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July 21, 2005

Serrano takes the stage; more GC jumble

Stage 18 winner Serrano
Serrano smiles
Liberty Seguros finally has something to smile about in this Tour. Marcos Serrano rode a smart race, and outrode Axel Merckx and Cedric Vasseur for a stage win.

Back in the field, there was another late stage split that will again shake up the GC. The selection winnowed the field down to just Armstrong, Basso, Ullrich (no surprise), and Cadel Evans, who took the line sprint at 11:18, and moves into 7th at 9:49.

Top 20:
1) Marcos Serrano, Liberty Seguros, in 4:37:36
2) Cedric Vasseur, Cofidis, at :27
3) Axel Merckx, Davitamon-Lotto, at :27
4) Xabier Zandio, Illes Balears, at 1:08
5) Franco Pellizotti, Liquigas, at 1:08
6) Thomas Voeckler, Bouyges Telecom, at 1:28
7) Luke Roberts, CSC, at 1:28
8) Matthias Kessler, T-Mobile, at 1:44
9) Egoi Martinez, Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:44
10) Carlos Da Cruz, Française des Jeux, at 2:38
11) Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, at 11:18
12) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, same time
13) Ivan Basso, CSC, same time
14) Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, same time
15) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, at 11:55
16) Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, same time
17) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, same time
18) Francisco Mancebo, Illes Balears, same time
19) Leonardo Piepoli, Saunier Duval-Prodier, at 12:01
20) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at 12:07

New overall classification:
1) Armstrong
2) Basso, at 2:46
3) Rasmussen, at 3:46
4) Ullrich, at 5:58
5) Mancebo, at 7:08
6) Leipheimer, at 8:12
7) Evans, at 9:49
8) Vinokourov, at 10:11
9) Landis, at 10:42
10) Christophe Moreau, at 13:15

Rasmussen has locked in the climber's jersey: There aren't enough points left for him to lose it.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 21, 2005 in Stage results, Top Stories | Permalink


Nice call on the climber jersey. Thanks.

Once the fourth climb was finished, and Pereiro had not gotten any points, Rasmussen had won it. The last Cat. 2 20 point climb of the tour didn't even matter.

I was hoping for more action, but I knew it wouldn't occur.

At least there is great racing and peloton action in the last week. Let's see more Massif Central this late in future Tours.

Posted by: jerome at Jul 21, 2005 11:59:38 AM

Can we now say that Popo has a lock on the young rider's jersey? (Assuming of course that he checks any moves by Kashechkin to join a breakaway).

Posted by: E at Jul 21, 2005 12:16:43 PM

Ullrich knocked 37 seconds off his defecit to Rasmussen. Should make for an interesting individual time trial on Saturday!

Posted by: Eric at Jul 21, 2005 12:16:51 PM

Seeing what's happened to Rasmussen in this final week and Ullrich's strength, I think Jan will take over 3rd place on the podium. He killed Rasmussen on the prologue, and there could be huge gaps forming after 55km.

Posted by: e at Jul 21, 2005 12:50:51 PM

Can anyone explain why Discovery/Postal traditionally does absolutely nothing to win the team competition? It would be a nice tribute to Armstrong's support if they made a little exertion to win--but it seems like they won't risk even a rider or two to try to win that competition.

Posted by: Tom at Jul 21, 2005 1:03:36 PM

Tom: I think Discovery didn't want to put a man in the break today because they had 2 riders who were likely tired from being in yesterday's big break, and they needed to conserve manpower in order to get Armstrong to the base of the final 2 climbs safely, especially if the other teams decided to attack in the final 20 km or so. While the team title would clearly be a nice bonus, since they already have 2 individual-stage and the TTT wins and a likely white jersey, the team title has to be a lower priority for them than protecting the yellow. Clearly there aren't many scenarios under which one could imagine Armstrong losing the yellow on a stage like today's, all it takes is a mechanical problem or a flat while the peloton is hammering away in the final few kms and without fresh teammates to pace one back, one can hemorrhage time - remember what happened to podium favorite Mayo last year on the cobbles? And Mayo *did* have his team around him...

Posted by: EWM at Jul 21, 2005 2:04:10 PM

Disco wisely has to leave stuff for others to get. All the teams need to keep their sponsers. If Disco dominates so decisively that everyone is totally embarassed, and sponsers leave, that's not good for cycling either.

So based upon last year's final ITT outcomes, how the protagonists are doing this year, and where the GC standings are right now, I predict final GC:

1) Armstrong, duh!
2) Basso, 4+ minutes
3) Ullrich, 6+ minutes
4) Rassmusen, 10+ minutes
5) Leipheimer, 12+ minutes
6) Mancebo, 13+ minutes
7) Landis, 13+ minutes
8) Evans, 14+ minutes
9) Vino, 14+ minutes
10) Moreau, 18+ minutes

(Positions 5-9 are so close, the boys will be providing something to keep us interested in the ITT for sure!)

Posted by: Wade at Jul 21, 2005 2:19:35 PM

Wow, so many English speakers in the top ten right now, and three Americans! Two more Americans in the top 20--this is great for the future of cycling in this country (USA). I'm hoping the continued good showing of Americans in this race will help maintain the great coverage we now enjoy in the USA once Mr. Armstrong retires--I don't want to go back to the days of (at best) 30 minute wrap-ups of each stage.

Cadel Evans did fabulous today hanging in on that last climb--great to see that.

It'll be interesting to see what Mr. Hincapie will do after Mr. Armstrong's retirement--he places so high in GC even though he's riding in support of another. He may feel comfortable in this Tour role and continue, but if I were he I'd want to lead a team at least once, to see just how well I could do--I bet he could get into the top ten, maybe even the podium. He's very solid in time trials and has somehow morphed himself into a good climber as well--quite a feat for such a big guy!

Posted by: Adrienne at Jul 21, 2005 5:49:35 PM

Can anyone tell if Lance went all out in the last climb and sprint finish today, or did he only do just enough to keep up with Basso? On the climbs with Basso it's hard to tell how hurting Lance is.

Posted by: Jim at Jul 21, 2005 10:45:46 PM

Remember last Sunday when Hincapie won after just sitting in the last wheel during the *whole* stage and everyone, Armstrong first, couldn't get enough saying what a marvelous stage-win it was?? What a strong contrast with the animosity Armstrong showed at the finish yesterday when Evans won their sprint after being in last wheel for a couple of kilometers.... and this was not even for the stage-win..... What a hypocrisy on Armstrong's part. It shows your true colors, Lance....

Posted by: Stayer at Jul 22, 2005 4:04:16 AM