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Chavanel leads Paris-Nice as Carlstrom wins stage 3

A Frenchman hasn’t stood atop the Paris-Nice podium since Laurent Jalabert won the last of his three straight titles in 1997. Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) promises he can restore French pride in the "Race to the Sun" after moving into the race leader’s jersey in Wednesday’s roller-coaster stage that saw Finnish rider Kjell Carlström (Liquigas) take a breakaway stage victory into St. Étienne.

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Lowe crashes, Carlström wins stage

By Andrew Hood

Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) dons yellow after Stage 3 of Paris-Nice.

Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) dons yellow after Stage 3 of Paris-Nice.

Photo: AFP

A Frenchman hasn’t stood atop the Paris-Nice podium since Laurent Jalabert won the last of his three straight titles in 1997.

Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) promises he can restore French pride in the “Race to the Sun” after moving into the race leader’s jersey in Wednesday’s roller-coaster stage that saw Finnish rider Kjell Carlström (Liquigas) take a breakaway stage victory into St. Étienne.

Chavanel rolled through 11th at 43 seconds back to inherit the leader’s jersey from Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) as Carlström out-kicked Clément Lhotellerie (Skil-Shimano) to snag the win.

“This is the maximum. It’s a great pleasure,” said Chavanel, who’s sometimes struggled to live up to expectations during his career. “I see myself as one of the strongest here in this Paris-Nice and I am going to try to win it.”

Chavanel, 28, looked convincing as he helped drive a dozen favorites over the top of the Cat. 1 Col de Croix de Chaubouret with 18.5km to go.

Chavanel rode away with 2004 Giro d’Italia champ Damiano Cunego (Lampre) and Czech climber Roman Kreuzinger (Liquigas) 4km from the Croix de Chaubouret summit, but a determined chase group that included pre-race favorites Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), Robert Gesink (Rabobank) and Luís León Sánchez (Caisse d’Epargne) caught them on the fast-track descent into St. Étienne.

Carlström and Lhotellerie managed to drive their all-day breakaway to the line, but the leading group of contenders was whittled down even more as both Trent Lowe and David Millar (both Slipstream-Chipotle) finished outside the top 20.

Millar faded out of contention on the lower ramps of the Croix de Chaubouret, while Lowe, who started the day in the best young rider’s jersey in fifth place overall, crashed on rain-slick roads coming off the day’s penultimate climb.

Lowe finished 39th at 5:07 back while Millar came through 46th at 8:04 back to derail the team’s chances for a podium run.

“(Lowe) lost five minutes waiting to change his bike and he only finished five minutes off the leaders, so that’s too bad because you can see he’s climbing well. Now he has no chance for the young rider’s jersey, but maybe if he has a good day at Ventoux he can move back into the top 15,” Slipstream-Chipotle manager Jonathan Vaughters told VeloNews.

“Dave is still trying to find his place and discover whether he can climb or not. He can stay with the leaders on a 20-minute climb in California, but today was a 45-minute climb. That’s probably one more notch above what he can handle.”

Chavanel is sounding confident about his chances to become the first Frenchman to win in a decade, but standing in his way is Thursday’s return of Mont Ventoux to Paris-Nice after a 20-year absence.

The stage tackles the “undiscovered” northern face to the Mont Serein ski station and stops about 5km short of the observatory summit traditionally featured in the Tour de France.

While considered easier than the southern approach, it’s still a very steep 17km approach from the base at Malaucene.

“I think I will be capable of being at the front tomorrow. I’ve been among the top 15 up Ventoux before,” Chavanel said. “Ventoux will decide everything, but today we already saw that there are not many of us left for overall victory.”

Nine other riders remain within realistic striking distance of Chavanel.

Sánchez, who finished third last year and who prepared specifically for Paris-Nice, is only three seconds adrift.

The always-reliable Rebellin — fourth at 14 seconds back — hung menacingly at the back of the bunch Wednesday and never looked under pressure. Yaroslav Popovych (Silence-Lotto) and Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondial) are also poised at sixth and seventh at 19 and 21 seconds back, respectively.

