1. Boasson Hagen
Edvald Boasson Hagen wins the bunch sprint. It’s his second stage win at the Dauphiné after 2010. Bozic is second.
Gilbert stays away in the last km...
Philippe Gilbert goes clear!
Degenkolb has a flat tyre with 2km to go, it’s game over for the hot favourite!
With 7km to go, five riders from Omega Pharma-Quick Step including French champion Sylvain Chavanel ride hard at the front with FDJ-BigMat’s Anthony Roux.
With 10km to go, FDJ-BigMat keeps leading the bunch.
Here’s the explanation for Christophe Kern (EUC) to be off the back: his chain slipped and his right knee hit his handlebar. Fortunately, it’s not the knee that forced him to pull out of last year’s Tour de France and kept him away from racing for eight months.
With 15km to go, "the Andalusian lynx" Angel Luis Maté and Egoi Martinez are caught by the peloton after a 152km long breakaway.
Christophe Kern (EUC) who was away for most of the stage yesterday has been dropped from the bunch within 20km to go.
The gap is 1.17 with 25km to go.
Questioned live on France Televisions, Ag2r-La Mondiale’s directeur sportif Julien Jurdie said: “There aren’t many sprinters at the Dauphiné, so it leaves a chance to Sébastien Hinault. At the age of 38, he’s not the fastest sprinter but he’s got confidence right now after winning a stage of the Circuit de Lorraine and the Boucles de l’Aulne. We’ll try to get him in the best position for sprinting, hoping that the guys who are faster than him make a mistake.”
Questioned live on France Televisions, Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s directeur sportif Brian Holm said: “We’re not going to ride at the front of the bunch now. We’ll do so in the last five kilometers. It’s not dangerous for now. Gerald Ciolek said that he’s strong and today it’s the last sprint of the Dauphiné. Tomorrow, it [the time trial] will be for Tony [Martin].”
Questioned live on France Televisions, Argos-Shimano’s directeur sportif Christian Guiberteau gave an indication on the form of John Degenkolb who is the hot favourite today. “John feels better today than he did yesterday”, said the Frenchman. “We shouldn’t miss today’s stage! Our adversaries are obviously Bouhanni, Ciolek, Matthews, Bozic… but there’s always the possibility of a surprise…”
Questioned live on France Televisions, FDJ-BigMat’s directeur sportif Thierry Bricaud described Nacer Bouhanni who obviously gets a lot of support from his team today. “He’s a fiery and impulsive sprinter”, said the Frenchman. “He was very frustrated for not sprinting for victory on Monday but he gained confidence because he went well over the last climb. We believe that he beat sprinters like John Degenkolb and Gerald Ciolek, that’s for sure!”
With 50km to go, the deficit of the bunch to Luis Angel Maté (COF) and Egoi Martinez (EUS) is 2.40.
Questioned live by France Televisions, Cofidis directeur sportif Stéphane Augé said: "I have no illusion, there’s almost no chance for Maté’s breakaway to succeed. FDJ and Argos have clearly indicated the end of the breakaway. But don’t worry for the two riders away, they’re not riding flat out..."
In the absence of Juan José Haedo (SAX) who pulled out yesterday, the sprinters to watch for today might be: Gerald Ciolek (OQP), Michael Matthews (RAB), Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ), Sébastien Hinault (ALM), Borut Bozic (AST), Leigh Howard (OGE), Koldo Fernandez (GRM), Davide Cimolai (LAM) and Daniele Ratto (LIQ), while the hot favorite is John Degenkolb (ARG) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (SKY) must never be forgotten even though he rides the Dauphiné mostly as a domestique for Bradley Wiggins. Shall we believe Tony Gallopin (RNT) when he says that he’s not fast enough to compete against the sprinters?
The Saxo Bank team came to the Dauphiné with one major goal: to get a bunch sprint victory with Juan José Haedo. But their Argentine fast man who imposed himself at Bourg-Saint-Andéol two years ago abandoned yesterday. Directeur sportif Philippe Mauduit gave an explanation to our estimated colleague Norbert Bonnet from daily newspaper Le Progrès: “JJ had a bad day and felt completely empty”, the Frenchman. He added that it would modify his team’s tactic, “obliged to enter breakaways to try and win a stage”. But it’s not for today, apparently…
At the same time as the Critérium du Dauphiné, another Spaniard rode away in Indonesia while his compatriots Luis Angel Maté and Egoi Martinez were on their way to escape after the start of stage 3 in Givors. Oscar Pujol who took part in the Dauphiné in the past two years with Omega Pharma-Lotto and previously with Cervélo won stage 3 in the Tour of Singkarak ahead of Australia’s Joel Pearson. Japan’s Masakazu Ito retains the overall lead.
