Sunday, July 6, 2008
Thundering Thor Strikes Again
Thor Hushovd of Crédit Agricole brought his career numberr of Tour stage wins to six on a tough undulating finish to Saint Brieuc. The Norwegian credited his Australian team-mate Mark Renshaw with a perfect lead-out to allow him to take the victory ahead of Team Colombia's duo Kim Kirchen and Gerald Ciolek.
In the overall Spaniard Alejandro Valverde kept his lead. Kirchen is now in second but took the lead in the points classification, while Rabobank's Oscar Freire is in third. Former second-placed rider Philippe Gilbert crashed in the final kilometres. Although the Belgian was awarded the same time as the winner due to the incident, the stage rankings determine the overall placing for the ten riders who are tied on time behind Valverde.
Barloworld's climber Mauricio Soler, who injured his wrist in a crash on stage one survived the stage but was dropped in the fast run-in to the finish, hindered by his injury.
The day was dominated by the breakaway of Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) and Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis), who took off after they crossed the first côte of the day together. They were later joined by the Agritubel duo of Christophe Moreau and David Le Lay. The four almost stayed away until the finish, but the final three kilometres were uphill. Chavanel was the last to be caught, and was countered by a strong move from CSC-Saxo Bank's Fabian Cancellara. The Swiss rider tried to pull of a repeat of his stage win of last year's Tour, but was caught by Liquigas' Filippo Pozzato. A quick descent ended the pair's time on the front before the sprint for the line.