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By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright 2001 AFP
Frenchman Damien Nazon (Bonjour) won for the second straight day at the Etoile de Bessèges as he took the fourth stage in Les Fumades in a sprint from Jo Planckaert and Steffen Radochla. Lotto’s Nico Eeckhout held onto the race leader’s jersey.
The stage featured a 10-rider break – Peter Farazijn (Cofidis), Bert Scheirlinckx (Collstrop), Chris Peers (Cofidis), Sebastien Demarbaix (AG2R), Lenaic Olivier (Jean Delatour), Thierry Gouvenou, Loic Lamouller (both BigMat), Andy Flickinger (Festina), Franck Perque (Francaise des Jeux) and Stuart O’Grady (Credit Agricole) — that went off at the 20km mark of the 140km stage. But with 23km left, and before entering the small finishing circuit around Les Fumades, the Lotto squad had brought the race back together.
The peloton completed two laps of the 7.8km circuit in front of a big crowd of spectators, with the Lampre, Lotto and La Francaise des Jeux teams setting the tempo for their sprinters. But it was Nazon, from the Bonjour team, who broke clear at the finish for the stage win.
1. Damien Nazon (F), 140km in 3:17:10.
2. Jo Planckaert (B)
3. Steffen Radochla (G)
4. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est)
5. Laurent Brochard (F)
6. Michel Van Haecke (B)
7. James Vanlandschoot (B)
8. Rapha’l Jeune (F)
9. Roger Hammond (GB)
10. Gregory Faghel (F)
1. Nico Eeckhout (B), 13 :31:44.
2. Damien Nazon (F), at 0:21.
3. Jan Svorada (Cz), at 0:38.
4. Rapha‘l Jeune (F), at 0:39.
5. Benoit Poilvet (F), at 0:41.
6. Koen Beeckman (B), at 0:42.
7. Laurent Borchard (F), at 0:44.
8. Ludovic Auger (F)
9. Christophe Moreau (F)
10. Jurgen Van De Walle (B), all s.t.