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Tour de France 2003 - Stage 7 Live Coverage
 
By Anita van Crey
Date: 7/12/2003
Tour de France 2003 - Stage 7 Live Coverage
 

10.40 CET
Lyon, southern France. The riders are preparing for start at the Place Bellecour. The startinggun will pop in about five minutes.
Four riders so far have quit this years Tour de France: Marc Lotz and Levi Leipheimer (Rabobank), Angel Vicioso (Once) and Fabio Baldato (Alessio). These riders all suffered major damage on the fall in the first stage.

Today the riders will have to climb 5 big Alp giants:
Col de Portes (1020 metres above sealevel, second category, at 56 k. in the stage), Côte de Mont de Princes (696 metres above sealevel, second category, at 115 k. in the stage), Côte de Cruseilles (770 metres above sealevel, second category, at 141,5 k. in the stage), Col de la Ramaz (1619 metres above sealevel, first category, at 208,5 k. in the race) and the Côte des Gets (1181 metres above sealevel, third category, at 222 k. in the stage).

10.50 CET
Saeco ride today in their white jerseys. Commesso is battling the day in the sun with a sleeveless top. The Italians chose the better-in-the-sun-color after a look at the cloudless sky. It will be another hot day in France. Also Zabel took start. After having feared for a broken bone in either hand or shoulder after yesterday's fall, radiography proved all being ok. Lots of people are siding Lyon's streets when the bunch ride from unofficial to official start through the wide lanes of the city. In the rest of France it is a madhouse on the mayor highways too, a lot of people on the road this so called Black Sunday to their holiday-addresses....

10.57 CET
Morzine hosted its first Tour de France stage finish in 1977 (winner Wellens) and for the last time so far in 2000 (with a victory of Virenque). It is a wintersportsvillage in the Haute-Savoie.
In yesterday's stage to Lyon Petacchi had to lack the help of his teammate Marco Velo, who suffered a fever-attack (39 degrees centigrade). That condition for sure is not one excellent for a stage like today is on the program.

For one, Joseba Beloki (Once) is counting on Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) to open up the race. Simoni is the favorite who is the most behind the leaders and can play an open role.

Today's stage is the longest in this years Tour (230,5 km.). The long stages and long days made Koos Moerenhout (Lotto-Domo) yesterday say: "The organisors are so full of telling us to make sure to ride doping-free, but I think on the other hand they may think too about the ordeal they put us through with those long days."

Pena in yellow and his fellow compatriots are enjoying this just over 12 k. to the départ réel, an excellent way to warm up their sore legs.

11.08 CET
The riders are off for real. Danilo Di Luca still is dreaming off a win in tomorrows stage, Alpe d'Huez. He still is coping with the side-effects of a cold, caught in the fresh Paris air, a week ago today. Even if he did not ride his best, he hang in and betters by the day.

11.12 CET
First attack of the day, Medric Clain (Cofidis) and Benoit Poilvet (Credit Agricole). Poilvet is the one who took of as first. The duo in the lead is joined by Rolf Aldag (Team Telekom) and Italian champion Paolo Bettin (Quickstep).

Four times stage winner Alessandro Petacchi is wearing his green jersey with pride, so is Christophe Mengin his King of the Mountains one.
The bunch now is at 15 seconds behind. Goubert and Munoz counterattacked, but are secured by the peloton. It is still very much not in the clear who will take home this first mountain stage. Will it be one of them Orange boys from Euskaltel (with Iban Mayo, Roberto Laiseka, David Etxebarria, Alberto Lopez de Munain and Unai Etxebarria) or will it be Pablo Lastras from iBanesto? Dutch revelation of the Dauphine Remmert Wielenga (Rabobank) is sure not in his best form, suffering some small illnesses, enough to make it a probable difficult day for him today.

11.25 CET
The bunch is counter attacking. Juan Antonio Flecha (iBanesto) is trying to escape. The four are now 2o seconds ahead. Hincapie (Us Postal)and Pradera (Once) too are trying to get away.The bunch forms a long line of riders, setting the pace higher.

11.30 CET
The gap is increasing to 25 seconds. Jan Ullrich joins his mechanic in the team car, who now is trying to fix up his saddle.
The big German in mint and white is trying to find his best position on the bike. After years on Pinarello he now has to get used to a Bianchi bike. The Colombian yellow man shows his colors in the front lines of the bunch. There will be a lot of people confused by seeing a Postie in yellow who is NOT the man from Austin going by the name of Lance Armstrong.

11.36 CET
When the riders cross the Rhone the lead is now close to a minute. Ag2R's Nicolas Portal tries to close down the gap on his own. But he is recaptured by the bunch. The four in front are working smoothly together.

Gap now, near the nuclear works of Le Buget, is 1 minutes and 8 seconds. While the bunch starts up its gear again and come closer, Kelme's Antonio Tauler and Ignacio Gutierrez are working their way to Sebastien Hinault and stay out of the claws of the bunch. The bunch though does not let them and grabs hold of them. The US Postal boys taking up their positions in the front of the bunch, securing all who want to get away toooooo far.

11.49 CET
Like David Millar reckons, "This could be my day - I'm ready." He is one of the few men in the peloton who was looking forward to the stage. Again another tumbling down in the peloton, with a nervous start of the stage. Tauler and Bertolini and Virenque hit down the asphalt. Antonio Tauler will have a long day in the saddle to get back. The Tour-doctor is fixing up the wound at his left thigh with a spray. The bunch retakes it peace and quiet, the Italians and Spaniards have their coffee and blabbertimes in the first positions of the bunch, allowing the fallen ones to join them again. The gap increases by the minute.

11.56 CET
Bettini now is with the lead of the gap of over two minutes virtual leader in the race. The Posties are looking relaxed. Lance Armstrong is present in the second row of the bunch. Kelme's number 101 and Alessio's 206 are at km. 40 trying to beat one another in who is capable of taking the most drinking bottles to teammates. It seems like the man in green Ignacio Guttierez has beaten Angelo Furlan. The gap of the leaders is now around four minutes.

Weekend stages are excellent to visit for many people. Lots of women and men are siding the roads today. The riders in the lead now have reached the foot of the first climb of the day. Rolf Aldag has zipped open his shirt all the way to freshen up his near two metres body as much as possible.

12.07 CET
Virenque shows his colors in the climb, escaping the peloton together with a Spaniard from Kelme, Jesus Manzano. In the front bettini sets the pace up high, first victim of it is Medric Clain. Poilvet, Aldag, Bettini, Clain - the 4 breakaways now have nearly 5 minutes' advantage. Benoit Poilvet (Credit Agricole) was born on 27/08/1976 in Saint Brieuc, France. He has been a pro since 2000 and has always ridden with the Credit Agricole team. Bettini is fixing up and fastens his helmet, after he has been pointing out to do so by the organisors.
Green Alessandro Petacchi is allready having his problems and has to let the bunch go. He still is accompanied by his faithfull teammate Nicola Loda. In riding south he is getting all the moer close to the Italian border. Maybe that will force him a bit in deciding whether he will quit the race or not. With four stagewins in his suitcase though he for sure will get noticed at customs.

12.17 CET
Eight kilometres to the top for the three in the lead. The gap still is over five minutes. Medric Clain finds himself struggling his way up, 35 seconds behind his three former companions.
Of the three leaders Rolf Aldag is a veteran in the peloton he was born on 25th August 1968 in Beckum, Germany, and turned pro in 1991 with the Helvetia team before joining Telekom ten years ago in 1993. He has ridden the tour 9 times - 1992 (non classé), 1993 (56ème), 1994 (38ème), 1995 (58ème), 1996 (83ème), 1997 (51ème), 1998 (43ème), 2002 (non classé), 2003?
Virenque is having his bag with him to collect as much as point for the KOM-classification. As DP own Podofdonny mentions: "bet ol' Virenque is upset about having to wear a helmet - "What about my hair style!!!!!!" At the tailend of the bunch Petacchi now also gets the help of his teammate Dario Cioni. Even Mr. Iron himself teamdirector Gian-Carlo Ferretti has joined by the team car to talk his most successful pupil so far in this centenaire through his bad moments. The bunch still is 5 minutes behind the leaders, when then three in the lead are at 4 k. of the summit. Virenque has left his Spanish amigo behind and tries his best to get closer. Petacchi is having more severe problems and has even to let his two teammates go. It looks like he is going to quit.

