jens Voigt (Credit Agricole)
Green Jersey (Points): Erik Zabel (Telekom) 93 pints, 2nd Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) 90 points.
Polka Dot (Climber): Patrice Halgand (Jean Delatour) 60 points, 2nd Laurent Jalabert (CSC-Tiscali) 60 points
White (Young Rider): Jorg Jaksche (ONCE)
Combativity: Laurent Jalabert (CSC-Tiscali)
Leading Team: Credit Agricole, 2nd ONCE @ 6min 29sec

elevation, stage 7


July 15, Sunday: Stage 8, Colmar - Pontarlier, 222.5 km.

This long stage could have been so much harder. There are plenty of perils on the way from Colmar, situated on the Rhine, to Pontarlier, just west of The Swiss border, just opposite Lake Neuchatel. The race, officially starting at 11:47 AM local time, heads east and south to follow the Rhine, until kilometer 49, when it turns southeast, doing a big loop around and avoiding Mulhouse. This route avoids the Vosges Mountains that they have been racing in for the last two days. From km 118 (Audincourt), they follow the Doubs river until the Côte de Saint Hippolyte. It's a little rolling from there, but the hard work is done, as they rejoin the Daubs River in the Saug Valley on their way into Pontarlier.

Rated ascents:

Km 111: Beucourt, 1.3 km at 6.5% (Category 4)
Km: 165: Côte de Saint Hippolyte, 8 km @ 5.1% (Category 3).

Results:

1. Erik DEKKER (Rabobank) 4hr 59min 18sec
2. Aitor GONZALEZ (Kelme) s.t.
3. Servais KNAVEN Servais (Domo) s.t.
4. Marc WAUTERS (Rabobank) @ 4sec
5. Stuart O'GRADY (Credit Agricole) @ 2min 32sec
6 Sven TEUTENBERG (Festina) @ 2min 32sec
7. Jacky DURAND (FDJ) s.t.
8. Bram DE GROOT (Rabobank) s.t.
9. Ludo DIERCKXSENS (Lampre) @ s.t.
10. Nicola LODA (Fassa Bortolo) @s.t.
11. Ludovic TURPIN (Ag2R) s.t.
12. Francois SIMON (Bonjour) @ 2min 36sec
13. Andrei KIVILEV Andrei (Cofidis) @ 2min 40sec
14. Pascal CHANTEUR (Festina) @ 9min 23sec
15. Robert HUNTER (Lampre) @ 35min 54sec
16. Erik ZABEL (Telekom) @ 35min 54sec

GC after Stage 8:

1. Stuart O'GRADY (Credit Agricole) 34hr 57min 18sec
2. François SIMON (Bonjour) @ 4min 32sec
3. Bram DE GROOT (Rabobank) @ 21min 16sec
4. Andrei KIVILEV (Cofidis) @ 22min 7sec
5. Sven TEUTENBERG (Festina) @ 27min 15sec
6. Jens VOIGT (Credit Agricole) @ 29min 23sec
7. Ludo DIERCKXSENS (Lampre) @ 29min 49sec
8. Marc WAUTERS (Rabobank) @ 30min 12sec
9. Ludovic TURPIN (Ag2R) @ 30min 35sec
10. Aitor GONZALEZ (Kelme) @ 31min 56sec
11. Laurent JALABERT (CSC-Tiscali) @ 31min 57sec
12. Bobby JULICH (Credit Agricole) @ 33min 49sec
13. Igor GONZALEZ GALDEANO (ONCE) @ 34min 23sec
14. Joseba BELOKI (ONCE) @ 34min 33sec
15. Carlos SASTRE (ONCE) @ 34min 34sec
16. Jorg JAKSCHE (ONCE) @ 34min 38sec
17. Christophe MOREAU (Festina) @ 34min 43sec
24. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) @ 35min 19sec
27. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 35min 46sec

Jerseys:

Yellow Jersey: Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole)
Green Jersey (Points): 1st Stuart O'Grady (Credit aGricole) 116 points, 2nd Erik Zabel Telekom) 103 points. Zabel will wear the Green Jersey because O'Grady also has the Yellow Jersey.
Polka Dot Jersey (Climber): Patrice Halgand (Jean Delatour) 60 points. 2nd Laurent Jalabert (CSC-Tiscali) 50 points.
White Jersey (Young Rider): Jorg Jaksche (ONCE)
Combativity: Laurent Jalabert (CSC-Tiscali)
Leading Team: Rabobank 105hr 12min 16sec. 2nd Festina @ 23min 55sec


July 16, Monday: Stage 9, Pontarlier - Aix les Bains, 185 km.

The route heads almost due south for the Tour's appointment with destiny on Tuesday. The roads are small as they wind their way through the Jura. They almost parallel the Swiss border as they did Sunday. They go sort of wide and to the west a bit around Geneva, then they resume their near dead-south direction to Aix-les-Bains. There are three rated climbs. I think the sawtooth profile of the route and little roads where a break can get out of sight of the pack will be conducive to more break attempts.

Rated ascents:

Km 68.0 - Col des Les Rousses: 7.0 km climb at 5.2 % - 3rd Cat.
Km 131.5 - Côte de Pralon : 4.4 km climb at 3.7 % - 4th Cat.
Km 145.0 - Côte de Bossy : 3.4 km climb at 7.6 % - 3rd Cat.

Results:

  1. Sergeui Ivanov (Fassa Bortolo) 3hr 57min 48sec. 46.68 km/hr
  2. David Etxebarria (Euskaltel) @ 16sec
  3. Bradley McGee (FDJ) @ 17sec
  4. Erik Zabel (Telekom) @ 24sec
  5. Damien Nazon (Bonjour) @ 24sec
  6. Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) s.t.
  7. Paolo Bettini (Mapei) s.t.
  8. José Enrique Gutierrez (Kelme) s.t.
  9. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.
  10. Sven Teutenberg (Festina) s.t.

