Draguignan, France, July 14 2000 – Vicente Garcia-Acosta of
Spain gatecrashed France’s traditional "Quatorze Juillet" celebrations
when he won the 13th stage of the Tour de France today over the 185.5km route through
the beautiful Provencal countryside, from Avignon to Draguignan.
Garcia Acosta, 27, celebrated his first career stage win on the Tour after crossing
the line in 4hr 03min 02sec ahead of gallant French duo Nicolas Jalabert and Pascal
Herve, both deprived of a home win on Bastille Day.
Overall race leader and defending champion Lance Armstrong retained the yellow jersey
– he leads 1997 winner Jan Ullrich by 4min 55sec – after coming in 10min behind the
ONCE’s Nicolas Jalabert, brother of former world number one Laurent Jalabert, finished
25sec behind Garcia Acosta after sprinting away from Polti’s Herve over the final
Garcia-Acosta, whose previous claim to fame was winning a stage of the 1997 Tour
of Spain, gave Spain their second stage win this year after Javier Otxoa’s win at
Hautacam on Monday.
"It’s a great win for me after a couple of second places in 1998. I’ve been
waiting a long time – years – for this. It was very difficult but I got into the
leading trio after we attacked and held on for the win," Garcia Acosta said
Belgium’s Marc Wauters of Rabobank was the big winner of the day, jumping from 17th
to fourth overall after he came in with the second group.
Going into the final climb some 25km out from the line, the leading trio were already
8min clear of the pack. Jalabert then launched a late attack with 16km remaining
but Acosta reacted swiftly and jumped into the lead.
"I made a tactical error," revealed Jalabert. "I went for a water
bottle some 15km out and he took his chance to move ahead."
The Spaniard’s reward for getting his nose in front was a five-point bonus on the
Cote de l’Esparrus climb before he rejoined the front two. But Garcia Acosta held
on and then finished off with a stylish solo sweep to the line.
With Bastille Day about to kick off all over France tonight, the host nation was
keen to score a stage win to accompany the seventh stage triumph by Christophe Agnolutto
a week ago, especially given last year’s drought for French riders.
Agnolutto, of the AG2R team, was ensconced in a 13-strong group which made the early
running and which included seven hopeful Frenchmen. Others in the group included
Robbie McEwen of Farm Frites as well as Bonjour riders Didier Rous and Francois Simon.
But Garcia-Acosta, Jalabert and Pascal Herve, Tour stage winner in 1997, soon made
a final concerted push and broke away to take the lead.
With some 30km to go they had carved out a lead of almost two-and-a-half minutes
over the now seven-strong chasing group led by Heulot and Trentin.
As the opportunistic front three passed the 147km mark, they were almost 8min clear,
taking advantage of the fact that the peloton were chilling out before the killer
mountain stages in the Alps begin tomorrow on the gargantuan haul to Briancon.
Earlier, Switzerland’s Laurent Dufaux of Saeco, fourth overall in 1996 and 1999,
had to abandon with some 50km to go.
Unfortunately, some 40km out from the finish a camera motorcycle rider accompanying
the riders was knocked off his bike and lay sprawled in the road receiving medical
attention. The rider crashed trying to avoid Francois Simon, who fell off but swiftly
managed to remount.
On an even more sombre note, there was a further accident when a car travelling with
the Tour caravan ran into a child spectator, who suffered serious leg and head injuries,
at the roadside in Ginasservis, 117km into the race.
Fire brigade officials said the child, aged around 12, had been knocked unconscious
while his mother fainted with shock – the child was taken to hospital in Marseille
and was believed to be in a serious condition. There have been no further updates
about the incident, but we will obviously fill you in when we know more. Meanwhile,
we hope that the child makes a full recovery.
David Millar endured a long, painful day in the saddle after sustaining a nasty tyre
burn to his neck and a suspected cracked rib in a crash on yesterday’s gruesome stage
to Mont Ventoux. The young Scot confessed to having an awful day on the road but
remains determined to fight his way through the Alps and make it to the finish in
Paris on 23 July.