Bettini was born on April Fools day 1974 in Cecina Italy. The Milan San Remo winner, Italian champion, World cup holder, and winner of the Tour Mediterranean is having an awesome season.

12.32 CET
5.45 behind the leaders the bunch does ride. They have passed by a on the ground lying Jesus Manzono. The Spaniard, who took off with Virenque, fell down in the climb and is now recieving help of the Tour doctors.

Petacchi quits the race after 52 k. in this stage. He gets in the team-car, looking all empty. Now he can work his way towards the Vuelta.

12.40 CET
Virenque "the Scorpion" is out of the saddle trying to bridge the gap. He has been criticised by his team manager this season and now he is in his element - in the Tour, in the mountains. He now finds himself 2.55" behind the leaders. Poilvet got dropped, but works his way back to the front again.
Bettini has taken the first place on the Col de Portes and therefore is the King of the Mountains leader on the road. The bunch now is close to six minutes behind him.
It not only is a Black Saturday for people going on holiday today in France, it also is for the sprinters. Alessandro Petacchi allready quit and now also Jaan Kirsipuu is having severe problems to follow. He is left behind by the bunch, even his teammates do not wait for him anymore.

12.48 CET
In the descent of the Col des Portes Richard Virenque reaches his countryman Clain. They still are less than three minutes behind the three in the lead. Virenque joins up with Médéric Clain (Cofidis) who was dropped by the leading group - these two men will charge to try and catch the trio at the front. The Posties in the front of the peloton look confident.

The gaps stay still about the same in the long hard road towards the bigger mountains. Aldag is also somewhat of a hardman, finishing 9th in this year's dusty edition of Paris-Roubaix. The bunch is now 6.33" behind the leaders. The descent of the Col des Portes is sharp and technical, the peloton will have to be careful as the roads are narrow and the bends tight - this might favour the breakaways. Aldag is giving a display on the fine art of descending - he is very fast and seems to naturally choose the correct line.

King of the Mountain-Competition after Col de Portes
1. Bettini 25 points
2. Mengin 20
3. Finot 18
Beneteau was best of the rest in the peloton, coming sixth with 6 points so he's 4th on 17.

Jesus Manzano (KEL) has been taken to the hospital after receiving treatment from the race doctor - best wishes from the Daily Peloton to him.

Iban Mayo (Euskaltel) about the Col de Ramaz: "The first part is easy, it gets harder after three kilometres. The way to the summit though is not hard either. But the descent though is a difficult one." His teammate David Etxebarria predicts in his daily column in a Basque newspaper that about five riders will reach in the lead the top of the Ramaz.

In this stage the riders still have 150 kilometres to ride. Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step) and Rolf Aldag (Telekom), Benoit Poilvet (Credit Agricole) have about 6'30'' on the peloton. Mederic Clain (Cofidis), Richard Virenque (Quick.Step-Davitamon) are 1'45'' behind the leading trio. It does not look like Bettini is going to wait for his teammate that easily. The lead is up to a massive 7'18'' - the descent certainly did favour the trio at the front over the chasing peloton. The three in the lead are waiting for the two followers. If Virenque reaches the ones in the lead, Quickstep is woth two. The teamdirectors made the choise to ride as a team, not a single riders.

Quickstep teamdirector Peeters is forced by Bettini to explain to Aldag why the tiny Italian is not doing anymore his share of the work in the break. Aldag listens and keepsn on working to stay ahead. Aldag and Betinni are enagaging in a lengthy conversation, presumably as to whether to wait for the Scorpion and Clain. The two in the chase join the three in the front. Mederic Clain is a Tour rookie this year, although he's already been in the "action" having thought to be the protagonist of the massive Stage 1 pile-up. 138 kilometres to go - the Postal blue train driving the peloton on as Virenque and Clain finally catch the trio at the front - so five riders now at the front of the race.

13.28 CET
The riders reach the feedzone. The lead of the five in the front is over seven minutes now. The leading quintet goes through the feed zone, with Aldag and Poilvet receiving their musettes first. However, the other escapees press on ahead regardless.
Earlier in the race Manzano was forced to quit. Tour doctor Gerard Porte says: "He collapsed due to the heat, heat exhaustion. He simply broke down. Never lost his consiousness though. He has been taken to a hospital for examination and recovery." In the bunch the Posties are setting the pace a bit higher, diminishing the lead of the five to under the six minutes. Even if the weather is this hot, the riders try to eat and drink as much as possible. They know when they are getting to feel hungry, they are to late to put some carbonhydrates and sugars and all other necessaries in their bodies.

Richard Virenque has competed in the Tour de France 11 times - he has won 5 stages and the polka dot jersey 5 times - he shot to fame in 1992 when he wore the yellow jersey for a spell. In 2000 he won the Courchevel - Morzine stage.

If you're looking for 'free' collectables, the feed-zone is an excellent place as riders throw old bidons left, right and centre. It should be a hard-hat area though!

The bunch is lead by the US Postal presented by Berry Floor compatriots. Through the first intermediate sprint, Bettini leads with Clain and Poilvet next. The riders are on their way to point 109 km, the next climb.

13.51 CET
Meanwhile another sprinter has quit the race too, Jaan Kirispuu of AG2R went home. When Virenque won on the Courchevel - Morzine stage in 2000 he escaped with Heras - then riding for the Kelme team. 2 kilometres from the finish Heras crashed into some railings and Virenque snatched victory. The railings were made by a DUTCH firm called - "Heras". The breakaway leaders have been out on their own for about 100km now, in this intense heat. The leading 5 men still have around 7 minutes on the US Postal led peloton. Czech powerhouse Pavel Padrnos leads the chase for the Posties, though clearly it's not a particularly big effort as there's still about 120km to go. Médéric Clain and Rolf Aldag are having problems to follow too. Paolo Bettini, in the Italian national jersey, has ridden the tour three times in 2000, 2001 and 2003 - he has won one stage in 2000 stage 9 : Agen - Dax. He also wore the polka dot jersey in 2000 as well.

122 km ridden so far. Richard Virenque is doing his fair share of the work in the lead. Another sprinter quits, Gerolsteiner Olaf Pollack quits the ride. Bettini, Virenque, Aldag, Poilvet on this 2nd cat climb, Virenque setting the pace, the sun shining, the crowds huge, as the four front men pass a giant bicycle roadside. Postal makes the front of the bunch look very blue. Casper has to lead the peloton go too. Will he be the next one to quit?

Petacchi's lead-out man Marco Velo has also abandoned the race. Vincente belda, teammanager of Kelme confirmed Manzano is in better condition already.

14.06 CET
The leading four men pass a bottle of water between them - handed to them from a spectator - they pour the water on themselves to cool down - but will not drink it. It is too easy to get an infection from a bottle handed from the crowd. Aldag has his shirt all the way open and having his troubles to stay with the others.
The four in the lead passed the summit, Virenque took the most points. With abandon of Petacchi, Baden Cooke (FDJeux.com) is in the virtual Green Jersey. He just has to finish the stage now. Virenque and Bettini go over the top of the Cat 2 first, with Poilvet a few metres behind. Aldag desperately tries to hang on. Clain is 2 minutes behind the leaders, the peloton is seven minutes behind. The average pace is 38 km per hour, finish is predicted for just over 17.00 CET.

