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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 July, 2004, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Stage four: as it happened
Guide to stage four

Stage Four: Cambrai to Arras - 64.5km

Action from day five of the 2004 Tour de France - the team time trial.

Leading positions:

1 US Postal 1:12:03
1 Phonak Hearing Systems at one minute seven seconds
2 Illes Balears at one minute 15 seconds


1607: US Postal are the clear winners of today's stage, despite the awful weather, clocking one hour 12 minutes and three seconds to finish well ahead of second-placed Phonak Hearing Systems. The win is almost certain to give Lance Armstrong the yellow jersey.

1604: The Fassa Bortolo team are way off the pace, their time of one hour 14 minutes 55.69 seconds being only good enough for ninth. US Postal are the only team yet to finish.

1600: The US Postal team are well set to win today's team time trial - and in the process give Lance Armstrong the yellow jersey - after reaching the third time checkpoint more than one minute earlier than the Illes Belears team.

1559: Team CSC are now fourth, finishing in one hour 13 minutes 49 seconds.

1553: Tyler Hamilton's Phonak Hearing Systems have produced a great finish, despite losing riders from their leading train throughout the ride. Five riders - including Hamilton - cross the line, and their one hour 13 minutes 10 seconds is enough to give them the lead.

1549: Rabobank are the new third place team, having clocked made up some good time over the latter part of the course to clock one hour 13 minutes 56 seconds.

1543: Jan Ullrich's T-Mobile team are in second place after clocking one hour 13 minutes 22 seconds - leaving Illes Balears as the leaders.

1542: Lance Armstrong's US Postal team pass the second time checkpoint in 46 minutes 30.75 seconds - the fastest team to reach the second checkpoint by some 28 seconds.

1538: Liberty Seguros, who caught FDJeux.com, finish in one hour 14 minutes 28 seconds - just enough to pip Euskaltel and take second place.

1535: The Liberty Seguros team has overtaken the FDJeux.com team - a real surprise as FDJeux.com began five minutes ahead of them.

1527: Tyler Hamilton's Phonak team are in third place at the second time checkpoint.

1523: The US Postal team are fifth at the first time checkpoint, 37 seconds down on Illes Balears.

1518: The Illes Balears team take a clear lead, finishing the course in one hour 13 minutes 18 seconds - more than one minute ahead of Euskaltel.

1517: Jan Ullrich's T-Mobile team cross the second time checkpoint - but they are 11 seconds behind the Illes Balears team.

1509: Tyler Hamilton's Phonak team lose three riders from their train, and are forced to slow down to allow them to catch up - good news for the US Postal team.

1506: Brioches La Boulangere finish, but they are not troubling the leaders.

1500: The Alessio team - who led at the first and second time checkpoints - finish in one hour 15 minutes exactly. It is enough to put them third overall.

1457: Robbie McEwen's Lotto Domo team finish well off the pace - and that is likely to mean that the Australian will surrender the yellow jersey at the end of the day.

1454: Lance Armstrong's US Postal team - winner's of last year's team time trial get underway. They are the last team to begin their challenge.

1449: Saeco finish in one hour 14 minutes 39 seconds - just one second slower than Euskaltel. Almost simultaneously, the Fassa Bortolo team begin their ride.

1443: Cofidis come in, but their time is way behind the other teams. One hours 17 minutes 37 seconds is the final time, nearly three minutes behind Euskaltel.

1440: Tyler Hamilton's Phonak Hearing Systems team get their bid underway - and the rain shows no sign of easing off.

1435: Credit Agricole are the second team to finish, but they are well down on Euskaltel, clocking one hour 15 minutes and 35 seconds - almost one minute slower than their rivals.

1429: Euskaltel are the first team to cross the finish line in one hour 14 minutes and 38 seconds - meanwhile Alessio-Bianchi have slowed as they reach the second checkpoint in a time slower than Euskaltel's.

1423: Euskaltel reach the third time checkpoint, while the Alessio-Bianchi team are still the quickest through the first checkpoint.

1416: Gerolsteiner, 11th overall in the team competition get their ride underway. The rain is near-torrential, and these deteriorating condiditons are likely to benefit those teams who began earlier.

1410: Alessio-Bianchi pass the first time checkpoint 30 seconds faster than Euskaltel - the previous fastest team.

1405: The Spanish Illes Balears-Banesto team get their ride underway in heavy rain.

1352: With three teams having passed the first time checkpoint, Euskaltel are leading at 22 minutes seven seconds, with Credit Agricole 13 seconds behing and Cofidis a further two seconds down.

1340: Yellow jersey wearer Robbie McEwen and the rest of the Lotto-Domo riders get into the action in what are increasingly wet conditions.

1335: Former Giro d'Italia winner Gilberto Simoni gets off the blocks at Cambrai with the rest of his Saeco team. Cofidis, Credit Agricole and Euskaltel are already on the route.

1315 BST: Euskaltel-Euskadi start the team time trial. The teams go in reverse order so the Basque team head off first after their dire day on Tuesday, in which they lost almost four minutes to Lance Armstrong.






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