July 05, 2004
Stage 2 Preview: Charleroi to Namur
Today's stage is about 121 miles, with a 50-kilometer introduction to France before returning to Belgium for what's very likely to be a sprint finish.
There are just two climbs, both 4th Category, on the course, and the finish in Namur is the first there since 1959.
The course has a sharp turn 200 meters from the line, which might interrupt the Fassa Bortolo train, and disrupt Alessandro Petacchi's chance to get a sprint win.
VeloNews tips Baden Cooke or Robbie McEwen, but I'm picking Tom Boonen, who pulled off in the last meters of yesterday's stage when he threw a chain, but looked to be in good position and riding well. McEwen will be motivated because he rides for a Belgian team, but Boonen is Belgian himself.
Look for green jersey Thor Hushovd to contest a few intermediate sprints, trying to get enough time on Cancellara to take over the yellow jersey.
At Stage 2's start, it's:
Jens Voigt will ride in the red race numbers of yesterday's most aggressive rider.
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I wanted to e-mail you guys this link, but alas there is no e-mail address to be found.
So here it is (a great story on the TDF!):
Posted by: John at Jul 5, 2004 9:50:01 AM