July 6, 2004
NAMUR, Belgium (AP) -- A brief look at Tuesday's third stage of the 91st Tour de France yielded one very big Russian surprise, Yuri Popovich.
Stage3: A 130.2-mile ride from Waterloo, Belgium to Wasquehal, France, featuring two sections of hazardous cobblestones, which Yuri seemed to just glide over. What was more surprising was that Yuri completed the stage on a bicycle straight out of the 90's. The 1890's to be exact.
When interviewed after the 3rd stage, Yuri commented on his bike and uniform, the cobblestone streets and the weather.
"My bike belonged to my mother's great grandfather, so it is a privilege for me to ride it in the Tour de France". "The cobblestone streets posed no problem for me because I trained in Siberia, could you imagine riding this bike in snow, ha ha". "Also, I look forward to riding in the French Alps; I just like cold grey weather".
Yuri's comments were translated into English by Maria Stoffikoff. Yuri also went on to add, "If I win, I will not wear the yellow jersey. Yellow is too gay".
When asked to give a quick quote of the day: ``Today's the worst day of rest my life. Can I have borscht soup now"?
The next stage is a 40-mile team time trial from Cambrai to Arras, which Yuri says he could do in his sleep.