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Circuit de la Sarthe: Pedersen sprints to second victory of week on stage 3

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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 Mads Pedersen of Denmark and Team Trek Segafredo Yellow Leader Jersey celebrates winning during the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Mads Pedersen wins for a second time at Circuit de la Sarthe on stage 3 (Image credit: Dario BelingheriGetty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 LR Paul Penhot of France and Team Groupama FDJ Mark Cavendish of United Kingdom and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl Mads Pedersen of Denmark and Team Trek Segafredo Yellow Leader Jersey and Kevin Vauquelin of France and Team Arka Samsic sprint to win during the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

In the final sprint in Sablé-sur-Sarth it was Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) the first to cross the line (Image credit: Dario BelingheriGetty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 Mads Pedersen of Denmark and Team Trek Segafredo Yellow Leader Jersey celebrates winning with a teammate during the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Mads Pedersen is congratulated by Trek-Segafredo teammate after second victory in three days (Image credit: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 A general view of Georg Steinhauser of Germany and Team EF Education Easypost Paul Ourselin of France and Team Total Energie Tony Hurel of France and Team St Michel Auber 93 Andrii Ponomar of Ukraine and Team Drone Hopper Androni Giocattoli Sidermec Emiel Vermeulen of Belgium and Team Go Sport Roubaix Lille Metropole and Laurent Pichon of France and Team Arka Samsic compete in the breakaway during the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Rain clouds depart on the final 12.5km circuit for the breakaway (Image credit: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 LR Paul Ourselin of France and Team Total Energie Tony Hurel of France and Team St Michel Auber 93 and Georg Steinhauser of Germany and Team EF Education Easypost compete in the breakaway during the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Georg Steinhauser (EF Education-EasyPost) in breakaway (Image credit: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 Georg Steinhauser of Germany and Team EF Education Easypost attacks in the breakaway during the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

EF Education-EasyPost's Georg Steinhauser attacked off the front with less than 7km to go (Image credit: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 LR Andrii Ponomar of Ukraine and Team Drone Hopper Androni Giocattoli Sidermec Laurent Pichon of France and Team Arka Samsic and Georg Steinhauser of Germany and Team EF Education Easypost compete in the breakaway during the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Breakaway of six riders on final circuit (Image credit: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 LR Luke Plapp of Australia and Team INEOS Grenadiers Blue Best Young Rider Jersey Yves Lampaert of Belgium and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl Cameron Wurf of Australia and Team INEOS Grenadiers Thibaut Pinot of France and Team Groupama FDJ Gilles De Wilde of Belgium and Team Sport Vlaanderen Baloise Ward Vanhoof of Belgium and Team Sport Vlaanderen Baloise Marijn Van Den Berg of Netherlands and Team EF Education Easypos Antoine Raugel of France and AG2R Citren Team Floris De Tier of Belgium and Team AlpecinFenix and the peloton competes during the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Peloton rides along 176.5km stage 3 route with signs of spring in blooming fields (Image credit: Dario BelingheriGetty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 Mark Cavendish of United Kingdom and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl competes during the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Mark Cavendish (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) rides in peloton (Image credit: Dario BelingheriGetty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 Mads Pedersen of Denmark and Team Trek Segafredo Yellow Leader Jersey competes during the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) rides in peloton (Image credit: Dario BelingheriGetty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 Antoine Raugel of France and AG2R Citren Team leads the peloton during the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Rainy day for stage 3 (Image credit: Dario BelingheriGetty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 Luke Plapp of Australia and Team INEOS Grenadiers Blue Best Young Rider Jersey during the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Luke Plapp of Ineos Grenadiers in the best young rider jersey does not like the rain that began to fall (Image credit: Dario BelingheriGetty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 Thibaut Pinot of France and Team Groupama FDJ is removed his rain jacket during the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) stops to put on his rain gear (Image credit: Dario BelingheriGetty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 LR Georg Steinhauser of Germany and Team EF Education Easypost Paul Ourselin of France and Team Total Energie Tony Hurel of France and Team St Michel Auber 93 Andrii Ponomar of Ukraine and Team Drone Hopper Androni Giocattoli Sidermec Emiel Vermeulen of Belgium and Team Go Sport Roubaix Lille Metropole and Laurent Pichon of France and Team Arka Samsic compete in the breakaway during the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Breakaway of six riders head onto final circuit with advantage dipping below 38 seconds (Image credit: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 Andrii Ponomar of Ukraine and Team Drone Hopper Androni Giocattoli Sidermec competes in the breakaway during the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Ukraine champion Andrii Ponomar of Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli in the breakaway Sidermec (Image credit: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 Tony Hurel of France and Team St Michel Auber 93 and his son celebrate winning the most combative rider on the podium ceremony after the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Tony Hurel of Team St Michel - Auber 93 and his son celebrate winning the most combative rider (Image credit: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 Kevin Vauquelin of France and Team Arka Samsic celebrates winning the Best Young Rider Jersey on the podium ceremony after the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Kevin Vauquelin of Arkéa - Samsic celebrates winning the Best Young Rider Jersey (Image credit: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 Mads Pedersen of Denmark and Team Trek Segafredo celebrates winning the Yellow Leader Jersey on the podium ceremony after the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Mads Pedersen retains overall lead after stage 4 victory (Image credit: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)
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SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 Mads Pedersen of Denmark and Team Trek Segafredo celebrates winning the orange stage winner jersey on the podium ceremony after the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Mads Pedersen (Trek - Segafredo) receives an orange jersey for winning stage 4 (Image credit: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

