91st Tour de France - July 3-25, 2004
& Results Stage
Profile & Start Times Latest
Live Report Results
Stage 19 - Saturday July 24: Besancon - Besancon ITT, 55 km
Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Roger Hughes, Tim
Maloney and Chris Henry
Complete live report
Live coverage starts: 11:26 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:46 CEST
This 55 km TT is a long and difficult test over undulating terrain
with only 5km of flat. One of the longest in recent memory, Stage 19 is harder
than last year's TT in Gaillac. Unless a huge defaillance hits Armstrong on
the backroads around Besançon, this stage should be a battle between him and
Jan Ullrich. Two podium spots are still up for grabs, as CSC's Ivan Basso hopes
to keep his second place spot safe from T-Mobile's onslaught of Andreas Klöden
(at 1'02 behind Basso) and Jan Ullrich (at 3'59). The big question for the classy
Italian, whose weak spot is long TT's, is if he can hold off Ullrich, who will
have to ride the TT course 4.4 seconds faster per kilometre than Basso to steal
the final podium spot and sew up Team GC for T-Mobile in Paris.
The weather for today's time trial is not the best, as it's very humid and muggy
with temperatures in the mid-20's. Some rain is falling at the start. The wind
is from the north, blowing between 10-20 km/h and 30 km/h on the plateau, which
the riders climb onto after 10 km. It will be a tailwind for the first half
of the ride and a headwind coming home.
times have Jimmy Casper as the first rider off the ramp at 11:26, and he
will be followed by Sebastien Joly at 11:28. Joly blew his chances of becoming
the lanterne rouge in this year's Tour by getting in the breakaway yesterday,
and now Casper has an unassailable 13 minute lead for last spot on GC.
The riders will leave at 2 minute intervals until the last 20, who will depart
at three minute intervals.
There are four intermediate time checks today: Bonnet Rond (km 18), Courcelles
(km 34.2), Les Planches (km 40) and Le Gare (km 47.5). With the wind and the
undulating course, we can estimate that a winning time could be around 1:05:00
(51 km/h). We'll see once some of the better time trialists in the early wave
start to post times.
Casper, Joly, Finot, Wilson, Edaleine and Secchiari are now all under way.
The biggest uphill in today's course comes after 4.5 km, when the riders leave
Besançon (247m) and climb up to the Cote de Morre (422m) in 4.5 km. This is
an average gradient of 3.9%, and even with a tailwind it's going to hurt. The
course undulates after that before gradually dropping back down to 262m by the
finish. The start is at 235m, so the riders will probably feel a little ripped
Early riders to watch today include Erik Dekker (Rabobank) who is just about
to set off (11:48). Also Uwe Peschel (Gerolsteiner) at 11:58, Jan Hruska (Liberty
Seguros) at 12:14 and Fabian Cancellara (Fassa Bortolo) at 12:30.
While on a good ride, Peschel crashed twice in last year's final TT and broke
a rib, finishing the stage but abandoning before Paris. Let's hope he has better
Jimmy Casper is now through the first time check at km 18 in 27:06, a tad under
40 km/h, as Christophe Laurent (RAGT) sets off from the starting house. The
rain has stopped for the time being.
Joly and Finot have gone through the 18 km check about a minute quicker than
Casper in 26'10. Casper will have to pick it up a little, as the time cut today
is an additional 25% of the winner's time i.e. If the winner does it in 1:05:00,
a time of 1:21:15 (40.61 km/h) will have to be ridden in order to make the cut.
However, the weather conditions may slow things down a bit - we'll see.
So far we have five riders through the first check at 18 km, with Joly and Finot
sharing the fastest time in 26'10, and Australian champion Matt Wilson coming
through the slowest in 27'22. Wilson was close to missing the cut on Alpe d'Huez,
but should be able to make it to Paris with a solid ride today.
Uwe Peschel (Gerolsteiner) is now into his rhythm, tackling the first climb.
Let's see what he can do at km 18. 23 riders have started, with Pierre Bourquenoud
the latest one to leave.
11 riders are through the 18 km check, with Joly and Finot still the fastest
in 26'10, ahead of Auger (26'12), Edalaine (26'26) and Secchiari (26'40). Jimmy
Engoulvent (Cofidis) is the slowest at this point in 27'24.
Casper, Joly and Finot have passed through the 34.2 km check, with Finot rumbling
through in 49'03 (42.8 km/h) and on a good pace to finish in about 1:15:00.
Casper was past the same point in 50'59, nearly two minutes slower than Finot,
but well on track to make today's likely time cut.
Wilson is also past 34.2 km, clocking 51'05. Christophe Edalaine has done 48'58,
which is better than Finot's time. Not sure of what Joly's time was yet.
As predicted, Uwe Peschel has done a good time after 18 km, clocking 24'49,
more than 40 seconds better than Dutch champion Erik Dekker (25'32). Peschel
averaged 43.5 km/h to this point, which is not bad considering that 4.5 km was
Let's see what Cancellara can do. He has just left the start ramp.
