There aren't too many flat roads on Wednesday's 215km stage 4 from Huy to Verdun that traverses the Ardennes range from north to south. And the stage won't be made any easier by a predicted three-quarter head wind gusting up to 25 mph and possible rain showers. The good news is that most of the day's climbing is in the first half of the stage, when the unfavorable wind should keep the peloton together.Despite that likelihood, there are bound to be early attacks.
Half the field is now more than five minutes off the pace, and 40 of them are more than 10 minutes behind race leader Stuart
5:30 p.m. local timeSo a few of you have asked that we not reveal the winner in the headline or first paragraph, so if you don't want be surprised as you work your way through our now-not-so-live updates click HERE to work up from the bottom and follow the race from the start.
For the rest of you today's winner was ...
5:12 p.m. (local time) Jalabert earns his fourth Tour de France stage win, but he will not make it into the yellow jersey.
Stuart O'Grady managed to finish close enough to keep the overall lead.
Dierckxsens earned second and Nazon edged out Fast Freddie Rodriguez for
Stage Winner: Laurent Jalabert (F) CSC-Tiscali, 215km in 5:17:49----------------------------------Overall Lead: Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit AgricoleSprinter: Erik Zabel (G) Deutsche TelekomClimber: Patrice Halgand (F) Jean DelatourUnder 25: Florent Brard (F) Festina
Click below for full results.
On Wednesday, the Tour de France made its way back into France, after racing through Belgium for three days in the opening week of the race. Along the route from Huy, Belgium, to Verdun, France, was the war memorial in Douaumont, commemorating the two-and-a-half-year battle in World War I, where more than 150,000 French and German soldiers lost their lives. But looking back on Stage 4 of the Tour, it’s the 150km of roads before that monument that will be remembered most after an epic chase and a surprising show of force by the teams of the top contenders for this year’s overall title.
Defending Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong of the U.S. Postal team remained tight-lipped as he arrived in Verdun, France after the fourth stage of the Tour de France, a 215km haul from Huy in Belgium on Wednesday.
However the 29-year-old Texan, who has refused requests for interviews ever since he told an Italian newspaper of his links to Italian doping guru Michele Ferrari, had a few words for French television.
Armstrong, who came in with a 75-man bunch seven seconds behind stage winner Laurent Jalabert of France, told TV reporters that this was the first time he'd been tested on