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Terpstra goes top with stage three victory

NIKI Terpstra of the Netherlands won the third stage of the Dauphine Libere race on Tuesday and took the leader's yellow jersey from Australian Cadel Evans.

The 25-year-old Milram rider was part of a five-rider breakaway that went clear after 30 kilometers of the 182-km stage from Tournus to Saint Etienne.

Terpstra worked hard knowing he could take the race lead but was also fastest at the finish, beating France's Ludovic Turpin and Russia's Yuri Trofimov in a sprint.

Remi Pauriol of France was fourth and 2005 Dauphine Libere champion Inigo Landaluze of Spain was fifth.

"My main interest was the yellow jersey more than the stage," Terpstra told reporters.

"Then when it got to the finish I was still feeling strong so I thought the stage win was also a possibility.

"I'm not a long-term threat overall, I'm no good in the mountains," he added.

"So I think the big favorites were happy for me to go for the stage win and they could ease back before the time trial tomorrow."

Evans, who finished in the peloton containing Spanish pair Alberto Contador, the Tour de France champion, and Alejandro Valverde 1:32 behind, dropped to fifth overall, 1:01 back. Pauriol is now second in the overall classification, 26 seconds back, with Trofimov in third at 27 seconds.

The fourth stage is a 42.40km individual time trial from Bourg-les-Valence to Valence.

Following the time trial, the eight-day Dauphine Libere race heads into the mountains, with today's stage to the summit of the Mont Ventoux climb in Provence.

The Dauphine Libere, a traditional warmup for next month's Tour de France, finishes on Sunday in Grenoble.

Meanwhile, the International Cycling Union will open disciplinary proceedings against "a number" of riders after discovering suspicious data in their biological passports, the sport's governing body said yesterday.

"The riders will be informed early next week," UCI President Pat McQuaid told a news conference in Paris without indicating the exact number of cyclists involved.

"Soon after informing the riders, we will inform their teams and national federations. We will name the riders and will start disciplinary proceedings against them," he added.

In October 2007, the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency announced they would collect blood samples from all professional riders to create a medical profile, or passport, that would be compared to the data registered in doping tests.

Professional teams received a letter from the UCI warning them the list of riders would be unveiled next week, a source within a ProTour team said.

McQuaid added that no immediate suspensions would be announced as it was down to the teams themselves to hand out initial penalties.

"There will be no provisional suspension. It will be up to the teams to decide what they do," he said.

Sources within the UCI said the names of the disciplined riders would be announced on Monday.


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