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EDITIONS
Tour de France Tuesday, 28 July, 1998, 19:54 GMT 20:54 UK
Ullrich edges out Pantani
Jan Ullrich
Jan Ullrich held a narrow lead through the mountains
Defending Tour champion Jan Ullrich of Telekom has won the 16th stage of the Tour de France in a photo finish.

The German took the win on the 204km Alpine run from Vizille to Albertville but overall leader Marco Pantani of Mercatone Uno shadowed him all the way to keep the yellow jersey

They had an advantage over the chasing pack of less than two minutes having swapped the leadership several times once Ullrich made his move for glory.

But it was Ullrich who pipped Pantani at the line in a nail-biting finish.

Marco Pantani
Marco Pantani celebrates his yellow jersey
In the provisional overall standings Pantani took his lead over American Bobby Julich of Cofidis to 5min 42sec while Ullrich moved third ahead of Spaniard Fernando Escartin.

Ullrich said: "I was much better in this stage and I wanted to attack as a way of thanking my team, who have worked so hard for me on the Tour."

He added: "It was important for my future chances to have a day like today."

Pantani said afterwards that the Tour was not over "by a long chalk".

He said: "Ullrich was very strong and he deserved to take the stage. I tried to stay with him and he reacted like a champion."

Mountains took toll

Earlier, Frenchman Stephane Heulot, Germany's Rolf Aldag and Kazakhstan's Andrei Teteriouk had effected the first escape of the stage before they fell back into the peloton.

The riders had to work like demons to cope with a stage which took in five climbs.

The harsh mountainous conditions exacted a heavy toll on the riders as Belgium's Andrei Tchmil of Lotto failed to start and Banesto's Jose Maria Jimenez of Spain and Italy's Franco Ballerini withdrew around midway through the stage.

Czech Jan Svorada, the winner of the second stage, also had to withdraw.


The survivors endure their third and final day in the mountains on Wednesday.

They head for Aix-les-Bains in a 149km-long 17th stage, including three climbs - the first category Cret de Chatillon at 59.5km, the third category Col des Pres at 93.5km and the Revard at the 124.5 km mark before a final descent to the line.

See also:

27 Jul 98 | Tour de France
27 Jul 98 | Tour de France
28 Jul 98 | Tour de France
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