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Sylvain Calzati (AG2R)
Young AG2R rider Sylvain Calzati took out this year's second French victory of the Tour de France by...
Young AG2R rider Sylvain Calzati took out this year's second French victory of the Tour de France by winning today's stage 8 to Lorient. Part of the decisive breakaway, the 27 year-old made a beautiful solo move just at the right time with 31 kilometres to go, as the peloton loomed close. He made it through, and won ahead of Kjell Carlström (Liquigas), who battled out his second placing against Patrice Halgand (Crédit Agricole). Davitamon's Robbie McEwen won the sprint of the bunch, seconds later.
"I am completely overwhelmed," said Calzati in the finish. "This is absolutely excellent. I thought a lot about my wife and my little girl, who are my luck charms. I was able to take my chance today, and then continued on with a huge final effort. And I made it!"
The breakaway of the day saw Dave Zabriskie (CSC), Matze Kessler (T-Mobile), Sylvain Calzati (AG2R), Mario Aerts (Davitamon), Patrice Halgand (Crédit Agricole) and Kjell Carlström (Liquigas) escape the bunch after 45 kms of racing, increasing their lead to a maximum of 7'30. But the peloton led by Phonak did not want to let them get too much advance. As the sprinters smelled their opportunity, the race was on, but the timing of Calzati's attack was perfect, and he even gained some seconds on the chasing bunch, which then let him be.