TOUR DE FRANCE : Spain's Indurain Wraps Up Third Consecutive Victory

From Times Wire Services

Spain's Miguel Indurain, who took the leader's yellow jersey 12 days earlier, wrapped up his third consecutive Tour de France victory Sunday in Paris.

Indurain's victory set off celebrations at the finish along the Champs Elysees, where Spanish fans who had taken overnight trains were waving Spanish flags, and in Indurain's hometown of Villava.

Indurain joined cycling greats Eddie Merckx of Belgium and Frenchmen Jacques Anquetil and Louison Bobet as the only riders to win the race three years in a row. American Greg LeMond, who missed this year's race with allergy-related fatigue, won the Tour three times but not in successive years. Merckx, Anquetil and Frenchman Bernard Hinault have all won five titles.

But Indurain has done what no rider has ever done, also winning the Tour of Italy the past two years.

"To win the Giro (Italy) and the Tour like that," Indurain said. "It's the first time and it will stay in history."

Indurain finished the final stage of the Tour de France in the pack and finished 4 minutes 59 seconds ahead of Tony Rominger of Switzerland. Zenon Jaskula of Poland was third, another 49 seconds behind.

Two members of the American-based Motorola team finished in the top 10. Colombian Alvaro Mejia, who joined the team this year, finished fourth, and American Andy Hampsten, Mejia's teammate, was eighth. Mejia ended up 7:29 behind Indurain in the 2,312-mile race.

The 122-mile final stage, which started at Viry-Chatillon, was won by Uzbekistan's Djamolidine Abdoujaparov.

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