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Sunday, 23 July, 2000, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
Tour winners and losers
Lance in yellow
Armstrong celebrates the result of his hard work
BBC Sport Online's guide to the men who starred and those who flopped during the Millennium Tour de France.

Winners:

Lance Armstrong

What can you say about the American cancer survivor?

In 1999 he was dominant, but the critics complained that it was a weakened field, shorn of the talents of Jan Ullrich and Marco Pantani.

But this year he beat them all - comprehensively. And even if he had not recovered from a near-death experience he would still deserve a place in cycling's hall of fame.

Credit too to Armstrong's US Postal team, who proved the French media doubters comprehensively wrong by proving their strength and being the only team to finish intact.

Erik Zabel

Mario Cipolini was absent injured, and then Tom Steels, Marcel Wust and Stuart O'Grady all pulled out before the Tour's halfway point.

Zabel
Erik Zabel: Historic fifth green jersey
But that should not detract from Zabel's record-breaking fifth green jersey - a feat which has made him one of the sprinting legends of the sport.

He also got the stage win he deserved, after a three-year wait. And everyone in the peloton was delighted because it proved that nice guys do win.

Santiago Botero and Kelme

Columbia's second King of the Mountains emulated the feat of Luis Herrera, who took the polka dot jersey twice in the 1980s.

Botero wins stage
Santiago Botero and Kelme have had a great Tour
Botero also won the eight-hour marathon stage into the Alps, and all this in his first Tour.

The Kelme team were sensational in the mountains, and would have been sorely missed had they not received their wild card invitation to the party.

The young Spaniards

Spain has stage winner Javier Otxoa, third-placed Joseba Beloki and best young rider Francisco Mancebo.

Such a haul was superb for a country where the more established homegrown and adopted riders were such a disappointment.

Their triumph represented the wind of change blowing through the sport.

David Millar

The 23-year-old Briton was the first yellow jersey of the race, and the youngest finisher at the end in Paris.

Millar
Britain's David Millar finishes his first Tour strongly
He still has two years to seek the white jersey, let alone set his sights on the yellow one.

Whisper it quietly British fans, but he could be the Tour de France contender you have been waiting for.

Rabobank and Erik Dekker

Erik Dekker
Dekker: Tears for souvenirs after three stage wins
The Dutch team were the race's best opportunists and only Kelme attacked more over the three weeks.

Dekker must know all about waiting for buses. After six Tours without a stage win, this emotional hero took three in just over a week.

Losers

Seven teams failed to win a stage but three that that did enjoy brief success posessed team leaders who flopped in style.

These are the men who would prefer to forget Tour 2000.

ONCE, Laurent Jalabert and Abraham Olano

OK, they won the team time trial - handing Jalabert a brief spell in yellow - but after that what happened to Spain's superteam?

Laurent Jalabert
Jalaberet wore yellow but ended in a lowly position
Jalabert and Olano spoke confidently of a real challenge, and both finished well outside the top 30 never mind the top 10.

And from a starting number of nine, four finishers is a disaster for a squad which prides itself on dominant, organised tactics.

Expect the chequebook to come out. Some of the successful younger Spaniards such as Beloki, Mancebo and Otxoa could be on the winter shopping list.

Alex Zulle

Last year's runner-up had a nightmare, even without one of his trademark crashes.

Alex Zulle
Zulle: From 1999 runner-up to major flop
Like Jalabert and Olano, one of the Spanish scene's biggest stars looks to be part of a generation which has had its day.

Only Mancebo's white jersey saved Banesto's race, with low-budget Spanish outfit Kelme taking the team award ahead of this big money squad.

But then ONCE and Banesto are the Barcelona and Real Madrid of Spanish cycling - and neither of them won the Primera Liga in 2000. So Kelme must be the Deportivo La Coruna of the sport.

Frank Vandenbroucke

The Belgian star quit the Tour, officially because of a physical injury.

However a complete lack of results this season has not helped his bad boy image, and nor have the reports of this supposed elite athlete smoking cigarettes in the team hotel.

The best advice for "VDB" is probably for him to seek the help of a psychologist as well as an inevitable change of team in the winter.

Good and bad

Jan Ullrich

The German's early season lack of training and racing cost him dear during the first two weeks.

But strong performances in the final days left him the only man to remotely challenge Armstrong's victory, and gave him runners-up spot on two stages as well as in the overall.

But he can do better, and must if he is to repeat his 1997 Tour win.

Marco Pantani

The rebirth of the Italian came at Courcheval with a mountain-top win from the top drawer.

Marco Pantani
Pantani was reborn but then abandoned
He also deserved the controversial victory on the Ventoux despite Armstrong later regretting the gift.

But his 13-minute time loss into Morzine and subsequent disappearance left a few people scratching their heads.

His next aim is the Olympics, which will provide the Italians with a real reason to get behind their famous squadra.

Richard Virenque

The Frenchman did not win his basic Tour target, the polka dot jersey, but he did take a stage with characteristic verve.

He is almost certain to never realise his dream of winning the Tour, but after the dark days of 1998 the French are just glad he is still around.

See also:

12 Jul 00 | Tour de France
21 Jul 00 | Tour de France
14 Jul 00 | Tour de France
12 Jul 00 | Tour de France
28 Jun 00 | Tour de France
21 Jul 00 | Tour de France
19 Jul 00 | Tour de France
21 Jul 00 | Tour de France
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