Cipollini races off with second straight stage

Kirsipuu leads overall

Armstrong remains fourth

Tour de France

July 09, 1999|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

PARIS -- Mario Cipollini, the Italian cyclist known as "the Lion King," won his second straight stage in the Tour de France yesterday after disappointing performances in the first three stages.

Estonian Jaan Kirsipuu held on to the yellow jersey as the overall leader. He finished third in yesterday's 145.1-mile stage from the medieval city of Bonneval to the industrial center of Amiens, home of one of France's most famous Gothic cathedrals.

In a last-minute push for the finish line yesterday, Belgian Tom Steels, who also has won two stages, was second and moved into second overall. Australian Stuart O'Grady is third overall.

The highest-ranking American, Lance Armstrong, remained fourth overall, 32 seconds behind Kirsipuu.

Cipollini, who two days ago talked about dropping out of the Tour, won yesterday's stage in 5 hours, 36 minutes, 28 seconds -- placing him fifth overall.

"I saw [German cyclist] Erik Zabel ahead of me, but I think he is weaker this year than last year, and I knew I could take him out," Cipollini said. "It was a great victory."

A head wind slowed cyclists from Wednesday's record pace. Ten riders broke away at 2 miles, but the pack recovered quickly.

The French daily L'Equipe reported yesterday that one of four riders tested had shown positive for corticosteroids after Saturday's prologue. But Hein Verbruggen, International Cyclists' Union president, said the cyclist is using the drug for medical reasons the anti-drug commission approved.

Stage-winner Armstrong, a cancer survivor, was tested with Denmark's Bo Hamburger, Spain's Manuel Beltran, and Colombia's Joaquim Castelblanco, the paper reported.


Fifth stage (145.1 miles from Bonneval to Amiens)

1. Mario Cipollini, Italy, Saeco, 5: 36.28. 2. Tom Steels, Belgium, Mapei, same time. 3. Jaan Kirsipuu, Estonia, Casino, same time. 4. Robbie McEwen, Australia, Rabobank, same time. 5. Erik Zabel, Germany, Telekom, same time. 6. Stuart O'Grady, Australia, Cr. Agricole, same time. 7. Nicola Minali, Italy, Cantina, same time. 8. Christophe Capelle, France, BigMat, same time. 9. Damien Nazon, France, Fran. de Jeux, same time. 10. Jan Svorada, Slovenia, Lampre, same time. 11. Jimmy Casper, France, Fran. de Jeux, same. 12. Christophe Moreau, France, Festina, same time. 13. Pavel Padrnos, Czech Rep., Lampe, same time. 14. David Etxebarria, Spain, ONCE, same time. 15. George Hincapie, U.S.A., U.S. Postal, same time.


44. Bobby Julich, U.S.A., Cofidis, same time. 70. Lance Armstrong, U.S.A., U.S. Postal, same time.

Overall standings

1. Kirsipuu, 22 hours, 47 minutes. 2. Steels 17 seconds behind. 3. O'Grady, 24. 4. Lance Armstrong, U.S.A., U.S. Postal, 32. 5. Cipollini, 32. 6. Zabel, 40. 7. Abraham Olano, Spain, ONCE, 43. 8. Hincapie, 46. 9. Christophe Moreau, France, Festina, 47. 10. Alexandre Vinokourov, Kazakhstan, Casino; Santos Gonzalez, Spain, ONCE, 53. 12. Andrea Peron, Italy, ONCE; Christian Vandevelde, U.S.A., U.S. Postal; Laurent Dufaux, Switzerland, Saeco, 55.

Pub Date: 7/09/99

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