BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Special Events: 2001: Tour de France  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

  Saturday, 28 July, 2001, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
Zabel puts heat on O'Grady
Erik Zabel
Erik Zabel celebrates victory ahead of Stuart O'Grady
Erik Zabel has closed the gap on Stuart O'Grady in the race for the green jersey by winning the penultimate stage of the Tour de France.

Lance Armstrong will enjoy a comfortable ride into Paris in the yellow jersey, but for O'Grady and Zabel the race is on and only two points separate the riders.

"This year there's a big battle for the green jersey but only a small gap," Zabel said following the 93-mile (149km) stage from Orleans to Evry.

"It's good for the spectators but for Stuart and I it's quite stressful."

The German began the day 11 points adrift of O'Grady but managed to claw back four points in the intermediate sprints before a grandstand finish.

Throughout the stage O'Grady had shadowed Zabel following in behind him in both sprints and at the finishing line it was again a Zabel-O'Grady one-two.

But for a moment Zabel thought he had shaken off O'Grady.

As the sprinters jockeyed for position in the finishing straight the German looked round to find O'Grady out of his accustomed position on his wheel but four riders back.

However the Australian recovered and pushed his way ahead of Sven Teutenberg and Romans Vainsteins to take second place and maintain his slight hold on the green jersey.

But for the first sprint of the day, when he came second, Zabel would have taken all the points on offer on the second shortest road stage of the Tour.

O'Grady's Credit Agricole team tried to send riders down the road ahead of both sprints, and in the first of the day Jens Voigt stayed out in front long enough to take the six points on offer.

Behind him however Zabel held off O'Grady for second place.

And at the next sprint, after two Credit Agricole riders were reeled back in, the German repeated the trick pipping O'Grady to first place and the six points on offer.

The status quo remained as the riders crossed the line to set up what promises to be a titanic battle on the Champs Elysees in the final stage.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Simon Brotherton
"Zabel has won a record five green jerseys in a row"
Green jersey holder Stuart O'Grady
"I've given Zabel the best competition he's had for a long time"
Green jersey challenger Erik Zabel
"Second is not a loser"
Yellow jersey holder Lance Armstrong
"The Tour de France is everything to me"
Latest news from the world's biggest cycle race

Latest news

Results and standings

Brotherton's moments

Special features

David Millar's Diary

Sean Yates' view

SPORTS TALK

FORUM

PHOTO GALLERIES

AUDIO VIDEO

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

MAJOR RACES 2001
See also:

28 Jul 01 | Tour de France
Links to more Tour de France stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Tour de France stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales