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July 09, 2005

Weening nips Klöden for stage win; Armstrong isolated

Rabobank's Pieter Weening took a terrific win as the Tour de France finally hits some real climbs.

Weening was the last survivor of a long breakaway. His lead dropped to as little as 10 seconds on the chasing group of Tour contenders, but he was reinvigorated when Andreas Klöden of T-Mobile came across the gap and took most of the pulls into Gérardme.

As the line approached, Klöden and Weening wound it up, and it took race judges to determine the winner: from the photo finish, it looked like a dead heat. Liggett says it was estimated he won by 2 millimeters!

Armstrong was isolated -- Hincapie, Savoldelli, Popovych: All these guys fell off the group that mattered on a 2nd Category climb. That's a big surprise.

Armstrong: "For whatever reason, I was left alone -- we didn't have a great day as a team."

Vladimir Karpets takes the white jersey from Yaroslav Popovych; Michael Rasmussen took the polka-dots from Fabian Wegmann.

T-Mobile has got to smell blood in the water with Ullrich, Klöden and Vinokourov all surviving to the end against a lone Armstrong.

Top 10:
1) Pieter Weening, Rabobank
2) Andreas Klöden, T-Mobile, same time
3) Alejandro Valverde, Illes Balears, at :27
4) Kim Kirchen, Fassa Bortolo, same time
5) Jens Voigt, CSC, same time
6) Jan Ullrich, T-Mobile, same time
7) Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, s.t.
8) Christophe Moreaus, Credit Agricole, s.t.
9) Chris Horner, Saunier Duval-Prodier, s.t.
10) Alexandre Vinokourov, T-Mobile, s.t.
17) Levi Leipheimer, Gerolsteiner, s.t.
19) Michael Rogers, Quick Step, s.t.
20) Lance Armstrong, Discovery Channel, same time

Azevedo and Hincapie were back at 1:25, while Savoldelli, Padrnos, Rubiera and Beltran were at 2:57.

This shakes up the GC, as well:

1) Armstrong
2) Voigt, at 1:00
3) Vinokourov, at 1:02
4) Julich, at 1:07
5) Basso, at 1:26
6) Ullrich, at 1:36 (his first appearance in the top 10 this year)
7) Carlos Sastre, CSC, at 1:36
8) Hincapie, at 1:47
9) Klöden, at 1:50
10) Floyd Landis, Phonak, at 1:50

Dave Zabriskie came in 179th on the day, at 1:01:13, but survived elimination for another day.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 9, 2005 in Alexandre Vinokourov, Bobby Julich, Cadel Evans, Chris Horner, Christophe Moreau, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Jens Voigt, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rasmussen, Michael Rogers, Paolo Savoldelli, Stage results, Top Stories, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink


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Well today I didn't have the opportunity to view the tour, and I was very sad when I heard that it has been a very good stage, with a large number of attacks, but I still believe that Armstrong will be the winner of the tour, go lance. I also hope José Azevedo can help Armstrong in the mountain.

Posted by: claudia at Jul 9, 2005 7:39:48 PM

Lance never looked in trouble, but where the hell were the rest of the disco boys. Disgraceful team perfomance on such a "non-mountain" stage. Look for a bounce tomorrow or it's a whole new tour.

Posted by: Trée at Jul 9, 2005 8:46:31 PM

Indeed. Tomorrow should be enlightening. I'm still looking for a reason that this all might be a setup by Armstrong but I don't think it could be. Too risky. But how is it that all the Disco riders couldn't keep up when all 9 made it through the time trial. It just seems strange.

Posted by: Chad at Jul 9, 2005 11:11:54 PM

That was a great effort by Weening. I thought I heard the gap go as low as six seconds between him and the chase group, but he refused to give up. Paul or Phil said "he's got a lot of class" and I agree. Klöden was very gracious after the race, but he might be a little less after seeing the photo finish. You can't get closer than that!

Posted by: Dusty at Jul 10, 2005 1:22:33 AM