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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 July 2006, 15:41 GMT 16:41 UK
Stage 17 as it happened
Floyd Landis stages a remarkable fightback after his disaster on Wednesday as he takes an incredible stage 17 of the Tour de France.

Landis imploded on the final climb on stage 16 and was over eight minutes off yellow jersey holder Oscar Pereiro.

But the American produced an extraordinary ride and finished over five minutes ahead of Carlos Sastre.

Pereiro managed to retain the yellow jersey but is now 12 seconds ahead of Sastre and 30 seconds ahead of Landis.


By Richard Hookham & Mark Orlovac

1624: Stage 17 result:
1. Floyd Landis (USA - PHO)
2. Carlos Sastre (ESP - CSC) at 5'42"
3. Christophe Moreau (FRA - A2R) at 5'58"
4. Damiano Cunego (ITA - LAM) at 6'40"
5. Michael Boogerd (NED - RAB) at 7'08"
6. Frank Schleck (LUX - CSC) - at 708"
7. Oscar Pereiro (ESP - CSC) - at 7'08"
8. Andreas Kloden (GER - TMO) - at 7'08"
9. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP - EUS) - at 7'08"
10. Cadel Evans (AUS - DVL) - at 7'20"

1617: Pereiro finishes and manages to retain the yellow jersey by just 12 seconds after a brave climb up the Col de Joux-Plane where he really had to hang on. Sastre is second overall while Landis, after what will go down as one of the rides of the Tour, is now 30 seconds behind.

1615: Sastre is the next rider to reach home and is 5:41 behind Landis with Moreau in third.

1610: Roared on by large and vocal crowd, Landis crosses the line and is immediately surrounded by race officials. He punches the air but there is no real display of emotion - this man is focused and aggressive.

1607: Landis is in total control as he hurtles down the mountain. He is not taking any risks and with 1km to go is set for a glorious stage win.

1604: Behind Landis and Sastre, Moreau has reclaimed third after Cunego falls back. Schleck is in fourth while a group containing Kloden, Pereiro and Haimar Zubeldia are almost seven minutes behind Landis as they reach the top of the climb.

1604:Result of Col de Joux-Plane climb:
1. Landis (PHO) 40pts
2. Sastre (CSC) 36pts - at 5'05"
3. Moreau (A2R) 32 - at 5'59"
4. Cunego (LAM) 28 - at 6'20"
5. Boogerd (RAB) 24pts
6. Schleck (CSC) 20pts
7. Pereiro (CEI) 16pts
8. Zubeldia (EUS) 14pts
9. Kloden (TMO) 12pts
10. Rasmussen (RAB) 10pts - at 6'50"

1557: That's it, Landis reaches the summit 5:15 ahead of Sastre and will be looking to take a lot of time out of his opponent during the descent.

1553: There is just 1km of severe pain left for Landis as the summit is in sight. As he battles to the top a man with a large foam hand runs alongside the American patting him on the back - which I am sure he appreciates.

1547: Sinkewitz has nothing left and slips back dramatically. Landis leads Sastre by 5:47 as the American nears the top of the climb. Cunego is in third after passing Moreau. With Landis set to start his descent around seven minutes clear of Pereiro, the yellow jersey holder needs to dig in to limit the damage.

1538: Moreau is on his own now and is 21 seconds off Sastre. Behind the Frenchman is a group of five poursuivants, Frank Schleck, Denis Menchov, Michael Boogerd, Evans and Damiano Cunego.

1535: Landis is still ploughing his lonely furrow up front and with 17.5km to go takes another bottle of water and throws it over his head in a bid to cool down. Suddenly though, it looks as if he is cycling through tar as the fierce slopes of the hors category climb take their toll but the blip is only temporary.

1530: Landis is supreme and is over two minutes ahead of Sinkewitz as the gruelling climb spreads the riders out. CSC's Carlos Sastre leaves the pack and goes on his own. Christophe Moreau and Cadel Evans also leave the chasing group behind.

1525: Already Landis is 30 seconds ahead of the German and with 22 km to go, the American is just over six minutes in front of the pursuing Groupe Maillot Jaune. The chasing pack have yet to start the climb however, while Pereiro seems to be going backwards.

