Armstrong Wins Stage 17 of Tour

News & Results

07/24/2004| 0 comments
by Gerald Churchill

Armstrong Wins Stage 17 of Tour

Lance Armstrong has won his third consecutive stage and his fourth in the 2004 Tour de France.


Lance Armstrong has won his third consecutive stage and his fourth in the 2004 Tour de France. Armstrong outsprinted Andreas Kloden and Jan Ullrich (both from T-Mobile) to win Stage 17, a mountainous, 204.5-km ride from Bourg d?Oisans to Le Grand Bornand, in 6:11:52. The man from Austin remains the maillot jaune .

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The racing began early. At two km, Filippo Simeoni (Domina Vacanze), Michele Bartolo (CSC), Gilberto Simoni (Saeco), Ludovic Martin (RAGT), and Rolf Aldag (T-Mobile) sallied off of the front. Richard Virenque and Christophe Moreau (Credit Agricole) set out after the escapees and caught them on the Hors Categorie Col de la Madeleine. At this point, the break led the bunch by almost eight minutes.

 

U.S. Postal Service and CSC began to pursue. Attrition and the pursuit took their tolls on   the break. Simeoni and Martin were dropped, and the gap between the bunch and the break narrowed to about four minutes on the Category 2 Col de Tamie. Iker Flores (Euskaltel) tried unsuccessfully to bridge.

 

On the Category 1 Col de la Forchaz, Aldag was dropped. Jose Luis Rubiera and Jose Azevedo led the chase for the U.S. Postal Service. Carlos Sastre (CSC) attacked from the maillot jaune group. He caught and dropped Simoni and Moreau with 20 km left and forged an 18-second lead on the maillot jaune group. Floyd Landis (U.S. Postal Service), however, led the pursuit that reeled in the Spaniard.

 

On the descent of the Forchaz, Landis, at Armstrong?s urging, had a go. Ullrich chased   Landis down. In the last two km, Landis tried again, but Ullrich took his wheel. With one km left, Kloden attacked. The German led the other four by 30 m with 200 m left, but Armstrong charged after him and nipped him at the line.

 

In the overall, Armstrong leads Ivan Basso (CSC) by 4:09 and Andreas Kloden (T-Mobile) by 5:11. Stage 18 will not change this state of affairs. The rolling, 166.5-km run from Annemasse to Lons-le-Saunier could end in a field sprint or with a small number of escapees battling for the win. Which will it be? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!

 

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