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93rd Tour de France - Stage 17 Live Part 2
By Staff
Date: 7/20/2006
93rd Tour de France - Stage 17 Live Part 2

93rd Tour de France Stage - Stage 17 Live Part 2
Last Chance for Romance in the Alps... The riders are over the Col de la Colombière and the attack is on...

1524 CEST - 67.5 km left. Gap 7:18 Floyd is nearing the top of this final climb. You know, Sinkewitz could be a big beneficiary of this attack if he can continue to hold Floyd's wheel. Landis will want to drop Sinkewitz soon, because that guy isn't helping him at all.

That early break looked like a good working group, but then Floyd caught them and blew it all to hell. Floyd comes up to the top of the Colombiere. Landis and Sinkewitz are over the summit! Landis is the king of this mountain. Landis is pounding it down this descent, taking the straightest line in all the corners.... The peloton is still climbing.

62 km left. There is only a little Cat 3 climb (5.1 km at 4.9%) and the Above Category Col de Joux Plane (11.7 km at 8.5%). Gonchar is back to see the doctor. He's got some kind of problem. 8'01" is the gap. Floyd rubs his right thigh on the descent. He's trying to keep things loose. In the peloton, Pereiro has a conversation with his only remaining teammate. They seem to be very, very concerned. Behind them is a pack full of men who want to attack the Yellow Jersey. The peloton has arrived at the top of the climb now.

Stage 17 Profile
Climbs ahead:
160.5 km Cat. 3 Côte de Châtillon - 735 meters - 5.1 km - 4.9% 
187 km Hors Cat. Col de Joux-Plane - 1,700 meters -11.7 km - 8.7% 

Join other fans from around the world to discuss the race in progress while you follow the ticker in the Daily Peloton Chat room. 

8 min 33 sec is the gap over the top. The peloton is over the climb, everyone's on the descent now.

1535 CEST - 58 km left. Landis has taken over 8 minutes and 30 seconds on the peloton, and there are two climbs left. He just has to keep this up and not run out of gas. And he has to shake Sinkewitz. Hold on to your diapers... the gap to the peloton for Landis is now up to 8 minutes 50 seconds. One thing is certain: Landis is getting his exercise today. People, this is how you get a good burn going that will chew up those nasty carbs. Floyd Landis is the race leader on the road. Floyd continues to pull away on this descent, with only Sinkewitz following him.

1543 CEST - 50 km left. 9:02 is the gap! Landis and Sinkewitz are near the bottom of the descent. Then the Cat 3 climb of the Cote de Catillon-sur-Cluses starts. Finally, CSC has taken some responsibility at the front of the peloton -- they are driving this descent.

There are several men behind who are caught between Landis and the peloton. CSC has to do something now, and they've picked the right man to set the pace. It is big Jens "Manly Man" Voigt setting the pace for CSC in the peloton. So it's hardass vs. hardass right now in the Tour de France: Landis attacking the peloton with a gap of over 9 minutes, and the peloton led by Voigt trying to bring him back.

And Crazy Jane has just passed out.

1548 CEST - 46.5 km left. So now Floyd is on a little flat section before the climb. It will kick up soon. This has got to be like, the most thrilling day of Le Tour since that time when Lance crashed in a do or die moment that one time. When his handlebar got caught on a fan's bag, and he went down on the final climb.

Well, we're waiting for a time check now to see if the pacemaking of CSC is making a difference. CSC will not only be trying to pull back Landis, but also will be trying to get rid of Pereiro. They are setting up Sastre for a big attack on the final climb. Voigt is shouting at his teammates at the front of the pack now, they are chasing in earnest, because, in the immortal words of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, NOW they got worry.

43 km left. The gap is still over 9:06 minutes to the peloton. Halgand is 2 min 34 sec back. He's toast. He'll just try to hang on and keep a good pace to the finish. Can we make it 10? Might be too much to ask, now that Voigt has taken the reigns. Sinkewitz continues to sit on the Landis express. Everyone else has been blown far out the back. Landis is setting a very good pace on this climb, dumping water on his head, drinking, keeping himself well regulated.

At the front of the peloton is still Voigt of CSC. It looks like Vandevelde pulling through working with Voigt. The peloton catches Padrnos. Voigt's bag of hammers is out, man. And now we can start to see some results from CSC's efforts: the gap is down to under 9 minutes again. It is now 8 min 32 sec for Landis. They probably won't catch Floyd, they just want to pull down his gap.