Joly and Finot were dead even at 34.2 km, both doing 49'03. After 40 km, just
3 seconds separate them: Joly in 56'56 and Finot in 56'59.
As expected, Edalaine is quickest at 40 km in 56'43. But Dekker has now gone
past the 34.2 km mark in 47'06, erasing nearly two minutes off Edalaine's time.
Peschel should be quicker again.
Joly and Finot are still neck and neck at km 47.5, with Joly marginally quicker
in 1:08:32 to Finot's 1:08:33.
Czech rider Jan Hruska (Liberty) has now passed the 18 km check in 25'09, 20
seconds behind Peschel who has the best time to that point.
Peschel has motored through the 34.2 km check in 46'30, eclipsing Dekker by
Joly has passed Casper and finished in a time of 1:16:58 (42.87 km/h).
Edalaine finishes in 1:15:55, over a minute quicker than Joly. Finot lost ground
over the last 7 km to end in 1:17:12, while Casper (1:19:09) and Wilson (1:19:18)
should have no problems in making the time cut.
Peschel has now passed 40 km in 53:56, leading Dekker by 26 seconds at that
point. The Dutchman has gained ground over Peschel in the last 20 km.
Jan's new chopper TT bike
Looking towards the end of the stage, a few of our readers have been so bold as
to suggest that Jan Ullrich might beat Lance Armstrong today. The current form
of Lance does not suggest that this will be the case, but you can be sure that
Der Kaiser will be giving it everything to go for the stage win today. Jan did
beat Lance in last year's 47 km TT in Cap Decouverte, but with the non-scorching
weather conditions favouring the maillot jaune today, a repeat looks unlikely.
But Jan may have a secret weapon according to our readers, who spotted him riding
this special "chopper" time trial bike earlier. As you can see, this machine enables
Ullrich to breathe easy while at the same time being super-aerodynamic. It's a
marvel of modern engineering that cost €35,000 to develop.
Peschel's 18 km time has been improved upon by both Cancellara (24'46) and Wauters
(24'45). Meanwhile Dekker has passed the 47.5 km check in 1:05:22, over two
minutes quicker than Edalaine who has the best time at the finish so far.
Top five times at 18 km (37 riders through):
Marc Wauters (RAB) 24.45
Fabian Cancellara (FAS) 0.01
Uwe Peschel (GST) 0.05
Jan Hruska (LST) 0.25
Erik Dekker (RAB) 0.48
Top five times at the finish (12 riders through):
Christophe Edaleine (COF) 1.15.55
Sebastien Joly (C.A) 1.02
Frederic Finot (RGT) 1.16
Win Vansevenant (LOT) 2.34
Jimmy Casper (COF) 3.13
Dekker has just finished in 1:13:38, beating Edalaine's time by 2'17. It looks
to be a slow course today, but it depends on how hard Dekker was pushing.
Peschel comes into Besançon with the new best time of 1:13:13, beating Dekker
by 25 seconds. But back out along the course, Belgian TT specialist Marc Wauters
(Rabobank) is in a powerful rhythm, passing the 34.2 km check in 45'48, 42 seconds
better than Peschel.
Fabio Baldato (Alessio-Bianchi) has set the new slowest time: 1:20:56. He'd
better hope that no-one goes under 1:05:00 today.
Cancellara is slower than Wauters after 34.2 km, coming through in the second
best time of 46'08. Meanwhile Wauters has passed the 40 km check in 53'13, 24
seconds ahead of Cancellara.
Peschel still has the best time in 1:13:13.
Pierre Bourquenoud (RAGT) will be cutting it fine today. He's past the 47.5
km mark in 1:12:07, 32 seconds slower than Baldato.
Walter Godefroot (T-Mobile) doesn't believe that Ullrich will win the stage.
"I don't think so today. Armstrong is too good," he told Belgian TV1. "But I
think that he is very motivated and I expect something from him."
Marc Wauters is racing towards the finish, on track to the new best time. He
has set the fast time at all checks so far: 24'45 at 18 km, 45'48 at 34.2 km,
53'13 at 40 km, 1'03'56 at 47.5 km...
Bourquenoud has finished in a time of 1'21'08. He'd better hope that no-one
goes under 1'04'50 today or he'll be eliminated. But it looks like winning time
will be around 1'07'00, depending the conditions.
Wauters is home in a solid time of 1:11:55, beating Peschel by 1'18. The Belgian
now has the best time at every time check.
Wauters still has the best time with Cancellara finishing 30 seconds slower
than the Belgian. Top times at the finish:
Marc Wauters (RAB) 1.11.55
Fabian Cancellara (FAS) 0.30
Uwe Peschel (GST) 1.18
Erik Dekker (RAB) 1.43
Jan Hruska (LST) 1.45
Yesterday's tęte a tęte between Lance Armstrong and Filippo Simeoni has set
people's emotions buzzing, both outside and inside the peloton. After Simeoni
was chased down by Armstrong when he bridged up to the leading break in stage
18, it was clear that Armstrong was exercising his considerable muscle (both
literally and figuratively) to prevent Simeoni from being there. After they
went back to the peloton, Simeoni copped a lot of flak from many of the other
riders, who were in agreement with Armstrong that Simeoni damaged cycling when
in the Ferrari trial a couple of years ago.
