Moreau Takes Tour du Languedoc-Roussillon Stage 4 and Overall Lead
Christophe Moreau (Credit Agricole) has won Stage 4 of the Tour du Languedoc-Roussillon. France's best stage racer took a two-up sprint from Vyatcheslav Ekimov (U.S. Postal Service) to Stage 4, a mountainous, 161-km ride from Pont du Gard to Mende, in 4:16:44. Iker Flores (Euskaltel) finished third at 0:18. Moreau leads the Languedoc-Roussillon Tour and is poised to win the race when it concludes tomorrow.
From the beginning, the racing was aggressive. The U.S. Postal Service rode down an early attack, but 20 riders, including Manuel Beltran and Ekimov (both from U.S. Postal Service), David Millar (Cofidis), Moreau, and Flores escaped at 30 km. Attrition took its toll, but four men--Moreau, Flores, Ekimov, and Tobias Steinhauser (T-Mobile) led the field with two km left.
Flores attacked. He led going into the last km, but Ekimov rode him down with Moreau trailing. Moreau came around the Russian in the last 50 m to win.
In the overall, Moreau leads Ekimov by 0:12 and Flores by 0:27. The fifth and final stage, which is 203 km long and which runs from Florac to Sete, has two ascents of Mont-Saint-Clair that should not upset the apple cart. Look for Moreau to end the stage as the overall winner.