Petacchi Wins Stage 6 of Tour de France
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) has won Stage 6 of the Tour.
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) has won Stage 6 of the Tour de France. The Italian sprinter outlegged Baden Cooke (La Francaise des Jeux.com) and Fabrizio Guidi (Team Bianchi) to win the rolling, 230-km ride from Nevers to Lyon in 5:08:35. Victor Hugo Pena (U.S. Postal Service) remains in the yellow jersey.
The break of the day occurred at 35 km. At that point, Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) and Anthony Geslin (Brioches La Boulangere) attacked. The pair built an eighteen-minute lead by 82 km. Ag2r, Fassa Bortolo, and Lotto began to pursue and to slowly reduce the deficit. At 180 km, the escapees led the bunch by 8:00.
For a time, it appeared that O'Grady and Geslin would stay away. The peloton accelerated, however. With 25 km left, 3:00 separated the bunch from the break. As the two leaders entered Lyon, they led the field by 2:00. A crash with three km remaining took down Erik Zabel (Telekom) and held up Robbie McEwen (Lotto) and Oscar Freire (Rabobank), but the peloton came on. It engulfed O'Grady and Geslin with 500 m left.
Vini Caldirola led the field into the sprint. Cooke barged into the lead, but Petacchi was having none of it. With 250 m left, the Italian came from behind to win the stage.
In the overall, Pena leads teammates Lance Armstrong by 0:01 and 0:05, respectively. In Pena's words, "Tomorrow the Tour de France begins." The 2003 Tour's first Alpine stage will run from Lyon to Morzine, a distance of 230.5 km. The stage will feature five categorized climbs and will culminate with the Category 1 Col de la Ramaz and the Category 3 Col des Gets in the last 25 km. Will a break of no-hope climbers ignite the action? Will the U.S. Postal Service tow the field to the Col de la Ramaz and let Armstrong fight it out with the other climbers? Check in on http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!
Are you interested in light, cool cycling headgear? If the answer to this question is yes, check out Headsweats. Headsweats has race caps, visors, and bandannas for active, avid cyclists like you. Visit Headsweats today to find out what Headsweats has to offer you!