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Steegmans grabs first P-N stage

One of the worst winter storms of the year ripped across central France on Monday and left the Paris-Nice peloton looking like shredded wheat in a brutal, weather-shortened first stage. Only a Belgian could be happy racing in howling crosswinds, piercing rain and plummeting temperatures, so it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise as Tom Boonen’s favorite lead-out man, Gert Steegmans, out-toughed a reduced bunch in a 40-up sprint on a steep climbing finish into Nevers to claim victory.

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By Andrew Hood

Gert Steegmans (Quick Step) wins stage 1 of Paris-Nice.

Gert Steegmans (Quick Step) wins stage 1 of Paris-Nice.

Photo: AFP

One of the worst winter storms of the year ripped across central France on Monday and left the Paris-Nice peloton looking like shredded wheat in a brutal, weather-shortened first stage.

Only a Belgian could be happy racing in howling crosswinds, piercing rain and plummeting temperatures, so it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise as Tom Boonen’s favorite lead-out man, Gert Steegmans, out-toughed a reduced bunch in a 40-up sprint on a steep climbing finish into Nevers to claim victory.

All that was missing were some cobblestones and drunken fans waving Flanderen flags.

“It was like Belgium out there today,” grinned the hulking Quick Step rider. “We knew it was going to be dangerous today with the crosswinds. We wanted to use that to our advantage to break up the peloton and try to win the sprint. We managed both, so we’re very happy.”

Prologue winner Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) sprinted to third to retain the race leader’s yellow jersey, but pre-race favorites such as Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) and Bobby Julich (CSC) crossed the line in the first chase group at 2:37 back.

Damiano Cunego (Lampre) and Christophe Moreau (Agritubel) limped in with a third chase group at 6:32 back to throw in the towel on their chances.

“I’ve had better days, mate,” Evans told VeloNews, who crashed with about 40km just as the course turned into the wind. “I went down pretty hard.”

Silence-Lotto officials were relieved, at least at first glance, that the 2007 Tour de France runner-up didn’t seem seriously injured, but Evans was gingerly holding his left arm when he walked from the bus to a team car after the stage.

“When Evans crashed, we had the entire team wait for him except (Yaroslav) Popovych,” said Silence-Lotto sport director Herman Frison. “It happened at a bad moment because he really had to work to get back just when the echelons were forming. We had Popovych with the leaders, so now we’ll work for him. The most important thing is that Cadel doesn’t look seriously hurt.”

Despite whacking the stage down to 93.5km, brutal crosswinds wreaked havoc on the best-laid plans for several GC riders hoping to vie for final victory when the “Race to the Sun” ends in warmer climes along France’s Cote d’Azur on March 16.

Only about a dozen pre-race favorites finished in the lead group of 39 riders pulling clear as the peloton fractured into echelons with about 40km to go.

“It was just a nightmare out there today,” Team CSC’s Frank Schleck told VeloNews, who only managed to bridge across to the front group in the final 5km. “Everyone knew that when we changed the direction into the wind, the shit hits the fan. I’m in good shape, but I’m missing some racing kilometers.”

Joining Schleck and Popovych among other overall candidates finishing in the lead group were Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner), Juan Manuel Garate (QuickStep), Luís León Sánchez (Caisse d’Epargne), Robert Gesink (Rabobank), Alexander Efimkin (QuickStep) and Trent Lowe and David Millar (Slipstream-Chipotle).

Millar crashed with about 4km to go, but was able to latch back on as the lead group started to counter-attack each other ahead of the final sprint.

The sprint came on a steep rising finish with an average grade of 7.1 percent over the final 500 meters. Steegmans was most worried about Philippe Gilbert (FDJeux), the recent Het Volk champ who’s renowned for uncorking attacks to surprise the sprinters.

“I was most worried about Gilbert, so I started a little earlier than I would have normally,” Steegmans recounted. “I gunned it, but died with about 50 meters to go. I heard the announcer screaming, ‘Hushovd, Hushovd!’ and I thought he was coming around me. When I looked back I saw no one there. It was a nice feeling.”

