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Tour de France Stage 19 Live Coverage
 
By Podofdonny
Date: 7/27/2002
Tour de France Stage 19 Live Coverage
 

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As we join the race it is the flying Scotsman David Millar has just lost the lead to Mapei’s Bodrogi - it is a beautiful day and the sunshine has brought the fans out. They are here in the thousands cheering the riders on - the big question is can Botero once again steal the mighty Texan's thunder, or will Armstrong cement his superiority and gain yet another stage victory?

The leader board is:

1. Bodrogi 1 hour 04' 56"

2. Millar (Cofidis) 1 hour 05'

3. Honchar 1 hour 34’

4. Belohvosciks (Lampre) 1 hour 05' 59"

5. Pena (CSC) 1 hour 06' 19”

Bodrogi of course won the prologue of this years Paris Nice - and is improving in every time trial he takes part in.

Floyd Landis - has just finished with an excellent 12th place so far - good ride by the American who has proved he can last a three week tour.

Millar will not be riding in the Commonwealth games - "I'm exceptionally disappointed at not being able to race for Scotland," Millar said after the end of the 17th stage - he is contracted to ride in Germany.

Thor Hushovd, yesterday's stage winner, is nicknamed "Schwarzy" by the rest of the peloton - due to his resemblance to the actor Arnie Schwarzenegger.

Meanwhile Ekimov is coming into the finish - his smooth style easily recognisable - he finishes in 18th place so far - the sort of solid ride you would expect from the veteran.

Jalabert on the course - King of the Mountains and holder of the red number - what a Tour Jaja has had - he will be sorely missed next year.

26 riders left to start - as Axel Merckx sets off - meanwhile Jalabert is posting times which would put him in about 7th place - so he will not be challenging for the honours today.

Today's German papers were dominated by Telekom news - half seem to think Ullrich will remain with the team - the rest think he will join Riis at CSC - all confirm Livingston's retirement - and a lot are speculating that Julich will not be re-signed with the team next year.

Riders linked to the team include: Oscar Sevilla Rubiera (Spa-Kel), Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col-Kel), Paolo Savoldelli (Ita-Ina), Cadel Evans (Aus-Map) and Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu-Lam).

Meanwhile in the Brixia Tour, the morning's results were:

1. Igor Astarloa Askasibar (Spa-Sae)

2. Mirko Celestino (Ita-Sae)

3. Andrea Ferrigato (Ita-Als)

Ivan Gotti (23rd overall - what a solid rider this is) starts - although his team Alessio have not been at their best in this tour.

To confirm the leader board at the minute:

1. Laszlo Bodrogi 1:04:56

2. David Millar @ :11

3. Serhiy Honchar @ :37

4. Ravis Belohvosciks @ 1:03

5. Victor Hugo Pena @ 1:23

Today's stage will have great significance for the riders between 5th and 10th place - particulary Azevedo, Galdeano and Mancebo - less than a minute separates these riders so a good time trial by any of them could see a shake up in the top ten positions.

It will be interesting to see how the crowds react to Armstrong's ride today - he said yesterday his comments towards the French fans on Ventoux were blown out of proportion: "It was not as bad as it got made out to be."

Andrei Kivilev, 20th overall, now starts - he has been blasted by the Cofidis manager Alain Bondue for his performance in this year's race - but there are many riders who would love to be 20th in this race...

Jalabert has just two kilometres to go - the French hero is receiving huge applause from the massive crowds - under the flamme rouge for jaja - it is an emotional moment for the crowd and the rider the polka dot jersey finishes in 12th position - a magnificent last time trial by a man who will be remembered as a true Giant of the road.

Interestingly, Armstrong has not only won the last three Tours, he has also won the final time trial on each occasion - a proud record. But Botero said on radio this morning he is in determined mood to defeat Lance: "For my fans back home." So it should be battle royale between North and South America!

We are pleased to be joined by Walt Armstrong, who called the USPRO race for us last month.

1- 122 BODROGI (HUN, MAP) 01:04:56.340

2- 047 MILLAR (GBR, COF) 01:05:04.930 at 08"

3- 085 HONCHAR (UKR, FAS) 01:05:33.940 at 37"

4- 152 BELOHVOSCIKS (LAT, LAM) 01:05:59.760 at 01' 03"

5- 008 PENA (COL, USP) 01:06:19.550 at 01' 23"

Bobby Julich finishes in 8th place.

