Six years ago, when he won his second Tour stage, his efforts made the world cry. Back then it was the loss of a teammate three days earlier which inspired him to victory. Today, the spirit of Fabio Casartelli again lifted him over the six mountain passes and onward to a victory which included a special salute in honor of the 1992 Olympic champion.
I absolutely dedicate this victory to Casartelli, said Lance in a post-race interview. Its the first time Ive raced passed the monument to Fabio during the Tour. And the emotion it brings out is amazing.
We passed the monument in training six weeks ago and I was crying like a baby. When we passed it today, I decided there and then to win today.
Of the last four stages, Lance has won three (and finished third in the other). His conviction on the climbs is something other stars in the race have a hard time dealing with. Jan Ullrich the rider who seems destined to finish runner-up again this year has shown this in several ways in recent days. He dropped his head and searched for solutions following Lances winning surge on lAlpe dHuez.
He jumped from his saddle to emulate the dancing style which Armstrong uses on the climbs at the summit of the Col de Peyresourde in an effort to shake the blue shadow which followed him and his strong Telekom team for much of the course today. And, in a spectacular incident today, Ullrich pushed himself so hard on the descent of the Peyresourde that he flew off the edge of the road and three meters down the steep embankment.
Laurent Jalabert, on the other hand, made the comment that Lance makes the suffering of climbing the Cols of the Tour look easy.
You hear those comments, said Lance, that my face makes it look like what Im doing is easy ... but come and look at my face in January, February and March when Im at home training; come and look at my face when Im working my heart out at training camps ... its an ugly face then!
Indeed, those hours of toil are what the defending champion claims has made this years Tour a little easier to ride.
Comparing this to 1999 and 2000, I feel better this year, explained Lance about what seems sure to be his hat-trick Tour success. I trained harder much harder! So much so that Johan (Bruyneel, the US Postal director) was a little concerned. But I maintained that we were taking this to another level. My fitness, my climbing, my recovering ... and its not easy when you're making that effort!
The reward, however, is immense. He can arrive in France with a smiling face and the knowledge that hes done everything necessary to win the race which has made him a superstar.
Its difficult to say which was harder, he said in reference to the two road race victories in the years event one in the Alps, or todays in the Pyrenees. They both look the same on paper. Having raced them both, I can say today was harder. Emotionally both were special.
The Alpe dHuez is a classic and it has a little more mystique. But because we took the yellow jersey today, this was a better day. And due to the Casartelli monument today was even more special!
Todays tale will conclude with Lances answer to a question which was mocked by some in the press conference, but complimented by the Tour de France leader: What is happiness?
In general Im a very happy man. I can get up each morning, look in the mirror and like what I see. Ive got a beautiful family and my health and I cant ask for anything more than that.
16:20 Simon Finishes 13'20" Behind Armstrong The yellow jersey, Francois Simon raced all the way to the finish. He was riding out of the saddle in the final kilometer but still finished 13'20" behind Armstrong. As Simon cross the line, Armstrong was on the podiuum collecting the flowers and applause for his stage win.
16:17 Simon Out Of Yellow Jersey As expected, because of the Armstrong surge on the final climb, Francois Simon has lost his grip on the yellow jersey. The Bonjour rider has just passed under the 1km to go banner. His deficit is already over 10 minutes to Armstrong, who began the day in 3rd overall (9'10" behind Simon).
16:09 The Top Five... The provisional top five in the 13th stage of the Tour de France are:
1. Lance Armstrong (US Postal)
2. Jan Ullrich (Telekom) at 59"
3. Joseba Beloki (ONCE) at 1'45"
4. Roberto Heras (US Postal) st
5. Stefano Garzelli (Mapei) at 2'28"
16:08 Beloki Takes 3rd Again... Joseba Beloki has again finished 3rd behind Armstrong & Ullrich. The ONCE rider was 1'45" behind Armstrong and just ahead of Lance's team-mate, Roberto Heras.
16:06 Lance Claims Stage Win Number 3! Lance has won the 13th stage with an average speed of 33.8kph. He beat Ullrich by 59"!
16:05 Lance Dances Into Yellow Lance's gains today are not only for the stage win. He is sure to end the stage with the yellow jersey!
16:04 Armstrong Leads By 55" In the final kilometer Lance leads Ullrich by 55" and is now only 300 meters from the stage win!
16:03 Lance Dances Again Lance has risen from the saddle again and is now driving to get a bigger gain on Ullrich. His latest margin was 48"... and now that seems likely to grow beyond a minute. Ullrich, don't forget, fell off the edge of the road on a descent and has been ridding the last two mountains without the help of a team-mate.
16:01 Ullrich Now In Final 2km Ullrich isn't loosing a lot of ground to Lance, but his deficit is still 48". Ullrich is in the final 2km... he is followed by Beloki and Heras.
16:00 Lance: Making The Win Look Easy Lance Armstrong is now seated and just 2km from the finish at the summit of Pla d'Adet. He is seated and pedalling at a rapid cadence. He is parting the crowds and is racing toward his 3rd stage win of the 2001 Tour.
15:59 Lance's Lead On Jan... As Ullrich passes the 3km to go banner, his deficit to Ullrich was said to be 38".
15:58 3km To Go For Lance Lance is now in the final 3km of the 194km stage.
15:57 Beloki And Heras Together Two heroes of Spain, Beloki and Heras, have just passed Jalabert. The two Spaniards are in 3rd and 4th now. There are no time checks being given... but they are well behind the stage leader, Lance Armstrong!
