Pieter Weening (Rabobank) took his first professional win today in the eighth stage of the Tour de France, in a desperately close two man sprint with 2004 Tour runner-up Andreas Klöden (T-Mobile). But in the end, Weening was awarded the win by just 0.0002 seconds, which has to be one of the smallest winning margins ever. Cyclingnews' Anthony Tan reports from Gérardmer.
Until today, Pieter Weening had come close to victory on several occasions, but lacked the luck or the legs to make it happen. At the third stage of the 2004 Tour of Germany, on a similarly difficult course to the one he conquered today, he beat Andreas Klöden and Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano in a three-man sprint to place third. Two months later and also in Germany, he finished second in a 23 kilometre time trial to Davide Rebellin at the Sachsen-Tour International.
This year, on the day he turned 24, the lanky Dutchman came within three kilometres of giving himself a birthday present in the form of a ProTour stage win on the second stage of the Tour of the Basque Country (Vuelta al Pais Vasco). So a win was always on the cards - it was just a matter of time. "When Klöden caught me [at the top of the Col de la Schlucht], I said to myself: 'The same thing can't happen to me again.'"
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