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July 20, 2003

BBC Sport | Simoni takes 14th stage

[T]he main move came from Alexandre Vinokourov, who staged a late assault on the final climb to reduce his deficit on Armstrong from over a minute to just 18 seconds.

The Kazakh remains in third place overall, with Jan Ullrich still second, 15 seconds behind the Texan, after the two main rivals finished together.

Simoni, who fell out of the overall reckoning in the Alps, later revealed he had been on the verge of quitting the Tour.

"Yesterday I wanted to go home, but my team manager told me to go on," the Italian said.

"I am happy I did. This win was a way of cancelling my bad Tour.

"It's a great feeling, especially after being humiliated (in the Alps)."

It will be fun to see what Simoni says in his riders' diary over at Bicycling magazine. In the most recent entry (in a language I think we can only call Itanglish), Simoni seemed disheartened:

Finally brief news about me. I finished my race, with a big delay. No good news for me. I think I will continue, anyway. This is my will.

I'm glad he stuck around, and glad he has something to show for it. Wish Tyler Freaking Hamilton could pull a stage win, but I think the injury has slowed him down enough that he won't.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 20, 2003 in Stage results | Permalink

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