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Today is the day of truth, really. This is the stage that Lance Armstrong has been thinking about everytime he says that the Tour isn't over, and that one bad day in the mountains can ruin everything. Today takes in three monstrous climbs, with the road tilting uphill immediately only 200 meters into the stage.
The climbs are as follows:
- 34km - Col du Galibier - HC (33.8km @ 4.7%)
- 112km - Col de la Madeleine - HC (19.4km @ 7.9%)
- 179.5km - La Plagne - HC (17.7km @ 6.9%)
With this in mind, Beloki's claim yesterday that he has conceded first to Armstrong may be disingenuous: one bad day today, and any rider can lose everything. Armstrong has a strong lead, and the ONCE boys will be fighting to protect their positions today, but any sign of weakness by any rider in the top fifteen will likely cause cruel attacks to start flying up the road.
Today is also the pivotal day in the King of the Mountains competition. Look for old friends and compatriots Jalabert (CST) and Virenque (DFF) to attack early and duke it out all day over this competition. Jalabert leads the competition with 173pts, and Virenque is in 4th with 107 points, but with their GC positions these are the only two with a serious chance to go up the road.
Up the Galibier, there are no attacks until Bruseghin (BAN) goes off the front. He has a 15" gap, but the peloton is responding.
Jalabert (CST) has counter-attacked! With him there is Fagnini (TEL) - not exactly known for his climbing - Nozal (ONE), Boogerd (RAB), Osa (BAN), and three others.
The peloton rejoins for a moment, then nine riders get off the front again chasing Bruseghin. It's the usual suspects, with Jalabert, Boogerd, Osa, Sevilla and Botero (KEL), Blanco (BAN), Azevedo and Nozal (ONE).
So there is a nine man break over the top of Galibier. Here are the results of the climb:
1. Botero, 2. Bruseghin, 3. Jalabert, 4. Osa, 5. Boogerd, 6 Azevedo, 7. Nozal, 8. Sevilla, 9. Pradera. This group has 1' on the field over the top. The peloton is led over by Hincapie and Padrnos (USP).
Looks like Botero might try to challenge in the KOM competition. But Jalabert's third place will go far to consolidate his lead. Virenque is 2' behind the lead group. His dream of Polka-Dots is over for this year.
Finally, the man I predicted would win the competition at the beginning (Botero) has challenged for the KOM jersey.
Postal is leading a group of about 35 down the descent of the Galibier. It is a long descent, so those dropped over the top will likely rejoin by the bottom of the Madeleine.
Postal looks like they are chasing in earnest. They are bringing back the breakaway. They are likely after Botero and the ONCE rider Azevedo.
There are seven Posties at the front, with "Gorgeous" George Hincapie at the point. Jalabert launches off the front of the breakaway, trying to go it alone as Postal closes down the gap to the others.
The descents are long and dangerous today. With the added fatigue of the riders, especially over the Madeleine, there will likely be several crashes. We hope this doesn't materialize, however.
The peloton is now on the uncategorized climb over the Telegraph. They hit the classic climb from an angle this year where it is a short and not very difficult climb. Boogerd has attacked now, and looks to be going well. After the Telegraph, they continue the long, technical descent to the Madeleine.
O'Grady (CA) is off the front of the peloton!! He is followed by a few others. Don't think he's going for a stage win today...he must be after the sprint points later.
So now the peloton is descending the Telegraph. They are going in the opposite direction on the Telegraph this year, so there is a long descent as opposed to a long climb.
O'Grady is bombing off the hill chasing Boogerd. Unclear where Jalabert is right now. O'Grady is really flying. Hunter (MAP) is flying off in pursuit of O'Grady. This is an amazing, daredevil descent!!!
The riders are hitting speeds up to 60mph. O'Grady flew through the motorcycles, catching them by surprise...he had to pick his way through, then dropped them!
Jalabert appears to have been reabsorbed by the peloton on the short ascent of the Telegraph. I would expect him to have a go on the descent, however.
