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Hello there and welcome back to the Cyclingnews live race centre for more from the BinckBank Tour. After two days in Holland, we're heading over the Belgium border today in a 175km stage finishing in Antwerp.
The parcours is largely flat and we could well see the sprinters battling it out, as they did on the opening day.
106km remaining from 166km
As we pick up the action, with around 60 kilometres on the clock, we have a breakaway of five riders. They are:
Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida)
Sean De Bie (Veranda's Willems Crelan)
Maxime Vantomme (WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic)
Jesper Asselman (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij)
Taco Van Der Hoorn (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij)
You can get up to speed on yesterday's action with our stage 2 report, which also contains full results and a photo gallery.
Kung took the overall lead of the race yesterday. Here he is at the start this morning in the leader's green and black jersey.
100km remaining from 166km
The five breakaway riders only have a small advantage over the peloton. It currently stands at one minute.
100km remaining from 166km
With 75km on the clock, the five breakaway riders have a lead of 3:40 over the peloton.
Our top story at the moment concerns a team that are based in this region of Belgium. Quick-Step need no introduction, but they do need cash. long-standing team boss Patrick Lefevere has spoken to Daniel Benson about the team's future and you can read the full story at the link below.
83km remaining from 166km
The five breakaway riders are plugging away at the moment on a long, straight, wide, and flat main road. They still have 3:21 over an unworried peloton.
Kung drops back to the team car for some running mechanical repairs. It looks like something to do with his handlebars.
Fran Ventoso is on the front of the bunch for BMC, arms folded over his bars. BMC are of course protecting Kung's overall lead, but LottoNL-Jumbo are also up there, taking their share of responsibility in the interests of their sprinter Dylan Groenewegen.
AG2R La Mondiale and Team Sky are also among the teams near the front. Fabio Jakobsen's Quick-Step, Marcel Kittel's Katusha, and Caleb Ewan's Mitchelton-Scott - the three riders who placed in the top three on the opening stage - are all sitting further back for now.
71km remaining from 166km
Nothing standing out on the parcours for the time being, barring a few light undulations. There's a feed zone coming up and later we'll be in Antwerp for a couple of local laps. We'll get there with just over 25km to go, with an intermediate sprint in the mix, and the riders will complete one lap of the 13km circuit before we get the Golden Kilometre. With just 12km to go at that point, we could see the GC contenders scrambling for some bonus seconds, providing the breakaway has been caught. This stage, though, is all about the final sprint finish.
66km remaining from 166km
The peloton is strung out but the pace isn't very high at the moment. The gap to the five leaders remains 3:13.
Quick-Step now put their Belgian powerhouse Tim Declercq - The Tractor, I think they call him - on the front of the bunch to help keep things under control.
On Quick-Step, we went behind the scenes with them at the Tour de France for our latest Cyclingnews Films production: Running With Wolves.
56km remaining from 166km
Feed zone, but it's not a relaxed one. AG2R are on the front riding hard.
Plenty of riders grab their musettes and drift to the back, and then have to sprint to regain contact with the rapidly advancing bunch.
AG2R's leader Naesen is doing turns here, along with Stijn Vandenbergh and Gediminas Bagdonas.
The race isn't splitting but the peloton is under considerable strain for the first real time.
Tim Wellens had a puncture and is one of the riders fighting to get back on. Scott Thwaites too.
52km remaining from 166km
The pace relents. AG2R gave it a good go but weren't able to bust the race open.
Plenty of riders weren't able to grab musettes in that feed zone given the surge in pace, so now that things have calmed down, we're seeing domestiques heading back to team cars to pick up supplies.
Puncture for Van Avermaet.
A dropped chain, in fact, for Van Avermaet. Either way, he's back up and running quickly enough.
EF-Drapac are on the front now and the pace has lifted again. It's still edgy out there.
45km remaining from 166km
The breakaway quintet are pushing on, with a lead of 3:05.
Mat Hayman and Mitchelton-Scott hit the front now. They're coming towards a left-hand turn which will herald a change in the wind direction.
Svein Tuft is on the front for Mitchelton-Scott. No big drama for the time being.
Mechanical for Kung, the overall leader. He quickly grabs a spare bike from the roof of the team car.
