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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 July, 2003, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
Racewatch: Stage 10
Stage 10: Gap to Marseille - 219.5 km.

All the action as it happened from the Tour de France (All times BST).

  • Dane Jakob Piil pips Italian Fabio Sacchi in a sprint
  • De Groot is third, 49 seconds back
  • The peloton rolls safely home 21 minutes behind

    1616: The sprinters stretch their legs for the first time in a few days and McEwan and Cooke take 10th and 11th places, ahead of a peloton containing all the major players, except for Joseba Beloki, who has been airlifted to Spain following his horrific crash on Monday.

    1610: The big city of Marseille has been brought to a virtual standstill for the arrival of the Tour. And the patient fans will be treated to their glimpse of Armstrong and the other stars soon.

    1600: Although the yellow jersey of Armstrong is well back on the stage, the Texan will preserve his lead of the Tour when the peloton finishes in about 15 minutes.

    1555: Jakob Piil holds off Fabio Saachi in the final sprint to take the stage victory.

    1554: Piil is constantly looking behind him with Sacchi on his wheel as the sprint is on.

    1552: Sacchi and Piil shake hands as they enter the final 2km straight to the finish.

    1550: Padrnos is back on his bike and chasing the back of the peloton after his fall.

    1548: Unless De Groot can make a decisive surge, the stage appears to be between Sacchi and Piil, who are nearly a minute ahead of the Dutchman with 5km to go.

    1545: US Postal rider Pavel Padrnos falls in a crash in the peloton, which is still around 23 minutes behind the leading group.

    1540: Sacchi retakes the lead as the leading pair, who now appear to be working together, extend their lead to 45 seconds over Bram De Groot and 55 seconds to the other five.

    1538: Piil and Sacchi are now around 35 seconds ahead of the rest of the leading riders, as they approach the 10km left mark.

    1534: Dane Jakob Piil (CSC) takes the lead ahead of Saachi as Gutierrez drops back.

    1532: Saachi catches and passes Gutierrez, allowing the group to bunch up behind him.

    1530: Gutierrez appears to have reached his limit as Italian Fabio Sacchi (SAE) launches an attack from within the chasing group.

    1526: Gutierrez, who launched his attack with 49km to go, sees his lead reduced to 15 seconds going into the final 19km.

    1522: The chase is on as the eight-man group narrows the gap on Gutierrez to 20 seconds.

    1520: With the leading nine riders on the streets of Marseille, Gutierrez retains a 25-second lead on his pursuers.

    1516: The Euskaltel team of the third-place rider in the overall classification - Iban Mayo - is leading the US Postal team at the head of the main peloton.

    1512: Gutierrez, winner of the final stage of last year's Criterium du Dauphine Libere has a 35-second lead as he enters the final 35km of the stage into Marseille.

    1500: Gutierrez opens up a 33-second gap on the other eight riders in the leading group.

    1455: Acosta's solo bid fails, but Jose Enrique Gutierrez, who started the stage 47 minutes behind Lance Armstrong, flies off the front of the lead group.

    1450: With thoughts of the stage win beginning to fill the minds of the lead nine, Garcia Acosta launches an attack.

    1440: Eventually the peloton frees itself and continues on its way, waiting for stragglers to catch up. All of this has played into the hands of the leaders, whose gap is steadily growing.

    1438: The riders are forced to wind their way through a mass of people converged on the road as security guards try to clear the way.

    1435: Protestors block the path of the peloton, causing chaotic scenes as the race grinds to a temporary halt.

    1427: As the sun continues to beat down, the group of nine leaders stretch their lead still further. Their considerable efforts will not change the overall classification, but one of them should be rewarded with a precious stage win.

    1412: The peloton, with Lance Armstrong near the front, are now 21:30 behind the leading group.

    1405: The escape group picks up the pace again to stretch their lead past the 20-minute mark.

    1359: Damian Nazon (BLB) wins the second intermediate sprint of the day after 138.5km in Rians, with Bram De Groot (RAB) collecting four points and Fabio Sacchi (SAE) two.

    1355: The biggest leading margin of the nine-man escape group appears to have peaked at 19:30, as the US Postal-led peloton reduces the arrears to 18:55.

    1352: The average speed for the third hour is 42.0kph, making for an average speed over the stage so far of 44.0kph.

    1350: The 15-year-old spectator hit earlier by Spanish rider Alberto Lopez de Munain is declared OK after being tended to by race doctors.

    1344: The escape group's lead hits 19 minutes.

    1342: The nine-man escape group move into a lead of 18mins and 48secs - the biggest of any attack so far in this year's Tour.

    The previous best lead - featuring Stuart O'Grady and Anthony Geslin on stage six - peaked at 18:05.

    1338: With points on offer for the first 25 in this stage, points leader Baden Cooke and green jersey rival Robbie McEwen are expected to move into position in the peloton, although US Postal riders fill the front eight berths.