There are riders all over the road off the front on the descent. Postal doesn't appear too worried, leading a steady and fast descent in the peloton. Gutierrez (KEL) and Merckx (DFF) are attacking.
O'Grady has caught Boogerd, and now has passed him!! Stuey is absolutely bombing, like he's made out of lead!!
O'Grady is in the lead, Boogerd is first chase, Merckx and Gutierrez in a group of four appear to be next on the road.
O'Grady has about 1' on the peloton. Merckx et. al. are about 30" behind.
05:00 PDT. Fagnini (TEL), Hunter (MAP), Merckx, Mayo (EUS), and Turpin (AG2) have just joined Boogerd. Finally a Euskaltel rider gets in a break in the mountains other than David Etxebarria.
Sorry, Fagnini and Hunter ride with Boogerd at 15" behind O'Grady; Merckx, Mayo, and Turpin are a few seconds further back.
Jalabert has now attacked, and has joined the Merckx group. So here's the situation on the road:
O'Grady is off the front. 15" back is Boogerd, Hunter, and Fagnini. Then about 15" further back is Jalabert, Merckx, Turpin, Gutierrez, and Mayo. Then the peloton. Whew!!
It looks like Boogerd, Jalabert, Merckx, Mayo, Gutierrez, and maybe Turpin are the only ones with climbing legs. O'Grady has now been caught on a flatter section by the Boogerd group, 1' 25" ahead of the peloton. 22" back of the O'Grady group is the JaJa group.
The riders hit the feed zone. The roads are wide and flat, and the peloton has swollen a great deal on the descent. Of course, that will change immediately once they hit the Madeleine.
05:10 PDT. Not sure why Hunter, O'Grady, and Fagnini are attacking, really. They can't have delusions about sprinters winning the queen's stage in the mountains. Fagnini must be here to duel with O'Grady for the sprint points, which come just before the Madeleine.
The peloton is now 2' 15" behind the lead group of O'Grady, Boogerd, Hunter, and Fagnini.
There is a third chase group only five seconds behind the Merckx/Jalabert group. This third group contains Dierckxsens (LAM), Serrano (ONE), and Martinez (MAP).
Boogerd is looking good in the lead group with three sprinters. He'll drop them like they were Enron stock once he hits the climb.
05:20 PDT. Looks like everyone has regrouped in the peloton. The Postal train is intact at the front, all nine riders strung out with the peloton bulging across the road behind them.
On the Ventoux stage, CSC and Rabobank worked with Postal to control the stage. Interesting...the teams with American leaders were controlling a stage. Hamilton (CST) had a good day yesterday, and is now in 19th, 19' 39" back of Armstrong. Leipheimer is now in 9th, 13' 05" behind Armstrong. They'll both look to hold on today, then attack in the last time trial.
05:25 PDT. The Dierckxsens group of three has joined the JaJa group of five. This group of eight now chases the O'Grady/Boogerd group at 1' 15". The peloton is now 3' 40" back. The peloton and Postal clearly don't care about the breaks, knowing that 3' 40" is nothing on the climbs to come.
So far a number of riders have been fined for answering the call of nature in front of the public. Boogerd has received such a fine already once this race. I would hate to be on the side of the road when the riders literally whiz by at 25-30mph...that would make the long trip from the U.S. definitely not worthwhile.
05:32 PDT. Fagnini leads out the sprint at the intermediate sprint...O'Grady grabs his wheel, and swings around to take full points. Fagnini takes second, Hunter third. Boogerd doesn't care, he's getting ready to drop these guys in a couple of kilometers when the climb starts.
05:37 PDT. Well now here goes Boogerd. They are on the climb, and he's dropped the others. O'Grady, Fagnini, and Hunter just watch him go. They know they can't hang with him.
Hunter told a story in his journal the other day about how teammates Paolo Bettini and Davide Bramati - neither of whom is in the race - had run-ins with monkeys at the Tour of Malaysia this year. Bettini tried to feed and give water to a wild monkey, and when he took his water bottle back the monkey jumped onto his leg and began chomping on his knee. The Italian was not happy about this.
