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Bertogliati bids farewell to yellow jersey

Bertogliati (far right) is pictured here next to Erik Zabel, who went on to claim the yellow jersey on Tuesday Keystone

Switzerland's Rubens Bertogliati has bid farewell to the coveted Tour de France yellow jersey at the end of the third stage of the cycling event.

On Monday, the 23-year-old managed to hold on to the golden jersey following his first-place finish in Sunday’s stage.

But the Swiss cyclist’s reign at the top came to an end after he finished 95th in Tuesday’s third stage, a 174.5-kilometre race from Metz to Reims.

It was Australia’s Robbie McEwen who won the latest stage, while second-placed Erik Zabel from Germany snatched the jersey from Bertogliati by leapfrogging him in the overall standings to climb to the top of the leader board.

From yellow to white

It was not all bad news for Bertogliati, who traded in the yellow jersey for a white one, given to the best-placed cyclist aged under 25.

“I am not at all disappointed,” said Bertogliati after he crossed the finishing line on Tuesday.

“I have had two brilliant days and as a consolation I now have the white jersey,” he added.

Three-time champion Lance Armstrong – who lost the yellow jersey to Bertogliati on Sunday – finished the day in 33rd place.

The next stage of the tour is a 67.5 kilometre team time trial from the Champagne capital of Epernay to the town of Chateau-Thierry.

Bertogliati – who races for the Lampre-Daikin team – says he is already focusing on the next challenge.

“I now hope that I will have enough energy for the team event,” he said.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR