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95th Tour de France - Stage 3 Live
 
By Staff
Date: 7/7/2008
95th Tour de France - Stage 3 Live
 

95th Tour de France - Stage 3 Live
A brave quartet on the escape: two Frenchmen, an Italian and one Colorado Boulderite on a mission to Nantes lead the chasing peloton by 14 minutes... can the cheat the wind and the sprinters of their day in the sun?


The peloton rolls out in Saint Malo along the ocean. The jersey leaders are at the front. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Stage 3 Saint Malo - Nantes, 208 km
The third stage is 208 km long from St. Malo to Nantes. It's the first real sprinters stage without any climbs during the stage. In the second kilometer four riders attacked. the four are Romain Feillu (Agritubel), Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis), Paolo Longo Borghini (Barloworld) and Will Frischkorn (Garmin/Chipotle).


 © Amaury Sport Organization 
The maximum gap of the four was 11.45 after 44 km of racing. Along the way the quartet has been busy splitting the intermediate sprint points: At the 21.5km mark, the points for the first sprint were won by:
1. Samuel Dumoulin (FRA) COF - 6pts
2. Paolo Longo Borghini (ITA) BAR - 4pts
3. Roman Feillu (FRA) AGR - 2pts

At the sprint in Becherel at the 48.5km mark, the points were won by:
1. Paolo Longo Borghini (BAR) 6pts
2. Roman Feillu (AGR) 4pts
3. William Frischkorn (TSL) 2pts

1410 CEST - After 57 km of racing the gap fell to 11.30. The third and final sprint in Montauban-de-Bretagne (km 62)
1. Frischkorn, 6 pts
2. Feillu, 4
3. Dumoulin, 2

1430 CEST - The quartet continues to work well together moving their gap  up to 14'25 now. still over 100 km to go. The bunch will have to start riding a bit harder if they want to reel these boys back before Nantes.

Recapping the situation we have Samuel Dumoulin, Romain Feillu, Paolo Longo and Boulderite William "Wild Bill" Frischkorn in front. The weather is not that great as it's raining now; so the riders will  have to be attentive to avoid crashes. Samuel Dumoulin and Romain Feillu are the shorties in the bunch. If I'm correct Dumoulin is the shortest rider in the pro peloton.


Alejandro after sign in this morning. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Samuel Dumoulin is 27 years old, and turned pro in 2002 with Jean Delatour. In 2004 he joined Ag2r and this year he is riding for Cofidis. The most important victory of Dumoulin was in 2005 when he won a stage in the Dauphine Liberé on which he claimed the leaders jersey as well. Crash in the bunch as German Champion Fabian Wegmann hits the deck. But no damages as he can continue.

The other French guy in the break Romain Feillu is a promising sprinter. Feillu is 24 years old of age and is a third years pro with Agritubel. Last year he rode the Tour as well and had several top 5 finishes before leaving the Tour. Last year he won a stage in the Tour of Luxembourg, Paris-Bourges, Boucles de L'Aulne and the final ranking in the Tour of Great-Britain. This year he was again the best in the Boucles de L'Aulne

The gap is down to14'08 with 125 km to go. The next rider to introduce is Italian Paolo Longo Borghini of Team Barloworld. Longo Borghini is 27 years old of age He turned pro in 2004 with Vini Caldirola. In 2005 he joined Barloworld and still rides for the team with the exception of 2006 when he rode for Ceramica Flaminia. Last year he finished 124th in the Tour. His only pro win was in 2006 when he won the GP Nobili Rubinetterie.

Last but not least we introduce American rider of Garmin/Chipotle Will Frischkorn. Frischkorn is 27 years old of age and it's his first Tour participation. Frischkorn is a rider who likes to get in breaks and his wins thus far are almost all in America. Last year he won the first part of stage 1 in the Tour of the Bahamas and the Univest Grand Prix. Will also finished second to George Hincapie at the inaugural Tour of Missouri last year. Frischkorn's reputation in the US circuit is as a strong and wily competitor, he has continued to produce ever better results in the past 4 years... put him on your list to watch for a break out performance in the pro ranks... today could be that day.

1455 CEST - 120 km to go, 13 minute gap, At front of the bunch we have Credit Agricole, High Road and Liquigas setting the pace. Which sprinter Team Columbia will play, Ciolek or Cavendish. Normally Cavendish has more leg speed and seems a little more deft with his bike. But Ciolek did well a day ago on a tougher course.

