Uchakov wins and kiks Lance's ass!
Patrick D. Walters
PWALTERS at delphi.com
Sun Jul 16 23:59:10 PDT 1995
36 15-JUL-1995 12:01 Cycling-Uchakov wins in longest breakaway of Tour
By Paul Radford
REVEL, France (Reuter) - Sergei Uchakov won Ukraine a first ever stage
victory in the Tour de France Saturday as a long breakaway paid off for the
fourth time in five days.
On the second longest stage of the race, the Ukrainian featured with three
other riders in the lengthiest break of the Tour and won with a 19-minute
advantage over the main bunch, the biggest time gap so far.
But for the main riders the 13th stage over 245 kilometres from Mende was
a gentle transition with all the leaders staying with the peloton before the
race moves into the Pyrenees.
Spain's Miguel Indurain retained his race leader's yellow jersey with an
advantage of two minutes 44 seconds over Swiss Alex Zuelle.
Uchakov got away with American Lance Armstrong, the 1993 world champion,
Italian Bruno Cenghialta and Hernan Buenahora of Colombia after only 38 kms
following the day's first climb over the Cote de Chanac.
They kept stretching their lead over an inactive peloton until Uchakov and
Armstrong broke away from the other two to fight for the stage victory seven
kms from the end.
Armstrong, who won a stage victory in the Tour two years ago, took up a
perfect position on the Ukrainian's wheel for the final sprint as Uchakov
slowed right down and glanced nervously over his shoulder.
But when the American finally made his move in the last 100 metres,
Uchakov was ready for him and produced a burst of speed to resist the
"He was faster," Armstrong said breathlessly afterwards. "I was surprised,
he was much faster."
The two were clocked in five hours 50 minutes 45 seconds with Cenghialta
just beating Buenahora for third place 59 seconds later. The main bunch came
in 19 minutes 14 seconds behind Uchakov.
Uchakov, who completed a hat-trick of stage wins in the major tours after
his victories in the Spanish Vuelta in 1993 and this year's Giro d'Italia, has
come out of the shadow of Djamolidine Abdoujaparov this season.
The Ukrainian used to set up sprint finishes for the Uzbek but since
Abdoujaparov switched teams he has been racing for himself.
"My team manager told me I should believe in myself and that I could be a
great champion and beat the best riders," he said.
"I had that in my mind at the end because I felt at first that Armstrong
was faster than me. Then I thought that I had won a sprint in the Giro and
that I could do it again."
The main beneficiary of the day was Buenahora, who jumped from 23rd to
ninth place in the overall standings. Cenghialta also moved into the top 20.
The Tour goes into the Pyrenees on Sunday with the 14th stage over 164 kms
from St Orens de Gameville to Guzet-Neige.
Indurain, who celebrates his 31st birthday on Sunday and who is seeking a
record fifth consecutive Tour win when the race finishes in Paris on July 23,
said he felt he could still have a bad day and lose despite his comforting
But he said the Spanish ONCE team of his main challengers Zuelle and
France's Laurent Jalabert might be forced to pay for the efforts they have
spent trying to break him down over the past week.
"I heard Zuelle has a knee injury and he was behind for a while at the
start today," he said. "If he has problems in the Pyrenees, he will suffer.
Jalabert (three minutes 35 seconds behind) may be the biggest threat."
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