94th Tour de France - ProT
France, July 7-29, 2007
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Stage 2 - Monday, July 9: Dunkirk - Gent, 168.5km
Live commentary by Laura Weislo, Gregor Brown and Bjorn Haake
Complete live report
Live coverage starts: 13:00 CEST
Estimated finish: 17:30 CEST
Welcome back to Cyclingnews'
live coverage of the Tour de France. Today's second stage will see the peloton
return to the continent where they'll tackle the 168 kilometre long route from
Dunkirk to Gent.
The course begins in the home of the Four Days of
Dunkirk, and passes over some of the legendary roads of the Belgian Classics
like the Tour of Flanders, Het Volk and Gent-Wevelgem.
Gent gets dressed up
Photo ©: Bjorn Haake
After a lovely, sunny, cool summer
morning in Gent, showers have now started to fall as a large storm has blown
in from the North Sea. Most of the rain should be light, and the winds not nearly
as strong as they can get in this area, 15-20 km/h - but the peloton may encounter
a brief downpour along the way and maybe even hear a clap of thunder. Temperatures
are cool, but not unpleasant at about 15 degrees Celsius.
Speaking of thunder, the tree-like
legs of Thor 'god of thunder' Hushovd will be sure to feature prominently on
the scorching fast finish in front of Citadel Park in Gent. Our Cyclingnews
correspondent rode the final 10km of the stage, and said that even a club cyclist
could manage 40km/h on the route. The peloton today will be travelling half
again as fast as that as they scream into Gent with the westerly winds.
It has been nearly 50 years since
the Tour de France visited Gent, Belgium. As the French race prepares to head
across into Flemish territory today, Bjorn Haake wandered outside of Cyclingnews'
European headquarters to discover a city awaiting its Grand Tour return.
Later today the Tour de France will make its third ever finish in the centre
of Flandrian bike culture, Gent, Belgium. The famed Grand Tour finished in the
historic town for the first time in 1951, when Luxemburger Jean Diederich soloed
in for victory, over two minutes ahead of local rider Stan Ockers. Seven years
later, the Belgians were again deprived of a home town victor, when Frenchman
André Darrigade beat home Belgians Jos Hoevenaars and Jozef (Jef) Planckaert.
The latter recently passed away and will be honoured when the prestigious French
race returns for only the third time today.
Read the full Gent
The riders are on their neutral roll-out
at the moment - most of them wearing arm warmers because of the cool temperatures.
They'll reach kilometre zero in a little under ten minutes from now.
Yesterday's stage winner Robbie McEwen
came back from a crash like a shooting star to win the sprint in Canterbury.
Despite having banged up his knee and wrist pretty badly, he told Sporza
that he slept well and has less pain this morning. He'll be in the action to
take on Boonen, Hushovd and the other sprinters in Gent.
The flag is about to drop to start
the riders on their way out of Dunkirk (or Dunkerque if you're French). Dunkirk
is a leading major port town in France. It is deeply rooted in the industrial
and maritime tradition.
The start town is famous for the "Battle
of Dunkirk" in World War II, where the Germans tried to extend their stranglehold
Our classification leaders Fabian
Cancellara, in yellow as the GC leader, Robbie McEwen in green as points leader,
Vladimir Gusev in white as best young rider and David Millar decked out in polka
dots as the king of the mountains, all rolled out at the front of the bunch
We're only missing one rider today - Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez
of Agritubel abandoned in yesterday's stage after breaking his collarbone in
a shocking accident. He was riding behind the team cars when the cars suddenly
stopped and he ran into the back of the Caisse d'Epargne vehicle, shattering
the rear window.
There are three intermediate sprints
along the route today, but this is the only non-time trial stage without a categorised
climb in the entire Tour de France.
13:43 CEST 8km/160.5km to go
The rain has let
up and the riders are enjoying their cruise out of Dunkirk. We probably won't
see a breakaway getting much time today as the sprinters will be keen to have
their way with the finish. With such a short stage, a mere 168.5 kilometres,
they won't want to have to worry about chasing back a break.
After starting today's stage on French
soil, the race will quickly head back out again at kilometre 16.5, where the
peloton will cross the border in Oost-Cappel. This town is headed by one of
the few female mayors in this country, Régine Cadart.
On our little spin through the last
ten kilometres, we experienced just how flat this course is today. The only
thing to make the riders stand up from the saddle will be the occasional highway
overpass. However, after two kilometres of pancake flat newly paved roads, the
sprinters will face a quite surprising rise in the last 200 metres.
