Fabian Wegmann: "Wow!!!"

New leader

New leader (Image credit: Luc Claessen)

"Wow!!! My second Pro Tour win, and in France, of all places, where I've never won anything before!" said Fabian Wegmann, the happy winner of the Dauphine Libéré's first stage on Monday, who described his coup on his website, www.fabianwegmann.de. "The whole day went by quietly in the peloton and I even had time to enjoy the beautiful weather." With 14 km to go, however, the quiet time was over and Wegmann got down to it. Nicolas Inaudi was finally caught by the peloton "and I attacked at exactly that moment for the mountain points (4th category). Mancebo, Voeckler, and Martinez, three explosive types, came over the mountain with me."

As the finish line drew nearer, he checked out his competition more closely. "I checked the group. I don't need to worry about Martinez, even though I don't know him that well. Mancebo is a great rider, but shouldn't be a problem in a sprint. So I concentrate on Voeckler, who is a similar type like me. Then Martinez attacks and the same Voeckler closes the gap to him, because of course Voeckler wants to win in his homeland. It really went fast in the last 1000 meters. I lead out early, pass Voeckler 200 meters before the finish and still have a good bike's length advantage as I cross the finish line. It's enough of an advantage that I can concentrate on celebrating."

Wegmann's victory also gave him the overall lead. "Now we'll have to see whether we can somehow defend the jersey," he said. "I'll simply wear it tomorrow and we'll see what happens."

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

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