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87th Tour de France - Grand Tour

France, July 1 - 23, 2000

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Complete live report

Stage 10 - July 10: Dax - Lourdes Hautacam, 205 km

Scheduled Start: 10:52 CET

Welcome to stage 10 of the 87th Tour de France, the first major mountain stage taking the riders 205 kilometres from Dax to Lourdes-Hautacam. The conditions today are poor: rain is falling at the start, and cold weather is scheduled for the top of the climbs.

The climbs to overcome today are the Cote de Barcus (Cat. 3, 386m, 76.5km), the Col de Marie-Blanque (Cat. 1, 1,035m, 120.5km), the Col d'Aubisque (Cat. HC, 1,709m, 158.5km); Col du Solour (Cat. 2, 1,474m, 168.5km) finishing with Lourdes-Hautacam (Cat. HC, 1,520m, 205km).

10:59 CET - 4 km

The riders are off once more, on a long and wet journey toward the Pyreneean heights. No-one is in a hurry just yet, and most riders are wearing rain jackets. Alberto Elli, the race leader rides near the front at the start, flanked by some of his Telekom teammates.

11:14 CET - 12 km

The peloton are still rolling along, with quite some time to go before they hit the first climb. Before then, there is a sprint at Sauveterre-De-Bearn (41.5 km), and presumably Erik Zabel will try and set himself up for that one. The only other sprint of the day comes at Laruns (140 km), which is after the Category 1 Col de Marie-Blanque.

Riders from seven teams (Mercatone Uno, Credit Agricole, ONCE, Lotto, Saeco, FdJ and Banesto) were blood-hematocrit and hemaglobin tested this morning, all with negative results.

11:25 CET - 18 km

Some riders have itchy legs already - Christophe Agnolutto (Ag2r) attacks, followed by Zanini (Mapei), Zabel (Telekom), Nazon (FdJ) and Wauters (Rabobank). They have their eyes on the points in 21 kilometres time. However, they are caught fairly quickly. The weather has cleared a little, and it is no longer raining.

11:48 CET - 30 km

A look down the standings today shows the tasks ahead of the favourites. Firstly we have Elli in the lead, with riders like Jens Voigt (CA, 3.17), Guisseppi Guerini (Telekom, 5.25) within a reasonable distance. Then the main favourites, Jalabert (at 5.40), Armstrong (at 5.54), Olano (at 6.13), Hamilton (at 6.35), Ullrich (at 6.37), Jonathan Vaughters (at 7.52), Bobby Julich (at 7.55), Zulle (at 9.59), Pantani (at 11.06), Virenque (at 11.26), Escartin (at 11.56), and Dufaux (at 12.05).

Although it is a little early, it seems doubtful that Zulle, Dufaux or Escartin can make up enough time on the rest to win the Tour.

11:52 CET - 32 km

In a completely unpredictable move, Lotto's Jacky Durand takes off at the 32 km mark. It is raining again, and he manages a small gap. Will the peloton let him have some rope?

11:55 CET - 34 km

Durand has managed a 39 second gap, and is going hard. He is currently 19 points behind Erik Dekker in the most aggressive rider standings, and is seeking to pick up a few more today.

12:02 CET - 39 km

Jacky Durand is committed now, but there is movement in the peloton, as Salvatore Commesso (Saeco) takes off after him. The peloton is strung out behind him, and Durand's lead may evaporate a little. Durand should get the sprint points though.

12:08 CET - 43 km

The results for the first sprint at Sauveterre-De-Bearn: 1. Jacky Durand (Lotto), 2. Erik Zabel, 3. Damien Nazon (Bonjour) ,who just pipped a Raboank rider. Durand may be given some more rope yet.

12:16 CET - 50 km

Two riders have attacked in pursuit of Durand: Javier Otxoa (Kelme) and Nico Mattan (Cofidis). They quickly make ground, but are being chased hard by the peloton. The gap shrinks rapidly.

12:20 CET - 54 km

The three leaders have increased their gap to 46 seconds, and a lone Francaise des Jeux rider, Frank Hoj, is in pursuit.

12:29 CET - 58.4 km

The Danes are on fire: Frank Hoj has been joined by Michael Sandstod (MC J&J) and the two are trying to close on Mattan, Otxoa, and Durand.

Jalabert has had some mechanical problems at the back.

