By John Trevorrow
Australia's Robbie McEwen has put the third stage's successful breakaway down to the composition of teams in this year's Tour de France. With no teams built completely around a sprinter, the peloton is struggling to take control and chase down breakaways, according to the Silence-Lotto rider.
"I really don't know, they all just sitting there looking at each other," he said. "I said this to a few guys before the start of the Tour. There aren't any teams that are completely built around a sprinter. Some teams are split with general classification guys and a sprint train but there's no one to do the 'shit' work if you like."
McEwen was referring to the third stage's successful breakaway, which saw four riders go away in the first kilometre and hold their lead through to the finish. Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) won the sprint out of the reduced group, which managed to hold two minutes of its lead - which had blown out to 15 minutes - to the finish in Nantes.
"They then have to decide who's going to do the work and who's going t sit behind and by the time they sought all that out the break's got 15 minutes and your just nor going to catch it," added McEwen.
The Australian was disappointed with the outcome of the day. McEwen had been hoping for a sprint finish to stretch his legs, after multiple crashes prevented him from being a contender on the previous day's stage.
"I felt really good today, it's just a shame I wasn't sprinting for a stage win," he said.
McEwen claimed the bunch sprint for fifth place, 2.03 minutes behind the stage winner.