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Tour Stage Ends In Controversy, Disqualifications

Sat., July 26, 1997

Mario Traversoni was awarded the victory Friday after another stage of the Tour de France ended in a controversial sprint and the disqualification of the top two riders.

It was the third time in 19 stages that an apparent winner had the victory taken from him.

Jan Ullrich of Germany stayed in the overall lead with two days left.

He had a 6-minute, 22-second lead over Richard Virenque. Third was Marco Pantani of Italy, more than 10 minutes behind Ullrich.

In Friday’s stage from Montebeliard to Dijon, Bart Voskamp of Netherlands and Jan Heppner of Germany interfered with each other in the final sprint and were disqualified.

Voskamp forced Heppner to the side. Then, just before the finish, Heppner moved into Voskamp and nearly fell but was saved only by leaning on Voskamp.

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