Van Hummel wins windy Picardie stage 1
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Friday, May 14, 2010

Van Hummel wins windy Picardie stage 1

by Ben Atkins at 1:33 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Dutchman outsprints ProTour rivals

Kenny Van Hummel (Skil-Shimano) won the opening stage of the Tour de Picardie between Boué and Doullens. He beat Ben Swift (Team Sky) and Danilo Napolitano (Katusha) in a bunch sprint at the end of 181km, after the peloton had pulled back a stage-long breakaway.

On a windy afternoon on the northern French coast, a group of 14 riders escaped; of these Fumiyuki Beppu (RadioShack), Tristan Valentin (Cofidis) and Niels Brouzes (Big Mat-Auber 93) countered and quickly built a lead. By the summit of the Côte de Levergies after 40.5km the trio’s lead was 8 minutes, and by the 50km mark it had risen to 12. This as to be the high watermark of the break though and the Euskaltel-Euskadi, Katusha and Skil-Shimano teams came forward to pull them back.

The sprinters’ teams steadily reeled the breakaway in, but as the leaders crossed the finish line to start the 19km finishing circuit they still had an advantage of 3’15”. The day spent in the wind proved to be too much for the three fugitives though and on the final climb of the Côte de Barly with 8km to go the gap was down to 35 seconds; the capture was finally made with 3km to go.

As the peloton approached the finish the sprinters’ trains were all jockeying for position but it was Van Hummel who timed his sprint the best, ahead of Swift and Napolitano. Time bonuses on the line also give the Dutchman the lead in the overall classification.

Result stage 1
1. Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Skil-Shimano
2. Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky
3. Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Katusha
4. Yohann Gene (Fra) Bbox Bouyges Telecom
5. Robert Wagner (Ger) Skil-Shimano

Standings after stage 1
1. Kenny Van Hummel (Ned) Skil-Shimano
2. Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky @ 4s
3. Fumiyuki Beppu (Jap) RadioShack @ 4s


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