15:56 4km To Go For Ullrich Lance and Jan are now less than 4km from the summit. There is no time gap for the two stage leaders, but it seems certain that Lance will hold his advantage over the German champion.
15:55 Kivilev 2'10" Behind With 5km To Go The rider who began the day in 2nd overall, Kivilev, is 2'10" behind Lance Armstrong with 5km to race.
15:54 Ullrich About To Catch Jalabert Jalabert is likely to take the polka-dot jersey after winning the four cat-1 climbs of the stage, but he has now been passed by Ullrich who is in pursuit of Armstrong.
15:53 Jalabert's Break 162km Long Jalabert was on the attack in today's 13th stage for 162km.
15:53 The Dance Toward Yellow Now Frantic! Lance is now flying up the mountain en-route to another stage win - and the race leader's yellow jersey.
15:52 Armstrong Racing Toward A Stage Win! Lance has caught Jalabert and is now racing on to claim his 3rd stage win of the 2001 Tour. Jalabert is following the US Postal rider's wheel, but only for a matter of meters. Lance is now all alone at the front of the stage!
15:51 Armstrong Leaves Ullrich! Lance has answered the questions. He has attacked Ullrich and is now on his way to his 3rd stage win of the 2001 Tour. He has to catch Jalabert, but that should happen within a matter of moments.
15:50 Stage Winning Ethics? It now seems certain that Armstrong and Ullrich will catch Jalabert. The question is: who will win the stage? Will Armstrong honor the efforts of Ullrich today and allow the German to win the stage - especially given that the German began the day 3'05" behind Lance...?
15:49 6km To Go... Jalabert now has 6km to race. His lead on Ullrich and Armstrong is 53".
15:48 Armstrong Racing Toward A Yellow Jersey! Lance's efforts today are looking likely to give him the yellow jersey. Simon is now 8'20" behind Lance and Jan.
15:47 Jalabert Losing Time Fast Heras continues to set the pace for Lance and Jan. They have dropped Garzelli and are now in pursuit of Jalabert...
15:47 Jan and Lance Go Now Heras' time is over. Jan attacked and Lance has matched him. These two now only have to catch Jalabert to battle it out for the stage win.
15:46 Jalabert Leads Group of 4 Garzelli has been caught by the Armstrong trio. There are now four riders in pursuit of the day-long escapee, Jalabert.
15:45 Beloki 50 Meters Behind Armstrong's Group Beloki is now 50 meters behind the Armstrong/Ullrich/Heras trio. This trio are about to catch up with Garzelli who has been riding in 2nd place since half-way up the 5th summit. Jalabert's lead is now 1'30".
15:43 Armstrong's Group 20" Behind Garzelli Garzelli is now just 20" ahead of the Ullrich/Armstrong/Heras trio.
15:42 Armstrong Still Seated Lance has spent most of the climb still in the saddle. He hasn't begun his dancing tempo quite yet. He is now being led by his team-mate Heras. They are riding with Ullrich and are behind both Jalabert and Garzelli.
15:41 Heras Driving Armstrong Now Rubiera has dropped off from pace-setting duties, Heras is now taking over. Beloki has dropped out of contention and there are now three riders - Armstrong, Heras and Ullrich in pursuit of Jalabert and Garzelli.
15:40 Garzelli In 2nd At 1'20" Garzelli is still in 2nd place on his own. He is 1'20" behind Jalabert and 50" ahead of Armstrong.
15:40 Jalabert's Lead... The group of Lance and Jan is now 2'10" behind the stage leadet, Jalabert.
15:39 Kivilev Drops Off... Kivilev has dropped out of the Armstrong group which is now being driven by Rubiera.
15:38 3 ONCEs: 3 Posties In Ullrich's Group Ullrich is without a team-mate in his elite group. There are, however, three Posties (Lance, Rubiera and Heras) and three ONCE riders (Gonzalez Galdeano, Beloki and Serrano).
15:37 Armstrong's Group Armstrong is now being led by his two team-mates on the final climb. Right on his wheel is Beloki and Ullrich.
15:36 Details of Final Climb The final climb is 10.3km long at an average gradient of 8.3 percent. The group of Armstrong is now in the final 10km of the climb. This group is 2'50" behind the lead of Jalabert.
15:35 Regrouping in Ullrich/Armstrong Group On the descent, Armstrong's group had acquired the assistance of several other riders including his team-mate Rubiera. They are now 3'00" behind the stage leader, Jalabert.
15:34 Jalabert Leads Ullrich's Group By 3'00" Jalabert is now 3'00" ahead of the Ullrich/Armstrong group.
15:33 10km To Race... Jalabert has less than 10km to race. He had to slow down after dropping his chain while changing from the big chainring...
15:32 Jalabert Now Leads Garzelli By 1'40" The fall has cost Jalabert some of his advantage. He is now 1'40" ahead of 2nd-placed Garzelli.
15:31 Jalabert Fall Costs Some Skin & About 45" Jalabert quickly remounted after his fall. He has lost some skin on his right hand and about 45" of his lead.
15:30 Jalabert Falls! The leader of the stage, Jalabert has crashed on a corner. He is back on his bike...
15:28 Simon At Summit The yellow jersey of Simon has passed the summit 8'45" behind the stage leader, Jalabert - and 6'00" behind the group of Armstrong and Ullrich. Simon began the stage with a lead on Armstrong of 9'10".
