Hello and welcome to Stage 13 of the Tour de France!
Today is the beginning of Darwin days here in the Tour: the riders are heading into the Pyrenees for four straight days of steaming hot hell on the climbs, and there will be no place for the weak to hide. Today's 197.5km stage from Toulouse to AX-3 Domaines is largely flat for the first 150km, but then two Cat 1 mountains rise up to kick the riders' butts: The Port de Pallheres, a 15.2km climb with an average gradient of 8%, and the uphill finish at AX-3 Domaines, which goes for 9.1km at 7.3%.
Today could very well provide another huge shakedown in GC, and US Postal will have one hell of a time trying to control the race.
5:00 am PDT. As we start our coverage, a 10-man break is up the road ahead of the peloton. The break includes Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano (ONCE-Eroski), Oscar Freire (RAB), Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole), Marcus Zberg (Gerolsteiner), Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto-Domo), Carlos Da Cruz (FDJeux.com), Alessandro Bertolini (Alessio), Laurent Brochard and Ludovic Turpin (AG2r), and Jose Luis "The Punisher" Rubiera (US Postal). These riders attacked at the 25km point, and US Postal has done well to put Rubiera in the break as a policeman…he's just sitting on, but his presence means that his Postal teammates don't have to work that much in the peloton.
Earlier on, Santiago Botero and Gilberto Simoni both attacked in separate break attempts but US Postal were quick to close them down.
Their lead was as high as 8' 40", but is now down to just over 7'. There are about 100km left to go, and the riders have gone through both intermediate sprints. They will hit the feed zone soon.
The weather is clear and hot, like it has been for days, and they will be drinking lots of water to stay hydrated today.
Thor "Ice Man" Hushovd took both intermediate sprints to slightly advance his position in the Points Competition. Hushovd is fighting with his teammate O'Grady in the Green Jersey competition. The highest placed rider in the break is Rubiera from Postal.
David Millar has been yo-yoing on and off the back of the peloton - he's been sick since the rest day, and his glands closed up in yesterday's TT making it very difficult for him to breathe. It's a wonder he came 7th yesterday, but now he's starting to suffer.
Of course the two Extebarrias from Euskaltel Euskadi were eliminated yesterday on time. They both finished the stage within the time cut, but they were penalized for drafting, and the time penalty eliminated Unai and David from the race. That will be a painful loss for the Orangemen, just as they head into their home turf.
Saeco is on the front of the peloton, setting the tempo, US Postal and Lance right behind them.
The leaders are passing through the feed zone, grabbing at their musettes eagerly.
I must say, it's good that Botero and Simoni have been spunky enough to launch attacks... maybe these two talented climbers are finally coming into form after a horrible first half of the Tour. Simoni is feeling good enough to have his team lead the chase in the peloton. Or maybe his teammate DiLuca is feeling a bit frisky today. 'Gibo' went very early on with Ferrara (Alessio) and Pradera (ONCE), but US Postal swept them up - the same with Botero.
Ullrich (Bianchi) takes some points in the King of the Bushes competition, stopping for a nature break to lighten his load before the climbs. He gets paced back to the peloton easily by his teammates.
5:12 am PDT. 90km left. The riders are headed up a false flat, and some riders are struggling at the back of the group.
The peloton comes to almost a dead stop as the riders pick their way through the feed zone to grab their bags of grub from their team helpers.
Rafaele Ferrara of Alessio, who tried to instigate an attack very early on, is dropping off the back.
Rumor has it that Jan Ullrich is having a bit of an intestinal issue today...Mikel Astarloza (AG2r) is off the back of the for some reason, riding in the cars.
The peloton is now 6'15" down on the leaders, with about 86km to go.
Astarloza punctured, it appears.
Saeco is still setting the pace in front of the Posties. Hmmmm.....Salvatore Commesso is riding with a sleeveless jersey, showing his big arms. He mugs for the camera, loosening his neck a bit before he takes a turn on the front.
DiLuca has abandoned! His Saeco teammates set the pace on the front of the peloton, but the Italian star has climbed off at the feed zone. This is another blow to Saeco - this hasn't exactly been a perfect Tour for them so far.
