Mercury-Viatel stays hot at Paris-Nice

Jans Koerts strengthened Mercury-Viatel’s case for a start in the Tour de France this year by giving the U.S. team its second consecutive stage win Wednesday in the high-speed run down the Rhone Valley to Villeneuve les Avignon. His teammate Peter Van Petegem conserved the leader's white jersey. Koerts received a fine leadout from his teammate Fabrizio Guidi to finish more than a length ahead of Jean-Patrick Nazon and Germany's Danilo Hondo, at the end of a stage run at close to a 30mph average thanks to a strong tailwind. This is Koerts' third win of the season after winning two stages of

By William Fotheringham, VeloNews Correspondent

Koerts notched another win for Mercury

Koerts notched another win for Mercury

Photo: Graham Watson

The peloton sped along the Rhone

The peloton sped along the Rhone

Photo: Graham Watson

Jans Koerts strengthened Mercury-Viatel’s case for a start in the Tour de France this year by giving the U.S. team its second consecutive stage win Wednesday in the high-speed run down the Rhone Valley to Villeneuve les Avignon. His teammate Peter Van Petegem conserved the leader’s white jersey.

Koerts received a fine leadout from his teammate Fabrizio Guidi to finish more than a length ahead of Jean-Patrick Nazon and Germany’s Danilo Hondo, at the end of a stage run at close to a 30mph average thanks to a strong tailwind.

This is Koerts’ third win of the season after winning two stages of the Tour of Langkawi. “The team gave me a perfect leadout as my biggest concern was the Nazon brothers,” he said. “Now I want to be at my best for Paris-Roubaix.”

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Results

1. Jans Koerts (Nl), Mercury-Viatel, 217.9 km in 4:43:28.
2. Jean-Patrick Nazon (F), La Francaise des Jeux
3. Danilo Hondo (G), Telekom
4. Damien Nazon (F), Bonjour
5. Jo Planckaert (B), Cofidis
6. Fabrizio Guidi (I), Mercury-Viatel
7. Oscar Cavagnis (I), Saeco
8. Christophe Capelle (F), Big Mat
9. Lauri Aus (Est), AG2R
10. Stephan Schreck (G), Telekom
11. Fabian De Waele (B), Lotto-Adecco
12. Saulius Ruskis (Lit), Gerolsteiner
13. Niki Aebersold (Swi), Coast
14. Fabio Baldato (I), Fassa Bortolo
15. Andrei Tchmil (B), Lotto-Adecco
16. Patrice Halgand (F), Jean Delatour
17. Nico Mattan (B), Cofidis
18. Arvis Piziks (Lit), CSC-World Online
19. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), Credit Agricole
20. Michele Bartoli (I), Mapei-Quick Step
69. Bobby Julich (USA), Credit Agricole
106. Peter Van Petegem (B), Mercury-Viatel
107. David Millar (GB), Cofidis, all s.t.

Overall
1. Van Petegem, 15:13:03.
2. Jorg Jaksche (G), ONCE, at 0:11.
3. Raimondas Rumsas (Lit), Fassa Bortolo, at 0:15.
4. Dario Frigo (I), Fassa Bortolo, at 0:16.
5. Andrei Tchmil (B), Lotto-Adecco, at 0:27.
6. Mario Aerts (B), Lotto-Adecco, at 0:29.
7. David Moncoutie (F), Cofidis, at 0:29.
8. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz), Telekom, at 0:33.
9. Laurent Dufaux (Swi), Saeco, at 0:33.
10. Patrice Halgand (F), Jean Delatour, at 0:36.
11. Francisco Mancebo (Sp), iBanesto.com, s.t.
12. Tobias Steinhauser (G), Gerolsteiner, at 0:39
13. Dave Bruylandts (B), Domo-Farm Frites, s.t.
14. Bartoli, at 0:45
15. Jose Azevedo (P), ONCE, at 0:46
16. Rolf Huser (Swi), Coast, at 0:57
17. Emmanuel Magnien (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 1:11
18. Stephane Heulot (F), Big Mat, at 1:12
19. Laurent Brochard (F), Jean Delatour, at 1:20
20. Bingen Fernandez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:29
24. Julich, at 1:42.
25. Millar, at 1:48.