Riders were shelled coming across the line. It looked like they might have raced 300km instead of 93.5km.

Instead of starting from Amilly the race was forced to get under way from the tiny village of La Chapelotte because of the adverse weather conditions, cutting the distance from 184.5km to 93km.

The day’s first action came when Dionisio Galparsoro (Euskaltel-Euskadi) pounced on the first mountain points on the day’s lone rate obstacle at the Cat. 3 Cote de Venoize to snag the King of the Mountains jersey.

He faded back into the pack when Bernhard Eisel (HighRoad) drew out a Milram pair of Slovak Peter Velits, the reigning U23 champion, and his Dutch teammate Niki Terpstra.

The trio built up a lead to just north of four minutes with about 50km to go. Credit Agricole was getting some help from QuickStep and FDJeux to keep the trio on a short leash.

The speed ramped up to 60kph with about 40km when a Gerolsteiner rider flew into the ditch on a narrow stretch of road. Evans was among those going down in the subsequent pileup and his entire Silence-Lotto team waited to bring back their captain, one of the favorites for this year’s Paris-Nice.

With Evans safely back in the fold, the speeds increased dramatically and the bunch started to fracture into echelons as the peloton was unprotected across open wheat fields. With winds blowing consistently from the west, the front group was soon whittled down to about 50 riders with 35km to go.

The pace was absolutely brutal as howling winter winds competed with early-season legs in a vicious fight for position. The front group was slowly melting under the pressure as rider after rider lost the wheel.

Slipstream-Chipotle kept Lowe and Millar in contention, but it wasn’t easy.

“We expected it to go to pieces today, so we came out of it pretty well even with David crashing,” sport director Johnny Weltz told VeloNews. “We knew we couldn’t win anything today, but we knew we could lose everything. It’s scary with battling the crosswinds, riders in their rain capes, bumping shoulder, hard rain made it hard to see the roads. Two and a half hours of total intensity.”

Just like clockwork, the move was reeled in with about 15km to go to set up the sprint.

Then the sun poked out for the first time all day and a rainbow filled the skies above Nevers.

Paris-Nice might be getting closer to the sun, but it’s not quite there yet.

There’s more cold and gloom on tap for Tuesday’s 201km rolling march over four rated climbs, including a tough Cat. 2 with just 20km to go.