In his testimony, Simeoni admitted to taking EPO, testosterone and other banned
substances, but said that Dr. Michele Ferrari (who also advises Lance Armstrong)
prescribed them to him. Armstrong subsequently called Simeoni a liar in an interview
with Le Monde in 2003. Simeoni objected to this, and is suing Armstrong
for a symbolic sum of €100,000.
On the morning after Stage 18, David Etxebarria (Euskaltel) commented on Armstrong's
stage tactics in the Basque daily Deia with the simple headline - "You
don't do these things".
Contrary to Armstrong's comments that he was protecting the peloton and that
the peloton had congratulated him on his actions, Etxebarria thought that Armstrong's
actions "were not to the liking of the peloton" and that a stage of the Tour
was not a time to rectify any problems the race leader might have with Filippo
Simeoni. Etxebarria commented that the "bad feeling was not followed by T-Mobile,
the natural rival of Armstrong, who could have chased Armstrong...they only
did it, timidly when the gap to the American was at two minutes".
Isidro Nozal (Liberty) has set off at 13:54, six minutes behind Santi Botero
(T-Mobile). Both riders have been doing domestique duty during the Tour, and
won't be up to their best TT levels today. Nozal nearly won the Vuelta last
year thanks to his flat TT'ing, but was beaten by Heras on the final mountain
TT on the second last day.
By the way, Simeoni has finished his ride today in 1'20'05, one of the slower
times (Bourquenoud is still the slowest in 1'21'08). But Armstrong will have
to ride an incredible time to eliminate him. He's probably not that vindictive.
With 67 of 147 riders now past the 18 km check in today's 55 km individual time
trial, the best time is still Marc Wauters' 24:45. Prologue winner Fabian Cancellara
was 1 second slower than the Belgian at that point, but gradually faded to finish
30 seconds behind. At all time checks, it's been Wauters and Cancellara in first
and second place.
Olympic TT champion Viatcheslav Ekimov (USPS) has gone through the first time
check at 18 km in 24'46, just one second slower than Wauters.
At the 18 km mark, the top five, with half the field now through this check
point, looks like:
Marc Wauters (RAB) 24.45
Fabian Cancellara (FAS) 0.01
Viatcheslav Ekimov (USP) 0.01
Uwe Peschel (GST) 0.05
Santiago Botero (TMO) 0.09
Eki has picked up speed and now has the best time at 34.2 km in 45'33. Wauters'
top time is in danger.
Marcos Serrano (Liberty Seguros) is getting ready to leave in a few minutes.
He is normally pretty useful against the watch, as he showed on Alpe d'Huez.
German sprinter Erik Zabel is now under way, rolling along on the still wet
roads around Besançon.
Ekimov is 18 seconds better than Wauters at 40 km, the new best time.
Zabel is tackling the first climb, which drags on for 4.5 km at 3.8%. Christian
Vandevelde is chasing him.
Serrano assumes the position on the start ramp, gets the countdown, and is under
way. It's not raining at the moment, even though the roads are wet.
Vandevelde looks to be in a 53x18 or 17 as he drives up this first climb. He
reaches a steeper part and slows a little.
Pierrick Fedrigo is past the 34.2 km check in 46'25, fourth fastest.
Botero is a bit better than Fedrigo at km 34.2, coming across in 46'19 (4th
There are quite a few t-Mobile skinsuits out on the course, with Serguei Ivanov
also riding up the climb in a smaller gear than his teammates. There are huge
crowds on the hill, who take their time to get out of the way of the riders.
There's no barriers. At least the roads are nearly dry.
Ekimov has done the best time at 47.5 km in 1'03'40, 16 seconds better than
Wauters. The Russian should maintain his advantage to the line.
Iker Flores (Euskaltel) is chasing Ivanov on the climb, also pedalling a nice
low gear and really motoring.
Carlos Da Cruz (FDJ) crosses the finish line in the eighth fastest time of 1'15'07.
The top five at the moment:
Marc Wauters (RAB) 1.11.55
Fabian Cancellara (FAS) 0.30
Uwe Peschel (GST) 1.18
Yuriy Krivtsov (A2R) 1.19
Erik Dekker (RAB) 1.43
Santiago Perez (Phonak) gets his bike weighed at the start and it's 7.6 kg,
well over the 6.8 kg limit.
Jose Vicente Garcia Acosta (Illes Balears) is suffering a bit as he comes to
the finish in a time of 1'15'41 (11th best). He was in the day long break yesterday
and narrowly missed winning the stage. He was outsmarted by his compatriot and
former teammate Juan Miguel Mercado, who surprised him at 300m out to jump from
behind and win the stage.
Flores is over the top of the climb and is picking up speed.
Ekimov is coming home now in a fast time, with Bruyneel following him in the
team car. The Russian Olympic Champion crosses the line in a time of 1'11'43,
new best time! 12 seconds better than Wauters.
