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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:

m_jaune.gif  Fabian Cancellara (Fassa Bortolo)

m_vert.gif  Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole)

m_pois.gif  Paolo Bettini (Quick Step-Davitamon)

m_blanc.gif  Fabian Cancellara (worn by Bernhard Eiser - fdjeux.com)

Jens Voigt will ride in the red race numbers of yesterday's most aggressive rider.


Posted by Frank Steele on July 5, 2004 in Fabian Cancellara, Paolo Bettini, Stage profiles, Thor Hushovd, Top Stories | Permalink

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Comments

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!):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A24590-2004Jul2?language=printer

Posted by: John at Jul 5, 2004 9:50:01 AM