Be sure to use that refresh button
By VeloNews Editorial Staff
5:16 p.m.(local time) Here is the unofficial top 20 list from stage 3 of the 2001 Tour de France.
Stuart O’Grady is now officially the overall race leader with a 17-second advantage over Festina’s Christophe Moreau, the man who first wore the jersey in Dunkirk.
1. ZABEL Erik GER TEL 198.5km in 4:5:7; 2. MAGNIEN Emmanuel FRA, FDJ; 3. GARZELLI Stefano ITA, MAP; 4. BALDATO Fabio ITA, FAS; 5. SIMON François FRA, BJR; 6. MIKHAILOV Guennadi RUS, LOT; 7. CAPELLE Christophe FRA, BIG; 8. BOUYER Franck FRA, BJR; 9. BAGUET Serge BEL, LOT; 10. ARMSTRONG Lance USA, USP; 11. MOREAU Christophe FRA, FES; 12. GUTIERREZ José Enrique ESP, KEL; 13. ULLRICH Jan GER, TEL; 14. BELOKI Joseba ESP, ONC; 15. BOOGERD Michaël NED, RAB; 16. KIVILEV Andrei KAZ, COF; 17. MANCEBO Francisco ESP, BAN; 18. SEVILLA Oscar ESP, KEL; 19. ROUS Didier FRA, BJR; 20. ROUX Laurent FRA, DEL, all s.t.
5:16 p.m.(local time)Zabel now has a firm hold on the green jersey. It looks like the man from Telekom is well on his way to winning his sixth sprinter’s jersey.
Francesco Casagrande has finished more than five minutes down on the winners. He looked quite weak as he crossed the line.
5:10 p.m.(local time)Yup, it’s official. O’Grady is the yellow jersey holder of the Tour de France. He held the jersey in 1998 when the Tour hit Cholet.
5:06 p.m.(local time) It looks as if Credit Agricole’s Stuart O’Grady has taken over the yellow jersey. We’ll confirm that in a few minutes, but one thing is for certain, Marc Wauters (Rabobank)has lost it, as he is just now finishing in a group several minutes behind the leaders.
5:04 p.m.(local time)It’s a big field sprint…. Armstrong is moving up.
But nooooo…. Zabel takes it, edging out Christoph Mengin (Française Des Jeux)at the line.
Erik Zabel wins his second stage of the 2001 Tour de France.
5:02 p.m.(local time) 1km to go, and Telekom is leading. Ullrich and Livingston are leading out Zabel.
5:00 p.m.(local time) On the final climb, Telekom is powering at the front. Armstrong and Heras are there for Postal
4:58 p.m.(local time) The Telekom team is still at the front of the group. The U.S. Postal team riders in the group — Armstrong, Hamilton and Steffen Kjaergaard — are mixing it up at the front as well.
4:58 p.m.(local time) We have 5km remaining and the two leaders have been caught. Telekom is up front of a group of 70 that includes all of the biggies — Armstrong, Ullrich, Moreau, Beloki etc.
There is a 2.25km at the finish. This is going to be good. 4:54 p.m.(local time) We have 10km remaining and Tauler and Marcos Serrano (ONCE) have a small lead. That is bound to be closed down in a few moments.
4:51 p.m.(local time) Just as the leaders were being caught by the Telekom-led chase, Tauler again charged off the front and still has a 50-meter advantage as he crests the climb.
4:45 p.m.(local time) Three riders have moved off the front on the final categorized climb of the day.
With 17km to go, Kelme’s Tauler is leading the group of three–Tauler, Tosatto and Lelli.
Telekom is leading the chase. Are they settingup Ullrich or Zabel for a win?
4:41 p.m.(local time) The group of 14 that included Armstrong and company has regrouped with about 100 riders.
That large group has a 40-second lead over a group of about 50. That chase group includes Marc Wauters, the man in the yellow jersey.
4:38 p.m.(local time)There’s been a big change at the front. Kelme’s Tauler caught the two leaders. They faded back and a chase group then caught up with the errant Kelme rider.
There is now a group of 14 off the front, including some very dangerous riders with names like Armstrong, Ullrich, Beloki, Moreau and Etxebarria (Euskaltel-Euskadi). That should cause a few ripples of panic.
4:30 p.m.(local time) Bettini and Verbrugghe and Kelme’s Antonio Tauler are closing in on the two leaders.
We have 24km to go until the finish and the peloton has just passed Didi Senft…the famous German who always dresses as the devil. He’s always there at the Tour.
4:20 p.m.(local time) Rik Verbrugghe and Paolo Bettini (Mapei) are off the front of the main group and closing in on the two leaders – Nicolas Jalabert and Guesdon.
