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Tour de la Region Wallonne - 2.3

Belgium, July 28-August 1, 2003

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Stage 1 - July 28: Flobecq-Charleroi, 160.4 km

Eeckhout in three man sprint

Nico Eeckhout enjoys his win
Photo: © AFP

Nico Eeckhout (Lotto-Domo) won the first stage of the Tour de la Region Wallonne today. In Charleroi he beat his two companions, Thierry De Groote and Wim Van Huffel, in a three man sprint. The three of them attacked with 80km to go and gained a maximum lead of over 8 minutes. Landbouwkrediet started the chase in the peloton, but couldn't catch the three riders back. Eeckhout is the first leader of the five day Tour.

"Straight after the start I felt I had good legs" said the 32 year old Eeckhout after the finish "I thought a big break would be OK for me today. That's why I attacked after 60km. De Groote en Vanhuffel can ride hard, so I knew we could make it. And that's how it went. We took up to eight and a half minutes and that was sufficient to stay out of the reach of the peloton. I had two good companions with me, they both gave all they had in the legs to stay away, even though they knew I am faster then them in the sprint. I really have to thank them."


Images by AFP/Yves Boucau

  • Nico Eeckhout (Lotto-Domo) celebrates as he crosses the line ahead of his two breakaway companions; the trio managed to stay away for over 80 kilometres.
  • Nico Eeckhout wears the leader's yellow jersey after finishing 18 seconds ahead of the peloton on stage 1.


1 Nico Eeckhout (Bel) Lotto-Domo                     4.01.01
2 Thierry De Groote (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop                 
3 Wim Van Huffel (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim                 
4 Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Lotto-Domo                      0.19
5 Marco Zanotti (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                         
6 David Kopp (Ger) Team Telekom                             
7 Magnus Backstedt (Swe) Team fakta                         
8 Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère           
9 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère             
10 Kristof Trouve (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop                   
11 Andreas Klier (Ger) Team Telekom                         
12 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf               
13 Mark Scanlon (Irl) AG2r Prévoyance                       
14 Allan Bo Andersen (Den) Team fakta                       
15 Erki Putsep (Est) AG2r Prévoyance                        
16 Leif Hoste (Bel) Lotto-Domo                              
17 Christophe Agnolutto (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance               
18 Tom Steels (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago                 
19 Julien Laidoun (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance                     
20 Johan Museeuw (Bel) Quick.Step-Davitamon                 
21 Hans Dekkers (Ned) Rabobank                              
22 Nico Mattan (Bel) Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone       
23 Roger Hammond (GBr) Palmans-Collstrop                    
24 Sébastien Mattozza (Bel) Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf           
25 Philippe Gilbert (Bel)                        
26 Kevin Van Der Slagmolen (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim       
27 Jo Planckaert (Bel) Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone     
28 Michael Skelde (Den) Team fakta                          
29 Julian Dean (NZl) Team CSC                               
30 Benoît Joachim (Lux) US Postal-Berry Floor               
31 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago          
32 Lars Michaelsen (Den) Team CSC                           
33 Arnaud Coyot (Fra) Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone      
34 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Fassa Bortolo                          
35 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                       
36 Roberto Petito (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                       
37 Frédéric Guesdon (Fra)                        
38 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank                            
39 Lennie Kristensen (Den) Team CSC                         
40 Steven Kleynen (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim                
41 Kurt Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team fakta                       
42 Ludovic Capelle (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago            
43 David Derepas (Fra)                           
44 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick.Step-Davitamon                    
45 Régis Lhuiller (Fra)                          
46 Johan Coenen (Bel) Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf                 
47 Stéphane Berges (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance                    
48 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Lotto-Domo                          
49 Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim           
50 Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago              
51 Chris Peers (Bel) Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone       
52 Steve De Wolf (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop                    
53 Christophe Kern (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère             
54 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Domo                       
55 Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère            
56 Allan Johansen (Den) Team fakta                          
57 Frédéric Bessy (Fra) Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone    
58 Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Quick.Step-Davitamon             
59 Janek Tombak (Est) Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone      
60 Geoffrey Demeyere (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim             
61 Fabian De Waele (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop                  
62 Andrea Tafi (Ita) Team CSC                               
63 Thierry Loder (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance                      
64 Michael Barry (Can) US Postal-Berry Floor                
65 Frank Schleck (Lux) Team CSC                             
66 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim                  
67 Bobby Julich (USA) Team Telekom                          
68 Peter Farazijn (Bel) Cofidis, Le Crédit par Téléphone    
69 Peter Wuyts (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop                      
70 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) Team CSC                           
71 Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Quick.Step-Davitamon             
72 Bernhard Kohl (Aut) Rabobank                             
73 Niels Scheuneman (Ned) Rabobank                          
74 Max Van Heeswijk (Ned) US Postal-Berry Floor             
75 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Lotto-Domo                         
76 Christian Werner (Ger) Team Telekom                      
77 Erwin Thijs (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop                      
78 Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank                            
79 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto-Domo                        
80 Frederik Willems (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim              
81 Ludo Dierckxsens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago           
82 Andy Cappelle (Bel) Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf                
83 Marc Streel (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago                
84 Dave Bruylandts (Bel) Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf              
85 Jean-Cyril Robin (Fra)                        
86 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Quick.Step-Davitamon                   
87 Stephan Schreck (Ger) Team Telekom                       
88 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Fassa Bortolo                    
89 Manu L'hoir (Bel) Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf                  
90 Matthew White (Aus) US Postal-Berry Floor                
91 Koen De Kort (Ned) Rabobank                              
92 Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Spa) Quick.Step-Davitamon          
93 Olivier Trastour (Fra) AG2r Prévoyance                   
94 Scott Sunderland (Aus) Team fakta                        
95 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                      
96 Michele Bartoli (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                      
97 Manuel Calvente Gorbas (Spa) Team CSC                    
98 Jorgen Bo Petersen (Den) Team fakta                      
99 Serguei Yakovlev (Kaz) Team Telekom                      
100 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Rabobank                          
101 Florent Brard (Fra) Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf               
102 Dirk Reichl (Ger) Team Telekom                          
103 Anthony Charteau (Fra) Brioches La Boulangère           
104 Mickael Pichon (Fra)                         
105 Guennadi Mikhailov (Rus) US Postal-Berry Floor          
106 Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra)                  0.37
107 Steffen Kjaergaard (Nor) US Postal-Berry Floor          
108 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick.Step-Davitamon           1.13
109 Johan Verstrepen (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago      1.25

General classification after stage 1

1 Nico Eeckhout (Bel) Lotto-Domo                     3.59.41
2 Thierry De Groote (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop             0.06
3 Wim Van Huffel (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim             0.10
4 Hans Dekkers (Ned) Rabobank                           0.32
5 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Brioches la Boulangere         0.34
6 Roger Hammond (GBr) Palmans Collstrop