92nd Tour de France - GT
France, July 2-24, 2005
Results & report
Stage 19 - Friday, July 22: Issoire - Le Puy-en-Velay, 153.5 km
Commentary by Jeff Jones and Shane Stokes, with additional reporting from
Anthony Tan and Hedwig Kröner
Live coverage starts: 13:30 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:15 CEST
Stage 19 profile
Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage
of the 19th stage of the Tour de France, another one in the Massif Central,
this time from Issoire to Le Puy-en-Velay. Today's stage isn't quite as tough
as yesterday's at the finish, but there is still a bit of climbing to overcome
and it's definitely not a day for the sprinters.
The climbs today:
Côte des Gerbaudias (km 23, Cat. 4, 6.0 km climb at 3.1 %)
Côte de Saint-Eloy-la-Glacière
(km 38.5, Cat. 3, 11.3 km climb at 3.2 %)
Col des Pradeaux (km 68m, Cat.
2, 11.4 km climb at 5.6 %)
Côte des Terrasses (km 96, Cat. 4, 2.9 km climb
at 3.7 %)
Côte de Malaveille (km 107.5, Cat. 4, 2.9 km climb at 5 %)
The two intermediate sprints are at Ambert (km 55.5) and Bellevue-La-Montagne
It's sunny and warm again, with temps of 25 degrees at
the start, and 28 expected at the finish. The wind is from the north, which
is more or less against the riders, and it will be gusting up to 30-40 km/h.
The stage starts at 13:30 with a 3.5 km neutral zone, before the Départ réel
13:43 CEST 4km/149.5km to go
The official start
was given at 13:36, and Swiss rider Alexandre Moos (Phonak) is the first to
go on the attack. He has a gap of 12 seconds at the moment.
13:48 CEST 7km/146.5km to go
Moos continues to
ride about 150 metres ahead of the peloton, with no-one joining him yet.
13:52 CEST 10km/143.5km to go
Moos is caught
and Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is the next rider on the attack. He was
involved in yesterday's 10 man break that made it to the finish, but didn't
have the legs to go with the front riders on the Côte de la Croix Neuve.
He doesn't have the legs today either. All back together.
It should be a fairly routine day
for maillot jaune Lance Armstrong and the Discovery Channel team, who
should not be threatened by any attacks from the GC riders. Chris Brewer, from
Behind the Blue Curtain, reports:
Relaxed but very focused, that's
the mood as the Discovery Channel team headed to the line today. I asked Directeur
Sportif Johan Bruyneel what the plan was, and it's a simple one. 'Stay at the
front, and keep Lance safe,' he said as he drove out for one more day on the
road before the TT tomorrow.
13:59 CEST 16km/137.5km to go
Juan-Antonio Flecha (Fassa Bortolo) and Oscar Pereiro (Phonak) make the next
foray, but they are not allowed any freedom.
14:04 CEST 20km/133.5km to go
The peloton is
now on the Côte des Gerbaudias, with its summit at km 23. It's a 6 km climb
at 3.1%, rated as a Cat. 4.
14:08 CEST 22km/131.5km to go
Roberto Heras (Liberty
Seguros) is the next to attack, shortly before the summit of the Côte des Gerbaudias.
It's all back together again. Who
will take the points on the climb? Michael Rasmussen doesn't have to bother
any more, as he's unbeatable for the polka-dot jersey.
Christophe Moreau (Credit Agricole)
and Gerolsteiner's Ronny Scholz went clear on the climb and led over the top.
They are now being chased down by eight riders. One of these, Brad McGee (FDJ)
took third at the summit.
14:19 CEST 31km/122.5km to go
There are now thirteen
riders clear, including Hincapie, Julich, Botero, Jaksche and Zubeldia. But
the bunch closes them down - peloton groupé now
Chris Brewer reports again that,
"Back at the start line a small crowd has formed around one of the Lampre vehicles.
Apparently it's not good to have one set of keys and to lock them in a team
car. So we have three Lampre staff trying to break into their own vehicle as
fans and TV cameras keep a close eye."
T-Mobile's Giuseppe Guerini and Sandy
Casar of the Francaise des Jeux team decide life is too cosy in the peloton
and clear off up the road. They've got ten seconds and, also, Oscar Pereiro
(Phonak) for company.
The Spaniard won stage 16 of this year's race.
Guerini won the 1999 Alpe d'Huez stage.
14:31 CEST 37.4km/116.1km to go
The three leaders
are now being chased by Scholz and McGee, who are ten seconds back.
