July 16, 2004
Basso takes stage 12; Armstrong gaps everyone else
Ivan Basso was the only rider who could ride with Lance Armstrong, as US Postal slowly ground the field down to only the elite riders, and Armstrong put serious time into most of his rivals.
1) Basso (CSC)
2) Armstrong (US Postal) s.t.
3) Andreas Kloden (T-Mobile) at :20
4) Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears) at :24
5) Carlos Sastre (CSC) at :33
6) Oscar Pererio (Phonak) at :30
7) Denis Menchov (Illes Balears) at :59
8) Michele Scarponi (Domina Vacanze) at 1:02
9) Iban Mayo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at 1:03
10) Santos Gonzalez (Phonak) at 1:03
Ullrich 20th, 2:30 back. Heras :15 seconds or so back of that.
Basso will pick up 8 seconds on Armstrong with a 20 second time bonus, to Armstrong's 12 seconds.
Thomas Voeckler has given his everything today, and is going to hold on to the yellow jersey. Armstrong pole vaults up into 2nd.
The new GC:
1) Voeckler (Brioches la Boulangere)
2) Armstrong at 5:24
3) Sandy Casar (fdjeux.com) at 5:50
4) Richard Virenque (Quick Step) at 6:20
5) Andreas Kloden (T-Mobile) at 6:33
6) Ivan Basso (CSC) at 6:53
7) Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears) at 6:43
8) Jakob Piil (CSC) at 6:53
9) Santos Gonzalez (Phonak) at 7:23
10) Carlos Sastre (CSC) at 8:11
16) Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) at 9:01
17) Bobby Julich (CSC) at 9:11
20) Tyler Hamilton (Phonak) at 9:46
Complete results are over at RoadCycling.com.
That's blasted the race apart.
There's still 8 tough stages to go so we're nowhere near the end however today Lance Armstrong threw down the gauntlet and all the other favourites got smacked in the mouth!
Don't forget Greg Lemond wore the yellow jersey early in the 1991 Tour before succuming to the Indurain, Bugno and Chiapucci onslaught. It isn't over until the fat lady sings but given Lance's feat today I have a feeling she might be in the wings limbering up.
Posted by: Mark Holland at Jul 16, 2004 11:18:57 AM
L'Equipe had a quote from Lance this morning saying that he was expecting more from Saturday than today - he didn't think today would change the shape of the race. I read that and thought, right today's the today then! The old Reverse psychology trick all over again. Well done Lance.
Posted by: Jonathan Evans at Jul 16, 2004 11:19:51 AM
Today was a great race for Lance, but I'm surprised he didn't have more in the tank for the final push. In years past, he would have left Basso in the dust and just completely crushed his rivals. Now, he's starting to look a little more human. In fact, at the line, he looked a bit ... tired.
Posted by: Out4Blood at Jul 16, 2004 11:54:49 AM
As excited as I am about today's results, Lance gaining time on his main GC rivals, I have a couple questions: (1) why did we see T-Mobile and Phonak riders finish with better times than Ullrich and Hamilton? Shouldn't these riders have been back with their respective team leader to help them close a bit more of the gap? Or are they going for their own glory? (2) I didn't see the finish, but Lance has seemingly made a habit of not charging for the stage win, graciously giving it to others who rode well (e.g., Patani, now Basso). The tricky thing there is that he lost 8 seconds in finishing with the same time (20 sec. bonus for winner, 12 sec. for 2nd place). Put another way, he lost 16 seconds by not beating Basso (i.e., if he won he'd have gained 8 rather than Basso gaining 8 so it is a 16 second swing) and Basso is only about 90 seconds behind him. So, is it (a) that he simply couldn't beat Basso, (b) that Lance was simply saving strength for tomorrow, (c) is Lance pretending to reward Basso with the win (like with Patani) but really is saying, 'You are not a threat to me in the GC' so I don't care about you gaining 16 seconds on me. I think it is the latter that got Patani so mad a few years ago, wonder what Basso's take is.
Posted by: Gilmango at Jul 16, 2004 2:37:39 PM
I think Armstrong was out of gas. Basso is a legitimate threat - Armstrong would have beaten him if he could have. On the replay tonight, check Armstrong's expression at the line.
Ullrich and Hamilton didn't fail because they lacked team pacers. They failed because they lacked the legs. As for the TMO and PHO riders, the teams control them pretty strongly. If they took off to chase Lance, it was for the team (borne out by manager comments afterward). That's how Ullrich won in '97.
Posted by: Out4Blood at Jul 16, 2004 4:59:16 PM
Lance let Basso win! He did it for Basso's mother who is stuggling in a fight with cancer. For all you guys that think that Lance is "Tired", do your research.
Posted by: David Godden at Jul 16, 2004 8:41:28 PM
Thanks for the responses, I had heard that Lance looked tired but then read a couple quotes by Lance to the effect that he was "happy to let Basso win". I think that Lance is the master of psychology whether he let him win or was simply beaten.
Posted by: gilmango at Jul 16, 2004 9:20:35 PM
I love Lance, and hope he takes the 6th... but I don't think he "let" Basso win. Basso just had the legs to win the stage.
Posted by: walter at Jul 17, 2004 10:44:45 AM