Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan wins Wednesday's 11th stage of the Tour de France - a gruelling 172km Alpine slog from Courchevel to Briancon.
The T-Mobile rider out-sprints Colombian Santiago Botero, of Phonak, in the final 500m to win by a second in four hours 47 minutes and 38 seconds.
France's Christophe Moreau edges a chasing group that includes Lance Armstrong to take third in 4:48.53.
Armstrong finishes sixth - good enough to see him retain the yellow jersey.
1605: After all that has happened it comes down to the final sprint. The leading pair play cat and mouse over the closing kilometre. Vinokourov explodes 500m out and crosses the line first. He punches the air in delight as his reputation as an ironman is restored after Tuesday's disappointing opening day in the Alps.
1600: Botero edges ahead to win the second intermediate sprint of the day (at the 162km mark), Vino is second followed by Jose Azevedo, who leads the chasing group.
Confirmation of the points won:
1. Santiago Botero (PHO) 6pts
2. Alexandre Vinokourov (TMO) 4pts
3. Jose Azevedo (DSC) 2pts
1557: The sensor that records a rider's time comes lose on Vino's bike and it is hovering dangerously close to his spokes. The T-Mobile team car moves alongside and the mechanic solves the problem - by cutting it off.
1555: With just 15km to go, Botero and Vino lead the peloton by two minutes 15 seconds. Discovery remain comfortably in control of the pack as the riders close in on the picturesque town of Briancon.
1550: As clouds gather overhead, the two leading riders pass the 20km-to-go mark. Both have won Tour stages before and, interestingly, Santiago Botero's inaugural stage victory was in here in Briancon in 2000.
1540: The peloton, headed by five Discovery riders, trail Vinokourov and Botero by two minutes 30 seconds.
1537: Botero catches stage leader Vinokourov on the descent down the Col du Lautaret.
1525: Rabobank's Mickael Rasmussen breaks away from the peloton on the approach to the summit and goes over third to ensure he stays ahead in the King of the Mountain standings. The Dane then sets about chasing the leaders on the 30km descent into Briancon but is quickly caught by Armstrong's Discovery group.
At the summit of the Col du Galibier the points were won by:
1. Vinokourov (TMO) 40pts
2. Botero (PHO) 36pts - at 42"
3. Rasmussen (RAB) 32pts - at 2¿25"
4. Moreau (C.A) 28pts - at 2¿40"
5. Azevedo (DSC) 26pts
6. Savoldelli (DSC) 18pts
7. Popovych (DSC) 16pts
8. Armstrong (DSC) 14pts
9. Jaksche (LSW) 12pt
s 10. Evans (DVL) 10pts
1524: Vinokourov's lead is cut to two minutes 50 seconds as he approaches the final, and steepest, stage of the climb.
1520: Vinokourov has 5km to go before he reaches the summit. He now leads Botero by 36 seconds and the peloton by three minutes and five seconds.
1510: Periero is finally caught by the peloton.
1500: With 7km to go to the summit, Alexandre Vinokourov now leads the stage from Botero by 25 seconds and Pereiro by two minutes 20 seconds. The peloton are a further 30 seconds back.
1445: Peloton pacesetters Discovery step it up and begin to reel the leading trio in. The front-runners' advantage is cut back to three minutes again.
1445: The leaders stretch their advantage to three-and-a-half minutes.
1440: Three minutes splits the breakaway group from the peloton as the riders speed through Valloire. But the pace is sure to slow as they begin the 18km ascent of the Col du Galibier - which at 2645m is the highest climb on this year's Tour.
1435: Botero is first to reach the top of the Col du Telegraphe, followed by Vinokourov then Pereiro.
1430: Martinez slips back and is caught by the peloton.
1427: The climb takes no prisoners and Stefano Zanini of Quick Step runs out of gas and quits.
1415: With 5km to go to the top of the Col de Telegraphe, the breakaway group once again stretch their lead over the peloton to more than two minutes.
1415: Botero rejoins the front two. The trio's lead has now been reduced to one minute 45 seconds.
1411: Vinokourov and Pereiro are now 20 seconds ahead of Botero. Martinez is 35 seconds back and the peloton a further two minutes back. Discovery's George Hincapie leads the pack.
1405: Martinez falls away from the leading group, leaving Botero, Vinokourov and Pereiro out on front. They hold a two-minute advantage over the peloton, which is headed by yellow jersey Armstrong's Discovery team.
1358: The riders have now completed 93km of the 11th Stage. Armstrong and Discovery appear to have the peloton well under control as they continue to defend the yellow jersey. Up front, Vinokourov wins the intermediate sprint from Martinez and Pereiro.
1341: With 90km to go, the riders have all passed through the feed zone. Yellow jersey-wearer Armstrong removes his left shoe on exiting the feed zone and appears to adjust the inner-sole.