12:34 CET - 61.0 km

Hoj has been dropped by Sandstod, who is trying desparately to make it to the front three, without much success. However, the peloton seem to have sat up a little, and the gap has grown to over four minutes

12:41 CET - 68.0 km

Sandstod is being given a talking to by Johnny Weltz, the director of Memorycard Jack&Jones. It may be that he will drop back now, as he has little chance at the moment of reaching Mattan and Otxoa. Durand however is sitting on.

The peloton are a long way back now.

12:45 CET - 71.0 km

They're on the climb of the Cote de Barcus, and Sandstod is falling further behind the leaders, but remaining steady with the peloton.

Durand, at 3.17 overall is the virtual yellow jersey by quite a margin.

12:51 CET - 74.0 km

Jacky Durand is being dropped by the other two on the climb now, but he hasn't got too far to go until the top. However, the others might not wait for him as he wasn't working anyway. Sandstod is still in no-mans land though.

13:02 CET - 79.0 km

Jacky Durand has managed to close the gap on the descent after the climb, which was won by Javier Otxoa (Kelme), with Nico Mattan (Cofidis) in second. Sandstod takes fourth, and it seems as though he is willing to stay there for a while to get a headstart on the Col de Marie Blanque, starting at km 111.

13:09 CET - 84.0 km

Sandstod is increasing his lead to the peloton, but not making any inroads into Jacky Durand, Javier Otxoa and Nico Mattan. He is still at two minutes, with the leaders having some 27 kilometres before the next climb begins in earnest.

13:23 CET - 90.0 km

Francaise des Jeux' Frank Hoj is still on the road as well, some five minutes behind the three leaders, and a minute behind compatriot Sandstod. The three leaders pass through the feed zone, and Jacky Durand misses it and has to drop back to the team car to revitalise himself.

The peloton are a whopping 14 minutes behind the front three at the feedzone.

Jean Patrick Nazon (FdJ) has retired from injuries sustained in a fall in the preceeding stage.

13:36 CET - 104.0 km

Sooner or later (probably sooner), the elastic band to the peloton has to start shrinking. The three leaders, Durand, Mattan, and Oxtoa are 17:30 in front of the bunch, and five and a half minutes in front of the separated Danes, Sandstod and Hoj.

There is not far to go now until the start of the category one Col de Marie Blanque.

13:45 CET - 111.0 km

Banesto are leading the peloton on the wet roads, still a long way behind the leaders who are nearly on the Col de Marie Blanque. Otxoa is probably the best climber, and may be the reason why Banesto are upping the tempo. The bunch is fairly tightly packed now.

13:58 CET - 115.0 km/90 km to go

Durand et. al are about halfway up the 9 kilometre climb of the Col de Marie Blanque (7.7 %). Durand is being dropped though, with four kilometres to the top.

Sandstod and Hoj are some 7 minutes behind them, with the bunch another 10 minutes back, right at the bottom. Banesto are still leading things back there.

14: 09 CET - 121.0 km/84 km to go

Otxoa and Mattan are both out of the saddle now, working hard toward the top of this category one climb. Otxoa looks more comfortable, while Mattan sits on his wheel. Durand is further down now, in front of Sandstod and Hoj, who are being reeled in by the Banesto-led peloton.

At the top of the climb, Otxoa attacks Mattan for the points, but the latter should regain on the descent. Durand has a chance as well.

Frederic Guesdon, who has such a bad crash yesterday has been dropped by the bunch.

14: 18 CET - 125.0 km/80 km to go

Banesto are attacking the bunch now, sending Francesco Mancebo up the road. Festina's Christophe Moreau has problems with a puncture, and his teammate Laurent Madouas drops back to help.

On the descent, Mattan has regained Otxoa and both are wearing their rain jackets now.

14:25 CET - 128.0 km/77 km to go

Durand is over the top now, 4'10 behind Oxtoa. He lost quite a lot there.

Francesco Mancebo is riding with Pascal Herve (Polti) in front of the peloton, who have dropped Frank Vandenbroucke (Cofidis) amongst many others. Zabel in green, Elli in yellow are dropped, as is KOM Erik Dekker. Hoj is caught and dropped as well.

14:35 CET - 136.0 km/69 km to go

Elli reaches the top, 15:30 down on the two leaders Otxoa and Mattan, and a minute behind the bunch.

The minor places of the climb: 4th, Sandstod (8:20), 5th Botero (Banesto) and Herve (13:10). Atienza, Macebo, and Hoj (14:20). Virenque, Beltran, Armstrong, Ullrich and the bunch at 14:30.