    1332: The Spaniard suffers a cut arm in the fall but is back on his bike and trying to regain touch with the peloton as the spectator is treated by race medical staff.

    1329: There is a fall in the peloton as Euskaltel rider Alberto Lopez de Munain appears to hit a spectator.

    1325: The best placed rider in the overall classification among the leaders is Spaniard Jose Enrique Gutierrez.

    But he started the stage in 61st place, over 47 minutes behind race leader Lance Armstrong, explaining why the peloton are happy to let the escape group stretch away.

    1319: As the riders begin the second half of the stage at 109km, the leading group stretch their lead to 17:26.

    1308: On the last stage before the first rest day, only seven of the 22 teams retain a full complement of nine riders.

    They are: US Postal,, CSC, Quickstep, Bianchi, Lotto-Domo and Brioche La Boulangere.

    1305: The peloton is now 15:30 behind the nine-man leading group.

    1302: Frenchman Philippe Gaumont, of the Cofidis team, collects five points for winning the climb, ahead of Bram De Groot (RAB) and Damian Nazon (BLB).

    1259: The leaders near the first climb at Cote de Villedieu, where points are awarded for the first three at the summit.

    1257: As the peloton passes through the feed zone, their deficit to the leading group is 14:45.

    1248: The average speed for the second hour is 42.2kph, down from an average of 47.8kph for the first hour.

    1245: The leading group pass through the 88.5km mark with a 13:10 advantage over the peloton.

    1242: It emerges that Stefano Garzelli, the Caldirola rider who finished second in this year's Giro d'Italia, cited a bronsore throat for his retirement from the Tour before the 10th stage.

    1240: The leading group reach the feed zone of Les Pourcelles, at the 86km mark, 11:30 ahead.

    1232: The escape group stretch their lead to 10:40.

    1219: The peloton, still being led by the US Postal team, appears happy to let the leading group escape as it extends its advantage to 9:35.

    1214: As they pass the 60km mark, the leading group, which formed after 16km, is now 8:40 ahead.

    1208: The peloton is now 7:40 behind as they pass through Les Bons-Enfants - 57km through the stage.

    1203: This will be the first stage to finish in Marseille, France's second largest city, since 1993.

    1200: The escape group of nine riders extends its lead to 6:25 as the peloton passes through the 50km mark.

    1150: The average speed to date is 47.8kph as the leading group move 4:20 clear of the peloton.

    1144: Two former stage winners in the escape group - Vincente Garcia Acosta of the team, and Serge Baguet of the Lotto-Domo team - help extend their lead to 3:20.

    1140: The leading group continue to push out their lead, which now stands at 2:35.

    1133: Nicolas Portal is caught by the peloton, which is now 2:05 adrift of the nine-man escape group.

    1130: The leading group is now 1:20 ahead of Portal, and 1:45 ahead of the peloton, with US Postal at the head of the main pack.

    1127: Nicolas Portal of the AG2R team breaks out of the peleton in an attempt to reel in the escape group, which is now 1:18 ahead.

    1122: The leading group move 1min 5secs clear at the 30km mark.

    1119: The nine riders in the attack extend their advantage over the peloton to 56 seconds.

    1112: and Lance Armstrong's US Postal team move to the head of the chasing peloton.

    1110: The escape group - which features Garcia Acosta (BAN), De Groot (RAB), Sacchi (SAE), Gaumont (COF), Piil (CSC), Jose Enrique Gutierrez (KEL), Baguet (LOT), Damian Nazon (BLB) and Haselbacher (GST) - is now 20 seconds ahead of the peleton.

    1108: A group of nine riders is now 12 seconds ahead of the peloton, which is being led by the Telekom and Credit Agricole teams.

    1105: News filters through that Joseba Beloki, who crashed out on Monday's ninth stage, is being transfered by air ambulance to a hospital in Vitoria in Spain.

    He flew out of Marseille airport and will be operated on in the Spanish hospital.

    1103: Australian champion Stuart O'Grady is at the head of a group of 10 riders which has escaped the peloton at the 14km mark.

    1100: McEwen collects six points for winning the first sprint, after 10km, with Cooke second and Jean-Patrick Nazon third.

    1058: Australians Robbie McEwen and Baden Cooke are going head-to-head in the first intermediate sprint for points in Tallard.

    1055: After a fast-paced start, a small group attempts to escape the peloton in the 5th km.

    1052: Van Bon and Krivtsov's escape is caught by the peloton at the 3km mark.

    1050: The first attack is launched by Lotto's Leon Van Bon, who is joined by Yuriy Krivtsov.

    1048: The 10th stage begins without Caldirola's Stefano Garzelli, who has abandoned his third Tour.

    Links to more Tour de France 2003 stories


    Tyler Hamilton
    Iban Mayo
    Jan Ullrich
    Alexandre Vinokourov
    14068 Votes Cast
    After Beloki's exit, who is Armstrong's greatest threat?




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