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Koen Bouwman wins 3rd stage of Criterium du Dauphine race

The King of the Mountains Koen Bouwman pushes through for the Criterium du Dauphine Stage 3.

TULLINS, France (AP) Dutch cyclist Koen Bouwman beat five other riders in a sprint finish to win the third stage of the Criterium du Dauphine on Tuesday.

Stage three took the peloton over 184 kilometers (114 miles) from Le Chambon-sur-Lignon to Tullins, and Bouwman was one of six riders forming a breakaway group almost immediately.

As the six went for the line, the 23-year-old Bouwman timed his move perfectly to win the first stage of his career.

“I know that my girlfriend, my parents and my friends were watching. I can’t believe that I got my first pro win at the Dauphine,” Bouwman said. “It was a really strong breakaway. The six of us were pulling very hard. In the last 20 kilometers, we believed we could make it.”

Lithuanian rider Evaldas Siskevicius finished second and Frederik Backaert was third. The top six had the same time of 4 hours, 6 minutes, 6 seconds.

Belgian rider Thomas De Gendt retained the lead ahead of Wednesday’s individual time trial, where defending champion Chris Froome will be among the favorites.

Froome is 1:09 behind De Gendt overall heading into stage four. But it is not a great lead for De Gendt, considering that he is not a time trial specialist.

German rider Tony Martin could be a serious rival to Froome for the stage win, over the 23.5 kilometers (14.6 miles) from La Tour-du-Pin to Bourgoin-Jallieu.