Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Contador takes Tour de France lead, Armstrong falls back

VERBIER, Switzerland — Alberto Contador won a showdown with Lance Armstrong on Sunday, capturing the yellow jersey with a dominating victory in the first Alpine stage of the Tour de France.

Armstrong moved up to second place in the standings after the 15th stage, but lost time to his Astana teammate, who took control of the race in ending Rinaldo Nocentini's eight-day run in the overall lead.

The 26-year-old Spaniard broke away from other prerace favorites with 3.5 miles left in the 128.9-mile ride from Pontarlier, France, to the Swiss ski resort of Verbier — and kept extending his lead throughout the uphill finish.

Contador — the 2007 Tour winner — came into Sunday's stage in third place overall, 6 seconds behind Nocentini. Contador finished in 5 hours, 3 minutes, 58 seconds. Armstrong, who had entered the day fourth overall and 8 seconds behind Nocentini, finished ninth, 1:35 behind Contador.

The seven-time Tour champion trails Contador by 1:37 in the overall standings. Bradley Wiggins of Britain climbed from sixth place to third, 1:46 back of the Spaniard.

"St15 done. Ouch! Verbier was as hard as I thought. Alberto — super and had great punch/power. A heartfelt congrats to him. Rest day 2morrow!" Armstrong wrote on his Twitter feed after the stage.

Andy Schleck of Luxembourg was second in the stage, 43 seconds back, and Vincenzo Nibali of Italy was third, 1:03 back. Nocentini was 2:36 off the pace.

Riders get a rest day on Monday before two more stages in the Alps, an individual time trial in Annecy on Thursday, and then a ride up the dreaded Mont Ventoux on Saturday. The Tour ends Sunday in Paris.

Contador takes Tour de France lead, Armstrong falls back 07/19/09 [Last modified: Sunday, July 19, 2009 12:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez ready to start a day after closing game

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.

    The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez throws 12 pitches in the 15th inning against the Twins to earn the save then says after the game that he’s ready to make his scheduled start against the Rangers: “My arm feels good.”
  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    The Rays won because they got two innings of good relief from each of the two pitchers who contributed to them losing Saturday's game, Danny Farquhar (who again struck out Miguel Sano) and Tommy Hunter, who both posted zeroes.