By VN Interactive , Copyright AFP 2002
Italian Andrea Ferrigato took over the lead of the Etoile de Besseges stage race in France Thursday with a win in the 143km second stage. Riding for Alessio, Ferrigato outsprinted fellow Italian Lorenzo Bernucci (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) to the finish. The two finished 15 seconds ahead of the field, which was led by stage 1 winner Robbie McEwen of Australia.
Aided by a tailwind for most of the day, riders averaged close to 45 kph during Thursday’s stage between Marseille and Sainte-Tulle.
Belgian Jurgen Vermeersch (Landbouwkrediet) tried an escape with 25km to go but never gained more than 10 seconds on the front group. Ferrigato and Bernucci made their move after Vermeecsch was caught with 10km to go.
The five-day race concludes on Sunday.
Etoile de Besseges, France. February 6-10.;;
1. Andrea Ferrigato (I), Alessio, 143km in 3:12:13 (44.79 kph); 2. Lorenzo Bernucci (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago), at 0:01; 3. Robbie McEwen (Aus), Lotto-Adecco, at 0:15; 4. Thor Hushove (N), Credit Agricole; 5. Raphael Jeune (F), CSC-Tiscali; 6. Nico Eeckhout (B), Lotto-Adecco; 7. Lars Michaelsen (Dk), Coast; 8. Jurgen Vermeersch (B), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago; 9. Chris Peers (B), Cofidis; 10. Jean-Patrick Nzon (F), La Franciase des Jeux, all s.t.;;
1. Ferrigato, 6:37:06; 2. Bernucci, at 0:07; 3. McEwen, at 0:10; 4. Joly Sebastian (F), Bonjour, at 0:23; 5. Marcus Ljungvist (S), Fakta, s.t.