Boonen Takes Second Straight Tour Stage
Tom Boonen (Quick Step) has won his second consecutive stage of the Tour de France.
Tom Boonen (Quick Step) has won his second consecutive stage of the Tour de France. Boonen powered into the lead in the last 200 m to win the flat, 212.5-km run from La Chataigneraie to Tours in 4:36:09. Peter Wrolich (Gerolsteiner) finished second, and Stuart O?Grady (Cofidis) took third. David Zabriskie (CSC) remains the maillot jaune .
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After a couple of abortive sallies, Erik Dekker (Rabobank) slipped away at 32 km. Nicolas Portal (Ag2r) and Rubens Bertogliati (Saunier Duval) joined the Dutch veteran, and the trio led the CSC-led peloton by 2:30 at 38 km. The escapees? lead topped out at 5:00 at 93 km.
Quick Step and Davitamon began to chase. The fugitives? advantage dropped to 2:30 at 137 km, 1:20 at 161 km, and 0:40 at 195 km. Bertogliati sat up, but Dekker and Portal pressed on. With two km remaining, the bunch reeled them in.
Fabian Cancellara (Fassa Bortolo) counterattacked. The Swiss rider forged a 50-m lead, but the peloton, which was led by La Francaise des Jeux, brought him back. Credit Agricole was in front for Thor Hushovd, Liquigas for Luca Pagliarini, and Davitamon for Robbie McEwen. With 200 m left, Boonen charged into the lead and won easily. Behind him, McEwen appeared to head butt compatriot Stuart O?Grady (Cofidis). McEwen contended that O?Grady had leaned into him and knocked him off balance. McEwen?s protests cut no ice with the race jury, which relegated the Australian champion to 186 th place, fined him 200 Swiss francs, and took away the 26 points for third place that McEwen got for crossing the finish line third. The incident has jeopardized the Aussie?s chances of winning his third green jersey.
In the overall, Zabriskie leads Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel) by 0:02 and Laszlo Bodrogi (Quick Step) by 0:47. The maillot jaune could change shoulders tomorrow. Stage 3, a 67.5-km team time trial from Tours to Blois, will pit Discovery Channel, CSC, T-Mobile, and Phonak against each other. Which team will prevail? Which rider will take the maillot jaune ? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!
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