Skil-Shimano making their presence known

Prince Albert of Monaco with the day's first starter, Kenny Van Hummel (Skil-Shimano).

Prince Albert of Monaco with the day's first starter, Kenny Van Hummel (Skil-Shimano). (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Skil-Shimano rider, Cyril Lemoine, picked up a third place finish in the Tour de France's third stage to La Grande-Motte, on Monday. The Dutch team was also able to place six riders in the day's decisive breakaway and finished first on the Tour's team ranking for the stage.

Behind Columbia-HTC, Skil-Shimano were the best represented team in the original 28-man break that established itself with 32km remaining in the stage. Kenny van Hummel, Piet Rooijakkers and Albert Timmer were the only riders from the wildcard team to miss the break that saw 27 riders finish ahead of the main peloton.

Skil-Shimano's prominence in Monday's break was especially impressive given that several higher profile teams were caught out by the move. Silence-Lotto, Garmin-Slipstream and a number of Saxo Bank riders were noticeable absentees from the group that finished with a 0:40 advantage over the main peloton.

Skil-Shimano team manager, Rudi Kemna, viewed the stage 3 results as a significant achievement for the team in their first Tour de France. The Dutchman was pleased with his team's efforts and rewarded the riders with champagne at their hotel after the stage.

"I congratulated the boys. Tonight there will be drinking champagne, " Kemna told De Telegraaf after stage 3. "We see it as our first victory in the Tour."

Yesterday's results help to justify the decision of Tour organisers to grant Skil-Shimano a wildcard invitation to the race.

The team was one of three pro continental squads invited by Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) after strong performances at early season races such as Paris-Nice.

Skil-Shimano will be the seventh team to start in the stage 4 team time trial in Montpellier on Tuesday.

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