Guerini Wins Stage 19 of Tour
Giuseppe Guerini (T-Mobile) has won Stage 19 of the Tour de France.
Giuseppe Guerini (T-Mobile) has won Stage 19 of the Tour de France. Guerini surged away from three breakaway companions in the last two km to win the rolling, 153-km ride from Issoire to Le Puy-en-Velay in 3:33:04. Sandy Casar (La Francaise des Jeux) outsprinted Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) for second at 0:10. Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel) remains the maillot jaune .
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After a couple of early attacks, Guerini made his move at 30 km. He and Casar attacked, and Stage 16 winner Oscar Pereiro (Phonak) joined them. Eventually, Pellizotti bridged up to the break. A 10-man strong chase group formed, but the break of the day was gone.
The quartet cooperated well and led the chase group by 1:00 and the peloton by 3:35 on the Category 2 Col des Pradeaux (68 km). At 85 km, the break led the bunch by 6:00. The nearest man to the maillot jaune was Pereiro at 17:10, so Discovery Channel put him on a long leash. In addition, the Tour?s final time trial is tomorrow, and many riders wanted to save their legs for that.
With 50 km remaining and the peloton 9:00 behind, Illes Balears went to the front to protect Francisco Mancebo?s fifth place from Pereiro. Credit Agricole joined the Spanish squad to protect Christophe Moreau?s 10 th place. Illes Balears succeeded, but Credit Agricole failed.
Pereiro drove the break in an attempt to put himself in the top 10 overall. With 1.5 km remaining, Guerini, who is nicknamed Turbo, made a move worthy of that sobriquet. His erstwhile companions looked at each other instead of chasing, and Guerini soloed home.
Today?s win was Guerini?s second career Tour de France stage win. The one that he is better known for occurred in 1999 at L?Alpe d?Huez. On that occasion, a stupid fan stepped into the road and knocked Guerini down while trying to photograph the Italian. After today?s stage, Guerini said with a smile, ?L?Alpe d?Huez is more dangerous.? He did add, however, that his earlier Tour stage win is special because of L?Alpe d?Huez?s place in Tour history.
In the overall, Armstrong leads Ivan Basso (CSC) by 2:46 and Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) by 3:46. Stage 19, a 55.5-km individual time trial on a rolling course, will sort out the final GC. The riders still have things to fight for. Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile), who is in fourth place at 5:58, will attempt to bump Rasmussen from the podium. Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner), who is in sixth place at 8:12, will attempt to relegate Mancebo, who is in fifth at 7:08, to sixth. Fifty-three seconds separate seventh place Cadel Evans (Davitamon), eighth place Alexander Vinonkourov (T-Mobile), and ninth place Floyd Landis (Phonak). How will the time trial sort out the GC? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!