Photo Gallery

Results

Paris-Nice – Stage 1
1. Gert Steegmans (B) Quick Step, at 2:21:29
2. Jerome Pineau (F) Bouygues Telecom, at 0:02
3. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole, at 0:02
4. Philippe Gilbert (B) Francaise des Jeux, at 0:02
5. Karsten Kroon (Nl) CSC, at 0:02
6. Enrico Franzoi (I) Liquigas, at 0:04
7. Mirco Lorenzetto (I) Lampre, at 0:04
8. Bernhard Eisel (A) High Road, at 0:04
9. Davide Rebellin (I) Gerolsteiner, at 0:04
10. Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Liquigas, at 0:07
11. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp) Quick Step, at 0:07
12. Luis León Sanchez (Sp) Caisse d’Epargne, at 0:07
13. Christian Knees (G) Milram, at 0:07
14. Marcel Sieberg (G) High Road, at 0:07
15. Tom Stamsnijder (Nl) Gerolsteiner, at 0:07
16. Robert Gesink (Nl) Rabobank, at 0:07
17. Gorka Verdugo (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:07
18. Matteo Tosatto (I) Quick Step, at 0:07
19. Frank Schleck (Lux) CSC, at 0:07
20. Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Quick Step, at 0:07
21. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Milram, at 0:07
22. Rinaldo Nocentini (I) Ag2r, at 0:07
23. Geoffroy Lequatre (F) Agritubel, at 0:07
24. Sylvain Chavanel (F) Cofidis, at 0:07
25. Johan Van Summeren (B) Silence-Lotto, at 0:07
26. Juan Antonio Flecha (Sp) Rabobank, at 0:07
27. Trent Lowe (Aus) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 0:07
28. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Credit Agricole, at 0:07
29. David Millar (GB) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 0:07
30. Niki Terpstra (Nl) Milram, at 0:07
31. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Silence-Lotto, at 0:07
32. Mickael Cherel (F) Francaise des Jeux, at 0:07
33. Vicente Reynes (Sp) High Road, at 0:17
34. Marc De Maar (Nl) Rabobank, at 0:17
35. Peter Velits (Slv) Milram, at 0:24
36. Lilian Jegou (F) Francaise des Jeux, at 0:33
37. William Bonnet (F) Credit Agricole, at 0:50
38. Wilfried Cretskens (B) Quick Step, at 1:05
39. Bram Tankink (Nl) Rabobank, at 0:17
40. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:37
41. Francesco Gavazzi (I) Lampre, at 2:37
42. Pierre Rolland (F) Credit Agricole, at 2:37
43. Josep Jufre (Sp) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 2:37
44. Dionisio Galparsoro (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:37
45. Roy Curvers (Nl) Skil-Shimano, at 2:37
46. Anthony Geslin (F) Bouygues Telecom, at 2:37
47. Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto, at 2:37
48. Claudio Corioni (I) Liquigas, at 2:37
49. Servais Knaven (Nl) High Road, at 2:37
50. Igor Antón (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:37
51. Maxime Monfort (B) Cofidis, at 2:37
52. Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre, at 2:37
53. Tom Veelers (Nl) Skil-Shimano, at 2:37
54. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) CSC, at 2:37
55. Markel Irizar (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:37
56. Robert Wagner (G) Skil-Shimano, at 2:37
57. Carlos Barredo (Sp) Quick Step, at 2:37
58. Michael Albasini (Swi) Liquigas, at 2:37
59. Matteo Carrara (I) Quick Step, at 2:37
60. Jose Luis Arrieta (Sp) Ag2r, at 2:37
61. Mario Aerts (B) Silence-Lotto, at 2:37
62. Bobby Julich (USA) CSC, at 2:37
63. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 2:37
64. Nicolas Portal (F) Caisse d’Epargne, at 2:37
65. Sebastien Minard (F) Cofidis, at 2:37
66. Andre Greipel (G) High Road, at 2:37
67. Craig Lewis (USA) High Road, at 2:37
68. Clement L’Hottelerie (F) Skil-Shimano, at 2:37
69. Bradley McGee (Aus) CSC, at 2:37
70. Stefan Schumacher (G) Gerolsteiner, at 2:37
71. Benoit Vaugrenard (F) Francaise des Jeux, at 2:37
72. Danny Pate (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 2:37
73. Laurens Ten Dam (Nl) Rabobank, at 2:37
74. Tyler Farrar (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 2:37
75. Floris Goesinnen (Nl) Skil-Shimano, at 2:37
76. Paolo Bossoni (I) Lampre, at 2:37
77. Benat Albizuri (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:48
78. Christophe Brandt (B) Silence-Lotto, at 3:23
79. Kjell Carlstrom (Fin) Liquigas, at 3:23
80. Iouri Trofimov (Rus) Bouygues Telecom, at 3:23
81. Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano, at 3:23
82. Cyril Dessel (F) Ag2r, at 3:23
83. Jason McCartney (USA) CSC, at 3:23
84. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Credit Agricole, at 3:23
85. Ralf Grabsch (G) Milram, at 3:23
86. Nicolas Jalabert (F) Agritubel, at 3:23
87. Sergio Ghisalberti (I) Milram, at 3:30
88. Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Gerolsteiner, at 3:30
89. Jens Voigt (G) CSC, at 3:30
90. Carlo Westphal (G) Gerolsteiner, at 3:30
91. Michiel Elijzen (Nl) Rabobank, at 3:30
92. Sylvain Calzati (F) Ag2r, at 3:30
93. Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank, at 3:30
94. Matteo Bono (I) Lampre, at 3:30
95. Koos Moerenhout (Nl) Rabobank, at 3:30
96. Massimiliano Mori (I) Lampre, at 6:32
97. Thierry Huppond (F) Skil-Shimano, at 6:32
98. Albert Timmer (Nl) Skil-Shimano, at 6:32
99. Lander Aperribai (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 6:32
100. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas, at 6:32
101. Matthieu Sprick (F) Bouygues Telecom, at 6:32
102. Christophe Moreau (F) Agritubel, at 6:32
103. Morris Possoni (I) High Road, at 6:32
104. Christophe Laurent (F) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 6:32
105. Johann Tschopp (Swi) Bouygues Telecom, at 6:32
106. Hubert Dupont (F) Ag2r, at 6:32
107. Aitor Hernandez (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 6:32
108. Leonardo Bertagnolli (I) Liquigas, at 6:32
109. Paolo Tiralongo (I) Lampre, at 6:32
110. Manuele Mori (I) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 6:32
111. Juan Jose Cobo (Sp) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 6:32
112. Andrea Moletta (I) Gerolsteiner, at 6:32
113. Damiano Cunego (I) Lampre, at 6:32
114. Bernhard Kohl (A) Gerolsteiner, at 6:32
115. Stef Clement (Nl) Bouygues Telecom, at 6:32
116. Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Credit Agricole, at 6:32
117. Jurgen Van den Broeck (B) Silence-Lotto, at 6:32
118. Dario Cioni (I) Silence-Lotto, at 6:32
119. Jelle Vanendert (B) Francaise des Jeux, at 6:32
120. Philip Deignan (Irl) Ag2r, at 6:32
121. Eduardo Gonzalo (Sp) Agritubel, at 6:32
122. Sandy Casar (F) Francaise des Jeux, at 6:32
123. David Arroyo (Sp) Caisse d’Epargne, at 6:32
124. Alberto Losada (Sp) Caisse d’Epargne, at 6:32
125. David López García (Sp) Caisse d’Epargne, at 6:32
126. Christophe Edaleine (F) Ag2r, at 6:32
127. Kevin Hulsmans (B) Quick Step, at 6:32
128. Andreas Klier (G) High Road, at 6:32
129. Amael Moinard (F) Cofidis, at 6:32
130. Christophe Le Mevel (F) Credit Agricole, at 6:32
131. Aurelien Passeron (F) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 6:32
132. Yann Huguet (F) Cofidis, at 6:32
133. Remi Pauriol (F) Credit Agricole, at 6:32
134. Markus Eichler (G) Milram, at 6:32
135. Benat Intxausti (Sp) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 8:26
136. Matthias Russ (G) Gerolsteiner, at 8:26
137. Chris Anker Sørensen (Dk) CSC, at 8:26
138. Stephane Goubert (F) Ag2r, at 8:26
139. Christophe Rinero (F) Agritubel, at 8:26
140. Bjorn Schroder (G) Milram, at 8:26
141. Thomas Peterson (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 8:26
142. Ivan Santaromita (Swi) Liquigas, at 8:26
143. Samuel Dumoulin (F) Cofidis, at 8:26
144. Yoann Le Boulanger (F) Francaise des Jeux, at 8:26
145. Kevin Ista (B) Agritubel, at 8:26
146. Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Silence-Lotto, at 8:26
147. Jose Alberto Benítez (Sp) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 8:26
148. Jose Angel Gomez Marchante (Sp) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 8:26
149. Mathieu Perget (F) Caisse d’Epargne, at 8:26
150. Xavier Florencio (Sp) Bouygues Telecom, at 8:26
151. Nicolas Vogondy (F) Agritubel, at 8:26
152. Freddy Bichot (F) Agritubel, at 8:26
153. Lucas Euser (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 8:26
154. Bingen Fernandez (Sp) Cofidis, at 13:04
155. Oscar Pereiro (Sp) Caisse d’Epargne, at 13:04
156. Remy Di Gregorio (F) Francaise des Jeux, at 13:04
157. David Moncoutie (F) Cofidis, at 13:04
158. Anthony Charteau (F) Caisse d’Epargne, at 13:04
159. Arkaitz Duran (Sp) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 13:04

