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July 27, 2003

Stage 20: Nazon takes stage, Cooke takes green, Armstrong takes yellow

Jean-Patrick Nazon secured another stage win for France, beating the other sprinters to the line on the Champs-Elysees. The win should help to salvage the Tour for the Jean Delatour team, which many commentators felt didn't deserve to be in the Tour.

Baden Cooke, who had held the sprinter's green jersey for much of the Tour, then lost it during Stage 18, was second (in a photo finish) at the line, just ahead of fellow Aussie Robbie McEwen of Lotto-Domo, to take the overall green jersey, joining McEwen as the only Australians to take the points prize. Cooke and McEwen split the two intermediate sprints on the day.

Lance Armstrong finished well back in the peloton, which was cracked by the high tempo set by the sprinters' teams. As a result, Armstrong lost 15 seconds to Jan Ullrich, riding in the first group. Armstrong's final margin of victory was 1:05 in his 5th Tour de France victory. Armstrong joins Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, and Miguel Indurain as 5-time winners. Only Armstrong and Indurain have won 5 consecutively.

As expected, Richard Virenque won the King of the Mountains jersey, and Denis Menchov of iBanesto.com took the white jersey for outstanding young rider.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 27, 2003 in Baden Cooke, Stage results | Permalink

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