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Stage 14 – updates all the way to Luz Ardiden

6:37 p.m. local timeQuite a few of you have asked that we not reveal the winner in the headline or first paragraph, so if you don't want be surprised as you work your way through our now-not-so-live updates click HERE to work up from the bottom and follow the race from the start. For the rest of you today's winner was ... 5:25 p.m. (local time) Kivilev, the man who began the day in second overall, has finished at 2:27. This might be a good time to glance at the results and standings as of the end of yesterday’s stage. 5:22 p.m. (local time) Laiseka -- the only remaining member of the

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6:37 p.m. local timeQuite a few of you have asked that we not reveal the winner in the headline or first paragraph, so if you don’t want be surprised as you work your way through our now-not-so-live updates click HERE to work up from the bottom and follow the race from the start.

For the rest of you today’s winner was …

5:25 p.m. (local time) Kivilev, the man who began the day in second overall, has finished at 2:27.

This might be a good time to glance at the results and standings as of the end of yesterday’s stage.

5:22 p.m. (local time) Laiseka — the only remaining member of the original Euskadi team — has won the stage. Indeed, he began celebrating 200 meters from the line. His time was 4:24:30 (32.78kph)

Belli has held on to second at 50 seconds. Ullrich has taken third and reached over to shake hands with Armstrong who finishes along side him for fourth.

5:20 p.m. (local time) Ullrich has attacked. Armstrong is hanging with him.

Laiseka is under 1k to go.

5:18 p.m. (local time) Laiseka is now within 2km. He is 42 seconds up on Belli and 1:13 on the Armstrong-Ullrich group. Heras is setting pace for the yellow jersey group. Ullrich is riding along side Armstrong.

5:17 p.m. (local time) Laiseka is still in the lead – 35 seconds ahead of Belli.

The Armstrong group has shed a few more riders including Rubiera.

Laiseka appears to be riding through a tunnel of Basque flags. He has to be a happy man.

5:15 p.m. (local time) Leiseka looks to be on his way to a stage win. He has held off the Armstrong group. Belli is moving backwards – halfway between the leader and the yellow jersey group.

Leiseka is at 3km and can even see himself on the Jumbotron TV at the finish line.

5:11 p.m. (local time) With Heras and Rubiera leading the Armstrong-Ullrich group, Rous has been dropped.

Laiseka can look up to the finish. With all of the Basque fans on the road, he must be inspired. He is certainly riding as if he is.

5:09 p.m. (local time) With five kilometers to go, Laiseka has a 20 second lead on Belli and 1:17 on the nine riders in the yellow jersey group – Kivilev and Montcoutie have fought their way back.

5:02 p.m. (local time) Kivilev has been dropped by the yellow jersey group.

Laiseka is still powering along at an estimated 17 to 18kph. He still has more than a minute on the Armstrong group, which is down to seven riders.

The Basque fans are going nuts!

5:02 p.m. (local time) With 6.5km to go, Laiseka is 1:17 ahead of the Armstrong group.

Belli is between, but pedaling squares. He is bound to be caught.

The yellow jersey group has dropped Garzelli.

4:59 p.m. (local time) Laiseka has caught and passed Belli. The local Basques have reason to celebrate. One of their own is now leading the stage.

A couple of fat Basque fans have tried to run along side their man and faded fast.

The Armstrong-Ullrich group is being led by Heras and Rubiera about 1:00. Montgomery has been caught and dropped by the yellow jersey group.

4:56 p.m. (local time) Belli is off on his own. Aerts, Montgomery and Montcoutie have been caught by Laiseka.

Belli is tiring and Laiseka is moving in on him.

We are 7km from the finish.

This might be a good time to glance at the results and standings as of the end of yesterday’s stage.

4:53 p.m. (local time) With 10km Laiseka has attacked out of the yellow jersey group, which is now down to Armstrong, Heras, Rubiera, Garzelli, Ullrich, Guerini, Beloki, Gonzalez Galdeano, Sastre, Serrano, Pozzi, Kivilev, Chaurreau, Goubert, Botero, Cardenas, Sevilla and Merckx.