14:36 CEST 41km/112.5km to go
The three leaders
are nearing the top of the next climb, the cat 3 Côte de Saint-Eloy-la-Glacière.
Pereiro takes the points from Guerini and Casar. The two chasers were caught
and three more set off in pursuit. Pellizotti (Liquigas Bianchi) jumps clear
of Arvesen (Team CSC) and Garate (Saunier Duval-Prodir) over the top. He is
riding well and closes up to the three leaders, making it four ahead of a pursuing
Garate. Arvesen is further back.
14:42 CEST 46km/107.5km to go
Garate and Arvesen
have joined up again and are about 0'18 back. The peloton are a further 0'17
back, led by the Fassa Bortolo team.
Now Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis)
takes over at the front, with others also contributing.
are on the descent and working very well.
14:46 CEST 50km/103.5km to go
Arvesen has been
caught by some attacking riders. Chavanel is up there and giving it loads. He
is being followed by a Domina Vacanze rider, then five others. Former Italian
champion Salvatore Commesso (Lampre-Caffita) is there, as is Discovery's Jose
Azevedo. More names to follow.
Bert Grabsch (Phonak) jumps across
from the peloton.
The other names in the chasing group are Juan
Antonio Flecha (Fassa Bortolo), Caros Da Cruz and Alessandro Bertolini (Domina
Vacanze). The four leaders have 0'40 on these riders.
14:50 CEST 55km/98.5km to go
Four riders are leading: Giuseppe Guerini (T-Mobile), Oscar Pereiro (Phonak),
Sandy Casar (FDJ), Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas-Bianchi)
chased by several others:
Kurt-Asle Arvesen (CSC), Jose Azevedo
(Discovery), Salvatore Commesso (Lampre), Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis), Bert Grabsch
(Phonak), Carlos Da Cruz (FDJ), Alessandro Bertolini (Domina Vacanze), Pieter
Weening (Rabobank), Nicolas Portal (Ag2r), Juan Antonio Flecha (Fassa Bortolo).
Meanwhile, Spanish champion Garate - who was up the road but was caught by the
bunch - seems to have punctured. He's back chasing now.
News today is that the Fassa Bortolo
team are stopping. They had been hoping to get a new sponsor but were unable
to do so. Presumably the arrest of Dario Frigo and his wife for alleged possession
of doping substances earlier in the Tour didn't help the search for backing,
even if the team insisted that it had nothing to do with them.
sprinter Alessandro Petacchi has a verbal agreement with Domina Vacanze. More
news on this will be on this site shortly.
14:57 CEST 57km/96.5km to go
The four leaders
are passing the sprint line in Ambert. They don't contest it, with Pereiro first
over the line. They seem to be working pretty well, although Guerini looks a
bit out of place here on the flat. He's all over the bike.
are leading the chase. Lance Armstrong's about six riders back, looking relaxed.
Just three days to go now for the Texan, who's having a big farewell bash in
Paris on Sunday.
15:02 CEST 60km/93.5km to go
Da Cruz is wearing
the red dossard of most aggressive rider. He's been up the road quite a bit
in this year's Tour.
So too Pereiro and Pellizotti.
The pace looks quite relaxed in the peloton. If the sprinters are to have their
day they may have to get their teams to drive it along a little later on; Discovery
don't seem in too much of a hurry to bring the break back.
competition is still close, although Robbie McEwen's chances are pretty slim.
Thor Hushovd is 14 points clear of Stuart O'Grady and, providing he sprints
well on Sunday, should take it. The other two will be hoping to get clear in
a move and sneak a few extra points.
McEwen lost out when he was
disqualified on stage 3, losing a bundle of points.
Commesso has attacked the chase group
and gone well clear. He is on the Col des Pradeaux, the last Cat 2 climb in
this year's Tour. The sun is blazing down and Commesso has his sleeves rolled
Up front, Pereiro leads Pellizotti, Guerini and Casar
on the climb.
15:11 CEST 63km/90.5km to go
Bertolini has been
dropped on the climb. The peloton is well lined out, with Hushovd at the back.
Casar leads the break as they get a time check on the peloton. Commesso is 44
seconds back from the front runners and grimacing, with the rest of the chase
1'01 behind. The bunch is at 3'55.
Contador (Liberty) punctures,
gets a new wheel and then has to stop again. The mechanic made a bags of putting
the wheel in and it was rubbing.
15:15 CEST 64.2km/89.3km to go
There seems to
be a lack of co-operation in the chasing group. Arvesen's gesturing at the others
- "Hey! Pull your fingers out" (or words to that effect)
(Gerolsteiner) is getting attention from the race doctor. Looks like he's got
something in his eye, most probably an insect.
