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  Sunday, 29 July, 2001, 15:31 GMT 16:31 UK
Armstrong lands Tour hat-trick
Lance Armstrong on the Champs Elysees in the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe
Armstrong stays clear of danger on the Champs Elysees
Lance Armstrong has won the Tour de France in Paris after more than 88 hours in the saddle over the three weeks of cycling's toughest race.

The American was never in danger of losing his big lead in the overall standings on a final day into Paris that was dominated by the race for the green jersey.

Erik Zabel started the 160 kilometre stage, between Corbeil-Essonnes and the French capital, two points behind Stuart O'Grady in the points classification.

Jan Svorada crosses the line ahead of Erik Zabel
Svorada celebrates victory ahead of Zabel (pink jersey)
Jan Svorada won the stage on the Champs Elysees, and behind him the German pipped O'Grady into second to win the green jersey by 12 points.

The start of the final day is a celebratory one for the riders.

But for Zabel and O'Grady there were points to be won and they steered clear of the champagne Armstrong sipped in celebration of his victory.

After 28.5 kilometres the pair drew level in the overall standings after the German crossed the line ahead of the Australian in the first intermediate sprint of the stage.

And Zabel repeated the trick after 78 kilometres to open up a four point advantage heading onto the Champs Elysees where the riders completed 10 laps of a 10 kilometre circuit in front of thousands of supporters.

  Tour winners
Overall: Lance Armstrong
Points: Erik Zabel
Mountains: Laurent Jalabert
Young rider: Oscar Sevilla
Team: Kelme
Custom dictates that the leader's team heads the peloton on the first lap, and kitted out in yellow gloves and boots in honour of Armstrong, US Postal duly led the way.

However on the second lap the attacks came and a group of riders broke away.

Over the intervening eight circuits the number of riders at the head of the field fluctuated, but by the bell that heralds the start of the final lap, a group of seven were still out in front.

But the peloton continued to eat into their lead and by the time the finishing line was in sight the sprinters were jockeying for position and the honour of a stage win in Paris.

Lance Armstrong has a swig of champagne on the road to Paris
Armstrong has a celebratory drink of champagne
Svorada powered to the line after almost four hours of riding to claim victory.

And behind him Zabel mirrored his joy in claiming a sixth successive green jersey ahead of a disconsolate O'Grady.

In the body of the peloton Armstrong rolled over the line in 70th place for a third yellow jersey.

The American was joined on the podium by Germany's Jan Ullrich and Joseba Beloki of Spain who took second and third respectively for a second successive year.

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


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