Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Salvodelli Showcases Discovery's Strength

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Salvodelli Showcases Discovery's Strength

Article excerpt

Byline: By Scott Dougal

Lance Armstrong has still to win a stage at this year's Tour de France but Paolo Salvodelli yesterday became the second of his Discovery team-mates to cross the line first with an impressive victory in Revel.

Salvodelli is almost cycling royalty after winning the Giro d'Italia this year but he has ridden as a lowly domestique for Armstrong in his pursuit of a seventh consecutive Tour.

However, the 32-year-old Italian got his reward yesterday after joining an early break, powering past Kurt-Asle Arvesen of CSC on a long drag to the finish to join George Hincapie ( who was victorious at Pla d'Adet on Sunday ( as a Discovery stage winner.

"It couldn't have gone better than this," Salvodelli said. "I got on the break because we in Discovery have to get to the front to control the race and then I went with it to win the stage."

Even though he is without a stage victory, Armstrong remains comfortably in control of the yellow jersey, two minutes and 46 seconds ahead of second-placed Ivan Basso.

The 239.5km from Pau to Revel represented the longest stage of the 2005 Tour and its rolling profile, coming immediately after the final mountain stage, meant it was perfect for a long breakaway and the decisive attack came with just over 55km gone.

Armstrong was visibly relaxed as he spent time chatting with his fellow riders or joking with the motorbike cameramen who buzz around him.

Ahead, the leading group split again with around 40km to go with eight riders, including Salvodelli and Arvesen, taking the initiative.

Salvodelli's Giro win was characterised by battling solo performances as the race comes a long way after its French counterpart in Discovery's list of priorities so he did not have the strength of support enjoyed by Armstrong this month.

But he used that experience to the full yesterday, attacking and counter-attacking until the group was whittled down to a two-man race between him and Arvesen.

The Norwegian looked like he might take the win when he sprinted clear of the Italian but Salvodelli's superior power took him over the line first. …

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