Third placed Axel Merckx (Davitamon-Lotto) was not impressed with Cedric Vasseur (Cofidis), who sprinted around him at the finish to take second place, despite not helping Merckx chase Marcos Serrano. "Bastard," Merckx fumed to Belgian TV1 immediately after the stage. "Serrano was the best. He simply rode away. Vasseur stayed on my wheel and didn't want to come through. If you want to finish second in a Tour stage, I think you should make an effort. Serrano was better, especially on that second climb."