They'll also face a sharp right turn in the last two kilometres, and keep your
fingers crossed for them because there's a traffic island right in the centre
of the road at the turn.
13:57 CEST 18km/150.5km to go
We have our first
attack of the day! Marcel Sieberg (Milram) has decided to give it a go. Sieberg
was second in a stage at the Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, and the 25 year-old only
has one professional win to his name: the GP Jef Scherens Leuven.
The racing is heating up as the riders head into the heart of Flanders, and
more riders are going off the front to join Sieberg.
14:00 CEST 20km/148.5km to go
The riders have
passed through the West Flanders town of Roesbrugge. Roesbrugge is located near
the Yser river, the source of which is in France. The Yser also crosses the
border into Flanders before flowing out into the North Sea in Nieuwpoort.
14:02 CEST 21km/147.5km to go
The riders who
joined Sieberg are Ruben Perez (Euskaltel) and Cedric Hervé (Agritubel). The
trio is working hard to extend their 20 second advantage.
Belgium is famous for its beer, and
the finishing town of Gent/Gand/Ghent is a city that loves the beverage almost
more than bike racing. The Trappist monks can ferment a wickedly good brew,
and they get some of the ingredients from the area the riders are passing through
at the moment.
In just a few kilometres, the race will go through
Poperinge. The town is famous for its hops, and has a hop festival every year
With a gap of 1'35 to the field,
Ruben Perez, our best placed rider in the breakaway, is now in the 'virtual'
yellow jersey. Even though his mission is suicidal, he'll keep plowing forward
like the troops who sprinted from their trenches into battle in this area in
World War I.
Unlike those German soldiers, Perez will not face the
death penalty if he retreats back to the field.
Our peloton is becoming quickly battle-hardened
after a series of crashes yesterday. One of them happened when the riders encountered
a bit of 'traffic furniture' - a median with directional signs and a raised
curb used to calm the traffic along the roads in Europe. Brett Lancaster was
one of the men to go down in that crash. He landed straight on his backside
- luckily missing any of the posts. It was insult to injury for the Australian,
who suffered from food poisoning the night before that stage. His Tour can only
get better from here!
It is 18°C sunny but there are clouds.
Our reporter Brecht Decaluwé even noted lightening off in the distance of the
start, however, the riders started on dry pavement.
14:20 CEST 32km/136.5km to go
CSC is controlling
the peloton at the moment, just as they did for just about the entire stage
yesterday. They shouldn't have too much trouble keeping Cancellara in yellow
The first sprint will come at kilometre 45 in the town of
Boezinge, and will have time bonuses on the line, which will most likely be
taken by our breakaway.
Photo ©: Sirotti
Cyclingnews' Brecht Decaluwé
spoke with Alexander Vinokourov at the start town. "I have good memories of
this area because I had my first pro win in the Four Days of Dunkerque. I know
there is always a lot of wind."
The Kazakh spoke about the
start in London. "There were a lot of people and it was good," he said of the
Grand Départ. "I may not seem interested in the ambiance but I really
What was your opinion of the Départ in London?
The peloton is cruising along past
a field of sleepy cows who are all lying down on the job today. Unlike some
races in this part of Belgium, they're lucky to enjoy light winds. Riders had
been concerned about the possibility of a strong cross-wind and echelons forming
in an attempt to split the field. That looks unlikely today, and even the rain
has let up and the sun is shining on our breakaway. The average speed in the
first hour was a brisk 45.5 km/h.
14:35 CEST 45km/123.5km to go
Despite being one
of the most densely populated countries in Europe, Belgium still has some fairly
large expanses of farmland, and the riders are heading past some lovely green
fields at the moment.
The breakaway rolls through the first sprint,
with Cedric Hervé (Agritubel) taking the six second bonus ahead of Perez and
Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile)
Photo ©: Cyclingnews.com
Cyclingnews' Brecht Decaluwé
spoke with Rolf Aldag of T-Mobile about Mark Cavendish's crash. "He was really
disappointed," said the directeur sportif. "He made a mistake. Rule number one
is always stay on your bike.
"Today, is a day to confront the anger
with a 200 metre drive to victory. It is a finish that should suit him."
The stage finishes in Gent; read
more about the Belgian city.
The breakaway is getting a little
more leash at the moment as the peloton is ten wide at the front - slowing up
to let the yellow jersey commune with nature at the side of the road. The gap
is out to 2'50 after being down to 2'05 at the first sprint.
