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95th Tour de France - Stage 3 Live Part 2
By Staff
Date: 7/7/2008
95th Tour de France - Stage 3 Live Part 2

95th Tour de France - Stage 3 Live Part 2
The Fab Four Frishkorn, Feillu, Borghini and Dumoulin are on the mission with 70 km to go as the peloton follows at 8 minutes... a duel of speed and time to Nantes.

Stage 3 Saint Malo - Nantes, 208 km
1605 CEST - 72 km to go, gap 8:35: 2 kilometers into the stage the current four leaders attacked. The four in the French/Italian/USA alliance 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.

Today is also the first stage in the Tour of Austria. Opening with a mountain stage after the prologue yesterday was cancelled due to a thunder storm; they are almost at the finish there. We will update the results and race notes here. 5 km to go in Austria with 17 riders in front with Bettini, Brajkovic, Gusev, Gesink, Rohregger and Glomser in the escape.

1620 CEST - 60 km to go, 6:00 the gap - Back to France. It's windy as Liquigas takes the lead in the bunch. Shall we get echelons? Caisse d'Epargne are making a move to the front in a big way. Frischkorn follows Dmoulin... a tall rider following short rider, not much cover for Will in that position. Liquigas is off the front, so no echelons as Caisse comes to the front displacing the lime green riders and slows the pace.

Tour of Austria - The stage win and leaders jersey goes to the world champion Paolo Bettini in a sprint!

54 km to go, 6:58 gap - We have a road block of protesting people I think farmers. but the 4 leaders get through it with the help of the French police. We will wait to see if the bunch can get through it properly. If the peloton gets delayed by the protestors we could see an impact on the race. The peloton rides through a forest on both sides of the road led by an alliance of teams with one or two riders of each team. It is raining so it's a hard day in the saddle for the guys

1633 CEST - 50 km to go,  The gap to the Fab Four is down to 6:44, not bad, the lads just may make it. In the bunch we see Ag2r, Caisse, Columbia, Bouygues and Credit Agricole at the head of affairs. The sprinters teams have to put in the effort if they want to chase the four down and have a bunch sprint. Still 6'44 with less than 47 km to go; the 'Fab Four' are earning their nickname, marvelous effort by the quartet.

1640 CEST - The gap is still stable. It could be that the four can battle for the stage win as they still have over 5.00 with less than 40 km to go; all hell will have to break out at this point for the peloton to win this pursuit to Nantes. The escape passes an ancient castle surrounded by vineyards and orchards...  a beautiful scene. Two fans stand on a parapet waving their arms, holding out a banner, cheering on the break below.

The Fab Four show no signs of weakening at this point, each rider down on the hooks taking a pull and switching off in time trial formation... so smoothly you would think they practiced together for this escape. Both the peloton and break are being buffeted by intermittent gusts of wind. The peloton is spread out across both lanes no apparent leaders. Romain Feillu of Agritubel is gritting his teeth at the front of the quartet, he's giving his all - these boys are determined as they keep the gap over six minutes

1650 CEST - 38 km to go the gap still 6'11. I believe more and more in the chances of these four guys. The best sprinter of the four is Romain Feillu, Dumoulin isn't slow either. Frischkorn and Longo have to get rid off the other two to increase their chances. 6.00 - 36 km with 2.00 minutes per 10 km it's still possible to catch them, but the peloton will have to raise the pace faster than their current effort.

33 km to go - 5'40 gap. The pace in the bunch is high as lots of teams work together. Quick Step and Milram move to the front of the bunch to bolster the chase effort. The four race through a village, go through a corner and are out of their saddles punching up the speed... the Fab Four know they have a chance and aren't wasting the opportunity.

Back at the peloton Gerolsteiner and CSC throw some muscle to the front the chase looks frantic and unorganized. 12 riders spread across the two lane road - no leaders, Caisse has surrounded Valverde to protect him. It looks a bit like the peloton has realized they've left it too late and gone a bit mad.

1701 CEST - 30 km - 5'30, With this situation Feillu will take the yellow jersey... amazing our Fab Four are holding out against the combined efforts of the peloton, quite a feat. The quartet are flying up the road in the wind in echelon formation. I expected a dull stage but the four lads have given us a race and may have beaten a slumbering peloton... perhaps a Boulderite will stand on the podium today. 27 km to go - the four hold a 5:20 gap, I'm impressed!

25 km to go, 5:15 the gap, the peloton has started to organize, but the winds are foiling the chase... a dangerous situation if echelons split the peloton. Riders are jockeying for position near the front of the peloton... all way too frantic.

Crash in the bunch. A couple of riders went down; we see Angel Gomez (Saunier), Nicki Sörensen (CSC) and a few others. Gomez seems to be seriously hurt. He just came back from another injury after a similar crash in the Tour of Flanders where he hit a picket alongside the road. One of the riders hit a obstacle in the middle of the road. Due to the crash and the pace in the bunch, the bunch has split into two or three parts. Quick Step is setting the pace in the first group  it's going really fast now

22 km to go - 4:45 - Echelons time now, more riders dropped off the back - first bunch is about 50 riders strong. 20 km - 4:31 Rain starts pouring down harder on the riders. It seems that Menchov missed the first bunch, will he be the first GC victim. We don't count Soler who is near the back. The bunch starts to regroup. The bunch with Menchov and also Ricco is 15 sec behind on the first group.

