O'Grady Wins Stage 7 of Dauphine Libere; Mayo Wins Overall
Stuart O'Grady (Cofidis) has won his second stage of the 2004 Dauphine Libere. O'Grady rode away from Sandy Casar (La Francaise des Jeux.com) to win the seventh and final stage, a mountainous, 200-km ride around Grenoble, in 5:21:40. Casar finished second at 0:19, and Pedro Horrillo (Quick Step) outsprinted Dmitri Muravyev (Credit Agricole) for third at 3:14. Iban Mayo (Euskaltel) is the overall winner of the Dauphine Libere.
O'Grady jumped into an early attack that Casar started. Four other riders joined them--Nicolas Reynaud (RAGT), Horrillo, Anthony Geslin (Brioches La Boulangere), and Muravyev. Euskaltel rode tempo in the peloton while the sextet's lead ballooned to 13 minutes.
On the day's final climb, the Col de Sarcenas, Muravyev attacked. O'Grady and Casar caught and dropped him. Casar attacked O'Grady, but the Australian caught the Frenchman two km from the summit and dropped him on the descent. Behind, Euskaltel controlled the bunch, and none of Mayo's rivals attacked him.
In the overall, Mayo defeated Tyler Hamilton (Phonak) by 0:36 and Hamilton's teammate Oscar Sevilla by 1:14. Many of the riders in the Dauphine Libere will meet again in the Tour de France. How will they fare? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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