Mads Pedersen produced another powerful sprint to win stage 3 of the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe - Pays de la Loire. The Trek-Segafredo rider accelerated early on the rising finish to catch and pass Kevin Vauquelin (Arkéa-Samsic) just a metre before the finish line. 

Pedersen won by less than a wheel, with the French rider holding on for second and Mark Cavendish (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) third after trying to come past Pedersen.

Thanks to his second stage win in three days, Pedersen extended his overall race lead. He leads Vauquelin, now in second place by 23 seconds, with Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R Citroën) in third and Axel Zingle (Cofidis) fourth in the same time.

“It’s cool to win again, my team worked really hard for this,” Pedersen explained.“The guy from Arkea did a good move, so I had to do a long sprint. “I had to go early and hope to catch him. It worked out well for us. I passed him just five metres from the finish. 

“It’s a good week, it’s nice to have good shape like this, especially with Paris-Roubaix coming up."

The 176.5km stage covered a long loop before seven laps around Sablé-sur-Sarthe. The wind and rain made for a hard day out for the 96 riders left in the race. Tim Declercq (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) was a notable abandon, his team saying he was struggling with illness.

The stage again started fast with a break of six riders getting away and testing the peloton. In the move were Georg Steinhauser (EF Education-EasyPost), Paul Ourselin (TotalEnergies), Emiel Vermeulen (Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Métropole), Tony Hurel (St. Michel-Auber 93), Andrii Ponomar (Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli) and Laurent Pichon (Arkéa-Samsic).

They opened a 4:00 lead and kept it until 85km to go as the race passed through Sablé-sur-Sarthe. Trek-Segafreo lead the chase and the gap fell to 1:30 with 45km to go but the six held the same lead until 27km and two laps to go.In the final 10km, Steinhauser attacked alone and opened a 20-second gap on the high-speed peloton.

He looked set to hold off the chasers but as the road rose, his gap fell quickly. He was caught with a kilometre to go and then Vauquelin counter-attacked. He seemed set for victory until Pedersen went long and early to catch him on the line.

Brief Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
2Kévin Vauquelin (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
3Mark Cavendish (GBr) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
4Paul Penhoët (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
5Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Arkea-Samsic
6Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
7Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team
8Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) TotalEnergies
9Marijn van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-EasyPost
10Thomas Boudat (Fra) Go Sport-Roubaix Lille Meropole

General classification after stage 3
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo 12:37:48
2Kévin Vauquelin (Fra) Arkea-Samsic 0:00:23
3Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team
4Axel Zingle (Fra) Cofidis
5Lucas Plapp (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:28
6Alexis Gougeard (Fra) B&B Hotels-KTM
7Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:29
8Sean Quinn (USA) EF Education-EasyPost 0:00:30
9Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:40
10Laurent Pichon (Fra) Arkea-Samsic 0:00:41

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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.

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