89th Tour de France - Grand Tour
France, July 6-28, 2002
Main page Stage
Stage 17 - Thursday July 25: Aime - Cluses, 142 km
Complete Live Report
Start time: 13:00 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:15 CEST
Today's stage is one of the race's shortest en ligne stages, but with
the last four big climbs of the race and scarcely a flat kilometre it is almost
the last opportunity for any serious changes to the general classification,
so it could be lively.
Unlike the previous few stages, the first of the day's two bonus sprints comes
before any of the climbs, so it could break the deadlock in the green jersey
13:12 CEST 2 km/140 km to go
Strangely the first attack of the day comes from one of Erik Zabel's teammates,
Rolf Aldag. This suggests that Zabel may not be feeling too good, and wants
to minimize the number of points available to McEwen at that sprint.
Aldag goes away from a rather uninterested looking bunch and very rapidly builds
up half a minute's lead.
13:20 CEST 10 km/132 km to go
Eddy Mazzoleni (Tacconi) sets out in a counter-attack and this time the bunch,
led by Lotto, lines out behind him.
Aldag takes the sprint at Bourg-St-Maurice alone; Mazzoleni is caught but a
few other riders manage to get away policed by Mario Aerts for Lotto, but that
is not enough and Piil and Bessy mop up the rest of the points; the top of the
points classification remains as it was and with the second sprint coming after
three cols, Robbie McEwen will presumably still be in green tonight, barring
13:29 CEST 16 km/126 km to go
As the riders start on the first of the three climbs, the first category Cormet
de Roselend Aldag has a quarter of a minute's lead from the group behind, with
Bessy, Piil, Aerts, Mazzoleni, Marichal, Engels, Loder and Pineau. Another minute
behind them there is a flurry of activity as US Postal send Roberto Heras up
the road - a change of tactics, which is nice - and he is joined by Andrei Kivilev,
Sandy Casar, ex-maillot jaune Igor González de Galdeano and David Latasa.
In the front group only Aerts and Mazzoleni can reasonably be expected to be
trying to do anything other than damage limitation. The third group is not far
ahead of the bunch and now David Etxebarria, Roberto Laiseka, Iban Mayo and
Stèphane Goubert; behind them the US Postal train is lining the bunch out already.
13:41 CEST 20 km/122 km to go
Aldag is still riding away strongly, but this is a very long climb, if not as
steep as some. Part of the second chasing group has mopped up the remnants of
first under pressure from Kelme's José Enrique Gutierrez; Azevedo, Mayo and
Millar are up there as well in a group of a couple of dozen nearly a minute
ahead of the bunch.
Erik Dekker and Michael Boogerd are now setting the pace for the bunch alongside
the usual US Postal faces, and a fair number of riders have been dropped.
Botero attacks alone from the peloton and gets across to the group with apparent
ease; they catch Aldag as Leipheimer also comes up from behind.
13:48 CEST 22 km/120 km to go
In front we now have:
Rolf Aldag (Ger) Team Telekom
Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) US Postal Service
José Azevedo (Por) ONCE - Eroski
Isidro Nozal (Spa) ONCE - Eroski
Santiago Botero (Col) Kelme - Costa Blanca
José Enrique Gutierrez (Spa) Kelme - Costa Blanca
David Millar (GBr) Cofidis
David Moncoutié (Fra) Cofidis
Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC Tiscali
Levi Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank
Addy Engels (Ned) Rabobank
Denis Menchov (Rus) Ibanesto.Com
Unai Osa (Spa) Ibanesto.Com
Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto - Adecco
David Etxebarria (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
Roberto Laiseca (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport
Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita) Tacconi Sport
Thierry Loder (Fra) AG2R Prévoyance
Stephane Goubert (Fra) Jean Delatour
with Millar setting the pace. However the US Postal train is keeping the gap
tight, now down to under 30 seconds. The best placed of those ahead is Azevedo,
in fourth place overall 12:08 down on Armstrong, while Botero is a real threat
to Laurent Jalabert's spotty mountains jersey.
13:58 CEST 26 km/116 km to go
First Laiseka and Frigo and then Gutierrez and Aerts break clear of the leading
group, but the Postal train sets a relentless tempo behind them and sweeps up
all but these four; with the immediate threat neutralised the chase then eases
a bit. There is a bunch of 50 riders or so remaining with Armstrong, with the
quartet in front.