With 73km to go, the gap between Luis Angel Maté (COF) and Egoi Martinez (EUS) and the peloton still led by FDJ-BigMat and Argos-Shimano is 3.30.
Weather forecast announced possible showers today on the roads of stage 3 at the Dauphiné, but it’s been dry all the way so far. It was also wet in the morning on the finishing line at La Clayette but it has dried up since. It’s 19.5°C now at the top of col de Pilon, alt. 727m, where the two escapees just passed. It’s also not a windy day at all.
36.8 kilometres have been covered in the second hour of racing. It makes an average speed of 35.250km/h.
For the past two days, Andy Schleck has been dropped by the main peloton. He revealed that he’s been treated last month for a knee problem and lost a week of training. “Therefore it is not surprising that I am behind the competition in the Dauphiné,” he told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. “Of course I would prefer to show a better condition, but if you look at the preparations, it makes sense. I think that I have gotten better over the past three days. I don’t feel the panic which some other people feel because I was dropped in the first stage. I’m not panicking.”
Ricardo Garcia (EUS) crashes at the back of the bunch with 80km to go. It doesn’t look injured but this seems like a lack of luck for Euskaltel at the Dauphiné as their team captain Samuel Sanchez heavily crashed on stage 1 as well. But the Olympic champion remains in the race despite some painful ribs.
Shall he finish today’s stage inside the time cut, Giovanni Bernaudeau (EUC) will get the polka dot jersey back at La Clayette. He has accumulated 38 points, which is two more than current KOM leader Blel Kadri.
Result of the KOM price at the côte de Vindry, km 70.5:
1. Luis Angel Maté (COF), 3 points
2. Egoi Martinez (EUS), 2
3. Giovanni Bernaudeau (EUC), 1
Bernaudeau passed at the top of the climb 3.40 behind the two breakaway riders.
At km 62, the advantage of the two escapees has been reduced to 3.35.
Questioned by letour.fr, the team manager of the FDJ-BigMat team Marc Madiot explained his tactic, as some of his riders are setting the pace at the head of the peloton around about four minutes behind the two breakaway riders. “Today there’s an opportunity for a bunch sprint finish”, the Frenchman noted. “We aren’t the only ones to think so but it’s logical that we contribute nicely to the chase. If the breakaway gets caught with five kilometers to go, it’s fine for us. Our sprinter Nacer Bouhanni has his chance for winning. Yesterday, once he got dropped from the bunch, he saved his strength for today and finished easily.”
Time trial world champion has sustained a crash, apparently with no consequence. He has made his way back into the peloton.
Teams FDJ-BigMat and Argos-Shimano maintain the deficit of the bunch stable: 4.05 at km 44.
Prior to the start in Givors, John Degenkolb (ARG) told our estimated colleague Gilles Le Roc’h from Reuters: “Had I not had a flat tyre before the finale of the stage the day before yesterday, my team-mates would have brought the trio with Cadel Evans back and we would have made it a bunch sprint finish for sure. So there’s only one possibility of a stage win for me at the Dauphiné. It’s today or never. My lead out man will be Roger Kluge. I’m confident that I can win. The sprinters I fear the most are [Nacer] Bouhanni, [Michael] Matthews and Leigh Howard.”
Luis Angel Maté is nicknamed "the Andalusian lynx". He often attcks but seldom wins. His record book includes two victories: stage 6 of the 2010 Tour of San Luis in Argentina and stage 4 of the Route du Sud last year. He was third best climber of Paris-Nice this year. He’s been seen many times on the offensive at the Vuelta last year and aims at starting the Tour de France for the first time this year.
Result of KOM price at Côte des Crêtes, km 32:
1. Luis Angel Maté (COF), 3 points
2. Egoi Martinez (EUS), 2
3. David Moncoutié (COF), 1
Moncoutié passed at the top of the climb 4.15 after the leading duo and the peloton was at 4.30. The Frenchman stopped on the road side, apparently to say hello to friends or family members.
During the first hour of racing, the breakaway has covered 33.7 kilometres.
The 172 riders still in contention at the Critérium du Dauphiné represent 29 different nations. France has the biggest contingent:
43: France (44 at the start but Fedrigo of FDJ-BigMat has pulled out during stage 2)
9: The Netherlands (10 at the start but national champion Pim Ligthart of Vacansoleil-DCM has abandoned yesterday)
4: Kazakhstan, Ukraine
3: Colombia, USA, Great-Britain, Slovenia
2: Belarus, Denmark, Portugal, Switzerland
1: Austria, Brazil, Costa Rica, Eritrea, Estonia, Ireland, Japan, Luxemburg, Norway, New-Zealand, Poland
0: Argentina (1 at the start but JJ Haedo of Saxo Bank has retired in stage 2)
At km 25, the gap between the leading duo and the pack is 5 minutes. The front part of the bunch looks very white with the combination of teams FDJ-BigMat and Argos-Shimano.
