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Le Tour 2001
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89th Tour de France - Grand Tour

France, July 6-28, 2002

Main page    Stage profile    Start List    Results

Stage 1 - Sunday July 7: Luxembourg - Luxembourg, 192.5 km

Complete Live Report

Start time: 12:45 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:30 CEST

11:40 CEST
Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of the first open road stage of the Tour de France. Today's stage is 192 kilometres long, starting and finishing in Luxembourg, with a short uphill drag to the finish. The stage is not at all flat, containing the Cat. 3 climbs of Côte De Hoscheid (km 69.5) and Côte De Wormeldange (km 148.5), and the Cat. 4 climbs of Côte De Vianden (km 87) and Côte De Hostert (km 182). The Côte De Wormeldange is not easy: it's 800 metres long at an average grade of 9.5 percent, with an 18 percent section. That's going to cause some pain, but it is short.

The weather today is similar to yesterday: Cool and overcast, and it could rain. It's about 20 degrees.

12:25 CEST
The riders have set out from Luxembourg for their approximately 25 minute neutral section. The race proper gets under way at 12:45, finishing around 17:30.

During yesterday's prologue, there were a few crashes, but only one rider went down hard: Jerome Bernard (Jean Delatour), who has cuts on his leg. Other riders who crashed include: Didier Rous (Bonjour), Benoit Joachim (USPS) and Miguel Martinez (Mapei). None were seriously hurt.

12:55 CEST
And they're off. 189 riders have set out for approximately four and a half hours in the saddle, with four climbs and three time bonus sprints en route. The first of these is at km 14.5. Will CSC's Laurent Jalabert try and take back the two seconds deficit he has on Lance Armstrong to move into the Maillot Jaune? With 6, 4 and 2 seconds bonus, JaJa only needs to place third in any one of these sprints, and finish with the main bunch at the end.

13:10 CEST - 13 km
After 13 kilometres, the peloton is still compact, presumably waiting for the first sprint. The tempo has been relatively calm.

A lot of folks are expecting Telekom's super sprinter Erik Zabel to come to the fore today, as he is excellent in an uphill finish. Also look out for Oscar Freire (Mapei) and his partner in crime Tom Steels, although the big burly Belgian champ may struggle a bit over today's parcours. Then there's Robbie McEwen, who was the only sprinter to beat Mario Cipollini head to head in the Giro. His battle with Zabel will be interesting.

13:26 CEST

It's still 'peloton groupee' after 20 kilometres, with not a great deal happening in stage 1 so far.

For those interested in more in depth coverage of yesterday's prologue, take a look at the photo gallery (pick a rider, any rider...), the post-stage comments and other Tour news, and the rider diaries from Brad McGee and Floyd Landis. We've also got a range of Tour tech coverage, with the bikes that the riders are on featured in Part I and Part II of our Tour de France bikes.

13:42 CEST
We're approaching the first hour of racing, and there have been no attacks so far with 30 kilometres covered. With around 3500 kilometres in front of them over the next three weeks, it's no real surprise. However, the first stages of the Tour are usually very nervous, and once we hit the final 70 km or so, the tension will go up.

13:50 CEST - 36 km
The first hour was covered at an average speed of 33.1 km/h, slow but not completely lethargic.

Over the next three days, the battle between the sprinters for the green jersey will start, but mixed in with this is the chance of wearing the yellow jersey as race leader. Stuart O'Grady (CA) has his eyes on yellow again after finishing 22.59 seconds behind prologue winner Lance Armstrong yesterday. With 6, 4 and 2 seconds for each of the three intermediate sprints, and 20, 12 and 8 seconds for a stage finish, the sprinters have plenty of incentive.

*Note: The first bonus sprint is at 50km, not 14.5 km as previously indicated. The organisers made a last minute change.

14:00 CEST - 45 km
The CSC-Tiscali team is controlling affairs at the front of the peloton, with just 5 kilometres to go until the first sprint. The plan: get Jalabert those two seconds to take the Maillot Jaune. The pace has really picked up now.

