Rasmussen wins 16th stage of Tour | AspenTimes.com

Rasmussen wins 16th stage of Tour

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Overall leader Michael Rasmussen of Denmark reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the 16th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Orthez and Gourette-Aubisque pass, Pyrenees mountains, Wednesday, July 25, 2007. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

GOURETTE, France ” Michael Rasmussen won Wednesday’s 16th stage of the Tour de France and extended his overall lead as the race continued in the wake of doping revelations.

The Danish cyclist crossed the finish line alone after the 135.8-mile ride from Orthez to Gourette-Col d’Aubisque, the toughest ride in the Pyrenees this year.

American Levi Leipheimer finished 26 seconds behind, and Discovery Channel teammate Alberto Contador of Spain was third, 35 seconds back. Both lost time against Rasmussen, who broke away from the three-man group in the last half-mile, finishing in 6 hours, 23 minutes, 21 seconds.

Rasmussen, who has faced doping suspicions this year, extended his lead to 3:10 against second-place Contador. He’s 5:10 ahead of Cadel Evans of Australia. The three-week event ends in Paris on Sunday.

“I am one step closer,” said Rasmussen, who won Stage 8 in Tignes.

A senior French doping official said Wednesday yet another rider failed a doping test ” this time for testosterone. The revelation came a day after Alexandre Vinokourov and his Astana team were disqualified because he tested positive for a banned blood transfusion.

The doping official said he did not know the identity of the cyclist who tested positive for testosterone. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case with reporters.

Dozens of riders staged a silent protest against the doping scandals in their sport ” delaying the start by 13 minutes ” and some fans booed Rasmussen.


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