July 13, 2005
Stage 11: Descent to Briançon
Over the top of the Galibier, it was Vinokourov, then Botero at :41, Rasmussen at 2:23, with Moreau leading the field over at 2:40.
Rasmussen has come back to Armstrong! He was just making sure he got max king of the mountains points.
Botero has caught Vinokourov. He's clearly a faster descender, but now Vinokourov can use Botero as a guide for the rest of the descent, so they'll likely stay together.
Armstrong and the Discovery men are flying down the hill; the gap has shrunk only to 2:24 with 20 kilometers to go.
At 15 kilometers to go, it's 2:16. Vinokourov's transponder has come loose and is flapping around his dropouts. In a bit of mechanic magic, a team mechanic comes alongside in a car and snips the zip-ties holding it on, keeping all his fingers in the process. That may cost the escapees a few seconds.
At 5 kilometers to go, the gap is down to 1:40.
The leaders are inside the last 3 kilometers. Botero could easily sit in, since Vinokourov has the most to gain, but they're both taking strong pulls. I don't think we'll see any games in the last kilometer.
Vino is sitting on Botero's wheel. They're shadowing each other, there goes Vinokourov, and Botero grabs his wheel, but he doesn't have the juice. It's Vinokourov taking the win, and a 20 second time bonus.
Discovery is finishing in a team time trial. Azevedo falls off, Savoldelli falls off, third place is still up for grabs with a time bonus. Armstrong is contesting it, and Christophe Moreau takes the sprint!
You do a swell job covering the race. Thanks for doing it for those of us at the office. My company blocks almost every site except for yours.
Posted by: Slow freddie at Jul 13, 2005 11:34:54 AM
Botero is da bomb. His downhill skills take my breath away. I wonder how many wipe outs he had to get those skills.
Posted by: Devans at Jul 14, 2005 12:19:10 AM