While Belgian commentators praise the qualities of their countryman Tom Boonen, they recieve a textmessage on their mobile phones, coming from James Vanlandschoot from the Vlaanderen team, stating he is as good as Boonen. Cofidis' Luis Perez Rodriguez and Torsten Schmidt (Gerolsteiner) are struggling on the climb, dropped from the pack. The Posties will remember Virenque's great ride last year on the stage to Ventoux. They let Virenque get too much of a lead, and he took the stage. And last year, he didn't have a brilliant teammate like Bettini with him.

Beloki said this morning, "If I can attack before Morzine, I will do it. But, in my opinion, it is Gilberto Simoni which holds the key of the stage. There are other riders like Basso, Mercado and Mayo likely to be in the frame, but I think especially of Simoni."

Virenque floats well on the cheering of the crowd. Stefano Garzelli, who is still an outsider for the GC said, "My Tour starts now. This stage of Morzine should be appropriate to me. I hope to keep with the leading group If this is this case, I will have my chance for the stage."

14.17 CET
Descent and still a bit of climbing to do, current gap now is 7.40". Armstrong again 12th on the summit of a climb. Victor Hugo Peña (Yellow jersey) said, "Saturday, the Tour really will start. We enter the Alps and for me, I will again be a team-member so that Lance Armstrong will win his 5th Tour of France. The days I spent with the Yellow jersey on my back are very difficult because the responsibilities it carries. I think that in the evening, Lance will have taken this shirt."

14.20 CET
Halgand (Delatour)and Beneteau (Brioches) try to escape. Halgand already has his after-race future figured out, he will start a chickenfarm in France. Before he joined the Delatour team he was not such a great rider, did not that much. That changed and brought him already some bigger results.

14.23 CET
The bunch is now working its way to the most important climb of the day, the Ramaz. Some news from Yorkshire: Tour de France legend Miguel Indurain is to be this year's star guest at the Rayner Fund annual dinner. The five times Tour winner is famously shy, so this is a major coup for the organisers and should prompt a stampede for tickets for what is always a brilliant night out. This year it's being held on Saturday 8th November at the Hilton in Bradford - contact Derek Smith on 01422 258 839 for more details.

To be a bit on the foolish side: The French ambulance service must be at its limits, with French housewives swooning and fainting at the sight of Richard Virenque in the attack! Truth is though, the former King of the Mountains still is mighty popular in France. Another great climber and last year's winner on La Plagne, gets to his teamcar to get some bottles for his teammates. This time the drinks are on him.

In other Europe, in the Uniqa Classic, the last stage is won by Maarten den Bakker (Rabobank), while Collstrop-Palmans Roger Hammond takes home the overall win. In France Benoit Poilvet (Credit Agricole) is doing a big turn on the front of the breakaway.

Another one out, this time it is Luis Perez from the Cofidis team. Too bad Mercado (iBanesto) has been plagued by that stomach bug...he'd be a favorite for today, as he did well in a similar stage in the Dauphine Libere. Armstrong, sided by his teammates (amongst them Spanish Chechu Rubiera, Heras and Beltran), shows no sign of being in trouble whatsoever. The leaders now have around 8 minutes lead as the tackle the 3rd cat côte de Cruseilles. The summit is at 89 k. from the finish. This climb is not that steep, it will allow for all Aldag to follow a bit easier. The Postal train still lead the peloton - toujours postal- behind them the pink shirts of Once - Ullrich lurking near the front, Bettini, Virenque Aldag and Poilvet still at the head of affairs.

In Portugal, Alejandro Valverde has won the morning stage of the Trofeo Joaquim Agostinho (2.3).

When the leaders will have a lead of about ten minutes at the foot of the Ramaz, they can make it to the end without being caught by the bunch. The lead now is 8 and a half minutes. Mederic Clain has suffers 'playfully' with the camera on him, and has a quick chat to the camera-man. Although he looks relaxed, it sure is tough for him in this debilitating heat. While playing around a bit with the camera Clain sends a hello to his little daughter and wife who works with juvenile delinquents in the Paris surroundings.

Another sprinter facing difficulties. This time it is Bradley McGee who has to let the pack go. He gets accompanied by his teammate Jimmy Casper.

Over the top of the Cote de Cruseilles, Virenque and Bettini accelerate slightly to take the first two places with Poilvet third.

14.57 CET
The gap with the bunch stays consistent at about eight minutes. The riders are greatfull for every bit of wind in todays tropical France. Mederic Clain (Cofidis) also rode over the top of the Cote de Cruseilles - Postal still lead the peloton. Clain is close to be caught by the bunch. The Euskaltel-Euskadi men come to the front. Perhaps they want to close the gap and launch their own man, Mayo?

15.04 CET
Clain is caught by the bunch. The four in the lead are still cruising nicely together through the French valley that brings them the scary Ramaz. The entire Postal team is on the front of the peloton. It is still about 50km before the Col de la Ramaz. Landis, Ekimov and Padrnos are working their but of for the man from Austin. Pena and Rubiera are the ones supplying the drinks. It looks rather unusual to see the man in yellow with heaps of drinking bottles for his teammates stuffed away under his shirt.

US Postal presented by Berry Floor is still controlling the race, letting the breakaways take away all the danger for winning the overall in the end, so far...Today we will see if Tyler Hamilton (CSC) will continue to ride through his injury. He said that he has burned a lot of matches just trying to stay in the race, and he won't stick around if he has bad legs and is just pack filler. Another abandons: Michael Rich (Gerolsteiner). Another fall-victim, Erik Zabel, is too getting his teammates some drinkingbottles. In the lead it is Bettini who drinks and drinks and drinks a lot.

15.30 CET
The day is coming to its end in France, the riders have allready some long hours in the saddle behind them. The image in the front of the bunch does not change that much, still the Postal train giving its best. Some of the ONCE boys move in behind the Postal train. Bianchi's Ullrich lurks there as well, waiting for his moment. It is the four in the lead fighting against the four Posties leading the bunch. With 60 kilometres to go the gap 7'52'' - Bettini, Virenque Aldag, Poilvet in the lead, Postal-led peloton chasing. At the moment Bettini still is virtually leading this Tour de France and overtaking the yellow jersey.

Michael Blaudzun (CSC) tries to get a closer view of the scenery and lands with his bike over the barriers. The caravane now has to stop for a railwaycrossing, allowing the leaders to gain more lead.

15.40 CET
Still 56 kilometres to go. There will be no action regarding any time loss to the peloton and the train crossing, it is considered just bad luck for the chasers. At the next timingpoint it turns out the train caused the bunch almost a minute.

Former winners in Morzine:
1977 Wellens
1978 Seznec
1980 Martinez
1981 Alban
1982 Winnen
1983 Michaud
1984 Arroyo
1987 Chozas
1988 Parra
1991 Claveyrolat
1997 Pantani
2000 Virenque

Quickstep teamdirector Peeters tells that they are aiming for the polkadots for Virenque and the yellow for Bettini today.

Team Bianchi is very optimistic about the Tour after the 6th stage. “Ullrich and all his team-mates,“ said Rudy Pevenage, the expert team manager of Bianchi “are doing very well, especially Ullrich and the Spaniard Angel Casero. Both of them are looking forward to the seventh stage." Ullrich looks comfortably in the peloton so far. Oscar Freire has punctured.

Bruyneel said Postal would ride defensively today, just trying to cover the attacks of the big GC threats. We'll see if they stick to that plan, or if it changes on the road. The postal lead peloton streams through Nangy, team Bianchi behind them, 9'15'' the gap. It still is 12 k. to the feet of the Ramaz-climb.

Interesting competition today between floor sponsors - Quickstep laminated floors in the break - berry floor leading the chase. The current gap is about 8 and a half minutes. The Posties are playing with the lead, they exactly know how big it may be.

With all the sprinters going home, the discussion starts again. "Did Cipo not have to be here?" Fact is that the heat and the fast racing did not make it easy working towards these mountains for the sprinters. The long straight valley road leads ominously towards the mountains 42 kilometres to the finish the Col de la Ramaz looms. A sobering thought for the riders in the peloton.

