Tombak too quick for CSC duo

Despite having two men in a three-man lead group, CSC could not contain Cofidis' Janek Tombak on sta

Despite having two men in a three-man lead group, CSC could not contain Cofidis’ Janek Tombak on sta

PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE After two bunch sprint finishes in the Tour of Denmark, Friday’s early but tough 115-kilometre-long half stage from Aarhus to Vejle took its toll on the peloton. After fast riding with a couple of breakaways during the first 100 kilometres, the stage exploded when the peloton hit the first of three final 5.6-kilometre laps. Denmark may be flat but it has its steep places, including a 300-metre-long climb with sections at 21 per cent and packed with spectators in Vejle. At the bottom six riders, Jens Voigt (CSC), Victor Hugo Pe¤a (US Postal), Jorg Jaksche (CSC), Janek Tombak (Cofidis), Unai Yus (Brioche la Boulangre), and Andreas Klier (T-Mobile), were a little ahead of the rest. But Yus, Pe¤a and Klier were quickly dropped as Voigt put his foot on the gas pedal. The next victim was Jaksche. But as one CSC rider was dropped another appeared as Kurt Asle Arvesen managed to join Voigt and Tombak, and it was quite quickly clear that the stage would be decided between the three. Voigt and Arvesen worked hard to gain as much time as possible on second-placed Stuart O’Grady, who was in the second group. That meant that the Australian’s Cofidis team-mate Tombak didn’t have to work too hard, with the result that the Estonian beat Arvesen and Voigt in the sprint for the stage victory. “It was very hard on the laps, but I knew I would be the quickest in a sprint,” said Tombak. Second place for Arvesen meant that he took the yellow jersey. “We (CSC) played our cards almost right the whole stage. We should have won the stage but Jens and I rode ‘a bloc’ all the way in the final laps and felt the lactic acid in our bodies when it came down to the sprint,” said the Norwegian. Going into the time trial ridden early Friday evening Voigt was four seconds behind team-mate Arvesen, with O’Grady, who finished fourth in the stage, a further 10 seconds behind Voigt. “It was a really hard stage. I had read that there would be a 21 per cent hill but I had no idea it would be so hard,” admitted the Australian. Stage 3, Aarhus-Vejle 1 Janek Tombak (Est) Cofidis 115km in 2.44.35 (41.92kph) 2 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) CSC 3 Jens Voigt (Ger) CSC 4 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Cofidis 0.19 5 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Bankgiroloterij 6 Michael Barry (Can) US Postal 7 Ellis Rastelli (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi 0.23 8 Max Van Heeswijk (Hol) US Postal 9 Julien Laidoun (Fra) Ag2r 10 Mario Aerts (Bel) T-Mobile Overall standings 1 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) CSC 11.07.49 2 Jens Voigt (Ger) CSC 0.04 3 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Cofidis 0.14 4 Michael Barry (Can) US Postal 0.25 5 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Bankgiroloterij 6 Max Van Heeswijk (Hol) US Postal 0.29 7 Julien Laidoun (Fra) Ag2r 8 Ellis Rastelli (Ita) Alessio-Bianchi 9 Peter Van Petegem (Bel) Lotto-Domo 10 Brian Vandborg (Den) Post Danmark 0.37