Originally created 07/11/00

Overtime: Armstrong in position to defend title



Lance Armstrong surged into the overall lead in the Tour de France on Monday with a stunning climb in the Pyrenees that placed him second after 10 stages.

Armstrong, who came back from cancer to win last year's Tour, overtook 1998 winner Marco Pantani and contender Richard Virenque on the final climb in cold, driving rain.

The 28-year-old Texan started the day in 16th place, 5:54 behind, but his performance gave him the yellow jersey for the first time this year. Armstrong created a 10-minute swing in the standings and holds a lead of 4:14 over second-place Jan Ullrich, the '97 champ.

The only rider Armstrong couldn't catch Monday was Spain's Javier Ochoa, who won the first tough climb that was roughly the halfway point of the 21-stage race.

Ochoa, who rides for the Kelme team, won the 127-mile stage from Dax to Lourdes-Hautacam in 6 hours, 9 minutes, 32 seconds. Armstrong was 42 seconds behind.

FOOTBALL:

The Jets signed defensive end Shaun Ellis and linebacker John Abraham, the first two of the team's unprecedented four first-round draft picks.

Ellis, from Tennessee, and Abraham, from South Carolina, were selected 12th and 13th overall in April. Both will be in uniform for the first training camp workout Friday.

Ellis, 6-foot-5, 280 pounds, signed a five-year deal worth $8.175 million. He received a $2.175 million bonus and the third and fourth years are guaranteed.

Abraham, who like Ellis is expected to boost the Jets' weak pass rush, received a $7.055 million five-year contract, with a $2 million signing bonus.

AWARDS:

South Carolina pitcher Kip Bouknight and Georgia swimmer Kristy Kowal were named the 1999-2000 Southeastern Conference Male and Female Athletes of the Year as voted by the league's athletics directors.

Bouknight help lead the Gamecocks to their best record (56-10) in school history and their first SEC Championship. He also earned SEC Player of the Year honors after leading the league in wins (17), strikeouts (143) and ERA (2.81).

Kowal dominated both 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events and added a third title in the 200 individual medley during the NCAA Women's Swimming and Diving Championships. By winning her seventh NCAA individual crown, Kowal claimed the most national titles won by any student athlete in Georgia history. She finished as a 22-time All-American.

GOLF:

The team of Justin Leonard and Davis Love III took the lead after the first round of the CVS Charity Classic at Rhode Island Country Club.

Under the two-man, medal play best-ball format, Leonard and Love combined for an 11-under-par 60. The team of Craig Stadler and Steve Elkington was second, three strokes behind.

Leonard and Love birdied the first two holes, and never let up. They birdied five holes on the front nine of the 6,688-yard course and six on the back nine.

Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon, both from Rhode Island and the tournament organizers were in third with a seven-under 64.

The tournament, which carries a total purse of $1 million, concludes Tuesday.

BASEBALL:

The Arizona Diamondbacks will hold a tryout camp on at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Augusta State field. The tryout is for athletes between the ages of 15 and 20. Athletes will need to bring a hat, glove and shoes. Bats and balls will be provided.

HOCKEY:

The New York Rangers signed defenseman Vladimir Malakhov from the Stanley Cup-champion New Jersey Devils to begin what is expected to be a key week for the club.

The Rangers are getting ready to sign a new coach, presumably Ron Low, and return Mark Messier to a team that has not been the same since the club's last trip to the playoffs in 1997.

Malakhov, who was acquired by the Devils from Montreal on March 1, signed a four-year, $14 million deal. The team decided not to re-sign defensemen Kevin Hatcher and Mathieu Schneider and used that money on Malakhov.