4:49 p.m. (local time) With 11.5km to go, the three leaders have an advantage of 25 seconds on Montgomery. Rous, infact, did not get reabsorbed by the yellow jersey group and he trails Montgomery by another 15 seconds.

The Armstrong-Ullrich group is now at 1:10.

4:45 p.m. (local time) The three leaders have 28 seconds on Montgomery.

The yellow jersey group has re-formed as they begin the climb, picking up the Merckx, Sevilla, Rous attack and slowing enough for a few more riders to join up from behind – including Julich.

4:39 p.m. (local time) Axel Merckx has caught the yellow jersey group on the descent.

As the group begins the climb, 50 seconds behind the leaders, Merckx and Sevilla attack, soon followed by Rous.

Julich has been dropped by the Armstrong-Ullrich group.

4:34 p.m. (local time) With 20km to go, the leaders are 15 seconds ahead of Montgomery and 50 seconds ahead of the Armstrong group which includes Julich, Ullrich, Roberto Heras (Postal), Stefano Garzelli (Mapei), Denis Menchov (iBanesto), Félix Cardenas (Kelme), Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel) and Didier Rous (Bonjour) and the white jersey Kelme’s Oscar Sevilla.

The climb begins at 14km to go.

4:21 p.m. (local time) Moncoutie is now with the two leaders. Montgomery trails by 25 seconds.

The yellow jersey group, which now includes Julich is at 58 seconds.

4:21 p.m. (local time) Belli has joined Aerts and there are now two leaders – they are trailed by Montgomery and David Moncoutie. Julich is another 40 seconds behind.

When they finish this descent, they will almost immediately begin the climb to Luz Ardiden.

Armstrong and Ullrich are only about 1:30 from the leaders and closing in on Julich.

4:21 p.m. (local time) Aerts is now attacking out of the lead group on the descent.

4:19 p.m. (local time) Aerts led the lead group over the top of the Tourmalet. They had dropped Julich on the way toward the top. He now trails the remaing four leaders by 45 seconds.

The Armstrong-Ullrich group crested at 1:40 and Garzelli and Laiseka went on the attack on the descent.

4:17 p.m. (local time) The leaders are one kilometer from the top.

Ullrich has attacked out of the main group… though, “main” is a bad choice of words. The Armstrong-Ullrich group was trimmed down to about 15 riders.

Armstrong and Ullrich have joined with a few of the earlier attacks off the front group, including Stefano Garzelli(Mapei) Carlos Sastre (ONCE) Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel) And Félix Cardenas (Kelme).

4:12 p.m. (local time) The five leaders are moving up toward the summit of the Tourmalet. American Bobby Julich is among the five leaders, as are Mario Aerts (Lotto), David Moncoutie (Cofidis), and Sven Montgomery (Française des Jeux ) Wladimir Belli (Fassa Bortolo).

They lead Pozzi by 25 seconds; Goubert by 50 and two more pursuers by 1:50. The peloton is still at about 3:15.

4:08 p.m. (local time) Pozzi has slipped out of the lead group.

There are several riders between the leaders and the peloton at 3:55.

The five leaders are four kilometers from the summit.

3:57 p.m. (local time) Six kilometers from the summit of the Tourmalet, the lead group of six now includes Oscar Pozzi (Fassa Bortolo) Mario Aerts (Lotto), David Moncoutie (Cofidis), Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole), and Sven Montgomery (Française des Jeux ) and Wladimir Belli (Fassa Bortolo).

Stephane Goubert (Jean Delatour), is at 27. Klöden is at 43 seconds, Robin is at 2:15.

Roberto Laiseka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) has attacked out of the peloton.

3:57 p.m. (local time) The lead group has dropped Stéphane Goubert (Jean Delatour) he trails them now by 27 seconds.

3:51 p.m. (local time) There has been an attack off the main Armstrong-Ullrich group. Six riders, including Telekom’s Bolts and Vinokurov, have gone off the front. Bolts then accelerated and he is now off on his own.

So, Telekom may be trying a more elaborate version of what they tried yesterday. Vinokurov and Bolts are up there. As are Heppner and Klöden.

We might expect an attack from Ullrich some time soon.

