Tour riders give emotional tribute
Patrick D. Walters
PWALTERS at delphi.com
Thu Jul 20 18:51:02 PDT 1995
3 19-JUL-1995 19:55 Tour riders give emotional tribute
PAU, France, July 19 (UPI) -- Cyclists turned Wednesday's 16th stage of the
Tour de France into an emotional tribute to tragic Italian Fabio Casartelli,
who died after crashing in the Pyrenees one day earlier.
Before the stage got underway riders observed a minute's silence and the
U.S. Motorola team wore black armbands on their sleeves in memory of their
American Lance Armstrong, the Motorola leader, led the race out of Tarbes
and the Motorola riders were allowed to move to the front of the pack as the
riders approached the finish at Pau.
Casartelli's six teammates crossed the line together, led by his friend and
compatriot Andrea Peron, with the other 193 riders finishing in a group
The riders, obserf Team Festina. "It was a very quiet peloton, there wasn't
much to say.
"At the end we made sure the Motorola team were at the front and then we
all dropped back. It was our way of saying goodbye."
The tribute was similar to that given to England's Tommy Simpson, who died
during the 1967 race of heat exhaustion on a mountain climb. The following
day, his teammate Barry Hoban won the stage when the rest of the field
purposely dropped behind him.
Casartelli fractured his skull and was killed during Tuesday's stage when
he was descending a mountain and crashed. All the riders agreed to donate
Wednesday's pay bonuses to Casartelli's widow.
Casartelli's body was flown back Tuesday via Milan airport to his home near
Como. His bicycle, with its 114 number plate, was strapped onto the roof of
Tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc's car during Wednesday's stage.
Spain's Miguel Indurain retained his lead of two minutes, 46 seconds over
Switzerland's Alex Zuelle, as the results of Wednesday's action were not made
Bjarne Riis of Denmark is third, 5:59 behind Indurain, and Franchman
Laurent Jalabert is fourth at 6:26. Ivan Gotti of Italy rounds out the top
five, 9:52 behind the leader.
Indurain, who held the overall lead for the eighth consecutive stage, is
bidding to become only the fourth cyclist to win the Tour de France five times
and the first to do it five straight years. He took over the lead on July 9
from Johan Bruyneel of Belgium and has held it since.
Thursday's 17th stage is a 210-kilometer (130 mile) jaunt from Pau to
Bordeaux, with Indurain looking to stay out of trouble and retain his nearly
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