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"I have a good gap to the others. The final climb Col du Grand Colombier is still 40km from the finish, so if anyone gets clear, we can chase that down."

LUIS LEÓN SÁNCHEZ

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TEAM JUMBO-VISMA

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TOM-JELTE SLAGTER

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TOUR DE L'AIN

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12.08.2013 @ 20:55 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Belkin Pro Cycling Team was hogging the podium after Monday's third stage at the Tour de l'Ain in France, with Luis León Sánchez winning the hilly stage, Tom-Jelte Slagter taking the leader's jersey and second place, and Steven Kruijswijk donning the climber's jersey. If that's not enough, Belkin also leads the team classification as well.

 

"It was a wonderful day for us, with the stage win and the overall jersey," said Sports Director Erik Dekker. "It was a very hard stage, with everyone attacking from the beginning. Kruijswijk rode into a breakaway, but he was caught before the final climb, and that's where everything happened. Luis and Tom-Jelte made the front group."

 

Sánchez linked up with Belkin teammate Slagter in the decisive move over the Cat. 1 Col de Menthières late in the 137km stage. Sánchez played it smart, and did not try to follow the French climbers. Instead, he chased back on during the descent, and attacked the group with 1km to go to win for the second time this season.

 

"When Sánchez is in the front group like that, he always has a good chance to win. He showed today he is still fast," Dekker said. "Sánchez rode smart. He made just that one move, and he was gone. It was wonderful."

 

Slagter crossed the line second, just one second behind Sánchez, to take over the leader's jersey. With Sánchez now in second on GC just four seconds back, the team will have two cards to play to try to win the overall going into Tuesday's fourth and final stage.

  

"Hopefully we can bring the jersey home to Holland tomorrow," Slagter said. "It's still a long climb tomorrow. I've never done it. We have a strong team here, so hopefully we can control the stage. I have a good gap to the others. The final climb Col du Grand Colombier is still 40km from the finish, so if anyone gets clear, we can chase that down."

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