The peloton is now 4:12 behind the Julich group at the front of the race.

3:47 p.m. (local time) Pozzi has managed to regain the lead group. Klöden is 15 seconds behind, followed by Robin at 25 seconds and Heppner at 45.

Odriozola continue his solo effort between the leaders and the peloton and is closing in on Heppner. The main group – which, of course, includes Armstrong and Ullrich – is at 4:05.

3:43 p.m. (local time) Montgomery is still forcing the pace and more riders have slipped back.

Jens Heppner Andréas Klöden (both Telekom), Oscar Pozzi (Fassa Bortolo) and Jean-Cyril Robin (Bonjour) are chasing the lead group of Mario Aerts (Lotto), David Moncoutie (Cofidis), Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole), Stephane Goubert (Jean Delatour), and Sven Montgomery (Française des Jeux ) and Wladimir Belli (Fassa Bortolo).

The peloton is at 4:00.

3:39 p.m. (local time) Okay back to racing. Montgomery – the highest placed GC rider in the group – has attacked on the Tourmalet and the pace has increased.

Jens Heppner (Telekom) has slipped off, so we are now down to nine leaders.

3:34 p.m. (local time) Mmmmm… we’ve seen a lot and now we think we’ve seen about everything.

Of course the Tour has its characters. Didi Senft is famous as the Devil, the man who chases after riders on the tough climbs and screams encouragement in the closing kilometers of the flat stages.

There’s the Belgian guy who dresses as an angel. He smokes, which adds a touch of weirdness to his image.

And the other day, we ran across a fellow dressed as the grim reaper, complete with scythe and black robes. He may become a new permanent presence. Who knows?

But about 1km from the top of the Tourmalet, we’ve run across a site we dearly hope will only be a momentary lapse.

There, near the top of the Tour’s highest climb, a large gentleman with a beard, pink tutu and black fishnet stockings…. shudder. Oh it makes us long for our good ol’ normal Didi.

3:31 p.m. (local time) At the feedzone, ONCE’s Alvaro González de Galdeano passed through at 4:00 behind the leaders and the peloton came through at 4:20.

3:27 p.m. (local time) The leaders are now in the feedzone at km 89.5. They are 2:40 ahead of Odriozola.

The leaders are now on their way up the hors categorie Col du Tourmalet.

3:19 p.m. (local time) Here are the results of the KOM points at the top of the Col d’Aspin:1. Julich (Crédit Agricole); 2. Robin (Bonjour) 3. Goubert (Delatour); 4. Belli (Fassa Bortolo); 5. Montgomery (FDJ); 6. Kloeden (Telekom); 7. Moncoutie (Cofidis); 8. Aerts (Lotto); 9. Pozzi (Fassa Bortolo); 10. Heppner (Telekom); 11. Odriozola (iBanesto) at 2:15; 12. Piepoli (iBanesto) at 2:50;. The peloton crossed at 4:05 behind the ten leaders.

3:15 p.m. (local time) The ten leaders are on their way down the Col d’Aspin. The crested the summit with an advantage of 2:15 over Odriozola; 3:50 Piepoli and the peloton crossed at 4:00.

Behind the peloton, several riders of note have been dropped, including the two men fight for the points jersey – O’Grady and Zabel.

3:11 p.m. (local time) The ten leaders have crossed over the Col d’Aspin with an advantage of 2:15 over Odriozola. Bobby Julich was the first of the group over the top.

3:02 p.m. (local time) Jens Heppner Andréas Klöden (both Telekom),Wladimir Belli (Fassa Bortolo), Oscar Pozzi (Fassa Bortolo), Mario Aerts (Lotto), David Moncoutie (Cofidis), Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole), Stephane Goubert (Jean Delatour), Jean-Cyril Robin (Bonjour) and Sven Montgomery (Française des Jeux ) are actually now 2km from the summit – we had them a little farther up the road earlier on.

They lead Odriozola by 2:15. He has dropped Piepoli and the peloton is at 3:45.

3:02 p.m. (local time) As the ten leaders near the summit, they have an advantage of 2:55 over Piepoli and Odriozola. Blaudzun is another 20 seconds back and the peloton is at 3:55.

