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March 29, 2010

Sports analysis: 2008 Tour de France, stage three

95th Tour de France

Stage 3 – Saint-Malo to Nantes – 208.0 km (129.0 mi)

07 July 2008

Every road stage at the Tour de France inspires its attempts to break away and fly in ahead of the pack to claim a prestigious stage victory. Usually the pack will manage to allow the leading riders to take their moment of glory, to string out a long lead before reeling the breakaway back in and contesting a bunch sprint. The domestiques, the team riders who work tirelessly for their leaders, have their own dreams of glory, though, and the breakaways continue unabated by their low rate of success… because sometimes a breakaway group WILL stay away, and an unheralded rider WILL get his moment of glory on the world’s biggest stage

Today, four riders stayed clear and changed the complexion of the race going into tomorrow’s short time trial – Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis), Will Frischkorn (Garmin-Chipotle), Romain Feillu (Agritubel), and Paolo Longo Borghini (Barloworld). Dumoulin, a 27-year-old Frenchman riding in his fifth Tour de France, ended up capturing his first Tour de France stage victory. He has shown great promise ever since winning the under-23 Paris-Tours one-day classic back in 2002, and it is refreshing to see the Cofidis team riding strong – Dumoulin’s victory is even sweeter given Sylvain Chavanel’s hard-fought yet vain breakaway in yesterday’s stage. Will Frischkorn, an American riding in … but his countryman Feillu takes yellow.his first Tour de France, has long been among the top riders on the American professional road cycling circuit. Now that his time with Jonathan Vaughters and the Garmin-Chipotle (formerly TIAA-CREF, Slipstream, Slipstream-Chipotle) team is paying off with big-time invites, Will is showing his ability to match wits with the best, and narrowly missed the stage win yet emerged with the Most Aggressive Rider award for the day.

The rider who won the most, though, is Romain Feillu. This French rider, only 24 years old and in his second Tour de France, has been a bit player in the peloton before today, learning the ropes with the Agritubel team after turning professional ony last year. The third stage of the 2008 Tour de France, however, marked a graduation of sorts for the young cyclist, who will take to the time trial course tomorrow in Cholet as the yellow jersey.

The day started in Saint-Malo, just east of yesterday’s finish in Saint-Brieuc along the northern Breton coast. 179 riders took to the

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