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July 12/98 11:23 am - Steels Takes Tour Stage 1

Posted by Editor on 07/12/98

Tour Stage 1 - Tommy Steels

A pretty uneventful stage one until the halfway mark, when a group of seven went clear: Mirko Crepaldi (Polti), Jens Voigt (Gan), Paul van Hyfte (Lotto), Jacky Durand (Casino), Jose de los Angeles (Kelme), Stefano Zanini (Mapei) and Francisco Benitez (Vitalicio). Voight had the most to gain, as the break reached a maximum gap of over 3 minutes - since his teammate Chris Boardman was in the leader‚s jersey, he could take it easy; plus he would take over the yellow jersey if the group stayed away and finished in a bunch. However, in the last 50 kilometres, the sprinter teams went to the front, and the gap started to fall. Durrand and van Hyfte tried to extend the breakaway by jumping off the front, but were brought with about 15 kilometres to go. Mario Cippollini (Saeco), one of the sprinters expected to contest the pack finish went down in a crash less than 10 kilometres from the end of the stage. In the end, it was Mapei‚s Tommy Steels, ahead of Erik Zabel (Telekom) and Robbie McEwen (Rabobank)


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