Bramati tried to get his picture taken with a tame monkey on his shoulder. When the flash went off the monkey freaked and dug into Bramati's hair...he apparently had scratches on his forehead for days. Bettini was amused by this.
Hunter must be pleased that Christophe Moreau (CA) is out of the race. As I've reported, Hunter has repeatedly called Moreau a "dumb ass" in his journal for his erratic riding and haughty attitude.
Now on the climb, Merckx, Jalabert, Mayo, Martinez, and Gutierrez are 50" behind Boogerd.
Jaime Nichols now joins the commentary, and she says: I think everyone might be toast today... Armstrong said this was "a classic stage" yesterday. Translation? "IT IS ON."
05:52 PDT. Boogerd looks strong in the lead. Martinez is struggling to hang with the chase group. Dierckxsens is gone from that group. No sign of the sprinters Boogerd dropped earlier. Sevilla (KEL) has dropped from the Tour today!! What a surprise!! He must have been ill.
Boogerd is out of the saddle riding well. JaJa is on the front of the group behind in his Polka-Dot Jersey, and he also looks strong.
The chase group: Turpin, Jalabert, Gutierrez, Mayo, Martinez (barely holding on), Merckx (looking good). They are not closing on Boogerd. Turpin attacks off the front of the group.
Serrano is gone from the chase group. Mayo is riding strong now. Jalabert has joined Turpin. The break has shattered all over the road. The report on Sevilla: he has a stomach bug and cramps.
Mayo is the first chaser in pursuit of Boogerd. He's ahead of Jalabert and Turpin. Mayo just passed the three sprinters struggling on the climb. Mayo is about 50m ahead of Jalabert and Turpin.
The Posties are riding tempo. Ekimov is on the front. The peloton is dwindling. Leipheimer (RAB) is near the front. Rumsas (LAM) and Basso (FAS) are on either side of Armstrong. ONCE is just behind the Postal train too.
06:05 PDT. A great ride by Boogerd! He's flying up the climb and looks strong! Laiseka (EUS) is attacking from the peloton!! Euskaltel looks to have finally found their legs today!
Jalabert and Turpin are in pursuit of Mayo, who is in turn chasing Boogerd up the Madeleine.
Jalabert has caught Mayo now, with Turpin. They are all in pursuit of the flying Boogerd.
Postal has the Big Rig, George Hincapie, at the front. Behind him is Rubiera, then Armstrong. The rest of the Postal rolleurs look gone. There is a big bus already off the back.
Jalabert will pretty much sew up the KOM jersey with a good finish on this climb. He is currently looking good for second on the climb...Mayo and Turpin will only care about the stage win.
Landis now sets the Postal pace with Hincapie and Rubiera on his wheel. New report: Laurent Dufaux (ALS) has abandoned as well as Sevilla.
Boogerd started the day in 17th, 19' 15" behind Armstrong. Many riders will certainly chase him to defend their positions up the final climb. But he looks great, so they will have their work cut out for them.
iBanesto and ONCE have come to the front. They are surely responding to the threat from Boogerd. Armstrong will be happy about this development.
06:18 PDT. Zabel (TEL) is just now being dropped! What a climb by the sprinter. Baldato (FAS) is also off the back. Meanwhile, Jalabert and Mayo take turns on the front while Turpin tries to hang on in the chase of Boogerd.
Armstrong only has Rubiera and Heras with him now. Still, he won't worry. More Posties will rejoin on the descent, and he just has to defend today.
Martinez has joined the Jalabert group, which is over 2' 30" behind the flying Dutchman, Michael Boogerd.
06:25 PDT. Virenque (DFF) is off the back of the peloton now. He had a great ride to glory up Ventoux, though, so he won't be too disappointed with his Tour.
French TV is really spending a lot of air time watching Virenque struggle to try to rejoin the back of the peloton.
