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July 22, 2003

BBC Sport | Armstrong faces tough test

Wednesday's 197.5km stage 16 from Pau to Bayonne, across two first category climbs, offers Armstrong the chance to consolidate his lead - or his attackers a last-gap opportunity to claw back some vital seconds.

But the last big climb, the Col de Bagargui, is 87km from the finish, and the long, flat run-out should offer chasing teams plenty of time to reel in a breakaway.

"I doubt there will be any change in the overall standings, unless Ullrich does some sort of epic," said Britain's former Tour rider and Team CSC number two Sean Yates, speaking to this [BBC Sport] website.

"It's a long way from the top of the climb to the finish and Lance will rally the troops and chase him down."

Yates also estimates that Ullrich could take 20-30 seconds from Armstrong in the flattish time trial on Saturday, but not 67 seconds.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 22, 2003 in Tour news | Permalink

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