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Saturday Euro-file: Kirchen snags Tour of Holland; Leipheimer hospitalized

Fassa Bortolo’s Kim Kirchen followed the wheel of Rabobank’sMichael Boogerd to ride all the way to final overall victory inthe final stage of the Tour of Holland. Kirchen earned valuable time bonusesalong the 205-km course through the hills of southern Holland to grab hisfirst major victory of his young career.Boogerd won the stage after he attacked with about 30 km left in thestage, but Kirchen followed and U.S. Postal Service rider Victor HugoPena, who started the day in the race lead, couldn’t reel in the breakand lost the race by 14 seconds. Kirchen started the day 40 seconds behindPena,

By Andrew Hood

Fassa Bortolo’s Kim Kirchen followed the wheel of Rabobank’sMichael Boogerd to ride all the way to final overall victory inthe final stage of the Tour of Holland. Kirchen earned valuable time bonusesalong the 205-km course through the hills of southern Holland to grab hisfirst major victory of his young career.Boogerd won the stage after he attacked with about 30 km left in thestage, but Kirchen followed and U.S. Postal Service rider Victor HugoPena, who started the day in the race lead, couldn’t reel in the breakand lost the race by 14 seconds. Kirchen started the day 40 seconds behindPena, but earned 12 seconds in time bonuses to win. Boogerd’s Rabobankteammate Erik Dekker finished seventh as part of a six-man chasegroup and bounced into second overall at just 4 seconds back. Pena finishedthird overall.Stage results:
1. Michael Boogerd (Hol, Rabobank, 4 hours, 53 seconds, 43 seconds;
2. Kim Kirchen (Lux, Fassa Bortolo), same time;
3. Oscar Freire (Sp, Mapei), at 22 seconds;
4. Gerben Lowik (Hol, Bankgiroloterij), s.t.;
5. Serguei Ivanov (Rus, Fassa Bortolo), s.t.;Final overall results:
1. Kim Kirchen (Lux, Fassa Bortolo), 19:53:04;
2. Erik Dekker (Hol, Rabobank), at 4 seconds;
3. Victor Hugo Pena (Col, USPS), at 14;
4. David Canada (Sp, Mapei), at 17; Roberto Bartko (G, Telekom) at19;Others:
9. Dylan Casey (USA, USPS), at 33;
10. Tyler Hamilton (USA, CSC-Tiscali), at 36.Leipheimer in Dutch hospital
According to reports on the Dutch wires, Rabobank’s Levi Leipheimerspent Thursday night in a Dutch hospital in Almelo after he becameill following that day’s individual time trial.Leipheimer evidently suffered from a blocked intestine and remainedin the hospital for observation. More details will come once we get them.Di Luca takes Veneto
Saeco’s Danilo Di Luca scored a victory in Saturday’s Giro deVeneto, out-sprinting such heavy hitters as Laurent Dufaux (Alessio),David Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) and Francesco Casagrande (FassaBortolo) to score the win. Di Luca has been close in several races so farin August and finally snagged an important stage-win following difficultiesearlier in the season. Di Luca said his next goal is the upcoming Vueltaa Espana.“This win comes with great satisfaction after I have been in contentionin several races, but couldn’t win,” he said after the race. “The teamwas great in this race, as always, and now we look forward to the Vuelta.Gilberto (Simoni) will go for the overall victory and I will hunt for stages.”Results:
1. Danilo Di Luca (I, Saeco), 5 hours, 3 minutes;
2. Laurent Dufaux (Swi, Alessio), same time;
3. David Rebellin (I, Gerolsteiner), s.t.;
4. Francesco Casagrande (I, Fassa Bortolo), s.t.;
5. Michael Rasmussen (Den, CSC-Tiscali), s.t.