Durand crashes on the way down as does Herve. Virenque has punctured on the descent and doesn't have any help from his teammates, but manages to get back on. Laurent Desbiens (Cofidis) retires from the race.

14:52 CET - 145.0 km/60 km to go

Jens Voigt (Credit Agricole) is the next to go down on the slippery descent. The peloton has regrouped somewhat, with US Postal protecting their leader Armstrong. Ullrich and the Telekom boys are also prominent at the front, along with Mercatone Uno. Dekker has regained the peloton, as has Elli.

The sprint at Laruns was won by Mattan from Otxoa, with Durand a distant 3rd, over 10 minutes behind.

15:02 CET - 150.0 km/55 km to go

They're on the Ausbisque now, with Mattan and Otxoa still soldiering on, Durand further back, has been joined by Sandstod. Mancebo, Botero, Atienza, Commesso, and Hoj are chasing, with Herve and Odriozola further behind. Then, what is left of the peloton.

Jonathan Vaughters (not Voigt) was the rider who fell - he is in the ambulance now and out of the race. That's bad luck twice in two years for the Credit Agricole rider.

Frank Vandenbroucke, who was dropped on the Marie Blanque, has pulled out of the race.

Elli is also dropped again under the pressure of US Postal.

15:15 CET - 155.0 km/50 km to go

Things are really turning on their head now, as Otxoa has dropped Mattan who goes back to Durand. In turn, Michael Sandstod leapfrogs back to the next bunch of 9, with riders such as Mancebo, Odriozola (Banesto), Botero and Llorente (Kelme), Atienza (Saeco). Hoj (FdJ), and Verheeyen (Lotto). A little further behind is Hincapie, Tauler (Kelme), Herve (Polti), Savoldelli (Saeco) and Millar (Cofidis).

Total gap is still some 12 minutes from the front to the peloton, who are strong with US Postal riders. An attack is launched by Michele Bartoli (Mapei).

15:22 CET - 155.0 km/50 km to go

Bartoli's attack leaves Zulle and Armstrong behind, and he takes Jimenez (Banesto) with him in pursuit of the groups in front. Laurent Jalabert is dropped from the peloton.

Virenque now attacks the Armstrong group, which has no more Postal riders left in it. Zulle, Guerini, Ullrich and Pantani are still there though.

15:35 CET - 158.0 km/47 km to go

The situation now: Virenque, Herve and Heras, Jimenez, Escartin, and Beloki are a little way in front of a group with Armstrong, Julich, Moreau, Luttenberger, Pieri, Baranowksi, Ullrich, Pantani etc. (not Olano, who has been dropped).

They are some minutes behind a group with Botero, Atienza, Llorente, Odriozola, and Mancebo. The total gap between Otxoa, who is first to the top of the Aubisque, and the Armstrong group is 10'30.

15:42 CET - 163 km/42 km to go

Oxtoa has 4'50 on Mattan (descending), who still has a handy lead on the foursome of Mancebo, Odriozola, Botero and Atienza. A minute behind them is the Virenque group, who have made some headway on the main grouop containing Armstrong, Ullrich etc.

15:46 CET - 165 km/40 km to go

Millar has made it over the top with the Armstrong group - a great performance by the first Maillot Jaune of the race. This group is still 11'35 behind Otxoa.

15:58 CET - 175 km/30 km to go

The results of the Aubsique climb: Otxoa, Mattan, Botero, Beltran, Virenque, Beloki, Atienza, Heras, Jimenez, Escartin, Odriozola, and Herve.

Otxoa is still a long way in front, and the chasing group is being attacked by Virenque on the Col du Solour. On this climb, Otxoa again takes the points, followed by Mattan. Heras takes third, 9 minutes behind. Groupe Armstrong is still together, although there are no Posties in sight. Millar and Olano manage to scrape back on this group though.

Much further back is Elli, who struggled to the top of the Aubisque 22 minutes behind.

16:10 CET - 185 km/20 km to go

Virenque is a little way ahead of Mancebo, Botero, and Escartin over the Soulour, still 4 minutes behind Mattan, and nearly 9 minutes behind Otxoa. Both these two riders have ridden an incredible race so far. Heras, Beloki, and Beltran are a few seconds more behind, while the Armstrong/Pantani/Ullrich group is still at 11 minutes, being towed by Guerini. There are a lot of Kelme and Banesto riders up the road.

16:18 CET - 188 km/17 km to go

The Virenque/Mancebo escape is foiled by Escartin, Heras, Botero, Jimenez, and Beltran. They have under 20 kilometres to go, and are still behind Mattan and Otxoa. Armstrong's group has less than 25 kilometres to go.