Predictor Directeur Sportif Marc
Sergeant talked of Robbie McEwen's chances for the finish in Gent. "If it is
possible to win again and normally it is easier if you already have one under
your belt," he said to Brecht Decaluwé.
"Yesterday, everything went
perfectly after the crash, so we have lots of confidence. My favourite for today
is Robbie McEwen."
Rémy Di Gregorio (FdJ) has a flat
tyre - but the peloton is still going easy, so he'll have no problems getting
His team-mate Philippe Gilbert (Française Des Jeux) was
out enjoying the evening rather late last night, reportedly until 3AM. He was
celebrating his 25th birthday, which was actually on July 5. A certain Cyclingnews
reporter (Gregor Brown) is celebrating his birthday tonight in Gent, drop by
and say hello.
14:46 CEST 59.5km/109km to go
The peloton has
simply stopped racing at the moment and have let the breakaway balloon to 4'34
with 109 kilometres to go. The wind is picking up, but it's at the riders' backs,
so they're not concerned with the chase being difficult.
14:50 CEST 62.5km/106km to go
At kilometre 90,
the field will hit the coast again in the town of Nieuwpoort on the North Sea.
As a coastal town, Nieuwpoort celebrates its fisheries one weekend each May.
Through the small town of Westende the peloton reaches its more famous eastern
counter part, Oostende. Like Calais it has a large ferry terminal with frequent
service to England.
Nowadays Oostende also attracts many tourists
along its waterfront esplanade that hosts a casino.
At the finish town of Gent, Monday
morning commuters were faced with the fact that one of the main roads through
the town was completely closed to traffic. But that doesn't worry too many people
because most have taken the day off to watch the Tour come to town anyhow.
The last time the Tour came through Gent was in 1958. It held the finish of
the first stage that year, which was won by Andre Darrigade who specialized
in winning opening Tour stages - he took the first yellow jersey in five separate
Tours. That has to be some sort of record!
14:59 CEST 68.5km/100km to go
The peloton is
starting to get down to business now that the break is over five minutes away.
The stage isn't long enough to let them have any more time than that.
Agritubel's d.s. Denis Leproux is happy to have a man in the breakaway to get
his team colours on TV. Freddy Bichot was trying to get the climber's jersey
for the team, but couldn't beat Stéphane Augé (Cofidis) and David
Millar of Saunier-Duval. Augé and Millar were actually tied on the classification,
but because Millar had a better standing on the GC, he took the polka dotted
15:03 CEST 69.5km/99km to go
Many of the riders
are wearing clear or lightly tinted glasses today because of the rainy conditions
at the start. Now that the skies have cleared, they may be regretting that decision.
However, in Belgium you don't go out without an umbrella no matter what the
weather because it can rain at any time! There are still dark, heavy clouds
in the distance, but for now the sun shines on our break of three.
15:09 CEST 73.5km/95km to go
Speaking of Darrigade,
John Trotter writes in to fill us in on some interesting history: "In the 1958
Tour (won by Charly Gaul) Darrigade was heading for his sixth stage win on the
last stage to Paris . Back then the Tour finished in the now demolished Parc
des Princes Velodrome. Darrigade entered the velodrome and powered away from
Baffi and Graczyk.
With 200m to go he looked all set for the win
when the General Secretary of the track, Constant Wouters, stepped on to the
track. Darrigade slammed into him at full speed. Darrigade escaped with five
stitches, Wouters died 11 days later in hospital. This without doubt was the
most dramatic stage finish in Tour history."
15:14 CEST 77.5km/91km to go
Whoops - one of
the motorcycles that follow the riders must have had a lapse of attention because
he wound up lying in the ditch. He immediately got up and appears fine, but
his bike will be hard to get out of that mess.
15:16 CEST 79.5km/89km to go
The breakaway has
two kilometres to go until the second intermediate sprint. They're all doing
an equal share of work, but the peloton has really started to pick up the pace
now. The first 20 riders are single file as head through Nieuwpoort.
15:22 CEST 81.5km/87km to go
The breakaway is
heading into the second sprint of the day and Hervé, sitting second wheel behind
Perez, tries to go early, but he doesn't stand a chance against Sieberg who
takes the sprint with ease. Sieberg looks a bit annoyed at the Frenchman - Hervé
took the first sprint, and they probably had an agreement to share the three
Marcel Sieberg is riding his first
ProTour year. Read more about
this young gun from Germany.
