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By VeloNews Interactive
Jerome Bernard (Jean Delatour) earned his first win as a professional Tuesday on the opening stage of the 53rd edition of the GP Midi Libre. The 30-year-old domestique shadowed a breakaway attempt by Rabobank’s Matthe Pronk, halfway into the 183km stage from Gruissan to Saint-Cyprien.
The two stayed together for most of the 90-kilometer effort, but the Rabobank rider began to suffer leg cramps only a few kilometers from the finish in Saint-Cyprien and was soon caught by the field. But Bernard continued on ahead and staved off a hard charging peloton, beating the field by only four seconds.
1. Jerome Bernard (F), Jean Delatour, 4:30:12; 2. Jan Svorada (Cz), at 0:04; 3. Stuart O’Grady (Aus); 4. Fabrizio Guidi (I); 5. Nicola Loda (I); 6. Jeremy Hunt (GB); 7. Oleg Kozlitine (Kaz); 8. Igor Flores (Spa); 9. Alberto Benito (Sp); 10. Alexei Sivakov (Rus); 11. Claude Lamour (F); 12. Max Becker (Lux); 13. Francois Simon (F); 14. Bram De Groot (Nl); 15. Laurent Chotard (F); 16. Gerhard Trampusch (A); 17. Leonardo Giordani (I); 18. Carlos Dacruz (F); 19. Samuel Sanchez (Sp); 20. David Clinger (USA), Festina, all s.t.