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Page last updated at 15:57 GMT, Friday, 17 July 2009 16:57 UK

Haussler seals maiden stage win

TOUR DE FRANCE
Date: 4 July - 26 July
Coverage: BBC Sport website: text commentary of each stage and streamed BBC commentary of the last 90 minutes of each stage available; commentary on selected stages on BBC 5 Live sports extra


Heinrich Haussler
Haussler successfully battled through treacherous, wet conditions

Heinrich Haussler registered the first Tour de France stage win of his career with victory in a wet, mountainous slog between Vittel and Colmar on Friday.

The Cervelo rider came home more than four minutes ahead of his rivals.

Haussler had been one of the leaders from the very start of stage 13, while late challengers Amets Txurruka and Brice Feillu took second and third.

Franco Pellizotti took the polka dot jersey and Thor Hushovd replaced Mark Cavendish, who struggled, in the green.

Sprinter Cavendish finished well back following a stage marked by five climbs, including the category one Col du Platzerwasel, and Hushovd now has a lead of five points.

Cavendish's fellow Briton, Bradley Wiggins, remained anonymous for most of the stage but kept in touch with the front of the peloton to finish eighth.

Haussler broke away from the peloton after just a few kilometres, alongside Sylvain Chavanel and Ruben Perez, forming a trio who extended their lead over the pack to some nine minutes in the opening 50km.

606: DEBATE
CS

But while the peloton slowly gained ground on the latter duo, Germany's Haussler, 25, continued to hold his advantage, and was left largely alone for the final quarter of the stage.

"Today was perfect," said Haussler. "I only live about 30km from here so you could say it's my training area and also this weather, I love the rain and the cold.

"At the beginning it was difficult because there are a lot of good riders in the group and the peloton behind were chasing the whole time.

"They didn't let us go so I just tried to split it up a bit because there were too many good hill climbers there.

"I knew as the day would go on I would get stronger and the others would get weaker because I just love this type of weather and it's really good for me."

On the downhill the peloton had closed it down to about three minutes - I just had to go

Heinrich Haussler

The German admitted the ease with which he dismissed the challenge of Chavanel - his only real companion for much of the second half of the stage - was surprising.

"I thought he was just playing with me because either he didn't come through on the turns or his turns were a bit weak," he said.

"On the downhill, because the peloton had closed it down to about three minutes, I just had to go because if I had waited I don't know what would have happened, so I just went."

Hushovd vowed to step up his battle with Cavendish for the green jersey, with Saturday's 14th stage from Colmar to Besancon possible territory for a bunch sprint, if the expected breakaways do not succeed.

"The fight for the green jersey is set to go on, that's for sure," said the Norwegian. "It was a difficult day with the cold and the rain but the weather suited me fine and helped me get up the climbs a bit easier."

Further back, Italian Pellizotti took advantage of a bad day for rival Egoi Martinez to seize the King of the Mountains jersey.

Rinaldo Nocentini will continue to wear the yellow jersey after Feillu, the best-performing of his immediate rivals on Friday, failed to sufficiently close the gap in the general classification.


Stage 13 result:

1. Heinrich Haussler (Ger/Cervelo) 4 hours 56 minutes 26 seconds
2. Amets Txurruka (Spa/Euskaltel) + 4 minutes 11 seconds
3. Brice Feillu (Fra/Agritubel) + 6 minutes 13 seconds
4. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra/Quick-Step) + 6 minutes 31 seconds
5. Peter Velits (Svk/Milram) + 6 minutes 43 seconds
6. Thor Hushovd (Nor/Cervelo) "
7. Vladimir Efimkin (Rus/AG2R) "
8. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Garmin) "
9. George Hincapie (US/Columbia) "
10. Andy Schleck (Lux/Saxo Bank) "

Selected others:

20. Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana) "
26. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita/AG2R) "
27. Lance Armstrong (US/Astana) "
30. Carlos Sastre (Spa/Cervelo) "
62. David Millar (GB/Garmin) + 6 minutes 54 seconds
76. Charlie Wegelius (GB/Silence-Lotto) + 7 minutes 23 seconds
118. Mark Cavendish (GB/Columbia) + 23 minutes 44 seconds

Overall standings:

1. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita/AG2R) 53 hours 30 minutes 30 seconds
2. Alberto Contador (Spa/Astana) + 6 seconds
3. Lance Armstrong (USA/Astana) + 8 seconds
4. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Garmin) + 46 seconds
5. Andreas Kloden (Ger/Astana) + 54 seconds

Selected others:

15. Carlos Sastre (Spa/Cervelo) + 2 minutes 52 seconds
56. David Millar (GB/Garmin) + 28 minutes 29 seconds
69. Charlie Wegelius (GB/Silence-Lotto) + 36 minutes 54 seconds
135. Mark Cavendish (GB/Team Columbia) + 1 hour 30 mins 55 seconds



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see also
Sorensen grinds out stage victory
16 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish equals record with win
15 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Tour de France week two photos
17 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish surges to third victory
14 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Fedrigo triumphs on ninth stage
12 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Sanchez secures stage eight win
11 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Tour de France ones to watch
03 Jul 09 |  Cycling
Understanding the Tour de France
03 Jul 09 |  Cycling


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