Finally, A Good Break! Hamilton Wins Stage 16 of Tour

News & Results

07/25/2003| 0 comments
by Gerald Churchill
Tyler Hamilton crosses the finish line after riding solo during most of the 197.5 km stage. A truly amazing performance from the man who's suffering from a fractured collarbone. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Tyler Hamilton crosses the finish line after riding solo during most of the 197.5 km stage. A truly amazing performance from the man who's suffering from a fractured collarbone. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Finally, A Good Break! Hamilton Wins Stage 16 of Tour

Tyler Hamilton (CSC) has made some of his biggest cycling achievements while riding with broken bones.

Tyler Hamilton (CSC) has made some of his biggest cycling achievements while riding with broken bones. Last year, the man from Marblehead won a stage of the Giro while riding with a broken shoulder. In this year's Tour, he suffered a double break of his right collarbone in the Stage 1 finish line crash in Meaux. Throughout the race, Hamilton has ridden in the top ten overall. Today, CSC's captain finally got a good break. He mounted a 100-km solo break to take the 2003 Tour's final mountain stage, a 197.5-km run from Pau to Bayonne, in 4:49:41. Erik Zabel (Telekom) outsprinted Yuri Krivtsov (Jean Delatour) at 1:55. Lance Armstrong (U.S. Postal Service) remains the maillot jaune. 

From the start, the racing was aggressive. The peloton was split in two going over the Category 4 Cote des Crets (10 km), and Hamilton admitted not paying attention and getting caught in the second group. He called for help and five of his teammates helped him to get back on.

On the descent, David Millar (Cofidis) attacked with Paolo Bettini (Quick Step). Bettini had mechanical problems, but Millar continued alone. After 30 km, Millar was overtaken by Frederic Finot and Samuel Dumoulin (both from Jean Delatour), Paolo Fornaciari (Saeco), Koos Moerenhout (Lotto), Kurt Van de Wouver (Quick Step), Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano (ONCE), Sylvain Chavanel (Brioches La Boulangere), Ludovic Turpin (Ag2r), Marc Wauters (Rabobank), Juan Miguel Mercado (iBanesto.com), Nicki Sorensen (CSC), Sandy Casar (La Francaise des Jeux.com), David Latasa (Kelme), Vladimir Miholjevic (Alessio), and Mederic Clain (Cofidis). Millar and Inigo Cuestas (both from Cofidis) joined the group, which consisted of 17 riders at the base of the Category 1 Col du Soudet (53 km).

The group's lead over the field grew to 3:00. Hamilton, Mario Aerts (Lotto), and Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel) bridged up to the leaders. Attrition took its toll, and nine men--Hamilton and Sorensen, Mercado, Wauters, Casar, Latasa, Van de Wouver, Miholjevic, and Millar breasted the summit. On the Category 1 Col de Bagargui (110 km), Hamilton dropped his companions and built a lead over the peloton that maxed out at about 5:00 before the bunch began to chase. Telekom led a futile pursuit of Hamilton for Erik Zabel.

In the overall, Armstrong leads Jan Ullrich (Bianchi) by 1:07 and Alexander Vinokourov (Telekom) by 2:45. Stage 17 will not change matters. The flat, 181-km run from Dax to Bordeaux should end in a mass charge to the line. Who will win it? Robbie McEwen (Lotto)? Erik Zabel (Telekom)? Baden Cooke (La Francaise des Jeux.com)? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!

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