McEwen Wins Stage 13 of Tour
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon) has won his third stage of this year?s Tour de France.
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon) has won his third stage of this year?s Tour de France. McEwen took a bunch sprint from Stuart O?Grady (Cofidis) and Fred Rodriguez (Davitamon) to win the flat, 173.5-km run from Miramas to Montpellier in 3:43:14. Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel) remains the maillot jaune .<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
The weather was sunny and hot, as it has been for some days. After a flurry of early attacks, Carlos Da Cruz (La Francaise des Jeux), Chris Horner (Saunier Duval), Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom), Ludovic Turpin (Ag2r), and Juan Antonio Flecha (Fassa Bortolo) sallied off the front at 15 km. With the Pyrenees coming up, the peloton was not motivated to chase, and the break forged an eight-minute lead by about 40 km.
After the feed zone at 76.5 km, Davitamon took over at the front. At this point, the break led the bunch by 9:00. Lampre joined the Belgian squad, and the two teams cut the escapees? lead to less than four minutes at 106 km. Additional pressure by Davitamon reduced the fugitives? advantage to 1:56 at 143 km.
With 22 km left, Da Cruz tried to escape, but Horner followed him. Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) bridged up to the break and then attacked, taking Horner with him as the Discovery Channel-led peloton engulfed the remnants of the break. With seven km left, Da Cruz and Horner led the field by 0:25.
Gerolsteiner and Liquigas joined Discovery Channel at the front. The fugitives? lead fell to 0:18 with five km left. With two km remaining and the break?s lead down to 0:08, Davitamon returned to the front.
With 500 m left, Rodriguez led the field past Da Cruz and Horner. McEwen came around Rodriguez on the right side of the road and easily bested O?Grady.
In the overall, Armstrong leads Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) by 0:38 and Christophe Moreau (Credit Agricole) by 2:34. Stage 14 will shake the standings. The 220.5-km ride from Agde to Ax-3 Domaines will feature two major climbs, the Hors Categorie Port de Pailheres and the Category 1 ascent to the finish. Who will prevail in the battle on the final climb? Armstrong? Ivan Basso (CSC)? Rasmussen? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!