Freire's dash stuns Boonen

Last updated at 10:49 07 July 2006

Spain's Oscar Freire clinched victory on the fifth stage yesterday after dramatically outsprinting race leader Tom Boonen of Belgium.

The Rabobank team rider made his move with 300 metres remaining to surprise Boonen of Quick Step on the line.

Freire, three-times world champion, said: 'Every sprint is difficult here, there's always danger involved. I had a pretty good position, which is very important. I started quite a long way back.'

His success on the 140-mile stage from Beauvais to Caen came after the peloton caught a long-time two-man breakaway with three miles left to set up the thrilling finish.

Samuel Dumoulin and Bjorn Schroder went clear after 24 miles, opening up a gap of almost 13 minutes before the pack gave chase.

Dumoulin said: 'The Tour de France happens only once a year, so I wanted to make the most of it.'

Spain's Inaki Isasi grabbed third place ahead of Germany's David Kopp and Australian Robbie McEwen. Britain's David Millar crossed the line in 31st spot, but Bradley Wiggins trailed home more than two minutes behind.

Boonen retained the overall lead by 13 seconds from Australian Michael Rogers, while Freire moved up to third.

McEwen stayed in the green jersey of the points leader, while France's Jerome Pineau did enough on the four fourth-category climbs to remain King of the Mountains.

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now