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Le Tour 2001

89th Tour de France - Grand Tour

France, July 6-28, 2002

Main page    Stage profile    Start List    Results

Stage 2 - Monday July 8: Luxembourg - Saarbrücken (Germany), 181 km

Complete Live Report

Start time: 12:42 CEST
Estimated finish time: 17:00 CEST

11:50 CEST
Welcome to Cyclingnews' coverage of the second stage of the 89th Tour de France. Today the riders leave the small but very picturesque country of Luxembourg, heading south east into Germany, with the stage finishing in Saarbrücken. This is the final stage that will be held outside France this year, as Le Tour will start in Metz tomorrow.

On the menu today are just two Cat. 4 climbs: Côte de Perl (km 60) and Côte d'Alsweiler-Heid (km 132.5), and most are predicting a more regulation sprint finish. There are also three intermediate time bonus sprints at Mondorf-Les-Bains (km 45), Losheim (km 95) and Uchtelfangen (km 155). That means that the yellow jersey is definitely up for grabs for the sprinters today, although Lampre's Rubens Bertogliati will try to defend the coveted cloth that he earned yesterday with a spectacular last kilometre attack.

Favourites for the stage include Erik Zabel (who turned 32 yesterday), Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Adecco), Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r), Tom Steels and Oscar Freire (Mapei-Quick Step). But this is the Tour, and anything can happen...

12:42 CEST
The riders have officially started Stage 2, after a short neutral section out of Luxembourg city. The weather today is excellent: It's a beautiful sunny day with a light southerly breeze that will come up in the afternoon as they head toward Saarbrucken.

There were a number of crashes in yesterday's stage, although no-one had to abandon the race as a result. However Christophe Moreau (Credit Agricole) was involved in two of them, as well as experiencing mechanical problems, and he eventually lost 3'20.

Cyclingnews spoke with his former teammate Pascal Lino, who is driving the car in the caravan for Laurent Bezault. Lino said that "Moreau didn't fall particularly heavily, but he fell twice and had a bike change. Two weeks before tour he fell while motorpacing at 75 km/h. A week after that he had trouble sleeping. Just before the tour he started to feel well but any kind of crash will mes him up."

13:00 CEST - 15 km
The race has started in an very aggressive manner, with a lot of attacking in the opening kilometres. Sylvain Chavanel (Bonjour) got clear at 11 km and he was chased down by Thor Hushovd (CA) and Stephane Berges (Ag2r), who was also involved in yesterday's longest break.

Another rider involved in one of the crashes yesterday was Erik Dekker. According to Bert Schaap (De Telegraaf) Dekker crashed harder than was first reported and can not move his left elbow very well. He started today but he may abandon - he will take it day by day.

13:15 CEST - 24 km
The three leaders, Chavanel, Hushovd and Berges, have gained 50 seconds after 24 kilometres of racing. The average speed is around 45 km/h at the moment. None of the three represent a serious threat (yet) to Bertogliati's yellow jersey, with the best placed being Chavanel, who is 141st on GC at 4'19.

13:28 CEST - 35 km
Chavanel, Hushovd and Berges, who attacked after 11 kilometres, have increased their lead to 1'50, as the peloton eases its tempo slightly. They could be out for a while now.

The man in the hot seat today is Swiss rider Rubens Bertogliati (Lampre), who won the stage yesterday and took the yellow jersey. Cyclingnews spoke with his team director Pietro Algeri this morning in the village depart:

"We know that it will be very hard to keep the jersey today because Zabel wants it in Germany," he said.

"Rubens has already lost 3 kg from last year (he weighs 73 kg now). If he loses 2-3 more, he's going to be good in the mountains. But his problem is that he likes to eat a lot..."

"He's a very relaxed guy. His character is that of a good stage race rider: Cool and calm. He's a geniune person. He already knows that in a big stage race it's important to sleep and eat well."

"Bertogliati never really rode as an amateur. We learned about him when he won the Junior Tour of Tuscany two times. When we did the first tests with him, he had fantastic results. We offered him a pro contract."

Last year, Bertogliati rode and finished the Tour in 140th position, at 3'39.05 behind Lance Armstrong.

13:43 CEST - 48 km/133 km to go
The trio have increased their lead to 3'00, after a very fast first hour, where they covered over 46 kilometres, helped by a tailwind. Chavanel won the first bonus sprint at km 45, in front of Hushovd and Berges.

Stefano Cortinovis (Bertogliati's roomate) told Cyclingnews this morning that "He's a simple guy. Very nice. Last night after dinner he was a little nervous so we ordered a bottle of champagne and had two glasses."