GC after Stage 8:

1. Stuart O'GRADY (Credit Agricole) 38hr 55min 30sec
2. Francois SIMON (Bonjour) @ 4min 32sec
3. Bram DE GROOT (Rabobank) @ 21min 16sec
4. Andrei KIVILEV (Cofidis) @ 22min 7sec
5. Sven TEUTENBERG (Festina) @ 27min 15sec
6. Jens VOIGT (Credit Agricole) @ 29min 23sec
7. Ludo DIERCKXSENS (Lampre) @ 29min 49sec
8. Marc WAUTERS (Rabobank) @ 30min 12sec
9. Ludovic TURPIN (Ag2R) @ 30min 35sec
10. Aitor GONZALEZ (Kelme) @ 31min 56sec
11. Laurent JALABERT (CSC-Tiscali) @ 31min 57sec
12. Bobby JULICH (Credit Agricole) @ 33min 49sec
13. Igor GONZALEZ GALDEANO (ONCE) @ 34min 23sec
14. Joseba BELOKI (ONCE) @ 34min 33sec
15. Carlos SASTRE (ONCE) @ 34min 34sec
16. Jorg JAKSCHE (ONCE) @ 34min 38sec
17. Christophe MOREAU (Festina) @ 34min 43sec
23. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) @ 35min 19sec
26. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 35min 46sec
34. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) @ 37min 10sec

Jerseys:

Yellow Jersey: Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole)
Polka Dot (climber): Patrice Halgand (Jean Delatour)
Green Jersey (points) Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole). Erik Zabel, 2nd place will wear the Green because O'Grady has the Yellow.
White Jersey (young rider) Jorg Jaksche (ONCE)
Combativity: Laurent Jalabert (CSC-Tiscali)
Leading Team: Rabobank

elevation, stage 9


July 17, Tuesday: Stage 10, Aix-les-Bains - L'Alpe d'Huez, 209 km.

There has been enough arm-chair directing. It's time to end all those guesses about form and strategy. Today's stage includes three "Above Categorization" (labeled "HC" in all the literature) climbs: the Madeleine, the Glandon as well as a hill-top finsh at L'Alpe d'Huez.

The stage starts where it ended on Monday, at Aix-les-Bains and does a series of big, looping S's. They start heading north then head south through the Massif des Bauges with only the Cat 3 Col du Frene to show for it. They then join the main road heading northeast to Albertville then they head south. Then, around kilometer 90, they leave the roads that circle the Massif de la Vannoise (the mountain group with the Madeleine among others), and head south-southwest across the Massif Vannoise for the Madeleine at kilometer 114. A fast, winding, descent, still heading south-soutwest and they climb the Glandon. Owen Mulholland says the approach of the Glandon from the north is the most difficult of all the French Alpine climbs. They then head in a less direct, but southerly direction for Bourg-D'Oisans. Then the final challenge, they head northeast for the 21 switchbacks of L'Alpe D'Huez. Scheduled start is at 10:40 AM, local time (1:40 AM Pacific Daylight). If they average 32 kph, they finish a little after 5:00 PM, local time (8:00 AM Pacific).

O'Grady came off the pack on the final 3rd Category climb on Monday's stage. I don't think you'll see him in yellow Tuesday afternnon. But Kivelev (Cofidis): is his 13 min+ lead enough? This will be a fantastic stage.

Rated Ascents:

Km 40.5: Col du Frene (950m), 2.1 km at 8.6%. Category 3
Km 114: Col de la Madeleine (1984m), 24.8 km at 6.2%. HC
Km 156.5: Col du Glandon (1924m), 19.9 km at 7.3%. HC
Km 209: L'Alpe d'Huez, 13.9 km at 8.1%. HC.

Results: What a ride! Armstrong crushes the field with a bravura display of tactics and power.

Stage 10 finish

1. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) 6hr 23min 47sec
2. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 1min 59sec
3. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 2min 7sec
4. Christophe Moreau (Festina) @ 2min 30sec
5. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) @ 2min 54
6. Francisco Mancebo (Ibanesto) @ 4min 1sec
7. Laurent Roux (Jean Delatour) @ 4min 3sec
8. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ONCE) @ 4min 3sec
9. Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel) @ 4min 3sec
10. Leonardo Piepoli (Ibanesto) @ 4min 7sec
12. Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis) @ 4min 39sec
18. Wladimir Belli (Fassa Bortolo) @ 6min 18sec
20. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) @ 7min 54sec
29. François Simon (Bonjour) @ 10min 20sec

GC after Stage 9:

1. François Simon (Bonjour) 45 hr 34min 9sec
2. Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis) @ 11min 54sec
3. Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) @ 18min 10sec
4. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) @ 20min 7sec
5. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 21min 42sec
6. Christophe Moreau (Festina) @ 22min 21sec
7. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 22min 41sec
8. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ONCE) @ 23min 34sec
9. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) @ 24min 7sec
10. Santiago Botero (Kelme) @ 25min 52sec
22. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) @ 30min 12sec
29. Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole ) @ 42min 7sec
166 finshers

Jerseys:

Yellow Jersey: Francois Simon (Bonjour)
Green Jersey (Points): Stuart O'Grady, 136, 2nd Erik Zabel 127 points.
Polka Dot (Climber): Laurent Roux (Jean Delatour)
White (Young Rider): Oscar Sevilla (Kelme)
Leading Team: Rabobank 136hr 48min 8sec, 2nd Kelme @ 37min 30sec
Combativity: Laurent Roux (Jean Delatour)


July 18, Wednesday: Stage 11, Grenoble - Chamrousse, 32 km individual time trial.

It starts at 209m elevation at Grenoble and finishes at 1730m at Chamrousse. The climb, Above Category (HC) is the last 18.7 km at 7.2%. The transfer to Grenoble from the end of Stage 10 is just a short leg to the west. Leaving Grenoble every two minutes, they will ride southeast, heading towards, of all places, L'Ape d'Huez. The road doesn't go there, but the end at Chamrousse is less than 20 kilometers from Tuesday's finish, as the crow flies. The climbing starts at Uriage-les-Bains (kilometer 13.5). From then on the HC climb is on a road that looks like a piece of twisting intestine. Armstrong proved that he can win on a stage like this (uphill individual time trial) in this year's Tour of Switzerland.

Results:

  1. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) 1hr 7min 27sec
  2. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 1min 0sec
  3. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 1min 35sec
  4. Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel) @ 2min 3sec
  5. Oscar Sevilla (Kelma) @ 2min 24sec
  6. Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (ONCE) @ 2min 31sec
  7. Santiago Botero (Kelme) @ 2min 43sec
  8. Christophe Moreau (Festina) @ 3min
  9. Sven Montgomery (FDJ) @ 3min 7sec
  10. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) @ 3min 8sec

GC after Stage 11:

  1. François Simon (Bonjour) 46hr 48min 36sec
  2. Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis) @ 11min 1sec
  3. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) @ 13min 7sec
  4. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 16min 17sec
  5. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 16min 41sec
  6. Christophe Moreau (Festina) @ 18min 21sec
  7. Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (ONCE) @ 19min 5sec
  8. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) @ 19min 31sec
  9. Santiago Botero (Kelme) @ 21min 35sec
  10. Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) @ 21min 48sec

elevation, stage 11


July 19, Thursday: Rest day, transfer. They call it a rest day, but involves a flight to Perpignan for the Pyrenean stages.