Overall standings
1. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole, at 2:26:55
2. Gert Steegmans (B) Quick Step, at 0:06
3. Jerome Pineau (F) Bouygues Telecom, at 0:12
4. Karsten Kroon (Nl) CSC, at 0:12
5. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Milram, at 0:17
6. Trent Lowe (Aus) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 0:18
7. David Millar (GB) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 0:20
8. Matteo Tosatto (I) Quick Step, at 0:21
9. Luis León Sanchez (Sp) Caisse d’Epargne, at 0:22
10. Johan Van Summeren (B) Silence-Lotto, at 0:24
11. Niki Terpstra (Nl) Milram, at 0:25
12. Philippe Gilbert (B) Francaise des Jeux, at 0:25
13. Enrico Franzoi (I) Liquigas, at 0:26
14. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Credit Agricole, at 0:26
15. Juan Antonio Flecha (Sp) Rabobank, at 0:26
16. Sylvain Chavanel (F) Cofidis, at 0:26
17. Gorka Verdugo (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:27
18. Rinaldo Nocentini (I) Ag2r, at 0:28
19. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp) Quick Step, at 0:28
20. Tom Stamsnijder (Nl) Gerolsteiner, at 0:29
21. Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Liquigas, at 0:30
22. Davide Rebellin (I) Gerolsteiner, at 0:33
23. Christian Knees (G) Milram, at 0:34
24. Mirco Lorenzetto (I) Lampre, at 0:36
25. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Silence-Lotto, at 0:38
26. Geoffroy Lequatre (F) Agritubel, at 0:38
27. Robert Gesink (Nl) Rabobank, at 0:40
28. Bernhard Eisel (A) High Road, at 0:42
29. Frank Schleck (Lux) CSC, at 0:43
30. Marcel Sieberg (G) High Road, at 0:43
31. Bram Tankink (Nl) Rabobank, at 0:44
32. Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Quick Step, at 0:44
33. Vicente Reynes (Sp) High Road, at 0:46
34. Lilian Jegou (F) Francaise des Jeux, at 0:54
35. Peter Velits (Slv) Milram, at 0:54
36. William Bonnet (F) Credit Agricole, at 0:58
37. Mickael Cherel (F) Francaise des Jeux, at 1:01
38. Marc De Maar (Nl) Rabobank, at 1:09
39. Wilfried Cretskens (B) Quick Step, at 1:25
40. Markel Irizar (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:43
41. Stefan Schumacher (G) Gerolsteiner, at 2:44
42. Bradley McGee (Aus) CSC, at 2:44
43. Danny Pate (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 2:45
44. Benoit Vaugrenard (F) Francaise des Jeux, at 2:52
45. Craig Lewis (USA) High Road, at 2:52
46. Jose Luis Arrieta (Sp) Ag2r, at 2:55
47. Bobby Julich (USA) CSC, at 2:55
48. Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto, at 2:56
49. Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre, at 2:57
50. Carlos Barredo (Sp) Quick Step, at 2:59
51. Sebastien Minard (F) Cofidis, at 2:59
52. Maxime Monfort (B) Cofidis, at 3:00
53. Andre Greipel (G) High Road, at 3:01
54. Floris Goesinnen (Nl) Skil-Shimano, at 3:02
55. Francesco Gavazzi (I) Lampre, at 3:02
56. Robert Wagner (G) Skil-Shimano, at 3:03
57. Michael Albasini (Swi) Liquigas, at 3:04
58. Igor Antón (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 3:04
59. Clement L’Hottelerie (F) Skil-Shimano, at 3:05
60. Servais Knaven (Nl) High Road, at 3:06
61. Claudio Corioni (I) Liquigas, at 3:07
62. Laurens Ten Dam (Nl) Rabobank, at 3:07
63. Mario Aerts (B) Silence-Lotto, at 3:08
64. Nicolas Portal (F) Caisse d’Epargne, at 3:08
65. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 3:09
66. Pierre Rolland (F) Credit Agricole, at 3:09
67. Paolo Bossoni (I) Lampre, at 3:10
68. Tom Veelers (Nl) Skil-Shimano, at 3:10
69. Matteo Carrara (I) Quick Step, at 3:11
70. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 3:12
71. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) CSC, at 3:13
72. Anthony Geslin (F) Bouygues Telecom, at 3:18
73, Roy Curvers (Nl) Skil-Shimano, at 3:19
74. Dionisio Galparsoro (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 3:21
75. Benat Albizuri (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 3:37
76. Kjell Carlstrom (Fin) Liquigas, at 3:42
77. Josep Jufre (Sp) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 3:43
78. Jens Voigt (G) CSC, at 3:43
79. Michiel Elijzen (Nl) Rabobank, at 3:48
80. Jason McCartney (USA) CSC, at 3:48
81. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Credit Agricole, at 3:53