Kung makes his way through the cars and finds a couple of teammates waiting to help him make his way back up the bunch.
Tuft seems to be making a big effort on the front, but he's not really doing too much damage to the break at the moment. Up front they're all still trading quality turns and are holding the gap at 2:55 at the moment.
30km remaining from 166km
The old rule of thumb dictates the peloton will take 1 minute out of a modest-sized breakaway every 10 kilometres. With 30 kilometres to go here, the escapees have 2:56. It could be tight...
Van Avermaet hits the front now for BMC. More hands are needed on deck.
The break are approaching the intermediate sprint and then they'll be at the finish in Antwerp.
27km remaining from 166km
No contest in the break at the intermediate sprint. The only thing on their minds is collaboration and full effort, as they realise they might just be in with a shot at stage honours here.
26km remaining from 166km
The breakaway riders cross the finish line for the first time. They'll now take on two laps of the Antwerp circuit, which measures just under 13km.
The peloton cross the finish line 2:45 in arrears.
Mitchelton-Scott are putting men on the front here, and Declercq is regularly coming through for Quick-Step. Katusha also have a rider up there. So all the main sprinters are setting their team to bring this back.
Quick-Step put Stybar on the front now to assist in the chase. The gap is coming down steadily but not quickly. 2:33 with 21km to go.
20km remaining from 166km
With 20km remaining, the gap stands at 2:30.
Tuft is back on the front giving his all. Mitchelton, of course, are working for Caleb Ewan.
This could be a nailbiter of a finish... the breakaway riders have a big chance.
Some tired legs in the break, perhaps, but they've got to dig in and give it everything here. No time for playing games for the time being, and they're all still collaborating nicely.
The twists and turns in the latter portion of this local circuit are favouring the breakaway riders over the larger peloton behind.
15km remaining from 166km
With 15km to go, the gap is still 2:15. That's a very healthy margin indeed...
Katusha's Marco Mathis comes to the front. It's been just him doing turns for Kittel's team. LottoNL have sent Amund Grondahl for some turns, too, but they need more riders to help out.
Quick-Step haven't been seen for a while. Are the Belgian team, who won the opening stage through Jakobsen, putting the pressure on their rivals?
Paul Martens comes through now for LottoNL. Mitchelton are grouped behind him. They're not doing enough, though.
13km remaining from 166km
The escapees come towards the finish line and hear the bell. They're about to start the last lap.
They have a lead of 2:11.
Golden Kilometre coming up for the break. Three separate sprints each carrying bonus seconds. But that pales into insignificance compared to the real prize up for grabs: the stage win.
Mohoric takes the first sprint by virtue of being on the front. He calls the two Roompot riders through for a turn but they don't last long.
Mohoric picks up the next two sprints to claim a decent haul of bonus seconds.
The turns in the break are becoming shorter and more ragged. They see 20 seconds taken off their lead in the space of a couple of kilometres. 1:53 is the gap now.
10km remaining from 166km
With 10km to go, the gap is creeping up again. 1:57.
Possible problems with the timing. It's back up to 2:01 now, with 9.3km to go.
The peloton aren't doing enough here. The breakaway must be really believing now.
Crash for Diego Rosa as the peloton take a 180-degree left-hand bend.
Lampaert on the front for Quick-Step now, really giving it some whack. The gap is not coming down, though.
Mohoric is doing the strongest turns here, but who stands the best chance of winning from this group of five? In the CN office there's been a shout for Mohoric solo and for De Bie in a sprint.
8km remaining from 166km
8km to go and the gap is 1:50. This is firmly in the breakaway's hands.
Puncture for Lawless. He'd have been working for Halvorsen if a sprint were to materialise. Not that Sky haven done any work to try and bring this break back.
Quick-Step are really going all-in now. Terpstra is up there doing a turn.
Lampaert and the other Quick-Step riders are still committed, but Mitchelton and other teams have disappeared.
And now the breakaway riders start to play their first games. Mohoric swings aside, asking why the Roompot riders aren't doing turns.
6km remaining from 166km
6km to go and the break still have 1:37.
Kung and his teammates are up near the front of the bunch. The leader's jersey is very much under threat from Mohoric, who started the day at 58 seconds and has already picked up 9 seconds in bonuses.