July 20, Friday: Stage 12, Perpignan - Aix les Thermes, 166.5 km. Hill-top finish.

Perpignan is just off the Mediterranean coast just north of the Spanish border. The route heads almost due east, climbing slightly, going from just above sea level to 325 meters at Prades (km 40) where they turn off the main road and head northeast into the mountains, called the "Pyrenees Orientales". From where the race turns north form Prades, the route is the shape of a giant downward-facing sickle with the road from Prades to the Col de Jau forming the handle The race has 5 rated climbs.

The finishing town is about 30 kilometers north of the tiny country of Andorra. This is the first of 3 days of racing in the Pyrenees, with the next two more challenging. We will be on the home turf of the Spanish riders who will have an extra motivation to ride well with what will surely be giant crowds of thier countrymen lining the roads. Armstrong must continue to ride strongly to whittle away at the leads of Kivilev and Simon. Ullrich must attempt to take time from Armstrong. The racing should be aggressive. After these three days in the mountains, there is just the 18th stage with its 60 km time trial as the last likely chance to make a major change in the standings.

Rated ascents:

Km 68: Col de Jau (1506m), 22.8 km at 5.2%, Cat 1
Km 113: Col de Caudons (833m), 10.9 km at 5.5%, Cat 2
Km 135: Col des 7 Freres (1253m), 4.7 km at 4.4%, Cat 3
Km 146: Col di Chioula (1431), 5.3 km at 3.2%, Cat 3
Km 166: Aix-les-Thermes (1375m), 9.4 km at 7%, Cat 1

Results:

1. Felix Cardenas (Kelme) 5hr 3min 34sec. 32.91 km/hr
2. Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel) @ 13sec
3. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) @ 15sec
4. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 38sec
5. David Etxebarria (Euskaltel) @ 59sec
6. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) @ 1min 1sec
7. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 1min 1sec
8. Santiago Botero (Kelme) @ 1min 35sec
9. Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) @ 1min 35sec
10. Alexandre Vinokourov (Telekom) @ 1min 35sec
11. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) @ 1min 35sec
18. Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis) @ 1min 45sec
40. Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole) @ 4min 4sec
41. François Simon (Bonjour) @ 4min 4sec

GC after Stage 12:

1. François Simon (Bonjour) 51hr 56min 14sec
2. Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis) @ 8min 42sec
3. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) @ 9min 10sec
4. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 13min 14sec
5. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 13min 15sec
6. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) @ 16min 28sec
7. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ONCE) @ 16min 40sec
8. Santiago Botero (Kelme) @ 19min 6sec
9. Didier Rous (Bonjour) @ 22min 15sec
10. Marcos Serrano (ONCE) @ 22min 58sec
160 riders finished

Jerseys:

Yellow Jersey: François Simon (Bonjour)
Green Jersey: Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole)
Polka Dot: Laurent Roux (Jean Delatour)
White (Young Rider): Oscar Sevilla (Kelme)
Combativity: Laurent Roux (Jean Delatour)
Leading Team: Rabobank

elevation, stage 12


July 21, Saturday: Stage 13, Foix - St. Lary Soulan, 194 km. Hill-top finish. This stage has one cat 2, four cat 1 climbs and an HC hill-top finish.

The start at Foix (10:22 AM local time) is just a short transfer north from Stage 12's finish at Aix-les-Thermes. They head dead west for about 95 kilometers with the only real wiggle being the first climb at km 71. They head south at Boutx (km 95) and follow the Garonne river. Following the Garonne, they enter Spain (km 110). They jump off the Garrone and head east again and immediately encounter the switchbacks of the Portillon (Km 126). From then on, they cover little, tiny roads, heading steadily eastward, paralleling the Spanish border (about 10 kilometers) for the final three climbs. They should finsh about 4:15 PM local time (7:15 AM Pacific).

This is a much tougher stage than yesterday. I've been hoping for the best for François Simon as even his own team leaves him alone on the climbs to find his own way. I think I can hear the cellos playing minor chords as the relentless Armstong-Ullrich train keeps eating his once large lead. It will be astounding if he can keep the yellow after this stage.

Rated ascents:

Km 71: Col de Portet-d'Aspet (1069m), 2.6 km at 8.6%, Cat 2
Km 89: Col de Menté (1349m), 11.1 km at 6.4%, Cat 1
Km 126: Col du Portillon (1320), 8.3 km at 7.3%, Cat 1
Km 150: Col de Peyresourde (1569m), 13 km at 7%, Cat 1
Km 170: Col de Val-Louron-Azet (1580m), 7.4% at 8.3%, Cat 1
Km 194: St.-Lary-Soulan (Pla d'Adet) (1680m), 10.3 km at 8.3%, HC

Results:

1. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) 5hr 44min 22sec
2. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 1min
3. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 1min 46sec
4. Roberto Heras (US Postal) @ 1min 46sec
5. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) @ 2min 29sec
6. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ONCE) @ 2min 51sec
7. Laurent Jalabert (CSC) @ 3min 11sec
8. Marcos Serrano (ONCE) @ 3min 15sec
9. Inigo Chaurreau (Euskaltel) @ 3min 25sec
10. Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis) @ 4min 2sec
11. Santiago Botero (Kelme) @ 4min 46sec
12. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) @ 5min 46sec
31.François Simon (Bonjour) @ 13min 20sec
 
153 finishers. 7 abandoned including Museeuw and Dierckxsens.

GC after stage 13:

1. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) 57hr 49min 26sec
2. Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis) @ 3min 54sec
3. François Simon (Bonjour) @ 4min 31sec
4. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 5min 13sec
5. Joseba Beloki @ 6min 2sec
6. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano @ 10min 42sec
7. Oscar Sevilla @ 13min 24sec
8. Santiago Botero @ 15min
9. Marcos Serrano (ONCE) @ 17min 23sec
10. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) @ 17min 26sec

Jerseys:

Yellow: Lance Armstrong (US Postal)
Polka Dot:Laurent Jalabert (CSC)
Green: Stuart O'Grady (Credit agricole)
White (youth) Oscar Sevilla (Kelme)
Combativity: Laurent Jalabert (CSC)
Leading Team: Kelme

elevation, stage 13


July 22, Sunday: Stage 14, Tarbes - Luz Ardiden, 141.5 km. Hill top finish.