Commesso is 59 seconds
back now, so he ain't going anywhere. Except backwards : )
15:19 CEST 66km/87.5km to go
Weening is leading
the chase. Portal's down the back and looks to be in a big of trouble.
This second group has actually split; Flecha, Bertolini, Portal and Chavanel
have been dropped.
Commesso's been caught by the others, so this
second group is as follows: Kurt-Asle Arvesen (CSC), Jose Azevedo (Discovery),
Bert Grabsch (Phonak), Carlos Da Cruz (FDJ), Pieter Weening (Rabobank) and Salvatore
Back with the peloton, a load of
riders are going south the climb. Discovery are setting a hard tempo to discourage
any more attacks; Hushovd is at the very back and suffering.
down, riders such as Menchov (Rabobank) and Sevilla (T-Mobile) are amongst about
20 who have been dropped.
Pereiro gets the points on the climb,
with Pellizotti, Guerini and Casar following in that order.
may be a small climb (well, relative to those the riders were doing a few days
ago) but the crowds are pretty good.
Weening leads the next group
over the top, 1'19 back. Azevedo and Da Cruz aren't contributing. The first
of these is exempt as his team-mate's in yellow, while Da Cruz has a rider up
Stuart O'Grady was one of those dropped
on the climb; he's been pretty ill with food poisoning the past couple of days.
No sign of McEwen at the moment, not sure where he is.
driving the chase along as the drop down the descent. It's fast, with sweeping,
tree-lined turns. Just under 78 kilometres to go to the finish.
Flecha's group is coming back up to the other chasers, so the pursuers are tout
ensemble once more.
15:37 CEST 81.5km/72km to go
Discovery are still
on the front. The peloton are rolling down this descent, with Armstrong taking
the opportunity to stretch his back.
The pace has dropped right
off again. Looks like Discovery were just trying to stop attacks, rather than
bring the front guys back. So will we see some of the sprinters' teams starting
to chase soon?
Credit Agricole are unlikely to bother; it suits
them for these guys to stay clear and mop up the points. It's up to Cofidis
and Davitamon.Lotto, methinks.
The gap is 4'30 so no panic just
One of the readers was asking us to clarify a phrase used...make
a bags of something=mess it up. Irish phrase - sorry about that! ; )
Feedtime at the zoo as the peloton
pick up their feedbags. Quite a few of those dropped are getting back on. Hincapie's
having a chat with Armstrong as they roll along.
15:44 CEST 86.1km/67.4km to go
No respite for
those up front. The difference is pace/application is noticeable, compared to
the bunch. The chasers are hammering along too, although the large size of this
group doesn't help things. Weening is driving it while a couple of others are
The peloton is spread across the road, still on their
Jan Ullrich gained some time on third-placed
Michael Rasmussen yesterday.2004 was the first time the German didn't make it
to the podium in the race, so he'll be keen to move up from fourth in Saturday's
time trial. The gap of 2'12 looks to be pretty manageable for the former world
time trial champion, as Rasmussen isn't know as a tester.
finished way back in 174rd place in the opening time trial, losing 2'06 to Ullrich
over just 19 kilometres. While he says his third place overall will motivate
him tomorrow, it's really hard to see him hold off the German rider, especially
as tomorrow's test is 55 kilometres long.
16:02 CEST 99.8km/53.7km to go
The leaders are
now on the Côte des Terrasses. Pereiro leads, then Guerini comes through for
a turn. The chasers are 2'09 back with the peloton 8'26 down. Davitamon.Lotto/Cofidis
will need to start getting organised if McEwen and O'Grady are to entertain
thoughts of winning and taking points from Hushovd.
pretty relaxed in the chasing group (as well he might, because he hasn't had
to contribute). It would be interesting if these were to reel in the first four.
His freshness would give Discovery a pretty decent chance of taking another
stage win. Interestingly, they've had two victories thus far (leaving out the
team time trial). Neither has gone to Armstrong, so if he doesn't win tomorrow
it'd be a pretty rare occurrence. Unless he turned into a bunch sprinter extraordinaire
for Sunday, he'd finish the race with the overall victory as his only win of
Still, not a bad win : )
Pereiro, Guerini and
Pellizotti took the points on the climb.
16:09 CEST 105.4km/48.1km to go
team are driving it on the front of the peloton. They are concerned that Pereiro
might overtake Francisco Mancebo, who is fifth overall.
On the road,
Pereiro is now well into the top ten overall.