2:58 p.m. (local time) As the ten leaders get within 2 kilometers of the summit, they still have an advantage of 3:15 on their nearest chasers.

It appears that Piepoli and Odriozola have dropped Blaudzun, so the two iBanesto riders are off on their own, while the CSC rider looks to be drifting back to the peloton, which is still at 4:20.

2:50 p.m. (local time) Seven km from the summit the ten leaders — Jens Heppner Andréas Klöden (both Telekom),Wladimir Belli (Fassa Bortolo), Oscar Pozzi (Fassa Bortolo), Mario Aerts (Lotto), David Moncoutie (Cofidis), Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole), Stephane Goubert (Jean Delatour), Jean-Cyril Robin (Bonjour), Sven Montgomery (Française des Jeux ) – have a lead of 2:20 on Piepoli, Odriozola and Blaudzun.

The peloton is at 4:20.

2:50 p.m. (local time) Nine km from the top, iBanesto’s Piepoli has moved up to join Jon Odriozola (iBanesto) and Michael Blaudzun (CSC-Tiscali). They are now 2:35 behind the ten leaders. Garcia Acosta has dropped back to the field, which is still 4:15 behind the lead group.

2:45 p.m. (local time) The peloton is still more than four minutes behind the leaders. The Euskaltels have taken over the front of the main group, motivated, no doubt, by the fact that they missed getting some one in this break and this being the last day the Tour spends near the Basque country.

VeloNews’s John Wilcockson reports thatBasque fans are lining the road all the way up the Aspin. Euskaltel is motivated to reel in this break.

2:43 p.m. (local time) The ten leaders — Jens Heppner Andréas Klöden (both Telekom),Wladimir Belli (Fassa Bortolo), Oscar Pozzi (Fassa Bortolo), Mario Aerts (Lotto), David Moncoutie (Cofidis), Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole), Stephane Goubert (Jean Delatour), Jean-Cyril Robin (Bonjour), Sven Montgomery (Française des Jeux ) – are riding together.

They have a 2:15 advantage over the first two chasers. This climb is about 12km in length and varies in grade from 3- to 10-percent, averaging about 6.5 percent.

2:39 p.m. (local time) The leaders are at the bottom of the Col d’ Aspin at km 68.

They have a lead of 2:30 on Jon Odriozola (iBanesto) and Michael Blaudzun (CSC-Tiscali). Another 45 seconds back are two iBanesto riders — José Vicente Garcia Acosta and Leonardo Piepoli – and the peloton is at 4:25. Euskaltel has joined Postal in the chase.

2:29 p.m. (local time) At kilometer 60, the gaps have pretty much stabilized, with the peloton at 3:50 and the chasers at 2:20 and 3:15.

The sprint at km 58 was won by Jean-Cyril Robin (Bonjour), followed by Stéphane Goubert (Jean Delatour) and Jens Heppner (Telekom).

Of the men in the break, Montgomery is the highest placed GC rider in 19th at 36:19.

We are approaching the day’s first killer climb, the Cat 1 Col d’ Aspin.

Here is a look at today’s stage map and profile .

2:26 p.m. (local time) At kilometer 54, the ten leaders are now 1:40 ahead of Jon Odriozola (iBanesto) and Michael Blaudzun (CSC-Tiscali), 2:50 ahead of José Vicente Garcia Acosta and Leonardo Piepoli (both iBanesto) and 3:30 ahead of the peloton.

2:21 p.m. (local time) At kilometer 52, the ten leaders — Jens Heppner Andréas Klöden (both Telekom),Wladimir Belli (Fassa Bortolo), Oscar Pozzi (Fassa Bortolo), Mario Aerts (Lotto), David Moncoutie (Cofidis), Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole), Stephane Goubert (Jean Delatour), Jean-Cyril Robin (Bonjour), Sven Montgomery (Française des Jeux ) – have an advantage of 1:30 on the two chasers and 3:00 minutes on two new chasers — José Vicente Garcia Acosta and Leonardo Piepoli, both from iBanesto.com.

The peloton is at 3:10.