15:22 Rubiera's Group Next... Serrano, Chaurreau, Rubiera and Gonzalez Galdeano were the next group at the summit. They were 3'10" behind. Sevilla was next at 4'00".
15:21 Armstrong's Group At The Summit The next group at the summit was led by Ullrich, Beloki, Boteroa, Kivilev, Heras and Armstrong. They were 2'45" behind Jalabert at the top of the 5th climb.
15:20 Garzelli Holds His Advantage After being only 10" ahead of the Armstrong group, Garzelli has maintained his advantage and is still in 2nd place in the stage. He passed the summit 1'50" behind the lead of Jalabert.
15:19 1km to Climb For Ullrich Group Ullrich led his group passed the 1km to go sign for the 5th climb. There are now six riders in the group. Jalabert has just taken the points for 1st at the Col de Val-Louron-Azet. He has won all the cat-1 climbs of the stage.
15:17 Jalabert Signalling For Water... As he approaches the summit of the 5th climb, Jalabert is asking for water. He was asking fans, and eventually a bidon was passed from his CSC team car.
15: 15 Heras Rejoins Armstrong Heras has made a comeback on the 5th climb. He is about to rejoin the group of Armstrong, Ullrich, Beloki, Boetero and Kivilev.
15: 13 The Situation With 3km To Race to 5th Summit With 3km to go to the summit of the Col de Val-Louron-Azet, Jalabert leads by 2'50" to Garzelli and 3'00" to Armstrong, Ullrich Beloki, Botero and Kivilev.
15: 12 Jalabert Leads Armstrong Group By 3'35" At the latest check the stage leader is 3'35" ahead of the Armstrong group. Garzelli is in 2nd in the stage 10" ahead of Lance and Jan's group.
15:09 Garzelli In 2nd By 14" The Armstrong group is about to catch Garzelli who has been riding in 2nd-place in the stage for quite some time. The Italian rider is now 14" ahead of the Armstrong/Ullrich group.
15:08 Simon 7'00" Behind Jalabert We await a time check from Jalabert to the Ullrich group, but race radio has announced that Simon is now 7'00" behind the stage leader.
15:07 Beloki Goes Again Beloki has attacked again. He has a lead of about 100 meters on the Armstrong group. He is being chased by Ullrich and Lance now...
15:06 Armstrong Calls For Team Car Lance has called for the US Postal team car. He is asking for food, but has thrown their offerings back into the car... he is now talking to Johan Bruyneel. Botero is leading his group ahead of Moncoutie, Ullrich, Beloki and Kivilev.
15:05 28km To Race For Jalabert Jalabert continues to lead the stage after attacking at the 26km mark. He now is in the final 28km of the stage.
15:04 The Situation With 5km To Go to 5th Summit With 5km to climb to the 5th summit Jalabert leads Garzelli by 3'25". Then comes the group of Ullrich, Beloki, Kivilev, Moncoutie, Botero at 3'35".
15:03 Beloki Attacks! Beloki has attacked. He is matched by Lance and Jan. The rider to suffer in this group is Moncoutie. There are now five riders in pursuit of Jalabert.
15:01 Six In Armstrong's Group... Armstrong, Ullrich, Livingston, Kivilev, Moncoutie, Botero are the six riders who are about to catch Garzelli. They are the 2nd group on the road. Only Jalabert is ahead of this group.
15:00 Botero Caught By Lance's Group Botero is now riding in the group of Ullrich, Armstrong and Beloki.
14:57 Eight In Armstrong Group Armstrong's group has caught the group of Vinokourov. This is now the 3rd group on the road.
14:56 The Situation With 7km To Climb To 5th Summit Jalabert leads Garzelli & Botero by 4'20"; Moncoutie by 4'30", Brozyna, Vinokourov and Vermaut by 4'50". The Armstrong/Ullrich group is about to catch the 3rd group.
14:54 7km To the Summit of 5th Climb For Jalabert Jalabert is now on the 5th climb of the day - the Col de Val-Louron-Azet. He is still in the lead of the stage. He has 7km to go to reach the 5th summit. He won the points of the 2nd intermediate sprint at Loudenveille.
14:52 Ullrich Back With Armstrong There are now five riders in pursuit of the four riders who lead the stage. The five are: Ullrich, Armstrong, Livingston, Kivilev and Beloki.
14:51 Armstrong/Kivilev/Beloki Lead Ullrich/Livingston Armstrong has no team-mates up front. His has joined forces with Kivilev and Beloki and they are about to be caught by Ullrich/Livingston chase.
14:50 Ullrich Covered In Dirt The fall of Ullrich was after his completely misjudged a corner. He missed a safety barricade and went flying over his handlebars in spectacular fashion. He is now covered in dirt and grass and is in pursuit of Armstrong...
14:49 Ullrich Being Supported By Livingston Livingston has waited for Ullrich and they are now in pursuit of Armstrong who is now waiting for them. Lance is taking the chance to stretch his legs while he waits for the rider he fears most on the overall classification...
14:48 Ullrich Back On Bike Ullrich has climbed his way back up to the road after a fall which could have been much worse. He misjudged a corner and is now back trying to catch Lance.
14:47 Ullrich Off The Road! Ullrich has flown off the edge of the road!
14:46 Ullrich/Armstrong At 5'30" At Summit Jalabert led the Armstrong/Ullrich pairing by 5'30" at the summit of the 4th climb.