The gap is nearly
nine minutes from the Pereiro/Guerini/Pellizotti/Casar group to the peloton.
The four leaders are still working
nicely together. The group is a good size, unlike the chasers who are not really
functioning too well as a unit. Although the pace seems to be on at times, the
messing around means that they are still over 2 minutes back.
is driving it now, carrying Chavanel and Weening clear. Azevedo, Grabsch, Arvesen
and Flecha get across, making it seven chasers. This is a better sized group.
The riders are on the final climb of the day.
Pereiro, Casar and
Guerini cross the KOH prime line in that order, meaning that the Phonak rider
takes maximum points today. He still can't catch Rasmussen, though, who started
50 points clear this morning.
16:19 CEST 110.6km/42.9km to go
are still driving the chase. No sign of Davitamon.Lotto, who have two reasons
to chase. Namely, Cadel Evans (7th overall) and Robbie McEwen (potential stage
winner). They are either gambling or knackered.
16:22 CEST 113.5km/40km to go
There is a large
sign welcoming the riders to Craponne. One of those names that appeals to the
schoolboy humour..but not us, though, we are too sophisticated for that : )
The case group is splitting again. Commesso, Flecha and Grabsch surge, then
Weening and Chavanel bridge. Commesso's feeling good and he goes again.
There are two groups of five chasers now, with Azevedo in the wrong half. That's
unusual...he's had an easy ride today.
The peloton are cresting
the climb now, 7'52 down. The first four are 40 km from the finish, and still
a minute and a half clear of the next riders.
16:27 CEST 115.5km/38km to go
Despite the split
in the chasing group, the first five opted to mess around rather than knuckle
down to the task at hand. So those two groups have merged again. It's not looking
good for this chase, unless they get organised.
Pereiro rolls through
up front. He's had a great Tour, winning a stage, finishing second in another
and generally being aggressive.
Like Davitamon.Lotto, Credit Agricole
have also a reason to chase; Christophe Moreau.
Right on cue, the
two teams roll (or, rather, hurtle) to the front and get to it. Gerolsteiner
also have a rider up there.
For those of you who were wondering,
Greg Lemond is the last rider to win the Tour without taking a stage. That happened
in 1990. He was second on the Luz Ardiden stage, riding powerfully on the climb
but being beaten by Miguel Indurain at the top. That stage probably marked the
latter's transformation from strong, stage winning rider to Tour contender.
And we all know what happened the next year.
In 1990, LeMond was
also second in the prologue behind Thierry Marie and second on Alpe d'Huez,
The other Tour winners not to win a stage are Lucien
Aimar (1966), Gastone Nencini (1960), Roger Walkowiak (1956) and Firmin Lambot
16:40 CEST 126.5km/27km to go
and Pellizotti cross the sprint line in Bellevue-La-Montagne in that order.
Translated, the name means 'Beautiful view of the mountain'. The peloton would
surely agree, given that the climbs are now in the rear view mirror (and getting
This chase group is really messing
around, speeding and then stalling. Commesso's having none of it and attacks
yet again. Chavanel's also going well and he jumps on the other side of the
road. Grabsch gets across to the two of them but, somewhat predictably, the
others bust a gut to get up to them and then ease back.
to the front four has gone out to 2'15 again. Zut alors.
attacks on a little climb and gets a gap. He's clear, so it will be interesting
to see if another couple of riders get across to him. Then they might have a
16:46 CEST 133km/20.5km to go
It's mostly downhill
to the finish now, as the four leaders assume a full tuck and fly down a descent.
2'24 behind them, Chavanel has taken it upon himself to chase down Commesso
for that fifth place. The peloton is now at 6'41, so Moreau's 10th spot on GC
is still in danger from Pereiro. They'll need to get it under 4'00 to save that.
16:49 CEST 135.5km/18km to go
Commesso and Chavanel
are at 2'18, with the rest of that chase group at 2'26. That's not going to
threaten the four leaders, who are en route to a stage victory in Le Puy-en-Velay.
Pereiro would have to be a favourite, as he's been riding so well in the final
16:51 CEST 137.5km/16km to go
Chavanel and Commesso
are working pretty hard to try to stay away from the rest of the chasers. They
have good cooperation. Commesso has been very strong today, and is probably
annoyed that he missed the first break of four. But the other seven (minus Bertolini)
are 10 seconds behind.
16:53 CEST 138.5km/15km to go
Arvesen and Portal
are chasing Commesso and Chavanel, and Arvesen now makes contact.
16:55 CEST 140.5km/13km to go
Grabsch and Portal
have caught Arvesen, Chavanel and Commesso. This chase group has been anything
but stable today.
