By Andrew Hood

Dauphiné Libéré: Stage 4 – Dessel stays away.

Photo: Graham Watson

Most riders in the 60th Dauphiné Libéré will tell you they’re more worried about what’s going to happen in July than what’s happening this week in France.

Don’t believe it. If Thursday’s attack-riddled 193km, three-climb stage from Vienne to Annemasse was any indication, the next few days are going to be a real dogfight.

Cyril Dessel (Ag2r-La Mondiale) claimed an impressive solo victory after attacking over the Cat. 1 Le Salève climb out of a 16-man breakaway that threatened to ride away with the race.

And if Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) was day-dreaming about the Tour de France following his surprising victory in Wednesday’s time trial, he was wrenched back to reality up the 7km Saliève climb with an average grade of 9.2 percent.

Dauphiné Libéré: Stage 4 – The Dauphiné hits the hills.

Photo: Graham Watson

Valverde retained his 23-second lead over Levi Leipheimer (Astana), but he had to work at it.

“Today was very difficult. Everyone was suffering after Wednesday’s time trial and you could see that Evans and Leipheimer are in the mood to attack,” said Valverde, who finished 14th with the main pack of favorites. “It was very fast in the first hour and very hard on the Saliève. I think tomorrow will be even harder.”

With the 16-man breakaway hitting the decisive climb with a three-minute head start on the main pack, the very steep and narrow climb busted up the peloton.

Robert Gesink (Rabobank) and Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi) both looked strong as the front pack soon disintegrated to about two dozen riders.

Leipheimer and Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto), who remained third at 37 seconds adrift, promise to make it even harder on Valverde with three tough mountain stages to go.

“Today wasn’t really a day to attack. You could spend a lot of energy, but you might not get much from the effort,” said Evans, who was runner-up last year. “There are other stages that will be more decisive, but today was hard. We were going fast up that climb.”

Caisse d’Epargne had the stage under control, putting Oscar Pereiro into the day’s main breakaway and then having David Lopéz García help him set the pace up the first hard climb of this year’s edition.

“We’re not obsessing about winning this race, but today was another important test,” said Caisse d’Epargne sport director Eusebio Unzue. “We’re going to take it day to day. If Alejandro can get over the Joux-Plane in the yellow jersey, then everything will be decided on La Toussuire (on Saturday). We’ll say this, if we’re in position to win the race, we’ll try.”

Big break

It was another cool, cloudy morning in Vienne for the start of the 193km, three-climb stage to Annemasse.

Dauphiné Libéré: Stage 4 – The day’s big break formed at 58km.

Photo: Graham Watson

Three riders didn’t start — Sebastian Minard (Cofidis), Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner) and Adam Hansen (High Road) — leaving 138 in the race.

Valverde’s impressive victory in Wednesday’s time trial was the talk of the start village, but “Balaverde” or Spain’s green bullet, wasn’t believing any of the hype.

“Since Sunday, I’ve been good in all the key moments of the race. The Dauphiné isn’t a principal objective for me and I want to be careful not to use too much energy before the Tour,” Valverde said. “At the same time, I’m not here just to train and I love to win!”

There were plenty of attacks in the opening hour, with the average speed topping 50kph as teams tried to get their key men into the day’s inevitable breakaway, but nothing stuck as teams chased down breaks after missing the moves.

Yaroslav Popovych (Silence-Lotto), who will be Cadel Evans’ right-hand man at this year’s Tour, went on a solo flier at 55km, but that potentially dangerous move was snuffed.

The day’s move finally stuck when Pierre Rolland (Crédit Agricole) and Amaél Moinard (Cofidis) barreled away at 58km. Riders such as Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d’Epargne) and Lars Bak (CSC) bridged out as a 16-rider group finally gelled off the front.

“I am the luckiest guy on the team because almost all of our team was on the attack. I just went once and that was the move that worked,” said Bak, who hung on to finish fifth in the stage at 2:07 back. “It was good to be in a bigger group, but everyone knew the final climb would be hard.”

