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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 July 2006, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
Stage 15 as it happened
The stage will conclude with 21 hairpin bends up Alpe d'Huez
The ascent up Alpe d'Huez concludes Stage 15
Frank Schleck, of Luxembourg, takes victory in stage 15 after breaking away from Damiano Cunego in the final few kilometres up Alpe d'Huez.

The overall favourite, Floyd Landis, finishes fourth just over a minute back, but takes over the yellow jersey after a controlled performance.

Former leader Oscar Pereiro drops to second, 10 seconds behind Landis.

Spain's David de la Fuente extended his lead in the King of the Mountains standings after amassing 28 points.


LATEST UPDATES (all times BST):

Result of stage 15:
1. Frank Schleck (Lux/Team CSC) 4 hours 52 mins 22 secs
2. Damiano Cunego (Ita/Lampre) +11 secs
3. Stefano Garzelli (Ita/Liquigas) +1:10
4. Floyd Landis (USA/Phonak) +1:10
5. Andreas Kloden (Ger/T-Mobile) +1:10
6. Ruben Lobato (Spa/Saunier Duval) +1:14
7. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra/Cofidis) +1:18
8. Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita/T-Mobile) +1:28
9. Carlos Sastre (Spa/Team CSC) +1:35
10. Levi Leipheimer (USA/Gerolsteiner ) +1:49"

1543: Frank Schleck becomes the first rider from Luxembourg to win the Alpe d'Huez stage. Cunego is second, 11 seconds behind.

1541: Schleck, from Luxembourg, is looking good for victory with one kilometre left.

1538: Mazzoleni has dropped back to help Kloden up the last few kilometres. Up front, Frank Schleck has attacked Cunego, who is struggling to keep up. This could be the decisive move for the stage victory.

1536: With Eddy Mazzoleni unwilling to do any work at the front, Cunego and Schleck break away on their own. They have just entered the village of Alpe d'Huez.

1532:Andreas Kloden suddenly puts his foot down with 4km to go and surges ahead, with Landis quickly on his wheel. Carlos Sastre is trying to stay in touch, but Levi Leipheimer has dropped away.

1525: Phonak team-mate Axel Merckx is leading Landis up the mountain with around 5km left.

1519: Eddy Mazzoleni has joined Cunego and Schleck at the front. The trio are 2:35 ahead of Kloden and Landis.

1519: Landis is clearly trying to take as much time out of Denis Menchov, one of his main rivals, a she can. The American and Kloden, another overall contender, catch Vila with 10km to go, but are still around 2:40 adrift of Damiano Cunego, favourite to take the stage.

1517: Race favourite Floyd Landis effortlessly stands up in the saddle and surges away up the mountain. Kloden is the only one who is able to respond, leaving Evans and Kessler behind.

1510: Some of the favourites have split the peloton and are leading the pursuit of the leaders. Floyd Landis is on the wheels of T-Mobile duo Matthias Kessler and Andreas Kloden, with Cadel Evans tracking Landis and Denis Menchov isolated 20 bike lengths back.

1507: Italian Damiano Cunego, of the Lampre team, is attacking at the front, with Frank Schleck close behind and Mazzoleni, Lobato and Arroyo not far back.

1502: The leaders turn left after passing through Bourg d¿Oisans to begin the legendary ascent of Alpe d'Huez to the finish. The late Marco Pantani holds the record for the quickest ascent in 36 minutes and 40 seconds.

1455: The leaders are around 5km from the foot of Alpe d'Huez, after which the last 13.8km are all uphill. Two Rabobank riders are leading the pursuit by the peloton, which has cut the gap on the leaders to 3:30.

1450: Giuseppe Guerini of the T-Mobile team is the first man in the peloton to make a move on the descent from the Col du Lautaret.

1445: Jens Voigt drops out of the lead group with 30km of the stage left and the peloton 3:40 adrift.

1437: Rain has started to fall and the road is wet as the leaders descend the Col du Lautaret. The peloton, 3:50 back with 40km left, are still on a dry road.

1427: De la Fuente and Vila are gobbled up by the chasing pack as the rapid descent down the Col du Lautaret begins. There are now 15 men in the lead group.

1425: The peloton, including race leader Oscar Pereiro, reaches the summit of the Col du Lautaret four minutes 20 seconds behind the two leaders.

