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Defying the odds, a four man breakaway succeeded in escaping the peloton during stage three of the Tour de France to Nantes on Monday giving Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) the stage win and Romain Feillu (Agritubel) the yellow jersey for a rare all-French double.

The stage was dominated by Dumoulin, Feillu, Will Frischkorn (Garmin-Chipotle) and Paolo Longo Borghini (Barloworld). They attacked in the first kilometre of the 208km stage and were never seen again.

They paced their effort sublimely, rapidly opening a 16-minute lead and then digging deep and working well together to hold of the bunch. Silence-Lotto sprinter Robbie McEwen lead in the rest of the field to take fifth but the sprinters missed out on victory because of a lack of collaboration during the stage.

Britain’s Mark Cavendish (Columbia) finished a frustrated tenth after Quick Step, Rabobank and other teams refused to help Columbia chase the break.

David Millar came in 25th, in the same group as Valverde and Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) two minutes and three seconds behind Dumoulin. Millar now has an excellent chance of taking the yellow jersey, perhaps after the time trial or more realistically at the end of Thursday?s first mountain stage to Super-Besse in the Massif Central. You can find more info on tomorrow’s TT in our preview section.

A protester jumped on the podium as Dumoulin celebrated his win but Bernard Hinault quickly pushed him aside and it did not unduly spoil the Frenchman?s moment of glory.

“It was phenomenal to win the stage, it was something you only dream about,? Dumoulin said.

?Our goal was to make the breakaway stay clear. We had some common interests in the move and so we worked well together. I knew the yellow jersey wasn’t possible so I started to think about winning the stage. It was a tough fight but I got it.?

Feillu was disappointed not to win the stage because on paper he was the fastest finisher but pulling on the yellow more than made up for it for him and his tiny Agritubel team.

?I knew that I was best-placed in the breakaway and I was really putting a lot into the break to try to make it stay away,? Feillu said.

?Two hundred kilometres is a long way and made for a difficult day, but we worked well together. Maybe I worked more than the others but I was going for the yellow jersey. To win the stage and take the yellow jersey would have been like a dream come true for me, but to have just the yellow jersey is great for me and the team.?

Feillu took the jersey from Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d?Epargne) and so will start last in Tuesday 29.5km time trial around Cholet. He leads Italy?s Paolo Longo Borghini (Barloworld) by 35 seconds, with Will Frischkorn third at 1-42 and Valverde fourth at 1-45.

They will fight for the yellow jersey but will also have to watch out for Fabian Cancellara (CSC) who is only 1-52 behind Feillu.

David Millar is six seconds ahead of Cancellara but knows he will have to find a special ride to take the yellow jersey ahead of Cancellara.

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: STAGE 3 RESULTS

1. Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis


2. William Frischkorn (USA) Garmin-Chipotle

3. Roman Feillu (Fra) Ag2r

4. Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Barloworld at 14secs

5. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Silence-Lotto at 2m 3secs

6. Erik Zabel (Ger) Milram

7. Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank

8. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Credit Agricole

9. Robert Forster (Ger) Gerolsteiner

10. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia all at same time.

British

25. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Chipotle at same time

150. Chris Froome (GB) Barloworld at 4m 55secs

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 3

1. Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel in 13h 27m 5secs


2. Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Barloworld at 35secs

3. William Frischkorn (USA) Team Garmin-Chipotle at 1m 42secs

4. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at 1 min 45secs

5. Kim Kirchen (Lux) Columbia at 1 min 46secs

6. Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank

7. Jerome Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom

8. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Chipotle

9. Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto

10. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Liquigas all at same time.

British

85. Mark Cavendish (GB) Columbia at 3m 45secs

168. Chris Froome (GB) Barloworld at 11m 11secs

POINTS COMPETITION

1. Kim Kirchen (Lux) Columbia

KING OF THE MOUNTAINS COMPETITION

1. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom

YOUNG RIDER COMPETITION

1. Andy Schleck (Lux) CSC-Saxo Bank

Tour de France 2008Mark Cavendish, tenth on today’s stage

Tour de France 2008David Millar now lies eighth overall

Tour de France 2008Romain Feillu takes the race lead

Tour de France 2008A protester interrupts Samuel Dumoulin’s moment on the podium after stage 3

Tour de France 2008Oi!

Tour de France 2008… and he’s off. Don’t mess with Bernard Hinault

Photos by Graham Watson and Luc Claessen

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: STAGE REPORTS

Stage two: Hushovd wins chaotic sprint

Stage one: Valverde wins

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: NEWS

Cavendish disappointed with stage two result

Millar too close to Tour yellow jersey

Stage 2 preview: A sprint finish for Cavendish?

Millar happy after gains precious seconds in Plumelec

Valverde delighted with opening Tour stage win

Comment: Is Valverde’s win a good thing for the Tour?

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: PHOTOS

Stage three

Stage two

Stage one

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: GUIDE

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