The course is now heading up the Neste valley on the way to the Col d’ Aspin, which starts in about 12km.

2:18 p.m. (local time) At kilometer 50, the ten leaders have an advantage of 1:15 over Jon Odriozola (iBanesto) and Michael Blaudzun (CSC-Tiscali). Berges was caught by the peloton, which is now 2:25 behind the leaders. Postal is still leading the chase.

2:15 p.m. (local time) At kilometer 46, the lead group — Jens Heppner Andréas Klöden (both Telekom),Wladimir Belli (Fassa Bortolo), Oscar Pozzi (Fassa Bortolo), Mario Aerts (Lotto), David Moncoutie (Cofidis), Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole), Stephane Goubert (Jean Delatour), Jean-Cyril Robin (Bonjour), Sven Montgomery (Française des Jeux ) – have 1:40 on the Postal-led peloton.

The presence of Klöden in the break is a sure sign that Telekom and in particular, Jan Ullrich, are not giving up on this Tour.

There are two chasers at 0:45and a lone chaser another 30 seconds back.

2:07 p.m. (local time) At kilometer 42, the ten leaders have 20 seconds on two chasers — Jon Odriozola (ibanesto) and Michael Blaudzun (CSC-Tiscali). They have 28 seconds on Stéphane Bergès (Ag2R-Prevoyance) and32 seconds on the Postal-led peloton.

2:04 p.m. (local time) The lead group made it to the Cat 4 climb that followed the Cote de Mauvezin.

The first riders to crest that climb were Jean-Cyril Robin (Bonjour) Sven Montgomery (Française Des Jeux) and Wladimir Belli (Fassa Bortolo).

They managed to stay away and the other riders in that break were caught.

But now, the three leaders were joined by seven others including Bobby Julich (Credit Agricole).

That new lead group of 10 has an advantage of 27 seconds at the 40km mark.

The average speed for the first hour today was 36.5kph.

1:58 p.m. (local time) The peloton crested the Catergory 3 Cote de Mauvezin pretty much as a group, with Patrice Halgand (Jean Delatour) taking the first spot. He was followed by Rabobank’s Michael Boogerd.

The first seven riders over the top had a slight gap and were quickly joined by Geert Verheyen (Rabobank), Felix Rafael Cardenas (Kelme) and Javier Pascual Llorente (Kelme).

1:48 p.m. (local time) The two leaders are now back in the peloton.

1:48 p.m. (local time) The two leaders – Voigt and Chavanel – have an advantage of 12 seconds. Neither poses much of a GC threat, Voigt started the day in 67th place, 1:28:20 behind Lance Armstrong and Chavanel was in 86th at 1:46:05.

1:45 p.m. (local time) At km 28, Voigt has been joined by Sylvain Chavanel (Bonjour). The two have a slight 12-second lead over the peloton.

The peloton is back together and we are about to begin the day’s second climb, the Category 3 Cote de Mauvezin. Here is another look at today’s stage map and profile .

1:40 p.m. (local time) Voigt was the first rider to cross over the top of today’s first climb, the category 4 Haut de la Cote. Bartoli was second and Jean-Cyril Robin (Bonjour) was third.

Bartoli was caught on the descent. It appears that the peloton has split in two, with the ONCE team leading the second group, which suggests that Joseba Beloki may have been caught in the back.

1:33 p.m. (local time) Leaving the town of Bagneres de Bigorre, Voigt maintains a 30-second lead and now Mapei’s Bartoli is trying to join him. He has 15 seconds on the peloton at km 19.

1:27 p.m. (local time) Credit Agricole’s Jens Voigt counter-attacked. With just a kilometer to go, he has an advantage, which means he is working to deny Zabel the six points for first.

Voigt passes through the sprint first, then Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) and then Damien Nazon (Bonjour). This means that O’Grady still leads the green jersey contest.

1:22 p.m. (local time) Well, Zabel and company aren’t going to put up with that sort of behavior. Telekom has reeled Mr. O’Grady back in and the peloton is speeding toward the first sprint at km 17 as a single unit.

1:19 p.m. (local time) Stuart O’Grady, eager to add to his lead in the race for the green sprinter’s jersey has attacked at km 12.

