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Jalabert comes up trumps

Frenchman Laurent Jalabert proved to everyone that he has still got what it takes in the Tour de France by winning stage four into Verdun. The former holder of the yellow jersey and past winner of the Tour of Spain in 1995, out sprinted breakaway partner Ludo Dierckxsens in a tense finale. Aussie Stuart O’Grady kept his slender lead and will wear the yellow jersey in tomorrow’s team time trial, while Jalabert moves up to second overall.

The stage witnessed riders attacking from as early as the 10th kilometre. However it took until the last climb at 72km, before a group containing Bobby Julich, managed to escape and build up lead of over 10 minutes. However the peleton split, reformed and caught the leaders. Within the final 20 kilometres Jalabert, Dierckxsens, and Mancebo (ibanesto.com) put in an attack that stayed away until the finish, despite the gap only being 7 seconds to the peloton on the line.

Francesco Casagrande retired from the race after losing over five minutes on yesterday’s stage.

Stage four Huy-Verdun 215 kilometres

1st Laurent Jalabert (Fra, CSC) 5h’17m’49s

2nd Ludo Dierckxsens (Bel, Lampre) s.t

3rd Damien Nazon (Fra, Bonjour) at 7s

4th Fred Rodriguez (US, Domo)

5th Alessandro Petacchi (Ita, Fasso)

6th Sven Teutenberg (Ger, Festina)

7th Robert Hunter (Rsa, Lampre)

8th Stuart O’Grady (Aus, CA)

9th Paul Van Hyfte (Bel, Lotto)

10th Sebastien Talabradon (Fra, Big)

30th Lance Armstrong (US, USPS)

33 Jan Ullrich (Ger, Telekom)

Overall after stage four

1st Stuart O’Grady (Aus, CA) 19h’32m’49s

2nd Laurent Jalabert (Fra, CSC) at 18s

3rd Christophe Moreau (Fra, Festina) at 23s

4th Jens Voigt (Ger, CA) at 26s

5th Igor Galdeano (Esp, ONCE) st

6th Bobby Julich (US, CA) at 27s

7th Lance Armstrong (US, USPS) st

8th Jan Ullrich (Ger, Telekom) at 30s

9th Florent Brard (Fra, Festina) st

10th Santiago Botero (Col, Kelme) st


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