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Stage 13, Beziers to Montelimar, 230km
By Andrew Hood
Mostly sunny, very hot again, high 35C
Jens Voigt (CSC), 5h24:36, 42.514kph – The German won his second career Tour stage in trademark panache, attacking in the Tour’s longest stage to win in a breakaway. The five-man breakaway started to dissolve under searing temperatures and counter-attacks late in the stage. Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d’Epargne) chased a long sprint from Voigt, but the German out-muscled him for the win.
Pereiro, 2,498.6km, 59h50:34 – Spain’s Pereiro becomes the seventh rider to hold the yellow jersey, just one man short of the record eight different yellow jerseys from the 1987 Tour. Pereiro struggled in the Pyrenees and started well back (47th at 28:31 back), but Phonak was content to let the responsibility of the jersey slip away. Overnight leader Floyd Landis finished 29th at 29:57 with the main bunch and slipped to second at 1:29. None of the overall favorites lost time in relation to each other.
Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) widened his lead after leading the main bunch across the line in sixth place after the Voigt break gobbled up points at two intermediate sprints. Tom Boonen (Quick Step) moved back into second in the green jersey hunt, but couldn’t get the better of McEwen and settled for eighth. McEwen now leads Boonen, 252-222.
King of the Mountains
The Voigt break grabbed the points at all five Cat. 4 climbs marking the route and David de la Fuente (Saunier Duval) retained his hold on the polka-dot jersey, 80 points to second-place Cyril Dessel (Ag2r) with 62 points.
Best Young Rider
Andriy Grivko (Milram) was part of the day’s winning breakaway and moved up to fourth in the best young riders’ category. Marcus Fothen (Gerolsteiner) finished safely in the main back to retain his 12:15 lead to Damiano Cunego (Lampre).
Caisse d’Epargne was best team on the day, but Team CSC moved into a solid lead in the overall team classification, now 15:53 ahead of Caisse d’Epargne.
Most aggressive rider
Voigt took the honors by the eight-man panel of judges, who said his attacking style was “second nature.”
Sebastian Joly (FDJeux) retained his last spot in the GC, 160th at 1h50:37
160 riders – no abandons or non-starters
Medical reportSylvain Calzati (Ag2r), Nicolas Portal (Caisse d’Epargne) and Arnaud Coyot (Cofidis) – all insect bites.Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r), Chris Horner (Davitamon-Lotto), David Millar (Saunier Duval), Gustav Larsson (FDJeux) – all ear or nose problems.Georg Totschnig (Gerolsteiner) right knee pain.Peter Wrolich (Gerolsteiner) left knee painPaolo Tiralongo (Lampre) right knee pain.Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery Channel) irritation to left foot.David Lopez Garcia (Euskaltel) lingering pain to cuts on the left elbow.Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) headache.
Race jury augmented the time limit from nine to 10 percent for the stage; otherwise the entire peloton, save the five break away riders, would have been eliminated
Sunny in morning, chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms, temperatures from 27C to 34C