14:44 Ullrich/Armstrong Over Summit Ullrich led Armstrong over the summit of the Col de Peyresourde. This is about the first time this year that we've seen Ullrich stand up for much more than 5 pedal strokes. (We'll post the full standings at the top of the 4th climb as soon as they are announced.)
14:43 Ullrich Out of Saddle! Ullrich was so determined to drop Armstrong that he even stood out of his saddle in his latest surge. He continues to dance on his pedals but he is matched by Armstrong all the way!
14:42 Ullrich Matched By Armstrong Ullrich's attack has taken only Armstrong with him. Beloki stayed for a while, but now the two overall contenders have scampered away from the other riders in the group.
14:41 Sevilla Dropped 1km From Summit A huge surge from Ullrich has dropped Sevilla one kilometer from the summit!
14:39 17 Riders In Armstrong's Group There are now 17 riders in the Armstrong/Ullrich group. They are 1'35" ahead of the current Tour leader, Francois Simon.
14:37 Jalabert Inherits Polka-Dot Jersey Laurent Jalabert has won the 4th climb of the stage (his third climbing victory in succession). He has earned a total of 75 points today and he is currently the virtual leader of the Polka-Dot jersey.
14:36 Situation With 1km to Climb Jalabert leads Vinokourov, Vermaut and Brozyna by 4'00", then comes Livingston at 7'30" and then the Armstrong/Ullrich group at 8'10". Francois Simon's group is at 9'35".
14:34 Montgomery and Lopez de Munain About To Be Caught Two of the earlier escapees, Lopez de Munain and Montgomery are about to be caught by the Armstrong/Ullrich pack. Livingston is now 7'30" behind the stage leader, Jalabert.
14:32 The Situation Up Front Jalabert leads Vermaut and Vinokourov by 4'00" and Brozyna by 4'20".
14:30 Boogerd Gone Again Boogerd has now dropped out of the Armstrong group. Perez is about 60 meters ahead of this pack.
14:29 Gonzalez Galdeano Now Attacks Ullrich's Group Livingston and Perez are now well ahead of the Armstrong group. The latest rider to attack is Gonzalez Galdeano, but he has been chased down by Ullrich and Guerini.
14:28 Perez In Pursuit of Livingston Livingston's attack has prompted Perez of the Festina team to attack the Armstrong group.
14:27 Baldato And Roux Off Back Roux and Baldato have been passed by the Armstrong pack. Perez is now setting the pace of this group.
14:26 Boogerd Fights Back There are now 25 riders in the Ullrich/Armstrong group. Boogerd has worked his way back into this elite peloton.
14:25 Baldato & Roux Caught By Armstrong's Group Baldato and Roux - who were part of the break which began at 26km - are now being caught by the group of Armstrong and Ullrich. As this happens, Boogerd has lost touch with this elite peloton.
14:23 The Armstrong Peloton The main peloton includes 23 riders. They are: Armstrong, Heras, Rubiera, Ullrich, Guerini, Livingston, Beloki, Gonzalez Galdeano, Serrano, Perez, Boogerd, Aerts, Atienza, Kivilev, Mancebo, Menchov, Piepoli, Etxebarria, Chaureau, Botcherov, Goubert, Sevilla and Rous.
14:21 Three Telekoms Lead Armstrong's Bunch Guerini and Livingston are the two riders setting the pace for Ullrich on the 4th climb today. They are 8'35" behind Jalabert.
14:20 Ullrich Group Has About 20 Riders... There are now only about 20 riders in the the main chasing peloton. The group includes Ullrich and Armstrong as well as Guerini, Livingston, Hamilton, Sevilla... they are at 8'35". The yellow jersey is 9'00" behind Jalabert.
14:18 Guerini Leading The Armstrong/Ullrich Peloton The Telekom team continues to set the pace of the main peloton. The leader now is Guerini ahead of Livingston and Ullrich.
14:17 Simon Drops Off At 141st Kilometer The yellow jersey has dropped off the back of the Ullrich/Armstrong bunch at the
14: 15 4th Rider At 4'35" Brozyna is the 4th rider in the stage at the moment. He is 4'35" behind Jalabert.
14: 14 Postal Group Following Telekom's Tempo Behind the Telekom team (Bolts, Guerini, Livingston, Heppner, Kloeden and Ullrich) are the blue colors of the US Postal pack. The Postal group includes Hamilton, Rubiera, Armstrong and several others...
14: 11 Simon In Main Peloton The yellow jersey is still present in the main peloton which is being led by five riders from the Telekom team.
14:09 The Situation Now Jalabert is in the lead of the stage. He is followed by: Vinokourov and Vermaut at 3'55"; Brozyna at 5'00"; Baldato, Lopez de Munain and Roux at 5'35"; Montgomery, Garzelli, Botero, Jan, Moncoutie, Jimenez and Laiseka t 6'20". The peloton is 10'20" behind Jalabert's lead.
14:07 Peloton In Luchon The peloton is now passing through the town of Luchon. This town in the Haute Garonne region is smack-bang in the middle of the 3rd and 4th cat-1 climbs of stage 13.
14:04 Igor Gonzalez Galdeano Punctures The rider in 7th overall at the start of the day, Gonzalez Galdeano has punctured. He has gone to the back of the bunch and has quickly received a new wheel from his ONCE team car.
14:02 Details of Col de Peyresourde The 4th summit today is the Col de Peyresourde which peaks at 1,569m above sea-level. The cat-1 summit is at the 150.5km mark after a 13km climb (at an average gradient of 7 percent).