Christian Vandevelde (Liberty) has equalled Wauters' time at 18 km, also passing
in 24'45. Meanwhile, TerminAitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo) has set off from the
ramp. He can do a great time if he's motivated.
The wind has dropped, although it's still very humid and overcast.
Nicolas Jalabert (JaJa Jr?) comes home in a time of 1'14'19.94, averaging just
over 44 km/h.
Meanwhile, Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Liberty) has set off. Still 43 riders
Paolo Bettini is rolling along in the early part of the parcours, just going
through the motions. He doesn't have to ride a great time today.
Andrea Peron (CSC) is giving it a bit of stick as he rides up to the 34.2 km
check in Rouhe and crosses in 46'37, 1'03 slower than Ekimov who has the best
time at that point.
Igor makes the right hand turn over the river Doubs, fairly gently as the roads
are a bit wet here.
Sebastian Lang finishes in 1'13'35, 6th best.
Marcos Serrano runs into a bit of grief when the TV helicopter flies too low
and blows debris all over the parcours. He dodges an umbrella, a chair, a newspaper...
That's not going to help him. He still manages to pass 18 km in 24'45, the equal
best time with Wauters and Vandevelde.
Fedrigo has caught his two minute man Pavel Padrnos (USPS) and finishes off
in 1'13'19, which will put him in 6th place.
The top five at the finish with 67 riders home:
Viatcheslav Ekimov (USP) 1.11.43
Marc Wauters (RAB) 0.12
Fabian Cancellara (FAS) 0.42
Uwe Peschel (GST) 1.30
Yuriy Krivtsov (A2R) 1.31
Serrano is now in a good rhythm again, and has Bettini in his sights. His director
is yelling at him in Spanish.
Santi Botero, the 2002 World TT Champ, finishes in 1'13'34, 7th fastest.
Serrano passes Bettini, who grabs his wheel for a bit before the Spanish rider
gradually pulls away.
Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Illes Balears) has the new best time at km 18 in 24'40.
He's the Spanish TT champ, so he's no slouch.
Jens Voigt (CSC) is on his way now.
Most riders are opting for a rear disc wheel today, which is considered the
most aerodynamic wheel under pretty much any conditions.
Bettini is following Serrano at about 15m, on the other side of the road though.
He may get penalised time for this if he's not careful, and the penalties are
Serrano, being in front, can take the best lines through the bends, while Bettini
has to switch to the opposite side of the road all the time.
Vandevelde is huffing and puffing his way to time check 2 (34.2 km) in 45'54,
3rd best behind Ekimov and Wauters.
Meanwhile, the Serrano-Bettini duel continues as Bettini passes Serrano!
Serrano is having none of this and passes Bettini again. They're flying along
at 50 km/h past an incredible example of "crop art" in an adjacent field, depicting
a huge cyclist on a TT bike, maybe 500m x 500m.
Lance Armstrong has emerged in his casual gear and begins going through his
Jose Ivan Gutierrez, who has the best time at 18km, is definitely on track for
a good overall time today. He has a great position, very low and aero, similar
George Hincapie gets quickly up to speed as he leaves the start ramp.
Jörg Ludewig (Saeco) has just caught Ronny Scholz (Gerolsteiner) but is taking
his time to pass him.
Gutierrez has wound it up to 70 km/h on a descent. He is really travelling.
Serrano and Bettini are still together as they reach the 34.2 km check, with
Bettini crossing just before Serrano. Serrano's time is 45'44, while Bettini
will be 2 minutes slower.
Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo) is even better than Jose Ivan Gutierrez at 18
km, doing a brisk 24'37 to the first time check.
Marzio Bruseghin (Fassa Bortolo), who is normally a good tester, finishes in
1'13'54 for 11th. Then US Postal's Benjamin Noval comes home 1'12'47, fourth
fastest. Not bad at all.
Ludewig can't pass Scholz and has dropped back a bit on one of the climbs.
Jose Ivan Gutierrez nearly cleans up a spectator who is standing like a stunned
mullet in the middle of the road. He has to brake, swerve and get going again.
Nevertheless, Gutierrez comes up to the second time check in an excellent time
of 45'41, just 8 seconds slower than Ekimov.
Not to be confused with Jose Ivan, Jose Enrique Gutierrez (Phonak) sets off
from the starting house.
Bobby Julich has done an incredible time at 18 km of 23'52, smashing the TerminAitor's
time by 45 seconds.
Speaking of mullets, Laurent Brochard (Ag2r) has left the start ramp, hair protected
by a helmet today. He has got a sort of a goatee/thin moustache thing going.
Jose Ivan Gutierrez is now tackling the second half of the parcours, head down.
For those asking, Allan Davis (Liberty) finished in 1'18'18, while Scott Sunderland
did it in 1'19'05. Baden Cooke (FDJ) was home in 1'19'09 and Matt Wilson did
it in 1'19'18.
Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto-Domo) is settling into his rhythm. He's a good tester
as well, and holds the record for the fastest ever prologue in a Grand Tour
(in the Giro 3 years ago).
