Ullrich Wins Time Trial, Closes on Yellow Jersey

News & Results

07/20/2003| 0 comments
by Gerald Churchill
Ullrich on his way to victory. WIll he be able to keep up with Armstrong as the Tour reaches the most famous climbs? Stay tuned to Roadcycling.com to find out. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Ullrich on his way to victory. WIll he be able to keep up with Armstrong as the Tour reaches the most famous climbs? Stay tuned to Roadcycling.com to find out. Photo copyright Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Ullrich Wins Time Trial, Closes on Yellow Jersey

Jan Ullrich (Bianchi) has won Stage 12 of the Tour de France.

Jan Ullrich (Bianchi) has won Stage 12 of the Tour de France. Ullrich dominated the rolling, somewhat technical, 47-km time trial from Gaillac to Cap' Decouverte, defeating four-time defending champion Lance Armstrong (U.S. Postal Service) by 1:36 and Alexander Vinokourov (Telekom) by 2:06. Armstrong remains the maillot jaune, but Ullrich has closed to within seconds of him.

Uwe Peschel (Gerolsteiner) set the early standard. The German time trial champion rode the course in 1:01:58. Peschel's time held up for more than four and a half hours until Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel) posted a 1:01:12. At that point, however, Ullrich was on the course, and it was clear that Zubeldia's time would not win the time trial.

Ullrich set standards at every checkpoint. He reached the first checkpoint in 16:26, the second at 40:28, and the third in 51:56. Of the remaining riders, only Armstrong appeared to have a chance to beat the German.

At the first checkpoint, the man from Austin appeared to be ready to match Ullrich's challenge. At 13 km, he posted the same time as the Bianchi rider. At 33 km, however, Armstrong was 0:40 slower than Ullrich. The margin grew to 1:09 at 42 km and to 1:36 at the finish. Armstrong said that the heat might have affected him and that he ran out of water on the course.

In the overall, Armstrong leads Ullrich by 0:34 and Alexander Vinokourov (Telekom) by 0:51. The Tour de France now enters the Pyrenees for four stages. Stage 13 will be challenging but not decisive. The 197.5-km ride from Toulouse to Ax-3 Domaines will feature a Category 1 ascent of the Port de Pailheres and a Category 1 finishing climb. Will the heads of state take this stage easy, knowing that harder days will follow? Will Armstrong have to fight to keep his yellow jersey? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!

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