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Last Updated: Friday, 15 July, 2005, 11:42 GMT 12:42 UK
Racewatch: Le Tour stage 13

Robbie McEwen wins his third stage of this year's Tour in a bunched sprint finish in Montpellier.

The Australian, who also won stages five and seven, pips compatriot Stuart O'Grady after the peloton catch the leaders inside the final 500m.

Race leader Lance Armstrong retains his overall lead of 38 seconds over Dane Mikael Rasmussen.

But Alejandro Valverde, fifth in the standings, is forced to pull out with tendinitis in his knee.

1613 BST: The two leaders are caught in the final 300m and Robbie McEwen pips fellow Australian Stuart O'Grady in a sprint finish to claim the stage victory.

1611 BST: Sylvain Chavanel and Chris Horner continue to hold a 10-second lead inside the final 2km.

1606 BST: The peloton catch the remaining four riders in the earlier breakaway group, with the bunch now 20 seconds behind the leading duo.

1600 BST: Chavanel tries to put distance between him and the rest, but Chris Horner joins him in a final attack.

1558 BST: Sylvain Chavanel of the Cofidis team becomes the first rider to catch the leading group of five, with just over 12km left.

1546 BST: Servais Knaven (Quick Step) takes off at the front of the peloton, forging a 10-second advantage over the bunch led by the Davitamon-Lotto team as they enter the final 18km.

1538 BST:The lead is down to 50 seconds with less than 35km to go.

1522 BST: The Davitamon-Lotto team briefly slowed their pace at the front of the peloton to ensure they don't catch the leaders too early, but step it up again to reduce the gap to one-and-a-half minutes.

1509 BST: The peloton is closing hard on the leading five riders, the gap now down to two minutes with 46km to go.

1455 BST: The leading group are now just 3'05" ahead of the peloton, led by the Davitamon-Lotto and Lampre-Caffita teams.

1439 BST: With 70km to go, the peloton looks as if it will reel in the leading bunch, with the gap now down to 3'40".

1430 BST: Result of second intermediate sprint at Moussac:
1. Juan Antonio Flecha (FAS) 6pts
2. Carlos Da Cruz (FDJ) 4pts
3. Chris Horner (SDV) 2pts

1420 BST: The leading group of five see their advantage over the peloton reduced to five minutes.

1413 BST: Valverde, who was leading the Best Young Rider classification but has been suffering for the past two days, steps into the Illes Balears team car in the feedzone to confirm his withdrawal from the Tour.

1410 BST: Spaniard Alejandro Valverde, who beat Lance Armstrong to victory on the first mountain stage to Courchevel, is at the back of the peloton and is going to retire with a knee injury.

1357 BST: Robbie McEwen's Davitamon-Lotto team are at the head of the peloton as it closes the gap on the five escapees to six minutes, 40 seconds.

1342 BST: The peloton close the gap on the leading five riders to seven minutes and 35 seconds after an hour and 10 minutes of the stage.

1336 BST: With the lead of the escape group stretching to nearly nine minutes, the peloton appears to be taking action. The Davitamon-Lotto and Lampre-Caffita teams come to the front of the bunch, now strung out in one long line.

1327 BST: The leading group of five extend their lead over the peloton to more than seven minutes as they pass the 41km mark in Tarascon.

1312 BST: Robbie McEwen goes to the rear of the peloton to consult the race doctor, although the reason is unclear.

1305 BST: Result of the Col de la Vayede climb at the 26.5km mark, with the peloton now 3 minutes 20 seconds behind:
1. Chris Horner (SDV) 3pts
2. Carlos Da Cruz (FDJ) 2pts
3. Ludovic Turpin (A2R) 1pt

1300 BST: The five escapees extend their lead over the peloton to over two minutes.

1255 BST: Result of the first intermediate sprint in Maussane-les-Alpilles:
1. Thomas Voeckler (BTL) 6pts
2. Carlos Da Cruz (FDJ) 4pts
3. Ludovic Turpin (A2R) 2pts

1250 BST: Five riders - Carlos Da Cruz (FDJ), Juan Antonio Flecha (FAS), Chris Horner (SDV), Thomas Voeckler (BTL) and Ludovic Turpin (A2R) - escape and establish a 25-second lead over the peloton as they approach the first intermediate sprint.

1243 BST: The peloton, headed by Lance Armstrong's Discovery Channel team, reel in the two escapees and are bunched together as they pass the 12.5km mark.

1237 BST: An early attack by Manuel Quinziato and Sebastian Lang sees them open up a 15-second lead over the peloton.

1231 BST: Temperatures of 31C greet the 162 riders still left as they set off.



Tour de France stage 13 photos
15 Jul 05 |  Photo Galleries

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