March 27, 2005
Freire takes Brabantse Pijl; Armstrong back in pack
Oscar Freire continued his strong spring, winning at Brabantse Pijl/Fleche Brabanconne in a breakaway with QuickStep's Marc Lotz and Davitamon's Axel Merckx. Neither Lotz nor Merckx had the finishing kick to sprint with the current world champion after riding away from a group of 15.
1) Oscar Freire, Rabobank, 3:38:56
2) Marc Lotz, QuickStep, same time
3) Axel Merckx Davitamon-Lotto, same time
4) Wim Van Huffel, Davitamon-Lotto, at :37
5) Karsten Kroon, Rabobank, same time
6) George Hincapie, Discovery Channel, same time
7) Nick Nuyens, QuickStep, same time
8) Simon Gerrans, AG2R, same time
9) Vladimir Gusev, CSC, same time
10) Sébastien Joly, Credit Agricole, same time
Lance Armstrong returned to racing, riding in support of George Hincapie, who got into the lead group, and finished 6th on the day. Next up for Armstrong is Paris-Camembert on Tuesday, then the Tour of Flanders Sunday, where Freire must head the list of favorites.