Guerini seizes the last chance

T-Mobile take their second stage win at the Tour thanks to climber Giuseppe Guerini, who wins on unf

T-Mobile take their second stage win at the Tour thanks to climber Giuseppe Guerini, who wins on unf

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

Six years on from a victory on Alpe d'Huez best remembered for a coming-together with an amateur photographer, Giuseppe Guerini won his second stage at the Tour de France. The 35-year-old Italian jumped clear of three breakaway companions 1500 metres from the line to win the last stage in this race that offered a good winning opportunity to the lesser lights.

Guerini began the move after 32km with Francaise des Jeux's Sandy Casar after another frenetic and high-speed start to the stage. Stage 16 winner Oscar Pereiro was the first rider to get across to the pair and namesake Pellizotti was the last.

Another 10 riders began a chase behind the leading quartet, but despite the best and regular efforts of Salvatore Commesso, looking very Freddie Mercury in his sleeveless top, the bigger group didn't manage to get on terms with the smaller one.

The quartet cooperated until they were inside the last 2km, when climbing specialist Guerini made what was the most predictable of attacks given his lack of a finishing sprint. Casar and Pellizotti expected Pereiro to give chase and refused to come by, not wanting to lead the quickest sprinter among them back up to Guerini.

But the longer they dallied, the further Guerini got clear of them and within a few seconds it was all over failing the unlikely intervention of a finish line photographer in the Italian's path. Ten seconds after the T-Mobile veteran had celebrated his victory, Casar won the dash for second place. A rueful shake of the head indicated he realised he'd missed a great chance of winning France's second stage of the race.

Pereiro gained some compensation for his efforts by moving up to 10th overall, but there were no other notable changes. The bunch sprint for 14th was won by Robbie McEwen ahead of Thor Hushovd, suggesting the Australian is the favourite for final day success on the Champs Elyses assuming the traditional bunch finish.

Stage 19, Issoire-Le Puy en Velay

1 Giuseppe Guerini (Ita) T-Mobile 153.5km in 3.33.04 (43.23kph)
2 Sandy Casar (Fra) Franaise des Jeux 0.10
3 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi
4 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Phonak 0.12
5 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 2.43
6 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) CSC 2.48
7 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2r
8 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Phonak
9 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis
10 Pieter Weening (Hol) Rabobank 3.50

14 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 4.31
15 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crdit Agricole
16 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis
17 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros
18 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Davitamon-Lotto
20 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears
21 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner
28 Ivan Basso (Ita) CSC
29 Bobby Julich (USA) CSC
30 Baden Cooke (Aus) Franaise des Jeux
31 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto
33 Jan Ullrich (Ger) T-Mobile
34 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank
36 Matt White (Aus) Cofidis
45 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile
56 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel
58 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel
71 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak
74 Luke Roberts (Aus) CSC
86 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quick Step
109 Chris Horner (USA) Saunier Duval
142 Brad McGee (Aus) Francaise des Jeux 5.40
143 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Ag2r

Overall standings

1 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel 81.22.19 (41.70kph)
2 Basso 2.46
3 Rasmussen 3.46
4 Ullrich 5.58
5 Mancebo 7.08
6 Leipheimer 8.12
7 Evans 9.49
8 Vinokourov 10.11
9 Landis 10.42
10 Pereiro 12.39

17 Hincapie 21.15
18 Julich 22.35
34 Horner 1.03.12
42 Rogers 1.19.14
76 O'Grady 2.18.35
84 Davis 2.25.45
105 McGee 2.50.18
105 Roberts 2.50.25
120 White 3.10.37
125 Gerrans 3.14.45
131 Rodriguez 3.28.08
134 McEwen 3.30.29
141 Cooke 3.37.42

Points

1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crdit Agricole 175
2 O'Grady 160
3 McEwen 154
4 Pereiro 118
5 Davis 110
6 Vinokourov 107

King of the Mountains

1 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Rabobank 185
2 Pereiro 155
3 Moreau 92
4 Armstrong 92
5 Boogerd 90
6 Botero 88

Young rider: Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel
Team: T-Mobile

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