Tuesday June 10th, 2014

Stage 3Ambert / Le Teil

Start 09h55 (Local time)

Key moments

Stage summary10.06.2014Giant-Shimano's speed prevails with Nikias Arndt

The contingent of German top sprinters from Giant-Shimano is no longer limited to the fame of Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb as Nikias Arndt, 22, claimed his first victory at World Tour level as he outsprinted Belgium's Kris Boeckmans of Lotto-Belisol and ruined the hopes of Arnaud Démare in a tight finale in Le Teil. Already a stage winner at the inaugural Arctic Race of Norway in Stokmarknes, Arndt stepped up on the occasion of a long and hot day of racing at the end of which Chris...

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interview10.06.2014Chris Froome: «Another big fight tomorrow»

“The hot weather is for everyone. Personally I prefer the heat. I didn't have any problem defending the yellow jersey today. It wasn't us riding behind the breakaway really. It was FDJ mostly, and Trek until the crash. It's been a quiet day but I expect a more eventful one tomorrow. It's going to be a really hard stage and another big fight because the downhill to Gap can make differences. Such finales can create difficult situations. I'll try to stay out of trouble and stay in...

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interview10.06.2014Kevin Reza: «No long term plan»

“My goas was to retain the polka dot jersey at least tonight. It's a pretty good news to have made it and to keep a certain advantage. It's not exactly a competition that suits my characteristics but we're at the Dauphiné, it's a big race so it's important to wear a distinctive jersey. We'll see how far I can go with this jersey but I don't have any long term plan for wearing it. It's just nice to have it for now.”

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interview10.06.2014Wilco Kelderman: «I prefer to ride slowly now»

“It was hot! We had a lot of head so it's been a long day on the bike but that was actually better for me as I already have the Giro in the legs and I prefer to ride slowly now than intensely. But the heat added to the wind made it a really hard race. Anyway, I enjoy wearing the white jersey and I hope to keep it till the end.”

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interview10.06.2014Nikias Arndt: "I wasn't the designated sprinter"

“I didn't expect to win today because our designated sprinter was Reinhardt [Janse van Rensburg] but he crashed earlier on, so we didn't know if he'd be up for the sprint and we decided to rush to the line with two sprinters. It was a hectic sprint after a hard day of racing because of the heat and because we first had to catch the breakaway. We knew that Arnaud Démare was probably the best sprinter here but it all came down to team work and we got a perfect lead out. I wasn't confident...

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Sporting stakes09.06.2014The Longest Day

The short individual time trial in Lyon and the uphill finish at the col de Béal have already set a hierarchy among the GC contenders with Chris Froome getting the upper hand over Alberto Contador and even more over Vincenzo Nibali. The likes of Michal Kwiatkowski and Tejay van Garderen who started the 66th Critérium du Dauphiné as serious challengers have lost even more time. However, stage 3 might not be the most appropriate to make it up as the climbers would logically consider taking...

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Newsflashes (Local time)

15:32Top 5

1. Nikias Arndt (Giant-Shimano)

2. Kris Boeckmans (Lotto-Belisol)

3. Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg (Giant-Shimano)

4. Yannick Martinez (Europcar)

5. Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida)

15:29The winner is... Nikias Arndt

Winner: Nikias Arndt. 2nd: Kris Boeckmans 3rd: Yannick Martinez.

15:26Westra caught

Lieuwe Westra gets caught with 1.5km to go.

15:25Westra tries his luck

Lieuwe Westra goes clear off the peloton with 3km to go.

15:24Giant-Shimano in command

Giant-Shimano leads the peloton ahead of a bunch gallop.

15:21All together

With 6km to go, Edet and Favilli get reeled in. It's all together.

15:20Edet insists

Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) refuses to be reined in as the peloton is about to catch all breakaway riders with 9km to go. Favilli accompanies Edet.

15:1824 seconds difference

Thomas Voeckler pulls at the head of the peloton, 24 seconds behind the eight breakaway riders, giving an indication of Europcar's ambitions for Yannick Martinez. Katusha also looks super motivated by a sprint finish.

15:15Katusha at work

Katusha comes at the head of the peloton, probably working for Alexey Tsatevich who won Le Samyn in a bunch sprint finish last year.