They're still following Virenque. You'd think they'd spend more time with JaJa. Boogerd is over 8 minutes ahead of the peloton, and 2' 30" on the chase. If he can stay away on the descent, it looks good for his chances. There is an iBanesto and two ONCEs on the front, followed by Rubiera and Armstrong.
Landis and Ekimov lost contact about halfway up the climb. Heras is in the pack, and Rubiera is in front of Armstrong in the group. Armstrong has reportedly said that he will try to set up Heras for a stage win today. That would also force the other teams to chase, where Armstrong could sit on.
06:33 PDT. Boogerd nears the top of the Col de la Madeleine. He has a lead of 3' 16" on the chasers, 8' 01" on the peloton. The fans are cheering all the riders...the crowds are big at the top.
Boogerd's team car pulls up to give him a drink as he goes over the summit. The fans are going bonkers. It's good to see the Dutch rider having such a great day.
06:40 PDT. Jalabert will race for the 2nd spot over the top of the climb. He is still riding with Martinez (MAP), Mayo (EUS), and Turpin (AG2). They will cross the summit soon.
Jalabert takes full points for 2nd, 3' 18" behind Boogerd. Martinez is 3rd over the top. The riders grab some newspapers to stick up the shirts, and it's away they go.
06:45 PDT. Heras is at the front, and so is GEORGE HINCAPIE!!! Still at the front, the new Mountain Lion of Postal is still hauling his "huge carcass" up the big climbs. Amazing!!
Jalabert is flying down the other side of the mountain. O'Grady has regained contact with the JaJa group on the descent!! Doesn't he know he's a sprinter? What is up with him and Hincapie??
O'Grady must be still riding for the points at the next intermediate sprint.
06:51 PDT. Heras leads the peloton with Hincapie on the descent. They are a bit over 7' 30" behind Boogerd. For his part, Boogerd is descending on some terrible roads, narrow, twisty, with bad pavement.
The descent has beautiful scenery, but the pavement looks dangerous. Boogerd is out of the saddle hammering on a flatter section of the descent of the Madeleine. Jalabert and O'Grady are really flying in pursuit.
Jaime reports: Yesterday, George Hincapie was interviewed by Frankie Andreu - apparently, Frankie's wife said to George, "Hey, I hear the tour is easy this year," to which George replied, "Why's that?" and she said, "Because you're pulling in the mountains!"
07:05 PDT. Boogerd is getting some food and advice from his team car on a flatter part of the descent. He has a 7' 40" lead on the peloton still. Jalabert is still in the group chasing hard...the group is five strong with O'Grady leading the way.
Boogerd looks very determined. This could be his big day, like the Mont Ventoux stage was Virenque's big day.
Axel Merckx has joined the Jalabert group. They are still on the long, long descent of the Madeleine.
Boogerd is through the final intermediate sprint, which is 37.5km from the finish. Now it's just the final climb of the day. He has over 3' on the chase group, over 7' on the peloton. He could very well win the stage now.
07:15 PDT. The weather is overcast and threatening, but no rain yet. Heras takes his cape to the team car. He is preparing for the final climb, where he hopes to play a key role. O'Grady takes 4 points over the last sprint of the day, ahead of his other breakaways who couldn't care less. They are getting their legs sharp for the chase of Boogerd up the final climb.
The sun now shines on Boogerd as the sweat drips from his chin. He's in the final run-in before the climb up La Plagne.
Three iBanesto riders lead the chase in the peloton, obviously worried about Boogerd. They pull off now and turn the peloton over to "Gorgeous" George Hincapie and the Postal train. There are at least five Posties, plus Armstrong, still in the group.
07:24 PDT 28km for Boogerd to the finish. He is 3' 26" ahead of the chasers; he's been extending his lead slowly. He is really flying!! He is chased by Merckx (DFF), Mayo (EUS), O'Grady (CA), Jalabert (CST), and Martinez (MAP). Postal still leads the chase. Padrnos and Hincapie, the Big Hammers, have put the hammer down on the front to try to nail back Boogerd. They are likely setting up Heras.
