De Gendt wins Lorraine stage, takes lead
Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil) won the third stage of the Circuit de Lorraine to take the overall lead in the race.
The Belgian, along with Julien Simon (Saur-Sojasun) and Pierre Rolland (Europcar) finished 15 seconds ahead of the peloton with de Gendt getting the edge in the final sprint to win the race's "Queen stage" after a 206 km trek from Chateau-Salins to Saint-Die-des-Vosges.
The three escapees are now 1-2-3 in General Classification with de Gendt five seconds ahead of Simon and seven in front of Rolland.
"On the last climb I set the pace for (team-mate Marco) Marcato but when two riders attacked I followed to secure the mountain points. At the top the two kept going and after the descent we had over 20 seconds. At that moment I decided to ride along because the one who would win the stage would take the jersey. After an altitude training camp of two weeks I didn't expect this," De Gendt said after the race.
The race finishes in Hayange on Sunday.