Sastre Wins Stage 13 of Tour de France

News & Results

07/20/2003| 0 comments
by Gerald Churchill
What's that in your mouth? A dummy? Carlos Sastre (CSC) dedicates his magnificent win to his daughter. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
What's that in your mouth? A dummy? Carlos Sastre (CSC) dedicates his magnificent win to his daughter. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Sastre Wins Stage 13 of Tour de France

Carlos Sastre (CSC) has won Stage 13 of the Tour.

Carlos Sastre (CSC) has won Stage 13 of the Tour de France. The Spaniard attacked on the Category 1 Port de Pailheres and held on to win the biggest victory of his career. Jan Ullrich (Bianchi) finished second at 1:01, and Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel) took third at 1:03. Lance Armstrong (U.S. Postal Service) remains the maillot jaune but saw his lead reduced.

The attacking began early. After several abortive sallies, Jose Luis Rubiera (U.S. Postal Service), Alessandro Bertolini and Raffaele Ferrara (both from Alessio), Carlos Da Cruz (La Francaise des Jeux.com), Laurent Brochard and Ludovic Turpin (both from Ag2r), Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano (ONCE), Markus Zberg (Gerolsteiner), Oscar Freire (Rabobank), Rik Verbrugghe (Lotto), and Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) attacked. The break ran up an 8:40 advantage by 76 km. At that point, Saeco began to chase.

U.S. Postal Service led the field up the Port de Pailheres. The American squad's pacemaking reduced the lead group to about 20 riders, among whom were all of the favorites.

Ten km from the summit, Sastre and Juan Miguel Mercado (iBanesto.com) attacked from the lead group. Ahead, Rubiera attacked the remnants of the break. Eventually, Sastre and Mercado bridged up to the U.S. Postal Service rider.

Laurent Dufaux (Alessio) attacked from the lead group. Iban Mayo (Euskaltel) followed suit, and Armstrong chased him. Ullrich and Alexander Vinokourov (Telekom) stayed on Armstrong's wheel.

At the summit, the three leaders had 0:50 on Dufaux and 1:40 on the maillot jaune group. At the base of the day's final climb, the trio led Dufaux and the maillot jaune group by 0:40 and 2:20, respectively. Roberto Heras (U.S. Postal Service) accelerated and dropped Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner), Richard Virenque (Quick Step), and Francisco Mancebo (iBanesto.com) immediately. With five km remaining, Virenque, Christophe Moreau (Credit Agricole), and Tyler Hamilton (CSC) slid out of the back. Mayo fell off of the pace soon thereafter.

With six km left, Sastre dropped Mercado and Rubiera. Rubiera fell back to pace the maillot jaune group. Dufaux joined the maillot jaune group as well.

Sastre suffered in the last two km but stayed away. With three km left, Zubeldia attacked the maillot jaune group. Ullrich followed. Armstrong chased hard to limit his losses, but Ullrich got a 17-second bonus for finishing second.

Sastre, who is married to the sister of former iBanesto.com rider Jose Maria Jimenez, put his daughter Claudia's pacifier in his mouth as he reached the finish line. Sastre said that the two-year-old "is the most important person in my life." Sastre added that during his years at ONCE, he had to ride for Joseba Beloki and Abraham Olano but that he had more chances to ride for himself at CSC. Sastre's ride moved him up to ninth overall.

In the overall, Armstrong leads Ullrich by 0:15 and Vinokourov by 1:01. Stage 14 could be a standing shaker. The 191.5-km ride from St. Girons to Loudonvielle will feature two Category 2 climbs and four Category 1 rises, the last of which, the Col de Peyresourde, will peak 11 km from the finish line. Who will prevail? Armstrong? Ullrich? Vinokourov? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!

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