13:58 CEST - 58 km/123 km to go
The leaders are now up to 3'45 in front of the peloton, enjoying the sunshine and the crowds as they ascend the Cat. 4 Côte de Perl. Another 30 seconds or so and Chavanel will be the "Maillot Jaune virtuel".

Cyclingnews spoke with Mapei's Andrea Tafi this morning, who was a little bit down after the tough stage yesterday.

"I hope I feel a little better today than yesterday," he said. "I got gapped on the Wormeldange. [Roberto] Laiseka left a big gap - it was really hard to get across once it opened. So we'll what happens."

Tafi's teammate Miguel Martinez, in his first ever Tour de France, said that "It was really hard an nervous yesterday and I was trying to avoid as many crashes as possible. I used a lot of energy chasing back for 10-12 kilometres because I was caught behind the first crash. I hope things go better because it's a really hard Tour so far for me. But my morale is high. Every stage I finish is like a win for me."

14:02 CEST - 60 km/121 km to go
Berges takes the 5 points on the Côte de Perl, followed by Chavanel and Hushovd. The peloton is at the base of the climb now. Lampre-Daikin is leading the chase, and setting a solid tempo.

Erik Dekker is in difficulty on this climb already, and is just off the back of the peloton.

14:10 CEST - 65 km/116 km to go
Dekker makes it over the climb, helped by his teammates, but is clearly suffering from his fall yesterday. Fingers crossed for him that he'll make it through the stage.

The Lampre-Daikin chase has stablised the gap at 3'45, but the strong trio of Berges, Hushovd and Chavanel are clearly having a good day out in front.

The smiling Italian, Davide Cassani (RAI TV) predicted: "It's finally a nice, warm sunny day. I think it will be a sprint today. That's how a lot of teams want it to end. Because there's a lot at stake in addition to the stage win - also the yellow jersey."

" It's an easier parcours today, not so complicated as stage 1. In addition to yesterday's favourites Zabel and McEwen, I've got to add Steels and Kirsipuu for today."

14:22 CEST - 74 km/107 km to go
The gap has now got out to 4'30 with 74 kilometres covered. That means that Chavanel, who started the day 4'19 down, is the virtual leader of the race. Lampre still controls the peloton, but there is no urgency yet.

Photo: © CN

Interested in some of the time trial bikes that the riders are using in this year's Tour? Please check out Part Four of our Tour de France bike tech feature, which details Rabobank's Colnago, Credit Agricole's Look, CSC-Tiscali's Look...er Cervelo, and Lance Armstrong's Trek.

For a full run down of our Tour coverage, check the main index page which has links to everything posted so far.

14:36 CEST - 85 km/96 km to go
There is a fall in the peloton near the feed zone, but it doesn't seem too serious. Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel) was involved, but he is back on his bike and chasing again. The tempo is not too high, and he should get back on.

The gap now to the leaders is 5'00.

14:43 CEST - 91 km/90 km to go
The peloton ride through the feed zone at a relaxed pace. Laszlo Bodrogi (Mapei) rides a little way in front of the group, to make sure he gets his feed bag. The gap is now up to 5'05, and Lampre are certainly in no hurry to close it down. Even if these three stay away by three and a half minutes to win, that will mean that Bertogliati keeps his yellow jersey. If they are caught, and Zabel places first or second, then the German will get the yellow. That means it's really up to Telekom and the other sprinter's teams to start the chase.

We spoke with Piotr Wadecki this morning, the Polish Domo-Farm Frites rider who had a serious crash in Tirreno-Adriatico earlier this year.

"I was really good in the Tour de Suisse but when I went back to Poland I got sick and was off the bike for a week. I'm feeling better every day now and I hope I'll be 100% in a couple of days."

"Alex Zulle was really strong in the last TT in Switzerland and I'm very happy for him that he finally won [the Tour de Suisse]."

14:52 CEST - 96 km/85 km to go
The leaders pass through the second sprint at Losheim, with Chavanel taking the bonus in front of Berges and Hushovd. Chavanel now has 12 bonus seconds today.

The pace has started to pick up in the peloton, with Lampre still in front followed by Telekom and US Postal. It's now quite warm, around 30 degrees celsius.

15:03 CEST - 101 km/80 km to go
Less than two hours to go in the race, and the situation on the road is that Stephane Berges (Ag2r), Sylvain Chavanel (Bonjour) and Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) have a 5 minute lead over the peloton, which is being controlled by Lampre-Daikin for race leader Rubens Bertogliati. The three attacked after 11 kilometres.

It's obvious that the Tour is as popular in Germany as ever, with thousands of fans lining the road to cheer on the riders. They hope for an Erik Zabel victory today, but are clearly enjoying the proceedings.

