What's Cool In Road Cycling

Tour de France Stg 17: Knaven Knicks Win

It was a big day in Bordeaux for Dutch rider Servais Knaven who snatched his 17th career win away from the sprinters on a stage formerly thought to be THE sprint stage of the tour. This was the Quickstep.com rider’s first win at the Tour after finishing in the top five a number of times in recent years.

As with many recent stages, the attacks came early and often in Bordeaux, with the decisive 10 man break coming at only kilometers into the race including; Garcia (iBanesto.Com), De Groot (Rabobank), Commesso (Saeco), Van Bon (Lotto-Domo), Clain (Cofidis), Luttenberger (CSC), Mengin (FDJ.Com), Parra (Kelme), Bossoni (Vini Caldirola-So.Di) and Knaven (Quickstep) all riding off the front pulling away gradually until the 20km mark.

At this point Lance and USPS began to organize and control the race, and the gap then ballooned to over 16 minutes thanks to the blistering pace set by the front pack. Jean Delatour and Credit Agricole attempted a chase, but my mid race the gap was still over 10 minutes and it became evident that the sprint teams were not going to be in the mix or catch the leading 10.

Then, with 18km to go, Knaven launched his attack scoring a 100m lead and then going solo to the finish.

The battle between Lance and Jan Ullrich was unaffected and Armstrong maintains his lead of 1’35 over the strong Ullrich headed into stage 18. In the race for the green jersey, McEwen picked up precious points today beating both Cooke and Zabel. Look for all three of those men in Bordeaux-Saint-Maixent-l’Ecole.

Results- Stage 17

1 Servais Knaven (Ned) Quick.Step-Davitamon 3.54.23
2 Paolo Bossoni (Ita) Vini Caldirola-So.Di 0.17
3 Christophe Mengin (Fra) FDJeux.com
4 Leon Van Bon (Ned) Lotto Domo
5 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Saeco
6 Vicente Garcia Acosta (Spa) iBanesto.com
7 Peter Luttenberger (Aut) Team CSC
8 Mйdйric Clain (Fra) Cofidis, Credit Par Telephone
9 Bram De Groot (Ned) Rabobank
10 Ivan Parra (Col) Kelme-Costa Blanca 1.55

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