Haussler Wins Stage 1 of Dauphine Libere
Heinrich Haussler (Gerolsteiner) has won Stage 1 of the Dauphine Libere. Haussler took a bunch sprint from Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and Graeme Brown (Rabobank) to win the flat, 219-km run from
The hostilities began early. At six km, Preben Van Hecke (Predictor) attacked, and Christophe Edaleine (Credit Agricole) and Jeremy Roy (Francaise des Jeux) joined him. The bunch kept the trio on a short leash, and their lead maxed out at 0:20 before they were reeled in at 14 km. Thirteen km later, Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) attacked on the Col de Parmenie and Sylvain Calzati (Ag2r), Grischa Niermann (Rabobank), Xabier Zandio and Nicolas Portal (both from Caisse d?Epargne) and Remi Pauriol (Credit Agricole) followed. The bunch reeled in this break as well, but near the summit Chavanel attacked again and took Portal and Pauriol with him. This trio forged a 9:35 lead by 115 km.
Cofidis chased to protect Wiggins?s yellow jersey. With 22 km remaining, the bunch was 0:22 behind the break. Seven km later, Quick Step took over at the front to set up Boonen, but Quick Steppers Kevin Hulsmans and Gert Steegmans punctured and broke a wheel, respectively. These misfortunes left the Belgian squad undermanned in the finale.
With nine km left, the break was reeled in. Brown started the sprint, and for a time, he looked like a winner. Haussler, however, passed the Australian and held off Boonen for the win.
In the overall, Wiggins leads defending champion Levi Leipheimer by 0:01 and Andrei Kaschechkin (Astana) by 0:02. Stage 2, however, might change this state of affairs. The hilly, 157-km ride from Saint-Paul-en-Jarez to Saint Etienne features two Category 3 climbs and a Category 4 ascent as well as short climb to the finish. The field could break up. Who will win? Will the standings change? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!