July 04, 2004
Kirsipuu takes Stage 1
Estonia's Jaan Kirsipuu took Stage 1 into Charleroi in a field sprint ahead of Robbie McEwen and Thor Hushovd. Danilo Hondo and Jean-Patrick Nazon round out the Top 5.
Kirsipuu has 4 career Tour stage wins, most recently in 2002, and was the only person not named Lance Armstrong to wear the yellow jersey in 1999.
The Top 10:
1. Jaan Kirsipuu (AG2R)
2. Robbie McEwen (Lotto)
3. Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole)
4. Danilo Hondo (Gerolsteiner)
5. Jean-Patrick Nazon (AG2R)
6. Baden Cooke (fdjeux.com)
7. Kurt-Asle Arvesen (CSC)
8. Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo)
9. Erik Zabel (T-Mobile)
10. Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros)
Cancellara holds the yellow jersey, and gains 6 seconds on Lance Armstrong based on time bonuses. Hushovd used time bonuses to jump into 2nd overall, 4 seconds behind Cancellara, while Armstrong falls to 3rd, 10 seconds back. Jens Voigt of CSC moves into 4th for the GC, while José Ivan Gutierrez of Illes Balear-Banesto rounds out the Top 5 overall.
Full results are up over at RoadCycling.com.
Armstrong loses the green jersey to Thor Hushovd of Credit Agricole, who will be sprinting for the yellow jersey the next two days. Kirsipuu is 2nd, Robbie McEwen 3rd, Danilo Hondo 4th, and Cancellara 5th.
Quick Step's Paolo Bettini becomes the first polka-dot jersey of the 2004 Tour, based on mountain points earned on low-category climbs during a breakaway along with CSC's Jens Voigt and 3 others.
It will be interesting to see who wears the red race numbers of the most agressive rider tomorrow: Voigt was in two long breakaways early, then Jakob Piil and Marc Wauters had a late breakaway that looked like it had a chance down to about 8 miles to ride. Update: It will be Voigt.
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I guess it was a fairly predictable stage in a lot of ways -- the break-aways, the peloton coming to swallow them up -- but how exciting to have the race underway!!!
Posted by: spenceronehalf at Jul 4, 2004 11:47:01 AM
Has anyone read or heard anything about what happened with Nick Gates? Tough tour for the Aussies, so far. Three in the top ten today, and also three in the bottom, um, three.
I saw a brief mention in one of the online live coverage reports of Gates having crashed and being fourteen minutes down afterwards, but the initial results have him coming in over thirty minutes down!?!
Posted by: Christopher at Jul 4, 2004 12:32:11 PM
Stealing from Daily Peloton's Jambon Report for the stage:
• Nick Gates (Lotto-Domo). Gates crashed early in the stage, and then had to struggle to the finish alone. He finished 30' 38" behind the winner, but he finished! He takes the early "lead" in the Lanterne Rouge, and embodies what that distinction is all about: pushing on to the finish in spite of bad luck and bad weather, toughing it out until the end. Here's hoping Nick is able to rebound physically and make it to the line tomorrow.
Posted by: Frank at Jul 4, 2004 3:43:07 PM
I like to ride me bike really fast.
Posted by: littlebobby at Jul 4, 2004 4:32:14 PM