14:01 Jalabert On 4th Climb The stage leader, Jalabert, is now on the climb to the cat-1 summit of the Col de Peyresourde (which peaks at the 150.5km mark).
14:00 Lopez De Munain's Group: 5'10" at Summit The 5th-placed rider at the summit, Lopez de Munain was 5'10" behind Jalabert at the summit. (Not, obviously, 51'10" as reported in the previous flash.)
13:58 Situation At Summit At the summit of the Col du Portillon the points were won by Jalabert. The full standings are as follow: 1. Jalabert (CST) 30pts
2. Vinokourov at 3'25"
4. Brozyna at 4'20"
5. Lopez de Munain at 51'10"
7. Roux at 5'40"
9. Jan 6'20"
10. Garzelli at 8'25"
15. Odriozola at 8'25"
The peloton were at 9'30".
13:54 Garzelli's Group At 8'25" Garzelli, Montgomery, Laiseko, Botero and Montcoutie are the next riders over the summit. They were 8'25" behind Jalabert
13:53 Jalabert Currently on 10km Descent There descent from the Col du Portillon is 10km long. The town of Luchon is at the 136km mark in the valley between the Col du Portillon and the Col de Peyresourde.
13:51 Roux & Tauler at 5'40" At the summit, the King of the Mountains, Roux, was 5'40" behind Jalabert. He was riding with Tauler. Then came Xavier Jan at 6'20".
13:50 Vermaut & Vinokourov Over Summit At the summit, Vinokourov and Vermaut were 3'25" behind Jalabert. The next to pass the summit of the Col du Portillon was Brozyna at 4'20". At 5'00" are Baldato and Lopez de Munain.
13:49 Six Postal Riders Lead Peloton There are seven US Postal riders at the front of the peloton. The pace is currently being set by Kjaergaard, then comes Hamilton and Hincapie. Lance is sitting on place ahead of Roberto Heras at the moment.
13:47 Jan and Lance Side-By-Side The two riders to have previously won a Tour de France, Jan Ullrich and Lance Armstrong are riding next to each other. They both have several team-mates setting the pace at the front of the main peloton.
13:46 Jalabert Claims Another 30 Points Laurent Jalabert is now over the summit of the Col du Portillon. His climbing points tally is now 181 after winning the two cat-1 climbs of stage 13.
13:45 Four Ahead of Peloton After Recent Attacks The four riders who are now slightly ahead of the peloton are: Garzelli, Botero, Moncoutie and Laiseka.
13:44 Pascal Rodriguez Back In Peloton The iBanesto rider who was with Garzelli's, has gone back to the peloton.
13:43 Laiseka Attacks Now... The rider who finished 3rd yesterday, is the latest rider to attack the peloton.
13:42 Botero Attacks The winner of the 2000 King of the Mountains title, Botero, has swapped places with his team-mate (Cardenas) in the group which has attacked the peloton. Cardenas was on the attack, but he is now back in the peloton. Botero is now riding with Pascal Rodriguez and Garzelli.
13:41 The Situation Now Jalabert leads Vermaut and Vinikourov, then comes Tauler, Jan, Lopez de Munain, Roux, Brozyna and Baldato. Then comes the group of Garzelli. Then the peloton.
13:40 Garzelli Attacks Peloton Garzelli is now also on the attack. The 2000 Giro d'Italia winner has joined the three earlier attackers.
13:37 Cardenas Attacks Peloton The winner of yesterday's stage, Felix Cardenas, has attacked the peloton along with Pascaul Rodriguez and Montgomery. They are now in pursuit of the 9 early escapees.
13:36 Hamilton Back With Peloton After his bike trouble, Hamilton has rejoined the peloton which is now being led by his team-mate, Ekimov.
13:35 Jalabert's Lead On 2nd & 3rd Jalabert leads Vinokourov and Vermaut by 3'20" after 4km of climbing on the Col du Portillon.
13:34 Vermaut Joins Vino Steve Vermaut has caught up with Vinokourov. They are now in 2nd and 3rd in the stage. Their deficit to Jalabert is 2'45".
13:33 Telekom Riders Arrive At Front of Pack Andreas Kloeden and Kevin Livingston are now coming to the front of the main peloton. At the back of this Telekom duo is the white jersey of the German champion, Jan Ullrich.
13:32 Peloton Arrive At the Base of Portillon Climb The peloton are 9'20" behind the stage leader, Jalabert as they begin the ascent of the Col du Portillon. The US Postal team are leading the pack, but Hamilton has just stopped on the side of the road with bike trouble.
13:30 Vermaut Closing In On 'Vino'... Laurent Jalabert continues to lead the stage 2'45" ahead of Vinokourov. The next rider is Steve Vermaut, who is 1'00" behind the Kazak Telekom rider.
13:26 Situation With 8km To Climb to 3rd Summit of Stage Jalabert leads Vinokourov by 2'45" with 8km to climb to the summit of the Col de Portillon. At 3'25" is Vermaut. Six riders (Baldato, Brozyna, Roux, Tauler, Jan and Lopez De Munain) are at 4'00".
13:24 Jalabert Leads Peloton By 9'55" The US Postal-led peloton are now 9'55" behind the stage leader, Laurent Jalabert.
13:23 US Champion Also Out of Race Fred Rodriguez of Domo-Farm Frites has also abandoned the Tour de France. There are now
158 riders in the race.