The ONCEs are lining up behind Armstrong. They will want to attack up the climb as well.
Leipheimer is right behind Rubiera. Basso follows Leipheimer in the peloton. They are getting into their final positions for the climb. Boogerd's lead is down to 7' to the peloton under the impetus of Hincapie and Padrnos.
07:33 PDT. The peloton is strung out on the incline leading up to the steep slopes of La Plagne. Hincapie is still on the front. He's really earning his keep as a strongman this year, a brilliant choice for the team.
The leaders are 4km from the foot of the climb.
Boogerd's lead has stretched to 4' 30"! Have the chasers given up? Jalabert is certainly done for the day, as he accomplished his goal...sewing up the Polka-Dot Jersey.
At this point, Boogerd has really done the work to deserve the win. Of course that won't matter to the other riders.
Boogerd is almost to the lower slopes of La Plagne. The chasers look very lackluster, even though they are still pulling through.
The peloton is 7' 02" behind Boogerd as they go under the 25k banner. Boogerd will have a serious shot at staying away.
Unless Postal really turns on the gas!
07:42 PDT. There are four Posties with Armstrong at the front setting the pace. There are five or six ONCEs right on their wheel. Boogerd is hitting the climb...the road is really going vertical fast for the Dutchman.
The chasers are now struggling up towards the climb. Boogerd has under 16km to go. The chase will likely blow apart now that they are reaching the lower part of the climb.
07:48 PDT. O'Grady has attacked the group!! Can you believe it? He must have forgotten he can't climb! He's CRAZY!! And we love it!!
O'Grady has a good gap on Merckx, Jalabert, Martinez, Mayo, and Turpin. Amazing.
07:51 PDT. Now Merckx has attacked the group. He is past O'Grady. Now Mayo passes O'Grady, whose sprinter's legs finally caught up with him. Boogerd is suffering ahead, but still riding strong. Mayo is next on the road. Then Merckx.
Boogerd is 5' 20" ahead of Mayo. Back in the peloton, Armstrong is down to just a couple of teammates.
Sastre (CST) attacks the peloton on the lower slopes. He is being marked by an ONCE rider. Rubiera of Postal closes the gap.
07:55 PDT. The back of the peloton is exploding as they grind up the final climb. Sastre goes again. Rubiera chases again. Why? The Posties should let him go and force ONCE to chase.
Virenque, Frigo (TAC), and too many others to list are off the back. The main group is growing smaller by the pedal stroke.
If Rubiera is chasing, it must mean that Postal has designs on the stage win. Armstrong and Heras must be getting ready to open up that big can of Texas Whupass again.
07:59 PDT. Boogerd still leads Mayo with about 11km to go. Merckx is next on the road. The peloton just caught Jalabert, and Rubiera is still putting the hurt on the front.
O'Grady is caught! What a ride!
Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, in 4th on GC, is off the back!! Sastre has caught Merckx. The race is on!! Boogerd's lead is 5'20" to Mayo, 6'20" to the peloton.
Rubiera and the peloton swallow up Merckx. Armstrong is 2nd wheel, with Rumsas (LAM), Beloki (ONE), Heras (USP), and Leipheimer on his wheel. Beloki looks nervous; he is right behind Lance, looking a bit shell-shocked.
08:03 PDT. The peloton is down to two ONCEs, three Posties, and a few scattered others. Rubiera is really laying down the law!!
Boogerd is out of the saddle, trying to hold on to his dwindling gap. With 10km to go, he is only 5' 45" ahead of the Armstrong group. I'd want a bigger lead than that if I were him.
Mayo is now caught by the Armstrong group. Only Sastre and Boogerd are still up the road.
Botero (KEL) is still in the Armstrong group. If he holds on, he could jump into the top five in the last time trial.
Azevedo (ONE), Basso (FAS) and Mancebo (BAN) are still in the Armstrong group as well.