Second bonussprint of the day:
1. Bettini 6 seconds This morning the breakaway riders were in the following positions - 34th Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon @ 1.39, 44th Richard Virenque (Fra) Quick.Step-Davitamon @ 1.52, 58th Rolf Aldag (Ger) Team Telekom @ 2.05 and 77th Benoit Poilvet (Fra) Credit Agricole @ 2.22.
The escapees go through the sprint and start the climb of the Col de la Ramaz.

16.12 CET
The Tour starts again, the climb begins. As Iban may (Euskaltel) mentioned: "The first part of the climb is easy, after three kilometres it gets harder." 14.5 kilometres long average gradient 7% but between kilometre 9 and 10 it is very steep - the first climb of the tour always brings heartache for some riders who just cannot adjust to the violence of the first heavy climb. It plays well in the cards of US Postal when Quickstep with yellow in possession has to control the race. They smartly let others do the hard work.

Todays scenario is a dream scenario for Quickstep, two of their best riders all the way in the lead. Aldag begins to struggle as does Benoit Poilvet so the Quickstep boys are on their own at the front. Bettini does his best to follow the better climber Virenque. He too can descent very well, so it is his luck the finish is not on the top. Toujours Postal at the front of the peloton. 7'10'' the gap, 196 kilometres covered. At the back of the pack about twenty men loose contact. O'Grady, Milesi and Baguet are present in this first attempt to form a grupetto. The maillot jaune Victor Hugo Pena leads the peloton up the lower slopes. Rolf Aldag is making his way back on to the wheel of the two Quick Step man! What a brave ride from the veteran German.

Bettini has to let his two compatriots (Virenque and Aldag) go, in the bunch it is Pena who has to let go too. While Virenque went to get a bottle of water and sees Aldag all of the sudden take off. He now has to chase down the tall German. Virenque churns his pedals and makes his way back to the wheel of Aldag. Bettini is currently the numbre four in the stage, passed by by Poilvet. In the grupetto are present: Voigt, Jalabert, Flecha, Comesso, Bodrogi, Blaudzun, Clain and more others. The string has broken - Victor Hugo Pena watches helplessly as the lead group gets away from him. Armstrong still is surrounded by four teammates. George Hincapie sets the pace on the climb.

Group Armstrong is at 6.30". Axel Merckx has to let this group go. 8.6 kilometres of climbing to go Virenque dancing on th pedals in a dangerous manner. Aldag refuses to give up! He holds on to the Scorpion's wheel and refuses to be beaten! Hincapie has done his job for the day and rides his own pace to the finish. The gap has dropped to 5 and a half minutes.

Tour radio says Simoni suffers some trouble on the back. At the front of the chasers bunch it is Tour de Suisse winner Alexandre Vinoukorov who takes off. Botero has to let go to, and so does his teammate in the lead. He now sees merely the back of Virenque. Alexandre Vinokourov trying to bridge the gap, US Postal leading the peloton, Simoni not looking well at all. Also Casero drops back. Postal hasn't panicked, with the three Spanish climbers still setting the pace on the front. Simoni is off the back.

The Italians do not have their best day with Stefano Garzelli and Davide Rebellin losing contact to the Armstrong group too. And so has Casero. Vinokourov has reached Bettini, the bunch is chasing them too. The toolbox is open, the hammers are out, and the pounding of the big boys has now begun. Anyone having a bad day is gone. Hamilton though still is present in the Armstrong group. The finishline is 25 k. to go. Ullrich, Beloki and Mayo stay put in the chasing group.

The bigger chasinggroup now is 4.15" behind Virenque. Still present there are too Beltran, Zubeldia, Mayo, Beloki, Ullrich....At the back of this pack it looks like Millar has some problems. 2.20"is the current gap from Virenque to Poilvet. Moreau (Credit Agricole) is near the front, behind the Posties. Alexandre Vinokourov is pulled back into the bunch. It is most likely Morzine will go crazy when their pet Virenque pulls of his stunt and wins the stage. He now has the summit in sight. Passes it by smoothly and descents his way to stagewin and yellow jersey.

16.25 CET
Aldag is just over a minute behind Virenque and can secure his second place in the stage. In the main chasing group it is Garzelli and Parra who come back. Millar too hangs in there, and so does Dufaux, Chavanel, Basso, Noe, Mercado, Jaksche, Totschnig and Laiseka. At more than three minutes it is Poilvet who reaches the summit of the Ramaz as third. The gap to the pack for Virenque is about four minutes.

With sixteen kilometres to go the Scorpion is descending smoothly. Boogerd (Rabobank) comes over the top of the climb in a group of five men 5' 42" after Virenque. The Frenchman in the lead does not stop his drinking and eating to make sure he does not suffer the same as Bettini did. He won five stages so far. Vladimir 'Shaggy' Karpets, in the Young Riders Jersey - heads a group about 6'30" down Stefano Garzelli has returned to the lead group as they descend.13 kilometres to go on this epic stage.

17.03 CET
Côte des Gets. The peloton is regrouping on the descent. Hincapie now jumps onto the back of the group, and heads towards the front to see if he can catch and help his leader. Garzelli and Hamilton are right behind the Posties leading the descent. Only ten more kilometres to ride in this longest stage of the Centenaire. Virenque has 1.8km to go until the summit of this final climb! His tongue is lolling, but his legs are pumping with the desire for another victory in Morzine. This Tour seems to be becoming a very calculated one for the man from Austin. He and his team just know what to do, and even more important know what to do not, to win this one.

The grupetto has crossed the summit too. It looks like Virenque does the trick again. Mancebo sprint for the KOM points in Gets, where in the near future the mountainbike world championships will be held. Virenque chases his win with a dramatic look on his face, his shirt open to the widest. 4km to go for Virenque. Poilvet is caught by the bunch before he could cross the summit of Gets alone. Of course as we said earlier Heras crashed coming into Morzine in 2000 - it is a dangerous finish. 2 kilometres to go for Virenque, the yellow and polkadots are awaiting.

And we have a winner: Richard Virenque takes the stage to Morzine, kisses pointing again his right pointing finger towards the sky. Chavanel (Brioches la Boulanger) attacks from the Armstrong group. Patrick Lefevre (teammanager of Quickstep)puts it realistically: "I think we made the best decision in letting the four in the lead wait. Even if we lose the yellow jersey again tomorrow, we will be very very happy." Aldag at 34 does do a great race and finishes second @ 2.29". He is followed in today's ranking by Sylvain Chavanel (@3.45"). Fourth place is taken by another floorman, Quickstep's Michael Rogers, who shows he can do more than just win the Tour of Belgium and the Tour of Germany ;) .

A small group with Boogerd and Rebellin crosses the line 5'45" back. Virenque tells: "I want to win in my way. I wanted to do something special in this Centenaire. The main goal is to have fun in what I do. This morning I did not start to reach for the yellow jersey, just for the King of the Mountains. It is great for the team too, I wanna thank Patrick Lefevre for giving me this chance. I also want to thank my teammate Bettini for waiting for me in the breakaway. It is really special for me to wear for the second time in twelve years the leaders jersey."

Aldag moves up to the third place in the general classification. Botero and Bettini finish in a group, ten minutes behind Virenque.

This concludes today's live coverage. Tomorrow is another grueling stage on the Galibier and Alpe d'Huez, so please join us then for complete live coverage. Thanks for joining us and Allez!