Giuseppe Guerini follows him.
Jens Voigt is 18 seconds behind teammate Bobby Julich (CSC) at 18 km. The roads
are drying up well now, favouring the later riders.
Jose Ivan is 12 seconds slower than Ekimov at km 40. He's losing ground to the
Photo ©: Chris Henry/CN
O'Grady finishes in a decent time of 1'14'35, 18th quickest.
Top times at km 18:
Bobby Julich (CSC) 23.52
Jens Voigt (CSC) 0.18
Aitor Gonzalez 0.45
Jose Ivan Gutierrez (IBB) 0.48
Igor Gonzalez (LST) 0.49
Top finishing times:
Viatcheslav Ekimov (USP) 1.11.43
Marc Wauters (RAB) 0.12
Fabian Cancellara (FAS) 0.42
Benjamin Noval (USP) 1.04
Uwe Peschel (GST) 1.30
Vandevelde comes home in 1'12'31, fourth place behind Ekimov. Erik Zabel comes
in 10 seconds behind, but lost an additional 2 minutes as he was caught by Vandevelde.
Aitor Gonzalez passes Beltran just before time check 2 and passes in 45'46,
3rd fastest. Ekimov's second half was quicker than his first half.
Mick Rogers (Quick.Step-Davitamon) is setting off for his 55 km of fun.
Jose Ivan Gutierrez has got the big gear going in the final section of the parcours.
Bobby Julich is flying towards the second check (34.2 km) in 44'07, that's 1'25
better than Eki. Excellent riding.
Axel Merckx rolls down the start ramp to the cheers of thousands of fans. Millions
Jose Ivan Gutierrez has caught and passed both Ludewig and Scholz, who started
2 and 4 minutes ahead of him.
Marcos Serrano finishes in 1'12'42 for 5th place. Eki still has the best time.
Jose Ivan is just 3 seconds slower than Ekimov at km 47.5, while Aitor Gonzalez
has matched Eki's time at the 40 km mark. Julich will trump them all though.
Sandy Casar (FDJeux.com) starts, looking nervous.
Jose Ivan Gutierrez is powering home and just beats Ekimov time by 1 second:
1'11'42. Very close finish!
Jens Voigt (CSC) is through 34.2 km in 44'48, slower than his teammate Julich
but quicker than the rest of the field.
Virenque in dots is doing his hungry shark impersonation again near the start
Vladimir Karpets is en route, hoping to brush aside/clean up/nail down Voeckler,
who is inhaling an energy drink just before the start.
US Postal's Floyd Landis is through 18 km in 23'37!! 15 seconds better than
Voigt's Cervelo is showing a lot of seatpost. Oohlala. That's a bit immodest.
Virenque is under way, just before Voeckler.
The sun is now shining weakly on the riders as the afternoon drags on.
Jens Voigt demolishes Evgeni Petrov (Saeco) who started 2 min in front of him.
He's also got Egoi Martínez in his sights. Martinez blinks and Voigt flies past.
Aitor Gonzalez has ridden fantastically over the last part of the course and
has gone 40 seconds under Ekimov's time at 47.5 km, the best so far.
The white clad TiTi Voeckler is off the ramp now, hoping to preserve his 45
second lead over Karpets in the young rider classification. It's going to be
a big ask.
Hincapie passes 34.2 km in 45'09, third fastest after Julich and Voigt.
Karpets looks great as he motors up the first climb, barely moving his upper
body at all, long hair flowing in the breeze. We don't think he qualifies for
a mullet though.
Gibo Simoni (Saeco), 14th on GC, is now setting off. He's not the best against
the clock, but will try to fend off Voeckler and Virenque, who are 31 seconds
and 1'12 behind him on GC.
Julich is powering still, clocking 51'15 at 40 km. Jens Voigt is 28 seconds
Here's Aitor Gonzalez (Fassa Bortolo), driving smoothly home in a time of 1'11'23,
19 seconds better than Gutierrez.
Rasmussen looks nervous as he starts his ride.
Santos Gonzalez passes 34.2 km in 45'07.
Voigt has got a huge gear going as he nears the finale. But Bobby Julich is
on track to the new top time: 1'09'37! Fantastic ride, averaging 47.4 km/h.
Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Liberty) comes home in 1'12'21, not bad for 6th.
Rogers is 18th fastest at km 18, 1'22 behind Landis.
Sylvain Chavanel (Brioches) passes the 34.2 km point in 46'11, 13th best behind
Karpets has got the big gear wound up on a slight descent, still rock solid.
He has yet to reach the first time check.
Armstrong and Azevedo are warming up, listening to music. Well Armstrong is
listening. Azevedo is listening to Armstrong listening.
Their teammate Floyd Landis is continuing his excellent ride, passing 34.2 km
in 44'00. Best time. He might have gone out really hard for the first 18 km
to give Armstrong a time to aim for.
Sandy Casar is not enjoying himself out there, trying to find a gear that enables
him to ride at 50 km/h with ease. There isn't one.
