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Live coverage

Eneco Tour 2013: Stage 3

Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage three of the Eneco Tour.

Today's stage is a 187km ride from Oosterhout to Brouwersdam in the Netherlands, with a twisting finishing circuit.

The stage heads west to the Dutch coast and so the coastal winds could split the race.

The wind is blowing from the left side of the road and so could also make the sprint interesting.

75km remaining from 187km

With 75km to go, we have four breakaways with a 1:40 lead on the peloton.

On Tuesday Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr) won the stage with an impressive sprint on the uphill finish.

You can read about his win and see a full photo gallery here.

Crashes could also be a factor today. Taylor Phinney (BMC) went down just now after a touch of wheels, sparking other riders to crash.

Here we go! We have a split.

Orica-GreenEdge and Omega Pharma-Quick Step are tring ro force the split and the peloton is in several groups.

The constant changing in direction is making for some aggressive racing.

Upfront the four breakaways go through the finish area and begin the circuits near the coast.

Teruel leads the riders over the line and takes the bonus sprint.

The front peloton is only 44 seconds behind, with the rest in a bigger second group some 20 seconds behind.

The riders are on exposed roads in the dunes and dykes of western Holland. This will be a fascinating finale.

64km remaining from 187km

There is still 64km to go but the gap in the peloton groups is growing.

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) is up there but teammate Taylor Phinney is not.

The front peloton includes 40 or so riders and could split again.

The four breakaway riders have now been swept up by the front peloton.

Omega Pharma has at least five riders, Belkin has a similar number, with Argos-Shimano also well presented.

Behind BMC is chasing, with help from Orica-GreenEdge and Lotto Belisol.

The gap is falling but the main peloton still hasn't caught the front group.

The attack didn't work this time but the riders face further sections in exposed conditions very soon. 

55km remaining from 187km

The peloton is all together now and the riders are taking a drink and eating some food. We can expect more attacks soon.

Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen) has accelerated away and has waited for his teammate Laurens De Vreese as the race switches near the seafront and port.

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) is not in action at the moment but is enjoying a hero's welcome in Colombia.

Read about it here.

De Vreese is wearing the black combativité jersey and chasing more points.

Behind some riders are getting food and bottles but the speed is high as riders worry about staying near the front.

De Vreese is hoping to keep the black jersey.

The wind and narrow roads often causes crashes.

Yesterday Britain's Alex Dowsett (Movistar) went down hard, dislocating his thumbs.

He was forced to quit the race. Read the details here.

 

40km remaining from 187km

The gap of the two is rising but we can expect some more attacks behind very soon.

Orica is leading the peloton but the fight is on for good positioning before more splits and echelons.

Andre Greipel is giving it a good nudge on the front and the peloton is lined out.

Andre Greipel in action.

Omega Pharma also have several riders near the front. Will they attack together as they did in the Tour de France.

Team Sky is also upfront now.

Steegmans ups the pace on a slight rise after a fast corner.

Eisel and Hayman are there for Team Sky.

De Vreese and Wallays go through the finish together but De Vreese has now sat up to save his legs for the other stages.

It is a stunning day in Zeeland, with the riders enjoying blue skies and warm temperatures.

Omega Pharma and FDJ.fr are controlling the peloton but riders are much more careful about echelons on this second lap.

Luke Durbridge and Svein Tuft are on the front for Orica.

Durbridge proudly wears the Australian national champion's jersey.

26km remaining from 187km

Wallays is fighting to stay clear in the winds but the gap is down to 20 seconds.

FDJ.fr is now on the front, riding to set up Arnaud Demare for the expected sprint finish.

The peloton can see Wallays as they ride in the shelter of a high and very long dyke.

The teams are waiting for the high-speed finale and the expected sprint finish on the exposed coast.

Belkin is also flexing their muscles, with Mark Renshaw perhaps leading out Thoe Bos today.

Other sprint favourites include Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol), Alessandro Petacchi (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Elia Viviani (Cannondale) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Radioshack).

Wallays is going to hang on to take the final bonus sprint points but now sits up.

17km remaining from 187km

Gruppo compatto.

The teams are fighting for position and riders are all across the road.

Other riders are lined out behind, including Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and Stijn Devolder (Radioshack).

Marcel Kittel seems to be working for his teammate John Degenkolb today. He's on the front early and clearly suffering.

TV shows UCI President Pat McQuaid talking to Bradley Wiggins at the back of the race.

10km remaining from 187km

The pace has eased as no one team wants to take control so far out.

Belkin is on the left of the road, while Robbie Hunter protects Garmin-Sharp sprinter Tyler Farrar.

The riders are packed tightly together, trying to move up on the right, protected from the wind.

8km remaining from 187km

Belkin has flipped across to the left now, letting Garmin-Sharp lead the charge to the finish.

Now Lotto Belisol take over at the front.

Omega Pharma also near the front as Filippo Pozzato brings up a Lampre-Merida teammate.

4km remaining from 187km

A right turn lines out the peloton, with Lotto placing four riders on the front.

Petacchi is sat on Greipel's wheel.

Demare is also well protected by his FDJ.fr teammates.

2km remaining from 187km

Lotto has hit the front too early and now only has two riders to lead out Greipel.

Two fast corners line-out the race and three riders go clear.

Boom goes across to them.

Stannard is leading the chase.

Boom tries to jump the trio.

Stybar gets it! He was in the split and won the sprint, beating Richeze and Boom.

Stybar has given Omega Pharma-Quick Step yet another win.

He's a former world cyclo-cross champion but has a fast finish too. 

Nizzolo (Radioshack) won the bunch sprint ahead of Greipel and Manuel Belletti.

Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Belisol) was also part of the late attack but he sat up insight of the line.

Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre-Merida) started his sprint first but Stybar blew past him near the line.

Stybar was protecting Alessandro Petacchi but decided to go with the move.

Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr) still leads overall but thanks to gaining a few seconds, Boom moves up to second at just one second. Stybar is third at three seconds, with Renshaw fourth, also at three seconds.

Thursday stage is again suited to the sprinters. It is a 169.6km stage from Essen in Belgium to Vlijmen in the Netherlands.

We'll have a full report, a huge photo gallery, and news on Cyclingnews very soon.

 

That's it for today's live coverage. Join us tomorrow for more action from the Eneco Tour.

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