Nelissen Retains Overall Lead

From Associated Press

Belgium's Wilfried Nelissen finished second in Tuesday's 118-mile third stage of the Tour de France, enabling him to maintain the overall lead.

Nelissen, the first Belgian to lead the Tour de France since 1985, was barely beaten by Djamolidine Abdoujaparov of Uzbekistan in the stage that went across Brittany from Vannes to Dinard.

Abdoujaparov, 29, won two stages on the tour in 1991. But he ended the race that year with a spectacular last-day fall on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, and had not won a stage since.

"That fall remains a very bad memory," he said. "But today, I went out there in ideal conditions, and I proved I know how to control my bike."

Italian Mario Cipollini, who won the first stage on Sunday, finished third for the day, and moved into second place overall, 25 seconds behind Nelissen. Abdoujaparov jumped into third, 28 seconds back.

Spain's Miguel Indurain, favored to win his third consecutive title, finished 20th and dropped to fourth in the overall standings, 29 seconds behind.

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