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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Vanzella Takes Lead as Tour Enters Britain

RIGHTON, England -- Spaniard Francisco Cabello won the fourth stage of the Tour de France cycle race Wednesday, a 204-kilometer loop from Dover to Brighton. He came in ahead of France's Emmanuel Magnien and Italy's Flavio Vanzella. By finishing in third place, Vanzella took the overall leader's yellow jersey from Belgium's Johan Museeuw, who had captured the lead after Tuesday's time trials. The ride through some of England's loveliest countryside began at Dover Castle after the riders had been brought through the recently opened Channel Tunnel on Le Shuttle train. The fourth stage was completed after a festive day in southern England. As the world's greatest cycle race came to Britain, the butcher in the tiny village of Biddenden made red, white and blue sausages for the Tour de France. This picturesque spot in the heart of the "Garden of England" had not seen such excitement since a soldier came back from the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 to build the Red Lion pub. He was celebrating King Henry V's victory over the French. On Wednesday, pub landlord Bob Hewitt welcomed the 185 sporting invaders and their 3,000-strong entourage with French tricolor and Union Jack flags. Farmers took a swipe at their French compatriots with signs saying: "English fruit is fresher." Alluding to a row over "Mad Cow" disease in British cattle, one banner proclaimed: "You don't want our beef, we don't want your bike race." But theirs was a fairly isolated voice of protest. Villagers roared their encouragement as the riders flashed by timbered Tudor cottages bedecked in bunting. It all happened so breathtakingly fast that spectators barely had a chance to cheer for the British riders Chris Boardman and Sean Yates. Local student Richard Carr said: "It's a bit like sex -- hours of preparation followed by a brief burst of excitement." The last time the tour was here was in 1974 for a lackluster stage up and down a motorway by-pass. This time thousands lined leafy country lanes to cheer on the cyclists in what is billed as the world's greatest annual sporting event. A nationwide train strike caused by signalmen confined several grateful villagers to Biddenden for the day. Emily Griffiths, 54, the village mail carrier, was up at 5:30 A.M. to complete her bicycle round of letters deliveries before the village was closed to traffic. Griffiths said: "This is a great day for the village. It has really raised morale. We are giving it our best shot." The local hairdresser did a quarter of her usual business. One elderly client insisted on watching the race from a chair outside her shop. It's "nice for the village but terrible for business," said the hairdresser, as schoolchildren greeted the cavalcade of Tour publicity vans with paroxysms of delight. Free caps, cans and maps cascaded out onto the street as they sped by. But in the carnival atmosphere it all ended on a very positive note as the last van sped through the village a thickly accented Frenchman boomed out in English on the loudspeaker: "Thank you, you were all wonderrrful."