O'Grady gains more credit - Bike Magic

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O’Grady gains more credit

Six days after the prologue in Dunkirk and Credit Agricole are team that everyone’s talking about. Not only did they defeat the likes of ONCE and US Postal in the team time trial, but they held onto the yellow jersey and claimed second and third in the overall standings. The French team produced what was probably the ride of their lives and have gone past anyone’s reasonable expectations for the race.

Credit Agricole started last in the team event and posted the fasted time at each of the three check points, eventually coming home 31 seconds faster than Spanish giants ONCE. Certainly no mean feat when you remind yourself that ONCE are unbeaten in team time trials this year. O’Grady has a great chance of keeping the jersey all the way until the mountains on stage ten.

Lance Armstrong’s USPS team suffered a crash midway through the stage and had to wait for Heras and Kjaergaard to remount, while their rivals ,Telekom, suffered their own misfortune. The German team that looked incredibly strong in the first few days seemed somewhat weaker in the 67 kilometre test, and weren’t able to finish in the top five on the stage. The few seconds Armstrong holds over Ullrich probably means little at this early stage. Their real test will come on the stage to Alpe d’Heuz, where seconds could easily turn to minutes.

Stage 5 Team time trial 67km, Verdun- Bar-le-Dec

1st Credit Agricole (France) 1h’21m’32s

2nd ONCE (Spain) at 31s

3rd Festina (France) at 54s

4th US Postal Service (USA) at 1m’26s

5th Kelme (Spain) at 1’38

6th Rabobank (Holland) at 1’47

7th Telekom (Germany) at 1’50

8th Cofidis (France) at 2’55

9th Big Mat (France) at 2’56

10th Mapei (Italy) at 2’58

Overall after 5th stage

1st Stuart O’Grady (Aus, Credit Agricole) 20h’54m’21s

2nd Jens Voigt (Ger, CA) at 26s

3rd Bobby Julich (USA, CA) at 27s

4th Igor Galdeano (Esp, ONCE) at 57s

5th Joseba Beloki (Esp, ONCE) at 1’01

6th Carlos Sastre (Esp, ONCE) at 1’08

7th Jorg Jakshe (Ger, ONCE) at 1’12

8th Christophe Moreau (Fra, Festina) at 1’17

9th Ivan Gutieriez (Esp, ONCE) at 1’20

10th Marcos Serrano (Esp, ONCE) at 1’23

15h Lance Armstrong (US, USPS) at 1’53

19th Jan Ullruch (Ger, Telekom) at 2’20


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