16:57 CEST 142.5km/11km to go
The race for stage
honours is up front, though. All four leaders are still working together, holding
2'16 over their nearest chasers and six minutes to the peloton.
16:58 CEST 143.5km/10km to go
10 clicks to go
and the leaders can see the valley below them where Le Puy-en-Velay is nestled.
Not much more work to do now in this stage for Giuseppe Guerini (T-Mobile),
Oscar Pereiro (Phonak), Sandy Casar (FDJ), and Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas-Bianchi).
17:00 CEST 144.5km/9km to go
Moreau's 10th place
on GC will probably be taken by Pereiro today, as the gap is still 5'49 between
the break and the peloton with 9 km to go. 3'55 is the magic number for Moreau.
Of course, the CA rider may be able to take some of that back in the final TT
17:02 CEST 145.5km/8km to go
The leaders are
on the 200m drop to Chadrac, being pursued by Arvesen, Commesso, Grabsch, Chavanel
Bertolini has been caught by the bunch now, taking time
to commune with nature on the side of the road (from the bike).
17:03 CEST 148.5km/5km to go
We're plunging down
into Le Puy-en-Velay at high speed now, with just over 5 km to go.
Guerini's presence in the break should bolster T-Mobile's team classification
today [for the nth time, it's taken on the three best team riders in the stage,
not on GC]
17:04 CEST 149.5km/4km to go
Guerini takes a
turn, then eases off and tightens his shoe straps. The pace in the break drops
as they get to the outskirts of town. Under a railway bridge and through a few
roundabouts, and it's 4 km to go.
Sandy Casar (FDJ) has been awarded
the most combative prize for the day. His team are doing well in this classification.
17:06 CEST 150.5km/3km to go
Will this be a four
man sprint? They're still all working together.
Under a viaduct
with 2.5 km to go. And now through the tree-lined streets.
17:07 CEST 151.5km/2km to go
Pereiro does a strong
turn in front, probably interested in his GC as well. Top 10 in the Tour is
not too shabby. But can he add another stage win?
The peloton is now at 5'15, the next
chasers at 2'12.
17:07 CEST 152km/1.5km to go
for Casar to come through, but the Frenchman doesn't. Guerini attacks!
17:08 CEST 152.5km/1km to go
Guerini has put
in a huge attack and the other three just watch Pereiro. Guerini has 5 seconds
with 1 km to go. He's got it.
Pereiro ups the pace as he wants
the GC seconds, but it's Guerini who will win this stage. Fantastic attack by
the Italian 1999 Alpe d'Huez winner.
17:09 CEST 153.5km/0km to go
Guerini rides up to the finish and wins the 19th stage in Le-Puy-en-Velay. He
looks back and realises he has plenty of time to celebrate, and he does. Casar
takes second from Pellizotti and Pereiro at 9 seconds.
Commesso attacks pretty much where
Guerini did, and comes in to take fifth place at 2'42. He was definitely the
strongest of the chase group. Portal, Arvesen, Grabsch and Chavanel are the
Pieter Weening finishes 10th at 3'49,
then Azevedo leads the next group home for 11th at 4'20. The peloton sprint
for 14th is won by McEwen from Hushovd and O'Grady. That will give Hushovd a
bigger lead over O'Grady in the green competition, even if McEwen closed the
gap by one point. Hushovd would have to finish well down in the points on Sunday
to lose the green.
OK that's all folks from the final
"transition stage" of this year's Tour. Tomorrow, the big guns will come out
to play in the 55 km Saint-Etienne time trial. Although Armstrong's yellow is
virtually assured, and Basso's second place also, Ullrich and Rasmussen will
battle it out for that third place on GC, and the other top 10 GC riders will
try to maintain or improve their positions too.
Join us at 10:40
local time for our live coverage of Stage 20.
1 Giuseppe Guerini (Ita) T-Mobile Team 3.33.04
2 Sandy Casar (Fra) Française Des Jeux 0.09
3 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi
4 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems
5 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 2.43
6 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance 2.48
7 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team CSC
8 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Phonak Hearing Systems
9 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone
10 Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank 3.49
11 Jose Azevedo (Por) Discovery Channel
General classification after stage 19
1 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel 81.22.19
2 Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC 2.46
3 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 3.46
4 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team 5.58
5 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne 7.08
6 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner 8.12
7 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 9.49
8 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile Team 10.11
9 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 10.42
10 Oscar Pereiro Sio (Spa) Phonak Hearing Systems 12.39
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