Sounding even more confident than Chavanel is Dutch climbing sensation Robert Gesink (Rabobank). A winner over the hardest climbing stage in the Tour of California, the second-year pro isn’t shy about his chances.

“It really wasn’t very hard today. I expected the last climb to be harder. I could follow easily the pace set by Cunego and Chavanel. I had a problem with my chain, but otherwise my legs were good,” Gesink said. “I’m optimistic about tomorrow. Everyone dreams of winning on Ventoux. I am going to go for it.”

Early break

The weather gods seemed finally ready to shine on Paris-Nice. After three horrendous days of rain, wind and cold, winter’s grip on the Race to the Sun eased up for Wednesday’s bumpy, five-climb stage from Fleurie to Saint-Étienne.

Saint-Étienne is one of the most popular host cities in French cycling, and this year marked the 57th stop for Paris-Nice. The last time was in 2006, when Patxi Vila won ahead of Floyd Landis, who snagged the jersey and went on to claim the overall title.

The day’s route also looped through St. Chamond, where Kazakh rider Andrei Kivilev crashed without a helmet and later died. That incident prompted the UCI to introduce a helmet rule and one of the day’s two intermediate sprints was dedicated to the fallen rider’s memory.

It didn’t take long for a breakaway to form as Brad McGee (CSC), Lhotellerie (Skil-Shimano) and Carlström (Liquigas) powered away just 8km into the stage.

It was another strong move for Skil-Shimano, the fourth-year Holland-based continental team keen to live up to its invitation to Paris-Nice.

Lhotellerie — a highly touted French rider who finished second overall at the Ruta del Sol in Spain last month — followed the example of his teammate, Thierry Hupond, who made a heroic solo attack in Tuesday’s stage to snag the climber’s jersey.

The trio carved out an eight-minute lead over the day’s second climb at the Cote de St.Martin-en-Haut at 94.5km as the course pushed south over the hills on the western reaches of the Rhone Valley.

Rabobank and Quick Step led the charge to trim the lead to under six minutes at the day’s penultimate climb on the Cat. 3 Cote de la Croix Blanche.

Green jersey Gert Steegmans (Quick Step), winner of two stages, struggled up the climb while Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) skidded into the ditch coming down the other side.

Disaster struck for Lowe when another rider nudged him wide off the road on a sweeping turn that sent him tumbling into a ditch along with teammate Christian Vande Velde. Lowe was forced to wait a long time for the team car to drive through to swap out his bike after his derailleur was damaged in the incident.

“There were a lot of cross-winds on the summit of that climb and the race was all broken up. We were barged off the back by the commissaires and it was hard for us to get up to him to change the bike,” Vaughters said. “That’s too bad for us, but we’ve had a lot of luck in some other races this year. That’s how racing goes. Let’s see if tomorrow Trent can’t bounce back for Ventoux.”

French national champion Christophe Moreau (Agritubel) stretched the elastic on the peloton on a downhill attack as the weary bunch barreled toward the base of the day’s main obstacle. The gap was south of four minutes and closing.

Up and down the Croix de Chaubouret

Moreau’s move drew out Popovych, Alberto Losado (Caisse d’Epargne), Cunego, Carlos Barredo (Quick Step), Enrico Franzoi (Liquigas) and Maxime Monfort (Cofidis). They held about 20 seconds on the front pack of about 40 riders heading into the steepest part of the 16km climb.

Kreuzinger (Liquigas) went alone with 6km to the summit before Chavanel gave it a shove to draw out Cunego and Barredo. No one could get too far away from the ever-shrinking lead group as Gilbert, Evans, Karsten Kroon (CSC) and Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi) struggled up the final steep ramps.

McGee lost contact but Lhotellerie and Carlstrom kept plugging along and topped out 1:38 ahead of the chasing Cunego, Chavanel and Kreuzinger. The front pack split into two groups of five or six riders each, passing the summit at 30 seconds back.