1:15 p.m. (local time) We are still all together at 8km, though the peloton will soon be approaching today’s very early intermediate sprint at Bagneres de Bigorre (km17).

This might be a good time to glance at the results and standings as of the end of yesterday’s stage.

1:07 p.m. (local time) We are at the 5km mark and riding through a relatively flat section. The sun is shining and there is a very, very slight breeze. The course is flat, but is pointing directly at the Pyrenees, specifically at the Pic du Midi, which was, at one point, rumored to be the finish of today’s stage. It’s also a tough climb that heads directly off of the Tourmalet, just like the road to Luz Ardiden.

And thanks to the reader who caught my earlier mistake. We did not have 1533 riders sign in for the start – we’d have to call that the Tour de Typo.

12:58 p.m. (local time) The riders have passed beneath the starting banner. Race officials announced that there are indeed 152 starters today, meaning that one rider has withdrawn over night. That is Xavier Jan (Bigmat Auber 93). He was in that break yesterday, by the way. It must have taken its toll.

The UCI did morning hematocrit tests – 6 teams, including Postal tested, and no one has shown an excessive red-blood-cell count. Good — all must be well with the world.

12:50 p.m. (local time) The riders are leaving the starting village and on their way to the flying start about 2km from the village.

Here is a look at today’s stage map and profile .

12:30 p.m. (local time) Good afternoon from the Place Maracadieu, the site of today’s village departe on the final mountain stage of the 2001 Tour de France.

We have 153 riders left in the race after the withdrawals of several during yesterday’s stage, including Domo-Farm Frites’ Fred Rodriguez, the U.S. national champion.

Today’s stage covers a relatively short 141.5km, but it includes six ranked climbs, including the famed hors categorie Tourmalet and mountain-top finish at Luz Ardiden.

We begin today with an intermediate sprint at kilometer 17, Bagneres de Bigorre, which is followed by at short Cat. 4 climb, the Haute de la Cote at km 21. Then a Cat. 3 climb at km 34, followed by another Cat. 4, just 3km later. There is an intermediate sprint at Sarracolin (km57) and then the road gradual rises on the incline toward the Col’ Aspin, which begins at km 64.5 and summits at 77km. There is hardly a break after the descent before the Tourmalet begins at 89.5km and summits at km 106.5

The Tourmalet offers a tough descent and then the 13km finishing climb to Luz Ariden begins. And then a rest day tomorrow.12:58 p.m. (local time) The riders have passed beneath the starting banner. Race officials announced that there are indeed 152 starters today, meaning that one rider has withdrawn over night. That is Xavier Jan (Bigmat Auber 93). He was in that break yesterday, by the way. It must have taken its toll.

The UCI did morning hematocrit tests – 5 teams, including Postal tested, and no one has shown an excessive red-blood-cell count. Good all must be well.

12:50 p.m. (local time) The riders are leaving the starting village and on their way to the flying start about 2km from the village.

Here is a look at today’s stage map and profile .

12:30 p.m. (local time) Good afternoon from the Place Maracadieu, the site of today’s village departe on the final mountain stage of the 2001 Tour de France.

We have 153 riders left in the race after the withdrawals of several during yesterday’s stage, including Domo-Farm Frites’ Fred Rodriguez, the U.S. national champion.

Today’s stage covers a relatively short 141.5km, but it includes six ranked climbs, including the famed hors categorie Tourmalet and mountain-top finish at Luz Ardiden.

We begin today with an intermediate sprint at kilometer 17, Bagneres de Bigorre, which is followed by at short Cat. 4 climb, the Haute de la Cote at km 21. Then a Cat. 3 climb at km 34, followed by another Cat. 4, just 3km later. There is an intermediate sprint at Sarracolin (km57) and then the road gradual rises on the incline toward the Col’ Aspin, which begins at km 64.5 and summits at 77km. There is hardly a break after the descent before the Tourmalet begins at 89.5km and summits at km 106.5

The Tourmalet offers a tough descent and then the 13km finishing climb to Luz Ariden begins. And then a rest day tomorrow.