Friigo Wins ITT, Leads Paris-Nice
Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo) leads Paris-Nice. The Italian won Stage 4, a 16.5-km individual time trial around Source Perrier, in 19:07. Jorg Jaksche (ONCE) finished second at 0:08, and Tyler Hamilton (CSC) took third at 0:13. Frigo took the race lead from Stage 2 winner Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner).
Thorsten Schmidt (Gerolsteiner) set the early standard with a 19:52. Mikel Pradera (ONCE) shaved two seconds off of Schmidt's time, only to see Hamilton obliterate the ONCE man's mark with a 19:20.
For a while, Hamilton's time looked like a winner. Frank Vandenbroucke (Quick Step) and Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) were close to the American's mark, but of the late starters, only Frigo figured to challenge the man from Marblehead.
Jaksche was the first to better Hamilton's time. The German powered through the course to post a 19:15 and take the stage lead. On the course, Frigo seemed to struggle, trailing Jaksche by 0:11 at the first checkpoint. The Italian, however, was merely holding himself back according to plan. Frigo gained momentum and posted a 19:07 to take the stage and the race lead.
In the overall, Frigo, the 2001 Paris-Nice champion, leads Alexander Vinokourov (Telekom) by 0:14 and Mikel Zarrabeitia (ONCE) by 0:27. Stage 5 will be a stern test for the Italian. The rolling, 152.5-km run from Aix-en-Provence to Mont Faron will end with a Category 1 climb. Will Frigo fend off the competition? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!
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