Tour de France shorts: Tony Martin remains in second overall

Tony Martin remains in second overall at the Tour de France

Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) will start another stage of the Tour de France in second place overall, a position he has consistently held since the opening time trial, despite the fact that the yellow jersey has changed hands three times - from Rohan Dennis (BMC) to Fabian Cancellara (Trek) and now to Chris Froome (Team Sky).

Froome moved into the overall lead following his second-place performance during the stage 3 finish on the Mur de Huy, where Martin finished 26th at 40 seconds back. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) won the stage.

Martin is now trailing Froome by one second as the race heads into stage 4 on Tuesday. The German time trial specialist thanked his teammates for their support and also offered get well wishes to those involved in the day's crash.

"Like yesterday, the team was always around me," Martin said in a team press release. "I was pretty nervous as was everyone in the peloton, as it always is in the first week at Le Tour. The team rode 100 percent today for me, especially Kwiatkowski. He was unbelievable. After everything I did for him in the past years, he gave it back in the last two days. It's amazing for me and I want to thank him as the World Champion for being such a supportive teammate the whole race.

"The story of today started with the big crash. Everything was neutralized. I was a bit confused as to what was going on, if they would neutralize longer or just for a moment. I heard about the big crash, and all the riders who went down, and I was sad about it.

"I was hoping for a big fight for the yellow jersey. I was close to wearing yellow today, but if I were to have been this close with an even bigger fight it would be even nicer. I wish a speedy recovery to all the riders who were involved."

Photo: Getty Images Sport

Gallopin finishes fifth on the Mur de Huy

Lotto Soudal's Tony Gallopin, a former yellow-jersey-wearer, was pleased with his fifth-place finish on the Mur de Huy, stage 3 at the Tour de France. The Frenchman launched first from a select group of strong men that fought for the stage win on the steep climb. In the end, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) took the win ahead of Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale), while Daniel Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) was fourth.

“I’m really glad with this fifth place on the Mur de Huy. It was a race like I had expected; we arrived at the bottom with 40 to 50 riders. The teammates helped me to get in a good position and I could turn up the climb as one of the first. I tried to hang on to the same rhythm, so I wouldn’t explode. At a certain moment I was riding at the front, but in the last 200 metres the others were stronger. Nonetheless, a fifth place is a nice result at a finish of which I know it doesn’t completely suit me. That proves the condition is good.”

Photo: Sirotti

Tour de France stage 3, and the Mur de Huy, in numbers

Tour de France’s technology partner bundled its big data into some statistics after stage 3 on Monday, and some interesting information was found.

Stage winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) climbed up the Chemin des Chapelles, as the Mur de Huy is officially named, with an average speed of 21.75 km/h. On the one-kilometre-long climb with a 19 per cent maximum gradient, that resulted in a climbing time of 2:45 minutes.

The record remains in the hands of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who managed 2:41 in 2014. On Monday afternoon Valverde finished 11th, in a group that was 11 seconds down on Rodriguez.

The maximum speed in this stage was recorded by Dutch classics specialist Lars Boom (Astana) who clocked 109.8 km/h on the descent of the Côte d’Ereffe. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) descended at 66.49 km/h.

The stage Dimension Data also came up with the average speed during the massive crash at 60km from the finish in Huy. They noted 42.03 km/h, however, Ramon Sinkeldam (Giant-Alpecin) said on Twitter that it was more towards 75 km/h.

Photo: Getty Images Sport

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