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Today at the Dauphine

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Today at the Dauphine

Old 06-08-05, 07:17 AM
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Today at the Dauphine

Just in case you all aren't following it...The Americans are putting on a good show so far...Wish it was televised!!

Hincapie cedes Dauphine lead as Lance eyes TT
French riders are making the most of a rare success in the Dauphine, as the key stages loom on the horizon.

George Hincapie's 48 hours in the yellow jersey of Dauphine Libere leadership came to an abrupt end in central France this afternoon, after Frenchman Samuel Dumoulin of Ag2r led a stage long break away and snatched the stage and overall lead as a reward.

A four man all-French breakaway took shape after just ten of the day's 187 kilometres and left the main field — containing all the favourites — to trail in to the finish at Chauffailles more than three minutes behind. On the eve of the tough 46.5 kms Roanne time trial, and with the Ventoux summit also looming large, Dumoulin now has the race lead with Hincapie leading the big hitters, at 3:06 behind.

Stage two of the 2005 Dauphine, between Givors and Chauffailles saw the local heroes have their day, with Dumoulin and Credit Agricole's Frederic Bessy leading the charge. The pair were chase by several groups before Anthony Charteau of Bouygues Telecom and Frederic Finot of La Francaise des Jeux, bridged to the lead duo after 30 kilometres.

Their advantage had climbed to just under 20 minutes by the midway point of the stage, and that was reason enough to mobilise the sprinters' teams. But with Hincapie's Discovery team seemingly untroubled by the break's lead, it was left to Phonak, Rabobank, T-Mobile and Credit Agricole, among others, to take up the chase.

With twenty clicks to race, the French quartet still had a six minute lead and although Finot tried to slip clear on the cote de la Cepee, with 14 kilometres to race, a sprint finish seemed inevitable. So it proved: Dumoulin, by far the fastest of the four, sprinted clear to write his name into the ProTour record books and take the overall lead.

So France has a yellow jersey in a top stage race; but not for the first time in recent years, the big question is how soon will an American take it back? More crucially, for all those on Lance-watch, will that American hail from Austin Texas…?

Results, stage two:
1. Samuel Dumoulin (FRA, Ag2r Prévoyance) 187 km in 4:47:06
2. Anthony Charteau (FRA, Bouygues Telecom) @ s.t.
3. Frédéric Finot (FRA, Française des Jeux) @ s.t.
4. Frédéric Bessy (FRA, Cofidis) @ s.t.
5. Robert Hunter (SA, Phonak Hearing Systems) @ 3:16
6. Thor Hushovd (NOR, Crédit Agricole) @ s.t.
7. Stuart O'Grady (AUS, Cofidis) @ s.t.
8. Juan-Antonio Flecha (SPA, Fassa Bortolo) @ s.t.
9. Enrico Franzoi (ITA, Lampre-Caffita) @ s.t.
10. Enrico Gasparotto (ITA, Liquigas-Bianchi) @ s.t.

Overall standings:
1. Dumoulin in 10:08:06
2. Finot @ 20 secs.
3. Charteau @ 21 secs.
4. Bessy @ 28 secs.
5. George Hincapie (USA, Discovery Channel) @ 3:06
6. Levi Leipheimer (USA, Gerolsteiner) @ 3:07
7. Andrey Kashechkin (KAZ, Crédit Agricole) @ 3:09
8. Lance Armstrong (USA, Discovery Channel) @ 3:12
9. Oscar Pereiro (SPA, Phonak Hearing System) @ 3:13
10. Alberto Contador (SPA, Liberty Seguros-Würth) @ 3:15
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