|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
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."
Join our forum and discuss Paris - Nice 2008
Picture gallery: Paris - Nice , Stage 3, March 12, 2008.
Special Coverage Paris - Nice 2008