Stage 7 Results

1 VIRENQUE Richard FRA QSD 6h 06' 03"
2 ALDAG Rolf GER TEL 02' 29"
3 CHAVANEL Sylvain FRA BLB 03' 45"
4 ROGERS Michael AUS QSD 04' 03"
5 GARZELLI Stefano ITA CAL 04' 06"
6 MOREAU Christophe FRA C.A s.t.
7 DUFAUX Laurent SUI ALS s.t.
8 MILLAR David GBR COF s.t.
9 TOTSCHNIG Georg AUT GST s.t.
10 VINOKOUROV Alexandre KAZ TEL s.t.
11 ASTARLOZA Mikel ESP A2R s.t.
12 TRENTIN Guido ITA COF s.t.
13 NIERMANN Grischa GER RAB s.t.
14 MENCHOV Denis RUS BAN s.t.
15 ARMSTRONG Lance USA USP s.t.
16 VAN DE WOUWER Kurt BEL QSD s.t.
17 CANADA David ESP QSD s.t.
18 SASTRE Carlos ESP CSC s.t.
19 BELTRAN Manuel ESP USP s.t.
20 PASCUAL LLORENTE Javier ESP KEL s.t.
21 ULLRICH Jan GER TBI s.t.
22 SERRANO Marcos ESP ONE s.t.
23 LÜTTENBERGER Peter AUT CSC s.t.
24 MANCEBO Francisco ESP BAN s.t.
25 HAMILTON Tyler USA CSC s.t.
26 MAYO Iban ESP EUS s.t.
27 RUBIERA José Luis ESP USP s.t.
28 ZUBELDIA Haimar ESP EUS s.t.
29 HERAS Roberto ESP USP s.t.
30 SANCHEZ Samuel ESP EUS s.t.
31 CHAURREAU Inigo ESP A2R s.t.
32 BELOKI Joseba ESP ONE s.t.
33 BASSO Ivan ITA FAS s.t.
34 AZEVEDO José POR ONE s.t.
35 ROUS Didier FRA BLB s.t.
36 GARCIA CASAS Félix ESP TBI s.t.
37 JAKSCHE Jorg GER ONE s.t.
38 CAUCCHIOLI Pietro ITA ALS s.t.
39 PLAZA David ESP TBI s.t.
40 MONCOUTIE David FRA COF s.t.
41 ETXEBARRIA David ESP EUS s.t.
42 MERCADO Juan Miguel ESP BAN s.t.
43 GUSTOV Volodymir UKR FAS s.t.
44 PETROV Evgeni RUS BAN s.t.
45 PARRA Ivan COL KEL s.t.
46 LAISEKA Roberto ESP EUS s.t.
47 VOGONDY Nicolas FRA FDJ 05' 45"
48 CASAR Sandy FRA FDJ s.t.
49 HALGAND Patrice FRA DEL s.t.
50 PINEAU Jérôme FRA BLB s.t.
51 REBELLIN Davide ITA GST s.t.
52 BOOGERD Michael NED RAB s.t.
53 POILVET Benoit FRA C.A 06' 06"
54 LOPEZ MUNAIN Alberto ESP EUS 07' 31"
55 LELLI Massimiliano ITA COF 08' 38"
56 STEINHAUSER Tobias GER TBI s.t.
57 SORENSEN Nicki DEN CSC s.t.
58 BENETEAU Walter FRA BLB s.t.
59 BRANDT Christophe BEL LOT s.t.
60 GONZALEZ Aitor ESP FAS s.t.
61 KARPETS Vladimir RUS BAN s.t.
62 BOTCHAROV Alexandre RUS A2R s.t.
63 CASERO Angel ESP TBI s.t.
64 NOE Andrea ITA ALS s.t.
65 ZANDIO Xabier ESP BAN s.t.
66 LATASA David ESP KEL s.t.
67 LEFEVRE Laurent FRA DEL s.t.
68 GOUBERT Stephane FRA DEL s.t.
69 NOZAL Isidro ESP ONE s.t.
70 MAZZOLENI Eddy ITA CAL s.t.
71 NARDELLO Daniele ITA TEL s.t.
72 TURPIN Ludovic FRA A2R s.t.
73 KESSLER Matthias GER TEL 10' 21"
74 BOTERO Santiago COL TEL s.t.
75 BROCHARD Laurent FRA A2R s.t.
76 GLOMSER Gerrit AUT SAE s.t.
77 SIMONI Gilberto ITA SAE s.t.
78 LASTRAS Pablo ESP BAN s.t.
79 BETTINI Paolo ITA QSD s.t.
80 DA CRUZ Carlos FRA FDJ 14' 32"
81 BÖLTS Udo GER GST s.t.
82 CLAIN Médéric FRA COF s.t.
83 BODROGI Laszlo HUN QSD s.t.
84 KRIVTSOV Yuriy UKR DEL s.t.
85 ZAMPIERI Steve SUI CAL s.t.
86 BLAUDZUN Michaël DEN CSC s.t.
87 FRITSCH Nicolas FRA FDJ s.t.
88 SACCHI Fabio ITA SAE s.t.
89 BERTAGNOLLI Leonardo ITA SAE s.t.
90 WIELINGA Remmert NED RAB s.t.
91 MIHOLJEVIC Vladimir CRO ALS s.t.
92 BOURQUENOUD Pierre SUI DEL s.t.
93 HINCAPIE George USA USP s.t.
94 PRADERA Mikel ESP ONE s.t.
95 VERBRUGGHE Rik BEL LOT s.t.
96 FREIRE Oscar ESP RAB s.t.
97 GUERINI Giuseppe ITA TEL s.t.
98 PERON Andrea ITA CSC s.t.
99 CHRISTENSEN Bekim DEN CSC s.t.
100 RENIER Franck FRA BLB s.t.
101 PELLIZOTTI Franco ITA ALS s.t.
102 MERCKX Axel BEL LOT 19' 35"
103 CUESTA Inigo ESP COF s.t.
104 FLICKINGER Andy FRA A2R 23' 09"
105 JALABERT Nicolas FRA CSC s.t.
106 FLECHA Juan Antonio ESP BAN s.t.
107 VOIGT Jens GER C.A s.t.
108 COMMESSO Salvatore ITA SAE s.t.
109 PORTAL Nicolas FRA A2R s.t.
110 ORIOL Christophe FRA A2R s.t.
111 PAOLINI Luca ITA QSD s.t.
112 VASSEUR Cédric FRA COF s.t.
113 ZABEL Erik GER TEL 24' 56"
114 LODA Nicola ITA FAS s.t.
115 KNAVEN Servais NED QSD s.t.
116 BRAMATI Davide ITA QSD s.t.
117 GAUMONT Philippe FRA COF s.t.
118 LUDEWIG Jorg GER SAE s.t.
119 BECKE Daniel GER TBI s.t.
120 O'GRADY Stuart AUS C.A s.t.
121 FEDRIGO Pierrick FRA C.A s.t.
122 LIESE Thomas GER TBI s.t.
123 HARY Maryan FRA BLB s.t.
124 DUMOULIN Samuel FRA DEL s.t.
125 MENGIN Christophe FRA FDJ s.t.
126 MILESI Marco ITA CAL s.t.
127 HAUPTMAN Andrej SLO CAL s.t.
128 COOKE Baden AUS FDJ s.t.
129 BOSSONI Paolo ITA CAL s.t.
130 GUIDI Fabrizio ITA TBI s.t.
131 VOECKLER Thomas FRA BLB s.t.
132 EDALEINE Christophe FRA DEL s.t.
133 BRUSEGHIN Marzio ITA FAS s.t.
134 HINAULT Sébastien FRA C.A s.t.
135 GONZALEZ GALDEANO Alvaro ESP ONE s.t.
136 NAZON Jean-Patrick FRA DEL s.t.
137 MUNOZ David ESP KEL s.t.
138 USANO Julian ESP KEL s.t.
139 DE GROOT Bram NED RAB s.t.
140 GESLIN Anthony FRA BLB s.t.
141 CIONI Dario  ITA FAS s.t.
142 MC EWEN Robbie AUS LOT s.t.
143 FURLAN Angelo ITA ALS s.t.
144 PESCHEL Uwe GER GST s.t.
145 AUGE Stéphane FRA C.A s.t.
146 GATES Nick AUS LOT s.t.
147 ZBERG Marcus SUI GST s.t.
148 PENA Victor Hugo COL USP s.t.
149 HUNTER Robert RSA RAB s.t.
150 WAUTERS Marc BEL RAB s.t.
151 MONTGOMERY Sven SUI FAS s.t.
152 VAINSTEINS Romans LAT CAL s.t.
153 EKIMOV Vjatceslav RUS USP s.t.
154 GUTIERREZ José Enrique ESP KEL s.t.
155 TAULER Antonio ESP KEL s.t.
156 GUTIERREZ Ignacio ESP KEL s.t.
157 PADRNOS Pavel CZE USP s.t.
158 GARMENDIA Aitor ESP TBI s.t.
159 MOERENHOUT Koos NED LOT s.t.
160 KLÖDEN Andréas GER TEL s.t.
161 ANDRLE René CZE ONE s.t.
162 LANDALUZE Inigo ESP EUS s.t.
163 PIIL Jakob DEN CSC s.t.
164 ARTETXE Mikel ESP EUS s.t.
165 AERTS Mario BEL TEL s.t.
166 NAZON Damien FRA BLB s.t.
167 FORNACIARI Paolo ITA SAE s.t.
168 HUSHOVD Thor NOR C.A s.t.
169 WILSON Matthew AUS FDJ s.t.
170 RODRIGUEZ Fred USA CAL s.t.
171 ZANINI Stefano ITA SAE s.t.
172 ANDRIOTTO Dario ITA CAL s.t.
173 LANDIS Floyd USA USP s.t.
174 GARCIA ACOSTA Vicente ESP BAN s.t.
175 BAGUET Serge BEL LOT s.t.
176 SCHMIDT Torsten GER GST s.t.
177 ETXEBARRIA Unai VEN EUS s.t.
178 DI LUCA Danilo ITA SAE s.t.
179 FERRARA Raffaele ITA ALS s.t.
180 BERTOLINI Alessandro ITA ALS s.t.
181 JEGOU Lilian FRA C.A s.t.
182 VAN BON Leon NED LOT s.t.
183 FINOT Frédéric FRA DEL s.t.
184 HASELBACHER Rene AUT GST s.t.
185 CASPER Jimmy FRA FDJ 32' 23"
186 MC GEE Bradley AUS FDJ s.t.
187 DE CLERCQ Hans BEL LOT 52' 16"
  KIRSIPUU Jaan EST A2R Abandon
  MANZANO Jesus ESP KEL Abandon
  VELO Marco ITA FAS Abandon
  PETACCHI Alessandro ITA FAS Abandon
  PEREZ Luis ESP COF Abandon
  RICH Michael GER GST Abandon
  POLLACK Olaf GER GST Abandon