Chechu Rubiera is sitting on in the breakaway - he's a good tactical choice for Postal in the break. He's strong enough to stay away in the climbs, and puts a lot of pressure on everyone else to chase, and gives Postal a break in the pacemaking.
You know, Jose Luis Rubiera is fully capable of winning this stage. He is the best climber in the breakaway, and he is getting to do no work, just sitting on. He could easily get a win here if the break stays away. Especially as he is conserving energy, sitting on the back of that group of ten. If they're caught, he'll still be strong for the climbs.
Indeed, Ruberia is also the highest-placed of the breakaways, 28th, 17'35" behind his leader. He could go off the front on the climb, and when Armstrong attacks, he would have Chechu up the road as an ally. It all depends what Bruyneel and Lance Armstrong want to do - is 'Chechu' really needed for this stage? No matter how you slice it, Chechu is in great position for the team. Apparently, he's one of the nicest guys in the peloton too.
The climbers from every squad will be looking to do well starting today. Carlos Sastre, CSC teammate of Tyler Hamilton, says he is feeling better and better. Last year, he was a monster in the last week of the Tour. iBanesto and Euskaltel should be active on the final climbs, especially the latter.
And Saeco, now leading the pack, have their leader, Gilberto Simoni, who may be feeling better and looking for a stage win as a consolation prize after his dismal tour thus far.
The break now has 6'14", so the gap is coming down, though very slowly.
Hamilton told a funny story on his web site: when CSC had the lead in the Teams competition a few days ago, Arnold "The Terminator" Schwarzenegger came up on the podium to help with the presentation of the stuffed lions. The pint-sized Sastre apparently challenged the bodybuilding legend to an arm-wrestling match. Arnold, seeing Sastre's pumped upper body, refused.
5:44 am PDT. 67km left. The riders are rapidly approaching the climbs. They are on the flat run-in to the Port de Pallheres.
The breakaways' lead is now 6' 13". Saeco continues to drive the pace.
In the escape group, Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano is an unknown factor. The brother of the injured Igor, he is a good time trialist but his climbing ability is a mystery. However, I expect he is a sufficiently good grimpeur, like his ONCE teammates.
The peloton is riding through some shade right now...that must be a nice break from the unrelenting sun and heat they've been experiencing.
Brochard and Turpin take their turns on the front. Brochard is a very handy climber. Brochard has had a poor ride so far, but feels he is stronger now and is motivated to get a stage win.
Turpin had a good pre-Tour, winning his first ever stage as a pro, with an attack in the Route du Sud (which Michael Rogers won overall).
The tempo is fast. Simoni is sitting on his teammates, perhaps preparing to launch an attack on the lower slopes of the climb... No one will chase him.
5:57 am PDT. 58km left. The peloton is strung out single file. The Posties are still very attentive at the front. The pace is pretty high, but not blistering. They are relying on the climb to bring that break back....
OH! Robbie McEwen crashes! The Lotto-Domo man hit the deck...he was near the back of the pack, and rode off into the grass and pitched over on his right side! He landed in the grass, not on the pavement - he's hurt his elbow, but he's back in the race.
Well, looking at it again, he might have hit some pavement...he was right on the border of the road and the grass...
Sandy Casar has been dropped by the pack...The escapees still have 5:12.
6:03 am PDT. 54km left. They are almost to the bottom of the Port de Pallheres.
It'll be an abrupt welcome to Flavour Country for the peloton, as its pace has been a bit more leisurely than usual. The climb starts rather shallow, then really starts to kick up. 15.2km at 8% - it's virtually Alpe d'Huez, give or take a longer distance and some hairpins...The attacks from the peloton may start to come pretty soon.
This climb of the Port de Pallheres is a much harder climb than the final one of the day...except that you have to do that final climb with the Port de Pallheres already in the legs.
I reckon we will see some big names, maybe favourites, attacking on the Pallheres - they will definitely be encouraged by Armstrong's less-than-convincing TT performance.
Hushovd takes a pull through on the break. The breakaways are still all together on the false flat leading up to the climb.
Riders are starting to pop off the back of the peloton. One of those off the back is attackee on the Alpe d'Huez stage, Pierrick Fedrigo.
The riders have a cruel incline before the official start of the climb. It looks like the breakaways are already climbing, but they haven't hit the climb yet. They have a lead of well over 4'. The fireworks should begin soon....