Nicolas Jalabert was the first over the climb and now has 10 climber’s points. Durand still has that jersey. He has 12 points from the other day.
4:16 p.m.(local time) The two leaders have 1km to go before the top of the climb.
They’re advantage is now down to 1:14.
4:14 p.m.(local time) The two leaders are now on the climb and the crowds on this steep little climb are huge.
It almost looks like a day on Alpe d’Huez.
The leaders advantage is down to 1:35.
4:05 p.m.(local time) Jacky Durand, the polka dot jersey holder doesn’t seem too worried about trying to preserve his jersey. He’s back helping teammate Sven Montgomery regain the field after a puncture.
The two leaders have an advantage of 1:51.
4:02 p.m.(local time) With 44km remaining, the two leaders have a lead of 1:50.
They are now approaching the 2.5km Cat. 3 Mont Theux. It’s a six percent grade.
Jalabert remains the Tour’s leader on the road. We’ll see how that holds.
By the way, Casagrande is still hanging on, riding in the main field.
3:57 p.m.(local time) The two leaders have a lead of 1:40, but the Category 3 Mont Theux is coming up and we should see that lead get cut back quickly.
3:46 p.m.(local time) With 56km remaining, the two off the front have a lead of 1:00.
3:43 p.m.(local time) With 58km remaining, Guesdon and Jalabert have had their lead cut to 1:15.
3:33 p.m.(local time) The Rabobank chase is finally beginning to pay off. The two leaders now have an advantage of less than two minutes.
The course is now moving into the hills.
3:22 p.m.(local time) The two leaders passed the final sprint. Jalabert takes the sprint this time, Guesdon and back in the main field Jaan Kirsipuu takes the third sprint spot.
French television is all abuzz about how proud Laurent Jalabert must be to have his little brother in the lead break.
3:19 p.m.(local time) The two leaders have an advantage of 2:25.
3:12 p.m.(local time) There has been a crash in the field. Daniel Atienza (Cofidis) and Davide Bramati (Mapei) crashed when one of them hit a small concrete median strip in the road.
3:10 p.m.(local time) At kilometer 122, with 76km to go, Jalabert and Guesdon have a lead of 2:15. 2:56 p.m.(local time) Stuart O’Grady — or as Tour radio says it: “Ohh-grah-deeee” — has won the third spot in the intermediate sprint. While O’Grady may have missed the yellow jersey, he is always a serious contender for the green jersey and those points are valuable.
At km 114, the leaders have a gap of 2:10.
2:54 p.m.(local time)The two leaders have passed through the day’s second intermediate sprint — at Tongeren — and Guesdon gets the six-second bonus for rolling through first.
The two, however, seem much more intent on concentrating on building their lead… now at 2:10.
2:48 p.m.(local time) Jalabert and Guesdon have now increased their lead to two minutes.
2:44 p.m.(local time) Even though the Rabobank team is chasing hard — with the entire team lined up at the front of the peloton — Jalabert and Guesdon have upped their lead to 1:35.
This now makes Jalabert the overall leader on the road — but the two escapees do have another 95km to go.
2:38 p.m.(local time) We’re at the 99km mark and the two riders Nicolas Jalabert (CSC-Tiscali)and Frédéric Guesdon (Française Des Jeux) have a lead of 1:10. Wauters Rabobank team is giving chase.
2:38 p.m.(local time)Casagrande is back on, but he looks very weak. Up front, a group of two riders has attacked and they now have a gap of 35 seconds.
The average speed for the second hour was 47.8kph and the overall speed for the first two hours is 46.5kph.
2:32 p.m.(local time) Nazon is back into the field.
Casagrande, however, is not so lucky. Now, with the help of three teammates, he has regained the field only to be dropped a third time. He looks to be suffering and may not make it through the day.
As we approach the feedzone, the pace continues to be quite high and the hills will be starting soon. You have to wonder if Casagrande can hang on today.
2:26 p.m.(local time) VeloNews’s John Wilcockson reports that Fassa Bortolo team leader Francesco Casagrande is having trouble staying in the field today.
Twice now, when the field has accelerated, Casagrande has slipped off the back.
Wilcockson points out that Casagrande skipped the italian national championship last week because of a stomach virus and was still “feeling a bit under the weather at the prologue.”
2:20 p.m.(local time) Bonjour’s Damien Nazon is off the front all by himself at the 88km mark.
2:18 p.m.(local time)By the way, The course today follows the Auto route (the high-speed highway) toward Liége and crosses it seven times. The race radio has constant warnings about exits and other dangers along the road.
2:10 p.m.(local time) The two leaders have been caught. Now at the 78km mark, the peloton is back together.
