87th Tour de France - Grand Tour

France, July 1 - 23, 2000

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Complete live report

Stage 17- July 19: Evian-Les-Bains - Lausanne, 155 km

Start time: 13:34
Estimated finish time: 17:15

Today's stage from Evian-Les-Bains to Lausanne takes the riders out of France and into Switzerland. The finishing place, Lausanne is the home of the UCI, who are celebrating their centenary this year. The 133 riders left in the race (after Marco Pantani's withdrawal this morning) will ride 155 kilometres and the stage is expected to be quite fast.

13:44 - 7 km

The stage started right on time at 13:34 CET. The riders have indeed started attacking early on with Ag2r's Christophe Agnolutto, Polti's Fabio Sacchi and Mapei's Manuel Beltran taking off after 2 km.

13:56 - 17 km

The attack of Agnolutto, Beltran and Sacchi is quickly pulled in, but the Ag2r might have more up his sleeve. His team director, Vincent Lavenu told cyclingnews this morning that Agnolutto was feeling good and wanted another stage win. Also, there was some more insight into Lance Armstrong's time loss yesterday: according to Lavenu, the yellow jersey was already suffering on the Col des Saises when the first attacks went. This was before his hunger knock on the last climb, which he later apologised to his teammates about. "I'm sorry I rode like an amateur today and didn't eat properly," said Armstrong.

A new attack goes from Garcia-Acosta (Banesto), Vidal (Kelme), Dekker (Rabobank), Knaven (Farm Frites), Hoj (FdJ), Voskamp (Polti), Voigt (CA), Rodrigues (Banesto), Fred Rodriguez (Mapei) and Llorente (Kelme). All the usual suspects.

They are joined by Commesso (Saeco), Ekimov (USPS), Zberg (Rabobank), Elli (Telekom), Chanteur (Ag2r) Apollonio (VC) and Sacchi (Polti) to form a front group of 17.

14:08 - 29 km

The situation now is that at kilometre 29, the break has been thinned to 6: Arrieta, Garcia-Acosta (Banesto), Otxoa, Pascual Llorente (Kelme), Lotz (Rabobank) and Agnolutto again.

The climbs are not quite over, as the riders have to tackle the category 2 Col des Mosses at km 54, a 17.9 km climb at 5.6%. Then with 7 km to go in the stage, there is the category 3 Côte de Lausanne a 2.4 km climb at 4.6% that might really sort things out. The sprints today are at Vouvry (km 25) and Treytorrens-Dezaley (km 131).

14:15 - 32 km

All the escapees have been caught now (at the 30 kilometre point). The wind is at the riders' backs today, especially in this first section along Lac Leman, hence the fast speed early on (46 km/h). The first rider to go out the back is Jan Boven (Rabobank), who may be cursing his teammate, Erik Dekker's early attack. Dekker told cyclingnews this morning that 3 stage wins was definitely on the menu, and we haven't seen the last of him in this year's Tour.

14:23 - 40 km

The riders are on the climb of the Col de Mosses , a long drag with its summit at km 54. In the first 50 minutes they have covered 40 kilometres!

An attack by Massimiliano Lelli (Cofidis) sees him establish a 40 second gap on the peloton.

There was an insight into Pantani's performance yesterday from Lucien Van Impe, a former winner of the Tour in 1976 (and a brilliant climber) and now a Belgian TV commentator. According to Van Impe, Pantani was not at 100%, more like 80% of his form. Had he had more training he may well have exploded the peloton in some of the earlier stages.

14:32 - 43 km

Lelli is 11 kilometres away from the summit of the main climb of the day, the Col des Mosses (cat. 2). His lead is growing to the peloton and is now at 1'50. Two riders go off in pursuit: Vicente Garcia-Acosta (again) and Thierry Marichal (Lotto).

At the back of the race, Jan Boven (Rabobank) has retired.

14:40 - 47 km

Lelli is still 1'35 in front of Garcia-Acosta and Marichal, who have increased their advantage to the US Postal-led peloton. The average speed in the first hour of the race was 44.4 km/h.

Salvatore Commesso is now having problems, and the Saeco rider is off the back of the main bunch.

14:48 - 50 km

Garcia-Acosta and Marichal have given up, and dropped back to the yellow jersey peloton, which is now down to just 40 riders! The speed up the climb has really taken its toll, with others such as Erik Zabel and Bobby Julich being dropped.

14:58 - 54 km

The next two riders to try and chase Lelli are Pascal Herve (Polti) and Enrico Zaina (Mercatone Uno). However, they don't manage to catch Lelli before the top of the climb. Now, the Cofidis rider has quite a bit of gradual descending to come. Rabobank's Maarten Den Bakker also tries an attack from the peloton, which has regrouped a little with Zabel making contact again.

A little more on the Pantani withdrawal: He left this morning for his home town of Cesenatico. "I couldn't go any further. I'm completely empty". He was advised to stop by his Mercatone Uno team doctor Magni. The reason for his stomach problems was "drinking cold water with sugar during the Alpine stages."

His next target is the Olympics. "First I'll take some rest, then the Olympics come."

15:08 - 60 km

Lelli crosses the summit of the Col des Mosses first and is well on his way down the other side. Herve is next, followed by Zaina, then 4. Den Bakker at 2'00" 5. Mancebo at 2'10" 6. Escartin 7. Moreau 8. Mattan 2'17" 9. Millar 10. Heppner. It's good to see Dave Millar still riding well in this Tour.

