Posted by Editor on 07/11/99
Stage 8 - The Story
Big upsets in the first individual time trial stage of the Tour. The 56.5 kilometre loop that started and finished in Metz was expected to shake things up, but we did not think that American Bobby Julich (Cofidis), one of the favourites who finished third overall last year, would crash heavily on a descent and be out of the Tour! He is reported to be okay, but is at the hospital receiving treatment.
Alex Zulle (Banesto), as expected set the early fast time (1:09:34.4), overtaking Chris Boardman (Credit Agricole, 1:12:08). He then held onto the lead, despite challenges from Tyler Hamilton (US Postal) and Kevin Livingston (US Postal). However, the next 'big gun' was Julich, who would like nothing better than to be in yellow for the first mountain stage on Tuesday. Julich started a little slow, only just making it into the top 5 for early time checks. Then came the word that he had crashed on one of the descents, reportedly at 75 kph, and was not getting back on his bike.
Abraham Olano, the world time trial champion was the next big name to take to the course, and although his intermediate times were good, as were Christophe Moreau (Festina), Zulle still stayed in front. Finally, Lance Armstrong (US Postal), the Prologue winner, wsa on course, and demolishing everyone at the time checks. He caught his 2, 4 and 6 minute men! Olano was one of those, but it should be pointed out that he had crashed on the course. be that as it may, armstrong was still riding an incredible pace - 49.416 kph for the entire stage. In addition to winning the stage, this has put him back into the yellow jersey.
|2||ZULLE Alex||BAN||SUI||at 00:58|
|7||GONZALEZ GALDEANO Alvaro||VIT||ESP||03:41|
|15||PEREZ RODRIGUEZ Luis||ONC||ESP||04:39|
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