Savoldelli Wins Stage 17 of Tour
Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel) has won Stage 17 of the Tour de France.
Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel) has won Stage 17 of the Tour de France. The two-time Giro d?Italia champion took a two-up sprint from Kurt-Asle Arvesen (CSC) to win the rolling, 239.5-km run from Pau to Revel in 5:41:19. Simon Gerrans (Ag2r) finished third, and Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel) remains the maillot jaune .<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
Today?s stage was the longest one in this year?s Tour. On the descent of the Category 3 Cote de Baleix, Pierrick Fedrigo (Bouygues Telecom) attacked and Arvesen joined him. Eventually, Erik Dekker (Rabobank) and Carlos Da Cruz (La Francaise des Jeux) bridged up to the pair.
More riders followed. Jose-Luis Rubiera and Savoldelli (both from Discovery Channel), Oscar Sevilla (T-Mobile), Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros), Sebastien Hinault (Credit Agricole), Dario Cioni (Liquigas), Stephane Auge (Cofidis), Bram Tankink (Quick Step), Daniele Righi (Lampre), Thomas Lovkvist and Samuel Dumoulin (both from La Francaise des Jeux), Andrei Grivko (Domina Vacanze), and Gerrans completed the break, which forged a lead of 1:55 by 44 km. The escapees? advantage ballooned to more than 23:00 by 198 km and to more than 25:00 at 220 km.
On the Cote de St-Ferreol (232 km), Tankink made attacked. Hinault and Savoldelli countered and took the lead.
Hinault would not or could not cooperate with the Italian, which resulted in Arvesen and Gerrans catching the leaders. With 1,300 m left, Arvesen attacked.
For a time, Arvesen looked like a winner. Savoldelli, however, dropped Hinault and lit out after the Norwegian. With 100 m left, Savoldelli overhauled Arvesen.
In the overall, Armstrong leads Ivan Basso (CSC) by 2:46 and Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) by 3:09. Stage 18 will be a rolling, 189-km ride from Albi to Mende that should be won by escapees. Who will it be? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!