By VeloNews Interactive , Copyright AFP 2001
Belgian champion Axel Merckx of the Domo-Farm Frites team took the overall leader’s yellow-and-blue jersey at the Dauphiné Libéré stage race in France Wednesday. Merckx, the 28-year-old son of Eddy, who won Dauphiné 30 years ago, took over from Frenchman Laurent Roux after finishing 10th on the 184km stage between Guilherand-Granges and Carpentras.
Venezuelan Unai Etxebarria won the stage, holding off a chase group led by Russian Denis Menchov of the iBanesto.com team. The chase group finished three seconds off Etxebarria’s pace.
American Jonathan Vaughters of the Credit Agricole team finished with the chase group, in seventh place, and moved up to 11th place overall. Vaughters is 1:56 behind Merckx in general classification. Vaughters’s American teammate Bobby Julich is 33rd overall, 8:59 back.
DAUPINE LIBERE, France. June 10-17.
1. Unai Etxebarria (Ven) Euskaltel-Euskadi, 4:57:12; 2. Denis Menchov (Rus), iBanesto.com, at 0:03; 3. David Millar (GB), Cofidis; 4. Andrei Kivilev (Kaz), Cofidis; 5. Pavel Tonkov (Rus), Mercury; 6. Christophe Moreau (F), Festina; 7. Jonathan Vaughters (USA), Credit Agricole; 8. Ramon Gonzalez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi; 9. Sven Montgomery (Swi), Francaise des Jeux; 10. Axel Merckx (B), Domo-Farm Frites, all s.t.
1. Merckx, 15:13:47; 2. David Millar (GB), at 1:32; 3. Moreau, at 1:37; 4. Etxebarria, at 1:37; 5. Christophe Rinero (F), Cofidis, at 1:43; 6. David Moncoutie (F), at 1:44, 7. Tonkov, at 1:46, 8. Benoit Salmon (F), AG2R, at 1:48; 9. Kivilev, at 1:54, 10. Montgomery, at 1:55.
11. Vaughters, at 1:56; 33. Bobby Julich (USA), Credit Agricole, at 8:59.