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July 19, 2002

Lance, again...

Lance Armstrong put his stamp on this year's Tour de France with his second consecutive win in the Pyrenees, and his 14th career stage win.

An early breakaway by Laurent Jalabert (who did the same yesterday) has the soon-to-retire, but never retiring, French rider in the King of the Mountains jersey. In a repeat of yesterday's scenario, Jalabert's breakaway couldn't hold once the locomotives of Armstrong's US Postal team (aided at the foot of the last climb by the ONCE team of Joseba Beloki, currently 2nd overall) started to drive the train.

It appeared Armstrong wanted to give his teammate Roberto Heras a stage win on the final climb, when Armstrong broke away from the few riders (including Heras) still on his wheel. Heras marked Beloki, and a few minutes later, tried to break away and rejoin Armstrong for a US Postal 1-2 finish. Beloki chased Heras, and was gaining time on Armstrong, riding less than all out, before USPS team director Johan Bruyneel called off Heras' bridging move, opting instead for Heras to shadow Beloki to the end of the stage, then nip him at the line for a 2nd on the day.

Overall standings:
Lance Armstrong 46:47:47
Joseba Beloki at 2:28
Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano at 3:19
Raimondas Rumsas at 5:15
Santiago Botero at 5:44
Marcos Serrano at 7:14
Roberto Heras at 8:01
Jose Azevedo at 8:24
Oscar Sevilla at 9:05
Francisco Mancebo at 9:10

For more, visit the Tour archive.

July 19, 2002 in Tour de France | Permalink

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