14:07 CEST - 48 km
The Lampre riders also come to the front to try and get Rumsas in a good position. Jalabert (currently wearing green) glues himself to Zabel's wheel, with O'Grady just in front of him. Armstrong is further back, but not too far. He wants to keep himself out of trouble.

CSC-Tiscali start the train going.

14:11 CEST - 50 km
A Lampre rider tries to wind it up, but he is swamped by five Telekom riders. Aldag, Wesemann, Hondo, Fagnini and Zabel are there, but Brad McGee (FDJ.com) takes a flier with 1 km to go. He gets a gap and looks quite good. But the sprint is wound up by Hondo and McGee explodes with 200m to go. Zabel gets it from O'Grady and Jalabert, which puts JaJa in yellow by 0.17 seconds.

14:15 CEST - 52 km
Immediately after the sprint, Sylvain Chavanel (Bonjour) attacks, but can't get anywhere. A counter-attack of five riders follows, with Baguet and Serpellini present, but the pace seems to be too high in the peloton for them to escape.

There is a slight lull, allowing Stéphane Berges (Ag2R Prevoyance) to get off the front. The wind is really strong on the tops, and is slicing up the peloton.

A fall in the peloton involving a motorbike, Servais Knaven, and several others including Dekker, Santi Perez, Franck Bouyer. A tangle of bikes...

14:21 CEST - 57 km/135 km to go
Christophe Mengin (FDJ) and Ludo Dierckxsens (Lampre) have joined Berges in the lead. A group of about 15 riders is trying to get back to the peloton after that crash.

They are successful, as the pace slows enough for them to regain contact.

The leaders have 31 seconds.

14:29 CEST - 62 km/130 km to go
The three leaders, Stephane Berges, Christophe Mengin, and Ludo Dierckxsens have increased their advantage to 2'10, as the peloton sits up. The CSC team, which helped to get Jalabert those two bonus seconds, are busy chatting to their team director Bjarne Riis via their radios, while the three fugitives gain ground. Ludo Dierckxsens (Lampre) is now the virtual leader of the race.

Oscar Sevilla and Richard Virenque both puncture, and both get back to the peloton.

14:39 CEST - 68 km/124 km to go
The leaders are on the Cat. 3 Côte De Hoscheid, enjoying a 3 minute advantage over the peloton, which is still moving at a moderate speed. Erik Dekker, who was injured in the fall, gets some attention from the race doctor on his left leg. Enrico Cassani is in more trouble, and falls off the back of the bunch.

Berges takes the points on the climb from Mengin and Dierckxsens. Halgand and Virenque sprint it out for the fourth and fifth places, three and a half minutes behind. Halgand just got it, so Virenque gets only 1 point. The two get a gap on the descent.

14:56 CEST - 83 km/109 km to go
The three leaders Stephane Berges, Christophe Mengin and Ludo Dierckxsens have a 3'15 lead as the CSC-Tiscali squad picks up the tempo. They probably want to leave them out there to soak up the time bonus sprints, but will have to catch them of course to ensure Jalabert finishes in yellow. Francois Simon (Bonjour) punctures, and has a long wait for a front wheel change. He gets going again, and will have to chase back on through the caravan.

Cyclingnews spoke with a number of riders before the start today, one being Jorg Jakscke (ONCE-Eroski)

Jorg Jaksche
Photo: © CN
Click for larger image

CN: How is the vibe on the ONCE team?
JJ: There’s a little bit of tension, but I think it’s like that in every team. The first few days, you stay in the hotel for three days and you are just training and eating and sleeping and that causes some normal tension, you know.

CN: Were you guys satisfied with yesterdays prologue?
JJ: We are satisfied that no one crashed, which is really important; yeah, you lose a little time to to Lance but it’s OK. The guys are all good time trialists but not really specialists in Prologue, so we were quite content

CN: Nice bike!
JJ: It’s a special edition from Giant, because they have their 30th anniversary. Everything is black and gold and I think it looks great. A real eyecatcher…

15:02 CEST - 87 km/105 km to go
The leading trio are on the second climb of Côte De Vianden, still with their three minute plus lead. The CSC squad are setting a good tempo, and will start to reel the fugitives in. There's still over 100 km to go, so there's no hurry yet.

