NANTES // Samuel Dumoulin gave the hosts their first win of the 2008 Tour de France in a chaotic third stage from Saint Malo to Nantes yesterday. Dumoulin went with a break launched by the American rider William Frinschkorn just two kilometres into the 208km stage on the third day of the Tour. The leading sprinters' teams moved to the front of the peloton some way out from the finish but failed to do enough to reel in that quartet for the expected sprint finish on one of the flattest stages in this year's race.
As the leaders arrived in Nantes, Dumoulin, in a break that also included countryman Romain Feillu and Italy's Paolo Longo Borghini, chased down a Feillu attack for the win. There was some consolation for Feillu who replaced Alejandro Valverde in the leader's yellow jersey, although he is almost certain to lose that after today's time trial in Cholet. The chasing peloton was split in three as they chased down the leaders, with one of the pre-Tour favourites, Russia's Denis Menchov, among those to lose valuable time on the likes of Valverde and Cadel Evans.
The day also provided its second retirement of the race in Spain's Angel Gomez, who crashed and was unable to continue. Earlier, protesters threatened to halt the stage by blocking the road but it did nothing to affect the outcome of a day that was littered by strong winds and intermittent rain. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org