What's Cool In Road Cycling

Stage 2: Fast Finishing Freire

Stage 2: Fast Finishing Freire

Luxembourg to Sarrebruck, Germany, 175 km

Things appeared to return to normal today as the Tour finished in the expected mass sprint finish, won by Spanish World Champion Oscar Friere (Mapei). The top 5 were rounded out by the sprinting class of the bunch: Robbie McEwen (Lotto), Erik Zabel (Telekom), Baden Cooke (FdJ), and Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r). The win marks Friere’s unquestioned return to peak form after being plagued by intermittent back problems for the past 3 years. Now that he has shown his form, perhaps we’ll see another layer of talent emerge from the Spaniard in this grand Tour.

The peloton stayed together for much of the race, but we can thanks Credit-Agricole’s omni-attacker Jens Voigt for making his traditional TdF bid. With 23 km to go, the big German dropped his two breakaway companions and set off for solo glory in his homeland. But Team Telekom shut him down , looking for their own glory. Meanwhile, way off the back, his C-A teammate Thor Hushovd was hanging on for dear life, fighting terrible cramps, barely able to turn the pedals, but struggling on in hopes of another day on the Tour tomorrow.

Overall, not much changed, as Lampre’s Rubens Bertogliati gets to wear the yellow jersey again tomorrow, and Freire moved into 9th place, 0:11 seconds back and perfectly poised to take yellow tomorrow of 175 km from Metz to Reims in France.

Stage Results:
1. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa-Map) 4.19.51
2. Robbie McEwen (Aus-Lot) – st
3. Erik Zabel (Ger-Tel) – st
4. Baden Cooke (Aus-FdJ) – st
5. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est-A2r) Stuart O’Grady (Aus-C.A) – st

Overall after Stage 2:
1. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi-Lam) 9.18.12
2. Erik Zabel (Ger-Tel) +0.02
3. Laurent Jalabert (Fra-Cst) +0.03
4. Lance Armstrong (Usa-Usp) +0.03
5. Raimondas Rumsas (Ltu-Lam) +0.06
6. Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col-Kel) +0.07
7. David Millar (GBr-Cof) +0.08
8. Laurent Brochard (Fra-Del) +0.09
9. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa-Map) +0.11
10. Dario Frigo (Ita-Tac) +0.11

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