1502 CEST - The gap is down to 12'00. In 20 kilometers the peloton made up 3.00. Frischkorn leads the escapees. The peloton is strung out a bit and the rain has returned to soak the riders and road. The gap is down to 11:26 with 111 km to go.

Some transfer news: The Russian/Italo team Tinkoff Credit Systems has two new Belgians. The riders going to Tinkoff are Gert Steegmans (Quick Step) and Kenny DeHaes (Topsport Vlaanderen). Both riders are sprinters while Steegmans can do well in the classics as well.

1512 CEST - The gap continues to fall, its down to 11'00 now - 108 km to go, well within the minute per 10 km to catch the 4. With a tightly packed G.C. anyone could be in yellow later this afternoon. Valverde's team is having a day off at the moment with the sprinters teams doing the work.

103 km - gap 10:13. Barloworld's Paolo Longo Borghini pumps up the pace in the break and then falls back to eat while Cofidis' Samuel Dumoulin takes the front. The four leaders Longo, Frischkorn, Feillu and Dumoulin are still working well together. Dumoulin is the third Cofidis rider on the attack in the last three days. In stage 1 we had Auge, in stage 2 we had Chavanel and now we have Dumoulin. Not bad for Cofidis so hopefully they will get paid for there aggressive riding with a stage win later on in this Tour.

100 km - the gap 9'55. Garmin's Martijn Maaskant stands alongside the road as his jacket got stuck in his rear wheel. But the problem is solved and luckily Maaskant avoided a crash. The catch could come  close to the finish; but I can say that Frischkorn won't go down easy with this opportunity.

95 km to go, the gap 9:35. The roads are lined with fans as the four unload their musettes into their jersey pokets having gone through the feed zone. Lets hope the peloton can get through safely as well. Behind the chase is shared by the teams with Caisse d'Epargne 15 riders back escorting yellow jersey Valverde.

 

1540 CEST - 91 km to go, the peloton comes through the feed zone 9:15 down on the Fab Four. The foursome has picked up their pace as the riders behind busy themselves unpacking their musettes. In the bunch we still see Credit Agricole, High Road, Liquigas and Caisse D'Epargne setting the pace. We should mention that Mauricio Soler made the start today and looks to be riding comfortably at the back of the pack; hopefully the Columbian can recover by the time we hit the first of the climbing stages. Kim Kirchen in the green jersey is also tooling along near the rear of the peloton. The gap has stabilized at 9:30 at the moment.

Bouygues Telecom at the front of the bunch. They are riding for their sprinter Jerome Pineau. Pineau is riding near his home this stage. Pineau isn't a real sprinter, but a top 10 is possible. In the first stage won by Valverde he finished in third.

We recently created an index of our National Championships race coverage with links to the reports, results and photo galleries. If you enjoy photos we also updated all the stage 1 & 2 Tour reports with photos yesterday.

1554 CEST - The gap is down to 9'00. still 82 long km to go - the Fab Four continue to cooperate and are sharing the work to evade capture.

We can take a look at the sprinters now who could come into play at stage end. The top sprinters in the field are Mark Cavendish, Robbie McEwen, Oscar Freire and Thor Hushovd. Other sprinters are Robert Hunter, Baden Cooke (prolly working for Hunter), Robert Förster, Gert Steegmans, Gerald Ciolek (prolly working for Cavendish), Francesco Chicchi, normally also Romain Feillu but he is in the break now, Erik Zabel, Sebastien Chavanel, Leonardo Duque and the kiwi Julian Dean. But its likely that some other guys like Gilbert and Pineau will place themselves in the sprints too.

1605 CEST - 72 km to go, gap 8:35: Race Recap: 2 kilometers into the stage the current four leaders attacked. the four are Samuel Dumoulin, William Frischkorn, Romain Feillu and Paolo Longo Borghini. The maximum gap was around 15.00 of which 8'25 is left with 73 km to go. The peloton is on the chase but not at full speed at this point. Roman Feillu has been the virtual race leader during the last 125 kilometers.

Our Fab Four Rankings in GC after stage 2:
58 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel 0.18
70 Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Barloworld 0.39
122 William "Wild Bill" Frischkorn (USA) Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30 2.00
158 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis Le Crédit par Téléphone 4.30

Our live coverage continues in Stage 3 Part 2.

Stage profile

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