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imbasilical moreon
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Large fright for Thor Hushovd. (The Team)

Jimmy Casper (FRA/Cofidis), victorious of the stage: "It is the most beautiful day of my life. It is immense! To 1,5 kilometer of the arrival, before the last turn, I found myself à.fond of hold. That opened at the good time. I was opportunist. An idle period ago, I launched out relatively far. It is the kind of sprint which I affectionne, stopped a little but all in force. To gain in front of McEwen and a great champion like Tom (Boonen), it is enormous! This year, I worked a little more than the other years, I made the job on "puffs out". I was very well in the head, I felt that the feelings were very good. I had not succeeded in yet finding the feelings of 1999. There had been a catch when I had gained four times in front of Zabel. I hope that today it is the catch and that there will be other victories."

George Hincapie (USA/Discovery Channel), Yellow jersey: "I was very disappointed not to have gained the prologue, to have passed also near. It was not my intention to mix me with the intermediate sprints. But, when I saw that the sprinters were saved, I said myself that it was necessary to go there. Of course, I would like to keep this yellow jersey as a long time as possible. But that will not be obvious. Against super sprinters, like Boonen or Hushovd, I do not have any chance. But perhaps for the continuation... I know with which ambitions I came on the Lathe. For the moment, I do not need to have all the team with my service. But I know that it will work for me if I am placed best in the Pyrenees. There is no question of replacing Lance Armstrong. It is irreplaceable." (AFP)

By Aymeric MARCHAL, Special Correspondent In Strasbourg

In spite of a long escape, the first stage was well promised to the sprinters. One awaited the duel between the cadors of the speciality, and it is the French Jimmy Casper (Cofidis) who created the feeling by gaining an animated sprint, marked by a spectacular wound with the arm for Hushovd. Hincapie (Discovery Channel) seizes the Yellow jersey.

The French are of attack

The first stage of the Turn is often very travelling, without difficulty particular, and generally promised to the sprinters. This outer loop around Strasbourg was not to derogate from the rule. As of the third kilometer, however, Stephan Augé (Cofidis) and Matthieu Sprick (Bouygues Telecom) distorted company with the group, soon joined by Benoît Vaugrenard (Frenchwoman of the Plays). The three men meant well and widened quickly a small gap. Feeling the good blow, four runners made the effort to return: Fabian Wegmann (Gerolsteiner), Nicolas Portal (Savings bank), Walter Beneteau (Bouygues Telecom) and Unai Etxebarria (Euskaltel). The seven companions of escape gradually took lead on a quite calm group, obviously touched by heat. The first banderilla of this Turn 2006 was thus planted by five tricolour runners, what to give birth to already from the good hopes. The more so as the young Benoit Vaugrenard, 24 years, 31e at 19 seconds of Thor Hushovd at the beginning, was leader virtual of the race. The variation was stabilized around the four minutes thirty, but never exceeded the five minute old bar. Too much little to hope to resist the horde of the sprinters.

The Hushovd incident

The Agricultural credit, eager to defend the Yellow jersey of Hushovd, controlled the race perfectly. Under the impulse of the men of Roger Legeay, the group first of all limited the variation, then increased acceleration to 60 kilometers of the term. Immediate consequence, the variation quickly fell down, and the junction, inevitable, was carried out with kilometer 175, whereas Walter Beneteau had tried a last raid as a recluse. The combat of the chiefs waited so much between Thor Hushovd and Tom Boonen could take place, with like double stake the victory of stage and the first place with the general classification. The battle quickly turned short. Hushovd was quickly eliminated on wound. After a shock in the final one, with a large green hand distributed by a partner, the Norwegian crossed the line with an open hole in the right arm. He was led to the hospital after having lost much blood. Points of joining were posed to him and it should suffer five to six days according to its sporting director Roger Legeay, but the abandonment is not on the agenda. Boonen, it, undoubtedly left too early, before being also touched by a spectator, and could not dispute the victory.

Casper benefits from it, Hincapie in yellow
And it is Jimmy Casper (Cofidis) which in profited to jump the other applicants on the line and to gain its first victory of stage over the Lathe of France. The French of Cofidis finally preceded Robbie McEwen (Davitamon) and Erik Zabel (Milram). An incredible victory which also enables him to carry the Green Shirt. George Hincapie (Discovery Channel) responsability him it shirt of leader thanks to the two seconds of allowances empochées at the time of the last intermediate sprint, in spite of the vigilance of the Agricultural credit. Benoit Vaugrenard and Fabian Wegmann nevertheless gained a beautiful compensation after their formidable escaped. The French will spring Monday of Obernai with the White Shirt of better young person, while the German is the first carrier of the Shirt with pea after his passage at the head at the top of the coast of Heiligenstein.

they didn't use Malliot Jaune in the French edition either, wonder why?
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