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Tour de Suisse 2012

Date range:
June 9-17, 2012

June 11, Stage 3: Martigny - Aarberg 194.7km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Mark Robinson

Welcome to our live coverage of the conlusion to stage three at the 2012 Tour de Suisse. Today's stage measures just under the 195km mark and runs from Martigny to Aarberg. Can Movistar's Rui Costa hold on to the overall lead that he snatched on yesterday's second stage?

  1. 80km remaining from 194.7km

    14:40:32 BST

    • Break

    We join the action with 80km left in the stage. A group of three riders have broken free of the peloton and have a considerable lead: Guillaume Bonnafond (AG2R-LaMondiale), Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank) and Jonas Van Genechten (Lotto-Belisol)

  2. 14:42:15 BST

    • Yellow Jersey

    Let's just check where we stood this morning in terms of overall GC, before stage three got underway.

     

    OVERALL GC AFTER STAGE 2

    1 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team 6:31:22
    2 Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:08
    3 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana 0:00:15
    4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:00:19
    5 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:21
    6 Thomas Löfkvist (Swe) Sky Procycling
    7 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:23
    8 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:24
    9 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:26
    10 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Barracuda 0:00:29

  3. 14:44:05 BST

    Rui Costa (Movistar) took over the lead in the Tour de Suisse on stage 2

    Rui Costa produced a superbly-timed challenge towards the end of yesterday's second stage to take the overall lead. Read how he achieved it right here.

  4. 70km remaining from 194.7km

    14:48:30 BST

    Let's have a closer look at the three leaders as they sweep past the 70km point. Bonnafond is the youngest, at 24 years of age, and on the start line this morning he was the closest to lead of this trio in the GC, though he was way down in 110th position. Morkov is know for his track exploits and is a former world madison champion and won a silver medal in Beijing at the 2008 Olympics. Van Genechten is only a year younger than Bonnaford. He is yet to win a major race at senior level.

  5. 60km remaining from 194.7km

    14:52:26 BST

    We've just picked up some live pictures from the race for the first time from the host broadcaster. Seems like the official race ticker was a few minutes behind. The leaders have just gone past the 60km point. Peloton are closing the gap down, and it's just over seven minutes now.

  6. 14:53:52 BST

    And it's wet out there. Very wet. Leaders are roughly 20km away from the first categorised climb, the Frienisberg.

  7. 14:55:30 BST

    Europe is currently going football crazy at the moment, with the European Championship Finals now in full swing. Read why Tony Martin thinks that Team Sky are the Bayern Munich of cycling right here.

  8. 15:02:05 BST

    • Movistar Team's 2012 Jersey

    Movistar seem nice and relaxed back in the peloton as the gap contuniues to come down. None of these riders up ahead are GC threats to Costa. The weather might be though. The rain is getting heavier and heavier.

  9. 50km remaining from 194.7km

    15:03:09 BST

    With 50km left to go, the gap is down to 6:43.

  10. 15:04:19 BST

    It will be interesting to see if anyone dares to attack at this stage. Weather definitely playing its part here and everyone just looking like they want to consolidate for the moment.

  11. 15:04:50 BST

    There were no withdrawals this morning by the way. All 160 riders were at the start.

  12. 15:08:17 BST

    CADEL EVANS VIDEO: Across the border in France yesterday, Britain's Bradley Wiggins won his second consecutive Criterium Du Dauphine. The heat has now certainly gone up a notch in the UK, where people are now talking up Wiggins as the overwhelming favourite for the Tour de France. But what did Cadel Evans, last year's Tour winner, have to say about his own performance over the last week? Have a watch of this exclusive video here.

  13. 54km remaining from 194.7km

    15:09:35 BST

    It looks like the chasing peloton have now been split in half due to poor timing at a railway crossing. We'll get the names and positions as soon as it becomes clear.

  14. 15:13:45 BST

    Gap is now up to over eight minutes after that interruption. Leading trio have enjoyed a real slice of luck there.

  15. 40km remaining from 194.7km

    15:19:46 BST

    40km to go now. The gap stands at 7:11. Leaders are getting closer and closer to the first categorised climb, which is almost within sight.

  16. 15:21:01 BST

    BMC's George Hincapie at race sign in.

    BREAKING NEWS: BMC rider George Hincapie has announced his retirement. More to follow when we get it...

  17. 15:25:58 BST

    Liquigas and Sky have moved to the front of the peloton. The former's Peter Sagan won stage one's ITT on Saturday and has been in sensational form in recent weeks. Does he have his eyes on another prize this afternoon?

  18. 15:28:06 BST

    We have more on that Hincapie story that we told you about. Read the full story here.

  19. 15:29:28 BST

    The riders have just passed the town of Aarberg, site of the finish for the first time. Leaders still looking comfortable but the weather and the two approaching climbs might yet have a say in the outcome of this one.

