J.-P. Nazon Wins Stage 20 of Tour; Armstrong Claims Fifth Tour Win

News & Results

07/28/2003| 0 comments
by Gerald Churchill
Nazon takes the win in Paris. Baden Cooke (R) finished second and claimed the green sprinter jersey ahead of Robbie McEwen. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Nazon takes the win in Paris. Baden Cooke (R) finished second and claimed the green sprinter jersey ahead of Robbie McEwen. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

J.-P. Nazon Wins Stage 20 of Tour; Armstrong Claims Fifth Tour Win

Jean-Patrick Nazon (Jean Delatour) has won the final stage of the 2003 Tour de France.

Jean-Patrick Nazon (Jean Delatour) has won the final stage of the 2003 Tour de France. The Frenchman outsprinted Baden Cooke (La Francaise des Jeux.com) and Robbie McEwen (Lotto) to take Stage 20, a flat, 152-km run from Ville d'Avray to Paris, in 3:38:49. Lance Armstrong (U.S. Postal Service) kept the overall lead and has won his fifth Tour de France.

The early part of the Tour's final stage was relaxed, but the riders got down to business after the U.S. Postal Service led them onto the Champs Elysees. Cooke and McEwen, who were running neck-and-neck in the green jersey race, exchanged victories in the first two intermediate sprints. On the fourth of nine 6.5-km laps of the Champs Elysees, Laurent Brochard (Ag2r) attacked, and Andrea Peron (CSC), Massimiliano Lelli (Cofidis), and Christophe Moreau (Credit Agricole) joined him. The peloton reeled them in.

Michael Blaudzun (CSC), Mikel Astarloza (Ag2r), Vicente Garcia Acosta (iBanesto.com), Laszlo Bodrogi (Quick Step), Bram De Groot (Rabobank), David Latasa (Kelme), Sebastien Hinault (Credit Agricole), and Maryan Hary (Brioches La Boulangere) attacked. By the end of Lap 4, the octet led the peloton by 0:44. Telekom and La Francaise des Jeux.com began to chase, and the break's advantage dropped to 0:33 with 20 km left.

The bunch led the break by 0:17 with two laps left and by 0:12 at the beginning of the bell lap. Telekom and La Francaise des Jeux.com overtook the escapees with help from Jean Delatour and Cofidis. The sprint broke into individual leadout men leading the sprinters to the front. With one km left, Alexander Vinokourov (Telekom) led Erik Zabel (Telekom), Michael Rogers (Quick Step), and Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole).

With 500 m left, Brad McGee (La Francaise des Jeux.com) led the field. He pulled off, and Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) powered into the lead. Cooke came around the Norwegian, and McEwen drew alongside Cooke. Nazon found a gap and passed the two Australians on their right for the win. Cooke pipped McEwen for second place and the green jersey.

In the overall, Armstrong (U.S. Postal Service) won his fifth Tour de France and the event's centennial edition by 1:01 over Jan Ullrich and by 4:14 over Alexander Vinokourov (Telekom). In other competitions, Richard Virenque (Quick Step) was the King of the Mountains, Cooke was the points winner, Denis Menchov (iBanesto.com) was the best young rider, Vinokourov won the combativity competition, and CSC won the team competition. Where will these riders and teams next demonstrate their prowess? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ for reports from the HEW Cyclassics, the Clasica San Sebastian, and other races, and find out! 

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