More Stage 13 Reports

Rolf Sorensen, who won Saturday's 13th stage of the Tour de France, has often shone in the world's greatest cycle race but he has also experienced painful moments. ``I knew I was in good form and I desperately wanted to win a stage,'' said the 31-year-old Dane after taking the day's 110-mile ride from Le Puy.

Sorensen wore the yellow jersey for four days in the 1991 Tour but on the fourth he crashed and broke his collarbone.

He showed plenty of courage by getting back on his bike to finish the stage but he was then taken to hospital and was not allowed to start the next day. ``This is the most important of all races. I love it and I always want to do well in it,'' said Sorensen, also remembered for winning a stage in 1994 in Montpellier.

He kept trying from this year's race started last month from the Dutch city of Den Bosch and he came close in Tuesday's 10th stage from Turin to Gap by escaping in the last few miles.

But he was caught a few hundred yards from home and German sprinter Erik Zabel won the stage. ``I was disappointed but I knew there would be more opportunities,'' he said after winning in Superbesse.

As Sorensen claimed the stage, his compatriot Bjarne Riis resisted several attacks to strengthen his overall lead on a great day for Denmark. ``We get on all right but I can't say Bjarne is my best friend,'' said Sorensen, remembering what happened in the road race in the 1994 world championships in Sicily.

Both men were ideally placed but each one refused to work for the other and Leblanc won the race. ``It was tough because it was the closest I ever came to winning a world championship title,'' said Sorensen.

He promised there would be no problems with Riis on the Tour. ``We're in a different race,'' he said. ``He goes for overall victory while I only look for stage wins. I'd love to win another one.''