De Gendt wins Lorraine stage, takes lead

Fri, 20 May 21:31:00 2011

Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil) won the third stage of the Circuit de Lorraine to take the overall lead in the race.

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The Belgian, along with Julien Simon (Saur-Sojasun) and Pierre Rolland (Europcar) finished 15 seconds ahead of the peloton with de Gendt getting the edge in the final sprint to win the race's "Queen stage" after a 206 km trek from Chateau-Salins to Saint-Die-des-Vosges.

The three escapees are now 1-2-3 in General Classification with de Gendt five seconds ahead of Simon and seven in front of Rolland.

"On the last climb I set the pace for (team-mate Marco) Marcato but when two riders attacked I followed to secure the mountain points. At the top the two kept going and after the descent we had over 20 seconds. At that moment I decided to ride along because the one who would win the stage would take the jersey. After an altitude training camp of two weeks I didn't expect this," De Gendt said after the race.

The race finishes in Hayange on Sunday.


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