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94th Tour de France - Stage 20 Live coverage Part 2
By Staff
Date: 7/29/2007
94th Tour de France - Stage 20 Live coverage Part 2

94th Tour de France - Stage 20 Live Part 2
The riders arrive  in Paris for the final 8 circuits on the Champs Elysées to fight for the final stage victory of the 2007 tour.  Updated with Pictures.

Marcoussis Paris Champs-Élysées - 146 km
Intermediate Sprints
108.5 km (54 km to go), Entrance on the first of 8 - 6.5 km circuits of the Champs Elysées
108 km - Haut des Champs-Elysées (37.5 km to go)

The riders have entered Paris, they are rolling down into the laps of the Champs Elysees. There is a big cheer from the crowds. On the front is Paolinho, with Hincapie 2nd wheel.

1 km to the first finish passage of the 8 Champs Elysées laps. Hincapie leads now, as they pull through the line. They will start racing soon. Discovery has the pace high, but no attacks yet.

50 km to go!

Attack of Agritubel! The Agritubel rider in the attack is Freddy Bichot.  Bichot has now 15 seconds on the bunch. He crosses the finish line again and there are still a few laps to go. Discovery still controls the peloton. No major reaction yet.

Attack of Chris Horner. There is a huge reaction. Several men jumped on Horner's attack, and now the peloton is completely strung out. Garcia Acosta attacks now with Marcus Burghardt; Bichot is almost caught. They hit the corner and make the turn back up the Champs. Lots of attacks and counters, but nothing clear yet. Discovery Channel is still right in there leading the chases. Four men have a small gap. Knees of Milram seems to be one of them. Well, they get caught and more counter.

The 2nd stage in the Tour de la Region Wallonne is won by Greg van Avermaet (Predictor-Lotto). Luis Pasamontes won the first stage yesterday.

1708 CET - 38 km to go, This is very fluid right now, lots of disorganized attacks and chases. 10 leaders with a small gap on the bunch with Knees, Delage, Portal, José Ivan Gutierrez, Ballan and some others,  Gerrans, Charteau, Fischer, Flecha and Scholz are the other riders in that break. The leaders have 15 seconds on the bunch. Gerrans won the the opening sprint ahead of Ballan and Portal at the entrance onto the Champs. The only sprint left now is the final. The gap is up to 25 seconds

35 km to go, the gap is still  25 seconds. The question is who is going to work in the peloton? for Quick Step this is a good situation. Barloworld leads the chase, no doubt looking to support Robbie Hunter in the sprint.

The next passage at the finish, 32.5 km to go, With the 10 in front not everyone is doing their turn at the front. Gap steady at 25 seconds.

1720 CET - 30 km to go, 30 seconds the gap. The break: Knees, Delage, Portal, José Ivan Gutierrez, Ballan, Gerrans, Charteau, Fischer, Flecha and Scholz. The gap of the 10 is up to 43 seconds. The Discovery train is organized in the peloton behind the Barloworld train. The Predictor-Lotto boys are there too. Things are looking good for the break so far.

1739 CET - 22 km to go as the gap is up to 45 seconds. Barloworld needs to get some help if they want to chase down the 10 in front. So are there any candidates who might be willing to help Barloworld chase? Lampre and Milram both have a guy in the break. Credit Agricole is now helping Barloworld in the chase as Thor Hushovd wants to follow up his win here last year.

1735 CET- 18 km to go, the gap is  42 seconds to the ten. Maybe Quick Step is saving all their bullets for the finale it if comes to a bunch sprint. So Credit Agricole is helping chase? If the break stays in front it's Murillo Fischer who has the fastest legs on paper, the gap is down to 35 seconds... It's starts raining a bit.

16 km to go, as the gap is down to 30 seconds. Armstrong thinks that this break will stay away. We'll see. Two and a half laps to go to the end of the 94th tour de France. Evans rolls up near Contador's wheel. They are keeping near the front, staying out of trouble. They are surrounded by teammates on escort duty.

13 km to go, The ten men are working well, though a couple of guys are still sitting on, breaks don't usually stay away on the champs. With two laps to go the gap is down to 25 seconds

13 km to go, Flecha of Rabobank is just sitting at the back of this breakaway. Charteau, the Credit Agricole rider in the break, is also sitting on now. 20 seconds left for the gap, up to a bunch sprint or new attacks? They are riding up to the Arc  into a headwind. A lot of riders, including the break, are riding on the smooth pavement near the sidewalk, thus avoiding the (mild) cobbles.

10 km to go, Now they make the turn and speed up. They have a tailwind and it's slightly downhill. Approaching the bell lap in minutes... ten minutes to the finale.. My pick for the sprint win: Iban Mayo. I'd bet money on him to win. Which is probably why I'm poor.  Seriously, anybody could win this stage. With so many motivated riders and so much chaos, there are always a few surprises in this final stage of the Tour.

1744 CET - All hell about to break loose in the last lap; 14 sec. the gap to the ten leaders. So the situation with one lap to go is Flecha and José I. Gutierrez in the lead with 7 sec. on the bunch.

6,5 km to go, The Spaniards are reeled in. All together now. Will Quick Step come up now to try to take control? Lampre takes control now; Quick Step is moving up now

5 km to go, Bruseghin and Paxti Vila in the lead of the bunch now. Bennati must be feeling well.

4 km to go, The sprinters are moving up to the front now... massing at the front.

