Stage 13: Vittel to Colmar

Over the course of 200 wet, cold kilometers, Heinrich Haussler managed to put together the ride of his life to win Stage 13. The Cervelo TestTeam rider was part of an early breakaway of seven that eventually was whittled down to three. On a descent, Haussler jumped and never looked back. His victory was all but assured after passing the crest of the final climb, the Col du Firstplan, about four minutes ahead of his chasers and over seven minutes ahead of the peloton with a 21-kilometer descent to the finish in Colmar.

The big news of the day, however, was the withdrawal of American Levi Leipheimer before the start of the stage. Leipheimer, who sat in fourth overall behind Astana teammates Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador, suffered a broken wrist on a crash about 2.5 kilometers from the finish in yesterday’s stage into Vittel. The injury wasn’t immediately recognized, but x-rays this morning revealed the cause of the pain that only increased after the crash.

While the absence of Leipheimer may have made Astana more vulnerable, they weren’t about to let any contenders get away during today’s medium-mountain stage. The peloton maintained a high pace and refused to allow a serious breakaway with any threats to the GC from materializing. Rinaldo Nocentini’s Ag2r-La Mondiale team spent time at the front protecting the yellow jersey for another day, though Astana wasn’t far behind.

The pack speeds down Col de la Schlucht during Stage 13.
AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski

Bruce Hildenbrand: Stage 13: Haussler Solos; Levi Out; Interview with Team Columbia-HTC Directeur Sportif Rolf Aldag

Stage 13 Results

  1. Heinrich Haussler – Cervelo TestTeam – 4:56:26
  2. Amets Txurruka – Euskaltel-Euskadi +04:11
  3. Brice Feillu – Agritubel +06:13
  4. Sylvain Chavanel – Quick Step +06:31
  5. Peter Velits – Team Milram +06:43
  6. Thor Hushovd – Cervelo TestTeam +06:43
  7. Vladimir Efimkin – Ag2r-La Mondiale +06:43
  8. Bradley Wiggins – Garmin-Slipstream +06:43
  9. George Hincapie – Team Columbia-HTC +06:43
  10. Andy Schleck – Team Saxo Bank +06:43

Other U.S. Riders

  23. Christian Vande Velde – Garmin-Slipstream +06:43
  27. Lance Armstrong – Astana +06:43
  93. Danny Pate – Garmin-Slipstream +20:21
  151. Tyler Farrar – Garmin-Slipstream +23:44
  162. David Zabriskie – Garmin-Slipstream +23:44

Overall Classification

  1. Rinaldo Nocentini – Ag2r-La Mondiale – 53:30:30
  2. Alberto Contador – Astana +00:06
  3. Lance Armstrong – Astana +00:08
  4. Bradley Wiggins – Garmin-Slipstream +00:46
  5. Andréas Klöden – Astana +00:54

Click Here for More Overall Standings and Jersey Leaders

200K (124.3 miles) - July 17, 2009

• Colmar has hosted the Tour six times

• Stage is considered a "Medium Mountain" stage

• Sprint Points at: Xertigny, Gerardmer, Luttenbach

• Mountain Passes: Côte de Xertigny located at 46 kilometers - 2km climb to 5.3 percent grade - Category 3; Col de la Schlucht at 105km - 8.9km climb to 4.2 percent grade - Cat. 2; Col du Platzerwasel at 138.5km - 8.7km climb to 7.6 percent grade - Cat. 1; Col du Bannstein at 165.5km - 2.1km climb to 5.1 percent grade - Cat. 3; Col du Firstplan at 179.5km - 8.4km climb to 5.4 percent grade - Cat. 2

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