Banesto have now lost Alex Zulle, and there remains only one team in the race with a full compliment of riders: US Postal.

15:17 - 70 km

Lelli is still in the lead by 1'40, but now he is being chased on the descent by Marc Lotz (Rabo), Jens Heppner (Telekom), Marco Velo & Enrico Zaina (Mercatone), Geert Verheyen (Lotto) and Beneteau (Bonjour)

15:30 - 81 km/74 km to go

The 6 chasers have been joined by Christophe Megnin (FdJ) and Max Van Heeswijk (Mapei). They have closed to within 57 seconds of the lone Lelli, with 74 kilometres to go.

15:38 - 89 km/66 km to go

Massimiliano Lelli has been caught by the eight chasers, forming a group of 9 about 1'20 ahead of the peloton which is being led by US Postal. The most dangerous man in the group on GC is in fact Lelli, who is 31st at 59:24. He is no real threat to Armstrong, so it's likely that the other teams will have to chase if these nine are to be re-absorbed. However, with the lack of strength of certain teams, they might not be willing.

15:50 - 95 km/60 km to go

The break has consolidated their lead with 60 kilometres left to race. The gap has not blown out as a result of the fast chase by Telekom and Postal. The former team are looking to get Erik Zabel a few more points for his green jersey, but more importantly to set him up for a stage win. Sprinter's have had a fairly lean time of it in this year's Tour.

The average speed after 2 hours of racing, including the substantial climb of the Col des Mosses is 42.8 km/h.

16:00 - 102 km/53 km to go

The gap is being kept steady by the Postal-Telekom chase. Of the leaders, Van Heeswijk and Heppner are probably the best sprinters, although it's likely that attacks will go on the Cote de Lausanne with 7km to go. That is, if they haven't been absorbed by the bunch.

16:10 - 111 km/44 km to go

The nine riders are slowly being drawn in by the bunch, and at the latest check they were 1'22 in front. Postal seem to want to keep the pace high to discourage further attacks.

16:20 - 121 km/34 km to go

The lead is being cut now to just 40 seconds. It looks like the nine will be caught before the finish, which will set it up for an exciting finale.

16:27 - 128 km/27 km to go

The front group are breaking up now, after several attacks have occurred with the peloton breathing down their necks. Velo, Lelli and Mengin have made a little move, followed by Verheyen.

16:32 - 132 km/23 km to go

The three remaining leaders pass the sprint at Treytorrens-Dezaley with less than 40 seconds. The order is Lelli (6 pts), Velo (4 pts) and Megnin (2pts). It's very fast now with a tailwind along the lake. Telekom is riding hard on the front to set things up for Zabel in this very tricky urban finish in Lausanne.

16:38 - 136.5 km/18.5 km to go

Marco Velo, Christophe Mengin and Massimilliano Lelli are fighting a losing battle against the might of the Telekom train. At the latest time check, their lead was just 24 seconds.

16:40 - 140.5 km/14.5 km to go

Telekom have them within sight at 100 meters. They should be caught before the final climb.

16:45 - 145 km/10 km to go

The riders are now on the first of two city circuits in Lausanne, with the Cote de Lausanne coming up shortly. The riders are caught with 11 km to go, and immediately there is an attack by a Memorycard with a Rabobank on his wheel. Telekom chase it down immediately.

16:51 - 147 km/8 km to go

Bo Hamburger (Memorycard) tried an attack and he is joined by Vinokourov (Telekom) and a Cofidis rider - it's David Moncoutie. Telekom have stopped chasing and these three have a handy lead going up the Cote de Lausanne.

16:54 - 153 km/2 km to go

The three are caught though, as the Cote de LAusanne is won by Vinokourov, Moreau and Ullrich. Boogerd attacks but is brought back, similarly by Mario Aerts and Pascual Llorente. Armstrong has moved to the front now and is pulling the break back.

Erik Dekker and Mario Aerts have a nice lead now, about 50 m.

16:57 - 154 km/1 km to go

Dekker and Aerts have 7 seconds, and they may do it. Dekker would love a hattrick and is really making a hard effort. There aren't many Telekom's left though.

16:57 - 155 km/0 km to go

They're starting to look around, but Jens Voigt comes off the peloton in pursuit. The front two are looking at each other. They may get caught.

Dekker comes off Aerts with 200 m to go and wins the stage! Zabel second. He does it as predicted this morning!


1 Erik Dekker (Ned) Rabobank                       3.24.53 (45.392 km/h)
2 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom
3 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Mapei-Quick Step
4 François Simon (Fra) Bonjour
5 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Farm Frites
6 Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
7 Massimiliano Mori (Ita) Saeco-Valli & Valli
8 Romans Vainsteins (Lat) Vini Caldirola-Sidermec
9 Nico Mattan (Bel) Cofidis
10 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Festina

General classification after stage 17:

1 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service          75.37.23
2 Jan Ullrich (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom              5.37
3 Joseba Beloki (Spa) Festina                          6.38
4 Roberto Heras (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca               6.43
5 Richard Virenque (Fra) Team Polti                    7.36
6 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Festina                      8.22
7 Santiago Botero (Col) Kelme-Costa Blanca            10.19
8 Fernando Escartin (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca          11.35
9 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Banesto                     13.07
10 Manuel Beltran (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step              13.08

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