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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 July 2006, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Landis roars back with epic win
Floyd Landis
Landis produces a tremendous fightback on Thursday
Floyd Landis sensationally rode back into contention for the yellow jersey with a dramatic solo win on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

After losing more than 10 minutes on Wednesday, Landis bounced back to move within 30 seconds of leader Oscar Pereiro and rival Carlos Sastre.

Sastre came home second to close the gap on Pereiro to 12 seconds, with Landis now well placed in third.

The American could still win the Tour with Saturday's time-trial to come.

Landis had looked dead and buried at the start of the stage, which he started more than eight minutes adrift of his rivals after his final climb collapse on Wednesday.

I have come here to win the Tour and I am not done fighting yet

Floyd Landis
But he relaunched his bid for the yellow jersey in spectacular style, attacking the peloton 130km from the finish.

His solo raid allowed him to climb the fifth of the day's climbs, the unclassified Col de la Joux Plane, on his own and he came over the summit with a five-minute lead on Spaniard Sastre.

Landis finished the race seven minutes and eight seconds ahead of Pereiro, who retained the jersey by the narrowest of margins.

"I have come here to win the Tour and I am not done fighting yet," said Landis, who lost the leader's yellow jersey on Wednesday.

Nick H
"It does not look so bad for me at the moment and I am confident in my time trialling.

"I want to win the tour. If I had a bad day, I had to make up for it. Whoever wants to win this race has to earn it."

Landis burst ahead of the main pack in the first of three tough ascents, leaving his only breakaway companion Patrik Sinkewitz of T-Mobile at the foot of the climb to Joux Plane.

The American went on to complete the 200km stage from Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Morzine in five hours, 23 minutes and 36 seconds.

Sastre, who entered the stage in second place, finished 5:42 behind in second.

France's Christophe Moreau was third, 5:58 back, and Pereiro was seventh.

Denmark's Michael Rasmussen now has an unassailable lead in the King of the Mountains standings.

Results of stage 17:
1. Floyd Landis (US / Phonak ) 5 hours 23 minutes 36 seconds
2. Carlos Sastre (Spain / Team CSC ) +5:42
3. Christophe Moreau (France / AG2R ) +5:58
4. Damiano Cunego (Italy / Lampre ) +6:40
5. Michael Boogerd (Netherlands / Rabobank ) +7:08
6. Fraenk Schleck (Luxembourg / Team CSC )
7. Oscar Pereiro (Spain / Caisse d'Epargne )
8. Andreas Kloeden (Germany / T-Mobile )
9. Haimar Zubeldia (Spain / Euskaltel )
10. Cadel Evans (Australia / Davitamon - Lotto ) +7:20
Selected others:
60. David Millar (GB/Saulnier) +43:44"
124. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Cofidis) +52:13

General classification:
1. Oscar Pereiro (Spain / Caisse d'Epargne ) 80 hours 8 minutes 49 seconds
2. Carlos Sastre (Spain / Team CSC ) +0.12 minutes
3. Floyd Landis (US / Phonak ) +0.30
4. Andreas Kloeden (Germany / T-Mobile ) +2:29
5. Cadel Evans (Australia / Davitamon - Lotto ) +3:08
6. Denis Menchov (Russia / Rabobank ) +4:14
7. Cyril Dessel (France / AG2R ) +4:24
8. Christophe Moreau (France / AG2R ) +5:45
9. Haimar Zubeldia (Spain / Euskaltel ) +8:16
10. Michael Rogers (Australia / T-Mobile ) +12:13
Selected others:
61. David Millar (GB/Saulnier) +2 hrs 00:20"
129. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Cofidis) +3hrs 19:19"

Stage 17 as it happened
20 Jul 06 |  Cycling
Tour de France stage 17 photos
20 Jul 06 |  Cycling

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