Johnny Weltz of Denmark won Thursday's 19th stage in the Tour de France cycling classic in Le Puy de Dome, France, while Pedro Delgado of Spain finished a strong third and increased his overall lead.
Showing no effects of a drug controversy in which he was cleared late Thursday, Delgado moved briskly away from his chief challenger, the Netherlands' Steven Rooks, in the 188-kilometer (117-mile) stage from Limoges to Le Puy de Dome.He charged up the hill and moved steadily away to finish in third position behind Weltz and West Germany's Rolf Golz, neither of whom are in a contending position for the overall title.
Weltz won in 5 hours, 14 minutes, 34 seconds with Golz more than 40 seconds behind as both moved away from the pack early and increased their margin to more than six minutes nearing the end.
In the final climb over the last five miles, Delgado was in a group with Rooks and another Dutch rider, Gert-Jan Theunisse. As he had done in the last three mountain stages, he stood on his pedals and moved away, gaining more than 30 seconds on each and ending third, 5:24 behind Weltz.
Also in Le Puy de Dome, Jeannie Longo of France held onto the yellow jersey as the women's Tour de France cycling leader Thursday, although rival Maria Canins of Italy won the 10th stage.
Canins, 1985 and 1986 champion, won the 61.5-kilometer (38-mile) stage in 1 hour, 55 minutes, 7 seconds with a gap of 15 seconds separating her and Longo.
However, Longo held a lead of 1:20 ahead of the Italian in the overall standings with two relatively flat stages remaining.