1335: A four-man group - Pereiro, Botero, Martinez and Vinokourov - have a one-and-a-half minute lead over the peloton, which is headed by the Discovery Channel team.
1320: Confirmation of the points won for the first Hors Category climb:
1. Botero (PHO) 20 points
2. Vinokourov (TMO) 18
3. Pereiro Sio (PHO) 16
4. Martinez (EUS) 14
5. Moreau (C.A) 12
6. Rasmussen (RAB) 10
7. Beltran (DSC) 8
8. Rubiera (DSC) 7
9. Azevedo (DSC) 6
10. Hincapie (DSC) 5
1315: Thankfully Pereiro appears to be OK. The Spaniard is back on his bike and chasing down the leaders - the crash barriers that line the mountain's side look to have done their job.
1310: The riders pour over the summit and the lightning-quick descent begins. Pereiro is the first casualty as he overcooks a right turn and goes flying over the edge.
1305: A huge crowd cheers the riders to the summit. Santiago Botero is first over the top, followed by Vinokourov. Botero wins a welcome 20 bonus points for his Phonak team
1300: With 4km to go to the summit, Hushovd slips back to the peloton. Vinokourov, Martinez, Pereiro and Botero are now battling for the lead.
1249: Hushovd has been caught by a group of six that includes Vinokourov. Armstrong's Discovery Channel team lead the main peloton. With just 5km to go to the summit Hushovd, who is not a noted climber, has his work cut out to hold on.
1240: With 9km left to the summit, the famous Red Devil fan makes his appearance - but it's a bit of a shock - this year the German Tour fanatic is kitted out in bright green. Apparently it's because he's being sponsored by an environmentally friendly diesel company. Makes sense!
1240: Alejandro Valverde, winner of Tuesday's Tour, drops back to talk to his team doctor. It's not clear what's up but he appears to take some medication, washed down with water, and the Baleares rider is soon on his way again. Meanwhile, Liberty Seguros' Joseba Beloki is one of several riders dropped by the peloton as the gruelling gradient of Madeleine really starts to bite.
1236: Domoulin is caught by the attacking group.
1233: The 10 chasers - Vinokourov, Mancebo, Caucchioli, Pereiro, Martinez, Sevilla, Arrieta, Botero, Horner and Heras - are around three minutes behind Hushovd and one-and-a-half minutes off Dumoulin.
1217: The first Hors Category climb of this year's Tour begins to take its toll and AG2R team leader Jean-Patrick Nazon quits the race. Nazon finished second last on Tuesday to slip to 172nd in the overall standings.
1210: Around 28km in, Dumoulin and Hushovd increase their advantage to more than six minutes. But Phonak's Oscar Pereiro breaks away from the peloton and starts an attack on the pacesetting duo. Six other riders decide to go with him, including Credit Agricole's Pietro Caucchioli and Alexandre Vinokourov of T-Mobile.
1200: Boonen is now back in the peloton. Meanwhile, up front, Dumoulin and Hushovd have stretched their lead to more than four minutes as the scenic 25.4km climb to the top of the 2000m Col de la Madeleine begins.
1145: Quick Step's doctor Gerard Porte is leaning out of the team car and treating Boonen on the move. It looks as though the Belgian has hurt his right knee.
1140: Boonen's team-mate Guido Trenti is helping to pace the green jersey holder back to the peloton. AG2R's Samuel Dumoulin and Thor Hushovd, of Credit Agricole, have mounted the first attack and are now leading the peloton by 55 seconds.
1135: Disaster strikes for points leader Boonen. The Quick Step man crashes 7km into the fast descent and takes a few minutes to recover and get back on his bike. He looks to be in some pain and now faces a battle to get back in touch with the pack. It's hard to know exactly what happened, but the most likely explanation is he made contact with another rider's wheels. But no one else bites the dust.
1120: The stage is underway.The peloton is being led by Juan Manuel Garate and Salvatore Commesso as they speed 19km downhill to Moutiers. Overall leader Armstrong, green jersey holder Tom Boonen and Mickael Rasmussen, the leading climber, are all up near the front.
1115: The peloton is currently rolling through the 2.3km neutral zone after which the real racing will begin.
1105: The cyclists are just minutes away from the start of Wednesday's stage. There will undoubtedly be some tired legs out there following the pace set by Lance Armstrong and his Discovery Channel team the previous day.
But the peloton faces another tough day in the saddle as this stage boasts the first Hors Category climbs of the 2005 race, the 2000m Col de la Madeleine (at the 55km mark) and the highest mountain in the 92nd edition of the Tour, the 2,645m Col du Galibier (at 133km).
But the tough Tour experience is over for Italian rider Dario Frigo - the Fassa Bortolo man was arrested earlier today after doping products were found in his wife's car.