Sastre is riding hard. He looks good, but the big guns have yet to fire from behind. Boogerd's gap to Sastre is 4' 21" with about 8.5km left.
08:09 PDT. Heras is riding back in the pack. Is he hurting, or just setting up an attack? Hard to tell. There are still about 10 riders in the Armstrong group. Rubiera will be spent soon. What will happen then? The Armstrong group goes under the 10km banner.
Heras is coming to the front, and he's talking to Armstrong. The others look at him watchfully, clearly fearing an attack from Postal's Terrible Tinkerbell.
Liepheimer falling to the back.
Leipheimer is struggling at the back. Rubiera still sets the pace. Moncoutie (COF) is last wheel in the group, Leipheimer is right in front of him.
8:12 PDT. Boogerd has 3'54" on Sastre, 4'50" to the Armstrong group with under 7km left.
It looks very good for the Dutchman. He is still turning over the pedals well. Will the Posties attack, or are they waiting for a counter-attack?
Amazingly, Rubiera is still putting the hammer down. He's out of the saddle, forcing Moncoutie off the back. Leipheimer hangs with the acceleration.
Boogerd takes a drink. Rumsas comes up to look at Armstrong in the group. Armstrong looks like the Sphinx behind Rubiera...he'll give no secrets away, Raimondas.
Mancebo is now in trouble! He is off the back of the group!!
Mancebo is struggling back. Botero is now in trouble at the back of the group. Rubiera has come down from Olympus to give this ride today!! Boogerd still hammers towards the top, his lead dwindling.
8:20 PDT. 5km to go for Boogerd. He has 2' 37" to Sastre.
Boogerd has 3' 30" to the Armstrong group. Heras is setting the pace. Rubiera is now off the back, his job done. What a heroic job he has done so far in the Tour!
Heras looks to be playing the team role now, and won't attack. Gonzalez de Galdeano is long gone from this group, but all the other GC leaders are there.
Botero is now going off the back. The situation: Boogerd off the front, nearing the 4km banner. Sastre is 2' 20" back.
The Armstrong group contains Heras, Lance, Rumsas, Basso, Beloki, Azevedo, Leipheimer. Botero and Mancebo have just tailed off this group. Leipheimer will now threaten their positions! As will Heras.
Sastre is in 14th on the GC...he could climb into the top ten with this ride!!
Armstrong attacks! His hams are smoking! He's gone!! Nobody can respond at all!!
08:26 PDT. Armstrong attacked from 2nd wheel. When Lance went, nobody even flinched. They're beaten psychologically, and are now racing for the other places amongst each other.
Armstrong has it in for Boogerd due to the loss that the Dutchman hung on him at Amstel Gold a few years back. Lance was pissed because Boogerd just sat on his wheel over the last 20km then, and took Armstrong by a whisker in the sprint. Lance would love to return the favor today.
Boogerd is suffering like a dog now. His shoulders are rocking. Armstrong is flying, leaving a trail of vapor in his wake (not really, just figuratively).
The fans are going crazy!! They know how close it will be. Armstrong swallows up Sastre with just a few km to go!!
Site_Goddess: Wow, what a lousy time for the server to go down - my sincerest apologies. I will now post the conclusion of the ticker while we await results.
8:31 PDT. Armstrong is concentrated, and flying like he's on a motorcycle. Again! Sastre looked over indifferently as he passed, by then raised it enough to catch Armstrong's wheel. He's barely hanging on. Boogerd is in the final kilometer!!
Boogerd is 1' 50" ahead, and will win the stage!! Kudos to Boogerd!!
Sastre is still on Lance's wheel...the course has flattened, and they are inside the barriers. Behind, Rumsas, Basso, Beloki, Leipheimer, and Heras all ride in a group.
Boogerd is flashing those enormous white teeth as he approaches the line! His world-class smile is matched today by his world-class legs! He raises his arms in victory as he crosses the line!
Armstrong and Sastre are coming to the line. Armstrong fades back to give Sastre 2nd on the stage.