“It was too hard of a climb so early in the season for me,” McGee said. “My feet and hands were just frozen and I couldn’t carry on. It’s a shame to get so close to the finish and then to not be able to follow. I’m not too worried. This shows that I am improving. When I rode this stage two years ago, I was already 10 minutes off the back in the first 40 kilometers. I will be better this summer.”

It was a drag race to the finish on the wide-open roads dropping into St-Étienne as Lhotellerie and Carlstrom maintained a slender 1:30 lead with 10km to go.

Kroon found allies with Quick Step’s Juan Manuel Garate and Alexandre Efimkin, who had another teammate trying to tow him back. If Kroon made contact with the leaders, he’d take the yellow jersey.

Instead, race judges ruled that he took an illegal draft off team cars with 15km to go and he slipped to ninth at 22 seconds back.

Kroon didn’t seem fazed. Even by his own admission, he knows he wouldn’t be able to make it up Mont Ventoux with the favorites on Thursday.

RACE NOTES

* Leader: Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis), takes a three-second lead on Luis Sánchez (Caisse d’Epargne). Overnight leader Thor Hushovd dropped to 45th at 15:53 back
* Stage winner: Kjell Carlström (Liquigas) out-kicked break away companion Clément Lhotellerie (Skil-Shimano)
* Best climber: Lhotellerie inherits jersey from teammate Hupond
* Points: Hushovd retained lead
* Young rider: Sánchez takes jersey from Trent Lowe (Slipstream-Chipotle), who crashed before the final climb
* Team: Quick Step retains top spot
* Peloton: 150 riders remain; DNS – Roy Curvers (Skil-Shimano); DNF – Mickael Cherel (FDJeux), Christian Knees (Milram), Robert Wagner (Skil-Shimano)
* Tomorrow’s stage: The 66th Paris-Nice continues Thursday with the 176km fourth stage from Montélimar to Mont Ventoux. The course traces over four Cat. 3 climbs before tackling Ventoux’s “undiscovered” north face. The 17km final Cat. 1 climb finishes at the Mont Serein ski station, about 5km short of the observatory summit featured in the Tour de France.

Photo Gallery

Results

Paris-Nice — Stage 3
1. Kjell Carlström (Liquigas) 4:39:14

2. Clément Lhotellerie (Skil-Shimano), same time

3. Pierre Rolland (Crédit Agricole), at 0:43

4. Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), s.t.

5. Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas), s.t.

6. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale), s.t.

7. Robert Gesink (Rabobank), s.t.

8. Damiano Cunego (Lampre), s.t.

9. Luis-Leon Sanchez (Caisse D’Epargne), s.t.

10. Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel-Euskadi), s.t.

11. Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis), s.t.

12. Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi), s.t.

13. Yaroslav Popovych (Silence-Lotto), s.t.

14. Maxime Monfort (Cofidis), at 0:46

15. Christophe Moreau (Agritubel), s.t.

16. Yann Huguet (Cofidis), s.t.

17. Simon Spilak (Lampre), at 0:49

18. Alexander Efimkin (Quick Step), at 0:52

19. Manuel Garate Juan (Quick Step), s.t.

20. Karsten Kroon (Team CSC), s.t.

21. Carlos Barredo (Quick Step), s.t.

22. Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez (Agritubel), s.t.

23. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Silence-Lotto), s.t.

24. Michael Albasini (Liquigas), at 3:42

25. Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux), s.t.

26. Nicolas Jalabert (Agritubel), at 3:46

27. Simon Gerrans (Crédit Agricole), s.t.

28. Josep Jufre Pou (Saunier Duval-Scott), s.t.

29. Jérôme Pineau (Bouygues Telecom), s.t.

30. Yury Trofimov (Bouygues Telecom), s.t.

31. Alberto Losada Alguacil (Caisse D’Epargne), s.t.

32. Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank), s.t.