Things shift a little bit to the west for the start, which should be at 12:56 PM, local time. There are two roads that head south out of Tarbes. The westerly one goes to Lourdes and Hautacam. The easterly one is the one for this stage. The southern road rolls tolerably until Bagneres (km 17). They head east and then start twisting on mountain roads with increasingly difficult climbs the whole day. The first one is the cat 4 climb at km 21. From then on, the hits keep coming.

From Bagneres, they do a big clockwise loop that takes in even the Col d'Aspin. From there, they again, like yesterday, parallel the Spanish border, heading west as they take in some of the most famous climbs in the Tour, the Tourmelet and Luz-Ardiden.

Ullrich has said he isn't giving up. Beloki wants a piece of the podium. More fireworks coming.

Rated ascents:

Km 21: Cote du "Haute de la Cote", 1.5 km at 6.3%, Category 4
Km 34: Cote de Mauvezin, 3 km at 6.7%, Category 3
Km 37: Cote Capver-les-Bains, Category 4
Km 77: Col d'Aspin, 12.1 km at 6.5%, Category 1
Km 106: Col du Tourmalet, 16.8 km at 7.5%, HC
Km 141: Luz-Ardiden, 13.7 km at 7.5%, HC

Results:

1. Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel) 4hr 24min 30sec
2. Wladimir Belli (Fassa Bortolo) @ 54sec
3. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 1min 8sec
4. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) @ 1min 8sec
5. Roberto Heras (US Postal) @ 1min 29sec
6. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 1min 39sec
7. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) @ 1min 39sec
8. Didier Rous (Bonjour) @ 2min 1sec
9. Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis) @ 2min 27sec
10. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ONCE) @ 2min 30sec

GC After Stage 14:

1. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) 62hr 15min 4sec
2. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 5min 5sec
3. Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis) @ 6min 33sec
4. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 6min 33sec
5. François Simon (Bonjour) @ 10min 54sec
6. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ONCE) @ 12min 4sec
7. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) @ 13min 55sec
8. Santiago Botero (Kelme) @ 17min 49sec
9. Marcos Serrano (ONCE) @ 19min 20sec
10. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) @ 19min 45sec

Jerseys:

Yellow: Lance Armstrong (US Postal)
Green: Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole)
Polka Dot: Laurent Jalabert (CSC)
White: Oscar Sevilla (Kelme)
Combativity: Laurent Jalabert (CSC)
Leading team: Kelme

elevation, stage 14


July 23, Monday: Rest Day.

Paolo Guerciotti (former Champion of Italy) was talking to some of his friends in the last couple of days about the Tour. He asked them their thoughts about the final GC podium in Paris, since the fight for 3rd place is so interesting, and why Armstong is so strong.

Felice Gimondi (Tour winner and World Road Champion): Armstong, Ullrich, and Beloki. Armstrong is not a rider. He is a man from a different planet.

Gianni Bugno (Giro winner and former World Road Champion): Armstrong, Ullrich, and Simon. After what he has physically suffered, Armstrong is surely used to these endeavors.

Franco Bitossi (One of the great, dominant riders of the 70s): Armstrong, Ullrich, Beloki. There is no explanation, but he deserves all the success he is having.


July 24, Tuesday: Stage 15, Pau - Lavaur, 232.5 km.

The start city of Pau is only about 35 kilometers to the west of Sunday's start city of Tarbes. They head almost due west for the first 180 kilometers of this long stage with a jagged sawtooth profile. There are several small rated climbs in the first 75 kilometers.

They pass to the south of the city of Toulouse, then hook around to the east of it, ending up just northeast of Toulouse at Lavaur. As they head east, near Toulouse, the route they took west on Saturday out of Foix is only about 50 kilometers to the south. It's only two stages ago, but it seems almost like forever, so much has happened.

The contest for the green Jersey between Zabel (127 points) and O'Grady (140 points) for the intermediate and final sprint should be interesting. They should be scrambling for every point. And what about that 3rd place on the podium? Does Beloki feel like leaving it to the time trial to put away Kivilev? And all those teams with no stage wins. They are going to run out of Tour rather soon. They will want something to show for their visit. The big guys may have settled things a bit, but there are lots of sub-plots awaiting further development.

Rated ascents:

Km 22.0: Côte de la Tricherie, 1.5 km climb at 7.2%, 3rd Category.
Km 27.0: Côte de Lamayou, 0.9 km climb at 8.7%, 4th Category.
Km 50.5: Côte du Puntous (LAGUIAN-MAZOUS), 1.2 km climb at 6.8%, 4th Category.
Km 71.5: Côte de Bidalon (SAINT-MICHEL), 1.4 km climb at 6.4%, 4th Category.

Results: A 25 man break with no serious GC Podium contenders rolled off early and stayed away.

1. Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto) 5hr 16min 21sec. 44.1 km/hr
2. Marco Pinotti (Lampre) s.t.
3. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) @ 6sec
4. Sylvain Chavenal (Bonjour) s.t.
5. Nico Mattan (Cofidis) s.t.
6. Nicolas Jalabert (CSC) s.t.
7. Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) s.t.
8. Marco Sepellini (Lampre) s.t.
9. Daniele Nardello (Mapei) s.t.
10. Felix Cardenas (Kelme) s.t.
26. Leading in the peloton, Damien Nazon (Bonjour) @ 15min 4sec

GC after Stage 15:

Boogerd moves up into the top 10 after being in the break.

1. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) 67hr 46min 32sec
2. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 5min 5sec
3. Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis) @ 5min 13sec
4. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 6min 33sec
5. Francois Simon (Bonjour) @ 10min 54sec
6. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ONCE) @ 12min 4sec
7. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) @ 13min 55sec
8. Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) @ 16min 15sec
9. Santiago Botero (Kelme) @ 17min 49sec
10. Marcos Serrano (ONCE) @ 19min 20sec
11. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) @ 19min 49sec

Jerseys:

Yellow Jersey: Lance Armstrong (US Postal)
Polka Dot: Laurent Jalabert (CSC)
Green Jersey: Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole)
White (youth) Oscar Sevilla (Kelme)
Combativity: Laurent Jalabert (CSC)
Leading Team: Kelme


July 25, Wednesday: Stage 16, Castelsarrasin - Sarran, 229.5 km.