5km remaining from 166km
It was only a matter of time before the only WorldTour rider in this break made his move, and he's away. Who has the legs to respond?
Sean De Bie does, and he bring Mohoric back. Vantomme and Van Der Hoorn are also in tow. Asselman, though, has been dropped.
Sean De Bie does, and he bring Mohoric back. Vantomme and Van Der Hoorn are also in tow. Asselman, though, has been dropped.
Mohoric goes again, and again De Bie responds.
3km remaining from 166km
The break have 1:30 with 3.5km to go.
The quartet start looking at each other. They have 1:30 and can afford to play these games. The peloton is not coming back now.
Mohoric accelerates again but De Bie closes it down once more.
2km remaining from 166km
Mohoric knows the leader's jersey is up for grabs and it's in his interest to keep the tempo high, rather than making one big bid for the stage win.
It's jagged and uncoordinated in the break but the pace isn't dropping off dramatically. They're still 1:30 ahead with 1.5km to go.
1km remaining from 166km
Van Der Hoorn accelerates and gets a gap!
Mohoric buries his head and tries to close it.
Van Der Hoorn is getting away....
Mohoric looks round, but no one is coming through.
The Roompot rider comes into the final couple of hundred metres. He's going to take it.
Taco Van Der Hoorn (Roompot) wins stage 3 of the BinckBank Tour
De Bie, I think, grabbed second in a photo-finish from the rest of the break.
Back in the peloton futile sprints are unfurled one minute behind the leaders.
Joyous scenes in the Roompot camp. Asselman, who crossed the line half a minute or so behind with his arms aloft, now embraces his teammate.
As for the leader's jersey, it's going to be tight between Mohoric and De Bie. Mohoric started the day 58 seconds back, and De Bie at 55 seconds. Mohoric took 9 seconds in the golden kilometre but De Bie, who grabs four seconds for third place over Mohoric in fourth, also took some lesser bonus seconds in the golden km.
Confirmed: Matej Mohoric is the new leader of the BinckBank Tour.
1 Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij 3:47:56
2 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic
3 Sean De Bie (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan
4 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
5 Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij 0:00:35
6 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:01:11
7 Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
8 Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick-Step Floors
9 Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb
10 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
Here's Van Der Hoorn
"We had a very good group. Mohoric was fucking strong. We had a perfect plan. We went really easy all day, long turns - two minutes from everyone. Then with 70km to go we started to go pretty fast. In the last hour and a half everyone was doing long turns, one minute, and we made it. We had a really good plan and everyone stuck to it, and we made it. It was amazing."
Mohoric leads the race by a second over De Bie. Kung is now third at 22 seconds.
Now we can hear from Mohoric
"Today, the plan was to try to go in the breakaway - if it manages to stay away for the golden kilometre in order to get back some seconds on the GC that we lost yesterday in the time trial. In the end, all the guys in the breakaway, we worked well together and it stayed away to the finish line. Unfortunately for me, everybody knew I was the strongest, so it didn’t work out for the stage win. I’m sorry for my team, but at least we have the leader’s jersey and we will do our best to defend it in the next couple of days."
More from Mohoric
"I think tomorrow is another day that was supposed to be for the sprinters, but we’ve seen in this race that anything can happen. It’s quite tricky but for sure we will do the best to defend our leader’s jersey. I’m looking forward to the last two stages, I came here with those two stages in mind besides the GC, so I will try my best and keep my jersey or at least to get a good result in the overall classification."
General Classification after stage 3
1 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-Merida 8:03:56
2 Sean De Bie (Bel) Veranda's Willems Crelan 0:00:01
3 Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:00:22
4 Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Aqua Protect Veranclassic 0:00:25
5 Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij 0:00:34
6 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:36
7 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb 0:00:37
8 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
9 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:41
10 Alex Dowsett (GBr) Katusha-Alpecin
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Here's our stage report, where you can results and more photos.
That's it from us today. We'll be back here tomorrow for live coverage of stage 4, a 166km stage from Blankenberge to Ardooie. It's another largely flat one but, as we saw today, anything can happen at the BinckBank Tour... On the morrow.
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