Alexa

Chavanel wins 3rd stage of Paris-Nice

Chavanel wins 3rd stage of Paris-Nice

Sylvain Chavanel won a final sprint to take the third stage of the Paris-Nice race Tuesday and snatch the yellow jersey.
The French rider came from behind to beat Juan Antonio Flecha in the last meters, completing the 178-kilometer (110.6-mile) stage in 4 hours, 33 minutes, 12 seconds.
Alberto Contador finished in the pack, 1:09 behind Chavanel to lose the overall lead.
Maciej Bodnar of Poland broke away after 15 kilometers, followed by Jurgen Roelandts of Belgium, Tom Veelers of the Netherlands, and Frenchmen Christophe Le Mevel and Stephane Auge.
The small group built a lead of 6:55 at the 62-km (38.5-mile) mark.
But the Rabobank team produced a sudden acceleration after completing the last climb of the day up the Col de la Bosse to reel in the group 31 km (19.3 miles) from the finish and toughen the race.
Contador was caught by surprise by the Rabobank move and had to ride hard to not lose too much time. The in-form Spaniard, who won the Tour of Algarve last month in Portugal, is expected to recapture the yellow jersey in the last four stages which feature category 1 climbs.
Contador is considered the best climber in the world and one of only five men to win the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Spanish Vuelta.
The Paris-Nice race ends on March 15, with Wednesday's fourth stage taking the pack on a 173.5-km (107.8-mile) trek from Vichy to Saint-Etienne.