13:21 Adios Espana Laurent Jalabert is racing in France again. The rest of the riders are currently in Spain, but Jalabert is now in the 119th kilometer of the stage (which means he is back in France and also about to start the climb of the Col du Portillon). He leads Vinokourov by 2'10".
13:17 78km To Race For Jalabert Laurent Jalabert is at the 115km mark. He has 2km left to race in Spain and 78km to go until the stage finish at Pla d'Adet.
13: 12 Peloton 9'40" Behind At Fos As the peloton pass the site of the intermediate sprint, their deficit to Jalabert was 9'40". The US Postal team dominated the front of the bunch.
13: 11 Peloton Arrive At Fos The peloton is now arriving at the site of the first intermediate sprint. The stage leader, Laurent Jalabert, started the day in 18th position overall (26'57" behind the lead of Simon).
13:08 Sitaution Of 9 Escapees at Sprint At Fos, Laurent Jalabert leads Vinokourov by 1'45", Baldato, Vermaut, Jan, Brozyna and Lopez de Munain by 3'30", Roux and Tauler by 4'00".
13:07 Fos Sprint Results At the 1st intermediate sprint of the stage (at the 106km mark), the results are: 1. Jalabert (CST) 6pts
2. Vinokourov (TEL) 4pts
3. Vermaut (LOT) 2pts
13:05 JaJa In Spain Laurent Jalabert - who is on his own at the front of the stage (and 8'55" ahead of the Bonjour/Postal-led peloton) - is now racing in Spain. The Tour races on Spanish soil for 9km today.
13:03 Jalabert On The Attack for 80km Laurent Jalabert has been on the attack today for 80km. He joined a group of 8 others at the 26km mark. He now leads the peloton by 8'35" - as the peloton pass through the site of today's feedzone.
13:02 Jalabert At 106km Mark Laurent Jalabert has claimed the 6pts for the win at the site of the first intermediate sprint at Fos (106km). His latest leading margin on Vinokourov was 1'30".
12:59 The Situation At The Feedzone At the village of Saint-Beat (98.5km) Jalabert leads Vinokourov by 1'30. Then comes five riders(Baldato, Vermaut, Brozyna, Lopez De Munain and Jan) at 2'55". At 3'40" are two riders (Roux and Tauler). The peloton have not yet arrived at the feedzone.
12:57 Jalabert Passed The Feedzone Laurent Jalabert continues to lead the stage after the descent of the Col de Mente. His advantage on 2nd-placed Vinokourov at the summit was 1'05". The peloton were behind by 7'15".
12:54 Results of the Col de Mente
1. Laurent Jalabert
2. Vinokourov at 1'05"
3. Vermaut at 2'00"
5. Lopez de Munain
7. Baldato at 2'05"
8. Roux at 3'00"
10. Robin at 7'15"
(Points are won by the first 12 riders at the summit.)
12:51 Peloton 7'45" Behind At Summit The peloton are now over the summit of the Col de Mente. They were 7'45" behind the lead of Laurent Jalabert.
12:50 9.5km Of Descending Laurent Jalabert (and the rest of the early escapees) are now on the descent from the Col de Mente. The descent into the village of Saint-Beat (also the site of today's feedzone) is 9.5km long.
12:47 Perfect Conditions For A Tour Stage The weather for the 13th stage is superb. There is not a cloud in the sky, the temperature is about 25 degrees (in the valleys) and 20 degrees on the five summits which the peloton are yet to race over, and there is barely a breath of wind.
12:45 Jalabert At Summit of Col de Mente Laurent Jalabert has won the 30 points at the summit of the Col de Mente. The full results will be announced when the 12th rider passes the summit. (Points are allocated for the first 12 riders at the summit of cat-1 climbs.)
12:42 Jalabert Leads Peloton By 7'10" After 4km of climbing, Jalabert leads the 8 other escapees at varying increments (see previous flash) and the peloton by 7'10".
12:41 O'Grady In Dropped Group O'Grady - the green jersey classification leader - is one of the riders who has been dropped at the back of the peloton.
12:38 The Leader's Positions After 4km Of Climbing Jalabert leads Vinokourov by 40". Then comes Vermaut, Brozyna and Lopez de Munain at 1'35"; Tauler and Jan at 1'40"; Baldato at 1'45" and Roux by 2'10".
12:34 Details of Col de Mente The first cat-1 climb today is 7km long. It rises at an average gradient of 8.6 percent (and peaks at the 89km point of the 194km stage).
12:33 Riders Dropping Off Back On Col de Mente There are several riders dropping off the pack as they climb to the summit of the cat-1 Col de Mente. (No names have yet been announced.)
12:31 The Situation After 2km of Climbing the Col de Mente... Jalabert leads Vinokourov by 35". Then comes Lopez de Munain at 1'00", Brozyna and Vermaut at 1'05"; Tauler and Jan at 1'15"; Roux and Baldato at 1'20". The peloton is at 6'30".
12:28 Roux In Trouble On Col de Mente Laurent Roux, who won at the first summit today, is now slipping off the back of his escape group.
12:27 Postal Lead Peloton The US Postal Service team is at the front of the peloton.
12:26 Baldato Joins Jan The next rider to drop from the chase group is Baldato. The situation now has Jalabert 1'10" ahead of six riders... then comes Baldato and Jan. The peloton's latest deficit was 6'35".
12:25 Xavier Jan In Trouble The Big-Mat rider in the break, Xavier Jan, is now off the back of the eight who are in pursuit of Jalabert.