Things are set for a hot, long day in the saddle. The start, Castelsarrasin, is just northeast of Toulouse in the southern France. It's a relentless day of short, hard climbs. They head northeast until kilometer 42, then it's an almost due north trip, headed for the Massif Central (or what you might call The French Central Highlands. They cover about 1/6th of France) and the finish in the small burg of Sarran. The last few kilometers have two rated climbs.

The start should be at 11:30 AM, local time and finish at about 5:15 PM (8:15 AM Pacific time). Some Big-Dog teams have little or nothing to show for the Tour. ONCE and Mapei, among others, must be getting hungry for a stage win. This terrain should allow things to break up.

Rated ascents:

Km 172.5: Côte de Lostanges, 5.3 km climb at 5.2 %, 3rd Category.
Km 200.5: Côte de Saint-Adrian, 2.1 km climb at 5.6 %, 4th Category.

Results: By beating O'Grady for the field sprint, Zabel got a wee bit closer to the green jersey

1. Jens Voigt (Credit Agricole) 5hr 27min 11sec
2. Bradley McGee (FDJ) @ 5sec
3. Alexandre Botcharov (Ag2R) @ 1min 59sec
4. Niki Soresen (CSC) s.t.
5. Luis Perez (Festina) @ 2min 55sec
6. Stephene Heulot (Bigmat) @ 3min 44sec
7. Eddy Seigneur (Jean Delatour) @ 6min 39sec
8. Erik Zabel (Telekom) @ 25min 45sec
9. Stuart O'Grady (Credit agricole) s.t.
10. Damien Nazon (Bonjour) s.t.

GC after Stage 16:

1. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) 73hr 39min 28sec
2. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 5min 5sec
3. Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis) @ 5min 13sec
4. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 6min 33sec
5. Francois Simon (Bonjour) @ 10min 54sec
6. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ONCE) @ 12min 4sec
7. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) @ 13min 55sec
8. Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) @ 16min 15sec
9. Santiago Botero (Kelme) @ 18min 12sec
10. Marcos Serrano (ONCE) @ 19min 20sec
11. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) @ 19min 49sec

Jerseys:

Yellow Jersey: Lance Armstrong (US Postal)
Polka Dot: Laurent Jalabert (CSC)
Green Jersey: Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole), 157 points, 2nd Erik Zabel 145 points.
White (youth) Oscar Sevilla (Kelme)
Combativity: Laurent Jalabert (CSC)
Leading Team: Kelme


July 26, Thursday: Stage 17, Brive la Gaillarde - Montluçon, 194 km.

This is another day of crossing the Central Massif, or Central Highland of France. They head almost due north and then, about halfway through the race, bend a bit northeast. The unrelenting small climbs will make for more aggresive riding. There are two small rated climbs.

Still no wins for Mapei and ONCE. They will start at 12:30 PM, local time and should finish in Montlucon, at the northern edge of the Massif, a bit after 5:00 PM (8:00 AM, Pacific time). We are almost at the geographic center of France. I expect O'Grady and Zabel to fight hard for the sprint points. The Green Jersey is surely still up for grabs. With a 61 km individual time trial tomorrow, I'm sure the GC contenders will want to ride as economically as possible.

Rated ascents:

Km 87.0: Côte de la Fôret de la Feuillade, 2.7 km climb at 5.0%, 4th Category.
Km 125.5: Côte de Rozeille (MOUTIER-ROZEILLE), 1.7 km climb at 5.1%, 4th Category.

Results:

1. Serge Baguet (Lotto) 4hr 13min 36sec
2. Jakb Piil (CSC) s.t.
3. Massimiliano Lelli (Cofidis) @ 5sec
4. Jan Svorada (Lampre) @ 13sec
5. Damien Nazon (Bonjour) s.t.
5. Erik Zabel (Telekom) s.t.
6. Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) s.t.
8. Romans Vainsteins (Domo) s.t.
9. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.
10. Christophe Capelle (Bigmat) s.t.

GC after stage 17:

1. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) 77hr 53min 17sec
2. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 5min 5sec
3. Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis) @ 5min 13sec
4. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 6min 33sec
5. François Simon (Bonjour) @ 10min 54sec
6. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ONCE) @ 12min 4sec
7. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) @ 13min 55sec
8. Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) @ 16min 15sec
9. Santiago Botero (Kelme) @ 18min 12sec
10. Marcos Serrano (ONCE) @ 19min 20sec
11. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) @ 19min 49sec

145 finished

Jerseys:

Yellow Jersey: Lance Armstrong (US Postal)
Polka Dot: Laurent Jalabert (CSC)
Green Jersey: Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole), 176 points, 2nd Erik Zabel 165 points.
White (youth) Oscar Sevilla (Kelme)
Combativity: Laurent Jalabert (CSC)
Leading Team: Kelme


July 27, Friday: Stage 18, Montluçon - St. Amand Montrond, 60.5 km individual time trial.

Lance Armstrong

This will be the last chance, barring some freak occurance, for the riders to change their GC standings. The riders will go out, starting at 10:45 AM at 2-minute intervals. The last 20 riders will go every three minutes. The route heads almost due north, until they head a bit east at kilomter 21 to go through the Troncais Forest. At one time, a primeval forest covered all of the Bourbon area of central France. What is left of this is the Troncais Forest. Beloki and Kivilev will settle who will get the 3rd place on the podium. Beloki is said to be the better Crono man. Ullrich said that this was his last chance to win a stage. He isn't talking about taking back enough time to regain the yellow jersey. He is too much of a realist for that. Zabel and O'Grady will postpone their fight for the Green Jersey until Saturday.

