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Tour de France : Dutchman Nijdam Sprints to Victory in Fourth Stage

Associated Press

Jelle Nijdam of the Netherlands broke away from the pack in the final stretch to win the fourth stage of the Tour de France cycling race Tuesday.

Acacio da Silva of Portugal, racing with the main group, retained the lead in the 23-day event.

The tour, more than 2,020 miles, entered France on Tuesday after starting in Luxembourg over the weekend and going through Belgium.

The fourth leg started in Liege, Belgium, then headed south to Wasquehal. The leg included a stretch of five miles over paved cobblestones.

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The pack took it easy again with a relatively flat ride through the Belgian countryside. In the last 30 miles, Martial Gayant of France, Federico Echave of Spain and Bjarne Riis of Denmark made a serious bid for the stage victory but were caught by the main group with three miles left.

Nijdam moved away to take the 158-mile leg in 6 hours 13 minutes 58 seconds. Jesper Skibby of Demark was second, three seconds behind, followed by Johan Museeuw of Belgium.

The riders are off today and then travel to western France where they will have an individual time trial of 45 miles from Dinard to Rennes in Brittany.


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