Dessel Wins Stage 4 of Dauphine Libere
Cyril Dessel (Ag2r) has won Stage 4 of the Dauphine Libere. The Frenchman surged away from several breakaway companions to win the rugged, 193-km ride from Vienne to Annemasse in 4:37:16. Pierre Rolland (Credit Agricole) finished second at 0:18, and Amael Moinard (Cofidis) outsprinted Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne) for third at 1:21. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) remains the yellow jersey.
The hostilities began early. At 12 km, Christophe Riblon (Ag2r) attacked, and Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) joined him. The bunch responded, and after an hour of attacks and counterattacks, a 16-man breakaway formed. The escapees were Roy Sentjens (Silence), Sergio Paulinho (Astana), Pereiro, Juan Jose Oroz (Euskaltel), Pierre Rolland and Christophe Le Mevel (both from Credit Agricole), Juan Manuel Garate (Quick Step), Dessel, Moinard, Heinrich Haussler and Peter Wrolich (both from Gerolsteiner), Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom), Frederik Willems (Liquigas), Lars Bak (CSC), David De La Fuente (Saunier Duval), and Domenik Roels (Milram).
At 70 km, the break led the Caisse d'Epargne-led bunch by 2:50. At 114 km, the fugitives' advantage had grown to 3:40, and Rabobank joined the Spanish squad at the front.
At 160 km, Voeckler attacked, and Rolland joined him. At the foot of Category 1 Le Saleve (168.5 km), Rolland dropped Voeckler. Behind Rolland, Dessel, Paulinho, and Moinard pursued.
At 173.5 km, Dessel caught and dropped Rolland. He breasted the climb 0:22 ahead of Rolland and 2:40 ahead of the yellow jersey group, which contained all of the favorites. Dessel never looked back, and Rolland settled for second place.
In the overall, Valverde leads Levi Leipheimer (Astana) by 0:23 and Cadel Evans (Silence) by 0:27. Stage 5 will be a 125-km ride from Ville-le-Grand to Morzine that will take the riders over one Category 3 and two Category 4 ascents before they face the hors categorie Col de Joux Plane. After breasting the Joux Plane, the field will plummet to the finish line in Morzine. Who will cross the finish line first? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!