Cheered on by girlfriend Sheryl Crow, he wins Tuesday's fourth stage – by two seconds

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 06, 2005 08:00 AM
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“Unbelievable!”

That’s how girlfriend Sheryl Crow put it after Lance Armstrong’s thrilling record-setting finish in Tuesday’s fourth stage of the 92nd annual Tour de France. Armstrong donned the leader’s yellow-hued jersey as his Discovery Channel team edged Team CSC by two seconds.

CSC’s David Zabriskie, a 26-year-old from Salt Lake City, had looked to be the victor, but with less than a mile to go, he crashed at more than 30 mph. Zabriskie finished the race, but in ninth place.

Armstrong and his Discovery Channel teammates set a record of 35.54 mph, said a beaming Armstrong, who at 33 seeks an unprecedented seventh consecutive Tour de France victory before retiring: “The plan was to take the jersey, but the priority was to have the best race possible, and gain time on our adversaries.”

Armstrong teammate George Hincapie followed the champ by 55 seconds, to come in second. German Jens Voight of CSC placed third, and American Bobby Julich, also of CSC, was fourth.

“It’s always nice to be in yellow,” said Armstrong, 33, whose has worn the distinctive colored jersey 67 times. “But there are three or four flat stages coming, so it will not be easy to defend the jersey.”