82. Iouri Trofimov (Rus) Bouygues Telecom, at 3:54
83. Carlo Westphal (G) Gerolsteiner, at 3:55
84. Sergio Ghisalberti (I) Milram, at 3:55
85. Christophe Brandt (B) Silence-Lotto, at 3:57
86. Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano, at 3:58
87. Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank, at 4:00
88. Nicolas Jalabert (F) Agritubel, at 4:01
89. Cyril Dessel (F) Ag2r, at 4:06
90. Matteo Bono (I) Lampre, at 4:06
91. Koos Moerenhout (Nl) Rabobank, at 4:07
92. Sylvain Calzati (F) Ag2r, at 4:13
93. Ralf Grabsch (G) Milram, at 4:13
94. Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Gerolsteiner, at 4:20
95. Tyler Farrar (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 5:52
96. Leonardo Bertagnolli (I) Liquigas, at 6:41
97. Alberto Losada (Sp) Caisse d’Epargne, at 6:46
98. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas, at 6:46
99. Stef Clement (Nl) Bouygues Telecom, at 6:47
100. Sandy Casar (F) Francaise des Jeux, at 6:47
101. Markus Eichler (G) Milram, at 6:48
102. Christophe Edaleine (F) Ag2r, at 6:49
103. Matthieu Sprick (F) Bouygues Telecom, at 6:53
104. Remi Pauriol (F) Credit Agricole, at 6:54
105. Jurgen Van den Broeck (B) Silence-Lotto, at 6:56
106. Kevin Hulsmans (B) Quick Step, at 6:58
107. Thierry Huppond (F) Skil-Shimano, at 6:58
108. Bernhard Kohl (A) Gerolsteiner, at 6:58
109. Yann Huguet (F) Cofidis, at 6:59
110. David López García (Sp) Caisse d’Epargne, at 6:59
111. Amael Moinard (F) Cofidis, at 6:59
112. Christophe Laurent (F) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 7:00
113. Manuele Mori (I) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 7:00
114. Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Credit Agricole, at 7:02
115. Christophe Le Mevel (F) Credit Agricole, at 7:02
116. Christophe Moreau (F) Agritubel, at 7:03
117. Johann Tschopp (Swi) Bouygues Telecom, at 7:04
118. Paolo Tiralongo (I) Lampre, at 7:04
119. Dario Cioni (I) Silence-Lotto, at 7:04
120. Albert Timmer (Nl) Skil-Shimano, at 7:05
121. Andreas Klier (G) High Road, at 7:06
122. Aitor Hernandez (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 7:07
123. Damiano Cunego (I) Lampre, at 7:07
124. Philip Deignan (Irl) Ag2r, at 7:08
125. Juan Jose Cobo (Sp) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 7:09
126. Hubert Dupont (F) Ag2r, at 7:09
127. David Arroyo (Sp) Caisse d’Epargne, at 7:14
128. Eduardo Gonzalo (Sp) Agritubel, at 7:15
129. Jelle Vanendert (B) Francaise des Jeux, at 7:16
130. Lander Aperribai (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 7:16
131. Aurelien Passeron (F) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 7:16
132. Massimiliano Mori (I) Lampre, at 7:27
133. Morris Possoni (I) High Road, at 7:30
134. Andrea Moletta (I) Gerolsteiner, at 7:50
135. Nicolas Vogondy (F) Agritubel, at 8:42
136. Xavier Florencio (Sp) Bouygues Telecom, at 8:43
137. Ivan Santaromita (Swi) Liquigas, at 8:51
138. Matthias Russ (G) Gerolsteiner, at 8:52
139. Bjorn Schroder (G) Milram, at 8:55
140. Kevin Ista (B) Agritubel, at 8:55
141. Thomas Peterson (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 8:56
142. Freddy Bichot (F) Agritubel, at 8:57
143. Stephane Goubert (F) Ag2r, at 9:01
144. Yoann Le Boulanger (F) Francaise des Jeux, at 9:03
145. Lucas Euser (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 9:05
146. Jose Alberto Benítez (Sp) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 9:06
147. Samuel Dumoulin (F) Cofidis, at 9:07
148. Benat Intxausti (Sp) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 9:08
149. Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Silence-Lotto, at 9:09
150. Jose Angel Gomez Marchante (Sp) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 9:11
151. Mathieu Perget (F) Caisse d’Epargne, at 9:12
152. Christophe Rinero (F) Agritubel, at 9:20
153. Chris Anker Sørensen (Dk) CSC, at 9:40
154. Bingen Fernandez (Sp) Cofidis, at 13:24
155. Oscar Pereiro (Sp) Caisse d’Epargne, at 13:25
156. Anthony Charteau (F) Caisse d’Epargne, at 13:45
157. Remy Di Gregorio (F) Francaise des Jeux, at 13:49
158. Arkaitz Duran (Sp) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 13:54
159. David Moncoutie (F) Cofidis, at 14:04