Photo ©: Shane Stokes
15:30 CEST 87.5km/81km to go
It's feeding time
for the breakaway, and they go through a narrow chute of fans hoping to get
some cast-offs as souvenirs and are packing their refreshments into their pockets.
It's turned into a gorgeous day in Belgium - the skies are blue with fluffy
white clouds - a relief for the riders who feared slick wet roads in the sprint
finish. They're not in the clear yet, however, as grey clouds loom ahead.
15:33 CEST 90.5km/78km to go
has come to the front now as the peloton enters the feedzone - that was just
a temporary move, and CSC takes right over. Up ahead, the breakaway is going
along one of the many canals, and on the other side of the canal, cyclo-tourist
are pedalling desperately to keep the same pace.
15:38 CEST 95km/73.5km to go
The peloton is working
its way along on a road parallel to one of the many canals that are used a commerce
and recreational routes for watercraft in Belgium.
15:40 CEST 96.5km/72km to go
not an organized chase, just team CSC still sitting at the front of the main
group, the gap is coming down steadily. At 3.40 now.
15:45 CEST 100.5km/68km to go
There are all manner
of jersey colours at the front of the main group now as CSC seems to want to
hand control of the chase over to the teams who want a bunch sprint in Gent
The race has enjoyed relatively dry
roads - until now; the leaders are headed directly into an ominous and low-slung
bank of heavy, dark clouds.
15:50 CEST 104.5km/64km to go
The riders are
about to enter the town of Ichtegem, hometown of current Predictor-Lotto pro
Wim Vansevenant. It also produced a Ronde van Vlaanderen winner with Jules Vanhevel,
who won the race in 1920. Predictor-Lotto comes to the front to bring the hometown
boy to the fore to wave to his family.
Vansevenant was the man who first
stopped for Robbie McEwen after the sprinter crashed with 23km to go on yesterday's
stage. He selflessly drove the chase and delivered his man to the stage win
and then rolled in 1'32 back.
15:54 CEST 107.5km/61km to go
200 metres in front of the peloton and then sits up and waves with both arms
to a big cheer from his hometown crowd. He's clear on his job at this Tour de
France, and told our reporter Brecht Decaluwé that he's here to work for McEwen.
Taking a trip through his hometown while riding the Tour de France is a once
in a lifetime event and he's enjoying every moment.
Cédric Hervé (Bretagne Jean Floch)
Photo ©: Régis Garnier
16:04 CEST 113.5km/55km to go
We should start
to see the sprinters' teams coming to the fore to bring the break back, but
at the moment there isn't much impetus in the peloton. The average speed in
the second hour of racing was 46.3 km/h - but we should see an even faster final
The breakaway is encountering some showers at the moment, and
thunder can be heard off in the distance - dark clouds are looming!
16:10 CEST 118.5km/50km to go
The gap is now
around 3'22" and CSC continues to drive the pace with five guys. Its goals is
to protect the lead of Cancellara and keep him safe for the finale.
Rubén Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is
looking good in the escape but he must think that their changes of staying away
are pretty slim. Cédric Hervé (Agritubel) and Marcel Sieberg (Milram) are helping
out in equal turns.
Americano Dave Zabriskie leads the pace of the
16:16 CEST 122.5km/46km to go
The rain is threatening.
Dark clouds are all around on this stage finale. Rockin' Robbie could come to
the fore for this finish; he will want to. The finish is near his Belgian home.
The Aussie speaks Flemish like a true Flandrian hard-man.
David Zabriskie (CSC)
did a super job yesterday to help bring back the break and keep his teammate,
Fabian Cancellara, in yellow. With the job completed he rolled into the finish
a coupe of minutes behind the others. Read
here what David had to say before the Tour started.
Thomas Dekker (Rabobank) and Nick
Nuyens (Cofidis) are chatting in the peloton. Both riders speak English well
but they are speaking in Dutch right now, as we can read lips.
Spaniard Carlos Barredo (Quickstep-Innergetic)
is right there at the front doing bit of a pull for 2005 World Champion Tom
Boonen (Quickstep-Innergetic). Barredo is unlike most Spanish cyclists, he loves
these northern roads in Belgian. He switched to Quickstep over the winter to
have a chance at learning from the greats like Boonen and Van Petegem.
16:24 CEST 127.5km/41km to go
Oh... It is really
looking dark now. We can see the reflection of McEwen's Maillot Vert
on the wet pavement.