Jalabert has said how pleased he was with his performance in this year's tour...and the fans reaction. "They prove that I'm leaving behind a good image, that people like my attitude, my personality." How Jaja will be missed by his worldwide legion of fans - probably his most memorable victory was in 1995 when he won the stage into Mende on Bastille Day - an epic ride which is still talked about in the bars and cafes of Europe.

Jalabert has confirmed his last race will be the World Championships in Zolder - and he will be very motivated for his last ride as a professional.

Boogerd now sets off - who has managed to restore Dutch pride in the mountains of the Tour after his epic stage win on La Plagne. With Leipheimer in the top ten (which was the Rabobank's ambition for the rider). The Rabobank will be pleased with this year's Tour de France.

David Moncoutié sets off. The future of French cycling has had a good Tour. His 12th place overall is encouraging for the man from Provins.

News about Livingston - he was visibly upset at last night's press conferance - it was an emotional retirement speech - which reflects the troubled times that Telekom find themselves in.

Frankie Andreu says that Livingston and Julich worked very hard in the first week for Zabel. This used a lot of their energy so it would be very tough for them to produce stunning results in the mountains.

Still no change in the top 5 at the finish line as Leipheimer starts his ride.

Levi Leipheimer has been a professional since 1995. He started with the Maestro team - and got his first success with two stages of the Tour of Little Rock and the Overall in 1997 - from Little Rock to a top ten place in the Tour de France is quite an achievement - but the 1999 USA time trial Champion will be hoping to put in a stunning ride today.

His first victory in Europe was with the Saturn team when they came over to Europe - he won a stage and the overall in the GP Beauce - it is a shame that the teams from the USA do not come over here more often - but it was his ride in last year's Vuelta which established him as a major rider.

The white shirt leader, that man from Gallarate, Italy, Ivan Basso, is looking cool and comfortable as he sweeps through the vineyards bathed in sunshine and the cheers from this huge crowd - meanwhile Galdeano sets off...

Top five in the young jersey competition are: Basso (Fassa), Vogondy (FdJ), Brandt (Lotto), Chavanel (Bonjour) and Zubeldia (Eus).

Remember their names. They are the future of this great sport - which will lose a lot of famous names from the peloton this year. Jalabert, Cipo, Pantani, Olano will all be just names in the record books when next year's tour rolls out.

Botero, looking determined and composed, sets off from the starting ramp - will he be strong enough to overhaul the "white Lance" Rumsas? Although a lot of roadside fans are backing Galdeano to surprise the Colombian and Texan - we will soon find out...

Rumsas, with 25 victories to his name, first came to the Daily Peloton's attention when he won the stage into Swansea of the British Pru Tour - when he was riding for that great source of talent, the Mroz team.

Now Armstrong. Way ahead of his competitors in this race - in the yellow jersey which he refused to wear in the prologue since "I had not earnt it" - he has certainly earnt the yellow jersey he is wearing today - he sets off with that instantly recognisable style - he has won the Tour, but can he win the stage?

Azevedo is 5th at first time check, 16 seconds after Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, so Igor now passes his teammate for now in the GC.

Botero has gone through the first time check at 10.5 km in 4th place, 4 seconds behind 1st place Honchar.

Rumsas is storming around the course - he has set the fastest time so far at the first check point.

Hamilton posts a great time which brings him into 6th place - meanwhile Rumsas is eating into Beloki's time advantage - can he do enough to steal second place?

Armstrong parting the waves of the cheering crowd as he speeds around the course - the crowd does a Mexican wave as he passes through them - looks spectacular but it is dangerous for the rider.

Rumsas, fastest man on the course. Armstrong second fastest so far - but it is hot and it is not the intermediate checks that count - but the final result.

The ONCE team were the only team really to challenge the "Blue Rockets" in this race. They will finish with three men in the top ten and will win the Team competition ahead of the Postal. It is hard to see how they could have done any better - even when they managed to isolate Armstrong on Ventoux, the Texan rose to the challenge and just rode away from them...

Galdeano - solid disc back wheel gleaming in the French sunshine - has beaten the Texan in a time trial this year and he knows that the race of truth is over the full distance.

McEwen says he is a little bit nervous about tomorrow's stage - there is one point in the competition - the first intermediate sprint that will be the most important - it has been a fantastic tour for the Aussies, he says.

Leipheimer has picked up 39 seconds on Heras at the 33km mark.