Overall Points
1. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole, at 45 pts
2. Karsten Kroon (Nl) CSC, at 28
3. Gert Steegmans (B) Quick Step, at 25
4. Jerome Pineau (F) Bouygues Telecom, at 22
5. Markel Irizar (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 22
6. Stefan Schumacher (G) Gerolsteiner, at 20
7. Philippe Gilbert (B) Francaise des Jeux, at 18
8. Bradley McGee (Aus) CSC, at 18
9. Bernhard Eisel (A) High Road, at 16
10. William Bonnet (F) Credit Agricole, at 16
11. Enrico Franzoi (I) Liquigas, at 15
12. Danny Pate (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 15
13. Mirco Lorenzetto (I) Lampre, at 14
14. Leonardo Bertagnolli (I) Liquigas, at 14
15. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Milram, at 13
16. Davide Rebellin (I) Gerolsteiner, at 12
17. Trent Lowe (Aus) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 11
18. Matteo Tosatto (I) Quick Step, at 11
19. Luis León Sanchez (Sp) Caisse d’Epargne, at 11
20. Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Liquigas, at 11
21. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp) Quick Step, at 10
22. Jens Voigt (G) CSC, at 10
23. David Millar (GB) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 9
24. Christian Knees (G) Milram, at 8
25. Marcel Sieberg (G) High Road, at 7
26. Alberto Losada (Sp) Caisse d’Epargne, at 7
27. Tom Stamsnijder (Nl) Gerolsteiner, at 6
28. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas, at 6
29. Robert Gesink (Nl) Rabobank, at 5
30. Benoit Vaugrenard (F) Francaise des Jeux, at 5
31. Gorka Verdugo (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 4
32. Stef Clement (Nl) Bouygues Telecom, at 4
33. Sandy Casar (F) Francaise des Jeux, at 3
34. Frank Schleck (Lux) CSC, at 2
35. Peter Velits (Slv) Milram, at 2
36. Niki Terpstra (Nl) Milram, at 1
37. Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Quick Step, at 1
38. Craig Lewis (USA) High Road, at 1

