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Tuesday, 11 July, 2000, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Dekker's double delight
Botero and Dekker
Front-runners: Botero and Dekker led the peleton home
Dutchman Erik Dekker won stage 11 of the Tour de France - his second success in the space of four days.

He headed off the challenge of Colombian Santiago Botero to win the 218.5km stage from Bagneres-de-Bigorre to Revel.

Belgium's Rik Verbrugghe was third - and British hopeful David Millar claimed an excellent fourth place after a brave ride which saw him sustain an early puncture.

American Lance Armstrong retained the yellow jersey that he had grabbed in stunning style during the first trip into the mountains on Monday.

Dekker's victory came hot on the heels of his triumph in stage eight on Saturday, which was his first ever Tour success in seven years of trying.

He and Botero assumed control of the stage after the second climb and their lead over the peloton was never threatened.

Superior sprint

Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong: Still has the yellow jersey
During the final finish, the Colombian, who had tried to move ahead at the 2km mark, had no answer to Dekker's superior sprint.

Dekker won in five hours, six minutes, 47 seconds.

Tour leader Armstrong finished in 24th place, five minutes, five seconds behind Dekker, but clocked the same time as Germany's Jan Ullrich, who is second in the standings.

Armstrong's lead was not threatened by the performances of Dekker or Botero.

Botero had started the day in 45th place, 17:40 behind American Armstrong, while the 28-year-old Dekker was a distant 61st.

Front two

Erik Dekker
Erik Dekker: Another triumph
Speaking shortly after his sprint finish victory, Dekker said: "I knew that he (Botero) was going to attack on the final climb and I really went through the pain barrier to stay with him.

"I don't think he chose the right moment to turn around and look at me because when he did I just smiled back at him to fool him into thinking that I was stronger than I really was," he said.

With Dekker still on his wheel after the final climb, Botero realised the stage win was not going to be his.

"I couldn't shake him off and had given up hope of winning the stage once we started the descent," the Kelme rider said.

Riders have a rest day on Wednesday before Thursday's 12th leg, a 149km course, which includes a tough climb up Mont Ventoux.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Erik Dekker
"It just got better and better"
The BBC's Simon Brotherton
"Neither Dekker nor Botero is a threat to the race leader, Lance Armstrong"
See also:

11 Jul 00 | Tour de France
10 Jul 00 | Tour de France
10 Jul 00 | Tour de France
09 Jul 00 | Tour de France
07 Jul 00 | Tour de France
06 Jul 00 | Tour de France
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