Results:

  1. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) 1hr 14min 16sec
  2. Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (ONCE) @ 1min 24sec
  3. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 1min 39sec
  4. Didier Rous (Bonjour) @ 2min 25sec
  5. Marcos Serrano (ONCE) s.t.
  6. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 2min 32sec
  7. Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole) @ 2min 37sec
  8. Santiago Botero (Kelme) @ 2min 43sec
  9. Alexandre Vinokourov (Telekom) @ 2min 57sec
  10. José Gutierrez (Kelme) @ 3min 1sec

GC after Stage 18:

1. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) 79hr 7min 33sec
2. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 6min 44sec
3. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 9min 5sec
4. Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis) @ 9min 53sec
5. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ONCE) @ 13min 28sec
5. François Simon (Bonjour) @ 17min 22sec
7. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) @ 18min 30sec
8. Santiago Botero (Kelme) @ 20min 55sec
9. Marcos Serrano (ONCE) @ 21min 45sec
10. Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) @ 22min 38sec

Jerseys:

Yellow Jersey: Lance Armstrong
Polka Dot: Laurent Jalabert (CSC)
Green Jersey: Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole), 176 points, 2nd Erik Zabel 165 points.
White (youth) Oscar Sevilla (Kelme)
Combativity: Laurent Jalabert (CSC)
Leading Team: Kelme

elevation, stage 18


July 28, Saturday: Stage 19, Orleans - Evry, 149.5 km. The penultimate stage. A fairly flat little shorty that blasts out of the ancient city of Orleans (the Romans called it Aurelianum. You can see how over the centuries it became Orleans. But, I digress.), heading north to Paris in an elongated "S". The finishing city of Evry sits about 25 kilometers south of Notre Dame in Paris.

And...the number one cycling nation in the world, Italy, has yet to win a stage. Mama Mia! The powerful teams of ONCE and Mapei are still empty handed while little teams like Bonjour have intellegently ridden themselves into Tour history. It's head and legs, and luck. The ongoing saga of Erik Zabel and his shadow Stuart O'Grady will continue as the last great prize of the Tour, the Green Jersey, is still up for grabs.

Rated ascent:

Km 87.0: Côte de Gironvill, 0.7 km climb at 5.4%, 4th Category

Results: O'Grady just keeps the Green Jersey.

1. Erik Zabel (Telekom) 3hr 12min 27sec
2. Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) s.t.
3. Romans Vainsteins (Domo) s.t.
4. Sven Teutenberg (Festina) s.t.
5. Jan Svorada (Lampre) s.t.
6. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo)
7. Damien Nazon (Bonjour) s.t.
8. Alexei Sivakov (Bigmat) s.t.
9. Christophe Capelle (Bigmat) s.t.
10. Jimmy Casper (FDJ) s.t.

GC after Stage 19:

1. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) 82hr 20min 00sec
2. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 6min 44sec
3. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 9min 5sec
4. Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis) @ 9min 53sec
5. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ONCE) @ 13min 28sec
6. Francois Simon (Bonjour) @ 17min 22sec
7. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) @ 18min 30sec
8. Santiago Botero (Kelme) @ 20min 55sec
9. Marcos Serrano (ONCE) @ 21min 45sec
10. Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) @ 22min 38sec

Jerseys:

Yellow Jersey: Lance Armstrong
Polka Dot: Laurent Jalabert (CSC)
Green Jersey: Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole), 212 points, 2nd Erik Zabel 210 points.
White (youth) Oscar Sevilla (Kelme)
Combativity: Laurent Jalabert (CSC)
Leading Team: Kelme

elevation, stage 19


July 29, Sunday: Stage 20, Corbeil Essonnes - Paris (Champs-Elysées), 160.5 km.

The final stage. It starts at 1:00 PM. Corbeil Essones is just a few kilometers south of Saturday's finshing town, Evry. It's less than 30 kilometers due south of Central Paris. They head east and then hook around and turn north to enter Paris from the southeast at Boulogne-Billancourt on the outskirts of central Paris. From there, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysées all sit about 5 kilometers to the north. Then, the greatest criterium in the world in the most beautiful city in the world, 10 circuits on the Champs Elysées. With only 2 points seperating Zabel and O'Grady for the green jersey, it will come down to the final sprint of the final stage. It should all be over at about 5:00 PM, local time (8:00 AM Pacific).

Oh, there is one little rated climb.

Km 60.0: Côte de Gif-sur-Yvette, 1.5 km climb at 5.5%, 4th category

Results: Zabel takes the Green!

1. Jan Svorada (Lampre) 3hr 57min 28sec
2. Erik Zabel (Telekom) s.t.
3. Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) s.t.
4. Sven Teutenberg (Festina (s.t.
5. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) s.t.
6. Damien Nazon (Bonjour) s.t.
7. Guennadi Mikhailhov (Lotto) s.t.
8. Jimmy Casper (FDJ) s.t.
9. Max Van Heesweijk (Domo)
10.Christophe Capelle (Bigmat) s.t.

Complete Final GC

1. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) 82hr 20min 00sec
2. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) @ 6min 44sec
3. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) @ 9min 5sec
4. Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis) @ 9min 53sec
5. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (ONCE) @ 13min 28sec
6. Francois Simon (Bonjour) @ 17min 22sec
7. Oscar Sevilla (Kelme) @ 18min 30sec
8. Santiago Botero (Kelme) @ 20min 55sec
9. Marcos Serrano (ONCE) @ 21min 45sec
10. Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) @ 22min 38sec

Jerseys:

Yellow Jersey: Lance Armstrong
Polka Dot: Laurent Jalabert (CSC)
Green Jersey: Erik Zabel ((Telekom, 252 points), 2nd Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole, 244 points)
White (youth) Oscar Sevilla (Kelme)
Combativity: Laurent Jalabert (CSC)
Leading Team: Kelme

elevation, stage 20


The Teams and notable riders.

Updated Wednesday, July 4. This is the likely roster.

Belgium:

Domo-Farm Frites: Team budget: $6 million. Johann Museeuw, Fred Rodriguez, Romans Vainsteins, Max van Heesdwijk, and Axel Merckx are coming to the party. This tough-guy squad will win stages, bet on it. These men are fast and powerful, and smart as they showed with their 1,2,3 win at Paris Roubaix.
Lotto: Team budget: $3.2 million. Rik Verbrugghe showed he can keep a jersey, with his early defense of the Pink jersey in this year's Giro. Rumors that a training accident would keep him out of the Tour are unfounded. If he hadn't been the victim of so many crashes, who can say that he would not have been in pink in Milan? Jeroen Blijlevens, their designated sprinter, doesn't seem to have the snap needed to win a stage anymore. Also riding: Mario Aerts, Kurt van de Wouver, Paul van Hyfte.

