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Schumacher breaks through

Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner)

Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) (Image credit: Sirotti)

Stage three of this year's Giro d'Italia was very impressively won by Gerolsteiner's Stefan Schumacher, who was clearly the strongest on the day's tough final climb up to the Namur Citadel. Discovery's Chechu Rubiera started the uphill sprint early but Schumacher was able to ride right past him and snatch the victory - and the maglia rosa. Teammate Davide Rebellin was third, and pre-stage favourite Paolo Bettini finished in fourth place.

After an early breakaway of four - Raffaele Illiano (Selle Italia), Amael Moinard (Cofidis), Markel Irizar (Euskaltel) and Moises Aldape Chavez (Panaria) - was caught again some 20 kilometres before the finish line, the finale was held in damp weather conditions which had lasted all day, causing Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) to crash about 50 kilometres off the finish. The Italian sprinter hurt his left knee and, in the company of some teammates, preferred to take things slow, eventually coming into Namur way behind the winners.

Also see: Stage 3 full results, report & photos and .