July 26, 1997 in Sports

Tour Stage Ends In Controversy, Disqualifications

Associated Press

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.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email