Stage four of the Etoile de Besseges ended with victory for Frenchman Christophe Mengin (Fdjeux.com) as the 38-year-old proved to be the fastest in a breakaway move.
At the end of the 151 kilometre loop round Les Fumades, Mengin outgunned Belgian Frederic Amorison (Landbouwkrediet) after the two took off on the first of three eight kilometre finishing laps. French spinter Jimmy Casper – the winner of last year?s Tour stage to Strasbourg – took third in the bunch sprint for Unibet.com. Overall Nick Nuyens of Cofidis continues to lead the race.
One of the oldest pros in the peloton, breakaway specialist Mengin?s biggest win to date was stage 16 of the 1997 Tour de France. He also took the GP Plouay badfk in 1999.
In good news for T-Mobile?s Mark Cavendish, forced to pull out of the race on Friday with stomach upsets, the young Briton – who stayed in France – was reported by his team as being able to train normally and seems to be making a fast recovery.
Traditionally a sprint, the 148 kilometre final stage of the Etoile runs from Gagnieres to Besseges. Barring accident or last minute disaster, Nuyens seems certain to win overall.