One man who was in the break yesterday was Christan Moreni (Alessio), in his first ever Tour. "We were working well together in the break and I thought we might stay away for longer," he told Cyclingnews today. "But Rabobank rode hard behind and we got caught just before the final climb (Hostert)."

"This is my first experience in the Tour de France and it's good so far. I attacked and got in a break so we'll see what comes up in the next few stages. I'm in good form from the Giro d'Italia but I didn't win there, so I'd love to win here at the Tour."

15:15 CEST - 111 km/70 km to go
The three leading riders' advantage has fallen to 4'10, as five Lampre riders continue to set the pace. They should expect some help from Telekom, who want to close down the gap to make sure Zabel gets the stage win and the yellow jersey. Of course, he has to beat a few other sprinters first...

Hushovd has a mechanical problem with his left pedal (or crank). He waits for the Credit Agricole team car and starts chasing, but doesn't look that enthused about getting back to the leaders.

15:22 CEST - 115 km/66 km to go
It's not a mechanical - it's cramps. Hushovd has been in the lead for 100 km and has succumbed to the 34 degree temperatures (yep, it's warm today). He now trails the two Frenchmen Chavanel and Berges by 40 seconds, with the peloton another 3'30 back.

15:31 CEST - 122 km/59 km to go
Hushovd is fighting a losing battle, some 1'20 behind the two leaders now. However, the peloton is also closing in, and have narrowed the gap to 3'50. That means that Bertogliati is back in yellow.

One team that has some pressure off today is US Postal, although Lance Armstrong is still riding very much towards the front of the group. George Hincapie told Cyclingnews this morning that "It was a very hard day yesterday. And it ought to be hard today but I'm sure Telekom will want to control the stage for Zabel so I hope we don't have to do much work."

15:46 CEST - 129 km/52 km to go
Hushovd is just about to be caught, as the big Norwegian looks around for the peloton. He is still suffering a little from cramps, and his trying to rehydrate as much as possible - very hard when it's so hot.

The gap to the two leaders is now 3'30.

15:53 CEST - 133 km/48 km to go
Hushovd is really suffering now, as he goes straight through the peloton on the Côte d'Alsweiler-Heid and out the back. Mengin takes the point for third place in front of Halgand, and will lose his polka dot jersey to Stephane Berges, who took first place (5 pts) on the climb.

The gap at the top was just 2'23, and the break is doomed.

16:02 CEST - 140 km/41 km to go
Lampre are still leading the peloton, and are making big inroads into the two leaders Stephane Berges and Sylvain Chavanel. Following them are US Postal and Telekom, who have had an easy ride today. The gap is 1'35 with 41 km to go.

Brad McGee (FDJ) has been a little quieter today, after the last two days of hard riding. He said this morning that "I was just doing my job yesterday, covering some moves, trying to go for the bonus sprints and leading out Baden in the sprint but he didn't have the legs yesterday. We're just rolling with the punches at the Tour de France. Our plan was to get into every move, that's the way we play it. Everyone has a go, everyone shares the workload and whoever's chance comes up they take it."

16:09 CEST - 144 km/37 km to go
The two leaders are pressing on, but they may not even stay away until the next bonus sprint at km 155. The gap is down to a minute, and Lampre may need to ease off the throttle to stop Erik Zabel from taking any more bonus seconds. Unless of course they plan on leading Bertogliati out.

Chavanel and Berges shake hands, and sit up. They've been in the lead for over 130 kilometres on a very warm day, and have at least earned some kudos and most aggressive rider points.

16:13 CEST - 146 km/35 km to go
Lampre have realised the danger of giving Zabel a chance at the bonus seconds, and have also sat up. The gap is still over a minute! The two leaders are ambling along now, but so is the peloton. Quite amusing.

However, Lampre will really have problems keeping Bertogliati's jersey on his shoulders, as if Zabel wins or comes second in the stage, he will take yellow.

Hushovd cramps up completely in his left leg and has to stop. He is in great pain, and gets attention from his team director. He gets back on his bike. At least there's not too far to go, but he could lose 20 minutes here...

16:20 CEST - 149 km/32 km to go
25 seconds to the leaders, as Jens Voigt (CA) attacks from the peloton and quickly gets a gap. He is trying to soak up the bonus seconds/points so that Zabel will not increase his lead.

16:24 CEST - 152 km/29 km to go
Voigt catches Berges and Chavanel, and the three now have 40 seconds lead. Next on the road is Paul Van Hyfte (CSC), who missed Voigt's move and is chasing alone. Now Telekom is leading the peloton, but they will miss the bonus sprint.

16:27 CEST - 154 km/27 km to go
Voigt is doing all the work in this rejuvenated break, taking the 6 seconds for the bonus sprint in front of Chavanel and Berges, who are doing their best to hold his wheel. Van Hyfte is another 30 seconds back, but there are five Telekom jerseys on the front of the peloton now.

