Moncoutie Wins Stage 4 of Med Tour; Bettini Takes Overall Lead
Paolo Bettini (Quick Step) leads the Tour of the Mediterranean.
Paolo Bettini (Quick Step) leads the Tour of the Mediterranean. The World Cup champion finished fifth in Stage 4, a 110-km ride from La Motte to Mont Faron. David Moncoutie (Cofidis) won the stage in 2:35:24, with Miguel Martinez (Phonak) taking second at 0:09, and Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) winning the sprint for third from teammate Beat Zberg and Bettini at 0:11.
Emmanuel Magnien (Brioches La Boulangere) and Benoit Joachim (U.S. Postal Service) ignited the racing. The pair attacked early and led by 5:00 at 80 km. When the peloton began to pursue, Magnien dropped Joachim and was joined by Moncoutie.
At the base of Mont Faron, Laurent Brochard (Ag2r) attacked, but Frank Vandenbroucke and Richard Virenque (Quick Step) reeled him in. Moncoutie made several abortive sallies, and Moncoutie's teammate Andrei Kivilev had a go. Finally, Moncoutie got clear and remained clear.
In the overall, Bettini leads Brochard by 0:13 and Sylvain Chavanel by 0:22. Stage 5 will probably not change matters. The stage will be the race's longest at 114 km and will feature a long climb at the start, but the bunch should be together at the finish. Who will win the day? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!