Dominique Cornu takes over lead in the Tour of Belgium after time trial win
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dominique Cornu takes over lead in the Tour of Belgium after time trial win

by Bjorn Haake at 10:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour of Belgium
 
Rain flushes Gilbert out of the leader's jersey

Dominique CornuWith his time trial win in stage four of the Tour of Belgium, Dominique Cornu, took over the leader's jersey from Philippe Gilbert. Gilbert will be remembered for riding under a particular rain cloud, which hung over the previous leader. Gilbert started last and had to endure heavy rains from start to finish, whereas riders who started only a handful of minutes before him reached the finish line dry.

Cornu was dominating the day but certainly had an advantage by riding on dry roads. This was especially noticeable when Tomas Vaitkus stormed along the course. He was the virtual race leader on the intermediate time, which he also reached in dry conditions. But the "Gilbert cloud" caught up with Vaitkus shortly thereafter and he dropped crucial seconds when he had to take the corners more cautiously.

It had been a long time coming for Cornu, who won his second race since joining the ProTour. "My U23 world title always put pressure on me," Cornu said in a post-race interview with the organizer. It wasn't easy for him, "but I knew that some day I would stand at the top spot." The Belgian's only win so far was a stage in the 2008 Giro del Capo. "I continued to work and now it is over. Also taking the leader's jersey makes the triumph complete."

Cornu now eyes the overall. "This win they can't take from me anymore, but the overall victory is possible. Last year I was also going well in the Ardennes, so why not tomorrow again? I am not exactly sure how strong my team is," the Skil Shimano rider said. "But I am sure they will do all they can to support me."

Devolder was one of the early leaders, but in a true fotofinish was displaced by Moerenhout - both were given the same time down to the hundredth of the second.

Cornu was 33 seconds back in the overall and tried to use his time trial skills to move up to the podium. He set a time of 12'15"76 at the intermediate check. No rider was able to touch this time and he held on to the day's win, with 21'13"86.

Kenny van Hummel, the seventh-to-last rider to start, was the last rider to make it to the finish line dry. Jimmy Casper and David Boucher finished together, already totally drenched. None of the wet riders reached the top ten.

The final stage tomorrow will be a hilly affair in the Ardennes, from Herstal to Herstal, over 173,7 km.

Stage result

1 D. Cornu 00:21'13"
2 K. Moerenhout 00:21'17"
3 S. Devolder 00:21'17"
4 B. Tankink 00:21'21"
5 N. Nuyens 00:21'27"
6 L. Westra 00:21'28"
7 C. Lemoine 00:21'28"
8 B. Hermans 00:21'31"
9 L. Bodrogi 00:21'31"
10 D. Devenyns 00:21'32"

Over all standings after stage 4

1. D. Cornu

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