General Classification after Stage 7

1 VIRENQUE Richard FRA QSD 29h 10' 39"
2 ARMSTRONG Lance USA USP 02' 37"
3 ALDAG Rolf GER TEL 02' 48"
4 RUBIERA José Luis ESP USP 02' 59"
5 HERAS Roberto ESP USP 03' 03"
6 BELOKI Joseba ESP ONE 03' 09"
7 JAKSCHE Jorg GER ONE 03' 14"
8 BELTRAN Manuel ESP USP 03' 15"
9 ULLRICH Jan GER TBI 03' 15"
10 AZEVEDO José POR ONE 03' 37"
11 SERRANO Marcos ESP ONE 03' 40"
12 GARCIA CASAS Félix ESP TBI 03' 51"
13 MENCHOV Denis RUS BAN 03' 55"
14 PETROV Evgeni RUS BAN 03' 57"
15 ROGERS Michael AUS QSD 04' 03"
16 MANCEBO Francisco ESP BAN 04' 06"
17 CANADA David ESP QSD 04' 13"
18 ASTARLOZA Mikel ESP A2R 04' 20"
19 VAN DE WOUWER Kurt BEL QSD 04' 21"
20 HAMILTON Tyler USA CSC 04' 21"
21 VINOKOUROV Alexandre KAZ TEL 04' 25"
22 CHAURREAU Inigo ESP A2R 04' 31"
23 MILLAR David GBR COF 04' 36"
24 MOREAU Christophe FRA C.A 04' 39"
25 GARZELLI Stefano ITA CAL 04' 39"
26 SASTRE Carlos ESP CSC 04' 44"
27 PLAZA David ESP TBI 04' 49"
28 GUSTOV Volodymir UKR FAS 04' 51"
29 TOTSCHNIG Georg AUT GST 04' 53"
30 BASSO Ivan ITA FAS 04' 54"
31 DUFAUX Laurent SUI ALS 04' 57"
32 LÜTTENBERGER Peter AUT CSC 04' 58"
33 CHAVANEL Sylvain FRA BLB 05' 03"
34 TRENTIN Guido ITA COF 05' 09"
35 CAUCCHIOLI Pietro ITA ALS 05' 11"
36 MONCOUTIE David FRA COF 05' 13"
37 ROUS Didier FRA BLB 05' 19"
38 NIERMANN Grischa GER RAB 05' 31"
39 ZUBELDIA Haimar ESP EUS 05' 54"
40 MAYO Iban ESP EUS 06' 11"
41 REBELLIN Davide ITA GST 06' 25"
42 SANCHEZ Samuel ESP EUS 06' 31"
43 ETXEBARRIA David ESP EUS 06' 31"
44 LAISEKA Roberto ESP EUS 06' 32"
45 MERCADO Juan Miguel ESP BAN 06' 37"
46 PASCUAL LLORENTE Javier ESP KEL 06' 42"
47 POILVET Benoit FRA C.A 06' 56"
48 PARRA Ivan COL KEL 06' 57"
49 PINEAU Jérôme FRA BLB 07' 14"
50 BOOGERD Michael NED RAB 07' 14"
51 NOZAL Isidro ESP ONE 07' 52"
52 CASAR Sandy FRA FDJ 07' 59"
53 STEINHAUSER Tobias GER TBI 07' 59"
54 VOGONDY Nicolas FRA FDJ 08' 03"
55 CASERO Angel ESP TBI 08' 06"
56 HALGAND Patrice FRA DEL 08' 16"
57 KARPETS Vladimir RUS BAN 08' 19"
58 ZANDIO Xabier ESP BAN 09' 05"
59 NARDELLO Daniele ITA TEL 09' 07"
60 SORENSEN Nicki DEN CSC 09' 09"
61 BOTCHAROV Alexandre RUS A2R 09' 16"
62 GONZALEZ Aitor ESP FAS 09' 19"
63 LELLI Massimiliano ITA COF 09' 36"
64 NOE Andrea ITA ALS 09' 52"
65 BENETEAU Walter FRA BLB 10' 02"
66 LASTRAS Pablo ESP BAN 10' 15"
67 BETTINI Paolo ITA QSD 10' 18"
68 BOTERO Santiago COL TEL 10' 24"
69 BROCHARD Laurent FRA A2R 10' 36"
70 KESSLER Matthias GER TEL 10' 54"
71 LEFEVRE Laurent FRA DEL 11' 02"
72 GOUBERT Stephane FRA DEL 11' 25"
73 LATASA David ESP KEL 11' 29"
74 SIMONI Gilberto ITA SAE 12' 00"
75 GLOMSER Gerrit AUT SAE 12' 37"
76 HINCAPIE George USA USP 13' 07"
77 LOPEZ MUNAIN Alberto ESP EUS 13' 34"
78 PRADERA Mikel ESP ONE 14' 00"
79 BODROGI Laszlo HUN QSD 14' 14"
80 CHRISTENSEN Bekim DEN CSC 15' 11"
81 BLAUDZUN Michaël DEN CSC 15' 20"
82 BÖLTS Udo GER GST 15' 24"
83 PELLIZOTTI Franco ITA ALS 15' 39"
84 FREIRE Oscar ESP RAB 15' 47"
85 CLAIN Médéric FRA COF 15' 55"
86 MAZZOLENI Eddy ITA CAL 16' 03"
87 BERTAGNOLLI Leonardo ITA SAE 16' 25"
88 SACCHI Fabio ITA SAE 16' 34"
89 FRITSCH Nicolas FRA FDJ 16' 57"
90 DA CRUZ Carlos FRA FDJ 16' 59"
91 KRIVTSOV Yuriy UKR DEL 17' 03"
92 BOURQUENOUD Pierre SUI DEL 17' 18"
93 VERBRUGGHE Rik BEL LOT 18' 08"
94 RENIER Franck FRA BLB 18' 14"
