By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright 2001 AFP
American Chris Wherry took second in the final stage of the Tour du Limousin, a stage won by Frenchman Gilles Bouvard (Jean Delatour). Another Frenchman, Franck Bouyer (Bonjour), held on for the overall win at the four-day race in France.
Despite a brutal heatwave, six riders went on the attack in the middle of the race: Laurent Paumier, Pierrick Fedrigo, Christophe Mengin, Stéphane Goubert, Eddy Seigneur and Juan Manuel Cuenca. When their lead grew to over three minutes, that put Cuenca into the race lead on the road, forcing Bouyer’s Bonjour team to chase. The escapees were finally caught upon entering the finishing circuit in Limoges.
With 5km remaining, Bouvard made his break, and was able to hold off the hard-charging peloton, led by Wherry and teammate Plaimen Stainov, at the finish.
1. Gilles Bouvard (F), Jean Delatour, 173km in 4:08:52; 2. Chris Wherry (USA), Mercury, at 0:33; 3. Plaimen Stainov (Rus), Mercury; 4. Sandy Casar (F), La Française des Jeux; 5. Nico Mattan (B), Cofidis; 6. Patrice Halgand (F), Jean Delatour; 7. Florent Brard (F), Festina; 8. Carlo Meneghetti (F); 9. Bobby Julich (USA), Crédit Agricole; 10. Artour Babitsev (Rus), Nurnberg, all s.t.;
1. Franck Bouyer (F), Bonjour; 2. Patrick Jonker (Nl), Big Mat, at 0:06; 3. David Moncoutié (F), Cofidis, at 0:18; 4. Brard, at 0:21; 5. Wherry, s.t.; 6. Bouvard, at 0:22; 7. Mattan, at 0:23; 8. Halgand, s.t.; 9. Julich, at 0:25; 10. Babitsev, s.t.