1555 Cest - T-Mobile is on the front now, too. And, in fact, for those who are interested, George Hincapie is hanging tough in the Maillot Jaune group. Floyd dumps more water over his head. Keeping a cool head is probably pretty vital at a time like this. Landis and Sinkewitz are climbing again, and they both look smooth and fast.

40 km left. Landis and Sinkewitz are only 1 km from the summit of this Cat 3 climb.
Landis and Sinkewitz are over the climb. The gap is now down to 8 min 28 sec and is dropping. But Floyd still looks strong, and he just has to hold as much of that gap as possible. T-Mobile has now put a man on the front to help set the pace in the peloton. They are working with CSC.

Aero Floyd is bombing down a descent now, the peloton is still climbing. The real beast is ahead, though. The Joux Plane is a seriously steep and hard beastie. That final climb was almost the undoing of Lance Armstrong in 2000, when he bonked on the climb a lost a couple of minutes to Jan Ullrich. Vandevelde is digging deep for Sastre at the front of the pack now. Landis and Sinkewitz are on a flat... Hey! There's another castle in France! WHO CARES!!!

Next climb: 187 km Hors Cat. Col de Joux-Plane - 1,700 meters -11.7 km - 8.7%

36 km left. The section of road that leads from the climb they just finished to the Joux-Plane is mostly flat. It will be a real test for Landis. The aerodynamics of cycling will advantage the peloton on that flat section.  Gonchar is working with Voigt and Vandevelde or is it Zabriskie... trying to bring back Landis. These men setting the pace in the peloton are gritting their teeth and giving it everything. They are seriously putting out the watts now.

You know, the faces in the peloton are full of pain. They are starting to feel the pressure of this chase. They come over the top 8 minutes and 3 seconds behind Landis. So the peloton is over the top of the climb and heading into the flat section of road before the Joux-Plane. Landis is basically riding a BITCH of a time trial right now. His arms are together in the "V" across his handlebars... he steering with his forearms and elbows right now.

31 km left. Just a few more kilometers and Floyd will be on the final climb. Then he will try to ride away from Sinkewitz. Voigt's teeth are gritted, and he is giving it his considerable elbow grease right now.

28 km left. The gap is still 8 minutes and 5 seconds. Floyd is holding his gap right now. Hincapie is right behind the train leading the peloton on this flat section of road. I wonder if the Big Hink will attack today? Kessler comes to the front of the peloton. The gap is falling again: it is down to 7 min 25 sec for Landis. But once on the climb, Floyd will be on more even terrain again. Floyd is riding hard. He looks like he feels it, too. Can he hang on?

23.5 km left. Floyd is finally on the final climb. So no more flats for Floyd: he only has to climb hard and descend hard to the finish. Landis is out of the saddle now, and the chase in the peloton is very, very serious. It will be interesting to see if the GC men in the peloton start to attack each other on this final climb. I bet they will: they want to drop Pereiro, and each other, while they chase Landis. The climb is really, tough, and Landis has dropped Sinkewitz! Water is pouring off Landis's face, and he is driving it for all he's worth! What a ride this is!

Well Floyd clearly has some gas left in the tank. He has blown the final wheelsucker away, and he is on his own in pursuit of stage victory and the Yellow Jersey. Landis, if he wins today and takes back Le Tour, will be SUCH A HERO. Can you believe this?! Sinkewitz is gone.

It would be the greatest comeback in modern history, even more impressive than Lemond's comeback against Fignon in 1989. The peloton is chasing hard, the gap is 6'18, but again, Landis is climbing, and they are on the flat. Pereiero is not looking good in the peloton. There's a lotta pain in that peloton. Landis drives on. This is the ride of his life. Pereiro is very far back in the group. You can bet Kloden and Sastre will note that and attack before the top of this climb.

1625 CEST - The peloton is a long, thin line on the road, and it's going to be absolute carnage when these guys hit the climb. Kessler pulls off... the pace is extremely high in the peloton. SInkewitz is 1'04" behind Landis now, and the peloton is at 6'16" Schleck and Guerini and Boogerd are coming up and setting the pace now. They keep looking over their shoulder to see the damage they are doing.

1627 CEST - 21.5 km left. Voigt is a dead soldier. He gave everything he's got. Leipheimer's been dropped! Floyd just needs to hold onto about five minutes to give himself a shot a winning this race in the final time trial. That's five minutes ahead of Kloden and Sastre... he'll need about seven minutes on Pereiro. Hincapie is out the back.