6:16 am PDT. 48km left. A bunch of orange Euskaltel jerseys come near to the front of the pack...they are clearly sharpening their legs heading onto their home turf. Cofidis is lining up on the left...they start a 2nd train to match that of Saeco on the front of the peloton.
Now we hear that apparently there's nothing wrong with Ullrich - that's according to Rudy Pevenage..
6:22 am PDT. 44km left. It looks like Brochard, Turpin, Rubiera, and Verbrugghe should be the ones to watch once this break splits up...they can all do a good climb. Euskaltel riders are starting to come to the front of the pack, alongside the Postal boys. Saeco is running out of horses on the front...
Marcus Zberg has attacked the breakaway, and is joined by a couple of his breakaway companions. Rubiera is covering the move. Turpin is dropped.
Rubiera has bridged the gap, and Bertolini is cracking and going backwards on the climb. Bertolini is very near to the lanterne rouge placing. Da Cruz is suffering too, having been dropped by that attack. Carlos Da Cruz gives the camera a little wave, he is done with his work.
Freire is not far behind, but looks like he's thinking, "I'm done." He's hangin' tough thus far, but not for long. In the peloton, Chavanel (Brioches la Boulangere) and Botero (Telekom) are dropped.
Chavanel had a very bad time trial yesterday, it would appear he has some problems.
Bianchi is now coming to the front on the climb. Lance is on Ullrich's wheel now. Lance is starting to look serious.
Jan is looking frisky and strong. Then again, he always looks serious with that poker-faced, give-nothing-away expression of his. The peloton is cracking to bits! This is a nasty, tough, steep climb! Vinokourov is on Lance's wheel.
The peloton is really fragmenting now, as the non-climbers toil in this tough heat. The Hunt.... is ON!
Brochard, Gonzalez de Galdeano, and Rubiera are still off the front. Rubiera is sitting on, looking in good position.
Clearly not many riders are liking their visit to Steep City - it's not a very friendly place, evidently. Where in the hell are Beltran and Heras? Are they hiding in the bushes?
6:27 am PDT. 40km left. A lot of Posties have been shelled from the front of the peloton. Sastre and Mercado have attacked, it appears. Definitely an iBanesto.
Now there are only about 25 men left in the front of the peloton.
It is! Carlos Sastre (CSC) and Juan Miguel Mercado (iBanesto) have gone: two of the best climbers who aren't real GC challengers! Now Rubiera sets the pace in the breakaway! Chechu looks good on the climb... Brochard reaches deep into the power of his mullet to hold Rubiera's wheel.
Beltran and Armstrong ride near the front of the peloton. Rubiera drops Brochard! With Brochard, put on glasses and an unhelpful expression and - voila - we have Laurent Fignon! Rubiera and Gonzalez have shed the Frenchman.
This is great climbing from the two Spaniards, especially Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano! There clearly is life beyond Beloki in this ONCE squad. Off the front of the peloton, Sastre and Mercado are still fighting on. Beltran sets the pace at the front...
Beltran is the last Postie with Lance...Though Lance has Rubiera up the road. Tyler Hamilton is in the Armstrong group, as is Basso and Mayo and Zubeldia. Zberg has joined the heads of state in their group. Heras is in that group!!
Boogerd is barely holding on to the back of the Armstrong group...he looks like he's cracking.
Armstrong doesn't look great - there's something missing, it looks as if he's suffering a bit. I may be wrong, but he doesn't look dandy. Rubiera attacks and drops Gonzalez! Rubiera goes solo...
Heras has rejoined his leader! Beltran and Heras are now both with Armstrong in the chase group.
6:36 am PDT. 38km left. Rubiera has 2:09 on the Armstrong group...Sastre has come back to Mercado meanwhile, I think.
Everyone in that Armstrong group looks like they are struggling. Basso looks like he is in that group. There are only 20 men left in the Armstrong group.
Beltran leads out his team leader Armstrong, followed by his former team leader Ullrich. This is one of the steepest ascents the riders will be facing - they're all grimacing, gritting their teeth and trying to hang on.
Tyler Hamilton is right in there... looking comfy in the middle of the small elite pack. What a long, damned hard climb! Chechu has 5km to the summit...