Giuseppe Guerini attacks from that group, and David Etxebarria goes after him.
14:04 CEST 28 km/114 km to go
Aerts is setting the pace for the four leaders. Guerini is around 20 seconds
down on them, with the bunch another 20 seconds back; Etxebarria has not continued
Massimo Donati (Tacconi) is the first rider to pack today.
The US Postal team ease up a bit and some of the previously dropped riders are
coming back up to them again. George Hincapie chooses this relatively auspicious
moment to puncture.
14:07 CEST 30 km/112 km to go
With the postmen riding less than flat out, there are repeated attacks from
the bunch, but none have got very far. Guerini has joined the leading quartet
who are now 1.10 ahead.
14:15 CEST 31.5 km/110.5 km to go
Mario Aerts leads the group over the summit ahead of Frigo and Gutierrez; the
five leaders are around a minute and a half ahead of the bunch; Laurent Jalabert
comes out to pick up a few points - he is now 88 points clear of Botero in the
14:23 CEST 43 km/99 km to go
The status quo is more or less maintained on the descent, but Jalabert and Casar
obviously decide that things are not going quickly enough behind, and they try
to bridge the gap separately, but Jalabert catches Casar on the descent. Hushovd
is not far behind them.
The peloton is reported at 2'25 to the leaders.
We spoke to Kevin Livingston (Telekom) before the start today. Kevin is not
having the best of Tours, lying in 52nd place at 1'21'59. "I'm taking it
day by day. I'm just hoping to make it to Paris first of all," said the
14:28 CEST 49 km/93 km to go
Jalabert, Hushovd and Casar are engaged in a high speed pursuit of Laiseka,
Frigo, Gutierrez, Aerts and Guerini on the descent of the Cormet de Roselend.
They are approximately 50 seconds behind the front five. Another rider has come
across to Jalabert's group - it's Jaksche (ONCE).
14:36 CEST 56 km/86 km to go
They reach the bottom of the descent and are now on the Col des Saisies - no
rest on the flat today! Laiseka, Frigo, Gutierrez, Aerts and Guerini have 50
seconds lead on Jalabert, Hushovd, Casar and Jaksche, and 1'25 on Nozal, Serrano,
Moncoutie, Konecny, Blanco, Bruseghin, Chavanel, Baguet, Halgand, and Lefevre.
The peloton is at 3'19.
Rabobank have now started to chase in the peloton, probably worried about Moncoutie,
who is 13th at 18'53 i.e. threatening Levi Leipheimer's 9th place.
14:49 CEST 62 km/80 km to go
The five leaders increase their advantage over the Jalabert quartet on the Col
des Saisies, and it's now at 1'13. The 13 riders behind them (with Moncoutie)
are at 1'55, and the peloton, led by Rabobank and US Postal, is at 3'32.
Tim Maloney reports about today's finish in Cluses: In the last 2 kilometres
there's a tricky little bridge/deviation in the centre of town. It goes around
some road works - like a chicane with 1500m to go. It's going to be a great
place to break way through the narrow, twisty streets. It's a sidewind finish.
14:59 CEST 64 km/78 km to go
Guerini, Aerts and Frigo are going too quick for Gutierrez and Laiseka, and
leave them behind on the Col des Saisies. Another 1'30 down the road are Laurent
Jalabert, Thor Hushovd, Sandy Casar and Jorg Jaksche. Then it's 2'25 back to
the Moncoutie group of 13, and 3'41 to the peloton.
Casar is having problems following the pace of Hushovd, Jalabert and Jaksche.
But he fights hard and rejoins them on a flatter section.
The third group now has Chavanel (Bonjour), Bruseghin, Blanco (iBanesto), Nozal,
Serrano (ONCE). It has been reduced from the original 13.
15:07 CEST 67 km/75 km to go
Mancebo attacks from the peloton, prompting a reaction from Azevedo (ONCE).
Both riders are highly placed on GC.
Carlos Sastre (CSC) has bridged the gap to Jalabert's group. He is obviously
on the hunt for more seconds, as he's 11th overall.
Armstrong, Basso and Beloki chase after Azevedo and Mancebo. Botero and Heras
are also there, as are Halgand, Rumsas and Leipheimer. The junction is made,
and we have a group of 10 of the top GC riders in the lead. They have quite
a handy gap to the rest of the peloton, and catch Bruseghin.
