Leaders of pack get in position for time trial

LUXEMBOURG — LUXEMBOURG -- The Tour de France keeps moving around, jumping from one country to another. However, the contenders remain the same.

After the eighth stage finished at Koblenz, Germany, the cycling race made a quick jump to Luxembourg last night for today's time trial as all the contenders jockeyed for position.


Three-time champion Greg LeMond, 1991 winner Miguel Indurain and world champion Gianni Bugno kept one eye on the route and one on each other during yesterday's eighth stage, and more of the same was expected in today's 41-mile time trial.

They currently stand 10th, 11th and 12th in the overall standings.


Pascal Lino of France held the overall lead for the sixth consecutive day as the pack allowed riders out of contention to go on for the stage victory.

"We will know on Monday at least who the real opponents in this Tour de France are," Bugno said. "There are lots of racers who mix things in the race. So far I always said Indurain, LeMond and [Eric] Breukink were the favorites because they are the best rollers. I haven't changed my mind but don't ask me about the time differences."

Jan Nevens of Belgium won yesterday's eighth stage from Valkenbourg in the Netherlands to Koblenz, a distance of 128 miles.

"We were particularly careful," Indurain said. "I never worried because I was already thinking of Monday's race."

Indurain won last year's two time trials on his way to the title. LeMond was second and third in the trials and Bugno was fifth and second.

As they enter the time trial today, LeMond is ahead of Bugno by 35 seconds and Indurain by 64 seconds. All are more than four minutes back of Lino.

"We will all see everything clearer tomorrow night in Luxembourg," Lino said. The other individual time trial is scheduled for July 24.