Denmark:

CSC-Tiscali: Team budget: $5.5 million. Leblanc selected this team to ride the Tour because of Laurent Jalabert. I still scratch my head at this choice, as Jalabert has never done well in the Tour. But, he's French. That seems to be good enough for the Tour. Rolf Sorensen, an excellent rider will help the team win stages. Also riding, Danish champions Michael Blaudzun and Jacob Piil Storm, Nicolai Bo Larsen, Nicolas Jalbert.

France:

Ag2R: Team budget: $3 million. Jaan Kirsipuu is the team, but that's a hellovalot. He wins races, and I'm sure he will win stages in this year's Tour. Also riding: Benoit Slamon and Belgian champion Ludovic Capelle.
Big Mat: Team budget: $2.6 million. Leblanc selected this second division team because the sponsor would not have funded the team another year without a Tour appearance. Stephane Heulot has been in yellow on another team, but only extraordinarily good fortune will let that happen in this Tour.
Bonjour: Team budget: $3.4 million. Jean-Cyril Robin, Didier Rous are their most notable riders. Rous will be wearing the French Champion's jersey in the Tour. Perhaps that will give him a bit extra. I expect that they will probably go for camera time and stage wins. They ended up with only one finisher in this year's Giro in a tale of terrible bad luck. They deserved better.
Cofidis: Team budget: $4.8 million. David Millar continues to shine. He won the yellow in last year's prologue, and kept it for several stages. I feel this year's Millar would have kept it even longer. David Moncoutie is a solid racer. This excellent team will make themselves felt in this Tour.
Credit Agricole: Team budget: $4 million. Bobby Julich has the team hopes riding on his shoulders. Everyone dearly hopes that he will regain the form that gave him a third place in the Tour a few years ago. I haven't seen it in the results so far this year. Jonathan Vaughters and Jens Voigt are superb riders. Stuart O'Grady is a fine speedster than can hold his own with the best in the final dash to the line.
Festina: Team budget: $3.5 million. I'm tagging Christophe Moreau to move up from 4th last year to the Podium. Angel Casero will be there in the hunt. The team has depth with Florent Brard, the new French ITT champion on the team. Also riding, Sven Teutenberg and Pascal Lino.
Francaise de Jeux: Team budget: $3.5 million. When Jacky Durand goes on one of those quixotic breakaways, I think the whole world wishes they could push him along. A young squad, look for TV-time breaks, but I don't see any GC threat here. Also riding: Jimmy Casper, Frederic Guesdon, Bradley McGee, and Sven Montgomery.
Jean Delatour: Team budget: $2 million. Former World Cchampion Laurent Brochard anchors this team. The director sportif, Michel Gros, has, like the bosses of the other small teams, promised aggressive, hard racing in order to justify their selection in the Tour.

Germany:

Deutsche Telekom: Team budget: $7 million. With Jan Ullrich, Kevin Livingston, Erik Zabel, Alexander Vinokourov, Giuseppe Guerini, this team is designed for a GC win rather than split objectives as in years past. By sacrificing Zabel by not including ace lead-out man Fagnini in the squad and telling Zabel to find his own wheel, the team will be very focused on getting Ullrich to Paris in yellow. Also riding: Andreas Kloden, Udo Bolts, and Jens Heppner.

Italy:

Fassa Bortolo: Team budget: $4.1 million. Francesco Casagrande was cheated out of his Giro revenge, by crashing out of this year's Giro on the first stage. This is a driven man, highly disciplined. His teammates don't like to train with him, because he trains so hard. If that were enough, he would be a shoo-in for the podium. But, as he admits, he's fighting for a high placing in the Tour, not a win. He'll have expert pugilist Wladimir Belli. Other notable riders: Fabio Baldato, Ivan Basso, Alessandro Petacchi.
Lampre: Team budget: $2.7 million. Giro winner Simoni is not riding the Tour. With no GC rider on their Tour squad, they will be going for stage wins from Hunter and Svorada. Also riding: Ludo Dierckxsens and Marco Serpellini.
Mapei:Team budget: $7 million. Stefano Garzelli has both the Giro and the Tour of Switzerland under his belt. He'll have a strong team, but beating Ullrich and Armstrong? I think he's on the top of the next lower plateau, fighting for that 3rd place on the podium. Tom Steels, the team's sprinter, should nail a stage or two. Also riding: Michele Bartoli, Paolo Bettini, Stefano Zanini, and Italian road champion Daniele Nardello. That's a lot of power. Garzelli won't fail for lack of a good team.

Netherlands:

Rabobank: Team budget: $3.5 million. Heeeey, where's Erik? This has been the question in the pro ranks for the last couple of years as Erik Dekker combines a perfect sense of when to mount an attack with more than enough power to stay away. He won 3 stages last year along with this year's Amstel Gold Classic. Michele Boogerd is supposed to be their GC man, but I don't think he's got what it takes. Also riding: Marc Wauters and Maarten den Bakker.

Spain:

Euskaltel: Team budget: $2.6 million. David Etxebarria is a superb talent. He won't be a GC contender, but he'll go for stage wins. Julian Gorospe, the team Director Sportif, has promised lots of fireworks, with an aggressive plan to win stages. They want to prove they belong in the Tour.
Ibanesto: Team budget: $4.5 million. Their climbing ace, Jose Maria Jimenez, in poor form, has been left off the tour squad. Last year's white jersey Mancebo and new recruit Santiago Botero will have to carry the team's hopes.
Kelme: Team budget:$3.5 million. I love to watch these guys race. Their esprit d'corps and willingness to sacrifice and work for each other makes them far more formidable than they look on paper. They lost Heras, Escartin, and tragically, Ochoa, but they have the spirit and strength to bring real life to the Tour. New recruit, tough-guy Laurent Desbiens should help shepherd the little climbers through the windy, flat stages where they normally get blown about.
ONCE: Team budget: $4.1 million. This year's team is pretty strong. No, extremely strong with a good shot at the lowest step on the podium. Joseba Beloki (last year's third place), Igor Gonzalez Galdeano and Marcos Serrano are solid and capable.

USA

US Postal: Team budget, $6.5 million. Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie, Tyler Hamilton, Roberto Heras, Viatcheslav Ekimov. Superbly prepared, perfectly organized, and extraordinarily powerful, the race is theirs to lose. Also riding: Steffen Kjaargaard, Victor Pena, Jose Rubiera, and Christian Vendevelde.

