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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 July, 2003, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Piil savours Tour triumph
Jakob Piil
Piil (right) pipped Sacchi
Jakob Piil expressed his delight at becoming the first Dane since Bjarne Riis to win a stage of the Tour de France on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old paid tribute to CSC team boss Riis after outsprinting Fabio Sacchi on the streets of Marseille.

"That's the reason why Bjarne took me on the Tour, to win a stage," he said.

"It's great to achieve one of your goals for the season."

Riis was the last rider from Denmark to lead home a stage in Hautacam in 1996, the year he won the Tour.

But Piil has come close in previous years.

In 2002, his feet slid off the pedals as he was sprinting for the line in Bourg-en-Bresse and in 2001, he was second to Serge Baguet.

I still have a good starting speed for a short sprint and in a small group, I can normally win
Jakob Piil

"I did not think about it during the stage proper, but I did near the finish. It definitely made me more motivated to win a stage this year," he said.

Piil and Sacchi shook hands just before the end of Tuesday's 10th stage, in a moment of good sportsmanship.

"I don't know what Sacchi said because I don't speak Italian," said Piil.

"I think he said thanks for the ride and let the best man win.

"It's a long time ago that I raced on the track.

"But I still have a good starting speed for a short sprint and in a small group, I can normally win even against a good sprinter."



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