|You are in: Other Sports: Cycling|
Saturday, 20 July, 2002, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Millar sprints to victory
David Millar has powered to an unlikely victory on stage 13 of the Tour de France.
The Scot outsprinted the remainder of a five-man breakaway to take the win in Beziers 24 hours after one of the worst days of his brief Tour career.
On Friday, the Cofidis rider lost 40 minutes to Lance Armstrong and fell to 74th overall in the general classification.
But on Saturday he went with the initial break after four kilometres before lifting the tempo and splitting an 11-man group to five only 15 kilometres from the close.
As the remaining five of Millar, Michael Boogerd, David Etxebarria, Laurent Brochard and David Latasa approached the final climb to the line, Brochard led them out but was passed by Millar with 20 metres remaining.
The Scot, whose only previous Tour success was in the prologue in 2000, held off a late threat from Boogerd to take victory.
It marked Britain's first road stage win since 1995 when Max Sciandri triumhed in St Etienne.
Afterwards he said: "I had to do something today. After losing all that time in the mountains I had to show I could come back in style.
"When I saw Jalabert going for it earlier on the stage, I thought, that's it, I'm going. It's an honour to ride with him.
"I knew I was going to win the sprint when it came to it. I was sublime today."
The result, however, did not affect the overall standings as Lance Armstrong came in 10 minutes back. He still leads Joseba Beloki by 2m28s.
Boogerd, Laurent Jalabert and Eddy Mazzoleni led the first break of the day after just four kilometres.
The trio broke up the first ascent of the stage and were caught by Millar instantly, who looked much stronger from the oustet after Friday's tortuous route.
That quartet pulled out a steady advantage over the peloton as did a chasing group of seven riders, including Bobby Julich and Miguel Martinez.
The pursuing septet caught the leading four and lifted the pace still further.
With 50km remaining, they held a 13-minute advantage but were split in half when Millar launched his late attack.
Boogerd, Etxebarria, Latasa and Brochard went with him but Jalabert, leading a break for the third time in as many days, did not have the legs to follow.
The Frenchman finished 11th, 1m10s back, while Australia's Baden Cooke led home the peloton ahead of Robbie McEwen and Erik Zabel.
The result moved McEwen and Zabel level n the green jersey race with 229 points.
Top Cycling stories now:
Links to more Cycling stories are at the foot of the page.