BBC Home
Explore the BBC
| Help
Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 July, 2005, 15:24 GMT 16:24 UK
Savoldelli takes stage in style
Paolo Savoldelli has won the 17th stage of the Tour de France from Pau to Revel - the longest day of the 2005 race.

The Italian had been in a group of 17 who escaped early in the day, before that split further with 50km to go.

It broke up again close to the finish and Norwegian Kurt-Asle Arvesen hit the front on the home straight before being overhauled by Savoldelli on the line.

Race leader Lance Armstrong came home more than 22 minutes down alongside all his major rivals in a small group.

They stole a lead over the rest of the peloton late in the 239.5km stage on the Cote de St-Ferreol - the same category three climb that saw Savoldelli stamp his authority on the leading group.

A crash on the lower slopes of the climb disrupted the peloton and a host of riders looked to take advantage of the confusion.

Jan Ullrich's best efforts floundered on the fact Mickael Rasmussen was on his shoulder, but the German's team-mate Alexandre Vinokourov prospered.

The Kazakhstan rider benefitted when Floyd Landis and Cadel Evans were caught cold in the secondary group.

He came home with enough of an advantage to leap above the pair into seventh in general classification.

Savoldelli, one of Armstrong's Discovery Channel team-mates, also climbed the rankings, albeit far lower down from 33rd to 24th.

I got on the break because we have to get to the front to control the race and then I went with it to win the stage
Paolo Savoldelli

The Giro d'Italia winner was one of 16 riders to escape from the peloton in dribs and drabs early in the day when they followed the lead of French champion Pierrick Fedrigo in jumping off the front of the field.

They worked well together to open up a lead that peaked at almost 25 minutes, before Erik Dekker chanced his arm with 50km to go.

The Dutchman's attempt backfired when he and compatriot Bram Tankink were pulled back and overhauled by Andriy Grivko.

Savoldelli led the subsequent chase to Grivko, taking six other riders with him to bridge the gap.

They opened up a decisive lead before splintering on the short, sharp Cote de St-Ferreol.

Sebastian Hinault was the first to go only to be well marshalled by Savoldelli, but the pair were caught on the run in to Revel when the Italian sat up in frustration at the lack of effort his French rival was putting into the break.

That was not a criticism that could be levelled at Arvesen.

The Team CSC rider looked to take the initiative and led down the home straight only for Savoldelli to beat him in a sprint and add yet more gloss to the Discovery Channel's efforts at the Tour.

"It couldn't have gone better than this," Savoldelli said. "I got on the break because we in Discovery have to get to the front to control the race and then I went with it to win the stage."

His victory, and a strong showing in the Armstrong group 22 minutes and 28 seconds back, also helped the American team leapfrog rivals T-Mobile at the top of the team standings and enter the final four days of racing with a 37-second lead.

Stage result (Top 10)
1. Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel at 5:41:19
2. Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team CSC at same time
3. Simon Gerrans (Aus) AG2R at eight seconds
4. Sebastien Hinault (Fra) Credit Agricole at 11 seconds
5. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Domina Vacanze at 24 seconds
6. Oscar Sevilla (Spa) T-Mobile at 51 seconds
7. Bram Tankink (Ned) Quick-Step at same time
8. Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre-Caffita at 53 seconds
9. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R at 3:14
10. Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros at same time

Overall standings (Top 10)
1. Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel at 72:55:50
2. Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC at 2:46
3. Mickael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank at 3:09
4. Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile at 5:58
5. Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears at 6:31
6. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner at 7:35
7. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile at 9:38
8. Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto at 9:49
9. Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak at 9:53
10. Christophe Moreau (Fra) Credit Agricole at 12:07

Report: BBC Five Live's Simon Brotherton



The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs | Headlines for your site


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport