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Sunday, July 11, 1999 Published at 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK

Armstrong triumphs in Tour time trial

Armstrong on his way to victory

American rider Lance Armstrong has reclaimed the tour leader's yellow jersey by winning stage eight of the Tour de France.

Le Tour de France
The 27-year-old blew the rest of the field away to record a time of 1hr 08min 37sec over the 56.5km course.

"I'm dead and out on my feet! I am really happy, but I couldn't have cycled another yard," he said.

"It's hugely important, but the race is far from over and with the Alps and the Pyrennees to come there will be more chapters to unfold, but today I have laid down the marker for the rest of the race.

"The phoney war is over and now the real one begins."

[ image: Bobby Julich: Out after a fall]
Bobby Julich: Out after a fall
Armstrong, who successfully recovered from testicular cancer two years ago, beat second placed Alex Zulle of Switzerland by 58 secs.

France's Christophe Moreau came third, more than two minutes behind the leader.

Estonia's Jann Kirsipuu relinquished the yellow jersey for the first time since he took it from Armstrong last Monday.

He had tipped world time trial champion Abraham Olano to take the overall lead, but the Spaniard fell after 28km as he took a corner at speed, which relegated him to fourth.

The fall allowed Armstrong to pass Olano at 30km and catch double stage winner Tom Steels of Belgium in the last 10km for his second win of the Tour.

Boogerd disappoints

The American took the prologue time-trial stage last Saturday.

Last year's third placed rider overall, Bobby Julich of the US, fell while travelling at speeds of up to 80km during a descent at around the 30km marker.

He was forced to abandon the race amid fears that he may have broken some ribs.

Another hopeful, Dutchman Michael Boogerd, dropped almost nine minutes on Armstrong, leaving him 15 minutes off the pace.

Stage result
[ image:  ]

  • 1. Lance Armstrong (US) US Postal one hour eight minutes 36 seconds
  • 2. Alex Zuelle (Switzerland) Banesto 58 secs behind
  • 3. Christophe Moreau (France) Festina 2:05
  • 4. Abraham Olano (Spain) ONCE 2:22
  • 5. Tyler Hamilton (US) US Postal 3:31
  • 6. Chris Boardman (Britain) Credit Agricole 3:32
  • 7. Alvaro Galdeano (Spain) Vitalicio Seguros 3:41
  • 8. Jens Voigt (Germany) Credit Agricole 3:42
  • 9. Stuart O'Grady (Australia) Credit Agricole 3:45
  • 10. Laurent Dufaux (Switzerland) Saeco 3:56
  • 11. Andrea Peron (Italy) ONCE 3:59
  • 12. Daniele Nardello (Italy) Mapei 4:12
  • 13. Santos Gonzalez (Spain) ONCE 4:16
  • 14. Angel Casero (Spain) Vitalicio Seguros 4:35
  • 15. Luis Rodriguez (Spain) ONCE 4:39
  • 16. Magnus Backstedt (Sweden) Credit Agricole 4:42
  • 17. Pavel Tonkov (Russia) Mapei same time
  • 18. Pavel Padrnos (Czech Republic) Lampre 4:56
  • 19. Gilles Maignan (France) Casino 4:58
  • 20. Massimiliano Lelli (Italy) Cofidis 5:13

General classification:

  • 1. Lance Armstrong (USA/USP) 33hr 34min 16sec
  • 2. Christophe Moreau (Fra/FES) at 02min 20sec
  • 3. Abraham Olano (Spa/ONC) 02:33
  • 4. Stuart O'Grady (Aus/C.A) 03:25.
  • 5. Alvaro Gonzalez Galdeano (Spa/VIT) 04:10.
  • 6. Jens Voigt (Ger/C.A) 04:10.
  • 7. Laurent Dufaux (Swi/SAE) 04:19.
  • 8. Andrea Peron (Ita/ONC) 04:22.
  • 9. Santos Gonzalez (Spa/ONC) 04:37.
  • 10. Daniele Nardello (Ita/MAP) 04:46.
  • 11. Jann Kirsipuu (Est/CSO) 04:57.
  • 12. Angel Casero (Spa/VIT) 05:01.
  • 13. Pavel Tonkov (Rus/MAP) 05:10.
  • 14. Magnus Backstedt (Swe/C.A) 05:15.
  • 15. Luis Perez Rodriguez (Spa/ONC) 05:17.
  • 16. Stephane Heulot (Fra/FDJ) 05:38.
  • 17. Paolo Savoldelli (Ita/SAE) 06:00.
  • 18. Kevin Livingston (USA/USP) 06:06.
  • 19. Steffen Wesemann (Ger/TEL) 06:08.
  • 20. Erik Dekker (Ned/RAB) 06:09.

    Next stage
    [ image:  ]

    After Monday's rest day, Tuesday is what the Tour is all about as the riders finally reach the Alps.

    The legendary climbs of the Col du Galibier and Col du Telegraphe are followed by an excursion into Italy for the finish.

    The field will split spectacularly on these slopes and one of the better climbers will try to take the initiative in the battle for the yellow jersey.

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