Breakaway riders attack in 3rd Tour de France stage
MARSEILLE, France – The third stage of the Tour de France is under way, with breakaway riders attacking right from the start of the ride from Marseille to La Grande Motte.
The riders can expect hot and breezy conditions during the 122.1-mile course along the Mediterranean.
Fabian Cancellara leads the overall standings by 18 seconds ahead of 2007 winner Alberto Contador of Spain. Seven-time champion Lance Armstrong is 10th, 40 seconds back.
Sprint specialists were favored Monday in one of the flattest stages in the three-week race. Frenchmen Maxime Bouet and Samuel Dumoulin attacked right at the start.
They were joined by two other riders in the breakaway, and chiseled out an early lead of more than 91/2 minutes in the first 16 miles of the stage.
The Tour also lost its first rider this year. Belgium’s Jurgen Van de Walle of Quick Step dropped out after breaking his collarbone in a crash during the second stage, leaving 179 riders still competing.
The race ends July 26 in Paris.
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