In the move were: Roy Sentjens (Silence-Lotto), Sergio Paulinho (Astana), Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d’Epargne), Juan José Oroz (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Christope Le Mevel and Pierre Rolland (Crédit Agricole), Juan Manuel Garate (Quick Step), Cyril Dessel (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Amael Moinard (Cofidis), Heinrich Haussler and Peter Wrolich (Gerolsteiner), Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom), Frederik Willems (Liquigas), Lars Bak (CSC), Davide de la Fuente (Saunier Duval-Scott) and Domink Roels (Milram).

Dauphiné Libéré: Stage 4 – Rolland and Voeckler decided to liven things up

Photo: Graham Watson

With the right mix of riders, the break quickly opened up a three-minute gap. Despite the presence of roleur Bak, the most threatening rider at 12th at 2:47 back, and 2006 Tour winner Pereiro, at 13th at 2:48 back, the peloton was content to let them roll into the day’s first climb at Cat. 3 Côte du Mont des Princes with 70km to go.

De la Fuente – the 2006 Tour’s most aggressive rider who was on the attack in Tuesday’s stage and later grabbed the best climber’s jersey for his efforts – led the breakaway over the summit as Caisse d’Epagne led the main pack at 3:35 back.

The breakaway worked together over the Cat. 4 Côte de Saint-Jean at 140km when Voeckler and Rolland decided to liven things up. Haussler and Roels chased at 25 seconds back as they course rolled over some unrated climbs heading toward the Le Salève.

Dessel comes up big, Valverde hangs on

Rolland was making good progress up the Saliève when Dessel made a decision. If he didn’t attack and catch his rival before the narrow, sinuous decent, he’d never be able to win the stage.

Dauphiné Libéré: Stage 4 – The favorites stuck together.

Photo: Graham Watson

Dessel, 33, surged away from the remnants of the breakaway and caught Rolland about 2km from the summit. He flew down the backside of the very narrow descent to claim the win 18 seconds behind the chasing Rolland to go along with stage wins at Catalunya and Dunkirk. “Dessel climbed to fourth at 1:08 back, Pereiro to seventh at 1:58 and Rolland into ninth at 2:29 back after riding away with the breakaway.

“When I got near the top, that’s when I went full-gas because I’ve ridden this climb before and I knew I wanted to go down alone,” said Dessel, who wore the yellow jersey in the 2006 Tour. “If I didn’t catch him before the summit, I knew it would be too late.”

Rolland – a highly touted 21-year-old climbing prodigy – was disappointed with his second place, a good sign as French racing seems to be showing signs of life this season to go on the attack.

“I’m not happy at all with second place,” said Rolland, who cracked the top 10. “I started racing bikes to win races, not to finish second. I tried to follow Dessel, but he went too hard for me. It was so close.”

Both Dessel and Valverde have their eyes set on next month’s Tour de France, but with different goals in mind.

Cyril Dessel (Ag2r-La Mondiale) solos to victory in stage 4 of the 2008 Dauphiné Libéré.

Photo: AFP

“I’d rather win a stage than finish in the top 10,” said Dessel, who was seventh overall in 2006. “No one remembers you if you are in the top 10, but they will if you win a stage.”

Valverde was sixth in last year’s Tour and his stock has suddenly shot upwards following his time trial victory ahead of Tour podium-finishers Leipheimer and Evans.

“It was really a course that suited my style. The first half was almost a climbing time trial,” Valverde said. “I’ve worked hard to improve my time trialing. We’ll see what happens at the Tour. Maybe I can aim for the podium.”

Joux-Plain up next

The 60th Dauphiné Libéré continues Friday with the short, but potentially explosive 125km fifth stage from Ville-la-Grand to Morzine. The stage opens benignly enough, with one category-three climb at 49.5km and a pair of category-four speed-bumps over the next 40km, terrain that’s sure to prompt an escape.

