24th Route du Sud - 2.3

France, June 17 - 20, 2000

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Stage 3 - June 19: Castres - Saint-Gaudens, 184.6 km

Millar hangs on

The penultimate day of the Route du Sud saw Cofidis' David Millar hold onto his overall lead in the race as the stage was won by Jean Delatour's Patrice Halgand. Although a six rider break looked promising to take the 185 kilometre stage from Castres to Saint-Gaudens, they were caught and the race came down to a sprint.

The break was formed in the first kilometre, containing Cristophe Bassons (Jean Delatour) as the best rider on GC. They gained up to 2:30 giving Bassons the leadership on the road, but were reeled in with 20 kilometres to go after the bunch were assisted by a tailwind. The inevitable sprint occurred, and it was Halgand who took the honours from Fassa Bortolo's Nicola Loda and Ag2r's David Delrieu.

David Millar still has 47 seconds on his nearest rival, Viatcheslav Ekimov of US Postal. However, a bigger threat may come from Didier Rous (Bonjour) and Jonathan Vaughters (CA) in the tough mountain stage to finish tomorrow. This stage involves three category one climbs in the Pyrenees: the Aspin, the Col de Val Louron-Azet and Haut Balestas.

One notable withdrawal on the stage was US Postal's Dauphiné winner, Tyler Hamilton, who it seemed did not want to push things too much before the Tour.


1 Patrice Halgand (Fra) Jean Delatour                 4.18.07 (43.492 km/h)
2 Nicola Loda (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
3 David Delrieu (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance
4 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo                0.02
5 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
6 Geert Verheyen (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
7 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
8 Jamie Burrow (USA) US Postal Service
9 Grzegorz Gwiazdowski (Pol) La Française des Jeux
10 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2r-Prevoyance
11 Pascal Chanteur (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance
12 Serguey Yakovlev (Kaz) Besson Chasseures
13 Sébastien Demarbaix (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
14 Stéphane Heulot (Fra) La Française des Jeux
15 Lylian Lebreton (Fra) Big Mat-Aubervilliers 93
16 Dariusz Baranowski (Pol) Banesto
17 David Millar (GBr) Cofidis
18 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Banesto
19 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
20 Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus) US Postal Service

DNF Tyler Hamilton (USA) US Postal

General classification after stage 3:

1 David Millar (GBr) Cofidis                          12.37.22
2 Viatscheslav Ekimov (Rus) US Postal Service             0.47
3 Tomasz Brozyna (Pol) Banesto                            0.49
4 Didier Rous (Fra) Bonjour-Tourpargel                    0.50
5 Grzegorz Gwiazdowski (Pol) La Française des Jeux        0.54
6 Jonathan Vaughters (USA) Crédit Agricole                0.55
7 Dariusz Baranowski (Pol) Banesto                        0.56
8 Bobby Julich (USA) Crédit Agricole                      1.02
9 Patrice Halgand (Fra) Jean Delatour                     1.04
10 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Banesto                        1.06