The third sprint of the day is at
Aarsele, 28 kilometres before the finish. This also marks the point where the
riders enter Oost Vlaanderen, the eastern part of Flanders. Among others Robbie
McEwen has made his home here in this cycling-crazy area.
Carlos Barredo (Quickstep-Innergetic)
Photo ©: Gregor Brown
16:27 CEST 129.5km/39km to go
The riders are
busting out the rain vests. The skies are about to open.
more on Spaniard Barredo see our January interview
Robbie McEwen lives in Brakel, about
50 kilometres south of Gent, where the riders are headed today. It is also about
35 kilometres east of Waregem, where tomorrow's stage three will start.
Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) is looking
oh so cool... He has his arm-warmers pulled up and they are special Jaune-coloured.
He is really enjoying his turn in the race lead. Bravo Fabian!
16:31 CEST 131.9km/36.6km to go
A Milram and
a CSC rider went down here in a round-about. No, it was a Predictor rider and
the CSC was Fränk Schleck (Team CSC). Cuesta is pulling Schleck back into the
The gap is at 3'05". The riders seem to taking it very
easy on the wet pavement.
Oscar Pereiro still doesn't know
where he officially finished the Tour de France last year. Here he reveals
his thoughts on the Tour before the race started.
Iñigo Cuesta (Team CSC) is doing
his domestique work by leading Schleck back to the peloton. They are almost
16:40 CEST 137.3km/31.2km to go
Schleck is back
into the peloton. The gap of the yellow jersey group is at 2'31 to the three
escapees. Marcel Sieberg (Milram) is so much bigger than his Spanish and French
partners. We reckon that the German is doing just a little bit more work than
his break-away buddies.
Off to the right and left are flat, green
fields, while behind the trio is a colourful field of riders. And they are moving
closer and closer to the finish and trio!
16:42 CEST 141.5km/27km to go
Rubén Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
took the final intermediate sprint, followed by Cédric Hervé (Agritubel) and
Marcel Sieberg (Milram).
Sieberg tries a dig. The German is
sensing danger with the gap dropping lower and lower. He is now at the back
of the trio being led by Hervé.
Peter van Petegem is another famous
cyclist besides Robbie McEwen, who lives in Brakel. He rides for Belgian team
Quickstep, but is not in the Tour this year. His best result in a Tour stage
was third, in 1996.
16:46 CEST 145.5km/23km to go
The gap is now
at an even two minutes.
The riders are entering Deinze. This
is the start town of the Gent-Wevelgem
every year. Deinze also is the birth place of the Tour of Flanders, or Ronde
Oh, the umbrellas are out on the side of the road.
Crédit Agricole and Predictor are leading the peloton in its chase.
16:51 CEST 148.5km/20km to go
The trio have gone
under the 20km to go banner. Rubén Pérez pulls off to the left after doing a
Photo ©: Brecht Decaluwé
The wind is kicking up and it is
tall Wim Vansevenant (Predictor-Lotto) hammering on the front for Aussie
Robbie as the peloton goes under 20km to go. The gap is 1'41". Wim is so tall.
We are crossing over the river here and we need to find a gas station or some
place for a caffè.
Vansevenant is still hammering on
the front. His legs are so long, like two Eiffel towers!
17:01 CEST 157.5km/11km to go
Steven De Jongh
(Quickstep-Innergetic) takes over on the front of the peloton. He will be setting
up for Tom Boonen. Big Bad Boonen wants to take a stage after missing out in
2006, although he did have the Maillot Jaune.
The road looks dry
now. Yes, it is! OK... Bring on the sprint!
17:03 CEST 158.5km/10km to go
Barredo, is on the front for 'Tommeke!'
The gap is 44" at ten kilometres
17:04 CEST 160km/8.5km to go
The riders are in
two parts, they are divided by a long traffic island. The gap is 35" and falling
The peloton is really lined out here.
One long, long line. Who will win today? Rockin' Robbie? Tommeke? Thor? Benna?
Bottles are flying!
17:07 CEST 162.5km/6km to go
William Bonnet (Crédit
Agricole) is fast in the finish but he will be working for Thor Hushovd (Crédit
Gap is under 20".
One long line and the peloton can
easily see the three up the road.
We don't see any of the Credit Agricole
team coming up to chase for Thor Hushovd yet... but his team-mate Saul Raisin,
who suffered a severe brain injury last year completed his first race today.
He did an amateur race in Salt Lake City, Utah, and while he finished minutes
behind the peloton, he was positively jubilant to have gotten back out to race.
