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#781
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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82km - The peloton has put its foot down again and closed the gap to 2'54".

#782
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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80km - One of the Lampre riders has stopped for a quick toilet break by the side of the road. Not too much more to report, to be honest.

#783
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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75km - Good news for our breakaway riders: The gap is growing again. It has just gone above the four-minute mark.

#784
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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72km - The Caisse d'Epargne boys seem to have given up the chase and now Discovery have moved to the front of the peloton.

#785
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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70km - It looks increasingly like our breakaway is going to stay out today. It's gone out to well over five minutes now, and the Disco boys who are leading the peloton couldn't give two hoots as to who wins this stage. On paper, Milram look like the only team who should be bothered about closing it down, but they evidently are not interested.

#786
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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69km - Here's how our escapees are placed in the General Classsification: Jens Voigt (35th at 1h17'40"), Martin Elmiger (85th at 2h46'00"), Daniele Bennati (84th at 2h44'17"), Daniele Righi (106e à 3h12'00"), Markus Fothen (46th at 1h39'10"), Manuel Quinziato (127th at 3h24'03"), Matteo Tosatto (128th at 3h24'07"), David Millar (76th at 2h34'24").

#787
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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68km - Everything looks tailor-made for Daniele Bennati. Not only is he the best sprinter in the breakaway, he also has a team-mate with him.

#788
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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61km - 6'27" the gap back to the pack now.

#789
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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55km - 7'30" is the gap now, with the peloton still not interested in chasing down the escape group.

#790
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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51km - Meanwhile, Michael Rasmussen has hit out at his Rabobank team for sacking him. The Dane said: "This is the work of a man at the end of his nerves. My manager is mad. I was not in Italy, not at all. This is all the work of a man (Italian commentator Davide Cassani) who thinks he recognised me. But there is not the slightest proof."

#791
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50km - Statements from the Rabobank team seem to contradict those of Rasmussen, though. The Dutch outfit claim he admitted he did lie over his whereabouts in teh lead-up to the Tour de France, though have not revealed where he said he was.

#792
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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45km - The gap has stabilised at the 7'50" mark.

#793
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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41km - Daniele Bennati is first across the line in the sprint at Solomiac and picks up the six points and six bonus seconds on offer.

#794
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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39km - Christian Guiberteau (Bouygues Télécom sporting director): "From the start we attacked, then took up teh chase behind the breakaway. It's a shame it didn't happen for us at the start. We had targeted this stage today. Concerning the general atmosphere at the moment, we are trying to concentrate on our work and to please the public."

#795
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35km - Alain Gallopin (CSC sporting director): "Jens is a specialist in breakaways. He has a lot of experience and he followed the right attack. In any case, we have nothing to defend in the GC."

#796
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30km - Vincent Lavenu (general manager of Ag2r): "He's a former Swiss champion. He's pretty quick in the sprints. Martin was brought in as a reinforcement for th early part of the season. You can never question his commitment. I think the breakaway will stay away."

#797
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25km - Jens Voigt has a puncture in his rear wheel and has it changed in super-quick time by his mechanic.

#798
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19km - With almost eight minutes to play with over the final 20 kilometres, no suprises that the cat and mouse games are beginning in the breakaway. David Millar knows he needs to attack from a slightly longer way out than the rest. The same is the case for Jens Voigt and Markus Foethen.

#799
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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19km - Jens Voigt attacks. Daniele Bennati is looking to close him down.

#800
offline NotTheRealSteveWest

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15km - That final fourth-category climb has devastated the group!! Tossato and Miller are out the back door, as are Righi and Quinziato. A big burst from Jens Voigt has torn things apart.




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