2:06 p.m.(local time) Wadecki and Sørensen now have a lead of just 12 seconds. The Mapei-led chase is closing in. Tour radio reports that Laurent Desbiens – one of the victims of a crash yesterday – has pulled out of the Tour de France. That makes three riders who have pulled out since the start, leaving 186 still in competition.
1:58 p.m. (local time) The peloton has just passed through Lummen, which is the hometown of none other than race leader Marc Wauters. There are huge crowds out to celebrate the fact that the Tour is coming through town and one of their own is leading the race.
There are dozens and dozens of locals sporting yellow t-shirts emblazoned with “Wauters supporter” on the front.
Of the seven leaders, two have moved off the front — Piotr Wadecki (Domo-Farm Frites)and Rolf Sørensen (CSC – Tiscali). The other five have been caught by the main field.
The two up front now have a lead of 25 seconds
1:44 p.m. (local time) Well the locals are in for a treat. Not only do the Belgians have the yellow jersey in Mark Wauters, one of the country’s favorites is now in the lead break. Ludo Dierckxsens (Lampre) appears to have his fans all over the place here.
VeloNews’s John Wilcockson reports that the roads are lined with Dierckxsens fans and “Ludo,” “Ludo” signs are painted all over the roads.
At Km54, the leaders have a gap of 45 seconds. The Rabobank team of the the yellow jersey Wauters and the Mapei team are leading the chase.
1:34 p.m. (local time) Soon after the sprint, seven riders — Jens Voigt (Credit Agricole), Laurent Jalabert (CSC), Nicki Sørensen (CSC), Sylvain Chavanel (Bonjour), Ludo Dierckxsens (Lampre), Nicolas Vogondy (Française Des Jeux) and Piotr Wadecki (Domo Farm-Frites) — attacked out of the lead group.
The other 12 have been caught.
1:33 p.m. (local time) The attack by Chavanel didn’t go far and the intermediate sprint was taken by Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo), followed by Robert Hunter and , De Jongh.
1:25 p.m. (local time) As the leader’s approach the day’s first intermediate sprint (in Geel at km 41)Bonjour’s Sylvain Chavanel has tried an attack off the front of the lead group.
1:15 p.m. (local time) The leaders now have an advantage of 1:10 over the peloton.
And to prove just how dangerous this group is, the Telekom team has joined up with Postal in pursuit.
Included in the group are Moreau, Jalabert, Sébastien Talabardon (Big Mat), his teammate Alexei Sivakov, Jens Voight and O’Grady from Credit Agricole, Erik Dekker (Rabobank), Ronbert Hunter (Lampre), Stefano Zanini (Mapei) … all told this is a dangerous break and the top teams know it.
1:03 p.m. (local time) There has been an attack, the first of the day and this could be a good one.
Not only is Christophe Moreau (Festina)– this Tour’s first yellow jersey –among the 19 riders in the break, so is Laurent Jalabert and the new leader on the road, Stuart O’Grady.
The leaders have just passed through Rik van Looy’s hometown of Herentals and they have a lead of 55 seconds.
The Postal team is leading the chase with five of its riders up front and Jalabert’s old teammates from ONCE are also joining in.
12:55 p.m. (local time) Everyone is back up and moving back into the peloton. Vande Velde appears to be okay.
12:51 p.m. (local time)There has been a crash, involving several riders including the U.S. Postal Service’s Christian Vande Velde.
12:44 p.m. (local time) We’re at the 10km mark, having just passed through the village of Broechem. There have not been any attacks and the peloton is still together.
12:34 p.m. (local time) And they’re on their way. After the very long neutral start, the 187 riders starting today’s stage have passed beneath the arch signaling the official start of this 198.5km stage of the Tour de France.
Temperatures are quite a bit warmer than they have been in the opening days of this Tour, with temperatures nearing 80 degrees.
The peloton has a bit of a tailwind to kick the into high gear. It should be a good day of racing.
Just a note, Iker Flores (Euskatel-Euskadi) pulled out yesterday after suffering an ankle injury in yesterday’s stage. You might recall that he was the first rider to slip off the back of the field yesterday. And now we know why.
12:13 p.m. (local time) The peloton is off on what has to be one of the longest neutral portions of this Tour. The real start comes after a 12km neutral through the streets of Antwerp.
Today’s stage closes of with a series of three Cat. III climbs at the end of this 198.5km stage. The wind is still blowing just as strongly as it was yesterday.
It looks as though the peloton will have a tailwind … at least until they get to the hills.
The interesting thing about today’s first climb the category 3 Cote de Mont Theaux is that it was used in a stage in 1995, a stage that ended with Johann Bruyneel taking the yellow jersey. Of course, he’s found other work since.
They should be reaching the official start around 12:30.