Laiseka is caught by Jalabert's group.
15:15 CEST 70 km/72 km to go
On the top of the Col des Saisies, it's Mario Aerts taking the points from Dario
Frigo and Guiseppe Guerini. Aerts now has 128 points in the mountains classification,
putting him third overall behind Jalabert and Botero.
Gutierrez takes fourth at 1'35.
Carlos Sastre (CSC) leads Jalabert to the top, so that Jalabert can take the
points for fifth place. Hushovd is sixth, then Sastre, Jaksche, Laiseka, and
Casar. They cross at 2'51.
The attack by the GC riders in the peloton has been caught, as Floyd Landis
leads the way to the top of the Col. Robert Hunter (Mapei) is also right up
there. They cross at 4'05.
15:23 CEST 78 km/64 km to go
We're on the descent of the Col des Saisies, with just two climbs to come. Next
up is the Col des Aravis, a category 2 climb.
Frigo, Aerts and Guerini lead a group of riders by 2'57, with the peloton at
4'20. The 11 man group formed over the top of the Saisies, and contains Jörg
Jaksche, Isidro Nozal, Marcos A.Serrano (ONCE-Eroski), José Enrique Gutierrez
(Kelme-Costa Blanca), David Moncoutié (Cofidis), Laurent Jalabert, Carlos Sastre
(CSC-Tiscali), Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole), Sandy Casar (FDJeux.com), Unai
Osa (iBanesto.com), Serge Baguet (Lotto-Adecco), Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel-Euskadi),
Laurent Lefèvre (Jean Delatour), and Eddy Mazzoleni (Tacconi Sport).
15:35 CEST 87 km/55 km to go
The leading trio of Frigo, Aerts and Guerini are powering along on the Col des
Aravis, the second last climb of the day. They have 3'10 lead on a moderately
sized group with Jalabert and Sastre, and 5'10 on the peloton. Sastre is the
best placed in the middle group, 11th at 16'27.
15:44 CEST 91 km/51 km to go
The middle group is splitting up on this climb - Jalabert, Laiseka, Baguet and
Casar are all dropped. There are 10 riders left, with the large figure of Thor
Hushovd leading the way up the climb.
The middle group is 3'10 behind the leading trio, while the peloton is at 6'10.
Sastre has moved up into the top 10 on virtual GC.
Several readers have asked about time bonuses at the end of stages. There are
a few different rules: no time bonuses are awarded for time trial stages; for
flat stages, the bonuses are 20, 12 and 8 seconds, in order to keep things interesting
in the first week for the general classification; and on the mountain stages
the bonuses are typically 8 seconds for a win. The argument here is that the
best climbers don't need any extra time to move up on GC, as the mountain normally
does its job.
15:53 CEST 95 km/47 km to go
Jalabert, Laiseka and Mazzoleni are now riding together on the Col des Aravis,
but are a long way behind the breakaway groups. But Jalabert has done his job
today and is basically uncatchable in the polka dot jersey.
In the lead we have Mario Aerts (Lotto), Dario Frigo (Tacconi) and Guiseppe
Guerini (Telekom). They have 3'11 on a group of 10 riders led by Thor Hushovd
(CA). Also in this group are David Moncoutie (Cofidis) and Carlos Sastre (CSC),
18th and 11th on GC respectively.
Good news for Kelme fans: Belgian TV reports that the team will have sponsorship
until 2005, despite financial problems earlier this year.
16:01 CEST 98 km/44 km to go
Aerts takes the points on the Col des Aravis - he's collected 80 mountain points
so far today, so Jalabert is not in the clear yet. Second was Guerini and third
was Frigo. The 10 man following group was at 3'05. Moncoutie was 4th, Sastre
5th, Jaksche 6th, Lefevre 7th, Serrano 8th, Osa 9th, Nozal 10th.
A quick check: Aerts has a total of 148 points, but Jalabert has 262, so JaJa
is in the clear, even if Aerts wins the last climb (30 points).
The peloton go across the top of the climb, led by Victor Pena (USPS) at 7'55.
Leipheimer and Basso had better put their teams on the front, or Sastre (in
the second group) will leapfrog them on GC. Sastre is currently 3'50 ahead of
the peloton, and has moved himself up to a virtual 7th on GC.
