Tour Stage 10: Jakob Piil Wins Stage, Overall No Change
A fairly flat stage from Gap to Marseille, a group was bound to go away after the mountains, heat and the hard racing. U.S. Postal were doing the work, as they should, for the bunch, but up the road the group of 9, who escaped 15 kilometers after the start, had 23 minutes at 60 kilometers to the finish in Marseille, the Liverpool of France!
The bad news on Joseba Beloki of Once is that he has broken femur, arm and hand, not to mention a broken heart. He was flown back to Spain to day and is now in Vitoria Hospital.
The bunch were ambling along, Euskaltel were doing some work in defense of their first place in the team classification. A protest for Jose Bove (who ever he is?) stopped the race for a little but the riot police slapped a couple of them and that was that.
Chente Garcia Acosta of ibanesto.com tried on the run-in to the climb, but they pulled him back, over the small climb with 49 kilometers to go, Serge Baguet (Lotto/Domo) was first and then Quique Gutierrez (Kelme) went off on his own. The riders behind were not organized so he soon had a few minutes gap. The last climb of the day, the Cote de Peynier, Gutierrez was looking confident, the riders behind, Baguet (Lotto), Piil (CSC), D Nazon (Brioches), Sacchi (Saeco), De Groot (Rabobank), Gaumont (Cofidis), Garcia Acosta (Kelme) and Haselbacher (Gerolsteiner) had him in sight.
Gutierrez was pulled back, and dropped, in the out-skirts of the City of Marseille and they all started to attack one after the other, Piil and Sacchi looked the strongest of the now eight riders, there third or fourth jump worked and the six chasers were not really doing anything in the way of serious work. De Groot set off from the six after Piil and Sacchi in the last 10 kilometers, a few bends and roundabouts made it tricky for a concerted chase behind. Along by the Mediterranean, with 5 to go, it was Sacchi and Piil with a lead of 42 seconds over De Groot at 1 minute 10 seconds on the others, the bunch were still on the outskirts of town.
Piil and Sacchi looked like they had it in the bank, a long straight to the finish and the two leaders shook hands, but it was down to the sprint. Piil the perfect trackman held back until Sacchi jumped then got on his wheel and took him on the line, De Groot got third and the others were all over the road and Nazon won that sprint. After a long wait for the main group (21 minutes 23 seconds) and the sprint for 10th. place, Cooke took more points from McEwan.
Stage 10 Result:
1st. J.Piil (CSC) 5:09:33.
2nd. F.Sacchi (SAE) same time.
3rd. B.De Groot (RAB) at 49 secs.
4th. D.Nazon (BRI) at 2:07.
5th. R.Haselbacher (GER) same time.
6th. P.Gaumont (COF) same time.
7th. S.Baguet (LOT) same time.
8th. V.Garcia Acosta (BAN) same time.
9th. J.E.Gutierrez (KEL) at 5:06.
10th. B.Cooke (FDJ) at 21:23.
Overall After Stage 10:
1st. L.Armstrong (USP) 45:46:22.
2nd. A.Vinokourov (TEL) at 21 secs.
3rd. I.Mayo (EUS) at 1:02.
4th. F.Mancebo (BAN) at 1:37.
5th. T.Hamilton (CSC) at 1:52.
6th. J.Ullrich (BIA) at 2:10.
7th. I.Basso (FAS) at 2:25.
8th. R.Heras (USP) at 2:28.
9th. H.Zubeldia (EUS) at 3:25.
10th. D.Menchov (BAN) at 3:45.