33. Bram Tankink (Rabobank), s.t.

34. Bradley Mc Gee (Team CSC), s.t.

35. Alexandre Botcharov (Crédit Agricole), at 3:52

36. Aleksandr Kuschynski (Liquigas), at 5:06

37. Vicente Reynes (High Road), at 5:07

38. Luis Arrieta Jose (Ag2r-La Mondiale), s.t.

39. Trent Lowe (Slipstream Chipotle), s.t.

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

41. Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel), s.t.

42. Christophe Le Mevel (Crédit Agricole), s.t.

43. Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto), at 5:11

44. Nicolas Portal (Caisse D’Epargne), at 8:04

45. Marc De Maar (Rabobank), s.t.

46. David Millar (Slipstream Chipotle), s.t.

47. Enrico Franzoi (Liquigas), at 8:28

48. Albert Timmer (Skil-Shimano), s.t.

49. Anthony Geslin (Bouygues Telecom), s.t.

50. Stef Clement (Bouygues Telecom), at 17:06

51. Wilfried Cretskens (Quick Step), s.t.

52. Ralf Grabsch (Team Milram), s.t.

53. Hubert Dupont (Ag2r-La Mondiale), s.t.

54. Paolo Bossoni (Lampre), s.t.

55. Sergio Ghisalberti (Team Milram), s.t.

56. Craig Lewis (High Road), s.t.

57. Aurélien Passeron (Saunier Duval-Scott), s.t.

58. Christophe Edaleine (Ag2r-La Mondiale), s.t.

59. Sandy Casar (Française des Jeux), s.t.

60. Aitor Hernandez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), s.t.

61. Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi), s.t.

62. Matteo Tosatto (Quick Step), s.t.

63. Claudio Corioni (Liquigas), s.t.

64. Antonio Flecha Juan (Rabobank), s.t.

65. Christian Vandevelde (Slipstream Chipotle), s.t.

66. Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel-Euskadi), s.t.

67. Leonardo Bertagnolli (Liquigas), s.t.

68. Oliver Zaugg (Gerolsteiner), s.t.

69. Tom Stamsnijder (Gerolsteiner), s.t.

70. Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner), s.t.

71. Peter Velits (Team Milram), s.t.

72. David Arroyo (Caisse D’Epargne), s.t.

73. David Lopez Garcia (Caisse D’Epargne), s.t.

74. Dionisio Galparsoro (Euskaltel-Euskadi), s.t.

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

76. Lilian Jegou (Française des Jeux), s.t.

77. Mathew Hayman (Rabobank), s.t.

78. Matthew Lloyd (Silence-Lotto), s.t.

79. Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank), s.t.

80. Mario Aerts (Silence-Lotto), s.t.

81. Mathieu Perget (Caisse D’Epargne), s.t.

82. Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole), s.t.

83. Sébastien Minard (Cofidis), s.t.

84. Bingen Fernandez (Cofidis), s.t.

85. Andrea Moletta (Gerolsteiner), s.t.

86. Freddy Bichot (Agritubel), s.t.

87. Benoît Vaugrenard (Française des Jeux), s.t.

88. Yoann Le Boulanger (Française des Jeux), s.t.

89. Servais Knaven (High Road), at 19:36

90. Johan Van Summeren (Silence-Lotto), s.t.

91. Marcel Sieberg (High Road), s.t.

92. André Greipel (High Road), s.t.

93. Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre), s.t.

94. Matteo Bono (Lampre), s.t.

95. Frank Schleck (Team CSC), s.t.

96. Bernhard Eisel (High Road), s.t.

97. Bobby Julich (Team CSC), s.t.

98. Ivan Santaromita (Liquigas), s.t.

99. Christophe Brandt (Silence-Lotto), s.t.

100. Lander Aperribay (Euskaltel-Euskadi), s.t.

101. Paolo Tiralongo (Lampre), s.t.

102. Matteo Carrara (Quick Step), s.t.

103. Alexandr Kolobnev (Team CSC), s.t.

104. Kevin Ista (Agritubel), s.t.

105. Tom Veelers (Skil-Shimano), s.t.

106. Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner), s.t.

