Colom Wins Stage 5 of Dauphine Libere
Antonio Colom (Astana) has won Stage 5 of the Dauphine Libere.
Antonio Colom (Astana) has won Stage 5 of the Dauphine Libere. The Spaniard found himself in a two-man break with teammate Alexander Vinokourov and took the stage with the approval of Vinokourov and the team boss. Colom and Vinokourov finished the 195-km stage from Nyons to Digne-les-Bains in 4:39:28, with Leonardo Duque (Cofidis) outsprinting Matej Mugerli (Liquigas) for third at 0:15. Andrei Kashechkin (Astana) remains the yellow jersey.
From the start, the racing was aggressive. At the gun, Philippe Gilbert (Francaise des Jeux) and Stef Clement (Bouygues Telecom) attacked. At seven km, 20 other riders joined them. They were Egoi Martinez (Discovery Channel); Cyril Dessel (Ag2r); Heinrich Haussler (Gerolsteiner); Bram De Groot (Rabobank); Vicente Garcia Acosta (Caisse d'Epargne); Iker Camano (Saunier Duval); Anthony Charteau and Christophe Edaleine (both from Credit Agricole); Vinokourov and Colom (both from Astana); Duque and Rik Verbrugghe (both from Cofidis); Preben Van Hecke (Predictor); Magnus Backstedt, Mauro Da Dalto, and Matej Mugerli (all from Liquigas); Ruben Perez (Euskaltel); Tom Boonen and Kevin van Impe (Quick Step); and Carlo Scognamiglio (Milram). At 106 km, the break led the bunch by 6:30.
At 163 km, Boonen attacked his companions. His move split the break in two. Mugerli had a go just before the Category 2 Col du Corobin, but he was reeled in. Colom, however, attacked on the Corobin and got clear. Vinokourov joined his teammate, and the pair was 0:35 ahead of Van Hecke at the summit (179 km). On the descent, Duque and Clement joined Van Hecke, but the Astana men were gone for good.
In the overall, Kashechkin leads Christophe Moreau (Ag2r) by 0:14 and Denis Menchov (Rabobank) by 0:25. Stage 6 will be a standing shaker. The 198-km ride from Gap to Valloire will feature seven categorized climbs, including the hors categorie Col de la Croix de Fer and the Category 1 Col du Telegraphe. The summit of the Telegraphe is less than six km from the finish line, so the day's final climb will be a battlefield. Who will prevail? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!