Berges attacks on the climb, but he is overtaken by Mengin, who gets the points in front of Ludo Dierckxsens (5, 3, 1 points).

Floyd Landis (USPS) was slightly more relaxed today when we spoke to him this morning.

CN: How do you feel today?
FL: Better now that things are going…there’s something to do, you know.
There’s a little bit too much waiting around and apprehension for the last
couple days. I’m excited!
CN: What’s the (USPS) plan for today?
FL: We’re not going to let any big breaks go. I’m sure sprinters (teams) are going to get the lead under any circumstances. We’ll keep things within reason and if some people get some time, it’s fine. I don't think anybody dangerous will be a factor anyway. We’LL see…

So far it's worked out well for them.

15:20 CEST - 98 km/94 km to go

The start
Photo: © CN
Click for larger image

We're over halfway now in this first stage around Luxembourg. Ludo Dierckxsens, who finished 74th in the prologue at 33 seconds, is the current 'Virtual Maillot Jaune'. However he presents no real threat to Laurent Jalabert, who will take the yellow jersey if he finishes in the front group of the peloton (and the leading three get caught).

The CSC-Tiscali team are riding a very tactically smart race, allowing these three riders to stay 3 minutes in front, and soak up all the bonus sprints, meaning that Zabel can't get them. But if Zabel wins the stage and Jalabert doesn't place, then the German will take yellow.

Cyclingnews spoke with the best young rider, David Millar (5th in the prologue) at the start, with the Cofidis rider sporting his white jersey.

CN: That’s a nice jersey, David.
DM: Yeah, it goes well with my kit!
CN: Hopefully it won’t rain and get your new white jersey dirty.
DM: No…it’LL be alright. It’s not gonna rain; PMA…Positive Mental Attitude! Everything's gonna be O.K.!

15:36 CEST - 108 km/84 km to go
The leaders Berges, Mengin and Dierckxsens have increased their advantage to over 4 minutes, with the CSC-Tiscali team still chasing on the front of the peloton. The speed has picked up a little, and they probably want to catch the fugitives with around 20-30 km to go.

15:47 CEST - 118 km/74 km to go
Ludo Dierckxsens attacks to take the second time bonus sprint at km 117, and succeeds. He gets 6 seconds bonus, which puts him at 27 seconds from the lead.

The gap back to the CSC led peloton is 3'25. The third hour was raced at over 44 km/h, meaning that the overall average speed after three hours is 38.7 km/h.

One rider with a chance today is Domo's sprinter Fred Rodriguez, who told us this morning that 'I just took it easy; I wanted to open my legs up and not really…if I felt like my legs were open, I would have gone for it, but…at the same time, what would I have gotten, 25th? (laughs)'

CN: I think you like the roads here in Luxembourg, don’t you?
FR: Yeah, this is a good area for me…the roads suit me and I had a stage win here and had the Yellow Jersey (Tour Of Luxembourg 2001). They’re hard little hills that put wear on the riders, so if I have good legs...

15:59 CEST - 125 km/67 km to go
Ludo Dierckxsens, Stephane Berges and Christophe Mengin have reached the top of a tough little uncategorised climb, as the peloton follows 3'10 behind them. There's still another one and a half hours of racing in front of them, and the CSC chase will presumably pick up speed soon.

16:11 CEST - 132 km/60 km to go
The leaders are starting to lose more time as they head back to Luxembourg, and the gap is now down to 2'45. It's still CSC chasing at the front, with no assistance from the sprinters teams yet. Although Laurent Jalabert is well placed on GC, if Erik Zabel wins the stage and Jalabert doesn't place in the top 3, then Zabel will be in yellow.

Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r Prevoyance) told Cyclingnews this morning that, 'Well, I feel good but the finale is a little difficult for me so I’m not sure I can participate in the sprint.'

CN: How does it feel to back racing again after your long break?
JK: To be back racing is really nice; I’ve been missing it..

16:26 CEST - 144 km/48 km to go
A sea of orange Euskaltel-euskadi riders get near the front of the peloton, as they head towards the finale. CSC will be wanting some help at this stage. The ONCE boys help too, and the gap is now 2'15.

