The Tour Take | Tour de France Stage 3

 Photo: Twila Federica Muzzi

Photo: Twila Federica Muzzi

The Steps

1st – BMC Racing

2nd – Team Sky @ 0:04

3rd – QuickStep Floors @ 0:07

 

The Parcours

Stage 3 was Team Time Trial day, with a 35km route for the squads to test themselves on. It was windy, and lots of exposed roads made life difficult on time trial bikes. Starting and finishing in Cholet, the course also covered a few rolling hills. It was a route designed to produce big gaps, and it certainly did that.

The Jerseys

Yellow – Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing)

Polka Dot – Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert)

Green – Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)

White – Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb)

The Winning Ride

Many of the strong TTT teams had early starts, including Mitchelton-SCOTT, Sky and BMC, who all set fastest times at the checkpoints as they passed them. It was BMC’s effort that stood the test of time though, as their measured performance was enough to win them the stage. They finished with five riders, as Porte gained a key advantage over his rivals, and Greg Van Avermaet led his team across the line to become the new Maillot Jaune.

 

The Aussies

1st - BMC (Richie Porte, Simon Gerrans)

4th - Mitchelton-SCOTT (Luke Durbridge, Mat Hayman, Michael Hepburn, Damien Howson)

5th - Team Sunweb (Michael Matthews)

6th - Team EF Education First - Drapac p/b Cannondale (Simon Clarke)

10th - Bahrain Merida (Heinrich Haussler)

14th - UAE-Team Emirates (Rory Sutherland)

19th - Team Dimension Data (Mark Renshaw)

 

The GC Men

2nd - Tejay Van Garderen @ s.t.

3rd - Geraint Thomas @ 0:03

5th - Bob Jungels @ 0:04

7th - Tom Dumoulin @ 0:11

10th - Rigoberto Uran @ 0:35

11th - Rafael Majka @ 0:50

13th - Jakob Fuglsang @ 0:51

14th - Richie Porte @ 0:51

15th - Ilnur Zakarin @ 0:52

16th - Mikel Landa @ 0:53

17th - Alejandro Valverde @ 0:53

18th - Chris Froome @ 0:55

20th- Adam Yates @ 1:00

22nd - Vincenzo Nibali @ 1:06

25th - Romain Bardet @ 1:15

26th - Steven Kruijswijk @ 1:15

27th - Primoz Roglic @ 1:15

30th - Bauke Mollema @ 1:16

31st - Egan Bernal @ 1:19

59th - Nairo Quintana @ 2:08

 

The Movers and Shakers

Porte would be stoked – to make back the time he lost on most of the GC contenders, and get one over his chief rival Froome. Thomas would be happy too, as the best placed of the GC contenders. It’s harder for the team to derail his GC campaign for the benefit of Froome if he’s actually wearing Yellow. Tommy D also continues to fly under the radar, finishing 11 second back today. His team wasn’t the quickest today, but he’s around the mark and in a good place.

Some big names came into today’s stage probably accepting they’d lose time, and they went and lost big time. Dan Martin lost 1:39 to Porte, Bardet, Roglic and Kruijswijk lost around 1:15. The surprise result might have been Movistar losing 54 seconds. Even if this wasn’t their best TTT squad, Movistar do usually ride TTTs well at Grand Tours, so it was odd to see them losing so much time. Quintana is a long way behind now, while Landa and Valverde were also disadvantaged.

 

The Next Stage

Stage 4 sees the sprinters fighting for the win once again with a few guys yet to even contest a sprint after a chaotic opening two road stages. Stage 4 is 195km long and on the road from La Baule to Sarzeau. There’s only one categorized climb, which comes after 135km. The Cote de Saint-Jean-la-Poterie is only 800m long, and averages around 8%. We could see the KOM Jersey change hands here – with Dion Smith leading the comp on one point only, if someone ahead of him in GC win the sprint, they’ll be the next KOM leader.

The Intermediate Sprint comes after 97km, and the Bonus Sprint comes after 156km, but it’s the sprint finish that everyone’s interested in. It’s another uphill kick, this time around 1.5km long for 2%.

 

The Pick

That finish makes Peter Sagan the unbackable favourite once again. He lost the Yellow Jersey today, but it’s a green one he’s chasing here, and another win should be crucial in that quest.

See you back at the social club,

Josh

 


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