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60th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré Stage 2 Live
 
By Staff
Date: 6/10/2008
60th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré Stage 2 Live
 

60th Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré Stage 2 Live
A sprinters stage into Vienne... a brave trio is away Thor Hushvods crews is on the chase...

Stage 2 Bourg-Saint-Andeol - Vienne (184 km)
Welcome to our live coverage of stage 2 we join the race in progress with three escapees away: David de la Fuente (Saunier Duval), Stephane Auge (Cofidis) and Benat Albizuri (Euskaltel). With 43 km to go they have 2.23 on the bunch.

The trio started their adventure at 5 km on the rolling terrain of another sprinters stage and gained a max advantage of 4:35. The trio having been out in wind for 145 kilometers fighting the odds that they can keep the sprinters teams at bay. Behind Credit Agricole is leading the pace in the bunch for race leader Thor Hushovd with 40 km to go. The finishing kilometers have a few climbs so it may be hard for the sprinters teams to arrive for a mass sprint.

A newspaper in Belgium today reported Tom Boonen testing positive for cocaine in a random control before the tour of Belgium. Later today Quick Step has planned a press conference so we will update this later, at this point no charges have been made. There are also rumors that Bouygues Telecom has an interest in signing the Belgian sprinter. If Boonen goes to  Bouygues Telecom he would be joined Kevin Hulsman and Wilfried Cretskens. So a question remains: shall we see Tom Boonen in the Tour de France this year?

Other Breaking news: Bjarne Riis has found a new sponsor to replace CSC at the end of the season. Saxo Bank will be the new main sponsor of the team. It seems they have signed a contract for 3 years. So you might say that's the good, bad and the ugly news today.

In the break Benat Albizuri has problems following the  the pace of Auge and De La Fuente. So two brave riders remain in the lead. Back to the Dauphine Liberé: It starts raining a little and the roads are going up. We are sure there are some riders already suffering. Yesterday we mentioned that one of the riders in the break Joly was in the Tour team of La Francaise des Jeux. We were wrong. Joly will take a break after the French champs before heading to Spain for La Vuelta.

Another twist on the Boonen saga is he has likely been taken off the Quick Step roster for the Tour of Switzerland, following the announcement the tour stated he would not be welcome.

A short view on the two leaders in the break. David de la Fuente is an aggressive rider and likes to go in breaks. In the 2006 Tour de France he had the polka dot jersey for a few days and at the end of the Tour he was the most aggressive rider of the event. Last year he won the GP Llodio

Stephane Auge (Cofidis) is a rider who likes to do monster breaks as well. This year he won a stage and the final ranking in the four days of dunkerque. He also won among others the Gp Cholet, a stage in the Tour of Poland, a stage in the Limousin and a stage in the Tour of Germany

1600 CEST - 30 km to go the gap is down to 1.40 the effort of the Credit Agricole lads is starting to slowly close the gap.

1610 CEST - 26 km to go and the gap is down to 1.33 David de la Fuente is doing the lions work in the break as he seems the strongest up the three. In the chase Credit Agricole gets help from Team High Road as they throw a few riders to the front. Who else? Can Greipel round off the work today with a stage win.

1616 CEST - The riders are now at the Cote de la Croix de Regis a fourth category climb. The gap has dropped to 01 minute and 09 seconds.

Jurgen van de Walle (Quick Step) attacks from the peloton; but High Road chases him down; the gap of the two braves in front is down to 1.00... Popovych raises his butt with Evans in his wheel, takes a small gap, but they don't get much before they are pulled back.

14 km to go - the gap down to 30 seconds.  The two escapees made it to the top of the climb, with Spain's De La Fuente taking most of the points up for grabs there. They are enjoying their last moments in the sun anyway, with the gap now down to half a minute. And with the peloton flying on the descent that follows.

A Liquigas rider is closing the gap very fast to the leaders right now. not sure who the guy is. It's Valerio Agnoli. He's going to be the first one to make contact with the two frontunners; and the escapees are swept up.

8km to go - Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) on the attack. He is from this region so highly motivated for today's stage. Dumoulin has got company of French young gun Aurelien Passeron (Saunier Duval/Scott)

6 km to go -  The two riders are trying hard to resist. But the peloton keeps them within striking distance. They're going to be caught very soon. The two Dumoulin and Passeron are caught.

Looks like we will have that field sprint... The bunch hit the last five kilometres of the stage. Caisse D'Epargne leads the pace in the bunch. Greipel seems to have a flat tire

3 km to go - Crash of a Silence/Lotto rider at the front. It looked like Cadel Evans to me. The peloton looks very stretched. Credit Agricole gains control of the front. It isn't Cadel Evans who crashed as he is in front of the bunch but it was a Silence rider for sure.


Hincapie gets the gap, Sebastien Lang on his wheel with Husvod and Heinrich Haussler on the right. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner) attacks - A High Road rider bridged across, the peloton is waiting as the two get a gap... It's Hincapie, The sprint starts... Hincapie still has a lead.

The sprinters are coming. But George wins and has time to raise his arms in triumph.

The winner is GEORGE HINCAPIE!!!!!!!


George celebrates his stage win as Chavanel on his left powers up to take nip Lang for 2nd place. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

The two riders got a gap and Hink was able to hold off the sprinters rushThere is also a split in the peloton; the 2nd bunch rolls in at about 15 seconds. It was Sebastian Lang and not Bernhard Kohl of Gerolsteiner who had the gap with Hincapie.

Provisional Results
1. George Hincapie
2. Sebastien Chavanel
3. Sebastian Lang
4. Heinrich Haussler
5. Thor Hushovd
6. Yuriy Trofimov,
7. Peter Wrolich
8. Davide Vigano


Hincapie, Lang and race leader Thor Hushvod over the finish line.
Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Hincapie followed the waterboy as he launched a wicked attack in the last 500 metres or so, then easily came around him and held off oncoming peloton to raise his arms in triumph across the line. The High Road athlete made the most out of both his experience and fast legs. Poor Lang ran out of steam in the last hundred metres and couldn't take the runner-up spot either.

Official Results
Bourg-Saint-Andeol - Vienne

1. George Hincapie (High Road)
2. Sébastien Chavanel (Française des Jeux)
3. Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner)

4. Heinrich Haussler (Gerolsteiner)
5. Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole)
6. Yury Trofimov (Bouygues Telecom)
7. Peter Wrolich (Gerolsteiner)
8. Davide Vigano (Quick Step)
9. Mauro Da Dalto (Liquigas)
10. Julien Loubet (AG2R-la Mondiale)

Looks like Lang did hold on for third place. Thor Hushvod will ride in the yellow jersey with the blue riband at the start tomorrow, but he missed one of his prime chances for a stage win on this the final stage for the sprinters as the race moves into the mountains on stage 4. Thor also takes back the green points jersey from Valverde today.

Tomorrow's 31 km time trial - Stage 3 Saint-Paul-en-Jarez, is certain to sort out the favorites on our tightly packed general classification.

This concludes our live coverage of stage 2, join us tomorrow for the time trial. Check back for complete results and photos.

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