Moreau Wins Stage 2 of Dauphine Libere, Takes Overall Lead
Christophe Moreau (Ag2r) has won Stage 2 of the Dauphine Libere. Moreau outsprinted Jose Antonio Redondo (Astana) to win the hilly, 157-km ride from Saint-Paul-en-Jarez to Saint-Etienne in 3:50:38. Redondo finished second, and Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) finished third at 0:33. Moreau has taken the overall lead from Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis).
As was the case in Stage 1, the hostilities began early. Sylvain Calzati (Ag2r) made an early escape, but the bunch captured him at 24 km. At 32 km, 12 riders sallied off of the front, but the peloton reeled them in. Two km later, however, Aleksandr Kuschynski (Liquigas) and Jerome Pineau (Bouygues Telecom) escaped and ran up a 5:20 lead by 49 km.
Cofidis led the pursuit. With 40 km remaining, Preben van Hecke (Predictor) attacked, and Kevin Seeldraeyers (Quick Step) countered. Redondo and Moreau joined Seeldraeyers, and the trio caught Kuschynski and Pineau with 30 km left.
With 17 km remaining, Pineau was dropped, and Kuschynski was dropped two km later. With seven km left, Seeldraeyers's chain broke. Moreau and Redondo were left to fight for the day's honors, and Moreau outsprinted his companion in the last 500 m. Gerolsteiner lead the peloton home at 0:36.
In the overall, Moreau leads Redondo by 0:07 and Wiggins by 0:24. Stage 3 could shake up the standings. The rolling, 40.7-km time trial at Anneyron should bring some of the contenders to the top of the standings. Who will move up? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!