Schleck is leading out Sastre at the front of the peloton, ripping it to shreds. Pereiro looks like he is suffering in the pack, he's fading. Pereiero and Kloden are getting gapped. Schleck and Sastre are leaving the other contenders behind! Schleck, ladies and gentlemen, is a stud. So the CSC men are blowing things to pieces, just like yesterday. Sastre now on his own, attacking after the leadout by Schleck.

This is good for Floyd. There will be no organized chase behind him, it is just every man for himself right now. Sastre could be riding himself into the Yellow Jersey right now. Rasmussen paces Menchov at the back of the Yellow Jersey group. Pereiro is with Kloden.

T-Mobile is working with Pereiro to try and chase Sastre. Meanwhile, Floyd is still six minutes up the road. Sastre is a hard man. It's incredible how he's stepped up to take the place left vacant by Basso in this tour. CSC has got to be very happy with this tour. Moreau and Evans are bridging up to Sastre, or trying to at least.

Great ride by these two. Landis, alone... riding on... but Sastre is hammering he's dangerous. So Moreau and Evans are behind Sastre, but ahead of Kloden, Pereiro, and Menchov. Evans could be riding his way onto the podium. Dessel, Moreau's teammate, is with the group containing Pereiro and Kloden. Fothen is sitll in this Yellow Jersey group too. Landis is pulling away from the Yellow Jersey group... his gap is now 6 min 30 sec ahead of them!

Sastre is about 5 min 50 sec behind Floyd. He is really putting the wood to the Yellow Jersey right now. BEST TOUR EVER! Lotta pain on this mountain, kids.

18 km left. Landis is still riding strong, alone at the front of the race up the Col de Joux Plane. He is being chased by Sastre at about 5 min 50 sec back. Then Moreau is chasing Sastre. Moreau has just dropped Evans, but Evans is still ahead of the group with Zubeldia, Dessel, Periero, Menchov, and Rasmussen.

The bad news for Americans: Leipheimer and Hincapie are well off the back of the Yellow Jersey group. Whatever happens today, I think no one will ever forget that Floyd MADE IT HAPPEN when it looked like his chips were cashed. He can sleep well at night after this, knowing he did everything he could possibly do. This is guts, right here. The good news? Floyd Landis has blown this race to pieces in epic fashion. His bonk yesterday was epic, but his attack today is even more epic.

Landis is totally holding his gap to Sastre. It's nearly 6 minutes right now. T-Mobile is desperate trying to chase back all the men up the road: Landis, Sastre, Moreau, and Evans. Three T-Mobiles lead the Yellow Jersey group, which has about eight men. The Maillot Jaune is slowly closing the gap to Sastre -- they're at 6'50" Floyd's gap to Sastre is 6'08"! The fans are thick near the top. Landis is still turning over the pedals very well. The fans are going bonkers for Landis at the top of this climb. He's distancing everyone again! Oh Floyd, you ROCKSTAR!

17 km left. Well, it looks like Menchov and Cunego have caught Evans. They are leaving the Yellow Jersey and Kloden a bit behind them. Sastre is grimacing with effort. Moreau is alone... where? Landis only has a couple of more kilometers left. Floyd is on the steepest part of this climb.Then it will be the descent to the finish for Floyd. Sastre has Sinkewitz... He drops him fast.

Sastre is closing on Landis again. The gap to Sastre is 5'48" Maillot Jaune? 6'52"  Sastre is about 5 min 50 sec behind Landis. Then it is Moreau about 20 seconds later. Then there is a group with Evans, Menchov, Cunego, and Schleck. That group is ahead of the Yellow Jersey and Kloden by about 40 seconds. Landis drives on... He's near the top of this climb.

Cunego attacks the Menchov group! He has dropped Menchov and Evans. He is trying to get the White Jersey off the back of Fothen! Cunego is catching Moreau. Kloden has been dropped by the Maillot Jaune! Now Pereiro has dropped Kloden!! Wow, punch, counterpunch, duck, bob, weave! This is just an incredible battle! Cunego passes Moreau, and gaps him... Kloden is really suffering... Kloden is clawing his way up to the wheel of the group with Pereiro. Dessel is with Pereiro still. Kloden is still behind Pereiro. Now Dessel is dropped by Pereiro.  Pereiro is fighting!

