By VeloNews Interactive
The Navigators came knockin’ all week long, but never quite got the door down at the Circuit des Mines in France, April 26-May 1. On the final stage, Tuesday’s stage 8 112.3km road race in Hayange, the American team’s Russian connection of Vassiliy Davidenko and Oleg Grishkine took second and third, respectively, behind Robert Sassone (Cofidis) of France. For Davidenko, it was his fourth podium finish of the race, to go along with second place on stage 2 and third place on stages 3 and 5. In the overall, Great Britain’s Chris Newton (British National) took the race lead after then-race leader Sergeui Matveyev (Panaria) withdrew after stage 5 with a broken clavicle, and Newton held on for the overall victory.
In addition to the team’s string of second- and third-place finishes, Navigators’ Chris Baldwin was in the hunt for a top-five overall finish for much of the race. On the difficult stage 6, which ended on the climb to Chateau de Malbrouck, Baldwin finished fourth on the day, and moved into fifth-place overall, 1:43 behind Newton. Baldwin wasn’t able to hold on to that spot though, falling back in Tuesday morning’s stage 7 time trial.
1. Chris Newton (GB), British National, in 23:34:23; 2. Daniel Schnider (Swi), La Francaise des Jeux, at 0:35; 3. Nathan O’Neil (Aus), Panaria, at 0:40; 4. Joona Laukka (Fin), at 2:04; 5. Sandy Casar (F), La Francaise des Jeux, at 2:15.