95 BRANDT Christophe BEL LOT 18' 29"
96 ZAMPIERI Steve SUI CAL 20' 12"
97 GUERINI Giuseppe ITA TEL 22' 07"
98 PERON Andrea ITA CSC 22' 29"
99 MIHOLJEVIC Vladimir CRO ALS 22' 42"
100 FLECHA Juan Antonio ESP BAN 23' 04"
101 VOIGT Jens GER C.A 23' 14"
102 FLICKINGER Andy FRA A2R 23' 17"
103 PENA Victor Hugo COL USP 23' 26"
104 EKIMOV Vjatceslav RUS USP 23' 31"
105 PAOLINI Luca ITA QSD 23' 32"
106 JALABERT Nicolas FRA CSC 23' 33"
107 MERCKX Axel BEL LOT 23' 35"
108 ORIOL Christophe FRA A2R 23' 37"
109 PORTAL Nicolas FRA A2R 23' 48"
110 PADRNOS Pavel CZE USP 23' 53"
111 LANDIS Floyd USA USP 23' 54"
112 VASSEUR Cédric FRA COF 24' 26"
113 O'GRADY Stuart AUS C.A 24' 54"
114 VAINSTEINS Romans LAT CAL 25' 04"
115 HUSHOVD Thor NOR C.A 25' 05"
116 KNAVEN Servais NED QSD 25' 06"
117 COMMESSO Salvatore ITA SAE 25' 10"
118 KLÖDEN Andréas GER TEL 25' 14"
119 RODRIGUEZ Fred USA CAL 25' 17"
120 FEDRIGO Pierrick FRA C.A 25' 23"
121 BOSSONI Paolo ITA CAL 25' 29"
122 AERTS Mario BEL TEL 25' 37"
123 ANDRLE René CZE ONE 25' 41"
124 ZBERG Marcus SUI GST 25' 41"
125 BRUSEGHIN Marzio ITA FAS 25' 43"
126 GAUMONT Philippe FRA COF 25' 44"
127 HINAULT Sébastien FRA C.A 26' 08"
128 WAUTERS Marc BEL RAB 26' 17"
129 HUNTER Robert RSA RAB 26' 28"
130 COOKE Baden AUS FDJ 26' 29"
131 DE GROOT Bram NED RAB 26' 30"
132 BRAMATI Davide ITA QSD 26' 39"
133 VOECKLER Thomas FRA BLB 26' 42"
134 GARMENDIA Aitor ESP TBI 26' 47"
135 TURPIN Ludovic FRA A2R 26' 49"
136 ETXEBARRIA Unai VEN EUS 27' 03"
137 NAZON Damien FRA BLB 27' 24"
138 TAULER Antonio ESP KEL 27' 26"
139 EDALEINE Christophe FRA DEL 27' 27"
140 NAZON Jean-Patrick FRA DEL 27' 45"
141 MUNOZ David ESP KEL 27' 49"
142 MENGIN Christophe FRA FDJ 27' 51"
143 FURLAN Angelo ITA ALS 27' 56"
144 ZANINI Stefano ITA SAE 28' 17"
145 GUTIERREZ José Enrique ESP KEL 28' 37"
146 GESLIN Anthony FRA BLB 28' 54"
147 LUDEWIG Jorg GER SAE 28' 58"
148 ARTETXE Mikel ESP EUS 29' 04"
149 CUESTA Inigo ESP COF 29' 12"
150 USANO Julian ESP KEL 29' 15"
151 MC EWEN Robbie AUS LOT 29' 34"
152 VAN BON Leon NED LOT 29' 36"
153 GONZALEZ GALDEANO Alvaro ESP ONE 30' 10"
154 HARY Maryan FRA BLB 30' 11"
155 BAGUET Serge BEL LOT 30' 31"
156 WIELINGA Remmert NED RAB 30' 45"
157 GARCIA ACOSTA Vicente ESP BAN 30' 54"
158 LANDALUZE Inigo ESP EUS 30' 59"
159 PESCHEL Uwe GER GST 31' 13"
160 AUGE Stéphane FRA C.A 31' 14"
161 MONTGOMERY Sven SUI FAS 31' 27"
162 LIESE Thomas GER TBI 31' 33"
163 DUMOULIN Samuel FRA DEL 32' 05"
164 ZABEL Erik GER TEL 32' 24"
165 LODA Nicola ITA FAS 32' 35"
166 BECKE Daniel GER TBI 34' 02"
167 MC GEE Bradley AUS FDJ 34' 12"
168 GUTIERREZ Ignacio ESP KEL 34' 57"
169 HASELBACHER Rene AUT GST 36' 02"
170 PIIL Jakob DEN CSC 37' 44"
171 HAUPTMAN Andrej SLO CAL 38' 46"
172 ANDRIOTTO Dario ITA CAL 39' 59"
173 FINOT Frédéric FRA DEL 41' 06"
174 SCHMIDT Torsten GER GST 41' 12"
175 GATES Nick AUS LOT 41' 16"
176 MILESI Marco ITA CAL 41' 17"
177 CIONI Dario  ITA FAS 41' 40"
178 FORNACIARI Paolo ITA SAE 42' 21"
179 GUIDI Fabrizio ITA TBI 42' 45"
180 DI LUCA Danilo ITA SAE 45' 01"
181 BERTOLINI Alessandro ITA ALS 45' 58"
182 WILSON Matthew AUS FDJ 46' 38"
183 JEGOU Lilian FRA C.A 48' 07"
184 MOERENHOUT Koos NED LOT 51' 33"
185 FERRARA Raffaele ITA ALS 51' 42"
186 DE CLERCQ Hans BEL LOT 1h 01' 33"
187 CASPER Jimmy FRA FDJ 1h 10' 34"