107. Cyril Dessel (Ag2r-La Mondiale), s.t.

108. Chris Sorensen (Team CSC), s.t.

109. Floris Goesinnen (Skil-Shimano), s.t.

110. Jason Mccartney (Team CSC), s.t.

111. William Bonnet (Crédit Agricole), s.t.

112. Anthony Charteau (Caisse D’Epargne), s.t.

113. Rémi Pauriol (Crédit Agricole), s.t.

114. Dmitriy Fofonov (Crédit Agricole), s.t.

115. José Benitez (Saunier Duval-Scott), s.t.

116. Andreas Klier (High Road), s.t.

117. Morris Possoni (High Road), s.t.

118. Mirco Lorenzetto (Lampre), s.t.

119. Massimiliano Mori (Lampre), s.t.

120. Christophe Laurent (Slipstream Chipotle), s.t.

121. Xavier Florencio (Bouygues Telecom), s.t.

122. Tyler Farrar (Slipstream Chipotle), s.t.

123. Andriy Grivko (Team Milram), s.t.

124. Michiel Elijzen (Rabobank), s.t.

125. Manuele Mori (Saunier Duval-Scott), s.t.

126. Matthias Russ (Gerolsteiner), s.t.

127. Benat Intxausti (Saunier Duval-Scott), s.t.

128. Amaël Moinard (Cofidis), s.t.

129. Matthieu Sprick (Bouygues Telecom), s.t.

130. Jens Voigt (Team CSC), s.t.

131. Lucas Euser (Slipstream Chipotle), s.t.

132. Johann Tschopp (Bouygues Telecom), s.t.

133. Nicolas Vogondy (Agritubel), s.t.

134. Danny Pate (Slipstream Chipotle), s.t.

135. Christophe Rinero (Agritubel), s.t.

136. Niki Terpstra (Team Milram), s.t.

137. Stephane Goubert (Ag2r-La Mondiale), s.t.

138. David Moncoutie (Cofidis), s.t.

139. Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis), s.t.

140. Sylvain Calzati (Ag2r-La Mondiale), s.t.

141. Jelle Vanendert (Française des Jeux), s.t.

142. Kevin Hulsmans (Quick Step), s.t.

143. Thierry Hupond (Skil-Shimano), s.t.

144. Gert Steegmans (Quick Step), s.t.

145. Philip Deignan (Ag2r-La Mondiale), s.t.

146. Fumiyuki Beppu (Skil-Shimano), s.t.

147. Thomas Peterson (Slipstream Chipotle), s.t.

148. Björn Schröder (Team Milram), s.t.

149. Carlo Westphal (Gerolsteiner), s.t.

150. Markus Eichler (Team Milram), at 20:13″

Overall (after 3 stages)

1. Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) 12:37:01

2. Luis-Leon Sanchez (Caisse D’epargne), at 0:03

3. Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel-Euskadi), at 0:08

4. Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), at 0:14

5. Manuel Garate Juan (Quick Step), at 0:18

6. Yaroslav Popovych (Silence-Lotto), at 0:19

7. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale), at 0:21

8. Robert Gesink (Rabobank), same time

9. Karsten Kroon (Team CSC), at 0:22

10. Alexander Efimkin (Quick Step), at 0:34

11. Clément Lhotellerie (Skil-Shimano), at 1:53

12. Kjell Carlström (Liquigas), at 2:24

13. Maxime Monfort (Cofidis), at 2:44

14. Simon Spilak (Lampre), s.t.

15. Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi), at 2:45

16. Carlos Barredo (Quick Step), at 2:49

17. Jérôme Pineau (Bouygues Telecom), at 2:56

18. Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux), at 3:05

19. Simon Gerrans (Crédit Agricole), at 3:10

20. Bram Tankink (Rabobank), at 3:28

21. Trent Lowe (Slipstream Chipotle), at 4:23

22. Aleksandr Kuschynski (Liquigas), at 4:34

23. Pierre Rolland (Crédit Agricole), at 4:47

24. Vicente Reynes (High Road), at 4:51

25. Michael Albasini (Liquigas), at 5:41

26. Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas), at 6:27

27. Yann Huguet (Cofidis), at 6:43

28. Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel), at 6:44

29. Nicolas Jalabert (Agritubel), at 6:45

30. Christophe Moreau (Agritubel), at 6:47

31. Damiano Cunego (Lampre), at 6:48

32. Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez (Agritubel), at 7:05

33. Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto), s.t.

34. David Millar (Slipstream Chipotle), at 7:21

35. Enrico Franzoi (Liquigas), at 7:52

36. Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank), s.t.

