Dauphine 1: Hushovd's run continues

Jimmy Casper spent more than 200km at the front, but victory of the first road stage of the Dauphine

Jimmy Casper spent more than 200km at the front, but victory of the first road stage of the Dauphine
The first road stage of the Dauphin Libr was a tale of two sprinters with widely differing fortunes. Victory went to Crdit Agricole's Thor Hushovd, who won a couple of stages at the recent Tour of Languedoc-Roussillon, but only after a stage-long break by Cofidis galloper Jimmy Casper had been reeled in less than two kilometres from the finish in Bron. Prologue winner Iban Mayo kept the leader's jersey. Taking advantage of a mainly downhill but lengthy run from Megve, Casper went off on his own after just four of the 231 kilometres. His solo escapade was allowed free rein, and Casper was almost 18 minutes up before 100 kilometres had passed. But Euskaltel, Crdit Agricole, fdjeux.com and Phonak all chipped in with the chase, and Casper was almost caught 50 kilometres from home. RAGT's Christophe Laurent skipped away from the main group then and quickly joined his compatriot at the front, the two them almost building a winning lead - but not quite. Casper's Cofidis team-mates did a lot of the work at the front as it became obvious the leading duo would be beaten, and then saw Stuart O'Grady outpaced by Hushovd. To complete a frustrating day for the French team, British leader David Millar came in 58 seconds down after an incident late in the stage. Tuesday's stage to Saint Etienne should see a bit more movement in the overall standings as the riders tackle the 2nd-cat Col de la Croix de Chaubouret just 15 kilometres from the finish. Stage 1, Megve-Bron 1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crdit Agricole 231km in 6.03.47 (38.10kph) 2 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis 3 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Ag2r 4 Baden Cooke (Aus) fdjeux.com 5 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank 6 Jrme Pineau (Fra) Brioches La Boulangre 7 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) Ag2r 8 Pedro Horrillo (Spa) Quick Step 9 Jos Enrique Gutierrez (Spa) Phonak 10 I¤aki Isasi (Spa) Euskaltel Overall standings 1 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 6.11.38 2 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Phonak 0.01 3 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal 0.02 4 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Phonak 5 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quick Step 0.06 6 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Phonak 7 Cyril Dessel (Fra) Phonak 0.08 8 Jos Enrique Gutierrez (Spa) Phonak 0.09 9 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crdit Agricole 0.10 10 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis
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