15:12Time gap on the up

FDJ.fr, Giant and OPQS chase but the eight escapees have an advantage of 40 seconds with 13km to go.

15:09OPQS in the chase

French champion Arthur Vichot and the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team chase the eight man breakaway that has an advantage of 35 seconds with 16km to go.

15:07Eight riders away

Breakaway riders are: Grivko (Astana), Edet (Cofidis), Erviti (Movistar), Lightart (Lotto), Voigt (Trek). Three riders join them: Gougeard (AG2R), Koren (Cannondale) and Favilli (Lampre). 8 riders at the front.

15:04Attack from the bunch

With 20km to go, five riders go away at the initiative of Jens Voigt (Trek).

14:58No more breakaway

It's game over for the breakaway with 23.5km to go.

14:5725 seconds with 25km to go

Breakaway riders look like giving up as he exchange some words and slow down. The pack is only 25 seconds behind them with 25km to go.

14:461.15 with 32km to go

Blel Kadri (AG2R-La Mondiale), Natnael Berhane (Europcar) and Cesare Benedetti (NetApp-Endura) have again more than a minute lead, 1.15 with 32km to go. It had decreased to 40 seconds but the peloton led by FDJ.fr doesn't want to bring them back too early in order to avoid counter attacks.

14:39Benedetti wins hot spot sprint

Result of the intermediate sprint at km 157:

1. Cesare Benedetti (NetApp), 5 points

2. Natnael Berhane (Europcar), 3

3. Blel Kadri (AG2R), 1

14:34Berhane first at côte de Lavet

Result of KOM at côte de Lavet, cat. 2:

1. Natnael Berhane (Europcar), 10 points

2. Cesare Benedetti (NetApp), 9

3. Blel Kadri (AG2R), 8

4. at 1.05: Richie Porte (Sky), 7

5. Jesus Hernandez (Tinkoff), 6

6. David Lopez (Sky), 5

14:31Taarämae in difficulty

Cofidis' co-leader Rein Taarämae who was reported back at his best level after winning the queen stage of the Tour of Turkey in the late April, is in difficulty in the côte de Lavet. After Jérôme Coppel's abandon, the French team is left with only one captain, Dani Navarro who finished fifth in the Dauphiné last year.

14:28Three sprinters out of contention

Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek), who has pulled out, Leigh Howard (Orica) who didn't make it back to the bunch after the crash and Thor Hushovd (BMC) who has been dropped at the bottom of the côte de Lavet, are no longer in contention, shall the race end up with a bunch sprint.

14:23FDJ.fr leads in the climb

FDJ.fr keeps control of the speed at the head of the peloton in the climb, 1.40 behind the leading trio.

14:22Hushovd off the back

Nizzolo is not the only sprinter who will not be able to contest the victory. Thor Hushovd is the first rider dropped at the bottom of the côte de Lavet. Also in difficulty Zandio (Sky), Bobridge (Belkin), Wackermann (Lampre)...

14:201.55 at the bottom of the côte de Lavet

The time gap at the bottom of the côte de Lavet is 1.55.

14:16Coppel pulls out

Following the crash that forced Nizzolo out of the race, Jérôme Coppel (Cofidis) has also pulled out of the Dauphiné.

14:12Bricaud: "Démare is not the only sprinter"

Questioned by letour.fr about a potential bunch sprint finish for Arnaud Démare, FDJ.fr's directeur sportif Thierry Bricaud said: “It's pretty simple, it'll all depend on what happens in the final climb [the col de la Mûre with 46km to go]. If the peloton rides fast up there, some sprinters including Arnaud might get dropped. If not, we'll work for a bunch sprint. Arnaud will be closely watched out but he's far from being the only sprinter in contention.”

14:10Fédrigo pulls the bunch

Markel Irizar from Trek was taking part in the chase behind the leading trio but now, FDJ's Pierrick Fédrigo is working alone to reduce the gap with the whole team Sky escorting Chris Froome behind him.

14:0837.4km in the fourth hour

37.4km have been covered in the fourth hour. The average speed so far is 32.6km/h.

14:07Nizzolo pulls out

Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek) who was probably the main threat for Arnaud Démare in today's possible bunch sprint finish has pulled out of the Dauphiné after crashing.

14:05Howard also in the crash

Leigh Howard (Orica) was also in the crash. He went back on his bike but it remains unsure if Nizzolo will continue riding the Dauphiné.