37. Marc De Maar (Rabobank), at 8:11

38. Alberto Losada Alguacil (Caisse D’epargne), at 9:30

39. Yury Trofimov (Bouygues Telecom), at 9:31

40. Alexandre Botcharov (Crédit Agricole), at 9:52

41. Luis Arrieta Jose (Ag2r-La Mondiale), at 9:53

42. Jose Cobo Acebo Juan (Saunier Duval-Scott), at 11:24

43. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Silence-Lotto), at 12:58

44. Josep Jufre Pou (Saunier Duval-Scott), at 14:25

45. Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole), at 15:53

46. Matteo Tosatto (Quick Step), at 16:25

47. Antonio Flecha Juan (Rabobank), at 16:30

48. Lilian Jegou (Française des Jeux), at 16:58

49. Gert Steegmans (Quick Step), at 18:26

50. Anthony Geslin (Bouygues Telecom), at 18:42

51. Niki Terpstra (Team Milram), at 18:59

52. Peter Velits (Team Milram), s.t.

53. Christophe Le Mevel (Crédit Agricole), at 19:05

54. Nicolas Portal (Caisse D’epargne), at 19:08

55. Mirco Lorenzetto (Lampre), at 19:10

56. Christian Vandevelde (Slipstream Chipotle), at 19:13

57. Sébastien Minard (Cofidis), s.t.

58. Paolo Bossoni (Lampre), at 19:14

59. Tom Stamsnijder (Gerolsteiner), at 19:26

60. Wilfried Cretskens (Quick Step), at 20:22

61. Oliver Zaugg (Gerolsteiner), at 20:24

62. Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel-Euskadi), at 20:28

63. Benoît Vaugrenard (Française des Jeux), at 20:57

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

65. Johan Van Summeren (Silence-Lotto), at 20:59

66. Bernhard Eisel (High Road), at 21:17

67. Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner), at 21:18

68. Andriy Grivko (Team Milram), at 21:44

69. Frank Schleck (Team CSC), at 22:10

70. Marcel Sieberg (High Road), s.t.

71. Dionisio Galparsoro (Euskaltel-Euskadi), at 22:18

72. Dmitriy Fofonov (Crédit Agricole), at 22:27

73. Markel Irizar (Euskaltel-Euskadi), at 23:09

74. Danny Pate (Slipstream Chipotle), at 23:20

75. Claudio Corioni (Liquigas), at 23:33

76. Tom Veelers (Skil-Shimano), at 23:45

77. Matteo Carrara (Quick Step), at 23:46

78. Bobby Julich (Team CSC), at 24:22

79. Bradley Mc Gee (Team CSC), at 24:25

80. Mathew Hayman (Rabobank), at 24:26

81. Servais Knaven (High Road), at 24:33

82. Leonardo Bertagnolli (Liquigas), at 24:46

83. Hubert Dupont (Ag2r-La Mondiale), at 25:14

84. David Arroyo (Caisse D’epargne), at 25:19

85. Christophe Brandt (Silence-Lotto), at 25:24

86. Manuele Mori (Saunier Duval-Scott), at 25:34

87. David Lopez Garcia (Caisse D’epargne), at 25:56

88. Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre), at 25:58

89. Alexandr Kolobnev (Team CSC), at 26:09

90. Andrea Moletta (Gerolsteiner), at 26:47

91. Matteo Bono (Lampre), at 27:02

92. Mario Aerts (Silence-Lotto), at 27:10

93. Matthew Lloyd (Silence-Lotto), at 27:14

94. William Bonnet (Crédit Agricole), at 27:30

95. Paolo Tiralongo (Lampre), at 27:39

96. Morris Possoni (High Road), at 28:05

97. Matthieu Sprick (Bouygues Telecom), at 28:20

98. Kevin Hulsmans (Quick Step), at 28:25

99. Christophe Laurent (Slipstream Chipotle), at 28:27

100. Albert Timmer (Skil-Shimano), at 28:29

101. Andreas Klier (High Road), at 28:33

102. Massimiliano Mori (Lampre), at 28:54

103. Ivan Santaromita (Liquigas), at 29:26

104. Bingen Fernandez (Cofidis), at 29:28

105. Floris Goesinnen (Skil-Shimano), at 29:34

106. Stephane Goubert (Ag2r-La Mondiale), at 29:36

107. Benat Intxausti (Saunier Duval-Scott), at 29:43

108. Johann Tschopp (Bouygues Telecom), at 30:00

109. Jens Voigt (Team CSC), at 30:15

110. José Benitez (Saunier Duval-Scott), at 30:33

111. Sandy Casar (Française des Jeux), at 30:49

112. Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner), at 31:00

113. Aurélien Passeron (Saunier Duval-Scott), at 31:18

114. Xavier Florencio (Bouygues Telecom), at 31:39

115. Matthias Russ (Gerolsteiner), at 31:48

116. Carlo Westphal (Gerolsteiner), at 32:11

117. Christophe Rinero (Agritubel), at 32:16

118. Tyler Farrar (Slipstream Chipotle), at 32:24

119. Stef Clement (Bouygues Telecom), at 32:33

120. Chris Sorensen (Team CSC), at 32:36

121. Yoann Le Boulanger (Française des Jeux), at 33:05

122. Thierry Hupond (Skil-Shimano), at 33:24

123. Rémi Pauriol (Crédit Agricole), at 33:26

124. Jelle Vanendert (Française des Jeux), at 33:48

125. Lander Aperribay (Euskaltel-Euskadi), at 33:48

126. Sergio Ghisalberti (Team Milram), at 35:01

127. Ralf Grabsch (Team Milram), at 35:19

128. Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis), at 35:39

129. Sylvain Calzati (Ag2r-La Mondiale), at 36:07

130. Nicolas Vogondy (Agritubel), at 36:14

131. André Greipel (High Road), at 38:03

132. Amaël Moinard (Cofidis), at 38:53

133. Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank), at 39:10

134. Anthony Charteau (Caisse D’epargne), at 41:19

135. Michiel Elijzen (Rabobank), at 41:21

136. Jason Mccartney (Team CSC), at 41:21

137. Cyril Dessel (Ag2r-La Mondiale), at 41:39

138. Mathieu Perget (Caisse D’epargne), at 41:44

139. Björn Schröder (Team Milram), at 42:31

140. Rémy Di Gregorio (Française des Jeux), at 43:51

141. Philip Deignan (Ag2r-La Mondiale), at 44:41

142. Markus Eichler (Team Milram), at 44:56

143. Thomas Peterson (Slipstream Chipotle), at 46:29

144. Lucas Euser (Slipstream Chipotle), at 46:38

145. Fumiyuki Beppu (Skil-Shimano), at 48:49

146. David Moncoutie (Cofidis), at 49:06

147. Christophe Edaleine (Ag2r-La Mondiale), at 49:10

148. Aitor Hernandez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), at 49:28

149. Freddy Bichot (Agritubel), at 51:18

150. Kevin Ista (Agritubel), at 53:46