Stage 19, individual time trial: Fribourg-en-Brisgau – Mulhouse
Mulhouse, France, July 21 2000 – Lance Armstrong finally got the elusive stage he
grew to crave at the 2000 Tour de France when he obliterated the field to record
the second fastest individual time trial in the history of the Tour.
The defending champion retains the yellow jersey of overall race leader with just
two stages remaining after finishing in 1hr 05min 01sec.
He increased his overall advantage over Germany’s Jan Ullrich by 25sec to 6min 02sec
and is now on the verge of a second successive win in the event.
Armstrong, of the US Postal team, was the last off the ramp, 3min behind Telekom’s
And the 28-year-old looked as if he wanted to catch the German up as set off from
the start line like a greyhound chasing a hare.
The American had already posted the best time at the first check of Hartheim after
20km. And with overall victory virtually in his pocket, he was not going to let the
At the 44km mark Ullrich passed the second time check with the best interim time
as he fought desperately to close the gap on the race leader – but Armstrong immediately
bettered him with his 48min 23sec, shaving 25sec off his rival. He held that lead
through to the finish to take the seventh stage victory of his career.
It was his first win this year after four second places.
He won four stages last year on the way to victory on the Champs Elysees.
"Finally a stage win. For me the Tour would not be complete if I finished in
yellow but didn’t win a stage," said Armstrong afterwards.
"I really wanted to win a stage. Perhaps I made a mistake on Mont Ventoux,"
added Armstrong, referring to last week’s 13th stage when Italy’s Marco Pantani edged
him out at the line after the brutal 21km ascent.
"I had the same situation as this last year. I didn’t need to win today, but
I feel that it’s important for the yellow jersey to show himself in the time trial
because it’s the race of truth," added Armstrong, who said he was delighted
to have seen off Ullrich "in his own back yard" with his rival enjoying
the frenzied support of hordes of German fans who had nipped over the border into
France to whoop on their man. "It was a big battle between us."
Barring any unforeseen mishaps the American should hang on to defend his crown on
Sunday in Paris, emulating compatriot Greg LeMond’s achievement of winning in successive
LeMond, who had already won in 1986, performed that feat in 1989 and 1990. He and
Armstrong are the only Americans to win the most gruelling race in sport.
Armstrong’s team-mate Tyler Hamilton, winner of the Dauphine Libere, took an intermediate
lead among morning starters in timing 1hr 08min 02sec to oust early leader Laurent
Jalabert by 45sec and Britain’s David Millar by 54sec.
But Armstrong shattered those times sweeping away any lingering doubts over his worth
as the winner of this year’s race.
Third on the day was Festina’s Christophe Moreau, 2min 12sec adrift as he rose from
sixth to fourth overall.
Hamilton finally placed fourth, 03min 01sec behind, and Spaniard Joseba Beloki of
Festina with an astonishing ride that rounds off an equally astonishing Tour debut,
was fifth, another 25sec further back.
David Millar finally placed a very creditable seventh, 3min 56sec off the pace. Procycling
says get down the bookies now to make sure of securing the best odds on the young
Brit for a medal in the time trial in Sydney. Despite the trials and tribulations
of the mountains, he finished the Tour the way he started it- in style- and confirmed
his arrival as one of the brightest young talents in world cycling.
Earlier, Armstrong said he would be competing in the Olympics but would not compete
at the world championships in Plouay in western France in October.
"The Tour is so physically demanding – Sydney is my next big objective,"
Armstrong said in the press conference afterwards.
Tomorrow’s penultimate stage sees the caravan pass by General de Gaulle’s burial
place of Colombey-les-deux-Eglises at the 184km mark.
In 1960, the founder of the Fifth Republic saluted the riders as they passed his
house, shaking the hand of Italy’s Gastone Nencini and reassuring him that Paris
was not far. Suitably inspired, Nencine duly won the race.