Predictions

Our cast of prognosticators did a rather poor job of predicting the Giro, but that is the beauty of the sport. It's so upredictable. A crash here, a punch in the nose there, some bronchitis scattered about and all bets are off. Victory is promised to no one.

I asked my dear friend, Paolo Guerciotti for his Tour picks, listed below. He kindly called a couple of his friends and asked them for their thoughts. The notes below for Gimondi and Bugno are not exact quotes, but paraphrased from my conversation with Paolo.

Celestino Vercelli, owner of Vittoria Shoes and ex-Brooklyn, SCIC pro, finisher of many Giros and Tours.

The Tour begins. The greatest manefestation of cycling in the world.

My podium:

1. Armstrong
2. Casagrande
3. Ullrich

Sprinter's Jersey: 1. Zabel, 2. Steels

Climber's Jersey: 1. Heras, 2. Beloki.

This year the Tour will be a little bit poorer because of the absence of racers who did great things in the past; Pantani, Cipollini, Zulle, etc. In any case, it will be a great race and the winner a noble racer. My predictions are for Armstrong and Ullrich, but believe in the new racers who might still be very young. Surprises are welcome. As usual, there will be big things in the Alps and Pyrenees.

Gianni Bugno, twice Champion of the World and Giro winner.

Podium:

1. Lance Armstrong
2. Francesco Casagrande
3. Jan Ullrich

Armstrong demonstrated his very fine condition with the uphill time trial in the Tour of Switzerland. The mountain top finishes work to his particular advantage. Casagrande has continued to mature as a stage racer. If he hadn't crashed in the first stage of the Giro, he might have won.

Sprinter: 1st Zabel, 2nd Steels

Felice Gimondi, Tour de France winner 1965, and one of the greatest riders in the history of the sport.

Podium:

1. Lance Armstrong
2. Jan Ullrich
3. Joseba Beloki

I give the win to Armstrong because of the 5 mountain top finishes, which will be to Armstrong's advantage. Francesco Casagrande and Stefano Garzelli will be strong contenders for the third place on the podium.

Sprinter's Jersey: Erik Zabel or Tom Steels

Franco Bitossi. People still talk about his incredible solo ride in the Dolomites in the 1964 Giro and that fantastic flyer that almost won him the rainbow jersey at Gap. Bitossi raced with his head as well as his legs.

Podium:

1. Lance Armstrong
2. Joseba Beloki
3. Francesco Casagrande

Climber: I am not ready to predict this classification.
Green Sprinters Jersey: Erik Zabel

Paolo Guerciotti, former Champion of Italy

Podium

1. Lance Armstrong
2. Jan Ullrich
3. Joseba Beloki

Armstrong can time-trial very well, and he has the advantage in the the hard climbs. With all the mountain-top finshes, Armstrong should win the Tour. At this time, it does not appear that Ullrich is in the ultimate condition needed to beat Armstrong.

Mauro Mondonico

Here are my thoughts on the next TDF.

I am predicting an outcome that the others don't think will happen. It's too easy to put Armstrong at the 1st place. Here is my podium:

1st Ullrich
2nd Beloki
3rd Casagrande

I think that it will be very hard for Lance to win the third Tour in a row. Of course, for him it is possible but this year I want to exclude him from the podium thinking that something wrong will happen to him. So the first place is for Ullrich. He finished the Giro in good shape as preparation for the Tour. Did you see his legs after 21 Giro stages? I can assure you that he can be so strong...I put Beloki second for his capacity to be consistent on every road. When the best competitors increase the pace, he is there in the first 5. Also ONCE is a better team for him during a stage race like the Tour. 3rd Casagrande. Of course, I am Italian so I put an Italian rider on the podium. Anyway, he crashed in the first stage of the Giro and so he will want to have a revenge to save his stage race season.

Polka dot jersey: Heras
Green jersey: Zabel

Chairman Bill

Podium: 1st Armstrong, 2nd Ullrich, 3rd Moreau. Then, maybe Garzelli in 4th

Green Jersey: Zabel

Climber's Jersey: Beloki; or Garzelli if he loses too much GC time.

After the impressive display of power in the Tour of Switzerland, it is obvious that the Tour is Lance Armstrong's to lose. Early in his preparations, he got a second to Erik Dekker in the Amstel Gold Classic. His team is awsome. They got 4 of the first 7 places in the prologue time trial of the Tour of Switzerland, a pure power event that these GC contenders, climbers and helpers dominated. Can Jan Ullrich find that 1997 form again? Has all that sine-wave of form loss and recapture and yo-yo-ing weight reduced the potential of what everyone agrees is the most talented rider in the peloton? I think the meticulous preparation of Armstrong will beat the undisciplined raw talent of Jan Ullrich.

Since I wrote the paragraph above, Ullrich won the German Championship in a superb display of power. The last time he won the German Champion's Jersey was in 1997, the year he won the Tour. I still give the nod to Armstrong, but I think it will be a knock-down Irish bar-fight. The big question, as Owen Mulholland told me, is Ullrich's climbing. Has he regained that awesome power to just leave people whenever he wants, no matter what the terrain? Maybe.

Telekom clearly wants this Tour badly. They don't want a green sprinter's jersey, they want the Yellow Jersey, they want the big win. They have sacrificed stage wins from Zabel by eliminating his gifted (and expensive) lead-out man, Fagnini, from the Telekom Tour team. Telekom wanted another GC domestique available for Jan. This does show a certain confidence in Ullrich's form, given that they are willing to make Zabel find his own wheel in the mass sprints. Because Zabel is such a superb, all-round rider and that rare sprinter that gets over the hills, I give him the nod for the green jersey.

The 3rd place on the podium is the interesting one. There is a crew of fine, but slightly lesser riders: Casagrande, Garzelli, Tonkov, Moreau, Beloki, Boogerd. I give it to Festina's Christophe Moreau. He did well, holding off Tonkov in the Dauphine this year by that precious 1 second. He got 4th place in the Tour last year even though he was riding as Joseba Beloki's domestique. Without those duties, he should shine. Beloki's powerful ONCE squad gives him a strong advantage, but the hopes of the French spectators will help lift the Great French Hope up the mountains.

I had been griping that the exclusion of some of the major Italian teams had robbed the Tour of some of its sparkle. In writing this, I think maybe the Spanish will bring some snap and punch to the race through their very aggressive and relentless racing.


Video of Stage 12: Perpignan - Aix les Thermes