Armstrong Wins L'Alpe d'Huez Time Trial
Lance Armstrong (U.S. Postal Service) has won Stage 16 of the Tour de France.
Lance Armstrong has won Stage 16 of the Tour de France. The man from Austin dominated the 15.5-km, uphill time trial from Bourg d?Oisans to L?Alpe d?Huez, winning in 39:41. Jan Ullrich and Andreas Kloden (both from T-Mobile) finished second and third, respectively, at 1:01 and 1:41. Armstrong has tightened his grip on the Tour de France.
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Ludovic Martin (RAGT) set the early standard. The Frenchman posted a 43:52 to take the lead. Martin kept the lead for about 75 minutes until Mikel Astarloza (Ag2r) posted a 43:06. Not long after, Marcos Serrano (Liberty Seguros) crossed the finish line with a 42:50.
David Moncoutie (Cofidis) posted a 42:04, only to see Santos Gonzalez (Phonak) better the Frenchman?s time by 0:04. Ullrich crushed Gonzalez?s time with a 40:42. Ullrich?s time held until Armstrong finished. The five-time defending champion led at all checkpoints en route to the stage win.
In the overall, Armstrong leads Ivan Basso (CSC) by 3:48 and Kloden (T-Mobile) by 5:03. Stage 17, the 2004 Tour?s last mountain stage, probably will not change this state of affairs in view of Armstrong's commanding lead. The 204.5-km ride from Bourg d?Oisans to Le Grand Bornand will feature three Category 1 and one Hors Categorie ascent. One or more freelancers might get far enough ahead of the peloton to battle for the stage win. Who might these freelancers be? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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