Christophe Moreau (Credit Agricole) won the fourth stage of the Tour du Languedoc-Roussillon on Saturday and took the overall lead for good measure.
Moreau, who outkicked U.S. Postal’s Viatcheslav Ekimov at the end of the 161km stage from Le Pont du Gard to Mende, said: “I used my mental strength, my experience and my energy to win. This is like a rebirth for me.”
The Frenchman now has an overall lead of 12 seconds on Ekimov and 27 seconds on Iker Flores (Euskaltel-Euskadi) with just one stage remaining.
Meanwhile, Lance Armstrong finished 15th on the day, 2:08 behind Moreau, advancing from 44th to ninth overall at 2:31 back. –The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
1. Christophe Moreau (F), Credit Agricole, 4:16:44
2. Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus), U.S. Postal, same time
3. Iker Flores (Spain), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:18
4. Tobias Steinhauser (G), T-Mobile, at 0:39
5. Pierrick Fedrigo (F) Credit Agricole, at 0:48
6. Egoi Martinez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:36
7. Laurent Brochard (F), AG2r Prevoyance, at 1:47
8. Daniel Atienza (Sp), Cofidis, at 1:55
9. Stephane Goubert (F), AG2r Prevoyance, at 2:08
10. Luis Perez (Sp), Cofidis, s.t.
1. Christophe Moreau (F), Credit Agricole, 16:54:24
2. Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus), U.S. Postal, at 0:12
3. Iker Flores (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:27
4. Egoi Martinez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:46
5. Laurent Brochard (F), AG2r Prevoyance, at 1:58
6. Laurent Lefevre (F), Brioches La Boulangere, at 2:19
7. Jose Azevedo (Portugal), U.S. Postal, at 2:24
8. Sandy Casar (F), Fdjeux.com, at 2:31
9. Lance Armstrong (USA), U.S. Postal, same time
10. Gabriele Missaglia (I), Barloworld, 2:37
Chavanel takes lead in Belgian tour
Up-and-coming French rider Sylvain Chavanel (Brioches la Boulangere) took over the lead of the Tour of Belgium in Mechelen on Saturday after a morning time trial and an afternoon race that was briefly disrupted by a riders’ strike.
Belgian Bert Roesems (Bodysol) won the 13km time trial ahead of Dutchman Bart Voskamp (Chocolade Jacques) and Chavanel. The 115km afternoon race went to Samuele Marzoli (Lampre), but not before most of the peloton decided to stop racing in protest of what they considered dangerous conditions, following a crash by Frenchman Jean-Patrick Nazon (AG2R Prevoyance).
With 18km remaining, the peloton stopped for a few minutes, then rode slowly towards the finish. Four riders eventually decided that a victory was there for the taking in any case, and Marzoli came over the line first.
Friday’s third stage was also marred by a crash that took down a number of riders, some of whom were taken to the hospital, prior to the finishing sprint. –Copyright 2004/AFP
1. Bert Roesems (B), Relax-Bodysol, 13km in 15:51
2. Bart Voskamp (Ned), Chocolade Jacques, at 0:02
3. Sylvain Chavanel (F), Brioches la Boulangere, s.t.
4. Sébastien Rosseler (B), Relax-Bodysol, at 0:18
5. Marco Pinotti (I), Lampre, at 0:20
6. David Zabriskie (USA), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:23
7. Victor Hugo Pena (Col), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:25
8. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (B), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:26
9. Rik Verbrugghe (B), Lotto-Domo, s.t.
10. Max Van Heeswijk (Ned), U.S. Postal, at 0:27
1. Sylvain Chavanel (F), Brioches la Boulangere, 13:28:43
2. Bart Voskamp (Ned), Chocolade Jacques, at 0:03
3. Max Van Heeswijk (Ned), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:18
4. Gianluca Bortolami (I), Lampre, at 0:21
5. Victor Hugo Pena (Col), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:27
6. Geert Omloop (B), MrBookmaker.com, s.t.
7. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (B), U.S. Postal Service, at 0:28
8. Rik Verbrugghe (B), Lotto-Domo, s.t.
9. Manuel Quinziato (I), Lampre, at 0:29
10. Robert Hunter (RSA), Rabobank, at 0:33