Rubiera is climbing brilliantly, staving off the leading group by 2'16". Hope Armstrong doesn't need Rubiera in that lead group...
Euskaltel mountain goat Laiseka is struggling to stay with the leaders...
Sastre and Mercado have reeled in Gonzalez and Verbrugghe - now just a certain Postie from the Spanish region of Asturias to catch.
The battle rages on! Ullrich loses a helper as David Plaza Romero goes off the back of the Armstrong group.
Armstrong looks to be riding defensively up this climb. Nobody has attacked him yet. Beltran and Armstrong are still in the front... Ullrich, Vinokourov, Hamilton, and Heras are behind him.
The pace has slowed in the pack... Rubiera continues to lead in his solo break. Young Riders leader Denis Menchov and Moreau are also in the leading group.
Rubiera is getting far enough up the climb to have some excited, wild fans screaming alongside him as they run. Ullrich looks to be the only Bianchi rider left in the lead group of about 20. Postal have three men in the lead group and one up the road...truly an impressive team performance.
Sastre and Mercado pass Brochard.
Only Gonzalez de Galdeano and Rubiera are ahead of them still. Rubeira is just settling in to a rhythm - he has nothing to lose in this attack and looks as relaxed as a person leading a Pyrenean stage can be!
6:47 am PDT. 33km left. Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano is cracked...he is fading. It seems like the riders have been on this climb all freakin' day! It is a MONSTER. Postal with Beltran, Heras and Armstrong still lead the pack. Laiseka is dropping off the back, a bit of a struggle for him.
Vino, Mayo, Zubeldia, Ullrich, Hamilton are all in this Armstrong group too. Like on Alpe d'Huez, Laiseka is being dropped and coming back constantly.
Armstrong is making an ugly face, but he and his teammates are still leading the pack...The climb is really kicking up now. Basso is in this lead group too. All the big GC men are here.
Ullrich is out of the saddle, riding up next to Armstrong. He looks to be in a big gear. Rubiera presses on!
Lance does not look good - he really looks uncomfortable! Maybe it's the heat, maybe it's an act or maybe he is finding it tough on this steep ramp! Maybe he just needs some sun...no, wait, that's not it.
6:54 am PDT. 32km left. Sastre and Mercado are working together and riding hard up the climb. They might pick up Rubiera before too long. Laurent Brochard blows up... it's the hair.
I think Rubiera will hold their wheel once they catch him. Heras is at the back of the Armstrong group. Heras is on the back behind Mayo... suffering? or marking Mayo?
Heras is dropped! He struggles back onto the tail again! He is struggling!
Mercado and Sastre are 51" down on Rubeira, and they will likely catch him by the top as the duo are even better climbers than him!
Jan Ullrich looks a little florid. Mancebo and Menchov (iBanesto.com) are both hanging on to the back of this Armstrong group as well.
Virenque, in the Polka Dot Jersey, is hanging tough in Armstrong's leading group.
Rubiera rides on... he's having a bit of a conference with the team car.
Tyler Hamilton is out of the saddle...Dufaux (Alessio) attacks the Armstrong group. Lance won't care. Beltran is still setting the pace! What a monster!
Rubiera is just reaching the summit of the climb... Sastre and Mercado are closing in...Mayo attacks! Lance counters! Heras is dropped!
Now Sastre and Mercado catch Rubiera! Mayo's not going to find the escaping as easy as he did in the Alpes. Mayo attacks again!!! Armstrong is on him! He pulls back Mayo, with Ullrich, Vino, Zubeldia, Hamilton on his wheel. Virenque is shelled from the Armstrong group.
Hamilton is hanging in there! Mercado wants the Polka-Dot Jersey, so this stage will really help his cause with the vicious attack he is putting in with Sastre and Rubiera!
Jan goes to the front...Beltran was dropped, but he is catching back on! Beltran is back on the front, leading out his captain!
7:08 am PDT. 30km left. Mayo looks to be one of the strongest today, and he was dropping Lance on the Dauphine climbs. If Armstrong keeps choosing to follow the young Euskaltel leader, is there a chance - for the first time since 2000 - that Armstrong will crack?
Beltran is riding like a hero today in defense of his team leader Armstrong! Heras has caught back on to the Armstrong group!
