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Paris - Nice: voices after stage 3

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13.03.2008/ Yesterdays stage was another race full of action. This years edition of Paris - Nice is probebly one of the most exiting stage races since the days of Eddy Merckx. Yesterday, the riders had to climb the Col de la Croix de Chaubouret but today they will face the Mont Ventoux... Stage 3 was won by Kjell Carlstrom. Here some post race quotes.

© Sirotti
Chavanel is the first French rider in yellow at Paris - Nice since Laurent Jalabert...( Sirotti)

 
Karsten Kroon thought he was second overall (2 seconds behind overall leader Sylvain Chavanel) after yesterdays stage, but the CSC rider ended 9th overall (22 seconds behind Chavanel) after he received a time penalty of 20 seconds as he was to close to the team car. Before he received the penalty Kroon said: "I wanted to try and see if I could get the leaders jersey for just one day, which is why I gave everything I had today, but it's not realistic for me to assume that I'm able to stay in the overall top-10 so my focus is still on building up my form for the April races," said Kroon after the stage.
 
Rabobank's Robert Gesink is 8th overall and still in a good position to win the French stage race.  Because of his seventh place in the third stage, the Rabo rider rose to the eighth place in the general classification, only 21 seconds behind Chavanel. In the long run-up to that climb the Rabo ProTeam took the responsibility for making it a tough course. The team was constantly present in the front ranks of the pack in order to deliver Gesink to the foot of the climb properly.

Rabobank's sport director Erik Dekker had the impression that Gesink felt well on the way to the Col de la Croix de Chaubouret. "He did look very relaxed. The stage could not have been better for Robert. Beforehand I said that he could not win. So, the fact that a few men stayed ahead and that he finished in a nice group behind it is good. The number of riders who have a chance to win Paris-Nice keeps getting smaller."

Slipstream's David Millar lost a lot of time. But Millar vowed to keep fighting. At the Slipstream team website, slipstreamsports.com, Millar said: "Well that sucked! I just couldn’t hold it when it went full gas on the last climb. I don’t really understand. I have been feeling a bit tired these last couple of days. I’ve not been my usual early riser and have not been feeling like I’ve been in control in the racing. I was hoping I would be ok today, but hoping only gets one so far!"
 
Millar continued by saying he may have overestimated himself: "I think in all honesty I may have over estimated myself. Doing Qatar and California 100% perhaps in hindsight was not the best approach to a good Paris-Nice. But at the same time I wouldn’t change a thing. Now I am going for a stage win here!"
 
Millar thinks teammate Trent Lowe might have had yellow ih he didn't have had crashed yesterday: "The team is great and the results today don’t tell the full story. Trent and myself were looked after amazingly well, with Christian being the super domestique. Trent would surely have been in yellow tonight if he hadn’t crashed at the bottom of the climb."
 
Millar concluded, saying: "Now we’re going to have to race aggressively and make everybody know Slipstream/Chipotle is here and won’t go down without fighting. The four days ahead are suited to our riders and our style of racing, and there’s no rain in the forecast."

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Picture gallery: Paris - Nice , Stage 3, March 12, 2008.

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