Abduzhaparov sprints clear of the trouble

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The Independent Online
Dzhamolidin Abduzhaparov won an eventful mass sprint at Beaume-de-Venise yesterday to record his second stage victory in the Dauphine Libere race.

Abduzhaparov, the Uzbek who had claimed Monday's first stage to Villeurbanne, was the fastest again after the day's 208-kilometre ride from Le Puy, beating the Italian Giovanni Lombardi and the Frenchman Damien Nazon.

After the finish, France's Frederic Moncassin was thrown out of the race for punching Rolf Aldag, a German who he accused of illegally blocking him.

The stage brought no major changes to the overall standings with Russia's Vyacheslav Yekimov retaining the lead, 12 seconds ahead of Switzerland's Alex Zulle with Abraham Olano, of Spain, a further three seconds back in third.

Today's fourth stage is a 45km individual time trial around Bedarrides, in the Vaucluse region. The race ends on Sunday in Chambery, in the French Alps.