15 km left. Landis is looking easy and smooth at the front of this race. You know, the time bonuses Landis got at the intermediate sprints could play a role in the GC by the end of the day. Will Floyd be back up to Yellow? Or will he be just a bit behind Sastre? Landis's gap is 5'47" on Sastre. Kloden is gapped again ! Landis! he's almost over this beast of a climb!

1650 CEST - Landis got 10 seconds in time bonuses at the intermediate sprints, for the record. He will get a nice time bonus for finishing first as well, if he can keep away on this descent. Sastre's teeth are gritted, he looks up under his helmet with eyes full of agony, he's pushing on. Landis is a very strong descender. He might be able to gain time on the descent. Cunego is looking like a man who has figured out the Tour de France. He is flying up this climb. Now if he would only learn how to time trial...

Kloden is falling down the mountain behind the leaders. Dessel is fighting along at the wheel of Kloden, trying to preserve a high GC position. This climb is a real monster. It is so, so steep! Landis has 5'38" on Sastre...

1651 CEST - Landis near the top of the climb. It seems to be forever to the top of this climb, but Floyd is almost there. 7'04" on the Maillot Jaune. 13.4 km left. The Maillot Jaune is digging in... Moreau and Cunego are with Sinkewitz.

So the race situation: Landis alone off the front. Men are solo behind him: Sastre is the nearest chaser, then Cunego, then Moreau, then a small group with Menchov and Evans, then the Yellow Jersey a ways back, and then Kloden.

1 km to the top for Floyd! His gap to Sastre pretty steady - it's 5'30" now. And to think I planned to MISS THIS today! 1 more kilometer to the top of the climb! The fans are running alongside Floyd shouting encouragement. A man in a Francaise des Jeux kit is yelling encouragement. The French love a gutsy ride like this... who doesn't? But now the French will no longer diss Floyd as a man without style. This attack has the most style we've seen this year!

This attack has the most style I've seen in several years. Behind, Kloden has managed to catch the back of the Pereiro group again. Rasmussen is sitting on Pereiro. Moreau has caught Cunego again. Menchov is making that face again. I'm not sure he likes riding bikes for a living at this moment... A shot of Amber Landis, Floyd's wife, shows her beaming and nervous. She can't believe what her husband it doing!

12 km left. Floyd is over the top! Landis is over the top, and I can breathe again. So now it is only downhill for Floyd. It is a dangerous descent. But first there is a little flat section of about 1 km long for Floyd. Pereiro has caught Menchov! If Floyd can stay upright, he's home free for the stage win today, I'd think.

Wow, Pereiro is recovering and riding much better now! He has dropped Menchov! What will the gap be over the top of this climb? Sastre is the man in 2nd on the road. Moreau has now dropped Cunego and is 3rd on the road. Cunego is 4th on the road. I think Evans is still in there behind Cunego, ahead of the Yellow Jersey group.

Kloden is still hanging with Pereiro, and now Evans has been caught by the resurgent Pereiro. I have to say, Pereiro is riding well and doing the Yellow Jersey proud. He might just hold onto that jersey today! There is a long wait for the next man to come to the top of the climb. Sastre sits up to zip up his jersey... He's over 5:07 minutes back. Moreau will be next to the top of the climb.

7 km left. Floyd Landis is driving home his advantage.
Moreau, 5'59"
Cunego, 6'18'
Boogerd and Schleck are next...
Pereiro is coming up now. He has caught Schleck and Boogerd. 6'53"

So it will be very very close on GC by the end of this stage! It will all come down to the final time trial! Menchov and Evans, 7'19" Landis is BOMBING this very technical descent.

5 km left for Floyd. Landis is out of the saddle accelerating. He's trying to increase his lead all the way to the finish. Fothen, 9'07"  We haven't seen an attack like this in the Tour de France in a very long time. Not from a man who is trying to climb back into the top of the GC race.

3.5 km left. Landis is charging along. He's almost there! Whatever happens, Floyd has his honor today. He's serving everyone a nice big plate of "How do you like me now?" For you Basque fans, Zubeldia is still in the Yellow Jersey group.

2 km to go for Landis. Rogers just now comes over the top of the climb. He'll drop down the GC today. Final kilometer for Floyd! Amazing. Landis has ridden himself back into contention, and put up a day that will go down in tour history. People will only remember his big bonk from yesterday as the day that set up this epic attack! Floyd looks back... No one's coming. The people in the finishing straight are going bonkers!

Floyd Landis Wins the Stage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Landis comes up, sprinting the whole way! Floyd Landis has won the stage. I think that was the awesomest thing I've ever seen. No big celebration, just a tough-guy look on his face.

