Tour de France: Gert Steegmans wins stage 2

Monday, July 9, 2007


Gert Steegmans winning stage 3 in the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque in 2006.
Image: Waechor.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)
Tom Boonen (blue outfit, centre) during the race.
Image: Lieven Gekiere.
The riders Marcel Sieberg, Ruben Perez and Cédric Herve at the head of the second stage.
Image: Lieven Gekiere.

Belgian riders, Gert Steegmans and Tom Boonen, finished one-two in stage 2 of the 2007 Tour de France that ran mostly in their home country.

Starting in Dunkirk, France, and ending in Ghent, Belgium, the 168.5 km (104.7 mile) stage is considered a flat stage. The roads were wet with rain today.

"What an explosion of emotion it was after the finish," Steegmans said. "It was really important for the team. You could feel this enormous pressure because we're a Belgian team." Boonen thought that the picture of the photo finish in Ghent was "the most beautiful picture of the year."

Steegmans and Boonen are not only countrymen, but also team-mates on the Belgian-sponsored Quick Step-Innergetic team. Boonen took the green jersey from Robbie McEwen, who came in sixth.

There was a large crash with less than 3 km to the finish. A cyclist from the team Milram hit the wheel of Tom Boonen and fell, dragging everyone behind him into his fall. Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara was involved in the crash, but maintained the overall lead. The overall consequences were limited: Tomas Vaitkus broke his thumb, Fred Rodriguez sustained several rib fractures.

After 18 km in the race, Marcel Sieberg (Milram), Ruben Perez (Euskaltel) and Cédric Herve (Agritubel) escaped and took the lead and soon rode five minutes before the peleton, but 3 km before the finish the trio was caught again.

The first ten to arrive in Ghent were:

  1. Gert Steegmans (in 3h48’22’’)
  2. Tom Boonen
  3. Filippo Pozzato
  4. Robert Hunter
  5. Romain Feillu
  6. Robbie McEwen
  7. Erik Zabel
  8. Heinrich Haussler
  9. Oscar Freire
  10. Sébastien Chavanel

The overall ranking after the second stage is:

  1. Fabian Cancellara 8h36’13’’
  2. Andreas Klöden + 13’’
  3. David Millar + 21’’
  4. George Hincapie + 23’’
  5. Bradley Wiggins + 23’’
  6. Vladimir Gusev + 25’’
  7. Tom Boonen + 26’’
  8. Vladimir Karpets + 26’’
  9. Thor Hushovd + 29’’
  10. Alexandre Vinokourov + 30’’