Abdoujaparov snatched his third stage win with the kind of shuddering sprints which two years ago left him flattened on the Champs Elysees with a broken collarbone. The man from Tashkent made it to the podium to receive his second green jersey as the most consistent finisher but centre stage was reserved for the quiet man of Navarra who reigns supreme if metronomic in his methods.
Before Indurain, only the Belgian Eddy Merckx (1971) and Louison Bobet (1955) of France had won three Tours in a row.
Indurain beat Tony Rominger of Switzerland by 4min 59sec but took a rare defeat in Saturday's time trial when Rominger was 42 seconds faster, Indurain's biggest defeat in seven professional years. The Swiss has won the Tour of Spain for the last two years and claims that as it is his Spanish sponsor's main target he cannot maintain his form to that peak for the French race.
TOUR DE FRANCE 20th stage (196.5km, Viry-Chatillon to Champs Elysees): 1 D Abdoujaparov (Uzb, Lampre) 5hr 27min 20sec; 2 F Moncassin (Fr, WordPerfect); 3 S Colage (It, ZG Mobili); 4 U Raab (Ger, Telekom); 5 M Sciandri (It, Motorola); 6 P Anderson (Aus, Motorola); 7 J Museeuw (Bel, GB-MG); 8 G Fidanza (It, Gatorade); 9 C Capelle (Fr, GAN); 10 M Sergeant (Bel, Novemail).
Final overall: 1 M Indurain (Sp, Banesto) 95hr 57min 9sec; 2 T Rominger (Swit, Clas) +4min 59sec; 3 Z Jaskula (Pol, GB-MG) +5:48; 4 A Mejia (Col, Motorola) +7:29; 5 B Riis (Den, Ariostea) +16:26; 6 C Chiappucci (It, Carrera) +17:18; 7 J Bruyneel (Bel, Once) +18:04; 8 A Hampsten (US, Motorola) +20:14; 9 P Delgado (Sp, Banesto) +23:57; 10 V Poulnikov (Ukr, Carrera) +25:29; 11 G Faresin (It, ZG Mobili) +29:05; 12 A Martin (Sp, Amaya) +29:51; 13 S Roche (Irl, Carrera) +29:53; 14 R Conti (It, Ariostea) +30:05; 15 J-P Dojwa (Fr, Festina) +30:24. Selected: 24 R Millar (GB, TVM) +44:20; 88 S Yates (GB, Motorola) +2hr 16min 38sec.
Robot racer, page 24
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