  20. 15:30:43 BST

    Plus the last 500m of this course has plenty of twists and turns in it. If the leading trio do get swallowed up and we have a mass sprint, positioning will be crucial. The greasy road surface isn't ideal either.

  21. 29km remaining from 194.7km

    15:34:01 BST

    And just as I write that, the sun comes out. Ben Swift and Sagan are right there at the front of the chasing peloton, with the gap now under five minutes with 29km left. Liquigas and Sky really pushing things along here.

  22. 15:37:40 BST

    Gap really is tumbling down now. Not looking good for the leading trio. They have taken almost a minute out of the gap in the last few kilometres.

  23. 15:39:01 BST

    Confirmation that Bonnaford won the last intermediate sprint. Leaders have now started to climb.

  24. 15:42:49 BST

    And the main peloton has now also started to climb, and the gap has shortened to around the three-minute mark.

  25. 15:45:42 BST

    Van Genchten has been dropped by Bonnafond and Morkov as the leading pair cross the summit of the Frienisberg climb.

  26. 15:47:01 BST

    • Attack

    Moreno Moser (Liquigas) attacks from the main peloton and goes off in pursuit of the leaders.

  27. 22km remaining from 194.7km

    15:48:35 BST

    And the peloton is descending fast and have reeled Moser back in. They are closing up on the leading duo now and only have just over two minutes to find.

  28. 15:50:03 BST

    Frank Schleck and Fabian Cancellara are well placed in the peloton as we enter the last 20km. With one more climb to go, who is going to make a decisive move here?

  29. 15:52:26 BST

    Team Sky really pushing hard again. Ben Swift could have a shot wt winning the stage here if it can be turned into a sprint. Plus they have Thomas Löfkvist high up in the general classification.

  30. 15km remaining from 194.7km

    15:55:35 BST

    Gap is 2:04 at the 15km mark. We have another climb coming up very soon...

  31. 15:58:26 BST

    Nordhaug (Sky) is displaying some nasty wounds from an earlier crash. He's going to finish the race though.

  32. 10km remaining from 194.7km

    16:01:32 BST

    It's now looking that these two will be caught. With 10km left, the gap is under a minute...

  33. 16:02:20 BST

    Leaders really struggling up this final climb. Like they're riding through mud.

  34. 16:03:11 BST

    Moser trying to attack from the front of the peloton once again as they climb.

  35. 16:04:03 BST

    Gap being toally decimated here. Down to less than 30 seconds in the blink of an eye.

  36. 16:07:55 BST

    Leaders are in sight of the peloton now but gap hasn't come down quite as quickly over the last few km. There's a few decent sprinters waiting in the wings here. Boonen, Sagan, etc. Ben Swift and Cancellara are there too. And Farrar.

  37. 16:08:24 BST

    5 km to go and they are rushing downhill fast. Gap is ten seconds now

  38. 16:10:22 BST

    Big hairpin bend there with 3km to go. Caused a lot of excitement in the host broadcaster's commentaory box...no scrapes though.

  39. 16:11:11 BST

    2km to go. Sky at the front and pushing but haven't got there. Yet.

  40. 16:11:25 BST

    Last kilometre...

  41. 16:11:48 BST

    And the leaders are swept up

  42. 16:13:11 BST

    WINNER: Peter Sagan (Liquigas)

  43. 16:13:31 BST

    Sagan comes home first in a tight sprint finish

  44. 16:21:04 BST

    Baden Cooke in second, Ben Swift in third

  45. 16:21:33 BST

    Full top ten for stage and for GC when it's confirmed...

  46. 16:32:49 BST

    TOP TEN FINISHERS - STAGE 3

     

    1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 4:35:32
    2 Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
    3 Ben Swift (GBr) Sky Procycling
    4 Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Pro Team Astana 0:00:03
    5 Allan Davis (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
    6 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat
    7 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
    8 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Barracuda
    9 Daniele Colli (Ita) Team Type 1 - Sanofi
    10 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team

  47. 16:33:43 BST

    • Yellow Jersey

    GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 3

     

    1 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team 11:06:57
    2 Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:08
    3 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana 0:00:15
    4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:00:19
    5 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:21
    6 Thomas Löfkvist (Swe) Sky Procycling
    7 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:23
    8 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:24
    9 Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:26
    10 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Barracuda 0:00:29

  48. 16:36:45 BST

    So another win for Sagan, who has been sweeping up victories with alarming regularity over the last few months. That's two here already, and let's not forget the five, yes five, he won at he Tour of California last month. At just 22 years old, there is surely even more to come from the Slovak.

     

    That's all from our live coverage of stage 3. Join us tomorrow for stage four of the Tour de Suisse, which promises to be another fascinating and exciting day on the roads.