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Mon, Jul.05.2004:09:20 PM

Stage 2: Charleroi-Namur

07-05-03.stage2 profile

The racing in Belgium continued today as the race route nudges France for the first time today. In the international spirit, Thor Hushovd became the first Norwegian to wear the yellow jersey, and Australian Robbie McEwen managed to avenge his close second from the previous day by taking a stage victory. A two-rider crash going towards the final bend determined the outcome of the race. The sprint organization broke apart, and Hushovd and McEwen were among those to take advantage of the confusion. Hushovd took enough bonus seconds at the line to push him into a narrowly held first overall in the GC.

Although the weather was much improved from yesterday, there were still repeats of the previous stage's action. Even with the dry roads the crashes continued, claiming Domina Vacanze's Fagini. Piil had another attempt at a breakaway, but this one was also caught by the peloton.