With renewed fighting spirit appeared Lance Armstrong before the start of the Tour de France in 1999. During the spring season, he finished second in the Amstel Gold Race, behind winner Michael Boogerd. In June, he won the prologue of the Dauphine Libere and the fourth stage of the Route du Sud. His previous participations in the Tour de France delivered two stage wins. In 1993 he won the eighth stage, while in 1995 the eighteenth stage was dragged. The victory step in 1995 was a tribute to a friend and teammate Fabio Casartelli. The Italian came in the same Tour fatal crash during the fifteenth stage.
Tour de France 1999
Armstrong’s first Tour de France after curing cancer missing the previous winners Jan Ullrich and Marco Pantani because of an injury because of allegations of doping and drug use. Pantani was on his way to victory, disqualified on the penultimate day of the Giro d’Italia because of high hematocrit. Armstrong’s main rival during the Tour in 1999, the Swiss Alex Zülle was that when the five-time Tour winner Miguel Indurain was already difficult. Zülle now playing for the same team as when Indurain flourished: Banesto. Lance Armstrong was the leader of the well-oiled US Postal team.
Lance Armstrong gave everyone equally his card July 5 by winning the prologue by seven seconds before Zülle. It earned his first yellow jersey. But the next day he lost already in the Estonian sprinter Kirsipuu. Due to a resounding victory in the eighth stage, a time trial, Armstrong was hoisted in yellow and gave it out of the hands no more. The victory also bombed Armstrong to trial specialist. Zülle ended at 58 seconds away second in the trial time.
Armstrong won his first mountain stage of the Tour
The ninth stage was the first Alpine trip. That left Armstrong for the first time to show its strength in the French and Italian mountains. He won the 215 km ride from Le Grand-Bornand in the Italian ski resort of Sestriere with overwhelming spongiform, although Zülle could limit losses to 31 seconds. But, for example, Michael Boogerd came whopping 18:02 minutes later inside. The US appeared Tuesday morning, July 13, 1999 in the yellow jersey at the start of the first mountain stage. But a high-level climbers had never been free triathlete. “I knew the peloton thought I would collapse,” he wrote in his book Through the pain barrier. “They had no respect for the yellow jersey on my shoulders.”
Partly because of the changing weather conditions, the drive to Sestriere caused carnage among the riders. “I will let them suffer so that they could get someone to breathe anymore.” Eight kilometers to the summit Lance Armstrong ran away from a group with his main rival Alex Zülle. Almost casually he passes earlier fled Fernando Escartín and Ivan Gotti. On a small resistance touring the US inimitable Sestriere, where he took his first victory in the high mountains in the pouring rain. Armstrong would uphill to repeat several times the same ingenious escapes in his six Tour Post.
Exactly seven years earlier, July 13, 1992 recorded the Italian cyclist Claudio Chiappucci has an equally impressive stage victory, after the Italian hero, Fausto Coppi, who in 1952 with a lead of more than seven minutes on the Spaniard Bernardo Ruiz finished in Sestriere. Chiappucci fell into the first of the five columns already and the peloton thought he would later encounter. After more than 200 kilometers in the lead with a driven crown jewel, of which over 100 kilometers solo, he kept Miguel Indurain almost two minutes. But it was not enough for the yellow jersey, as they took the Tour winner Indurain later after this step. Chiappucci that year or in the final standings. But, again, he won the polka dot jersey.
Armstrong wins his first Tour de France with a big lead
The ninth stage, a time trial run for Armstrong. Zülle was second at a respectable nine seconds away. He also won second place in the final standings, at 7:37 minutes from the Lance Armstrong. Remained so after the traditional sprint stage in Paris. Fernando Escartín finished in third place, his best result ever in the Tour, with a gap of 10.26 minutes. In 1998 Escartin had their top-five spot even give up because Kelme team pulled because of doping issues. Thus Michael Boogerd still finished fifth in 11.26 minutes behind the winner Marco Pantani.
Lance Armstrong won a total of four stage victories, including the prologue. He had also established its name as a classification rider, while the more for his medical specialist in one-day competitions. He set the tone at the Tour DuPont, but many European cyclists these days race was not taken seriously. Tour DuPont was organized between 1991 and 1996 as the American counterpart of the Tour de France. French-sounding American chemical company DuPont was the main sponsor. After the tour successes Greg LeMond did the Americans give cycling a boost in the USA Erik Breukink was the first winner, followed by Greg LeMond, Raúl Alcalá, Viatscheslav Jekimov twice and Lance Armstrong. In editions in 1993 and 1994, Armstrong others. Eventually, after the sponsor withdrew and it was the end of the Tour DuPont.
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