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A palette of colours …

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Tuesday, July 25th

Chris Froome, the go-between

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Last sprint for Groenewegen, Froome wins his fourth Tour

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Peter Sagan meets the expectations

Stage summary03.07.2017Stage 3- Verviers / Longwy

A hot favourite for the uphill finish in Longwy as the Tour de France returned to France, Peter Sagan claimed his eighth stage victory since he made his debut in the event in 2012. He outsprinted arch-rival Michael Matthews who came second to him in the 2015 world championship. Geraint Thomas retained the yellow jersey while Chris Froome moved up to second in the overall ranking.

Six riders in the lead

 

195 riders started stage 3 of the 104th Tour de France from Verviers, Belgium, to Longwy, France via the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg. Belgian riders were extremely motivated when the start proper was given but at km 10, Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal) and Romain Hardy (Fortuneo-Oscaro) managed to ride away. They were rejoined by Nathan Brown (Cannondale-Drapac), Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Romain Sicard (Direct Energie) at km 13 to make it a six-man group in the lead with no reaction from the peloton. However, teams Bora-Hansgrohe, Quick-Step Floors and Sunweb maintained the time gap around two minutes until the intermediate sprint at Wincrange, Luxemburg (km 89) where Politt crossed the line in first position while Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) made sure there was no threat for his green jersey.

 

Nate Brown in the polka dot jersey

 

Fighting for the polka dot jersey, Brown and Politt rode away before the category 3 côte d'Eschdorf where Brown virtually became the fourth American leader of the King of the Mountain competition in the history of the Tour de France after Greg LeMond (1986), Tejay van Garderen (2011) and Taylor Phinney yesterday. As the regrouping of the six breakaway riders occurred at km 123 and the peloton took it easy for a little while, a maximum time gap of 4.05 was recorded. The same teams Bora-Hansgrohe, Quick-Step Floors and Sunweb brought the gap down to two minutes again. With 57km to go, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) and Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fortuneo-Oscaro) rejoined the six leaders. The group of nine split up 48km before the end with De Gendt, Calmejane, Hardy and Périchon forging on with determination.

                                                         

Lilian Calmejane the most aggressive rider

 

The day after crashing along with defending champion Chris Froome, last year's runner-up Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) was in trouble again but three of his team-mates brought him back to the pack with 35km to go. De Gendt, Calmejane, Hardy and Périchon arrived in France with an advantage of 1.25 and another 28km to cover. With just over 20km to go, Calmejane went solo despite the head wind. The Frenchman stayed away until the 10km to go mark. He was awarded the most aggressive rider price of the day. It went down to the highly expected uphill sprint finish. Hot favourite Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) unclipped his pedal as he launched his sprint from far out but he had enough time to make it up. Michael Matthews (Sunweb) tried to pass him at the very end but lost by a wheel while Dan Martin (Quick-Step), another explosive uphill sprinter, had to be content with third place. Geraint Thomas (Sky) made the top 10 and retained the yellow jersey while Pierre Latour (AG2R-La Mondiale) became the best young rider.

  • Peter Sagan meets the expectations

    A hot favourite for the uphill finish in Longwy as the Tour de France returned to France, Peter Sagan claimed his eighth stage victory since he made his debut in the event in 2012. He outsprinted arch-rival Michael Matthews who came second to him in the 2015 world championship. Geraint Thomas retained the yellow jersey while Chris Froome moved up to second in the overall ranking.

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