Menchov is still there, I think! This boy can climb, and he's not half bad-looking either! Mercado sets the pace followed by Sastre and Rubiera!
Beltran is setting the tempo at the front! What a stud! The climb is flattening out for the breakaway....Now, at last, the trio of breakaway riders near the top.
Spaniards all at the front! There are French police everywhere, trying to control the huge crowds hemmed in by the barriers.
The break crests the climb and begins the descent. Mercado takes maximum points. Will Virenque come across high enough to limit the damage in the KOM competition? Laurent Dufaux is close behind...Dufaux comes across in 53" behind the trio of leaders.
Virenque does come to the front to try to get 5th over the climb. Moreau is going to chase him, but Virenque takes it. He limits the gains of Mercado. The fireworks have stopped briefly but you can bet on the AX-3 Domaines, they will be going full blast.
If the break is caught, I think Mayo has a good chance for the stage. I haven't seen him dropped in the Tour yet actually.
The leaders are all cat-assed on the descent... I cannot believe how damned long and hard that climb was. Why was that not Hors Categorie? That's just ridiculous!
7:10 am PDT. 27km left. There's now a long and possibly treacherous descent for the riders to recuperate before the final shorter, slightly less steep climb.
The leaders only have 50 seconds on Laurent Dufaux... Hoh! Dufaux is flying on the descent! He almost overcooked it in a corner, but pulls it out! The descents are terrifying - the roads look hot and narrow and sketchy.
Rubiera now sits on the back of the break of three. He won't work a hair more. They are all flying on the descent.
The roads are lined with trees...and some fans. There are 20km left. Lance stretches his back on the descent. Lord knows how he can let go of the handlebars on a descent like this. Ullrich gets a drink from the team car.
They are all preparing for the final showdown, the last climb of the day where the attack will come thick and fast!
7:22 am PDT. 16km left. The riders continue their rapid descent, which will be immediately followed by the final climb up the appropriately named AX-3 Domaines.
The AX-3 isn't as hard or steep as the previous climb, but it's still pretty tough and the riders will be exhausted. If Mayo attacks on the lower slopes, Ullrich nor Armstrong shouldn't be obligated to follow - he's 4'29" down, and they can 'afford' to lose a bit of time to him.
The riders are now going under the 15km banner.
The leading group is 2'00" behind Rubiera, Mercado and Sastre. The road looks sticky...and scary.
Mayo has already launched two stiff attacks today...he is certainly not afraid to stretch his legs. Meanwhile, his teammate Zubeldia (also 4'29" down on GC) sits on and waits. Interesting tactics for this team of climbers.
Dufaux is flying along solo still, in pursuit of the three leaders. The Armstrong group has regrouped a bit...there are about 30 men in the group now.
Millar is the only man up on GC who isn't anywhere to be seen. The break is under the 10 km to go kite...the final climb is 9.1km long.
7:26 am PDT. 9km left. The trio of leaders hit the final climb of the day. The uphill finish will suit Mercado, Sastre, and Rubiera. The man in the best tactical position is Rubiera, because he won't have to work as his leader Armstrong is behind him.
Remember Sastre's epic ride in the stage Boogerd won last year? Sastre was a rock...he came in 2nd, just ahead of Armstrong. Sastre is in 16th on GC, 10' 15" behind Armstrong. If he stays away, he will move way up in the GC.
The pack is on the climb to the finish...off come the helmets. Beltran and Heras are DRIVING IT! Lance looks good now. Ullrich right behind... Totschnig is dropped! Armstrong is now following Heras....Beltran is gone...
The Armstrong group is thinning quickly, but the big men are all still there. Sastre attacks!! Sastre has flown the coop! He wants this stage so badly!
Rubiera is slowing up...he will go back to the group to help Armstrong.
Sastre is attacking like an animal! What a ride! Patrice Halgand attacks! Lance won't like that...he doesn't like Halgand. Heras continues to drive it....
Menchov has been dropped. Mancebo is struggling on the tail of the Armstrong group. Sastre has a great gap on Mercado up the road.
Jean Delatour are finally showing themselves again with a Frenchman - Halgand won a stage last year but I'll be stunned if he can do it again today! Halgand likely won't catch Sastre though.