16:24 CET - 194 km/11 km to go

Javier Otxoa is riding like a man possessed, as he passes the devil on the side of the road. He still has 8'46 on Richard Virenque's group, with less than 11 kilometres to go until the summit of the Hautacam. The main peloton is still together at the bottom.

The bunch is being driven by Guerini still, with Mercatone Uno prominent as well.

16:33 CET

Otxoa will win for sure now, as he has 4 kilometres to go. Meanwhile in the peloton with Armstrong in it, Marco Pantani launches himself off the front, followed by Zulle. Armstrong can not hang on.

16:36 CET

Armstrong does manage to bridge to Pantani, and now leads the Pirate. Otxoa has not far to go now.

16:38 CET

And now, Armstrong loses Pantani, who has no answer to his powerful climbing style. This is looking good for the 1999 Tour winner. Ullrich is further back with Bartoli, in the main group, and Armstrong is increasing his lead.

16:42 CET

Armstrong continues to motor up through the Virenque group, catching Botero and dropping him. Escartin has attacked the Virenque group though. The gap from Armstrong to Otxoa is a total of 8'30

16:45 CET

The 1999 Tour winner blasts through the remnants of the Virenque group, leaving them in his wake. Further down the mountain, Zulle, Boogerd, Ullrich, Pantani et al struggle after the Postal rider.

16:49 CET - 200 km/5 km to go

The situation now: Otxoa is still well ahead, with some 2 km to travel(?), 7:22 behind him is Armstrong in a group containing Virenque, Jimenez, Escartin, Heras and Beltran. Nico Mattan has finally been caught and is in a little group containing Beloki and Mancebo. The peloton follow behind.

16:53 CET - 201 km/4 km to go

Armstrong does it again - he rides Virenque, Escartin, Beltran, Botero, Heras, and Jimenez off his wheel with less than five kilometres to go to the summit of the Hautacam. He should take second in the stage, but put on the yellow jersey tonight. Otxoa is just 4'25 ahead of Armstrong now.

16:56 CET - 202.5 km/2.5 km to go

Otxoa is 4:10 to Armstrong who has got Jimenez with him now

16:58 CET - 203 km/2.0 km to go

Otxoa is really struggling up the final few kilometres, paying for his 155 km break. Armstrong and Jimenez may well catch him if he cannot find some extra strength. The crowd is urging him and pushing him all the way though. Meanwhile, Armstrong is completely focussed, as he was in Sestriere a year ago. He has dropped Jimenez.

17:02 CET - 204 km/1.0 km to go

The gap between Armstrong an

d Otxoa is now 2.15 and falling, but the Kelme rider has only 1 km to go. What a chase!

17:05 CET - 205 km/0 km to go

Javier Otxoa (Kelme) hangs on to take the win at the top of Lourdes-Hautacam, after 155 kilometres in the lead. Lance Armstrong comes though, under two minutes behind to takes second place.

It's Jimenez next, followed by Vireneque who is over a minute behind Armstrong. Then Beltran, Escartin, Heras, Moreau(!), Beloki, Zulle, Mancebo, Van de Wouwer and Ullrich. Pantani is yet to come.

Several riders have lost far too much time today to even threaten the GC. Armstrong, in a repeat performance of Sestriere last year, has managed to capture the yellow and take the Tour by the throat. Many expectations were completely shattered today on the road to Lourdes-Hautacam.

Results

1 Javier Otxoa (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca	     6.09.32
2 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service	0.42
3 Josť Maria Jimenez (Spa) Banesto		1.13
4 Richard Virenque (Fra) Team Polti		1.57
5 Manuel Beltran (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step	
6 Fernando Escartin (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca	2.02
7 Roberto Heras (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca	
8 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Festina		3.05
9 Joseba Beloki (Spa) Festina			3.35
10 Alex Zulle (Swi) Banesto			3.47
11 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Banesto	
12 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Lotto-Adecco	3.55
13 Jan Ullrich (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom

General classification after stage 10:

1 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service	    39.24.30
2 Jan Ullrich (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom		4.14
3 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Festina			5.10
4 Marc Wauters (Bel) Rabobank				5.18
5 Peter Luttenberger (Aut) O.N.C.E.-Deutsche Bank	5.21
6 Joseba Beloki (Spa) Festina				5.23
7 Manuel Beltran (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step			5.44

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