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July 4, 2005: An action packed day

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Stage 3 certainly was an action packed day. Everything was going to plan until the final moments. Hushovd went early and I got his wheel and I went for it about 150 out. I was feeling good and then I felt Boonen coming past. I moved onto his wheel and the next thing I've got McEwen's head in my face

It was a bit over the top and dangerous. As we locked together our speed was wiped off and I reckon it cost me second place. I wouldn't have won because Boonen is sprinting superbly, and has shown us all a clean pair of heels over the past two days.

Dekker and Portal did a great job to nearly steal the stage. But I guess they were always going to get caught in the shadows of the line. I know how that feels and the closer to the line you get when you get caught, the worse you feel.

It was good to see Luke Roberts up the front defending the maillot jaune. He was rapt to get a ride in the Tour and now to be in the leading team is a bit of a fairy tale. He'll have a big job to do today in the team time trial.

I reckon the stages after the team time trial, through until the Alps, will be quite crucial for the battle for the maillot vert. There'll be a lot of breakaways and I just hope to get into a few of them.

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During the Tour de France Cofidis team-mates Stuart O'Grady and Matt White will be taking turns to give us an inside look at the daily goings-on in the peloton and the team hotel. An Olympic gold medalist on the track, O'Grady is a rider to watch in the sprints and long breakaways, while White is an experienced grand tour rider who has been kept out of the Tour de France by a run of lousy luck that's finally ended this year. O'Grady has had a rollercoaster ride at the last few Tours, wearing the yellow jersey in 2001 and green in 2002, but never quite managing to hang on to green all the way to Paris. In the last couple of years he's shifted his emphasis away from sprint speed and remodelled himself as a Classics and long breakaway expert. White is finally riding the Tour after breaking his collarbone just before the start of last year's Tour. In 2001 he was expected to ride the Tour but did not make his US Postal's final selection and in 1999 his Vini Caldirola team had its Tour invitation withdrawn when Sergei Gontchar failed a haematocrit test at the Tour of Switzerland. After that, he's due some good luck in 2005! Australia UK USA