Virenque is hanging on at the back. Armstrong seems to be fumbling about in his pockets, looking for a can of Texas Whupass. Unfortunately for Lance, lots of other men have brought cans of whupass with them to this year's Tour as well. We'll see if he can find it. The pack has Halgand.
Dufaux struggles on, but looks overcooked. Sastre has 14" on Mercado! Armstrong is out of the saddle and looking controlled. With his teammate up the road, Hamilton will get a free ride to the top...
With his teammate up the road, Hamilton will get a free ride to the top... Heras and Rubiera are right in front of Armstrong now... That group is down to about a dozen men.
Moreau and Mayo are there. Heras has blown - he's cracked WIDE OPEN. Virenque is gone now. Armstrong is thank ing his lucky charms that Rubiera is such a stud. Mancebo has been dropped!! Now Hamilton is struggling! As is Christophe Moreau...
Only Mayo, Basso, Ullrich, Zubeldia, and a couple of others are with Rubiera and Armstrong. Hamilton and Moreau are slipping, but Hamilton is out of the saddle and still fighting... Mayo is cracking up!!!
7:45 am PDT. 5km left. Holy cow! This last climb has thrown dirt into the gears of some of the best climbers!
Armstrong looks good...he'll hang with Rubiera as long as his teammate lasts. Armstrong and Rubiera have a bit of a word....It's a very select group now! Armstorng, Ullrich, Zubeldia, Basso, and Vinokourov are the only ones left, with Rubiera leading them out.
An Armstrong attack would pump more time into rivals like Hamilton, Mayo and Mancebo, not to mention Vinokourov, Ullrich and Zubeldia!
Sastre carries on - he is fighting for it! He has 4km to go.
Mayo is fighting back on! Ullrich now looks to be slipping a bit, but he's still there.
Ullrich and Vinokourov are good friends from their Telekom days - might they form a strong coalition to beat Armstrong in the Pyrenees?
Zubeldia attacks! He gets a small gap! Armstrong is off the back, but fighting back on. Vinokurov bridges... Now Lance passes Vino! Armstrong makes it on!
Armstrong is now sitting on Zubeldia. Ullrich moves up to set the pace. This trio could be on the podium in Paris...Ullrich, Zubeldia, Armstrong....but Vino is there too.
Ullrich is DRIVING IT. Armstrong is right on his ass! Vinokourov is right there! Zubeldia attacks again! Vinokurov is ON HIM. It's all happening! Vino marks the attack. Wow! This is serious attacking!
Sastre is really struggling, but he is amongst the Basque flags and screaming fans near the top. Vinokurov ATTACKS! Nobody can respond! He's going clear!
Ullrich is chasing hard. Ullrich is breaking out some major power... Armstrong loses Ullrich's wheel... Ullrich comes over Vinokourov! Lance is gone!! He's dropping behind! It's a rainbow coalition! They will work together to end Lance Armstrong's reign! AMAZING!
He's going to lose the yellow jersey at this pace! Ullrich powers up the climb, followed by Vino! Ullrich drops everyone!! Armstrong is out of the saddle! Ullrich is pounding it up the hill! I have never seen Jan climb like this!
Sastre goes under the 1km banner! Ullrich catches Mercado!
Ullrich is riding into the yellow jersey! Sastre is coming to the line.... Jan is putting as much space between him and Lance as possible! This is a new Ullrich - we've never seen him do so well!
Lance is coming back to Ullrich!!
Ha ha!! Sastre puts a pacifier in his mouth as he crosses the line!
Ullrich still has a big gap on Armstrong! Ullrich is going to get 2nd, Zubeldia likely 3rd. Ullrich crosses in 1' 01".
Lance only loses 7"!! He'll keep Yellow!!! He makes up seconds on Vino. Incredible! Lance charged up that final section to the line to limit his losses! What an EPIC battle today!!
Moreau and Hamilton hit the line. Hamilton comes across in 2' 34" back. Not bad...he'll probably stay in 4th on GC.
And this was only the first of four days in the Pyrenees...
Armstong doesn't look AT ALL worried. He's all smiles at the finish!
Armstrong took 10" from Vinokourov, but lost 7" (plus a 12" time bonus) to Ullrich and 7" (plus an 8" time bonus) to Zubeldia.
