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Last Updated: Monday, 6 June, 2005, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
Hushovd wins first Dauphine stage
Thor Hushovd
Hushovd won the final stage of the Catalonia Volta in May
Thor Hushovd of the Credit Agricole team claimed the first stage of the Dauphine Libere race on Monday.

The Norwegian edged out South African Robert Hunter in a late dash for the line to seal the 224-km stage, from Aix-les-Bains to Givors in France.

But the Discovery Channel team's George Hincapie retained the overall lead in the event when he finished 26th.

American Hincapie captured Sunday's prologue, overcoming compatriot Levi Leipheimer by one second.

Hushovd, who clocked a winning time of five hours, 10 minutes, 55 seconds, thanked team-mate Damien Nazon for shielding him during the final sprint.

"It was a bit long to go for a sprint 250m from the line," Hushovd said.

They rode hard to keep me in the yellow jersey and I say a big thanks to them
George Hincapie

"There was a lot of movement toward the end. It was a bit hard, but Damien was brilliant.

"That's three years in a row I have won a stage here," he added. "I feel even more confident than last year."

Hincapie and six-time Tour de France winnner Lance Armstrong were in huge chasing group of around 90 riders who were all accorded the same time - three seconds back - when they crossed the line in 26th and 79th respectively.

And Hincapie thanked Armstrong and his Discovery Channel team for working to help him keep the leader's yellow jersey.

Normally, Hincapie has only one goal - to help Armstrong win - so he appreciated the favor being returned this time.

"They rode hard as a present for me, to keep me in the yellow jersey," Hincapie said.

"This is a really big deal for me and my family. Especially as Lance also has his own preparations for the Tour.

"For them to do that for me - I say a big thanks to them."

Results of Stage One, from Aix-les-Bains to Givors (Mon):

1. Thor Hushovd (NOR) Credit Agricole, five hours 10 minutes 55 seconds
2. Robert Hunter (RSA) @ same time
3. Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP) @ same time
4. Luke Roberts (AUS) @ same time
5. Manuel Quinziato (ITA) @ same time
6. Mickael Delage (FRA) @ same time
7. Henrik Haussler (GER) @ same time
8. Samuel Dumoulin (FRA) @ same time
9. Enrico Gasparotto (ITA) @ same time
10. Koldo Fernandez (ESP) @ same time

Overall standings (after stage one):

1. George Hincapie (United States / Discovery Channel) Five hours 20 minutes 50 seconds
2. Levi Leipheimer (United States / Gerolsteiner) +1 secs
3. Andrey Kashechkin (Kazakhstan / Credit Agricole) +3"
4. Floyd Landis (United States / Phonak) +5"
5. Lance Armstrong (United States / Discovery Channel) +6"
6. Oscar Pereiro (Spain / Phonak) +7"
7. Alberto Contador (Spain / Liberty Seguros) +9"
8. Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Spain / Illes Balears) +13"
9. Davide Rebellin (Italy / Gerolsteiner) +13
10. Francisco Jose Lara (Spain / T-Mobile) +14"

Hincapie takes Dauphine prologue
05 Jun 05 |  Cycling

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