Dutch team Argos-Shimano shares the work at the head of the peloton with FDJ-BigMat, giving us to understand that a duel between John Degenkolb, the winner of the Tour de Picardie, and Nacer Bouhanni, the winner of the Circuit de Lorraine, both French stage races held in May, can be expected in La Clayette.
Time gap at km 18: 5.30.
Luis Angel Maté (COF) and Egoi Martinez (EUS) have had a maximum lead of six minutes so far, but towards the top the côte de Saint-André, the FDJ-BigMat team has put one rider at the command of the peloton and stabilized the deficit at 5.45. They have big ambitions for a bunch sprint victory with Nacer Bouhanni, therefore, they prefer to avoid a difficult chase later on.
As he scored two points at the côte de Saint-André, Giovanni Bernaudeau is virtually back in the lead of the King of the Mountains competition. He has accumulated 37 points while Blel Kadri who wears the polka dot jersey today has 36.
Result of the King of the Mountain price at côte de Saint-André, km 13:
1. Luis Angel Maté (COF), 4 points
2. Egoi Martinez (EUS), 3
3. Giovanni Bernaudeau (EUC), 2
4. Nicolas Edet (COF), 1
Luis Angel Maté crosses the line of the côte de Saint-André in first position.
Km 9.5: the new time gap is 5.25.
White jersey holder Tony Gallopin (RNT) talked to letour.fr prior to the start of stage 3 in Givors. “Yesterday, everyone in the team knew that I was motivated for that stage. Popovych did a tremendous job to position me in the best conditions. The final climb was a special one. I knew that Moreno was the man to follow. He’s not as famous as Rodriguez but he’s just as good as him in such a finale. But I made my move a bit too early. My goal at the Dauphiné was always to win a stage. For the white jersey, I have no illusion. I know that on Friday, it’ll depend on how fast we climb the Grand Colombier. I might be able to make it to the finish with the favorites but the day after, Joux-Plane is a too hard climb for me right now. Today, I don’t see the sprinters leaving space to others and I’m not fast enough to fight with them.”
Luis Angel Maté (COF) and Egoi Martinez (EUS) have an advantage of 3.10 at km 6.
The two riders away are Luis Angel Maté (Cofidis) and Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel). After 1km of racing, they already have 50 seconds lead!
As soon as the start is given, two riders go clear, one is from Euskaltel, the other one from Cofidis. The bunch seems to not react.
The start proper of stage 3 has been given at 12.21.
This is considered a flat stage, the one that all sprinters target after missing out on stage 1 when Cadel Evans anticipated a possible bunch gallop, but the difference in altitude is 2612 metres while yesterday’s stage described quite hard by the cyclists had a total of 2898 metres. Not much more… It won’t be an easy on the bike, again!
Today, on the 167km course from Givors to La Clayette, three climbs allocate points for the King of the Mountains competition:
- Côte de Saint-André, cat. 3, 4km at 5.4%, km 13
- Côte des Crêtes, cat. 4, 3km at 3.9%, km 32
- Côte de Vindry, cat. 4, 1.6km at 7%, km 70.5
Interestingly, the col du Pilon whose summit is at km 90.5 at the altitude of 727 metres in the wine producing area of the Beaujolais is not part of the KOM competition. It’s a 6.7km climb with an average gradient of 3.8% and a maximum of 5.3%.
All 172 riders who have finished yesterday’s stage have signed in today. Only three riders have quit the race so far: Pierrick Fedrigo (FDJ), Juan José Haedo (SAX) and Pim Ligthart (VCD).
The peloton is on its way to the start proper, 4.2km away from the starting area in Givors.
Bradley Wiggins (SKY) has the yellow-blue jersey for the second day in a row. He openly said that he wanted to ride the individual time trial tomorrow with his Team Sky skinsuit but it might not happen, shall the peloton arrive all together again today in La Clayette.
Cadel Evans (BMC) also keeps the green jersey, as he leads the points classification with 41 points, ahead of Tony Gallopin (RNT), 36, and Julien Simon (SAU), 35.
Blel Kadri (ALM) is the new King of Mountains. For one point, he took the polka dot jersey away from Giovanni Bernaudeau (EUC) yesterday.
Tony Gallopin (RNT) wears the white jersey of best young riders. He was third yesterday but Edvald Boasson Hagen (SKY) and Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) didn’t finish with the main group at Saint-Félicien.
Welcome to the live coverage of stage 3 from Givors to La Clayette.