1522: Landis is in a different zone and he puts in a stunning burst at the start of the climb which leaves Sinkewitz behind. This is quite truly an extraordinary display.

1518: Landis and Sinkewitz have been hauled back a little and the lead is now 7:23. Landis therefore is second overall if the current times stay as they are. However the riders now start the brutal Col de Joux Plane ascent which will make or break Landis' bid. This climb in stages is over 9% - let the fun begin.

1509: Result of Cote de Chatillon-sur-Cluses climb:
1. Landis (PHO) 4pts
2. Sinkewitz (TMO) 3pts
3. Halgand (C.A) 2pts - at 4'50"
4. Voigt (CSC) 1pts - at 8'05"

1504: The peloton are desperately trying to peg the leaders back. T-Mobile's Serhiy Honchar leads the pack and the gap is now down to eight minutes. There is still a long way to go in this one.

1448: With 45km to go, the peloton decide to up the pace to try and reel the fugitives in. Landis and Sinkewitz respond again however and the gap is back to nine minutes. This ride from Landis could go down as one of the greatest in Tour de France history.

1440: Halgand is 1:47 behind Landis and Sinkewitz. The leading duo though, as they descend the Col de la Colombiere, put on the gas and are extending their lead over the rest.

1436: Result of Col de la Colombiere climb (at the 134km mark)
1. Landis (PHO) 15pts
2. Sinkewitz (TMO) 13pts
3. Halgand (C.A) 11pts - at 1'07"
4. Padrnos (DSC) 9pts
5. O'Grady (CSC) 8pts
6. Righi (LAM) 7pts
7. Garate (QSI) 6pts
8. De la Fuente (SDV) 5pts

1432: Beyond the next climb, the third-category Cote de Chatillon, looms the Col de Joux-Plane and its infamous 11.7-km slope at 8.7 percent. It was here that Lance Armstrong famously blew up in 2000. "That was the worst day I've ever had on a bike," the seven-times Tour winner said afterwards.

1418: Panic will soon be setting in within the ranks of the peloton. Landis is well over seven minutes ahead as he reaches the top of the third climb and starts the dive down to Cluses with Sinkewitz happy to tailgate. Landis' tactic of constantly soaking himself with bottles of water in order to keep cool seem to be paying off in the intense heat.

1418: The pressure of leading the stage has proved too much for France's Patrice Halgand, who has suddenly dropped off allowing Landis and is Sinkewitz to overtake. Landis is sensing something special now at 134km. If anything, he seems to riding even harder in an attempt to kill off any chance of being caught by the peloton.

1407: A puncture means Landis is forced to change bikes as he starts the long climb up the Col de la Colombiere. A mesmeric dismount and remount by the gritty Pennsylvanian enables him to quickly catch and move ahead of his mini group who are still chasing leader Halgand. The yellow jersey's peloton is 5.35mins behind the Landis trio.

1359: Result of first sprint:
1. Halgand (C.A) 6pts
2. Landis (PHO) 4pts
3. Sinkewitz (TMO) 2pts

1350: It's getting towards that moment in the stage when the peloton must calculate the right time to launch their own offensive. One thing's for sure, yellow jersey holder Oscar Pereiro cannot afford to leave it too late. Expect a response soon.

1348: Result of Col des Aravis climb:
1. Halgand (C.A) 10pts
2. Landis (PHO) 9pts - at 1'14"
3. Sinkewitz (TMO) 8pts
4. Righi (LAM) 7pts
5. O'Grady (CSC) 6pts
6. Padrnos (DSC) 5pts - at 1'35"

1327: The leading riders have moved over the crest of the Category 2 Col des Aravis but there's no time to take in the stunning Alpine scenery. It's heads-down time again with Halgand setting a frightening free-wheel down the other side, one min 12 secs ahead of the four-man chase group and 5 mins 23 secs over the peloton.

1327: France's Patrice Halgand still heads the leading group, ahead of Landis, who seems to be taking a welcome breather after his epic burst. Righi, O'Grady, Sinkewitz and Garate are trying to keep on his back wheel as they battle up the next climb, the Col des Aravis.