The day’s main obstacle is the beyond-category Côte de Joux-Plane at 113.5km. The 11.5km climb averages 10 percent and has featured in plenty of recent drama in the Tour de France, including a solo attack by Floyd Landis in 2006 when he won the stage only later to fail a doping control that led to his disqualification after winning that year’s Tour.

From the Joux-Plane summit, it’s a tortuous descent where the peloton’s best descenders can hold a gap into Morzine. Watch for riders like Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) to drop like a rock and take aim for the victory.

Photo Gallery


Dauphiné Libéré: Stage 4

1. Cyril Dessel (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, 193km in 4:37:16

2. Pierre Rolland (F), Crédit Agricole, at 0:18

3. Amaël Moinard (F), Cofidis, at 1:21

4. Oscar Pereiro Sio (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.

5. Lars Ytting Bak (Den), Team CSC, at 2:07

6. David De La Fuente (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, s.t.

7. Christophe Le Mevel (F), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

8. Patrice Halgand (F), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

9. Michael Rogers (Aus), Team High Road, at 2:09

10. Jelle Vanendert (B), Française des Jeux at 2:11

11. Sergio Paulinho (Por), Astana, s.t.

12. Peter Velits (Svk), Milram, s.t.

13. Cadel Evans (Aus), Silence-Lotto, s.t.

14. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.

15. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.

16. Robert Gesink (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.

17. Peter Wrolich (A), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

18. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Astana, s.t.

19. Maxime Monfort (B), Cofidis, s.t.

20. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

21. Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, s.t.

22. Manuel Beltran (Sp), Liquigas, s.t.

23. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.

24. Sandy Casar (F), Française des Jeux s.t.

25. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Quick Step, s.t.

26. Daniel Navarro (Sp), Astana, s.t.

27. Stéphane Goubert (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, s.t.

28. David Lopez Garcia (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.

29. David Moncoutie (F), Cofidis, s.t.

30. Charles Wegelius (GB), Liquigas, s.t.

31. Dario David Cioni (I), Silence-Lotto, s.t.

32. Carlos Sastre (Sp), Team CSC, s.t.

33. Inigo Cuesta (Sp), Team CSC, s.t.

34. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol), Lampre-Fondital, at 2:35

35. Yury Trofimov (Rus), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.

36. Matteo Carrara (I), Quick Step, s.t.

37. Laurent Lefevre (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 2:46

38. Rémy Di Gregorio (F), Française des Jeux s.t.

39. Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Sp), Quick Step, at 3:12

40. José Angel Gomez Marchante (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, s.t.

41. Jose Oroz Juan (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.

42. John Gadret (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, s.t.

43. Janez Brajkovic (Slo), Astana, s.t.

44. Roy Sentjens (B), Silence-Lotto, s.t.

45. Ruben Lobato (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 3:50

46. Nicki Sörensen (Den), Team CSC, at 4:10

47. Grischa Niermann (G), Rabobank, s.t.

48. Josep Jufre (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, s.t.

49. Pierrick Fedrigo (F), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.

50. Valerio Agnoli (I), Liquigas, s.t.

51. Christophe Brandt (B), Silence-Lotto, s.t.

52. Pieter Weening (Ned), Rabobank, s.t.

53. Cyrille Monnerais (F), Française des Jeux s.t.

54. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr), Silence-Lotto, s.t.

55. Matthew Lloyd, (Aus), Silence-Lotto, s.t.

56. Fabian Wegmann (G), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

57. Rémi Pauriol (F), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

58. Hubert Dupont (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 5:26

59. Matej Muerli (Slo), Liquigas, s.t.

60. Vladimir Efimkin (Rus), Ag2r-La Mondiale, s.t.

61. Andriy Grivko (Ukr), Milram, s.t.

62. Jerome Coppel (F), Française des Jeux s.t.

63. Michael Barry (Can), Team High Road, s.t.

64. Craig Lewis (USA), Team High Road, s.t.

65. George Hincapie (USA), Team High Road, s.t.

66. Dominik Roels (G), Milram, s.t.

67. Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukr), Quick Step, at 6:24

68. Björn Schröder (G), Milram, at 6:49

69. Koos Moerenhout (Ned), Rabobank, at 9:54

70. Heinrich Haussler (G), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

71. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus), Team CSC, s.t.

72. Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr), Liquigas, s.t.

73. José Luis Arrieta (Sp), Ag2r-La Mondiale, s.t.

74. Tom Stamsnijder (Ned), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

75. Jurgen Van De Walle (B), Quick Step, s.t.

76. William Bonnet (F), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

77. Simon Gerrans (Aus), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

78. Mario Aerts (B), Silence-Lotto, s.t.

79. Rigoberto Uran (Col), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.

80. Chris Anker Sörensen (Den), Team CSC, s.t.

81. Inaki Isasi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.

82. Frederik Willems (B), Liquigas, s.t.

83. Nicolas Portal (F), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.

84. Joan Horrach (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.

85. Maryan Hary (F), Cofidis, s.t.

86. Thomas Voeckler (F), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.

87. Aurélien Passeron (F), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 12:18

88. José Luis Rubiera (Sp), Astana, at 13:38

89. Ruben Perez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.

90. Benjamin Noval (Sp), Astana, s.t.

91. Stef Clement (Ned), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.

92. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.

93. Sebastian Lang (G), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

94. Sebastian Schwager (G), Milram, s.t.

95. Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe), Team CSC, s.t.

96. Volker Ordowski (G), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

97. Arnaud Labbe (F), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.

98. Mauro Santambrogio (I), Lampre-Fondital, s.t.

99. Mauro Da Dalto (I), Liquigas, s.t.

100. Florent Brard (F), Cofidis, s.t.

101. Davide Vigano (I), Quick Step, s.t.

102. Brett Lancaster (Aus), Milram, s.t.

103. Manuel Quinziato (I), Liquigas, s.t.

104. Scott Davis (Aus), Team High Road, s.t.

105. Kevin Van Impe (B), Quick Step, s.t.

106. Karsten Kroon (Ned), Team CSC, s.t.

107. Javier Megias (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, s.t.

108. Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu), Astana, at 14:30

109. Daniele Righi (I), Lampre-Fondital, s.t.

110. Carlo Westphal (G), Gerolsteiner, s.t.

111. Christophe Riblon (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 16:48

112. Julien Loubet (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, s.t.

113. Alexandre Pichot (F), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.

114. Samuel Dumoulin (F), Cofidis, s.t.

115. Stéphane Auge (F), Cofidis, s.t.

116. Arnaud Gerard (F), Française des Jeux s.t.

117. Perrig Quemeneur (F), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.

118. Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Sp), Rabobank, s.t.

119. Mirco Lorenzetto (I), Lampre-Fondital, s.t.

120. Paolo Fornaciari (I), Lampre-Fondital, s.t.

121. Roberto Longo (I), Lampre-Fondital, s.t.

122. Bart Dockx (B), Silence-Lotto, s.t.

123. Bert Grabsch (G), Team High Road, s.t.

124. Thor Hushovd (Nor), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

125. William Walker (Aus), Rabobank, s.t.

126. Christian Kux (G), Milram, s.t.

127. Benat Albizuri (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.

128. Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Sp), Rabobank, s.t.

129. Jon Bru (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.

130. Emanuele Bindi (I), Lampre-Fondital, s.t.

131. Sergio Ghisalberti (I), Milram, s.t.

132. Sébastien Chavanel (F), Française des Jeux at 19:01

133. Arnaud Coyot (F), Caisse d’Epargne, at 19:12

134. José Vicente Garcia Acosta (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.

135. Alberto Fernandez (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, s.t.

136. Michiel Elijzen (Ned), Rabobank, at 30:03


Alessandro Proni, (I), Quick Step

Sébastien Joly (F), Française Des Jeux


Sébastien Minard (F), Cofidis

Bernhard Kohl (A), Gerolsteiner

Adam Hansen (Aus, Team High Road

Overall (after 4 stages)

1. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, 14:49:46

2. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Astana, at 0:23

3. Cadel Evans (Aus), Silence-Lotto, at 0:37

4. Cyril Dessel (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 1:08

5. Maxime Monfort (B), Cofidis, at 1:17

6. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:20

7. Oscar Pereiro Sio (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, at 1:58

8. Robert Gesink (Ned), Rabobank, at 2:28

9. Pierre Rolland (F), Crédit Agricole, at 2:29

10. Yury Trofimov (Rus), Bouygues Telecom, at 2:34

11. Lars Ytting Bak (Den), Team CSC at 2:43

12. Peter Velits (Svk), Milram, at 3:00

13. Sergio Paulinho (Por), Astana, at 3:09

14. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 3:12

15. Dario David Cioni (I), Silence-Lotto, at 3:21

16. Sandy Casar (F), Française des Jeux, at 3:26

17. Michael Rogers (Aus), Team High Road, at 3:29

18. Laurent Lefevre (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 3:34

19. Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Sp), Quick Step, at 3:40

20. Rémy Di Gregorio (F), Française des Jeux, at 3:47

21. Daniel Navarro (Sp), Astana, at 3:53

22. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Quick Step, at 4:09

23. Carlos Sastre (Sp), Team CSC, at 4.13

24. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol), Lampre-Fondital, at 4:21

25. Janez Brajkovic (Slo), Astana, at 4:22

26. Amaël Moinard (F), Cofidis, at 4:24

27. Manuel Beltran (Sp), Liquigas, s.t.

28. Matteo Carrara (I), Quick Step, at 4:32

29. Stéphane Goubert (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 4:34

30. Charles Wegelius (GB), Liquigas, at 4:41

31. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz), Crédit Agricole, at 4:49

32. Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 5:08

33. José Gomez Marchante (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 5:11

34. Peter Wrolich (A), Gerolsteiner, at 5:14

35. Andriy Grivko (Ukr), Milram, at 5:23

36. Christophe Le Mevel (F), Crédit Agricole, at 5:29

37. Inigo Cuesta (Sp), Team CSC, at 5:33

38. Josep Jufre (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 5:38

39. Rémi Pauriol (F), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

40. John Gadret (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 5:39

41. Grischa Niermann (G), Rabobank, at 5:53

42. Patrice Halgand (F), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

43. Pieter Weening (Ned), Rabobank, at 5:55

44. George Hincapie (USA), Team High Road, at 5:59

45. Jelle Vanendert (B), Française des Jeux, s.t.

46. Pierrick Fedrigo (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 6:00

47. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr), Silence-Lotto, at 6:03

48. David Moncoutie (F), Cofidis, at 6:11

49. Vladimir Efimkin (Rus), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 6:.14

50. Christophe Brandt (B), Silence-Lotto, at 6:16

51. Fabian Wegmann (G), Gerolsteiner, at 6:23

52. Juan Jose Oroz (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 6:41

53. Nicki Sörensen (Den), Team CSC, at 6:47

54. David De La Fuente (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 6:51

55. Matthew Lloyd (Aus), Silence-Lotto, at 6:55

56. Cyrille Monnerais (F), Française des Jeux, at 6:56

57. Valerio Agnoli (I), Liquigas, at 7:12

58. Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukr), Quick Step, at 7:27

