TULLINS, France (AP) Dutch cyclist Koen Bouwman beat five other riders in a sprint finish to win the third stage of the Criterium du Dauphine on Tuesday.
Stage three took the peloton over 184 kilometers (114 miles) from Le Chambon-sur-Lignon to Tullins, and Bouwman was one of six riders forming a breakaway group almost immediately.
As the six went for the line, the 23-year-old Bouwman timed his move perfectly to win the first stage of his career.
“I know that my girlfriend, my parents and my friends were watching. I can’t believe that I got my first pro win at the Dauphine,” Bouwman said. “It was a really strong breakaway. The six of us were pulling very hard. In the last 20 kilometers, we believed we could make it.”
Lithuanian rider Evaldas Siskevicius finished second and Frederik Backaert was third. The top six had the same time of 4 hours, 6 minutes, 6 seconds.
Belgian rider Thomas De Gendt retained the lead ahead of Wednesday’s individual time trial, where defending champion Chris Froome will be among the favorites.
Froome is 1:09 behind De Gendt overall heading into stage four. But it is not a great lead for De Gendt, considering that he is not a time trial specialist.
German rider Tony Martin could be a serious rival to Froome for the stage win, over the 23.5 kilometers (14.6 miles) from La Tour-du-Pin to Bourgoin-Jallieu.
MADRID (AP) Chris Froome finished Spain’s Ruta del Sol race in 10th place behind winner Tim Wellens on Sunday.
The five-stage race in southern Spain was Froome’s first event since the four-time Tour de France winner was found to have failed a doping test at last year’s Spanish Vuelta.
Froome, who denies any wrongdoing, has been ordered to explain to the International Cycling Union why a urine sample he provided at the Spanish Vuelta in September showed a concentration of the asthma drug salbutamol at twice the permitted level.
Wellens, a Belgian rider for Lotto-Soudal, defended his lead over the final day’s time trial.
Wout Poels, of Froome’s Sky Team, was second at eight seconds behind.
Froome, who won the event in 2015, finished 1 minute, 57 seconds behind. He started the time trial on the final day in 14th after a puncture toward the end of Saturday’s fourth stage.
MALAGA, Spain (AP) Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome is returning to racing on Wednesday despite being under investigation by cycling’s world governing body for failing a doping test.
Froome is participating in the five-day Ruta del Sol in southern Spain, an event he won in 2015.
“I know I have done nothing wrong, that’s my starting point,” Froome said. “There is a process in place for me to be up to demonstrate that, and that’s obviously what I intend to do.”
Froome has been ordered to explain to the International Cycling Union why a urine sample he provided at the Spanish Vuelta in September showed a concentration of the asthma drug salbutamol at twice the permitted level.
He said he has received a lot of support from other riders so far, and that he is trying to solve the issue as fast as possible.
“I do believe that when all the facts are out there I think people will see it from my point of view,” Froome said.
If found guilty of doping, the British rider could lose his Vuelta title and be suspended for a long period.