1327: Landis has achieved his first goal of hauling in the back markers of the breakaway group - Padrnos, O'Grady, Sinkewitz, Tankink, Le Mevel, Gilbert, Garate, Righi, Auge and Paolini. Skinkewitz had a comedy double-take as the American cruised moved up to his right shoulder - he just couldn't believe Landis had caught them.

1313: Landis now holds a lead of three minutes 20 seconds over the peloton featuring yellow jersey-holder Oscar Pereiro.

1313: Landis is clocked at 80kph as he flies down the Col des Saissies. A shattered figure on Wednesday evening, he told the press that his Tour de France was over following his collapse on the demanding Stage 16, won by Michael Rasmussen. But now the 30-year-old is still going for broke in an attempt to catch the leading pack.

1311: One of the leading group members, Christophe Le Meve, of the Credit Agricole team, has to stop to get a new bike but is soon back with the pack.

1305: Results of Col des Saissies climb:
1. Halgand (C.A) 15pts
2. Gilbert (FDJ) 13pts
3. Garate (SDV) 11pts
4. Padrnos (DSC) 9pts
5. O'Grady (CSC) 8pts
6. Sinkewitz (TMO) 7pts
7. Righi (LAM) 6pts
8. Le Mevel (C.A) 5pts

1302: Landis is fighting a lone battle without the help of any of his Phonak team-mates, making it doubly hard to catch the stage leaders as he reaches the top of the Col des Saissies. He is just three minutes 10 seconds behind the breakaway group while the peloton still has 1km to climb.

1244: Landis is now six minutes behind the 11 stage leaders and 45 seconds ahead of the yellow jersey's group. If he pulls this out of the hat and fights back to regain the overall race lead it will go down as one of the bravest Tour de France rides of all time.

1236: Amazing stuff from Landis. The Amercian Phonak team leader has literally blasted the peloton away with a sensational burst and has set off in pursuit of the 11 leaders ahead of him. He looks so determined to make up for his 10-minute defeat to Michael Rasmussen in Wednesday's climax.

1231: Former race leader Floyd Landis, who blew out so badly on Wednesday's final climb is showing real guts as he leads the Peloton up the first climb.

1228: The riders are now battling the long, hot rise to the Col des Saisies, the first of the gruelling five summit climbs they must endure with about 128km to go.

1220: Czech Pavel Padrnos, Australian Stuart O'Grady, German Patrik Sinkewitz, Italian Daniele Righi, Spaniard Juan Manuel Garate, Dutchman Bram Tankink, Frenchmen Patrice Halgand, Christophe Le Mevel and Stephane Auge, Belgian Phillipe Gilbert and Italian Luca Paolini make up the breakaway pack which holds a 10-minute lead from the peloton.

1205: Thursday's 200.5-km stage is not regarded as hard as the two previous days of climbing at L'Alpe d'Huez and La Toussuire in the Alps. But there is already plenty of pain for the riders, especially with temperatures touching 30 degrees.

1148: The best-placed of the 11 escapees (now 10 minutes 40 seconds ahead of the peloton at 49km) in the general classification is still T-Mobile rider Sinkewitz.

1123: The 11 escapees have an advantage of 2mins 10 seconds as the peloton passes the 29km mark.

1120: Pieter Weening (RAB) and David De la Fuente (SDV) have dropped back to the peloton as the 11 other members of the breakaway group stretch their lead to one minute 30 seconds.

1110: Another break from the peloton, this time by a pack of 13 riders. The highest-placed member of the group is Patrik Sinkewitz (T-Mobile), who was lying 36th overall at the start of the day's stage, 49 mins 57secs behind race leader Oscar Pereiro.

1055: An early breakaway by Pietro Caucchioli (Credit Agricole), Luca Paolini (Liquigas, Anthony Geslin (BTL), Gilberto Simoni (SDV), Paolo Tiralongo (Lampre-Fondital) and Huan Manuel Garate (Quick Step - Innergetic) has been hauled back in by the peloton at the 9km mark.

1046: The stage begins under blue skies in St-Jean-de-Maurienne. Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne) is out to protect his overall lead.

1040: There is a 6.6km neutral zone before the start. The weather forecast for the Savoie and Haute-Savoie departments is hot and sunny, with the temperature already 30C.

Landis roars back with epic win
20 Jul 06 |  Cycling

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