1420: Spaniards Vila and De la Fuente go over the top of the category two Col du Lautaret and the chasing group, including Hincapie, Merckx and Voigt, follow 30 seconds later. De la Fuente stretches in the King of the Mountains standings.
Result of Col du Lautaret climb:
1. David de la Fuente 10pts
2. Patxi Vila 9pts
3. Stefano Garzelli 8pts

1414: Race leader Oscar Pereiro and the peloton are four minutes 10 seconds behind race leaders Vila and De la Fuente 5km from the summit of Col du Lautaret. The chasing pack are 15 seconds behind the two fugitives.

1409: World champion Tom Boonen is out of the race. The Belgian retired before reaching the top of the category two Col du Lautaret. With Alpe d'Huez still to come, many would call him a wise man.

1400: Patxi Vila (LAM) attacks the lead group and is joined by King of the Mountains leader David de la Fuente (SDV). The two of them open up a 10 second lead over the chasing pack. The gap between the lead group and the yellow jersey peloton is down to less than four minutes.

1356: Result of second sprint at Le Monetier-les-Bains:
1. Zabriskie (CSC) 6pts
2. Lobato (SDV) 4pts
3. Hincapie (DSC) 2pts

1344: Rujano, Calzati, Bruseghin, Marchante, Vaugrenard, Albasini, Mercado and Pineau are between the lead group and the peloton, three minutes five seconds behind the leaders.

1340: The lead group swells to 18 with the addition of Flecha and Wegmann. Its lead over the yellow jersey peloton is now four minutes 49 seconds with 72km remaining.

1338: Garzelli is caught by the chasing group of 15 and Cunego, De la Fuente and Charteau lead the fugitives out of the feedzone.

1336: Garzelli appears to be waiting for the chasing group of 15 at the 110km feedzone, apparently unwilling to tackle the Alpe d'Huez on his own.

1332: Garzelli passes through Briancon, the highest town in Europe. The Italian is now 80km from the finish and has a lead of five minutes 55 seconds over the yellow jersey peloton.

1330: Maxim Iglinski of Kazakhstan takes a tumble and is almost hit by the Radio Tour car. Phonak team leader Floyd Landis swaps bikes with a team-mate. The reason is unclear, but a flat tyre is likely.

1328: Garzelli is now one minute 10 seconds ahead of a chasing group of 15 riders, including current King of the Mountains leader David de la Fuente. Martinez is back on his bike after his crash and back in the peloton.

1315: Discovery Channel's Egoi Martinez crashes on the descent from the Col d'Izoard and is treated by doctors.

1308: David De la Fuente, leading the King of the Mountains category, extends his lead with another 18 points as the next rider over the summit.
Result of Col d'Izoard climb:
1. Stefano Garzelli 20pts
2. David De la Fuente 18pts
3. Damiano Cunego 16pts

1307: Garzelli claims 20 points after reaching the top of the Col d'Izoard first. He is now free-wheeling down the other side.

1305: Overall favourite Floyd Landis stops for a quick toilet break 4km from the top of the Col as the rest of the peloton veers around him.

1300: With 5km to climb to the top of the Col d'Izoard, Stefano Garzelli is 30 seconds ahead of four other riders - David De la Fuente, George Hincapie, Frank Schleck, and Eddy Mazzoleni. That quartet are about 45 seconds clear of half-a-dozen others as the leaders start to fracture.

1256: Bruseghin (LAM), Marchante (SDV), Calzati (A2R) and Lopez Garcia (EUS), joined by Mercado (AGR), have set off from the front of peloton to try to bridge the gap to the leading group.

1252: Riders are starting to suffer as the top of the Col approaches. David Zabriskie (CSC) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) are the next to drop off the back of the lead group, which is down to 20 plus the leader Garzelli.

1248: Italian Stefano Garzelli is the first of the fugitives to make a break for the summit. He is about 100m ahead of the rest, but it is not a decisive attack yet.

1245: Bernhard Eisel, who won the first intermediate sprint, and Swiss Michael Albasini are dropped by the breakaway group. Meanwhile, Jose Angel Gomez Marchante of SDV, heads off the front of the peloton.

1240: Sprint specialist Tom Boonen, who wore the yellow jersey for four days, is struggling badly as he drops off the back of the main group.

