Dumoulin Wins Stage 2 of Dauphine Libere, Takes Overall Lead
Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r) has taken the lead in the Dauphine Libere.
Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r) has taken the lead in the Dauphine Libere. Dumoulin took a four-up sprint from Anthony Charteau (Bouygues Telecom), Frederic Finot (La Francaise des Jeux), and Frederic Bessy (Cofidis) to win Stage 2, a rolling, 187-km run from Givors to Chauffailles, in 4:47:06. Dumoulin took the lead from prologue winner George Hincapie (Discovery Channel).
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Fifteen minutes into the stage, Bessy and Dumoulin said adieu to the peloton. Eventually, Charteau and Finot joined the pair, and the break of the day had formed. The quartet went unmolested, and its lead ballooned to 17:30 by 110 km.
Alarm bells rang in the peloton. T-Mobile, Fassa Bortolo, and Phonak began driving the bunch, and Liberty Seguros and Rabobank joined them later. Within 30 minutes, the bunch took six minutes out of the break. With 50 km left, the escapees looked catchable.
With 34 km remaining, Discovery Channel went to the front. Gradually, the fugitives? advantage diminished. With 15 km to go, 4:40 separated the bunch from the break.
Finot attacked his companions. They reeled him in. The stage ended with the quartet?s mad rush to the finish line, with Dumoulin winning.
Dumoulin, who at 5?2? is one of the smallest men in the pro peloton, has been the smallest man in each of the last two Tours de France. He hails from Venisseux, which is about 20 km from the finish line, and his parents? presence at the finish line made his victory, the biggest of his career, special.
In the overall, Dumoulin leads Finot by 0:20 and Charteau by 0:21. He should enjoy his victory and his overall lead while he can because he will lose the latter in Stage 3. The 47-km individual time trial course in Roanne features a Category 3 climb and should see the excellent time trialists such as Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel), Santiago Botero (Phonak), and Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner) rise to the top of the general classification. Who will win the day? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!