In a post-race interview, Lance is smiling and saying that he isn't that upset about today. He says that it was a hard stage, but not as bad as yesterday. He said he felt bad at the bottom of the penultimate climb, but felt better towards the top.
He said he pedaled squares yesterday, and that he has recovered a bit from that big bonk today. He thinks he will feel better from now on. He is still very, very confident! Perhaps he is also just enjoying this EPIC battle he is having with Ullrich, with Zubeldia and Vinokourov in the mix.
Lance lost nearly 15lbs in water weight during the TT yesterday... he says he needs a little time to recover.
Hamilton lost 1' 39" (including time bonuses). Zubeldia climbs over Hamilton into 4th on GC!
1. Armstrong @ 55h 34' 01"
2. Ullrich @ 15"
3. Vinokourov @ 1' 01"
4. Zubeldia @ 4' 14"
5. Hamilton @ 4' 23"
6. Mayo @ 5' 20"
7. Basso @ 6' 59"
8. Mancebo @ 6' 59"
9. Sastre @ 8' 47"
10. Moreau @ 9' 19".
This concludes our live coverage of today's stage, but you will want to be sure to join us tomorrow of the second day of the southern mountains! Thanks for being with us today. Results below.
Stage 13 Results
1 SASTRE Carlos ESP CSC 5h 16' 08"
2 ULLRICH Jan GER TBI 01' 01"
3 ZUBELDIA Haimar ESP EUS 01' 03"
4 ARMSTRONG Lance USA USP 01' 08"
5 VINOKOUROV Alexandre KAZ TEL 01' 18"
6 BASSO Ivan ITA FAS 01' 20"
7 MERCADO Juan Miguel ESP BAN 01' 24"
8 MAYO Iban ESP EUS 01' 59"
9 MOREAU Christophe FRA C.A 02' 32"
10 HAMILTON Tyler USA CSC 02' 34"
11 DUFAUX Laurent SUI ALS 03' 06"
12 MANCEBO Francisco ESP BAN 03' 09"
13 VIRENQUE Richard FRA QSD 03' 46"
14 TOTSCHNIG Georg AUT GST 03' 55"
15 ROUS Didier FRA BLB 03' 55"
16 BELTRAN Manuel ESP USP 03' 55"
17 HALGAND Patrice FRA DEL 04' 11"
18 MENCHOV Denis RUS BAN 04' 14"
19 RUBIERA José Luis ESP USP 04' 50"
20 LÜTTENBERGER Peter AUT CSC 05' 58"
21 BOTCHAROV Alexandre RUS A2R 06' 22"
22 JAKSCHE Jorg GER ONE 06' 22"
23 GARCIA CASAS Félix ESP TBI 07' 22"
24 HERAS Roberto ESP USP 07' 22"
25 CHAURREAU Inigo ESP A2R 08' 50"
26 BOOGERD Michael NED RAB 09' 05"
27 LAISEKA Roberto ESP EUS 09' 05"
28 LELLI Massimiliano ITA COF 09' 05"
29 GOUBERT Stephane FRA DEL 09' 15"
30 MILLAR David GBR COF 09' 38"
31 BENETEAU Walter FRA BLB 09' 38"
32 DA CRUZ Carlos FRA FDJ 10' 57"
33 PLAZA David ESP TBI 11' 24"
34 AZEVEDO José POR ONE 11' 47"
35 LUDEWIG Jorg GER SAE 11' 47"
36 LATASA David ESP KEL 11' 47"
37 VERBRUGGHE Rik BEL LOT 14' 37"
38 BROCHARD Laurent FRA A2R 15' 08"
39 BRANDT Christophe BEL LOT 15' 08"
40 NIERMANN Grischa GER RAB 15' 08"
41 GLOMSER Gerrit AUT SAE 15' 08"
42 CLAIN Médéric FRA COF 15' 08"
43 ASTARLOZA Mikel ESP A2R 15' 28"
44 FLICKINGER Andy FRA A2R 15' 28"
45 BLAUDZUN Michaël DEN CSC 16' 37"
46 KESSLER Matthias GER TEL 16' 37"
47 WIELINGA Remmert NED RAB 17' 58"
48 NOE Andrea ITA ALS 18' 52"
49 PINEAU Jérôme FRA BLB s.t.
50 CANADA David ESP QSD s.t.