Results & overall standings:
1. Lance Armstrong (USA/USP), 58.5 km in 1 h 05:01.
(average speed: 53.99 km/h)
2. Jan Ullrich (Ger/TEL) at 00:25.
3. Christophe Moreau (Fra/FES) 02:12.
4. Tyler Hamilton (USA/USP) 03:01.
5. Joseba Beloki (Spa/FES) 03:26.
6. Laurent Jalabert (Fra/ONC) 03:47.
7. David Millar (GBR/COF) 03:56.
8. Daniele Nardello (Ita/MAP) 03:57.
9. Santiago Botero (Col/KEL) 03:59.
10. Guido Trentin (Ita/VIN) 04:16.
11. Marco Velo (Ita/MER) 04:28.
12. Abraham Olano (Spa/ONC) 04:35.
13. Nico Mattan (Bel/COF) 04:42.
14. Gilles Maignan (Fra/AG2) 04:52.
15. Roberto Conti (Ita/VIN) 04:56.
16. David Canada (Spa/ONC) 04:58.
17. Francisco Mancebo (Spa/BAN) 05:02.
18. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol/BAN) 05:05.
19. Roberto Heras (Spa/KEL) 05:07.
20. Servais Knaven (Hol/FAR) 05:33.
21. Massimiliano Lelli (Ita/COF) 05:41.
21. Marc Wauters (Bel/RAB) 05:41.
23. Fred Rodriguez (USA/MAP) 05:42.
24. Fernando Escartin (Spa/KEL) 05:46.
25. Erik Dekker (Hol/RAB) 05:48.
26. Richard Virenque (Fra/PLT) 05:50.
27. Grischa Niermann (Ger/RAB) 05:51.
28. Magnus Backstedt (Swe/C.A) 05:57.
29. Felix Garcia Casas (Spa/FES) 06:16.
30. Koos Moerenhout (Hol/FAR) 06:22.
32. Bobby Julich (USA/C.A) 06:35.
1. Lance Armstrong (USA/USP) 83 h 06:19.
2. Jan Ullrich (Ger/TEL) at 06:02.
3. Joseba Beloki (Spa/FES) 10:04.
4. Christophe Moreau (Fra/FES) 10:34.
5. Roberto Heras (Spa/KEL) 11:50.
6. Richard Virenque (Fra/PLT) 13:26.
7. Santiago Botero (Col/KEL) 14:18.
8. Fernando Escartin (Spa/KEL) 17:21.
9. Francisco Mancebo (Spa/BAN) 18:09.
10. Daniele Nardello (Ita/MAP) 18:25.
11. Manuel Beltran (Spa/MAP) 21:11.
12. Pascal Herve (Fra/PLT) 23:13.
13. Javier Ochoa (Spa/KEL) 25:00.
14. Felix Garcia Casas (Spa/FES) 32:04.
15. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kzk/TEL) 32:26.
16. Roberto Conti (Ita/VIN) 34:18.
17. Kurt Van de Wouwer (Bel/LOT) 34:29.
18. Guido Trentin (Ita/VIN) 35:57.
19. Michael Boogerd (Hol/RAB) 42:13.
20. Jean-Cyril Robin (Fra/BJT) 43:12.
21. Jose Maria Jimenez (Spa/BAN) 45:11.
22. Geert Verheyen (Bel/LOT) 46:24.
23. Peter Luttenberger (Aust/ONC) 48:27.
24. Nico Mattan (Bel/COF) 50:09.
25. Grischa Niermann (Ger/RAB) 52:06.
26. Tyler Hamilton (USA/USP) 56:30.
27. Giuseppe Guerini (Ita/TEL) 59:33.
28. Daniel Atienza (Spa/SAE) 1h05:46.
29. Massimiliano Lelli (Ita/COF) 1h06:05.
30. Mario Aerts (Bel/LOT) 1h06:44.
49. Bobby Julich (USA/C.A) 1h44:15.
63. David Millar (GBR/COF) 2h13:03.