16:33 CEST - 148 km/44 km to go
Dierckxsens attacks on the Cote de Wormeldange, and only Mengin can stay with him. Berges is dropped and will be caught by the peloton soon, as they are only 1'20 behind now.

Rik Verbrugghe attacks, with Halgand on his wheel. McGee is also there. But they have to stop because of a traffic jam. Behind them, Armstrong's US Postal team shelters him up the climb.

Mengin takes the 10 points at the top, from Dierckxsens and Berges. Verbrugghe, Halgand and McGee are chasing close behind, but are caught by a group of 5 riders, including Armstrong and Millar. Serguei Ivanov (Fassa Bortolo) is also there.

16:38 CEST - 150 km/42 km to go
This chasing group is impressive - Armstrong, Verbrugghe, Botero, Halgand, Millar, McGee, Ivanov, Boogerd, Kivilev. They are within 20 seconds of the leading three.

They catch them forming a group of 12 in front. This is dangerous for ONCE, who have none of their GC riders up there.

We asked Jan Ostergaard, legendary mountain biker and long time Luxembourg resident about the Cote de Wormeldange:

JO: It's a really steep hill. You come into it from the flat and and if you
have to be in the right gear. If are not in the front, you might have to walk! And on the top, it can be windy…it’s a good place to make an attack.

16:43 CEST - 154 km/38 km to go
The ONCE team chase hard to get these 12 breakaways back, with CSC lending a hand. The gap is just eight seconds, and is falling.

But Christophe Moreau and Jens Voigt (CA) are in a bit of trouble, chasing in a second peloton about 25 seconds behind the ONCE led front group. There is some regrouping at the front, as Peron goes up to Verbrugghe, Ivanov and Berges. They look around, and it's over.

Can Jalabert get up for the intermediate sprint? He's trying hard. He's in 10th wheel.

16:49 CEST - 160 km/32 km to go
Kroon, Bortolami, Wadecki, Ekimov and an Ag2r rider get a small gap, but it is closed down. Wadecki and Bortolami try again, and stay away to fight out the intermediate sprint. Bortolami gets it from Wadecki. Durand is third, so no bonus for JaJa, who is still only 19 seconds in front of Zabel.

Moreau's group is still chasing, but gets back on.

16:54 CEST - 163 km/29 km to go
Wadecki and Bortolami are caught on a small climb, and there is an attack by a Bonjour rider, Walter Beneteau, who gets Virenque on his wheel. Five others including Igor Gonzalez(?) bridge up, forcing Armstrong's team to chase.

Beneteau, Virenque, Fagnini, Seigneur, Hunter, De Groot and Gonzalez de Galdeano have a small lead with less than 30 km to go. It's too small though, and USPS chase them down.

Marco Serpellini (Lampre) is next to attack.

Moreau falls, along with Hamilton. It looks painful for Moreau. His teammates wait for him, and they start chasing again.

17:00 CEST - 167 km/24 km to go
Laurent Lefevre (Jean Delatour), Sandy Casar (FDJ) and Christian Moreni (Alessio) set off in pursuit of Serpellini, who has 20 seconds.

Hamilton and Moreau get back to the peloton. Postal slowed their tempo at the front. Igor Gonzalez was also involved in that crash, but he too is back on with a nice new bike.

17:02 CEST - 168 km/24 km to go
The four leaders have 30 seconds with 24 km to go, after the crash disrupted the tempo in the peloton. However, it's all back together now and the chase can start again. In front it's US Postal, who have decided to set the tempo.

Dave Bruylandts (Domo) told Cyclingnews this morning that 'The way it looks, I think it will be a sprint for Zabel. We did the last 55km (of Stage 1) in training and there’s Wormeldange and another unclassified climb, then Hostert, then an uphill final. Last year in Seraing, it was a sprint with 80 or 90 riders, so it ought to be the same today.'

17:06 CEST - 170 km/22 km to go
CSC have got to the front, as they don't want this break to get away. Behind them is George Hincapie and the US Postal train. This morning, Hincapie was brief, but upbeat:

CN: How are you feeling today?
GH: Oh yeah, I feel good!
CN: How’s the final today?
GH: It’s gonna be hard!
CN: Any chance for you to go for a stage win?
GH: No, we got to stay with the boss!

17:12 CEST - 174 km/18 km to go
The CSC chase is not having an effect, as the gap to the four leaders is still 42 seconds. They will need a hand, but who will give it to them? Telekom don't seem that interested just yet.

17:14 CEST - 176 km/16 km to go
The peloton is in a big long line as they head towards the final climb of the day, the Côte De Hostert. They trail a group of four riders: Lefevre, Casar, Moreni and Serpellini by 38 seconds. Casar is the best climber of this group.

Now Rabobank have taken over the chasing. This should have a big effect.

17:19 CEST - 181 km/11 km to go
The peloton hits the base of the climb, breathing down the necks of the four breakaways. Lefevre attacks and gets a gap to the rest.

Basso, Bruylandts and Brochard are chasing him. They catch Lefevre just over the top of the climb. Brochard explodes, and goes back to the peloton. So we now have three leaders: Bruylandts, Basso and Lefevre with a small gap to the peloton.

Moreau is off the back again, with Unai and David Etxebarria.

The peloton catch the breakaways.

17:25 CEST - 183 km/9 km to go
Axel Merckx counterattacks on the top of the climb, taking Serguei Ivanov, Floyd Landis, Michael Boogerd, Jean Cyril Robin and Peter Luttenberger with him. Not bad. A Telekom rider leads the chase.

What's Davide Cassani (RAI-TV Color Commentator) predication for today? We asked him this morning in the village.

DC: It’s a pretty complicated stage…it’s not flat, there is some wind and there is an mostly uphill section of 15km with 30km to go where some crosswind echelons can form, plus there are all these little climbs. I don’t think Armstrong want to work real hard to keep the Yellow Jersey, nor does Telekom want to put their guys on the front with 50km to go, so there should a lot of French and Belgians and even Italians trying to get away. So it ought to be an interesting stage…if it finishes in a sprint, the favorite is Zabel, since all these ups and downs will slow pure sprinters like Steels and McEwen.

17:29 CEST - 188 km/4 km to go
Aart Vierhouten (Lotto) is doing the work on the front of the peloton for Robbie McEwen. Telekom is helping the chase. The leaders have 10 seconds with 4 km to go.

17:30 CEST - 189 km/3 km to go
It's over, as a magenta train swallows up the break. Zabel is looking good for the stage win/yellow jersey combo. McEwen and Freire are also good chances, as is Kirsipuu who is in the front of the peloton. Svorada as well.

17:32 CEST - 191 km/1 km to go
Aldag does a huge turn to take the peloton into the final km. Then Wesemann and Livingston, then Hondo, Fagnini and Zabel. McEwen is close behind Zabel.

A Lampre rider - Bertogliati - puts in a huge attack with 1 km to go.

17:35 CEST - 192 km/0km to go
Bertogliati wins it - just. Zabel was second in front of McEwen. That means, with the 20 second bonus, Bertogliati takes over the lead. He started the day 17 seconds behind Armstrong. A good start for the Swiss!

His attack was made right under the 1 km barrier. Hondo was leading the peloton at the time, but could not match the speed of the attack. Bertogliati


1 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Lampre Daikin       4.49.16
2 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom 
3 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Adecco 
4 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
5 Oscar Freire (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step
6 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole
7 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Jean Delatour
8 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport
9 Jose Enrique Gutierrez (Spa) Kelme
10 Francois Simon (Fra) Bonjour

General classification after stage 1

1 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Lampre Daikin        4.58.21
2 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) CSC-Tiscali               0.03
3 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal
4 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Lampre Daikin             0.06
5 Santiago Botero (Col) Kelme-Costa Blanca         0.07
6 David Millar (GBr) Cofidis                       0.08
7 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Jean Delatour             0.09
8 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom           0.10
9 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport                  0.11
10 Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Spa) ONCE-Eroski     0.12 


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