14:04Nizzolo in a crash

A crash has occurred at km 130, involving Nizzolo (Trek), Pozzato (Lampre), De Marchi (Cannondale) and Devenyns (Giant) who already went down yesterday.

14:02Sprinters in contention

Other than Démare, several sprinters can have the ambition to win today: Thor Hushovd (BMC), Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek), Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge), Yannick Martinez (Europcar), Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol), Sébastien Hinault (IAM), Julian Alaphilippe and Gianni Meersman (OPQS), Nikias Arndt and Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg (Giant), Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida) and Daniel Schorn (NetApp).

13:452.35 at km 116

At km 116, the time gap is 2.35.

13:39Reza will keep the polka dot jersey

Even before the second category col de la Mûre whose summit is located 46km before the finish, Kevin Reza (Europcar) is sure to keep the polka dot jersey, providing that he'll reach Le Teil inside the time cut. He virtually leads the KOM competition with 44 points, which is eleven more than runner up Thomas Damuseau (Giant) who has bagged 33 points. 

13:292.25 at km 107

Blel Kadri (AG2R-La Mondiale), Natnael Berhane (Europcar) and Cesare Benedetti (NetApp-Endura) have an advantage of 2.25 after 107km of racing.

13:28Cousin pulls out

Jérôme Cousin (Europcar) has abandoned the Dauphiné. He suffered the consequences of his crash yesterday before the ascent to col du Béal together with Mickaël Chérel, Rein Taarämae and Dries Devenyns.

13:0628.8km in the third hour

28.8km have been covered in the third hour of racing. Average speed since the start: 31km/h.

13:053.15 at km 93

It's FDJ.fr and Trek Factory Racing leading the pack but they don't want to catch the breakaway too early, so they've let the gap increased a little bit again. It's 3.15 at km 93.

13:03Démare: "Today is my only opportunity to win"

French up and coming sprinter Arnaud Démare (FDJ.fr) gave an interview to the Le Dauphiné newspaper. “My main objective this week is to ride a lot of climbs ahead of the Tour de France”, he said before talking about today's stage: “This is the only occasion for us, the sprinters. We know what we have to do to come up with a bunch sprint finish but a sprint is always uncertain. All the pressure will be on us. Here I have my three usual lead out men with me: Mickaël Delage, William...

13:00New time gap: 2.10

FDJ.fr has taken over from Team Sky at the head of the peloton. Therefore, the time gap has decreased significantly: 2.10. They obviously want to deliver a bunch gallop for their sprinter Arnaud Démare.

12:47Fernandez: "Talansky did well but we don't get carried away"

Letour.fr questioned Garmin-Sharp's directeur sportif Bingen Fernandez about Andrew Talansky's strong performance (5th) yesterday at the col du Béal. “We knew Andrew was going well but not necessarily as well he was in the final climb”, Fernandez explained. “He couldn't follow Froome's first attack but he was strong enough to come across to Froome and the other favourites. He had such good legs that he even attacked after that. He tried but Froome and Contador were really really...

12:1432.1km/h average

35.7km have been covered in the second hour of racing. It makes an average speed of 32.1km/h so far.

11:5731° on the road

In the Haute-Loire province, where Romain Bardet hails from, the riders are experiencing a higher and higher temperature. It's 31° now at noon, French time.

11:54Watch out for Kelderman

Beside Chris Froome and Alberto Contador who have initiated a fabulous duel on the roads of the Dauphiné in the first two days, Wilco Kelderman, 22, is the big sensation of the race. He revealed himself at World Tour level when he finished eighth and best young rider of the 2012 Critérium du Dauphiné, but this time around, he came to the Rhône Alpes region after having finished seventh in the Giro d'Italia. “I'm surprised to go so well after the Giro”, said the Dutchman who wears the...

11:52Time gap up to 7.30

At km 57, the time gap has increased to 7.30. A FDJ.fr rider is noted in the first positions of the peloton in help of Team Sky to prevent the pack from slowing down too much.

11:26Time gap: 4.40

The advantage of Kadri, Berhane and Benedetti has culminated at 4.55 but it's down to 4.40 at km 39 as Team Sky doesn't want to let a too big gap to the leaders.