Landis punched the air and gave a nice "yeah", and then threw his leg over his bike and dismounted.Floyd still isn't smiling. He's just all grim anger and determination. And he's just walking over to the podium staging area.
Floyd Landis, FIST OF FURY. So how much time will Landis have gained by the end of the day? Sastre is flying downhill. Landis will add a 20" time bonus for the victory to that 10" in bonuses he got out on the road.

Sastre will get a 12" bonus for second when he comes to the line. was Dessel! Dessel went off the road, but he quickly remounted and was back on the descent. Here comes Sastre into the finish. What will the gap be? It is over 5 minutes. Landis has picked up some seconds on the descent.

Sastre, 5'43"
Moreau: 5'57" Landis took big time on that descent. He took over 30 seconds on that descent from Sastre. Cunego is 4th, and he will take the White Jersey by the end of the day.
Cunego: 6'43 Cunego moves into the Maillot Blanc with Fothen second.
Pereiro is now finishing. It will be close. Will he keep it? I think so! Maillot Jaune: 7:07
Evans: 7'19"
There will be a few men within a minute at the top of the GC tonight, I think. No sign of Kloden yet. Crazy Jane, How awesome is it that I am going to that TT?

Landis is in 3rd, 30" from the Maillot Jaune.

Stage results:
1. FLOYD LANDIS (Phonak) 5 h 23 min 36 sec
============ 5:42 =============
2. Carlos Sastre (CSC) @ 5 min 42 sec
3. Christophe Moreau (AG2r-Prevoyance) @ 5 min 58 sec
4. Damiano Cunego (Lampre) @ 6 min 40 sec
5. Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) @ 7 min 08 sec
6. Frank Schleck (CSC) @ 7 min 08 sec
7. Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne) @ 7 min 08 sec
8. Andreas Kloden (T-Mobile) @ 7 min 08 sec
9. Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel-Euskadi) @ 7 min 08 sec
10. Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto) @ 7 min 20 sec.

Floyd is smiling now!

Floyd's comments: "I came here to win the tour. That's what I still want to do, and I'm not done fighting yet." Regards the ride today, "I don't care. I came here to win the Tour de France."
 Floyd says that he felt bad for about an hour after the stage yesterday before he got over it. Then he got over it and decided that the race wasn't over. Floyd feels he can still win this thing in the final time trial.

Dude, everyone needs to BOW DOWN. That ruled. Floyd came from a Mennonite family, and Mennonites are a peaceful people. So Floyd must have picked up that big can of Whupass after he left home. Let's say that it is a big can of San Diego Whupass. Amber Landis comes in and gives her husband a big hug and a kiss. He earned it. Oh Le Tour. You never disappoint.

Michael Rogers: "I don't think there were any tactics today. [shrug of incredulity] I mean, what can you do?"

GC Standings:
1. Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne) @ 80 h 08 min 49 sec,
2. Carlos Sastre (CSC) @ 12 sec
3. Floyd Landis (Phonak) @ 30 sec
============ 2:29 ============

4. Andreas Kloden (T-Mobile) @ 2 min 29 sec
5. Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto) @ 3' 08"
6. Denis Menchov (Rabobank) @ 4 min 14 sec
7. Cyril Dessel (AG2r-Prevoyance) @ 4 min 24 sec
8. Christophe Moreau (AG2r-Prevoyance) @ 5 min 45 sec
9. Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel-Euskadi) @ 8 min 16 sec
10 Michael Rogers (T-Mobile) @ 12 min 13 sec.

Yesterday, Eddy Merckx told the team director of Phonak that they have to keep fighting. Floyd said that they have to keep fighting. Merckx must have been extremely proud of his son's team today. Floyd's attack is the kind of thing Merckx would have done.

Pereiro used to be teammates with Floyd on Phonak last year. After the finish, Pereiro gave Floyd a big hug to congratulate him for his effort. Pure class by Pereiro today, who holds his Yellow Jersey and shows great sportsmanship.

This concludes our live coverage, of stage 17 an Epic day!  Thanks for joining us today.
Discuss the race and cycling with Tifosi from around the world in the  Daily Peloton Chat Room. Join us for tomorrow's stage; who knows what surprises will happen on the way to Paris in the next three days...

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Full official results and  photos to follow.

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93rd Tour de France - Stage 2 General Classification
93rd Tour de France - Stage 17 Live Ticker Part 1

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