Haussler Wins Stage 13 of Tour
Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo) has won Stage 12 of the 2009 Tour. The German soloed away from Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) on the Col du Firstplan to take the rugged, 200-km ride from Vittel to Colmar in 4:56:26. Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel) finished second at 4:11, and Brice Feillu (Agritubel) took third at 6:26.
Not long after the start, seven riders sallied away from the field in the rain. They were Haussler, Chavanel, Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank), Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank), Ruben Perez Moreno (Euskaltel), Christophe Moreau (Agritubel), and Rigoberto Uran (Caisse d'Epargne). The peloton pegged the lead at 1:00 until Haussler, Chavenel, and Moreno dropped their companions at 60 km. By 95 km, the bunch led the break by more than nine minutes.
At the base of the Category 1 Col du Platzerwasel, Astana moved to the front. Saxo Bank joined the Kazakh squad at the front, while ahead, Haussler and Chavanel dropped Moreno. Astana took sole command of the peloton.
At the summit, Txurruka and Feillu attacked from the peloton. Ahead, Haussler dropped Chavanel. At the summit of the day's final climb, the Category 2 Col du Firstplan, the German led the Frenchman by more than three minutes. Txurruka and Feillu overtook Chavanel on the run to the finish.
In the overall, Nocentini leads Alberto Contador (Astana) by 0:06 and Lance Armstrong (Astana) by 0:08. Stage 4 should not produce a change in this state of affairs. The rolling, 199-km run from Colmar to Besancon features two Category 3 climbs, nothing that will stop the sprinters from taking control of the race and producing a winner. Who will the winner be? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!