Moncoutie Wins Stage 11 of Tour
For the second consecutive day, a Frenchman has won a stage of the Tour de France. Today, David Moncoutie (Cofidis) did the trick. Moncoutie rode away from Juan Antonio Flecha (Fassa Bortolo) and Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel) to win the hilly, 164-km ride from St. Flour to Figeac in 3:54:58. Flecha finished second at 2:15, and Martinez took third at 2:17. Thomas Voeckler (Brioches La Boulangere) remains the maillot jaune.
On a warm, sunny day, the racing began early. After a series of abortive sallies, Martinez attacked on the Category 3 Cote de Therondels. Moncoutie and Flecha joined him. The trio ran up an eight-minute lead by 124 km. With the Pyrenean stages coming up, there was no inclination to chase. Brioches La Boulangere rode tempo at the head of the peloton, which reduced the gap to 5:58 by the end of the stage.
With nine km left, Flecha attacked on the day's last climb. Martinez pulled him back, and Moncoutie countered. The Spaniards had no answer. Moncoutie picked up his first Tour stage win, Cofidis's second of this Tour, and the third 2004 Tour stage victory by a Frenchman.
In the overall, Voeckler leads Stuart O'Grady (Cofidis) by 3:00 and Sandy Casar (La Francaise des Jeux.com) by 4:13. Stage 12 will change the standings. The 197.5-km ride from Castelsarrazin to La Mongie will feature the Category 1 Col d'Aspin at 172 km and the Hors Categorie finishing climb. Who will win the stage? Who will take the yellow jersey? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!
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