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Page last updated at 17:22 GMT, Wednesday, 10 September 2008 18:22 UK

Stars praise Stoke stage of Tour

Edval Boasson Hagen
Hagen is part of Bradley Wiggins' Team Columbia

Olympic gold medalists Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas have praised Stoke-on-Trent after the Tour of Britain passed through the Potteries.

The fourth stage of the eight-day race finished in Hanley on Thursday after beginning in Worcester.

Thomas told BBC Radio Stoke: "It's always nice to come to places like Stoke and be cheered on by the fans."

Wiggins said: "The way people turned out to watch us was fantastic. It was a beautiful finish in the city centre."

The stage was won by Norwegian rider Edval Boasson Hagen, with Frenchman Geoffroy Lequarte, riding for the Agritubel team, taking over the leader's yellow jersey.

"It was not easy, but my team did a really good job," said Lequarte. "I am pleased because tomorrow I will wear the yellow jersey."

It was the first time in 18 years that the race has passed through Stoke-on-Trent, and BBC cycling commentator Hugh Porter said the city did an excellent job in hosting the race.

"The support was wonderful and the finish was terrific," said Porter.

"The course was dressed magnificently and the city can be proud of the job that's been done on the race."

The race now moves on to Hull before finishing in Liverpool on Sunday.

see also
Tour of Britain '08 - in Stoke
10 Sep 08 |  Sport Homepage
Berges wins stage to take yellow
09 Sep 08 |  Cycling
Petacchi claims London stage win
08 Sep 08 |  Cycling


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