What's Cool In Road Cycling

Stage 1: Sneak Attack Pays Off

Stage 1: Sneak Attack Pays Off

Luxembourg – Luxembourg: 195 km
While the sprinters teams massed at the front and watched each other, it was the unexpected jump from Rubens Bertagliati (Lampre) that caught everyone off guard, and scored the 23 year old Swiss rider his first Tour stage victory and biggest win of his career.

Bertiagliati lept from the main pack inside the last kilometer of the day, and gave everything he had to sticking it to the bunch. He immediately opened a 25 meter gap and managed to hang on to the finish, crossing the line in a rubber-legged blur of joy, surprise and triumph. And not a moment too soon as Erik Zabel and Robbie McEwan led in the hard charging pack.

It was an exciting finish to an exciting day of racing, as an endless series of attacks kept things interesting in what had looked like a pre-determined stage for the sprinters. The rolling terrain across Luxembourg provided the perfect battle ground to inspire opportunities and risk-taking from everyone, including several moves tat included the race leaders and favorites.

The constant accordian-ing (?) of the bunch proved too much for Credit Agricole’s leader Christophe Moreux who got squished out the back and lost 3:00 minutes – not a great way to start a three week race…

The rest of the leaders finished in the main pack, protecting their overall positions until tomorrow, when the race heads from Luxembourg to Sarrebruck, Germany, 175 km, where we can expect another bunch finish.

Stage Results:
1. Rubens
1. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi-Lam) 4:49.18
2. Erik Zabel (Ger-Tel) – st
3. Robbie McEwen (Aus-Lot) – st
4. Fabio Baldato (Ita-Fas) – st
5. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa-Map) – st
Stuart O’Grady (Aus-C.A) – st
Laurent Brochard (Fra-Del) – st
Dario Frigo (Ita-Tac) – st
Josй E.Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa-Kel) – st
Franзois Simon (Fra-Bjr) – st

Overall after Stage 1:
1. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi-Lam) 4.58.21
2. Laurent Jalabert (Fra-Cst) +0.03
3. Lance Armstrong (Usa-Usp) +0.03
4. Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu-Lam) +0.06
5. Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col-Kel) +0.07
6. David Millar (GBr-Cof) +0.08
7. Laurent Brochard (Fra-Del) +0.09
8. Erik Zabel (Ger-Tel) +0.10
9. Dario Frigo (Ita-Tac) +0.11
10. Igor Gonzalez Galdeano (Spa-Onc) +0.12

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