12:24 Jalabert Leads By 1'10" The eight others in the escape are now 1'10" behind Jalabert.
12:23 Jalabert 7km To Race Until Col de Mente Summit The stage leader, Jalabert is now 7km from the first cat-1 summit of the day. His latest lead on the eight other riders in front of the peloton was 50". The peloton were 6'25" behind.
12:22 Jalabert Now 50" Ahead Jalabert is now 50" ahead of the other escapees. The nine riders ahead of the peloton broke free at the 27km mark.
12:20 Peloton Pass Casartelli's Memorial The peloton has just passed the 77.5km mark - the site of the monument to Fabio Casartelli.
12:18 Jalabert Leads On His Own By 35" Laurent Jalabert's attacking descent has earned him a 35" lead on his fellow escape companions.
12:17 Results of the Col du Portet d'Aspet At the summit of the first climb, the cat-2 Col du Portet d'Aspet, the points were won by: 1. Laurent Roux (DEL) 2. Laurent Jalabert 3. Alberto Lopez de Munain 4. Alexandre Vinokourov 5. Thomasz Brozyna 6. Xavier Jan at 10" 7. Steve Vermaut 8. Antonio Tauler 9. Fabio Baldato at 20" 10. Victor Huge Pena led the peloton at 5'30".
12: 14 Climbing Col de Mente The leading riders are now on the first of four cat-1 climbs for the stage.
12: 12 Jalabert Attacking On Descent As we await the results of the first climb, Laurent Jalabert is attacking his escape companions on the descent. His attacking descending was what helped him win the stage to Colmar one week ago.
12:08 Jalabert Chasing Climbing Points Laurent Jalabert is at the front of the group of 8 leaders as they approach the summit of the Col du Portet d'Aspet. He is being closely marked by the reigning king of the mountains, Roux.
12:07 Leaders 1km From Summit As the leading group reached the 1km banner for the first climb, Baldato has been dropped.
12:06 US Champion In Trouble On 1st Climb Fred Rodriguez, who finished last in the 12th stage, is the first rider to drop off the back of the peloton during the first climb. He has been joined by Telekom's Wesemann (who was involved in the recent fall).
12:03 Telekom Trio Back In Bunch After their fall at the 68km mark, Livingston, Kloeden and Wesemann are back in the peloton after a quick chase.
11:59 Fall For Telekom Riders! Three Telekom riders have fallen at the 68km mark. They are Livingston, Wesemann and Kloeden. They are all back on their bikes and racing back to the peloton.
11:58 Leader's On Portet d'Aspet The leading riders are at the 70km mark. The first summit is at the 73.5km point.
11:57 Tauler Not Working In Front Group The Kelme rider in the escape group, Tauler, is not working in the pace-line. His team-mate, Cardenas, was the winner of stage 12 - and, as the race passes through Spain, they must have ambitions for another stage success today. Their best-placed rider overall is Oscar Sevilla (who is 6th and also the leader of the Best Young Rider classification).
11:54 Nine Push Lead Up to 5'00" The escape group of Brozyna, Jalabert, Vinokourov, Roux, Tauler, Vermaut, Jan, Lopez de Munain and Baldato is now 5'00" ahead of the peloton.
11:51 Brozyna Hoping To Emulate Jaskula's Success... One of the riders currently in the leading group, Thomasz Brozyna, is from Poland. The iBanesto rider is one of two Polish riders in this year's Tour (the other is Piotr Wadecki, who races with the Domo-Farm Frites team).
11:48 Polish Podium Confirmed At Saint-Lary-Soulan The last time a stage of the Tour visited the site of today's finish (Saint-Lary-Soulan), the winner was Zenon Jaskula. His win is the only stage success for a Polish rider in the history of the Tour. His win was in 1993 - the same Tour in which he finished 3rd overall.
11:45 Lead Up to 4'30" The iBanesto team are now leading the peloton's pursuit of the 9 escapees. (The 9 lead by 4'30" at the 58km mark.)
11:44 2 Riders In Escape Feature In Climbing Classification Two of the riders in the nine-man escape - Laurent Roux and Laurent Jalabert - are in the top four of the climbing classification. Roux leads the polka-dot jersey competition with 157 points. Jalabert is in 4th with 106pts. They are seperated by Armstrong (with 113pts) and Ullrich (110pts).
11:41 Lead Over Four-Minutes The nine escapees have pushed their lead up to 4'10" at the 55km mark.
11:40 Tribute To Casartelli The Tour de France race director, Jean-Marie Leblanc, and the five-time Tour winner, Bernard Hinault, have paid tribute to Fabio Casartelli today. Early in today's stage, they placed flowers at the site of the Casartelli Monument.
11:36 Lead 3'35" At 50km The leading nine are now 3'35" ahead of the peloton. The bunch continues to be led by the US Postal team as the stage leaders pass the 50km mark.
11:34 Lead Continues To Grow The break of Jalabert, Brozyna, Vinokourov, Roux, Lopez de Munain, Tauler, Jan, Vermaut & Baldato is now 3'25" ahead of the peloton.
11:26 Lead Up to 3'00" The 9 leaders are now 3'00" ahead of the peloton.
11:23 First Hour Average Speed The start of the 13th stage has been raced at a rapid pace. The average speed for the first hour is 44.3kph.
11:22 Big Basque Presence At Pla d'Adet The green, red and white flags of the Basque region dominate the final climb of today's stage. The 13th stage races through the northern Spanish province of Lerida (near Basque country) for nine kilometers today. The Tour arrives in Spain at the 111th kilometer.
