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Last Updated: Monday, 14 July, 2003, 13:16 GMT 14:16 UK
Stage nine as it happened
Stage nine: Bourg d'Oisans to Gap - 184.5 km.

All the action as it happened on Bastille Day in the Tour de France (All times BST).

  • Vinokourov wins
  • Armstrong, Ullrich and others finish 37 seconds back
  • Beloki takes a nasty fall and crashes out of the Tour

    1558: But the sad news on a dramatic Bastile Day is that top ONCE rider Beloki has been taken to hospital without finishing the stage after a heavy fall.

    1554: The chasing pack - including Armstrong, Ullrich and Hamilton - finish 37 seconds behind.

    1553: The victory goes to brave Vinokourov, who now lies second to Armstrong overall.

    1552: Armstrong's closest rival Beloki may well be out of the Tour.

    1550: With 4km to go, the lead riders are on their final descent and disaster strikes for Beloki. The ONCE rider has a nasty spill and Armstrong - in close attendance - is forced off the road.

    The Texan cuts off a corner by riding cross-country and rejoins the race without losing much time, but Beloki lies on the tarmac injured.

    1545: Armstrong shows his respect for Vinokourov by stepping out of his saddle in pursuit. He brings Beloki and company with him.

    1543: Alexandre Vinokourov is reinforcing his credentials with another strong finish and he steals a small jump as the breakaway is swept up.

    1540: There is 3km left to climb and this will be followed by a sharp downhill sprint to the finish line.

    1535: All continuity has gone from the lead group and Parra and Jaksche have jumped clear as Millar is reeled in by the peloton and then quickly dropped.

    1532: The lead group have started playing games and they are almost certain to be caught by Millar as they approach the last - and smallest - climb of the day.

    1525: There are about 30 riders bunched in the yellow jersey group and they will have high hopes of sharing the stage glory between them with less than 20km to go.

    1515: Sunday's stage winner Mayo stands the increase in pace, but the peloton has been blown apart and even Jan Ullrich, Tyler Hamilton and Zubeldia have to work hard to get back on terms.

    1512: Joseba Beloki tries to break free, but Armstrong tracks his move, while most other peloton riders fall backwards fast.

    1510: As ever the Tour's French riders will be keen to land a Bastille Day victory for the crowds to savour.

    1500: Jaksche's breakaway is under severe threat now and a bunch sprint in Gap looks favourite. But Briton David Millar may have something to say about that - he has just attacked the peloton.

    1450: The Quickstep and US Postal teams are driving the peloton on, and they now trail the lead group by four minutes 30 seconds.

    1441: Di Luca crosses the line at Embrun to take six points in the first intermediate sprint.

    1428: In the leading group, Jaksche briefly leads a breakaway with Lopez de Munain and Pellizotti, but they fail to gel and are quickly caught by the other four.

    1415: Garmendia is caught by the chasing group, which now comprises seven riders.

    1401: Garmendia is still out in front but the chasing group of six - Jaksche, Casero, Pellizotti, Di Luca, Parra and Lopez de Munain - are within a minute. The peloton is over six minutes back.

    1345: Garmendia stays out in front ahead of Jaksche in a group of six, with the peloton six minutes back.

    1333: The Armstrong-led peloton reaches the summit more than five minutes back, but that gap could soon be eroded on the lengthy descent towards Monday's finish in Gap.

    1328: Garmendia makes a sudden surge to join elite company by scaling the Col d'Izoard in first place. He is soon followed by Jaksche and the rest of the breakaway group.

    1318: The status quo is holding up the climb and this benefits Jorg Jaksche, who currently leads the Tour on time.

    1306: With a long descent to follow the climb, no-one in the peloton seems prepared - or able - to up the stakes. And time is running out for Armstrong's biggest rivals to hurt the Texan before next weekend's Pyrenees stages.

    1258: The steepest part of the Col d'Izoard is under wheel and the US Postal team have made their intention to protect leader Armstrong clear. They are dominating the front of the peloton, ready to accelerate should an attack come.

    1250: Seven men break clear at the front and among them is Jaksche, who has the distinct - if temporary - honour of being the yellow jersey on the road.

    1242: Monday's biggest climb - the Col d'Izoard - is under way. Now could be the time to launch more attacks on Armstrong.

    1237: Jorg Jaksche is the best-placed member of the 14-man escape group. The ONCE rider started the stage 10th overall, 3:19 behind Armstrong.

    1225: As expected, the peloton has grown substantially on the rapid descent and now numbers some 100 riders. The breakaway leaders, however, are still clinging to a lead of over two minutes.

    1215: Di Luca picked up maximum points on the Col du Lautaret, ahead of Parra and Garmendia. At that stage the yellow jersey group was three minutes back.

    1210: The leaders have started their descent but group Armstrong will be confident of reeling them in before the next "hors categorie" climb.

    1200: Three riders - Di Luca, McGee and Garmendia - strike out on their own and are now setting the pace towards the summit of this first-category climb.

    1152: As the climb winds on, Armstrong still has his biggest rivals - Joseba Beloki, Tyler Hamilton and Jan Ullrich - at his side.

    1143: The Col du Lauteret, while not the steepest, is one of the longest climbs on the Tour circuit. And Armstrong's rivals are trying to take advantage of an apparently weakened US Postal team by joining the breakaway at the front.

    1135: Even the US Postal team are paying a price for their early pace and Pena, Padrnos, Rubiera and Landis have been dropped by the peloton. A second group - two minutes back - features Simoni and Botero.

    1128: The peloton hauls back many of the breakaways, but a few riders stay clear by a small margin. The early pace is already taking its toll on many more, and a second pack is now adrift of the peloton.

    1115: A 16-man group - including Virenque and Millar - lead the race, but Armstrong's US Postal team are pushing the peloton hard to chase down the breakaways.

    1108: The lull does not last long as Virenque and David Millar, among a host of others, lanch an exploratory attack.

    1105: The peloton has hit the slopes of the first climb - the Col du Lauteret, but no breakaways have been launched. . . yet.

    1051: Racing starts with Lance Armstrong in the leader's yellow jersey, Richard Virenque in polka dots and Baden Cooke in the green top.

    1048: Huge festive crowds line the streets on Bastille Day as the Tour rolls out under more hot and sunny skies.

    Links to more Tour de France 2003 stories


    Tyler Hamilton
    Iban Mayo
    Jan Ullrich
    Alexandre Vinokourov
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    After Beloki's exit, who is Armstrong's greatest threat?




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