Overall KOM
1. Dionisio Galparsoro (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 4 pts
2. Bernhard Eisel (A) High Road, at 2
3. Peter Velits (Slv) Milram, at 1

Best Young Rider
1. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Milram, at 2:27:12
2. Trent Lowe (Aus) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 0:01
3. Luis León Sanchez (Sp) Caisse d’Epargne, at 0:05
4. Niki Terpstra (Nl) Milram, at 0:08
5. Tom Stamsnijder (Nl) Gerolsteiner, at 0:12
6. Robert Gesink (Nl) Rabobank, at 0:23
7. Peter Velits (Slv) Milram, at 0:37
8. Mickael Cherel (F) Francaise des Jeux, at 0:44
9. Marc De Maar (Nl) Rabobank, at 0:52
10. Craig Lewis (USA) High Road, at 2:35
11. Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre, at 2:40
12. Maxime Monfort (B) Cofidis, at 2:43
13. Floris Goesinnen (Nl) Skil-Shimano, at 2:45
14. Francesco Gavazzi (I) Lampre, at 2:45
15. Robert Wagner (G) Skil-Shimano, at 2:46
16. Igor Antón (Sp) Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:47
17. Clement L’Hottelerie (F) Skil-Shimano, at 2:48
18. Pierre Rolland (F) Credit Agricole, at 2:52
19. Tom Veelers (Nl) Skil-Shimano, at 2:53
20. Iouri Trofimov (Rus) Bouygues Telecom, at 3:37
21. Carlo Westphal (G) Gerolsteiner, at 3:38
22. Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano, at 3:41
23. Matteo Bono (I) Lampre, at 3:49
24. Tyler Farrar (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 5:35
25. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas, at 6:29
26. Jurgen Van den Broeck (B) Silence-Lotto, at 6:39
27. Thierry Huppond (F) Skil-Shimano, at 6:41
28. Yann Huguet (F) Cofidis, at 6:42
29. Albert Timmer (Nl) Skil-Shimano, at 6:48
30. Philip Deignan (Irl) Ag2r, at 6:51
31. Eduardo Gonzalo (Sp) Agritubel, at 6:58
32. Jelle Vanendert (B) Francaise des Jeux, at 6:59
33. Aurelien Passeron (F) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 6:59
34. Morris Possoni (I) High Road, at 7:13
35. Ivan Santaromita (Swi) Liquigas, at 8:34
36. Matthias Russ (G) Gerolsteiner, at 8:35
37. Kevin Ista (B) Agritubel, at 8:38
38. Thomas Peterson (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 8:39
39. Lucas Euser (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 8:48
40. Benat Intxausti (Sp) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 8:51
41. Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Silence-Lotto, at 8:52
42. Mathieu Perget (F) Caisse d’Epargne, at 8:55
43. Chris Anker Sørensen (Dk) CSC, at 9:23
44. Remy Di Gregorio (F) Francaise des Jeux, at 13:32
45. Arkaitz Duran (Sp) Saunier Duval-Scott, at 13:37

Teams classification

1. Quick Step, at 7:21:49
2. Milram, at 0:02
3. Credit Agricole, at 0:24
4. Francaise des Jeux, at 0:29
5. Rabobank, at 0:31
6. High Road, at 0:32
7. CSC, at 2:12
8. Slipstream-Chipotle, at 2:19
9. Liquigas, at 2:26
10. Gerolsteiner, at 2:38
11. Silence-Lotto, at 2:47
12. Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 5:10
13. Cofidis, at 5:18
14. Lampre, at 5:31
15. Bouygues Telecom, at 5:46
16. Ag2r, at 5:59
17. Skil-Shimano, at 8:04
18. Caisse d’Epargne, at 9:02
19. Agritubel, at 10:14
20. Saunier Duval-Scott, at 16:22