posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 02:25 PM
Jean-Patrick Nazon, riding for the AG2R team, recorded a close win on the third stage of the Tour de France, raced over 210 km from Waterloo to
German Erik Zabel of T-Mobile came a close second with Australian Robbie McEwen of Lotto finishing third.
Nazon claimed the win after throwing his front wheel across the finish line ahead of Zabel and McEwen.
McEwen, who started the stage only a few seconds behind overnight leader Thor Hushovd, takes over the lead of the race and will pull on the yellow
jersey as the Norwegian arrived almost four minutes later.
A number of riders crashed in the tough conditions during the five-hour ride, including Spain's yellow jersey contender Iban Mayo of Euskaltel.
Race favourite Lance Armstrong, of the US Postal team, managed to stay out of trouble all day and finished safely in the lead group.
Germany's 1997 winner and five-time runner-up Jan Ullrich also finished the race unscathed.
A number of riders picked up injuries on the treacherous stretches of cobblestones and Italian veteran Marco Velo had to abandon after ending up in a
ditch with a shoulder injury and severe cuts.