The Top Five at the moment:

1. Laszlo Bodrogi 1:04:56

2. David Millar @ :11-seconds

3. Serhiy Honchar @ :37

4. Ravis Belohvosciks @ 1:03

5. Victor Hugo Pena @ 1:23

With Hamilton at 6th and Boogerd just moving into 8th place.

Rumsas, the man from Silute, is still leading on the road, as now Botero comes through the intermediate time check in fourth place - his face seems a mirror of pain - he does not seem to be having a good day.

"It's important for me to do justice to the (yellow) jersey in the time trial," Armstrong said before revealing he had been testing bike changes for the 50 kilometer ride over Beaujolais country.

"I'll be doing what I can. I tried out a different setup on the bike today so that I can get a bit more power in the legs."

And now the yellow rose of Texas is passing by huge signs saying Virenque and JaJa - actually I am surprised at the small number of Stars and Stripes roadside - maybe all Armstrong's fans are still in the Alps trying to get off the mountain.

33km check point and Beloki comes through in 7th place - it would be heartbreak for the man from Vitoria to lose his second place at this late stage - Rumsas has gained 1'17" on the Spaniard - as Armstrong posts the fastest time at the 33 kilometre point!

Heras - what a great tour he has had - finishes in 21st position - he has been an inspiration to his Captain in this race.

Francisco Mancebo finishes in 11th spot - and now Galdeano comes in - he has lost time at the end - he finishes in third spot with a time of 1.05.32.

So far:

1. Laszlo Bodrogi 1:04:56

2. David Millar @ :11-seconds

3. Gonzalez de Galdeano @ 36 seconds

4. Serhiy Honchar @ :37

5. Ravis Belohvosciks @ 1:03

6. Victor Hugo Pena @ 1:23

Beloki, cotton cap - no helmet, looks like a hunted man - and it is Rumsas doing the hunting - it will be very close for him to hold onto his second spot.

Botero has faded; he makes 6th spot @ 1.06.01.

1. Laszlo Bodrogi 1:04:56

2. David Millar @ :11-seconds

3. Gonzalez de Galdeano @ 36 seconds

4. Serhiy Honchar @ :37

5. Ravis Belohvosciks @ 1:03

6. Botero @ 1.05

Now Rumsas takes the lead - stunning ride! 1.04.43! - what a revelation from the man dropped from the Fassa squad last year because they did not feel he was a tour rider!

But it is still the yellow rose of Texas who has the lead on the road - classic Time trial position: Flat back, low profile - you can imagine him and his friend Merckx discussing bike positions into the night...

Now Beloki - will he hold onto his second position? He is burying himself - it is a desperate effort - now he finishes in 8th spot he will keep second overall.

Armstrong now - it is an incredible ride - he storms to victory to keep his record intact!

4 tour victories - 4 final time trial successes...1h 03'50"

Armstrong - the yellow rose of Texas - proves his dominance in this year's race - obviously his new setup worked - it is his first win in a distance time trial this year - so with Armstrong in yellow, Jaja in the polka dot, Basso in white, and ONCE as the team there is just one competition to be finalised.

"I'm feeling confident for the last day. Okay, the lead is only a point, but it's an important point. Now Zabel has to beat me," said McEwen. The Telekom camp - looking stern and worried at yesterday's emotional press conference, will be determined to take the Green jersey home - it will be a very interesting day's racing tomorrow.

Today's Results:

1. Lance Armstrong (Usa-Usp) 1.03.50

2. Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu-Lam)1.04.43

3. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun-Map)1.04.56

4. David Millar (GBr-Cof)1.05.04

5. Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Spa-One)1.05.32

6. Serhiy Honchar (Ukr-Fas)1.05.33

7. Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat-Lam)1.05.59

8. Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col-Kel)1.06.01

9. Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro (Spa-One)1.06.01

10. Victor H. Pena Grisales (Col-Usp) 1.06.19

Overall:

1. Lance Armstrong (Usa-Usp) 78.34.25

2. Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro (Spa-One)7.17

3. Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu-Lam)8.17

4. Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col-Kel)13.10

5. Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Spa-One)13.54

6. José Azevedo (Por-One)15.44

7. Francisco Mancebo Perez (Spa-Ban)16.15

8. Levi Leipheimer (Usa-Rab)17.11

9. Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa-Usp)17.18

10. Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa-Cst)19.05

So Galdeano moves above team mate Azevedo and Leipheimer swaps places with Heras.

Thanks for reading today's report - don't forget to join us again tomorrow - finally the tour reaches Paris!


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