Voigt comes into the finish a bit slower than Julich, but still with an excellent
time of 1'10'08. Second fastest behind Julich.
The current top five:
Bobby Julich (CSC) 1.09.37
Jens Voigt (CSC) 0.31
Aitor Gonzalez (FAS) 1.45
Jose Ivan Gutierrez (IBB) 2.05
Viatcheslav Ekimov (USP) 2.06
Levi Leipheimer (Rabobank) has set off. Just 8 more riders to follow him at
3 minute intervals.
Petrov is home in 1'13'14, 13th best.
Stéphane Goubert is getting a lot of support as he motors along.
Karpets is through 18 km in 24'18, fifth quickest. Let's see what Voeckler can
Carlos Sastre (CSC) assumes the position on the start ramp. CSC has a pretty
Landis is still on track for a top time, passing 40 km in 50'58, that's 17 seconds
better than Julich.
Beltran is chatting to Armstrong, telling him where the tricky corners are.
Armstrong has worked up a good sweat on the rollers.
Voeckler is cruising along towards time check one, wearing his white(ish) skinsuit
and tricolor gloves.
Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner), the seventh best rider on GC, has left the start.
Robin Williams is chatting to Jean-Marie Leblanc in the presence of Lance.
Hincapie comes to the finish with his partner Melanie in the following car in
a time of 1'10'45, 3rd best time.
Paco Mancebo (Illes Balears) has set off.
Voeckler has already lost most of his 45 seconds to Karpets at the 18 km point.
He's 1'38 behind Landis (Karpets was 41 seconds back).
Axel Merckx (Lotto-Domo), not a renowned time trialist, comes up to the 34.2
km check in 46'24.
Voeckler looks good as he puts in a little sprint up one of the many undulations
on this course. But he's going to have to ride incredibly to prevent Karpets
from taking over the white jersey.
Totschnig is rock solid as he tackles the climb at the start.
Jose Azevedo (USPS) is on his way. He's the fifth rider on GC and is no mean
rider against the clock.
Casar is on a wide open stretch at the top of the plateau.
Santos Gonzalez (Phonak) finishes in 1'11'06 for fourth at the moment. Still
Julich leads Voigt and Aitor in the finishing times.
Landis is well on track to beat Julich's time, clocking 1'01'15 at 47.5 km,
21 seconds faster.
Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) is ready to roll. He'll have to do a perfect time trial
to get on the podium today. People have been talking about him overhauling Basso
(3'59 and two GC positions ahead), but that's going to be tough. More than 4
seconds per kilometre!
Rubiera is past the 34.2 km point in 44'49, fourth fastest. He was also fourth
at time check 1. Most spectators are cheering him, but there are a few boos.
Ullrich is not pedalling that quickly as he starts off, but that's normal for
His teammate Andreas Klöden is next off. Well, T-Mobile will have at least one
rider on the podium in Paris. Maybe Klöden can take back the 1'02 on Basso to
take second place on GC. That's quite possible.
Sandy Casar has now gone by the 34.2 km mark in 46'02, for 14th.
Klöden is also pedalling slowly at the start ,which is all uphill.
Jose Enrique Gutierrez finishes in 1'12'02 for 9th best. Further back down the
course, Vlad Karpets is stomping and passes the 34.2 km check in 44'41.92, the
third quickest after Landis and Julich.
Speaking of Landis, Floyd is riding hard to the finish, and comes across in
1'09'14 (47.66 km/h). Dirk Demol in the team car would have been happy with
Ivan Basso (CSC) sets off, looking nervous.
Lance Armstrong, who wants to go out on a high this year, is getting ready to
fly off the start ramp. He's the man to beat today, as always. He's off, straight
away cranking it up to a good tempo.
Armstrong is pedalling his usual low gear as he tackles the first uphill part
of the course.
Leipheimer is third at the 18 km point, 28 seconds behind Landis. Julich is
Virenque comes past the 34.2 km check in 46'38, top 30 at the moment.
Ullrich and Klöden are now on the main climb of the day, both riding smoothly
with Ullrich pedalling the largest gear he can.
Paco Mancebo (Illes Balears) is suffering on a flatter part of the parcours.
Karpets takes a sharp left hander on a descent, keeping it well under control.
Thomas Voeckler is past the 34.2 km mark in 47'15, 42nd fastest. He's in danger
of being passed by both Casar and Karpets for the young rider GC.
Armstrong is now spinning his way up the first climb, really flying. Did anyone
tell him its uphill? He's riding a 55/44 big chainring combo with an 11-21 rear
Ullrich is now at full speed on the flat/slight descent, doing 60 km/h.
Mancebo doesn't look at all comfortable on his bars.
Karpets is past the 40 km point in fourth place, 54 seconds behind Landis. He's
on a great ride today and will take the white jersey for sure.
The sun is now shining more strongly, and the last riders have really got the
best conditions as it was raining earlier today.
Christophe Moreau is suffering a bit as he reaches 34.2 km, passing in 45'33,
8th fastest behind Landis.