11:23A three quarter head wind

The riders are facing a three-quarter head wind. The low average speed at 28.5km/h results from the length and difficulty of the côte de Lavet, almost nine kilometres long. Team Sky has set a moderated tempo at the head of the peloton. More head wind is expected when the race will hit the Rhône valley.

11:08Berhane first at côte de Lavet

Result of King of the Mountain at côte de Lavet, km 28.5:

1. Natnael Berhane (Europcar), 10 points

2. Cesare Benedetti (NetApp), 9

3. Blel Kadri (AG2R), 8

4. Kevin Reza (Europcar), 7

5. Thomas Damuseau (Giant), 6

6. Vincent Jérôme (Europcar), 5

11:05Average: 28.5km/h

The breakaway riders have covered 28.5 kilometres in the first hour of racing. That's not much...

10:50Riders in the climb

At km 24, the time gap is four minutes. The riders are in the côte de Lavet.

10:47Flickinger: ??Berhane was sick yesterday?

Europcar's directeur sportif Andy Flickinger (Europcar) spoke to letour.fr from his team car behind the peloton: “Had the breakaway be more numerous, it would have been better for us but Kevin [Reza] should be able to sprint for fourth place at the top of the first climb against his two rivals [Alessandro] De Marchi and [Thomas] Damuseau. We have Natnael Berhane in the breakaway, it reassuring after what happened to him yesterday. He threw up four times in the final climb. He felt sick. It...

10:22Team Sky leads the bunch

Four riders from Team Sky set the pace of the bunch behind the leading trio formed of Blel Kadri (AG2R-La Mondiale), Natnael Berhane (Europcar) and Cesare Benedetti (NetApp-Endura).

10:21Hinault: "Froome's only weakness might be his team"

French cycling legend Bernard Hinault gave his first impressions to L'Equipe: “They have fought hard. Froome assumes his responsibilities as a leader. Mentally, it must be a bit hard for Contador because he didn't manage to beat Froome on the line even though Froome produced all efforts earlier, to attack and to close the gaps. The only weakness Froome might have is his team. To kill his rivals, he shouldn't get his teammates to ride in the valley. In the final climb, he was left alone....

10:19Time gap: 3.40

At km 8, the time gap is 3.40.

10:15Hot topic

Riders reacted differently to the heat yesterday. While Romain Bardet (AG2R), 19th - and disappointed - at the col de Béal, said: "I always suffer from the first heat of the year, particularly now after having experienced some cold weather at the Bayern Rundfahrt", Tony Gallopin (Lotto), 15th, commented this morning prior to the start: "I was feeling good. I'm used to these conditions as I just came back from a training camp at the Sierra Nevada in Spain."

10:10Three minutes

Kadri, Berhane and Benedetti have three minutes lead after four kilometres of racing.

10:07Climbs of the day

There are two categorized climbs today:


-    Km 28.5: côte de Lavet, cat. 2, 8.7km at 4.4%


-    Km 148: col de la Mûre, cat. 2, 3.8km at 6.3%

10:03Three riders on the move

Three riders have gone clear from km 0: Blel Kadri (AG2R), Natnael Berhane (Europcar) and Cesare Benedetti (NetApp). First time gap: 55 seconds.

10:01The race is on

The start proper has been given at 9.58.

09:59A hot day at the Dauphiné

It's 28° at the start in Ambert for another hot and sunny day at the Dauphiné. 34° are forecasted for the finish in Le Teil before 3pm. David Millar said prior to the start that most of the riders drunk two bottles per hour yesterday and it should be similar today. That makes ten bottles per rider, eighty per teams... Team cars are filled up with bidons!

09:51Jersey holders

For the second day in a row, Chris Froome (Sky) holds the yellow jersey. His two consecutive stage victories in Lyon against the clock and at the top of col de Béal have made the defending champion a valuable race leader again. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), as runner up in both overall classification by time and points, wears the green jersey, also for the second day in a row. Third on GC, Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) is an interesting best young rider in the white jersey while his closest...

09:42Welcome...

Welcome to the live coverage of stage 3 of the 66th Critérium du Dauphiné. It's the longest stage with 194 kilometres on the menu from Ambert in the Auvergne region to Le Teil in the Rhône valley. Sprinters are expected to shine today.

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Jersey wearers after the stage 8

Classifications after the stage 8

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