Tour de France: Armstrong takes grip on title

16th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

16 July 2004 , LA MONGIE - Lance Armstrong took a firm hold on what would be his sixth Tour de France title, outdistancing his main rivals in the mountains, as Italian Ivan Basso won Friday's 12th stage of the 2004 Tour de France.

16 July 2004  

LA MONGIE - Lance Armstrong took a firm hold on what would be his sixth Tour de France title, outdistancing his main rivals in the mountains, as Italian Ivan Basso won Friday's 12th stage of the 2004 Tour de France.

Five-time champion Armstrong sprinted away from Jan Ullrich of Germany and fellow American Tyler Hamilton on the climb to the finish, which was situated at an altitude of 1,715 metres, near the top of the legendary Col de Tourmalet.

Basso was timed in 5:03.58 hrs for the 197.5-km course from Castelsarrasin to La Mongie high in the Pyrenees Mountains, which included two climbs ranked 1st category in difficulty. Armstrong finished just behind in second place.

Barring illness, accident or a breakdown of form, Armstrong now looks virtually certain to become the first rider to win the Tour six times.

Saturday's 13th stage remains in the Pyrenees, with several testing climbs including the ascent to the finish, which is rated beyond category.

DPA

Subject: German news

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