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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July, 2003, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Knaven takes surprise win

Servais Knaven
Knaven registered Quick Step's second stage win of the Tour

Holland's Servais Knaven made the most of an early breakaway to take victory in Stage 17 of the Tour de France.

The Dutchman celebrated wildly at the finish in Bordeaux as he added a first ever Tour stage win to his Paris-Roubaix Classic triumph in 2001.

There was no change in the overall standings as Lance Armstrong retained the yellow jersey by finishing in the peloton along with rival Jan Ullrich.

But the race for green jersey glory remains as open as ever.

Robbie McEwen led the peloton home to close the gap on Baden Cooke to six points, with six-times winner Eric Zabel six points further back.

At the front, Knaven launched a perfectly timed attack with about 18km to go and quickly rode away from his pursuers.

"I've always finished second, third, seventh, whatever, on the Tour so I'm delighted to finally win a stage," said the Dutchman.

Baden Cooke
Cooke leads the green jersey standings by six points
"My manager told me to attack, but not to go too late so I attacked with around 18km to go and just kept going. It's incredible. I don't win a lot, but when I do, it's memorable."

Knaven was part of a breakaway group of 10 which attacked in the first kilometre and as they passed the 100km mark, their advantage reached 16 minutes.

The peloton briefly looked likely to overhaul the leaders, narrowing the gap to eight minutes, but with none of the 10 riders posing a threat to the overall leaders, they dropped back.

Italy's Paolo Bossoni finished second behind Knaven with Christophe Mengin of France third.



Links to more Tour de France 2003 stories


 

WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Simon Brotherton
"Knaven finished alone"


Servais Knaven
"It's incredible"



VOTE RESULTS
As the flat stages resume, who is your tip for green jersey glory?
Baden Cooke
 19.27% 
Thor Hushovd
 2.75% 
Robbie McEwen
 40.63% 
Stuart O'Grady
 8.25% 
Erik Zabel
 29.10% 
8028 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

TOUR DE FRANCE 2003


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