1553 CET, 2 km to go,  people fasten your seatbelts. There are Credit Agricole and Gerolsteiner riders mixed in near the sharp part of the peloton. The peloton is really strung out.

final kilometer, There is a Discovery rider in the mix here. Go figure. Julian Dean is 2nd wheel. Credit Agricole has the leadout right now.

Final turn, about 400 mt to go. Here comes the Quick Step train. Bennati is sitting in good position and he goes.

Daniele Beeeennnnnatiiiii wins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bennati and Hushovd and Zabel and Hunter... Bennati gets it! his second stage win in this Tour. Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti

 1. Bennati, 2. Hushovd, 3. Zabel, 4. Hunter Bennati was sitting on the Quick Step leadout, it looks like Boonen's train didn't work out well. 5. Boonen, 6. Sebastien Chavanel, 7. Cancellara, 8. Millar, 9. Förster and 10th Quinziato.

Bennati went up the left side of the road, Hushovd charged around him on the right, Zabel came off Hushovd's wheel to the right, Hunter was screaming up the right side of the road. Bennati held it to the line. Boonen just didn't have it. He wasn't able to get up to full speed. But he'll win the Green Jersey.

Alberto Contador follows a team mates wheel to the finish in 36th place today and victory in the Tour de France at 24 years of age.

1756 CET -  The Discovery Channel lads have a big hug-fest to congratulate Contador: he's won the Tour. And Levi is 3rd. Rumor is that they'll announce their new sponsor for next year some time today. Don't know what else you have to do results-wise to get a sponsor. Discovery won the Yellow Jersey and had three men in the top ten, they won the White Jersey, and they won the Team Competition.

Contador gets the congratulations from his team mates, he is the first Spanish Tour de France winner since Miguel Indurain, 12 years ago, if we don't count the possible win of Pereiro in 2006, and we don't. 

So when was the last French winner of the race? Hinnault in 1984? I think so yes because Fignon loss from Lemond with a few seconds.  Hinault's final Tour win was 1985. Fignon won in 1983 and 1984.  A French rider won in 1978, 79, 81, 82, 83, 84, and 85. So the homeboys had a good run there, but since then, nada. Followed by Pedro Delgado in 1988 and Lemond and then Big Mig for four years in a row.

Final Podium 2007  Tour de France: Cadel Evans second, Alberto Contador winner and team mate Levi Leipheimer third.

Final Jerseys: Mauricio Soler - Kom, Tom Boonen - Points,  Alberto Contador - Race winner, and Amets Txurruka wearing the maillot blanc in default as third in the Best Young Rider Classification as Contador won the classification with Soler second, but already wearing the KoM polka dot jersey. Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti.

So no changes in the top of the GC. It will stand as one of the closest Tours in history. Top ten G.C. and Jerseys listed below unchanged from yesterdays results.

Thanks for joining us for our live coverage of the Tour de France the last 21 days. Remember to join us again for the Vuelta e Espana. Get out for a bike ride today, were out of here for one now... tailwinds and rubber down lads and lasses. Results and Photos to come shortly.

Watch for more Ben Ross photo galleries of the tour action soon.

Discuss this race and the sport with other cycling fans from around the world on the Daily Forums and Chat Room.  Sponsor the daily peloton & advertise your product or service to cyclists and cycling fans on - contact us.

Tour De France 2007
General Classification After Stage 19 ITT

3374.4 km - 87:09:18"
1. Contador Alberto 112 Discovery Channel 87:09:18"
2. Evans Cadel 41 Predictor/Lotto 87:09:41 - 00:23"
3. Leipheimer Levi 111 Discovery Channel 87:09:49 - 00:31"
4. Sastre Carlos 31 Team CSC 87:16:26 - 07:08"
5. Zubeldia Haimar 71 Euskaltel/Euskadi 87:17:35 - 08:17"
6. Valverde Alejandro 18 Caisse d'Epargne 87:20:55 - 11:37"
7. Kirchen Kim 27 T-Mobile Team 87:21:36 - 12:18"
8. Popovych Yaroslav 118 Discovery Channel 87:21:48 - 12:30"
9. Astarloza Mikel 73 Euskaltel/Euskadi 87:23:32 - 14:14"
10. Pereiro Sio Oscar 11 Caisse d'Epargne 87:23:43 - 14:25"

Points Classification after Stage 19 - Maillot Vert
1. Boonen Tom 171 Quick Step/Innergetic 234 Pts
2. Hunter Robert 216 Barloworld 210 Pts
3. Zabel Erik 181 Team Milram 206 Pts

Climbers Classification after Stage 19 (unchanged)
Maillot Blanc à Pois Rouges
1. Soler Hernandez Juan Mauricio 219 Barloworld 206 Pts
2. Contador Alberto 112 Discovery Channel 128 Pts
3. Popovych Yaroslav 118 Discovery Channel 104 Pts

Best Young Rider after Stage 19 - Maillot Blanc
1. Contador Alberto 112 Discovery Channel 87:09:18"
2. Soler Juan Mauricio 219 Barloworld 87:25:59 - 16:41"
3. Txurruka Amets 78 Euskaltel/Euskadi 87:58:42 - 49:24"

Team Classification after Stage 19
1. Discovery Channel 261:39:33"
2. Caisse d'Epargne 261:59:04 - 19:31"
3. Team CSC 262:01:43 - 22:10"
4. Rabobank 262:15:47 - 36:14"

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