The gap is 1'05(!) - Voigt has dropped the other two on this small climb.

16:31 CEST - 158 km/23 km to go
Voigt leads the race on his own, as Van Hyfte nearly runs down a throng of spectators. He catches Berges and Chavanel, who have completely had enough for the day. The peloton, led by Julich, is at 50 seconds.

There is a fall right on a Stars and Stripes flag painted on the road. Bram de Groot and Santi Botero both come down.

16:34 CEST - 161 km/20 km to go
Voigt has nearly a minute's lead with 20 km to go, enjoying a descent. Van Hyfte has given up. It's now the peloton vs. Voigt.

12 riders went down in the fall.

Voigt's teammate Hushovd is getting pushed along, but he can barely pedal. Both legs seem to be cramping now. He may have to abandon, but he pushes on steadily.

16:38 CEST - 164 km/17 km to go
Still 50 seconds with 17 km to go. The Telekom train are hunting down Jens Voigt with earnest. The German Credit Agricole rider took advantage of a lull in the tempo with 32 km to go, and quickly distanced himself from the peloton. He won a stage in last year's Tour, but has a lot of work to do to hold off this comitted chase. Wesemann and Bolts are getting help from the Lotto-Adecco boys.

16:41 CEST - 166 km/15 km to go
Voigt grunts his way up a small hill with 15 km to go, and loses time. Just 40 seconds separate him from the front of the bunch. Also prominent are Oscar Freire and the Mapei team, US Postal and Kelme.

Erik Dekker is dropped for the final time, but will finish the stage.

16:45 CEST - 168 km/13 km to go
Christophe Moreau is obviously feeling better today, as he gets up near the front on his climb. Voigt is on his way down the other side, and still flying.

Good news for Hushovd - he is riding with relative comfort again

16:48 CEST - 170 km/11 km to go
Voigt is struggling up another climb, as he looks behind for the peloton. They're at 20 seconds and closing fast. But Voigt hasn't given up...

16:50 CEST - 171 km/10 km to go
Sebastien Hinault (CA) attacks as Jens Voigt is caught. This has been a Credit Agricole sort of a day really.

16:53 CEST - 172 km/9 km to go
Hinault gets over the climb and extends his lead on the descent. But it's still the Telekom/Lotto train leading the peloton. McEwen and Zabel are there, as is Freire.

16:54 CEST - 174 km/7 km to go
Telekom, Domo, Lotto, Fassa Bortolo are all trying to get to the front of the peloton. The speed is very high, but still Hinault leads the race. Steels doesn't seem to be there, but the yellow jersey of Bertogliati is.

16:56 CEST - 177 km/4 km to go
4 km to go, and it's going to be a bunch sprint. The Lotto and Telekom teams have really lifted the pace on his downhill run into Saarbrucken.

16:59 CEST - 179 km/2 km to go
3 km, and there are four Telekom jerseys in front. But Mapei try to steal the show, with Hunter coming up to take a turn. Zabel, McEwen and Freire are back in 10 th place.

17:00 CEST - 180 km/1 km to go
1 km to go, and Ludo Dierckxsens leads Bertogliati - impressive!

17:01 CEST - 181 km/0 km to go
Telekom lead out the sprint, with Hondo and Fagnini. Zabel and McEwen bump shoulders. Zabel goes, but can't get it. Freire wins it from McEwen, meaning that Bertogliati keeps yellow!

Freire, the World Champion, took a very good win from McEwen, the Australian champion, and Zabel, the green jersey wearer. He came around McEwen in the final 50 metres to win by 3/4 of a bike length. Zabel was another 3/4 of a bike behind McEwen.

Nazon (Bonjour), Boogerd (Rabobank) and and Ag2r rider fell on the last corner


1 Oscar Freire (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step            4.19.51
2 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Adecco
3 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom
4 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com
5 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R Prevoyance
6 Andrej Hauptman (Slo) Tacconi Sport
7 Pedro Horillo (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step
8 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Domo-Farm Frites
9 Gian Matteo Fagnini (Ita) Team Deutsche Telekom
10 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole

General classification after stage 2

1 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Lampre Daikin          9.18.12
2 Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Deutsche Telekom             0.02
3 Laurent Jalabert (Fra) CSC-Tiscali                 0.03
4 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal Service
5 Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu) Lampre Daikin               0.06
6 Santiago Botero (Col) Kelme-Costa Blanca           0.07
7 David Millar (GBr) Cofidis                         0.08
8 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Jean Delatour               0.09
9 Oscar Freire (Spa) Mapei-Quick Step                0.11
10 Dario Frigo (Ita) Tacconi Sport


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