16:08 CEST 106 km/36 km to go
Another reader question: Why is Jalabert, the leader in the King of the Mountains
classification, so lowly placed on GC? He is currently 41st at 1'03.46. The
reason is that the KOM competition doesn't necessarily mean the best climber
competition. It's pretty clear in this Tour that Lance Armstrong is the best
climber, followed by Beloki. However, riders can collect a lot of points by
attacking early (when the GC riders don't want to chase) and taking all the
intermediate climbs. Often they will be caught on the last climb, as Jalabert
has been, and will lose a lot of time.
Jalabert is also the leader in the "Most Combative" classification,
simply because he has spent more time off the front of the peloton than anyone
else. The polka dots (climbs) and the red number (combative) go hand in hand,
and Jalabert won both last year.
Frederic Guesdon (FDJeux.com) has abandoned.
16:14 CEST 110 km/32 km to go
Frigo takes the points sprint at Le Grand Bornand, followed by Guerini and Aerts.
They are now on the Col de la Colombiere, with 32 km to go. Frigo looks the
strongest of this group, but Aerts and Guerini could be foxing.
The next group of 9 with Sastre and Moncoutie are at 3'30, while the peloton
is at 8'21. The composition of the middle group is: Jörg Jaksche, Isidro Nozal,
Marcos A.Serrano (ONCE-Eroski), José Enrique Gutierrez (Kelme-Costa Blanca),
David Moncoutié (Cofidis), Carlos Sastre (CSC-Tiscali), Thor Hushovd (Credit
Agricole), Unai Osa (iBanesto.com), Laurent Lefèvre (Jean Delatour)
Some more Rabobank jerseys have moved to the front of the main peloton, to
try and stop Sastre (11th on GC) from jumping past Leipheimer (9th). They could
do with some help from Fassa Bortolo as well, with Basso's 10th position also
Levi Leipheimer (Rabobank) told cyclingnews this morning: "I still feel
good, and I don't see a lot changing over the next two days. It's probably going
to come to the time trial for any more changes. It's still a really hard day
today, and someone could have a bad day, but yesterday was the hardest day.
I think I can grab a spot, maybe two (in the GC, after the time trial). That
would be perfect. If not, and I stay where I am, I'll be happy."
It's not over yet!
16:21 CEST 113 km/29 km to go
Aerts, Frigo and Guerini are on the final climb of the day, the Col de la Colombiere,
surely headed towards the stage win. David Moncoutie (Cofidis) and Carlos Sastre
(CSC) lead a group of nine riders, 3'46 behind them. Then the peloton at 7'55.
The Rabobank chase is having a little effect.
Miguel Martinez (Mapei) goes off the back of the peloton, pointing to his legs
which are probably pretty empty.
Yesterday's winner Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) told Cyclingnews this morning
that "I hope it stays together for a long time and we go a little bit easy,
because my legs are tired."
CN: Will the team be focusing on Levi from this point on? "Yeah, I think
so. He's the most important man for us now, because he's not so far from 5th
place, so we have to be careful with him."
16:29 CEST 116 km/26 km to go
Boogerd and Engels are now on the front of the peloton, which is 7'16 behind
the Aerts trio and 3'45 behind the Sastre nonet. Botcharov and Chaurreau are
dropped from the peloton as Santi Botero attacks. Jose Azevedo (ONCE) goes after
16:31 CEST 117 km/25 km to go
Botero catches and passes Casar, who was one of the remnants of the earlier
break. He is 6'33 behind Aerts, Frigo and Guerini, and 2'48 behind Sastre's
group. He is trying to stop Sastre from overtaking him on GC, and perhaps move
up a bit himself.
US Postal has now taken over the chase in the peloton. Azevedo and Casar come
back to the peloton, but not Botero.
16:38 CEST 120 km/22 km to go
The leaders near the top of the Colombiere, with 4'12 on the next group of eight.
Botero catches and passes Nozal, who has been dropped from that group. The Colombian
is on a mission to catch Sastre's group, which is now 1'47 in front of him.
16:42 CEST 122 km/20 km to go
Aerts takes the points on the Colombiere, followed by Guerini and Frigo. The
Belgian has collected 110 mountain points today. The crowds on top are enormous.