Axel Merckx rides into Besançon in a good time of 1'13'08, for 17th best so
The top five at the finish so far:
Floyd Landis (USP) 1.09.14
Bobby Julich (CSC) 0.22
Jens Voigt (CSC) 0.53
George Hincapie (USP) 1.30
Santos Gonzalez (PHO) 1.51
Ullrich continues driving along the parcours, looking very smooth. Let's see
what he can do at km 18.
Jose Luis Rubiera finishes off strongly in 1'10'29 for 4th place so far. Good
ride from the Postie.
Ullrich has done the best time at km 18, seven seconds better than Landis in
Klöden has done an excellent time too, crossing 18 km in 23'34, just four seconds
slower than Ullrich. All eyes are on Basso...
Ullrich seems to have swapped to his old TT machine and not the new version
previewed in this live report. Oh well, he'll never know how fast a chopper
Top five at 18 km:
Jan Ullrich (TMO) 23.30
Andreas Klöden (TMO) 0.04
Floyd Landis (USP) 0.07
Bobby Julich (CSC) 0.22
Jose Azevedo (USP)
Levi Leipheimer is steaming up to the 34.2 km check in a time of 45'02, for
6th. He's lost a few places since time check one.
Basso has done the third best time at 18 km, the same time as Klöden!!
Casar finishes in 1'12'53, closely followed by Vladimir Karpets, who crosses
the line in 1'10'22, fourth best. Great ride from the young Russian.
As expected, Armstrong has smashed the best time at km 18, doing 22'47, which
is 43 seconds better than Ullrich!!
Carlos Sastre is past the 34.2 km mark in the 9th quickest time.
If Armstrong keeps going like this, he'll win by a couple of minutes. It depends
on what Ullrich, Basso and Klöden have left in the tank. At the early stage,
it looks like Basso will keep his second place on GC.
Ullrich has got the rear disk spinning at a good speed now as he negotiates
the flatter part of the parcours. Armstrong is still pedalling very quickly
and he's not hanging around. A fifth stage win for Lance is on the cards today.
Richard Virenque fights with the bike all the way to the line, crossing in 1'13'26
for 24th at the moment.
Mick Rogers has finished his ride in 1'14'17, 37th at the moment.
Andreas Klöden has now reached the wide open spaces and is flying along, looking
as smooth as his team captain.
Mancebo is top 25 at km 34.2, just a little slower than Totschnig, who is not
on a good day.
Jose Azevedo is past the 34.2 km check in a time of 44'49, 6th fastest for the
Ullrich continues his ride in the late afternoon sun, getting plenty of cheers
from the fans alongside the road. He reaches the intermediate point in Rouhe
(km 34.2) in 43'47, 43 seconds better than Landis. Impressive riding from Der
Voeckler finishes in 1'16'30, 7'15 slower than Landis.
Andreas Klöden now comes up to the 34.2 km mark, clocking 43'35, which is 18
seconds slower than Ullrich.
But what can Basso and Armstrong do?
Michael Rasmussen finishes in a modest time of 1'13'45.
Moreau is better, finishing in 1'11'47, not bad for 11th.
Armstrong takes the second before the 34 km check fairly carefully, still moving
Here comes Ivan Basso, who is now suffering after riding so well at the first
check. He is slower than Klöden and passes in 44'06, fourth fastest. He's lost
30 seconds on Klöden (he can lose 1'02) and 48 seconds to Ullrich.
Klöden has a great chance to take second on GC - he needs to make up 32 seconds
over the last 20 km.
Oscar Pereiro (Phonak) finishes in a good time of 1'12'10 for 13th.
Ullrich is 47 seconds better than Landis at 40 km, clocking 50'11.
Armstrong is through 34.2 km in 42'31, no surprises there. He's 46 seconds better
than Ullrich, which means Ullrich has really picked it up in the second part.
He's only lost 3 seconds to Armstrong in the last 16 km.
Basso is looking smoother again as he maintains his cadence on a downhill section.
Klöden is coming to the 40 km mark, and is only 18 seconds behind Basso on virtual
Klöden's 40 km time is 50'26, just 15 seconds slower than Ullrich.
Leipheimer comes come in 1'10'55 for 7th, a good ride from the American.
Klöden is now on the last climb, riding well.
Basso passes 40 km in 51'18, 52 seconds slower than Klöden. He can only lose
Klöden is now virtually 7 seconds behind Basso on GC. It will take an incredible
ride from the Italian to save this one.
Basso flies across the river Loue as Armstrong comes through 40 km in 49'20,
which is 51 seconds better than Ullrich.
Sastre finishes in 12th in 1'11'45.
Armstrong is now motoring across the bridge over the Loue, Basso in his sights.
Basso hits the last climb and is hurting bad. Klöden meanwhile has clicked up
a gear and is powering towards the 47 km check.
Ullrich is past the 47.5 km mark in 1'00'11, that's 1'04 better than Landis
and 1'25 ahead of Julich.
The real battle today is between Klöden and Basso for second place on GC. They're
neck and neck at the moment. Maybe if Armstrong catches Basso, he'll pick up
Georg Totschnig is finishing his ride now. The Austrian is home in 1'12'39 (18th),
not one of his better rides.