Results & overall standings
1. Vicente Garcia-Acosta (Spa/BAN), 185.5 km in 4 h 03:02.
(average speed: 45.80 km/h)
2. Nicolas Jalabert (Fra/ONC) at 00:25.
3. Pascal Herve (Fra/PLT) 00:27.
4. Guido Trentin (Ita/VIN) 00:57.
5. Stephane Heulot (Fra/FDJ) 00:57.
6. Robbie McEwen (Aus/FAR) 04:00.
7. Francois Simon (Fra/BJT) 04:00.
8. Anthony Morin (Fra/C.A) 04:00.
9. Christophe Agnolutto (Fra/AG2) 04:00.
10. Marc Wauters (Bel/RAB) 04:00.
11. Alberto Elli (Ita/TEL) 04:00.
12. Erik Zabel (Ger/TEL) 10:06.
13. Romans Vainsteins (Lit/VIN) 10:06.
14. Massimo Apollonio (Ita/VIN) 10:06.
15. Emmanuel Magnien (Fra/FDJ) 10:06.
16. Gian Matteo Fagnini (Ita/TEL) 10:06.
17. Erik Dekker (Hol/RAB) 10:06.
18. Nico Mattan (Bel/COF) 10:06.
19. Glenn Magnusson (Swe/FAR) 10:06.
20. Markus Zberg (Swi/RAB) 10:06.
21. Servais Knaven (Hol/FAR) 10:06.
22. Jan Ullrich (Ger/TEL) 10:06.
23. Cedric Vasseur (Fra/USP) 10:06.
24. Christophe Moreau (Fra/FES) 10:06.
25. Richard Virenque (Fra/PLT) 10:06.
26. Manuel Beltran (Spa/MAP) 10:06.
27. Lance Armstrong (USA/USP) 10:06.
28. Ermanno Brignoli (Ita/MER) 10:06.
29. Marco Pantani (Ita/MER) 10:06.
30. Enrico Zaina (Ita/MER) 10:06.
31. Olivier Perraudeau (Fra/BJT) 10:06.
32. Sebastien Hinault (Fra/C.A) 10:06.
33. Laurent Jalabert (Fra/ONC) 10:06.
34. Kurt Van de Wouwer (Bel/LOT) 10:06.
35. Marco Velo (Ita/MER) 10:06.
36. Serge Baguet (Bel/LOT) 10:06.
37. Fabrice Gougot (Fra/C.A) 10:06.
38. Michel Lafis (Swe/FAR) 10:06.
39. Frederic Guesdon (Fra/FDJ) 10:06.
40. David Canada (Spa/ONC) 10:06.
. Paolo Bettini (Ita/MAP)
. Angel Casero (Spa/FES)
. Laurent Dufaux (Swi/SAE)
. Lauri Aus (Est/AG2)
. Miguel Angel Pena (Spa/ONC)
. Michele Bartoli (Ita/MAP)
1. Lance Armstrong (USA/USP) 53 h 03:29.
2. Jan Ullrich (Ger/TEL) at 04:55.
3. Joseba Beloki (Spa/FES) 05:52.
4. Marc Wauters (Bel/RAB) 06:03.
5. Christophe Moreau (Fra/FES) 06:53.
6. Manuel Beltran (Spa/MAP) 07:25.
7. Richard Virenque (Fra/PLT) 08:28.
8. Roberto Heras (Spa/KEL) 08:33.
9. Francisco Mancebo (Spa/BAN) 09:42.
10. Javier Ochoa (Spa/KEL) 09:46.
11. Peter Luttenberger (Aust/ONC) 10:01.
12. Laurent Jalabert (Fra/ONC) 10:14.
13. Marco Pantani (Ita/MER) 10:26.
14. Alex Zuelle (Swi/BAN) 10:46.
15. Fernando Escartin (Spa/KEL) 10:58.
16. Daniele Nardello (Ita/MAP) 11:16.
17. Kurt Van de Wouwer (Bel/LOT) 11:40.
18. Pascal Herve (Fra/PLT) 12:44.
19. Santiago Botero (Col/KEL) 13:11.
20. Felix Garcia Casas (Spa/FES) 14:59.
21. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kzk/TEL) 15:13.
22. Michael Boogerd (Hol/RAB) 15:36.
23. Marcos Serrano (Spa/ONC) 16:12.
24. Abraham Olano (Spa/ONC) 17:17.
25. Guido Trentin (Ita/VIN) 17:18.
26. Nico Mattan (Bel/COF) 17:37.
27. Jose Maria Jimenez (Spa/BAN) 17:56.
28. David Etxebarria (Spa/ONC) 18:00.
29. Vicente Garcia-Acosta (Spa/BAN) 18:22.
30. Fabrice Gougot (Fra/C.A) 19:17.
31. Tyler Hamilton (USA/USP) 20:16.
32. Mario Aerts (Bel/LOT) 21:03.
33. Bobby Julich (USA/C.A) 21:08.
34. David Canada (Spa/ONC) 21:26.
35. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol/BAN) 22:14.
36. Grischa Niermann (Ger/RAB) 23:02.
37. Roberto Conti (Ita/VIN) 23:51.
38. Jean-Cyril Robin (Fra/BJT) 25:11.
39. Giuseppe Guerini (Ita/TEL) 25:32.
40. Paolo Savoldelli (Ita/SAE) 26:03.
47. David Millar (GBR/COF) 29:37.