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Kessler Captures 3rd Stage of Tour de France, Boonen Takes Overall Lead

German cyclist Matthias Kessler has captured the third stage of the Tour de France, while world champion Tom Boonen of Belgium took the overall lead.

Kessler surged ahead of the main pack on the last climb Tuesday, to complete the 216.5-kilometer stage, from Esch-sur-Alzette, France to Valkenburg, Netherlands in 4:57:54.

Australia's Michael Rogers finished five seconds back in second place, just ahead of Daniele Bennati of Italy, while Boonen took fourth place.

Boonen now has a one second overall lead on Rogers and will wear the race leader's yellow jersey in his native Belgium for Wednesday's fourth stage. American George Hincapie is another four seconds back in third place.

Previous leader Thor Hushovd of Norway struggled on the final climb and dropped to fourth overall, seven seconds back.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.