Sastre, Moncoutie, Jaksche, Osa, Serrano and Lefevre are still 1 km from the
Botero catches Gutierrez, his teammate, who gives him a tow. He is 50 seconds
behind Sastre's group, and 1'04 in front of the peloton.
16:46 CEST 125 km/17 km to go
Unai Osa comes over in fourth place on the climb, followed by Moncoutie, Sastre,
Jaksche and Serrano, then Lefevre, Hushovd and Botero. The gap at the top is
3'23 to Aerts and co.
16:49 CEST 128 km/14 km to go
Michael Boogerd leads the now very small peloton over the top at 5'22 - all
the GC riders are there. Leipheimer had better get himself into gear.
Frigo has been dropped by Guerini and Aerts on the descent.
16:51 CEST 130 km/12 km to go
Frigo catches the other two on a straight section of the descent. There are
now three leaders who will fight out the stage. Can Aerts improve on his second
place at Les Deux Alpes a couple of days ago?
Botero is 4'17 behind the leaders, but he may run out of kilometres before
he catches Sastre's group. He does have over a minute on Armstrong's group though.
16:54 CEST 132 km/10 km to go
The pursuit down the mountain is on in earnest. Frigo, Guerini and Aerts are
leading a group of three Moncoutie, Jaksche and Osa by some 3 minutes, then
Sastre, Serrano, Lefevre, and Botero, who has not caught them yet.
16:57 CEST 135 km/7 km to go
Aerts tries to get rid of the other two on this descent, and he's doing a good
job. But the gaps are too small at the moment.
16:58 CEST 137 km/5 km to go
They're flying as they go under the 5km to go banner. Frigo is in third wheel,
and is the best sprinter of these three. But the finish is quite tricky, and
there could be an attack with 1.5 km to go.
There are now six riders chasing them: Moncoutie, Jaksche and Osa, Sastre,
Serrano, Lefevre. Then Gutierrez and Botero.
17:00 CEST 139 km/3 km to go
The three leaders are in Cluses, and all watching each other carefully. Frigo
gets to the front and soft pedals. Aerts in second, and Guerini third. Who will
17:01 CEST 140 km/2 km to go
All together with 2 km to go. Here comes the chicane. No-one attacks as Frigo
sits on the front.
17:02 CEST 141 km/1 km to go
Guerini attacks just before the 1 km to go. Aerts chases him down. Frigo goes
next, but stops. Then Guerini again. Aerts reacts.
17:03 CEST 142 km/0 km to go
Frigo has the best run into the finish, as Aerts has to lead out. The Belgian
goes, and Frigo gets him easily. Guerini third.
Botero and Gutierrez have caught the Sastre group - nice riding!
Moncoutie attacks the chasing group to take fourth place, at 2'55. Then Hushovd
leads the group home just behind him for fifth.
Michael Boogerd drives the yellow jersey/GC group home at 4'35. Brochard wins
the sprint for 13th.
1 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport 4.02.27
2 Mario Aerts (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
3 Guiseppe Guerini (Ita) Telekom 0.02
4 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis 2.55
5 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole 2.58
6 Laurent Lefèvre (Fra) Jean Delatour
7 Unai Osa (Spa) iBanesto.com
8 Marcos A.Serrano (Spa) ONCE-Eroski
9 Jörg Jaksche (Ger) ONCE-Eroski
10 Carlos Sastre (Spa) CSC-Tiscali
11 Santiago Botero (Col) Kelme-Costa Blanca
12 José Enrique Gutierrez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca 3.14
13 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Jean Delatour 4.35
General classification after stage 17
1 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service 72.50.25
2 Joseba Beloki (Spa) ONCE-Eroski 5.06
3 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Lampre Daikin 7.24
4 Santiago Botero (Col) Kelme-Costa Blanca 10.59
5 José Azevedo (Por) ONCE-Eroski 12.08
6 Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Spa) ONCE-Eroski 12.12
7 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) iBanesto.com 12.28
8 Roberto Heras Hernandez (Spa) US Postal Service 12.54
9 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank 13.58
10 Carlos Sastre (Spa) CSC-Tiscali 14.49
11 Ivan Basso (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 15.04
Thank you for following Stage 17 with us on Cyclingnews. We'll be back again
tomorrow from 12:30 CEST/03:30 PDT/06:30 EDT/20:30 Aust EST with Stage 18.
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