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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 July, 2005, 10:07 GMT 11:07 UK
Racewatch: Le Tour stage two

Stage two - top finishers
1. Tom Boonen
2. Thor Hushovd
3. Robbie McEwen


1552: Robbie McEwen leads out, but he has gone too early and Belgian Tom Boonen comes through to snatch victory.

1550: Local boy Walter Beneteau strikes for home from 4km - the crowds amassed by the road go wild, but the escape fails.

1547: It will be a sprint as all 189 riders come together. This could be a dangerous bunch finish.

1542: As the gap steadily falls, Voeckler, Canada and Calzati bravely battle on. They only have a 20-second buffer which will not be enough as Erik Dekker makes a break from the peloton.

1532: Thomas Voeckler attacks and picks up the points that mean he will wear the poka dot jersey of the King of the Mountains on Monday.

1520: The gap is barely more than a minute so the sprinters can start working on tactics with their team-mates for the final rush to the line.

1505: It's all getting a bit twitchy in the peloton as they sense that a pack sprint will decide the stage. There is a small crash as the gap to the lead four falls below two minutes.

1450: With 50km remaining the gap is under three minutes. Maybe this will be sprinter Stuart O'Grady's stage after all. The Australian was tipped to win the stage and told BBC Sport: "The Tour proper starts today - yesterday was just to get the heart rate going."

1430: The breakaway lead starts to fall. The four riders will have an almost impossible job staving off the hungry peloton.

1350: The gap between the four leaders and the peloton is more than four minutes now with almost half of the 181.5km stage completed.

1330: Lance Arsmtrong is pedalling away in the peloton. After Saturday's significant stage, he told BBC Sport: "It was a mild surprise to catch Jan Ullrich."

1307: The leading quartet - Laszlo Bodrogi, Thomas Voeckler, David Canada and Sylvain Calzati - are two minutes clear.

1247: A 14-man breakaway hits the front just before the first sprint, which South African Robbie Hunter wins. The escapees are then reduced to four, the best-placed of whom is Laszlo Bodrogi - who started the stage in fifth.

1230: There is a crash at the back of the peloton, but all riders get back on their bikes to resume the race.

1207: Sunday's stage is under way. David Zabriskie is in yellow as the winner of Saturday's first stage, while Armstrong - by default - is in green, being second behind Zabriskie on points.

1135: The pre-start begins in Challons - racing proper will follow soon.

1105: The start is half an hour away and conditions are perfect - sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 20s. If this stage goes to form, any breakaways will be brought back and the sprinters will have a chance for glory in Les Essarts.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Report: BBC Five Live's Simon Brotherton



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