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Sunday, 16 July, 2000, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Stage 15 roadwatch
Marco Pantani
Pantani in Briancon before the start of Sunday's stage
Live coverage of day 15 in the Tour de France - the daunting 173.5 kilometres from Briancon to Corchevel.

Latest news first, click refresh for updates and scroll down for earlier action (All times British Summer Time).

16:57 Pantani is given a bit of a scare when a spectator dressed in a Kelme outfit rides out from behind the barriers, but even he is left behind as the Pirate claims first place and Jimenez second.

16:55 Pantani is now just 1km away from a famous victory. Jimenez is in second and Armstrong, Heras, Nardello and Botero are together with third place to fight for.

16:50 Pantani flies past Jimenez with 3km left. The Spaniard is desperately trying to hold onto Pantani's wheel.

16:44 For the first time in the Tour this year Armstrong is unable to go with a Pantani attack. The Italian is now in second, as Armstrong's group is joined by Nardello. Pantani is only 20" behind Jimenez with less than 5km to go.

16:41 Sensing the threat of the Pantani group, Jose Maria Jimenez attacks, Nardello responds but Botero is left behind. A second surge from Jimenez shakes off Nardello too.

16:39 Pantani, Armstrong and Heras are now only 35" behind the leaders as they fly past Elli, one of the original breakaway group.

16:33 Armstrong and Pantani have been joined by Kelme's Roberto Heras, and are now only 1'25" behind the Botero group. Ullrich is a further 1'10" down the road.

16:25 Virenque is dropped as Pantani and Armstrong continue to storm up the mountain at an incredible speed - now only 2'07 behind the leaders.

16:20 Three minutes down on the leading trio, the inevitable happens. Pantani attacks and rips the 25-man yellow group apart. Virenque and Armstrong respond, but Ullrich, Beloki, Escartin, Moreau et al are left behind.

16:15 With an eye on a podium finish in Paris, Botero bursts away. Only Jimenez and Nardello can go with him.

15:57 The leading five are now 27km from the finish. The final climb is 22.2km, the longest of this year's Tour, with an average gradient of 6.2% - perfect perhaps for a famous Pantani charge?

15:54 With Botero moving up the overall leaderboard 'on the road', Virenque's Polti team and Pantani's Mercatone Uno team-mates start to organise the chase. Virenque was the winner when the Tour came to Courchevel for the first time in 1997, with Ullrich second.

15:45 Armstrong's group is 3'37" behind the five leaders, while a five-man pack - Vincente Garcia-Acosta of Banesto, Rabobank's Michael Boogerd, the ONCE pair Marcos Serrano and Peter Luttenberger and Kurt Van de Wouwer of Lotto - are 1'40" off the front.

15:32 The front three, Lelli, Nardello and Jimenez, are joined by the Kelme pair, Otxoa and Botero. The five leaders are 2'38" ahead of the yellow group. There are 48km to go.

15:24 With the entire field enjoying the respite offered by the long descent, Jimenez, Lelli and Nardello lead Botero and Otxoa by 28". Garcia-Acosta, Luttenberger and Van de Wouwer are 1'50" behind, Serrano is at 2'00" and the yellow group at 2'20".

15:13 Armstrong goes over the top of the Madeleine in a small group led by Virenque. They are 1'20" behind the leading four as they begin the 26km descent to the foot of the day's last challenge, the climb to Courchevel.

15:10 Lelli leads Otxoa, Nardello and Jimenez over the summit of the Col du Madeleine, but Botero crosses the top only 48" behind.

15:06 Botero, who already holds a huge lead in the King of the Mountains competition, is gaining fast on the four leaders - now only 1'12" behind. Armstrong and co. are at 2'04".

14:59 Armstrong's group, now only 13 riders, sweeps past the remnants of the earlier attacks. Further up the road Botero and Garcia-Acosta have dropped Arrieta. They are now 5th and 6th on the road and only 1'47" behind the leading quartet.

14:51 Garcia-Acosta drops out of the lead group, leaving four riders up front 3'05" ahead of the elite pack grouped around Armstrong.

14:48 Santiago Botero, the winner of Saturday's stage and currently the polka-dot jersey wearer, attacks and quickly puts some distance between himself and the yellow jersey group.

14:45 Jan Ullrich attacks. Fernando Escartin goes with the German but Armstrong's team-mate Kevin Livingstone helps the peloton close the gap.

14:44 Arrieta loses touch with the front group, leaving five riders at the front of the stage.

14:44 A chasing group comprising Atienza, Robin, Moncoutie, Van de Wouwer, Beltran and Serrano have broken away from the peloton.

14:30 The early leader, Commesso, and Vidal are now 22" behind the front six - Lelli, Garcia-Acosta, Jimenez, Arrieta, Nardello and Otxoa - and clearly suffering.

14:26 With the leading pack now well into the painful 19.3km ascent of the Col du Madeleine, Commesso and Vidal are struggling to keep up.

14:13 With the leaders now 5'15" in front, the Telekom and Festina teams have moved to the front of the peloton to lead the chase. They have the riders in 2nd and 3rd overall at the start of today's stage - Ullrich and Beloki - and must respond to Otxoa's attack.

14:07 The results of the day's first intermediate sprint at Saint-Avre (89.5km):
1. Lelli (Cofidis) 6pts
2. Commesso (Saeco) 4pts
3. Garcia-Acosta (Banesto) 2pts.

14:04 ONCE rider David Etxebarria retires at a feedzone. The Spaniard won two stages in last year's Tour. The peloton is now 5'00" behind the leading eight.

13:57 The winner of stage 10, the epic climb to Lourdes-Hautacam, Otxoa is the best-placed overall of the eight leaders. He began the day in 12th place, 12'33" off Armstrong's lead.

13:45 Saeco's Commesso has been reeled in by the hard-working chasing pack, and they are now 2'03'' ahead of the peloton. Alongside the Saeco rider, Banesto are represented by Jimenez, Garcia-Acosta and Arrieta, climbing specialists Kelme have Vidal and Otxoa, while Mapei has Nardello and Cofidis is counting on Lelli.

13:44 Commesso's effort is in vain as the seven chasers close in on him. Otxoa and Garcia-Acosta will be starting to think about the possibility of their second stage victories in this year's Tour.

13:37 Still pushing hard, Commesso has marginally stretched his lead to 45" over the seven-man chase. The peloton is now 1'15" adrift.

13:32 Of the eight riders that have escaped the peloton, three are Italian - Commesso, Nardello and Lelli - and five are Spanish - Garcia-Acosta, Jimenez, Vidal, Arrieta and Otxoa.

13:10 Commesso takes a 40" lead ahead of the chasing group of riders heading to the Cors de Telegraphe at the 50km mark.

12:57 Kelme riders Javier Pascual Llorente and Jiminez trail Pascal Herve and Salvatore Commesso as the riders begin the 36km descent of Col du Galibier.

12:51 A breakaway group of 14 establish themselves from the rest of the peloton, including three Banesto riders.

12:38 After a period of attacks and counter-attacks, Kelme's Javier Otxoa makes a break and is pursued by Banesto's Miguel Jiminez.

12:05 After a cagey start, the race hots up as ONCE rider Laurent Jalabert makes an attack 20 kilometres from summit of the first climb, the Col du Galibier. The Frenchman, however, is soon caught by the peloton.

11:23 The remaining 141 riders leave France's highest city Briancon to start stage 15 of Le Tour.

See also:

15 Jul 00 | Tour de France
15 Jul 00 | Tour de France
15 Jul 00 | Photo Galleries
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