Copyright A.S.O. 2003
Stage 3, Le-Puy-En-Velay – Pont-du-Gard, 192.5km
Probably will end up in a mass sprint. However the general downhill profile will encourage attacks - one for the sprinters or the lone breakaway. French teams will see this stage as an opportunity to shine in front of the Tour selectors. Could be more savage than it looks.
6 riders did not finish yesterday, Glenn D'hollander (Lotto-Domo), Stéphane Auge (Credit Agricole), Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis Credit Par Telephone), Ivan Quaranta (Saeco), Julian Usano (Kelme CB) and Daniele Nardello (Team Telekom).
Of course the worst injured is poor Andrei Kivilev (Cofidis) who was in hospital in a coma last night; to read Daily Pelotons last update, click click here.
The fall occurred as the front peloton prepared to climb the col de la Croix de Chaubouret. For unknown reasons, the Kazakh rider, fourth in the Tour de France 2001, fell from his bike and his head hit the ground heavily.
"We all are all very concerned,” said Cofidis DS Francis Van Londerseele and this accident reminds us just how dangerous this sport can be. We regret to confirm that Andreď was not wearing a helmet at the time of his fall."
Kivilev was originally taken to the hospital in Saint-Chamond but was transferred last night to Saint-Etienne, where there is a specialised unit for head injuries.
Hopefully we will have some news on his condition today.
One thing is certain ,questions about basic safety, like a universal code regarding protective headware and the safety of riders will once again enter the theatre of debate. Daily Peloton as always wishes Andreď a speedy recovery.
Race Situation so far
After yesterday's thrilling stage the General Overall classification looked like this -
1 Davide Rebellin Gerolsteiner 10.20.25
2 Alexandre Vinokourov Team Telekom 0.03
3 Dario Frigo Fassa Bortolo 0.13
4 Mikel Zarrabeitia ONCE-Eroski 0.22
5 Alexandre Botcharov Ag2R Prevoyance
6 Volodomir Gustov Fassa Bortolo 0.26
7 Jorg Jaksche ONCE-Eroski 0.37
8 Joaquim Rodriguez ONCE-Eroski 0.45
9 David Latasa Kelme-Costa Blanca 0.46
10 Axel Merckx Lotto-Domo 0.54
11 Samuel Sanchez Euskaltel-Euskadi 0.57
12 Kim Kirchen Fassa Bortolo 1.04
13 David Bernabeu Milaneza-MSS 1.05
14 Claus Michael Moller Milaneza-MSS 1.06
15 Kurt-Asle Arvesen Team fakta
Other riders - Gilberto Simoni Saeco is 19th at 1.15 while Franck Vadenbroucke is 30th at 2.13. Lanterne Rouge is Brtain’s National road race champion Julian Winn riding for the Fakta team , whose best placed rider is Kurt-Asle Arvesen the Norweigen Champion in 15th spot.
The best young rider competition sees highly talented Samuel Sanches (Euskaltel) leading Joaquim Rodriguez (ONCE-Eroski),
Kim Kirchen (Fassa Bortolo) and Gil Perez (ONCE, what great race ONCE have ridden - they also lead the team competition and have three men in the top ten). Meanwhile Sylvain Chavanel (Brioches La Boulangere) will be cursing the puncture he had yesterday which cost him nearly a minute and is now 0.43’’ down.
Please remember to press F5 to refresh the page - live ticker starts at 15.00 CET
Due to the tragic news regarding Andrei Kivilev the race has been neutralised. There will no live coverage this afternoon.
The Cofidis site has the simple message:
“Cofidis en deuil”
(Cofidis in mourning)
The site has this sad announcement -
“It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of Andreď KIVILEV in the hospital Bellevue in Saint Etienne.
The victim of a severe head injury following a fall during the second stage of the Paris Nice, Andreď KIVILEV was immediately taken to the Saint Chamond hospital before being transferred to the Saint Etienne intensive care unit of professor Zéni.
"The 1,700 workers of COFIDIS are in a state of shock. Andreď KIVILEV, was a model professional which was recognized by the peloton, and he was a man renowned for his kindness, his humility, his strength and his loyalty. He lost his life as he carried out his profession. His loss will inspire respect and meditation from us all.
"Our thoughts turn naturally to Natalia, the young wife of Andreď, and their little boy Léonard. Cofidis have already made provisions to give them personal and material support during these tragic moments.
"The riders of the COFIDIS Team are deeply shocked by the loss of their team mate, they will be joined this afternoon by Alain Bondue, their general manager. They have decided to continue the race in order to honour the sport and passion of their team mate and friend."