Gomez abandons. Rabobank leads the chase in the second bunch

1718 CEST - 15 km to go, 4'14 the gap now. The four leaders have 4.00 on the bunch; the stage winner is definitely in the escape. Behind the Peloton has shattered into three large groups, the final bunch with Moreau is 1.00 down on the first bunch. The bunch with Menchov is 20 seconds down on the first bunch with Valverde.

12 km to go - The break still has 3'40 on the first bunch Liquigas, Quick-Step and Lampre in front of the bunch. The group Menchov is 35 seconds down already. Rabobank and Saunier Duval are setting the pace in the 2nd bunch but they are not coming closer. 40 seconds.

11 km the four still have 3'15 - the group Menchov at 4'01. Finally the first group looks organised. The four continue to pour on the heat at the front with no sign of weakening.

10 km to go - the gap 3'05. Liquigas and Quick Step are setting the pace. Menchov/Ricco group still at 45 seconds. The wind has done its damage to the peloton, luckily Caisse kept Alejandro Valverde near the front in anticipation of this. Menchov and Ricco are both working as well in the group.

8 km - Another crash. It seems a rider of Quick Step. It's Mauro Facci... 7 km The gap between the first and second bunch is still around the 35/40 seconds.

6 km to go, the Fab Four hold on to the 3 minute gap... 5 km the gap 2'55 - When are the first attacks in the break to come... the four continue to work together... very smart lads. The group Menchov is coming closer 30 seconds

4 km to go - 2:55 the gap, it goes down to 2'45 but the stage win is for one of our fab four. No attacks yet at the front. Feillu will take the yellow jersey without accidents that for sure. he can loose 20 seconds on Longo to lose it.

Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) on the attack. Frischkorn bridges across. Feillu tries too... Longo dropped. Feillu bridges across and attacks immediately.

Final km - Dumoulin and Frischkorn back with Feillu, Dumoulin in the lead, Frischkorn tries comes around, Dumoulin wins

100 meters Dumolin leads Feillu and Frishkorn. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

50 meters Frischkorn moves up. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

The stage winner is SAMUEL DUMOULIN (Cofidis)!!!

William "Wild Bill" Frischkorn is second, Romain Feillu third, Paolo Longo at a couple of seconds fourth

Samuel Dumoulin Wins! Frischkorn and Feillu follow. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti


The bunch in the final km...  the sprint for the fifth place: McEwen or Zabel wins the bunch sprint, about 2.00 down on the break. Menchov and Ricco comes in their loss about 30 seconds.

Robbie McEwen 5th, Erik Zabel 6th and Oscar Freire 7th. Hushovd was 8th, Förster 9th and Cavendish 10th.

What a stage ending!!!

Feillu is the new overall leader ahead of Paolo Longo and William Frischkorn!

Alejandro Valverde finishes in the first chase group. Photo © 2008 Fotoreporter Sirotti

Stage Results:
1. Dumoulin Samuel 185 Cofidis Credit Par Telephone 5h 05' 27"
2. Frischkorn William 194 Garmin Chipotle  00' 00"
3. Feillu Romain 124 Agritubel   00' 00"
4. Longo Borghini Paolo 59 Barloworld   00' 14"
5. Mc Ewen Robbie 6 Silence - Lotto 5h 07' 30"  02' 03"
6. Zabel Erik 151 Team Milram   02' 03"
7. Freire Oscar 133 Rabobank   02' 03
8. Hushovd Thor 81 Credit Agricole  02' 03"
9. Förster Robert 112 Gerolsteiner  02' 03"
10. Cavendish Mark 43 Team Columbia   02' 03"

General Classification Provisional Top 10
1. Feillu Romain 124 Agritubel 13h 27' 05"
2. Longo Borghini Paolo 59 Barloworld   00' 35"
3. Frischkorn William 194 Garmin Chipotle   01' 42"

4. Valverde Alejandro 31 Caisse D’epargne   01' 45"
5. Kirchen Kim 41 Team Columbia  01' 46"
6. Freire Oscar 133 Rabobank   01' 46"
7. Pineau Jérôme 145 Bouygues Telecom  01' 46"
8. Millar David 198 Garmin Chipotle  01' 46"
9. Evans Cadel 1 Silence - Lotto   01' 46"
10. Pozzato Filippo 61 Liquigas  01' 46"

So big day for the French Fans - a stage win and the yellow jersey. A few brews will certainly be tossed down in Boulder, Colorado this afternoon to celebrate Will Frischkorn's success and break out performance. Enjoy Boulder!

This concludes our live coverage of stage 3. Join us tomorrow for Stage 4 in Cholet for the 29 kilometer time trial that should give the general classification a good shake. Stage 4 profile and Nick Bull's stage preview is here.

Stage profile

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