1235: Jose Rujano is less than four minutes behind as he continues his solo pursuit of the leading group.

1232: The peloton starts the ascent of the Col 4:30 behind the leaders. But with the main contenders all in the main group, it is sure to close that gap before the final assault on Alpe d'Huez.

1230: Venezuelan rider Jose Rujano, who was King of the Mountains in last year's Giro d'Italia, has shot away from the front of the peloton, which is happy to let him go.

1225: One of the two Discovery Channel riders in the leading group, Spaniard Egoi Martinez, is leading the rest as the ascent of the Col d'Izoard begins in earnest after around 71km. Over the next 15km they will climb 1,068m to the first summit of the day at 2,360m.

1215: Members of the Caisse d'Epargne team are at the head of the peloton as it starts to try to bridge the gap to the breakaway group, but they are still more than four minutes adrift at present.

1211: Spaniard Lobato was 15 seconds ahead at one stage, but is caught after 60km. The leaders are now around four minutes ahead.

1205: Ruben Lobato of the SDV team has surged 10 seconds clear of the other 24 escapees as they approach the first serious climb of the day, the 14.5km Col d'Izoard, which has an average gradient of 7.0%.

1200: With 50 of the 187km gone, the leading group of 25 is 3:30 ahead of the pack.

1152: The peloton - being led by the Caisse d'Epargne team - is now 3:15 adrift of the breakaway group.

1147: The 25 leading riders are now nearly three minutes clear of the peloton after 44km of the stage.

1140: In all there are 16 teams represented in the large breakaway group, with two each from Discovery Channel, Lampre-Fondital, Caisse d'Epargne, Saunier Duval-Prodir, Francaise des Jeux and Liquigas.

1136: The leading group have established a lead of one minute and 30 seconds. Team CSC have the biggest representation with three riders - Zabriskie, Jens Voigt and Frank Schleck.

1134: Austrian Bernhard Eisel wins the first scramble for points.
Result of first intermediate sprint:
1. Bernhard Eisel (FDJ) 6pts
2. Michael Albasini (LIQ) 4pts
3. Patxi Vila (LAM) 2pts

1132: The leading group of 25 includes Americans George Hincapie and David Zabriskie as they head for the first sprint.

1130: The gap between the two groups has swiftly grown to 50 seconds.

1128: The peloton has split into two, with 25 riders in the leading group.

1127: The first of two intermediate sprints is beckoning after 35km in Embrun.

1124: Once more the fugitives get no further than 10 seconds clear before the peloton hunts them down barely 2km down the road.

1122: The pace is unrelenting as attack number four swiftly follows. Five riders break clear after 24km - Eisel (FDJ), Flecha (RAB), Chavanel (COF), Garzelli (LIQ) and Voeckler (BTL).

1120: Encore une fois... The breakaway duo edge 10 seconds ahead, but again are swallowed up.

1117: A third attempted attack is under way. Spaniard Ruben Lobato, of the Saunier Duval-Prodir team, and Swiss Patrick Calcagni, of Liquigas, break free after 21 of the 187km.

1112: The French trio established a 10-second lead over the pack but they were quickly reeled in after 15km.

1108: Three French riders - Sylvain Chavanel, Benoit Vaugrenard and Sebastien Joly, the "lanterne rouge" of the Tour as the last in the general classification - have launched the latest escape attempt after 12km.

1103: Oscar Freire, the winner of stages five and nine in this year's race, had a busy 'rest day' on Monday. His wife gave birth to their first child on Sunday, so he flew by private jet to Lugano in Switzerland to visit them before being whisked back to Gap for today's stage.

1059: Five riders make an early attack after 2.5km, and two more quickly join them. But the peloton is in no mood to allow anyone to get away in this crucial stage and the attack peters out after 5km.

1056: An early setback for one of the favourites for overall victory, Australian Cadel Evans, who suffers a puncture. But he quickly gets a new wheel and rejoins the back of the peloton.

1051: After 2.3km riding along in the neutral zone, Stage 15 is under way as the peloton travels across the official start line on the outskirts of Gap.



SEE ALSO
Tour de France stage 15 photos
18 Jul 06 |  Cycling
Fedrigo wins dramatic Tour stage
16 Jul 06 |  Cycling


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