Perez Makes it Two in a Row (Sort of)

News & Results

05/3/2003| 0 comments
by Ian Melvin

Perez Makes it Two in a Row (Sort of)

STAGE 4: Mothney - Les Pacots, 146.5 km <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

 

STAGE 4: Mothney - Les Pacots, 146.5 km <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>

 

Following yesterday's disastrous final kilometer, Francisco Perez (Milaneza - MSS), succeeded in winning the tough up hill finale of today's 146.5 km stage to Les Pacots.   The stage included three Category 1 climbs and finished on a tough Category 2 ascent.

 

Before the stage, the rider's observed a minute's silence in memory of a moto rider who died during yesterday's stage.

 

Once under way it wasn't long before the riders decided to stretch their legs.   On the first climb of the day, the Col de Mosses, a group of six formed including two from the Milaneza-MSS team clearly content on making amends for yesterdays embarrassment.   All the while Team CSC and Alessio set the pace in the peloton ensuring that the group didn't gain to great an advantage.

 

Shortly before the second last climb of the day, Vallan Villard, the break away riders began to attack one another.   One by one the riders were engulfed by the peloton until only Joan Horrach of the Milaneza-MSS team was left.   Perez made his move.   Bridging across to Horrach, sharing the workload as they went, the pair maintained their tempo until shortly before the top at which point Claus Michael M?ller and Fabian Jeker raced across to make it four Milaneza-MSS riders.   Panic spread throughout what remained of the group as Horrach lost contact with the leaders.   Going over the top of the climb, the Yellow jersey Laurent Dufaux (Alessio), found himself 50 seconds adrift.   Thankfully for him, his local knowledge helped him bridge back across to the front riders on the descent to form a group of 25 with only 12 km to go.

 

Italian Eddy Mazzoleni (Vini Caldirola-Sidermec) saw his opportunity and raced ahead as the leaders made their way to the foot of the final climb.   Once on the ascent, Alexandre Moos (Phonak Hearing Systems) attempted to bridge the gap but soon found himself back in the group.   Not deterred by yesterday's events Perez attacked, powering his large frame up to Mazzoleni, dragging him to the top of the mountain before dropping him with only kilometer to go.   Riding all the way to the line knowing that a big enough gap would see him not only win the stage but also take over the leaders jersey, Perez at the last moment zipped up his jersey and allowed himself a sly smile.

 

With only one stage to go Perez leads Dufaux by 29 seconds with Moos in third place a further 6 seconds adrift. Tyler Hamilton (Team CSC) is ranked 4th.

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