By VeloNews Interactive, Copyright AFP2004
U.S. Postal’s Dutch sprint ace, Max van Heeswijk, claimed his second stagewin in three days at the end of the fourth stage of the Ruta del Sol inJaen, Spain, on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old Van Heeswijk held off Belgians Nico Mattan (Relax)andPeter van Petegem (Lotto) at the finish line of the 159.3km stage betweenLa Zubia and Jaen.
It is Van Heeswijk’s second stage win of the race following his victoryon stage 2 on Monday, which was the first victory of the season for U.S.Postal.
Juan Carlos Dominguez, of Saunier Duval, held on to the race leader’sjersey.
Thursday’s fifth and final stage will be held over 186km between LaZubia and Almeria.
Stage Results –
1. Max Van Heeswijk (Nl) U.S. Postal, 159.3km in 4:03:05
2. Nico Mattan (B) Relax
3. Peter Van Petegem (B) Lotto-Domo
4. Vicente Reynes (Sp) Illes Balears-Banesto
5. Oscar Freire (Sp) Rabobank
6. Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile
7. Martin Elmiger (Swi) Phonak Hearing Systems
8. Josep Jufre Pou (Sp) Relax
9. David Fernández Domingo (Sp) Costa De Almería
10. Samuel Sánchez González (Sp) Euskatel-Euskadi , alls.t.Overall
1. Juan Carlos Domínguez (Sp) Saunier Duval- 17:20:38
2. Carlos García Quesada (Sp) Comunitat Valenciana-Kelme, at0:15
3. Samuel González (Sp) Euskatel-Euskadi, at0:19
4. José Gómez Marchante (Sp) Costa De Almería,at 0:28
5. Aitor Osa Eizaguirre (Sp) Illes Balears-Banesto, at 0:34
6. Joaquin Rodríguez Oliver (Sp) Saunier Duval, at 0:44
7. Iñigo Landaluce Intxaurraga (Sp) Euskatel-Euskadi, at 0:51
8. Erik Dekker (Nl) Rabobank, at 0:54
9. David Fernández Domingo (Sp) Costa De Almería, at0:55
10. Santiago Pérez Fernández (Sp) Phonak, at 0:56
Benito wins Algarve opener
Lance Armstrong spent an easy day in the saddle, finishing with the main peloton moments after Spaniard Alberto Benito claimed the first stage of Portugal’s Tour of the Algarve on Wednesday. “It went well, it was a good training ride,” said the five-time Tour de France winner, for whom race organizers have included a time trial in the five-day stage race.
“It was a good ride, the conditions were good and there were no falls, which is always important,” added the 32-year-old American. Benito, of the Portuguese Antarte team, held off a bunch of established sprinters including Australia’s Stuart O’Grady to claim the first stage and leader’s jersey after 149km of racing on a circuit around the southern resort town.
“Armstrong isn’t here to win,” USPS team sports manager Johan Bruyneel told the Associated Press following the stage. “We need to get up to speed, get some competitive miles behind us. The Algarve is ideal because it’s not too hard for this early part of the season. For the first day of racing, it went okay. (Armstrong) is feeling fine, there were no problems.”
The five-stage Tour of the Algarve continues tomorrow with a 182km stage from Castro Marim to Portimao and concludes Sunday.