11:19 Lead Over Two-Minutes... The nine leaders are now 2'10" ahead of the peloton. The break includes the two-time stage winner from this year's Tour, Laurent Jalabert.
11: 15 Lead Grows to 1'35" At the 36km mark, the nine riders are 1'35" ahead of the US Postal-led peloton.
11: 13 US Postal Lead Peloton As the leading 9 riders push their advantage to 1'10", the bunch is being led by the US Postal Service team.
11: 11 Leading 9 50" Ahead At 33km The 9 escapee are 50" ahead of the peloton at the 33km mark.
11: 10 Five Complete Teams Still In The Race After the six retirements in yesterday's stage, there are now just 5 of the 21 teams with their full contingent of 9 riders. They are: Telekom, iBanesto, Bonjour, Lampre and La Francaise des Jeux.
11:06 Nine Push Lead Up To 30" The nine attacking riders have a lead of 30" on the peloton.
11:04 Two Counter Attackers... Brozyna and Lopez de Munain have chased and caught the seven leaders. There are now 9 riders 15" ahead of the peloton.
11:03 Seven Riders Attempt An Escape There are seven riders who are trying to break free from the peloton at the 27km mark. They are: Vinokourov, Baldato, Vermaut, Laurent Jalabert, Roux, Tauler and Jan.
11:00 Haulot Caught After 10km Solo Effort Heulot has been caught at the 25km mark. He reached a maximum gain of 30". The peloton is now all together again.
10:59 Heulot Now 15" Ahead After achieving a maximum gain on the peloton of 30", the escape by Heulot now appears doomed. He is now just 15" ahead of the peloton.
10:58 Beautiful Weather For 13th Stage The Tour is finally being raced in weather akin to what a real Summer should be. The skies are blue and the temperature at the start was 22 degrees Celsius (at 10.20am). The forecast maximum for the town at the base of the final climb, Saint-Lary-Soulan, is 26 degrees.
10:55 The Other Climbs Today... Following the Col du Portet d'Aspet, the other climbs today are: the 1,349m cat-1 Col de Mente (at 89km); the 1,320 cat-1 Col du Portillon (126km); the 1,569m cat-1 Col de Peyresourde (150.5km); the 1,580m cat-1 Col de Val-Louron-Azet (170.5km). The finish is ranked Highest Category (HC). The final climb is to the 1,680m summit at Pla d'Adet.
10:52 Heulot Pushes On With His Attack Heulot's lead is now 25". The peloton is showing little interest in pursuing this early break (which began at the 15km mark). The CSC team are at the front of the bunch. The Big-Mat rider is now at the 18th kilometer.
10:49 Heulot Leads By 15" Heulot's advantage on the peloton is now 15".
10:48 Heulot Off The Front Big-Mat's team leader, Stephane Heulot, has attacked the peloton at the
15km mark. He has a gain of 6" on the peloton.
10:47 Roux Stirring At the Front of Peloton The reigning king of the mountain, Laurent Roux, is showing signs of attacking intentions. He is at the front of the peloton as they pass the 14km mark of the 194km stage.
10:45 Details of First Climb The first climb today is the 1,069m cat-2 Col du Portet d'Aspet (which lasts for 2.6km at an average gradient of 8.6 percent). The summit is at the 73.5km mark. On the descent (at the 77.5km mark) is the monument to Fabio Casartelli, the 1992 Olympic champion who died because of injuries sustained in a fall on this descent in the 1995 Tour.
10:42 Brutal Stage of Climbing The 13th stage features six categorized climbs. There are four cat-1 climbs, one cat-2 rise and the mountain-top finish at the Highest Category summit at Pla d'Adet (above the village of Sant-Sary-Soulan).
10:38 More On De Groot's Injuries Bram De Groot is in a stable conditions after waking from a coma (caused by a fall on the descent from the Col de Jau) yesterday evening. Doctors are satisfied with his condition and they have stated that he will leave the hospital in Perpignan either today or tomorrow after scans and x-rays revealed there are no fractures caused by the fall.
10:32 Other Injuries From Stage 12 Sergei Ivanov, who was involved in the same fall as De Groot, has bruising on his left shoulder, but no fractures. Kurt Van De Wouwer, who fell on the final descent in stage 12, has retired from the Tour because of a fractured left collarbone.
10:26 Bram De Groot Stable, But Still in Hospital Bram De Groot, the Rabobank rider who fell on the descent of the 1st climb in stage 12, is still in hospital. The Tour's doctors have announced that his condition is satisfactory after x-rays and scans revealed that he sustained no serious injuries in the fall.
10:23 Racing In Stage 13! The official start time for stage 13 is 10.22am. There were 160 riders at the start with no having abandonments overnight.
10:19 Stage 13 Due To Start At 10.20am The 194km 13th stage - from Foix to Saint-Lary-Soulan (Pla d'Adet) - is due to start at 10.20am. There is a 700 meter neutral zone before the official start is scheduled on the outskirts of Foix.
10: 15 Apologies For The Technical Problems During Stage 12 The live coverage of the 12th stage was hindered by technical problems relating to the communications network at the finish at Plateau de Bonascre. Please accept our apologies for the lack of live coverage. (Flashes were written, but they just could not be transmitted.)
The problems have been fixed for the 13th stage and we hope you enjoy what is sure to be a crucial stage of the 2001 Tour de France.