Ivanov claims 14th stage; fan killed in accident

Britains Cavendish disqualified

A woman was hit by a motorcycle involved with the race when she crossed the road near the town of Wittelsheim, 38.5 km into the stage, and died almost instantly, according to a gendarmerie officer.

Two other people were injured when they were hit by the motorcycle but their lives were not in danger, officials said. It was the first fatal accident on the Tour since a child died in 2002 after being hit by a car from the publicity caravan.

The accident happened shortly after a 12-man breakaway, featuring American George Hincapie, went past the crowd. The group built up an advantage of eight minutes 40 seconds as the Astana team set up a leisurely pace in front of the pack.

The AG2r-La Mondiale team, defending Italy's Rinaldo Nocentini's yellow jersey, started to work some 50 km from the finish and were able to keep him in the overall lead.

"I want to thank my team mates," Nocentini, who has been in yellow for eight days, told reporters. "They have been doing great work."

Nocentini now leads Hincapie by five seconds with Spain's Alberto Contador in third place, also six seconds off the pace. Seven-times champion Lance Armstrong slipped to fourth, eight seconds adrift of Nocentini, but the positions are expected to be upset by Sunday's first Alpine stage to the Swiss ski resort of Verbier.

Ivanov attacked the breakaway group with just over 10 km remaining and never looked back, beating Ireland's Nicolas Roche and New Zealand's Hayden Roulston, second and third respectively, by 16 seconds.

"I waited for the right moment (to attack). I surprised some riders and at that point I just gave everything I had," Ivanov, who won a Tour stage in 2001, told reporters.

Spain's Oscar Freire and Julian Dean of New Zealand started the stage after they were shot and slightly injured during Friday's ride. Police investigating the incident said they were hunting two teenagers.

Briton Mark Cavendish was disqualified from the Tour de France 14th stage's bunch sprint after shoving off green jersey rival Thor Hushovd on Saturday.

Cavendish crossed the line in 13th place but he was eventually placed 154th and credited with the same time as Hushovd, five minutes and 36 seconds behind stage winner Serguei Ivanov of Russia.

The Isle of Man rider did not score any points in the race for the green jersey awarded to the Tour's best sprinter. He now trails Hushovd by 18 points -- 218 to 210 -- going into
the Alpine stages of the race, where the Norwegian is expected to bag more points.

"Mark Cavendish was disqualified because he did not stay on his line while he was next to Thor Hushovd," said race jury director Martin Bruin.

"When Cavendish saw that I was about to go past him on the right flank, he pushed me towards the barrier," Hushovd told reporters.

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