July 16, 2005
Stage 14: Climb to Ax-3 Domaines
Georg Totschnig is first to the day's last climb.
Vinokourov, who's struggled to get back to Armstrong's group, just rode straight through and attacked. Somehow, once again, you've got T-Mobile chasing Vinokourov down. Klöden and Ullrich have brought him back.
Cadel Evans can't hold the new pace, and he's off the back. Vinokourov, Zubeldia, Mancebo, are in trouble at the back.
Klöden, Ullrich, Armstrong, Landis, Leipheimer, Basso, Mancebo, and Rasmussen together. One of the Euskaltels has come back with the pace returning to normal after Vino's attack. Zubeldia off the back.
Basso launches an exploratory attack, and Landis and Leipheimer are slightly gapped, but Rasmussen, Mancebo, and Klöden are off the back. They've caught another back marker, Walter Beneteau. Bye, bye, Beneteau. Now Leipheimer is off the back. Landis is gapped. Unless they do something special, Basso, Ullrich and Armstrong are going to make up time at the summit.
They're down under 3 minutes behind Totschnig. Armstrong takes the pace up a little, but he's matched. Garzelli, the last survivor of an early break, is caught, and the gap to Totschnig is 2:30.
Whatever's going to happen, it's going to be Armstrong, Basso, and Ullrich: Totschnig may take the stage, but he's 14+ minutes down on the GC. The gap is now 2:01.
Gap is 1:39. Armstrong, Ullrich and Basso all taking their turns. Armstrong can play defense here: He's got big gaps on both these guys. Seems like Basso or Ullrich has to attack.
Sorry, Byron: There goes Ullrich, off the back. Armstrong is doing all the work. Basso is on his wheel.
Totschnig gets the win in a 190-kilometer breakaway! It's down to Armstrong and Basso for 2nd and 3rd. They're picking up the pace, and Armstrong is getting a time gap, and he sprints in for 2nd. Basso third, Ullrich is coming in at 1:20 to Totschnig.
2) Armstrong, at :56
3) Basso, at :58
4) Ullrich, at 1:20
5) Leipheimer, at 1:31
6) Landis, same time
7) Mancebo, at 1:47
8) Rasmussen, same time
9) Andreas Klöden, at 2:06
10) Haimar Zubeldia, at 2:20
I'm at a hotel with no OLN. Thanks for watching and reporting. I read on cyclingnews that Lance is standing up a lot, have Paul and Phil indicated that it's his back?
Posted by: DL Byron at Jul 16, 2005 10:28:32 AM
But Jan rode well and up in the GC? Is there hope for my boy Jan?
Posted by: DL Byron at Jul 16, 2005 10:39:44 AM
I didn't hear them mention his back, that I noticed.
Posted by: noelle at Jul 16, 2005 10:40:15 AM
Two thumbs up for Totschnig. At 34 years old, it may be one of his last chances to win a stage at the Tour de France. I was impressed with Ullrich today. I love the in fighting on T-Mobile. It's like a mini-drama.
Posted by: Devans at Jul 16, 2005 10:41:43 AM
Absolutely. What amazes me about the tour, is it's more dramatic every year. T-Mobile is like a club team that chases each other down, hates each other, etc.
Posted by: DL Byron at Jul 16, 2005 10:46:39 AM
4 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile Team @ 4.34
Awesome! And who can TT in that top 5? Jan and Lance, man I hope Jan does make it on the podium. He won't beat Lance, but this is one dramatic race.
Posted by: DL Byron at Jul 16, 2005 10:52:07 AM
Is Discovery resting again like seem to have done in the Vosges? Are they letting T-Mobile self-destuct before Stage 15 tomorrow.
Vino is great, but he is an individual. This reminds me of the l'Alpe d'Huez stage when Triki was first signed. He burned everyone including Lance on the start of the mountain, and Lance said "Hey! Slow down!" He quickly settled into the Postal tactics of Bruyneel, and you never saw that again. Vino is more of a renegade, he will not settle into a strategy. That is respectable and exciting, but it will not help in a team race. T-Mobile fails again. That outcome is getting almost as boring as the boredom everyone else seems to talk about.
The one possibility to note is that perhaps Lance is angry now after this stage. That would be a problem for all other challengers as we well know.
I guess we'll know tomorrow.
Posted by: jerome at Jul 16, 2005 11:06:58 AM
good thing that germ ulrich did not win. we here in our albiqra mosque celebrate that.
Posted by: mahmoud at Jul 16, 2005 12:58:13 PM