Points Classification after Stage 7

1 COOKE Baden AUS FDJ 118 pts
2 MC EWEN Robbie AUS LOT 110 pts
3 HUSHOVD Thor NOR C.A 100 pts
4 ZABEL Erik GER TEL 98 pts
5 O'GRADY Stuart AUS C.A 91 pts
6 NAZON Jean-Patrick FRA DEL 88 pts
7 PAOLINI Luca ITA QSD 87 pts
8 FREIRE Oscar ESP RAB 83 pts
9 VAINSTEINS Romans LAT CAL 81 pts
10 BETTINI Paolo ITA QSD 55 pts
11 GLOMSER Gerrit AUT SAE 49 pts
12 RODRIGUEZ Fred USA CAL 47 pts
13 NAZON Damien FRA BLB 47 pts
14 MC GEE Bradley AUS FDJ 46 pts
15 GUIDI Fabrizio ITA TBI 45 pts
16 COMMESSO Salvatore ITA SAE 43 pts
17 HINAULT Sébastien FRA C.A 30 pts
18 ULLRICH Jan GER TBI 28 pts
19 BOTCHAROV Alexandre RUS A2R 28 pts
20 KRIVTSOV Yuriy UKR DEL 25 pts
21 FURLAN Angelo ITA ALS 23 pts
22 VIRENQUE Richard FRA QSD 22 pts
23 GESLIN Anthony FRA BLB 22 pts
24 ALDAG Rolf GER TEL 21 pts
25 BROCHARD Laurent FRA A2R 21 pts
26 MILLAR David GBR COF 20 pts
27 VOIGT Jens GER C.A 20 pts
28 ROGERS Michael AUS QSD 19 pts
29 BODROGI Laszlo HUN QSD 18 pts
30 FINOT Frédéric FRA DEL 18 pts
31 HUNTER Robert RSA RAB 18 pts
32 ARTETXE Mikel ESP EUS 16 pts
33 BELOKI Joseba ESP ONE 15 pts
34 CHAVANEL Sylvain FRA BLB 15 pts
35 HASELBACHER Rene AUT GST 15 pts
36 VINOKOUROV Alexandre KAZ TEL 14 pts
37 MOREAU Christophe FRA C.A 14 pts
38 LASTRAS Pablo ESP BAN 14 pts
39 TOTSCHNIG Georg AUT GST 13 pts
40 PRADERA Mikel ESP ONE 13 pts
41 FLICKINGER Andy FRA A2R 12 pts
42 GARZELLI Stefano ITA CAL 12 pts
43 CLAIN Médéric FRA COF 12 pts
44 BOSSONI Paolo ITA CAL 12 pts
45 JEGOU Lilian FRA C.A 12 pts
46 ZUBELDIA Haimar ESP EUS 11 pts
47 PINEAU Jérôme FRA BLB 11 pts
48 RENIER Franck FRA BLB 10 pts
49 DUFAUX Laurent SUI ALS 9 pts
50 GONZALEZ Aitor ESP FAS 9 pts
51 DA CRUZ Carlos FRA FDJ 9 pts
52 ETXEBARRIA Unai VEN EUS 9 pts
53 MENGIN Christophe FRA FDJ 8 pts
54 LANDALUZE Inigo ESP EUS 7 pts
55 BENETEAU Walter FRA BLB 6 pts
56 PENA Victor Hugo COL USP 6 pts
57 JALABERT Nicolas FRA CSC 6 pts
58 ARMSTRONG Lance USA USP 5 pts
59 ASTARLOZA Mikel ESP A2R 5 pts
60 HAMILTON Tyler USA CSC 5 pts
61 TRENTIN Guido ITA COF 4 pts
62 NIERMANN Grischa GER RAB 3 pts
63 STEINHAUSER Tobias GER TBI 3 pts
64 GUTIERREZ José Enrique ESP KEL 3 pts
65 MENCHOV Denis RUS BAN 2 pts
66 POILVET Benoit FRA C.A 2 pts
67 BOTERO Santiago COL TEL 2 pts
68 GAUMONT Philippe FRA COF 2 pts
69 TURPIN Ludovic FRA A2R 2 pts
70 BAGUET Serge BEL LOT 2 pts
71 PERON Andrea ITA CSC 1 pts
72 EKIMOV Vjatceslav RUS USP 1 pts
73 SANCHEZ Samuel ESP EUS -3 pts
74 DI LUCA Danilo ITA SAE -5 pts

KOM after Stage 7

1 VIRENQUE Richard FRA QSD 78 pts
2 ALDAG Rolf GER TEL 61 pts
3 POILVET Benoit FRA C.A 51 pts
4 BETTINI Paolo ITA QSD 47 pts
5 MERCADO Juan Miguel ESP BAN 23 pts
6 BENETEAU Walter FRA BLB 21 pts
7 MENGIN Christophe FRA FDJ 20 pts
8 CLAIN Médéric FRA COF 19 pts
9 FINOT Frédéric FRA DEL 18 pts
10 GESLIN Anthony FRA BLB 15 pts
11 BELTRAN Manuel ESP USP 14 pts
12 ARMSTRONG Lance USA USP 13 pts
13 RUBIERA José Luis ESP USP 12 pts
14 HALGAND Patrice FRA DEL 10 pts
15 O'GRADY Stuart AUS C.A 10 pts
16 HERAS Roberto ESP USP 8 pts
17 JEGOU Lilian FRA C.A 8 pts
18 MOREAU Christophe FRA C.A 7 pts
19 FLICKINGER Andy FRA A2R 5 pts
20 BELOKI Joseba ESP ONE 4 pts
21 BODROGI Laszlo HUN QSD 4 pts
22 PADRNOS Pavel CZE USP 4 pts
23 CASAR Sandy FRA FDJ 3 pts
24 PRADERA Mikel ESP ONE 3 pts
25 VOIGT Jens GER C.A 3 pts
26 EKIMOV Vjatceslav RUS USP 3 pts
27 ETXEBARRIA Unai VEN EUS 3 pts
28 LANDIS Floyd USA USP 2 pts
29 GUTIERREZ Ignacio ESP KEL 2 pts
30 MAYO Iban ESP EUS 1 pts
31 JALABERT Nicolas FRA CSC 1 pts
32 BRUSEGHIN Marzio ITA FAS 1 pts

Young Rider Classification after Stage 7

1 MENCHOV Denis RUS BAN 29h 14' 34"
2 PETROV Evgeni RUS BAN 00' 02"
3 ROGERS Michael AUS QSD 00' 08"
4 ASTARLOZA Mikel ESP A2R 00' 25"
5 CHAVANEL Sylvain FRA BLB 01' 08"
6 SANCHEZ Samuel ESP EUS 02' 36"
7 MERCADO Juan Miguel ESP BAN 02' 42"
8 PINEAU Jérôme FRA BLB 03' 19"
9 CASAR Sandy FRA FDJ 04' 04"
10 KARPETS Vladimir RUS BAN 04' 24"
11 KESSLER Matthias GER TEL 06' 59"
12 PELLIZOTTI Franco ITA ALS 11' 44"
13 BERTAGNOLLI Leonardo ITA SAE 12' 30"
14 FRITSCH Nicolas FRA FDJ 13' 02"
15 KRIVTSOV Yuriy UKR DEL 13' 08"
16 FLICKINGER Andy FRA A2R 19' 22"
17 PORTAL Nicolas FRA A2R 19' 53"
18 HUSHOVD Thor NOR C.A 21' 10"
19 FEDRIGO Pierrick FRA C.A 21' 28"
20 COOKE Baden AUS FDJ 22' 34"
21 VOECKLER Thomas FRA BLB 22' 47"
22 EDALEINE Christophe FRA DEL 23' 32"
23 MUNOZ David ESP KEL 23' 54"
24 GESLIN Anthony FRA BLB 24' 59"
25 HARY Maryan FRA BLB 26' 16"
26 WIELINGA Remmert NED RAB 26' 50"
27 DUMOULIN Samuel FRA DEL 28' 10"
28 BECKE Daniel GER TBI 30' 07"
29 CASPER Jimmy FRA FDJ 1h 06' 39"

Teams Classification after Stage 7

1 QUICK STEP - DAVITAMON  QSD 85h 00' 33"
2 US POSTAL - BERRY FLOOR  USP 02' 24"
3 ONCE - EROSKI  ONE 03' 13"
4 TEAM BIANCHI  TBI 03' 15"
5 IBANESTO.COM  BAN 03' 59"
6 TEAM CSC  CSC 04' 31"
7 COFIDIS CREDIT PAR TELEPHONE  COF 04' 52"
8 EUSKALTEL - EUSKADI  EUS 06' 04"
9 BRIOCHES LA BOULANGERE  BLB 07' 14"
10 TEAM TELEKOM  TEL 07' 23"
11 AG2R PREVOYANCE  A2R 08' 53"
12 FASSA BORTOLO  FAS 09' 41"
13 ALESSIO  ALS 10' 06"
14 KELME - COSTA BLANCA  KEL 11' 10"
15 GEROLSTEINER  GST 16' 39"
16 JEAN DELATOUR  DEL 17' 30"
17 RABOBANK  RAB 17' 31"
18 CALDIROLA - SO.DI  CAL 19' 38"
19 FDJEUX.COM  FDJ 19' 54"
20 CREDIT AGRICOLE  C.A 25' 29"
21 SAECO - MACCHINE PER CAFFE  SAE 29' 13"
22 LOTTO - DOMO  LOT 38' 41"

 
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