|A yellow jersey can indeed shake a man up. On Tuesday, when Jure Kocjan took the leader's jersey, he radiated well-deserved happiness. For this rider who had been thwarted by injuries and a difficult start to the season, he finally felt that he had achieved what he dreamed of doing. He felt nervous of the following stage however and, unfortunately for him, his fears were realized; he had spent too much energy in the preceding stage to hold onto the jersey and came third by a three scond gap.
The victor ahead of Armindo Fonseca (Bretagne-Schuller) and Julien Simon (Saur-Sojasun)he has a lead of 4" over Simon in the general and 7" over Evaldas Siskevicius (La Pomme Marseille).
Kocjan, by his own admission, thinks that it was better to have missed out on winning the second stage so that he could save his energies for the next stage. And this he did in the bunch sprint in the last few metres, something which had come as a bit of a surprise, given the breakaway of ten who had departed from the peloton early on in the stage.
The breakaway retained the lead that they had made, increasing it to immense proportions; at 87km it had reached 7'45". Claude Fayemendy, the President of the Tour, even announced over the radio to the directeurs sportifs that the race would prefer not to have any deceased riders in the peloton, such was the effort that this group was making!
The peloton started to make a comeback, following the impulse of Saur-Sojasun. They fought hard to catch the breakaway and finally engulfed the last in the break (Guillou, Vaubourzeix, Gene).
Everything came down to a bunch sprint and Jure Kocjan just pipped Julien Simon to the post. With only 4 seconds between them and numerous bonus points to be won, however, it's going to be a tough fight. In the words of the directeur sportif of Kocjan, "If we make a false move, we're dead!"The final arrivee in Limoges should be an exciting one.