Here comes Beloki, with Rumsas on his wheel. They've dropped the rest. Sastre 2nd, Armstrong 3rd, Beloki 4th, Rumsas 5th, Leipheimer 6th.
1. Michael Boogerd, Rabobank @ 5h 48' 29"
2. Carlos Sastre, CSC-Tiscali @ 1' 25"
3. Lance Armstrong, U.S. Postal @ 1' 25"
4. Joseba Beloki, ONCE-Eroski @ 2' 02"
5. Raimondas Rumsas, Lampre-Daikin @ 2' 02"
6. Levi Leipheimer, Rabobank @ 2' 10"
7. Ivan Basso, Fassa Bortolo @ 2' 14"
8. Jose Azevedo, ONCE-Eroski @ 2' 14"
9. Santiago Botero, Kelme-Costa Blanca @ 2' 23"
10. Roberto Heras, U.S. Postal @ 2' 25"
11. Francisco Mancebo, iBanesto.com @ 2' 51"
12. Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, ONCE-Eroski @ 4' 39"
13. David Moncoutie, Cofidis @ 5' 04"
14. Jose Luis Rubiera, U.S. Postal @ 5' 24"
15. Massimiliano Lelli, Cofidis @ 5' 54"
16. Nicolas Vogondy, FDJeux.com @ 5' 54"
17. Richard Virenque, Domo-Farm Frites @ 5' 54"
18. Roberto Laiseka, Euskaltel-Euskadi @ 5' 54"
19. Unai Osa, iBanesto.com @ 6' 33"
20. Tyler Hamilton, CSC-Tiscali @ 7' 28"
36. Axel Merckx, Domo-Farm Frites @ 11' 49"
37. Miguel Martinez, Mapei-Quick Step @ 11' 51"
38. Ludovic Turpin, AG2r @ 12' 42"
39. Stuart O'Grady, Credit Agricole @ 13' 32"
42. Laurent Jalabert, CSC-Tiscali @ 18' 58"
47. Iban Mayo, Euskaltel-Euskadi @ 18' 58"
GC after Stage 16
1. Lance Armstrong, U.S. Postal @ 6h 43' 22"
2. Joseba Beloki, ONCE-Eroski @ 5' 06"
3. Raimondas Rumsas, Lampre-Daikin @ 7' 24"
4. Jose Azevedo, ONCE-Eroski @ 12' 08"
5. Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, ONCE-Eroski @12' 12"
6. Francisco Mancebo, iBanesto.com @ 12' 28"
7. Santiago Botero, Kelme-Costa Blanca @ 12' 37"
8. Roberto Heras, U.S. Postal @ 12' 54"
9. Levi Leipheimer, Rabobank @ 13' 58"
10. Ivan Basso, Fassa Bortolo @ 15' 04"
11. Carlos Sastre, CSC-Tiscali @ 16' 27"
12. Michael Boogerd, Rabobank @ 17' 32"
13. David Moncoutie, Cofidis @ 18' 53"
14. Richard Virenque, Domo-Farm Frites @ 20' 35"
15. Massimiliano Lelli, Cofidis @ 24' 11"
16. Stephane Goubert, Jean Delatour @ 25' 04"
17. Tyler Hamilton, CSC-Tiscali @ 25' 50"
21. Jose Luis Rubiera, U.S. Postal @ 29' 46"
22. Axel Merckx, Domo-Farm Frites @ 32' 08"
Points Competition after Stage 16
1. Robbie McEwen, Lotto-Adecco 229 pts
2. Erik Zabel, Telekom 229 pts
3. Stuart O'Grady, Credit Agricole 180 pts
King of the Mountains competition after Stage 16:
1. Laurent Jalabert, CSC-Tiscali 238 pts
2. Santiago Botero, Kelme-Costa Blanca 160 pts
3. Lance Armstrong, U.S. Postal 152 pts
4. Axel Merckx, Domo-Farm Frites 121 pts
This concludes our live coverage of the Queen Stage. Thank you very much for joining us!