59. David Lopez Garcia (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, at 7:32

60. Craig Lewis (USA), Team High Road, at 7:36

61. Ruben Lobato (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 7:37

62. Matej Mugerli (Slo), Liquigas, at 7:40

63. Roy Sentjens (B), Silence-Lotto, at 7:50

64. Hubert Dupont (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 8:15

65. Björn Schröder (G), Milram, at 8:33

66. Jerome Coppel (F), Française des Jeux, at 8:52

67. Michael Barry (Can), Team High Road, at 9:24

68. Dominik Roels (G), Milram, at 9:46

69. José Luis Arrieta (Sp), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 11:06

70. Heinrich Haussler (G), Gerolsteiner, at 11:.24

71. Koos Moerenhout (Ned), Rabobank, at 11:27

72. Rigoberto Uran (Col), Caisse d’Epargne, at 11:28

73. Nicolas Portal (F), Caisse d’Epargne, at 11:46

74. Jurgen Van De Walle (B), Quick Step, at 11:57

75. Mario Aerts (B), Silence-Lotto, at 12:12

76. Inaki Isasi (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 12:18

77. Simon Gerrans (Aus), Crédit Agricole, at 12:19

78. Maryan Hary (F), Cofidis, at 12:42

79. Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr), Liquigas, at 12:45

80. Thomas Voeckler (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 13:09

81. Frederik Willems (B), Liquigas, at 13:36

82. Tom Stamsnijder (Ned), Gerolsteiner, at 13:41

83. Joan Horrach (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, at 13:54

84. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 13:57

85. Chris Anker Sörensen (Den), Team CSC, at 14:14

86. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus), Team CSC, at 14:16

87. Sebastian Lang (G), Gerolsteiner, at 15:07

88. José Luis Rubiera (Sp), Astana, at 15:16

89. William Bonnet (F), Crédit Agricole, at 15:31

90. Stef Clement (Ned), Bouygues Telecom, at 15:34

91. Ruben Perez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 16:.05

92. Brett Lancaster (Aus), Milram, at 16:12

93. Florent Brard (F), Cofidis, at 16:59

94. Aurélien Passeron (F), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 17:00

95. Daniele Righi (I), Lampre-Fondital, at 17:20

96. Mauro Santambrogio (I), Lampre-Fondital, at 17:27

97. Mauro Da Dalto (I), Liquigas, at 17:50

98. Kevin Van Impe (B), Quick Step, at 18:01

99. Manuel Quinziato (I), Liquigas, at 18:13

100. Davide Vigano (I), Quick Step, at 18:23

101. Javier Megias (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 18:35

102. Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Sp), Rabobank, at 18:38

103. Karsten Kroon (Ned), Team CSC, at 18:43

104. Sebastian Schwager (G), Milram, at 18:59

105. William Walker (Aus), Rabobank, at 19:00

106. Scott Davis (Aus), Team High Road, at 19:30

107. Thor Hushovd (Nor), Crédit Agricole, at 19:32

108. Volker Ordowski (G), Gerolsteiner, at 19:41

109. Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu), Astana, at 19.42

110. Benjamin Noval (Sp), Astana, at 19:45

111. Julien Loubet (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, s.t.

112. Arnaud Gerard (F), Française des Jeux, at 20:03

113. Alexandre Pichot (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 20:42

114. Christophe Riblon (F), Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 20:43

115. Perrig Quemeneur (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 20:52

116. Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Sp), Rabobank, at 21:19

117. Arnaud Labbe (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 21:26

118. Bart Dockx (B), Silence-Lotto, at 21:40

119. Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe), Team CSC, at 21:43

120. Samuel Dumoulin (F), Cofidis, s.t.

121. Bert Grabsch (G), Team High Road, at 22:01

122. Carlo Westphal (G), Gerolsteiner, at 22:27

123. Arnaud Coyot (F), Caisse d’Epargne, at 22:38

124. Mirco Lorenzetto (I), Lampre-Fondital, at 22:41

125. Jon Bru (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 23:11

126. Stéphane Auge (F), Cofidis, at 24:12

127. José Garcia Acosta Vicente (Sp), Caisse d’Epargne, at 24:31

128. Sergio Ghisalberti (I), Milram, at 25:53

129. Paolo Fornaciari (I), Lampre-Fondital, at 26:26

130. Sébastien Chavanel (F), Française des Jeux, at 26:48

131. Roberto Longo (I), Lampre-Fondital, at 27:07

132. Christian Kux (G), Milram, at 28:16

133. Emanuele Bindi (I), Lampre-Fondital, at 31:22

134. Alberto Fernandez (Sp), Saunier Duval-Scott, at 31:38

135. Michiel Elijzen (Ned), Rabobank, at 39:57

136. Benat Albizuri (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 41:08