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Last Updated: Friday, 8 July, 2005, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
McEwen sprints to stage seven win
Robbie McEwen
Robbie McEwen was strongest in an uphill bunch sprint to win stage seven of the Tour de France on German soil.

Fabian Wegmann's bid to land a popular home win at the finish in Karlsruhe faltered 23km out as he was swallowed up by the fast-moving peloton.

He eventually came in with the main pack, which included the yellow jersey of six-time winner Lance Armstrong.

The stage had started with a minute's silence observed for the victims of the London bomb attacks on Thursday.

It was a seventh career stage win for Australian McEwen and his second on this year's tour, following his victory three days ago.

It was a really great win and a nice one for the team
Robbie McEwen
"It turned out to be a nice sprint," said the 33-year-old afterwards.

"Sometimes winning stages comes down to the small details, getting the right gap at the right time and of course having the legs to do it.

"For a while I didn't think I was going to get through because I was completely blocked on the right side but then it swung left and I started early with a good 150m to go.

"I was able to hold everybody off and it was a really great win and a nice one for the team."

The Davitamon rider, 33, had briefly led early on when he joined Wegmann on the attack after the first climb at 45km.

But McEwen surrendered the advantage 12km later to rejoin the peloton and leave the German as solo leader for the next 149km.

After wrapping up more climbing points at Col du Hantz, Wegmann raised hopes of a stage win on home soil as he stretched his lead to a peak of eight minutes 35 seconds.

But as the terrain flattened, the main pack gradually began to reel in the Gerolsteiner rider, who will wear the polka-dot jersey in stage eight.

Wegmann was first to cross into Germany but was finally consumed by the chasing pack at 203km before McEwen went on to claim victory.

Belgian sprint king Tom Boonen, wearing the green jersey, finished in seventh place.


Stage results (Top 10)
1. Robbie McEwen (Aus)Davitamon-Lotto 5:03:45"
2. Magnus Backstedt (Swe) Liquigas-Bianchi at same time
3. Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Francaise Des Jeux at same time
4. Gerrit Glomser (Aut) Lampre-Caffita at same time
5. Baden Cooke (Aus) Francaise Des Jeux at same time
6. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Fassa Bortolo at same time
7. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick.Step at same time
8. Gianluca Bortolami (Ita) Lampre-Caffita at same time
9. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole at same time
10. Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Fassa Bortolo at same time

Overall standings (Top 10)
1. Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel 23:01:56
2. George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel at 0.55secs
3. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile Team at 1:02
4. Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC at 1:04
5. Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC at 1.07
6. Jose Luis Rubiera (Spa) Discovery Channel at 1:14
7. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel at 1:16
8. Benjamin Noval (Spa) Discovery Channel at 1:26
9. Ivan Basso (Ita) Team CSC at same time
10. Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team CSC at 1:32



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Interview: Robbie McEwen


Report: BBC Five Live's Simon Brotherton



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Bernucci wins dramatic stage six
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