Klöden flies past 47.5 km just 10 seconds slower than Ullrich!!
Basso has got the big gear thang happening now, looking for any way to ease
the pain in his heart and lungs. There is no way.
Armstrong is about 30 seconds behind Basso now (he started 3 minutes behind).
Top times so far:
Lance Armstrong (USP) 22.47
Jan Ullrich (TMO) 0.43
Andreas Klöden (TMO) 0.47
Ivan Basso (CSC) 0.47
Floyd Landis (USP) 0.54
Lance Armstrong 42.31
Jan Ullrich (TMO) 0.46
Andreas Klöden (TMO) 1.03
Floyd Landis (USP) 1.29
Ivan Basso (CSC) 1.35
Lance Armstrong 49.20
Jan Ullrich (TMO) 0.51
Andreas Klöden (TMO) 1.03
Floyd Landis (USP) 1.38
Bobby Julich (CSC) 1.55
Jens Voigt (CSC) 2.23
Ivan Basso (CSC) 2.26
Basso is now effectively 3rd on GC, 17 seconds behind Klöden. The Italian is
Ullrich is in the home stretch now, en route to second or third place today,
depending on how strongly Klöden brings it home.
Francisco Mancebo finishes in 1'13'24 for 27th, not bad going. Azevedo in next
Ullrich steams home behind in 1'07'50!! New best time!!
Just three more riders on the road, Klöden, Basso and Armstrong.
Armstrong is now past the 47.5 km mark in 59'17, that's 54 seconds better than
Ullrich. He should go under 1'07'00 by the finish.
Klöden is driving it all the way home, having an effective 22 seconds on Basso
on GC. Klöden will finish second overall in the Tour de France.
Klöden finishes off a fantastic ride in 1'08'16, 26 seconds slower than Ullrich.
He will take third in this stage.
Ivan Basso, the only rider to stick with Armstrong in the Pyrenees, has run
out of gas in the last week. But he's had a great Tour and a third place overall
will be a nice reward.
Armstrong, followed by a posse of motorbikes, still hasn't caught Basso.
Basso gives it everything as he reaches the final 2 km, Armstrong hot on his
Armstrong will win his fifth stage in this year's race, a record for him.
Basso struggles on the false flat as he approaches the last kilometre, Armstrong
15 seconds back.
Basso is exploding in the last kilometre, the pain is overwhelming. He should
hold off Armstrong at least.
Basso comes home in a good time of 1'09'39, sixth on the day, 1'50 slower than
Armstrong is home in 1'06'49, again 1'01 (isn't that spooky?) better than Ullrich.
A great way to finish off the Tour.
Armstrong is ushered off the course by his handlers, giving his bike to the
team. He is congratulated by Virenque as he goes into the interview room.
The GC has changed a bit, with Armstrong opening up a 6'38 lead to second place,
which has been taken by Andreas Klöden (T-Mobile) in an excellent ride. Basso
started well but wasn't good enough to hold off the T-Mobile motors and slipped
to 3rd on GC at 6'59. Ullrich is fourth at 9'09, and Azevedo fifth at 14'30.
- Lance Armstrong (USP) 22.47
- Jan Ullrich (TMO) 0.43
- Andreas Kloden (TMO) 0.47
- Ivan Basso (CSC) 0.47
- Floyd Landis (USP) 0.54
- Lance Armstrong 42.31
- Jan Ullrich (TMO) 0.46
- Andreas Kloden (TMO) 1.03
- Floyd Landis (USP) 1.29
- Ivan Basso (CSC) 1.35
- Lance Armstrong 49.20
- Jan Ullrich (TMO) 0.51
- Andreas Kloden (TMO) 1.03
- Floyd Landis (USP) 1.38
- Bobby Julich (CSC) 1.55
- Lance Armstrong 59.17
- Jan Ullrich (TMO) 0.54
- Andreas Kloden (TMO) 1.04
- Floyd Landis (USP) 1.58
- Bobby Julich (CSC) 2.19
Finish, 55 km
- Lance Armstrong 1:06:49.31
- Jan Ullrich (TMO) 1.01
- Andreas Kloden (TMO) 1.27
- Floyd Landis (USP) 2.25
- Bobby Julich (CSC) 2.48
- Ivan Basso (CSC) 2.50
- Jens Voigt (CSC) 3.19
- Vladimir Karpets (IBB) 3.32
- Jose Luis Rubiera (USP) 3.40
- Jose Azevedo (USP) 3.48
General classification after stage 19
1 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal p/b Berry Floor 79.27.17
2 Andreas Klöden (Ger) T-Mobile Team 6.38
3 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 6.59
4 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team 9.09
5 Jose Azevedo (Por) US Postal p/b Berry Floor 14.30
6 Francisco Mancebo Pérez (Spa) Illes Balears - Banesto 18.20
7 Georg Totschnig (Aut) Gerolsteiner 18.46
8 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC 20.10
9 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank 20.31
10 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 23.13
the commentary team