His mother Yvonne told the Salt Lake City Tribune, ""We had to stop talking,
we were about to cry... We were told 14 months ago not to expect him to get
out of a bed or wheelchair."
Raisin is engaged to CSC's Tour de
France rider Dave Zabriskie's sister Aleeza.
17:08 CEST 163.5km/5km to go
The gap is now 12"...
It is falling and Sieberg attacks! Hervé chases.
Perez attacks! He caught them off
guard and the other two can't do a thing.
Sieberg and Hervé are looking at
each other. Rubén Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is gone.
17:09 CEST 164.5km/4km to go
Pérez has a sizeable
gap - but a few seconds later he looks back and Sieberg is right on his wheel.
17:10 CEST 165km/3.5km to go
Now Hervé is back
on terms as well - they are looking around at each other and this could spell
their end as Milram comes to the front of the peloton.
The teams are deciding who will work.
The chase is lacking organization. Could this bode well for the breakaway.
17:11 CEST 165.5km/3km to go
Liquigas puts a
rider on the front and the break is done...
The riders navigate that final right
hand bend, and everyone is through safely and we are on for the sprint. Perfect
Quickstep has control....It is Tosatto
on the front.
Milram is right behind the Quickstep
train, and there's a crash!
Steegmans is on the wheel of Boonen.
Crash. Big crash.
17:12 CEST 166.5km/2km to go
Big ugly crash,
but it's inside 3km so there will not be any time lost on the GC.
Quickstep and T-Mobile are up front...
Boonen or Cavendish could get this.
Marcus Burghardt (T-Mobile) is there,
The yellow jersey is down! Cancellara
went down in that pile up. The field is at a stand still as they try to work
the riders apart.
Boonen is being led by Rossler, De
Jongh and Steegmans.
Zabel is in fourth.
Steegmans is leading out in the last
200m uphill drag.
Boonen is coming on.
He takes his first sprint of this
Gert Steegmans did a huge pull for
his look-alike Boonen!
The last time Boonen won a stage
was in 2005, stage 2. Bravo Tom!
The riders who were stopped behind
the crash were watching the finale on the big screen television. The Belgians
were all happy for their countryman.
Boogerd, Moreau all come in - a Discovery
rider comes in getting a push from a team-mate - Popovych maybe?
Cancellara is coming in. His left
arm looks hurt.
Boonen came up on Steegmans right.
It was actually Steegmans who won! Boonen got second. Filippo Pozzato got third.
Robert Hunter of Barloworld got fourth.
Even Robbie McEwen congratulated
Steegmans after the line - it was important for the Belgians to get a win on
home turf, and even Boonen saluted the win as if he'd won. He was happy for
his team-mate on his first ever Tour stage win.
The run-in to the sprint was held
on a somewhat narrow two lane road, and the crash came with 2km to go - it was
a touch of wheels as riders shifted to try and get into position for the sprint,
and resulted in one T-Mobile rider nearly winding up in the crowd.
Vinokourov came across the line and
crossed himself - thanking God he didn't go down in that wreck. Millar came
in safe - still wearing those neon Oakleys... Fred Rodriguez must have been
the one to go down in the wreck as he is now coming across the line holding
his left arm and with no helmet. Bad news for the American!
preceded by Daniele Bennati who appears to be ok.
Gert Steegmans was directed by his
team to save the lead-out until late because of the hill in the last 200m, but
when he put on the gas, it was a bit too late and Boonen couldn't get around
Cancellara is able to put that yellow
jersey on without a problem, so he certainly hadn't broken his collarbone. He's
holding the flowers and stuffed lion with the left hand he was holding so gingerly
at the line while he shakes hands with the dignitaries, so we might be seeing
him again in yellow tomorrow!
Boonen takes over the green jersey
from McEwen while Millar keeps the polka dots for another day.
we won't have too many abandons overnight. We'll be sure to get to the nearest
hospital and hang out outside of the radiology room to find out who broke what
in that awful crash.
This concludes our live coverage for stage two!
Check back in tomorrow at 13.00 CEST for the live call on stage three's 236.5
long trek from Waregem to Compiègne.
1 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic
2 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic
3 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Liquigas
4 Robert Hunter (RSA) Barloworld
5 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel
6 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Predictor-Lotto
7 Erik Zabel (Ger) Milram
8 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner
9 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
10 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Française Des Jeux
General classification after stage 2
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC
2 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana
3 David Millar (GBr) Saunier Duval-Prodir
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