Stage 3 - May 18: Salou-La Granada, 157,8 km

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85th Volta a Catalunya - PT

Spain, May 16-22, 2005

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Horrillo steals the stage

With a clever attack in the final kilometre, Rabobank's Pedro Horrillo has taken out the third stage of the Tour of Catalunya, a 157,8 km road stage from Salou to La Granada.

It was the second time in as many days the 30 year-old Spaniard, now in his eighth year as a professional, tried such an audacious move, but unlike yesterday, Horrillo stole victory from underneath the sprinters' noses, with Norweigan Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole) finishing just metres behind him and Claudio Corioni (Fassa Bortolo) rounding out the podium.

The day was marked by a breakaway from another Spaniard, Juan Antonio Flecha (Fassa Bortolo), the 27 year-old classics specialist going clear shortly after the stage start in Salou. However, strong crosswinds and the work of the sprinters' teams put paid to his chances with roughly a kilometre to go, which was when Horrillo launched his successful counter.

As he has done the previous two days, Spaniard Miguel A.M. Perdiguero (Phonak) held onto the overall race lead, with fellow team-mates Robert Hunter in second and Nicolas Jalabert third. Another of Perdiguero's team-mates, American Floyd Landis, is tipped as the race favourite; however, the 29 year-old downplayed his chances, preferring to use the race as preparation for the upcoming Tour de France, which starts on July 2.

With over 150 riders still separated by less than a minute, the following stages in the Spanish Pyrenées should prove decisive. Tomorrow's stage from Perafort to the Pal ski station in Arinsal (Andorra) is 237.7 kilometres in length and finishes with two Cat. 1 climbs, both reaching more than 1850 metres in altitude.

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