What's Cool In Road Cycling

Stage 12 …And Then There Were None

Stage 12 …And Then There Were None
Lannemezan / Plateau de Beille 199 km

Post race chalk talk inside team vans at Tour de France (excluding US Postal):

“Guys, guys…. Look I thought we went to over this yesterday… who’s gonna win this Tour by sitting in and letting US Postal do all the work until the last climb of the day? Lance Armstrong – that’s who! We’ve watched this for the past 3 years, and lost the Tour this way for the last 3 years… it’s time to try something different – we’ve at least got to try…! I want everyone on alert and in attack mode for the next stages – if there’s a move get in it, if there is no move start one – force US Postal to chase, we’ve got to take control of the race, roll our own dice and go big before we go home… Is that clear?!”

For the second day in a row Lance delivered knockout blows to all his opponents on the final 17km climb to the Plateau de Beille at 1780 meters. The only rider to even attempt to stay in the race was wily Laurent Jalabert, who again broke away with several other riders early on, and stayed away until the last 10 km – sadly he too was blown to bits with the rest.

In winning his second straight stage, Lance extended his overall lead to 2’28” over his nearest challenger – Joseba Beloki of ONCE. Beloki hung in there again today and finished third with Heras. The last kilometers today played out exactly like yesterday – at 7km to go, Heras went to the front of the leading 8 man group and lifted the pace. Immediately the group disintegrated leaving only Armstrong and Beloki with Heras. Shortly after that Lance went to the front and rode away, hoping to provide an opportunity for Heras to drop Beloki and possibly win the day.

The rest of the group struggled in just trying to limit their losses, and this could be the script for the rest of the Tour. Let’s hope that someone finds their legs, or at least finds the heart to try and make a move – obviously this sitting in and waiting to be dropped on the last climb of the day strategy is not working.

Results Stage 12
1. ARMSTRONG Lance USA USP 6h 00′ 29″
2. HERAS Roberto ESP USP 01′ 04″
3. BELOKI Joseba ESP ONE 01′ 04″
4. BOTERO Santiago COL KEL 01′ 11″
6. RUMSAS Raimondas LTU LAM 01′ 23″
7. SASTRE Carlos ESP CST 01′ 33″
8. SERRANO Marcos ESP ONE 01′ 37″
9. SEVILLA Oscar ESP KEL 02′ 07″
10. KIVILEV Andrei KAZ COF 02′ 39″

Results Overall After Stage 12
1. ARMSTRONG Lance USA USP 46h 47′ 47″
2. BELOKI Joseba ESP ONE 02′ 28″
4. RUMSAS Raimondas LTU LAM 05′ 15″
5. BOTERO Santiago COL KEL 05′ 44″
6. SERRANO Marcos ESP ONE 07′ 14″
7. HERAS Roberto ESP USP 08′ 01″
8. AZEVEDO Josй POR ONE 08′ 24″
9. SEVILLA Oscar ESP KEL 09′ 05″
10. MANCEBO Francisco ESP BAN 09′ 10″

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