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Live coverage

BinckBank Tour 2017: Stage 3

Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 3 of the BinckBank Tour. Today's stage is from Blankenberge to Ardooie in Belgium.

 

BinckBank Tour 2017 hub page

BinckBank Tour start list

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Stage 1 report: Sagan edges out Bauhaus

Stage 2 report: Küng wins in the rain

 

 

As our live coverage begins, the peloton has covered 70km of the 185km stage between Blankenberge and Ardooie. 

After two stages in the Netherlands, the race has transferred south to Belgium, with the decisive weekend stages due to be held on the Walloon part of the country an then the cobbled roads of Flanders.  

 

This is the tenth time that the race finishes in Ardooie. 

 

These are the previous winners. 

 

2008: Tom Boonen
2009: Tyler Farrar
2010: André Greipel
2011: André Greipel
2012: Svein Tuft (ITT)
2013: Mark Renshaw
2014: Nacer Bouhanni
2015: Tom Boonen
2016: Peter Sagan

 

With a sprint finish likely, Peter Sagan is favourite to win again after taking stage one ahead of Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb).   

 

As we join the action, the early break of the stage is still away.

 

In the move are Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Sander Cordeel (Veranda's Willems Crelan), Piet Allegaert (Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise) Kristijan Koren (Cannondale-Drapac) and Elmar Reinders (Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij).

 

They lead the peloton by 3:00. 

 

These are the five adventurers of the stage.

 

 

A strong tail wind has helped the peloton hunt down the break in the last few kilometres. It is down to 50 seconds.

The BinckBank Tour is packed with big-name sprinter, including Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL-Jumbo), Arnaud Démare (FDJ), Elia Viviani (Team Sky) and Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-Scott). 

 

However Timothy Dupont (Vérandas Willems-Crelan) did not started today. He was reportedly sent home by his team for disciplinary reasons. 

 

The five attackers hit the feed zone but keep riding fast. Their lead is down to 1:00. 

 

74km remaining from 185km

After the pouring rain during Tuesday's time trial, the weather is much better today, with the sun shining and roads dry. 

 

Race leader Stefan Kung (BMC) wears the special green jersey. He pulls off the road for a natural break. 

 

That means the peloton slows and so the break extends its lead to 1:50.

 

Other riders in the peloton are enjoying a late lunch after grabbing their musettes. 

 

 

The BMC and Lotto-Soudal teams are leading the chase. 

 

68km remaining from 185km

The break and the peloton are having to del with the complex road furniture of Belgian roads plus the rough surface of the concrete country roads. 

 

Stefan Kung finished well down on stage 1 to ensure he started early in the stage 2 time trial.

 

It was a smart move as he avoided the heavy rain later in the day. It allowed him to gain some seconds on his rivals and take the overall race lead.  

 

This was the stage result:

1 Stefan Kung (Swi) BMC Racing 00:10:58
2 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:04
3 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb 00:00:05
4 Soren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb 00:00:08
5 Lars Boom (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 00:00:10
6 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:12
7 Matthias Brandle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo 00:00:14
8 Miles Scotson (Aus) BMC Racing 00:00:15
9 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 00:00:17
10 Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo

 

This is the GC for the BinckBank Tour after the time trial. 

 

1 Stefan Kung (Swi) BMC Racing 04:01:07
2 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:04
3 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb 00:00:05
4 Soren Kragh Andersen (Den) Sunweb 00:00:08
5 Lars Boom (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 00:00:10
6 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:12
7 Matthias Brandle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo 00:00:14
8 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:15
9 Miles Scotson (Aus) BMC Racing
10 Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 00:00:17

 

The race heads through Hooglede, near Roeselare. 

 

The riders cover two 15km circuits in the finale of the race today.

 

 

 

The peloton hits a section of cobbles, with some riders moving to a footpath.

 

Several riders were fined for doing just that yesterday and we can expect more fines today now.

 

Orica-Scott has taken advantage of the cobbles and twisting roads to put pressure on their rivals. 

 

Their speed has lined out the peloton.

 

55km remaining from 185km

Peter Sagan seems to be enjoying the racing, he's well placed up front. 

 

There is a split near the back of the peloton, with three Dimension Data riders caught behind.

 

Due to the Orica-Scott move, the gap to the break is down to 35 seconds.

 

The peloton can see the break but Greipel has told his riders to back off. 

 

The gap is only 15 seconds now but the peloton is slowing, as the game of cat and mouse continues.

The AG2R team has picked up the chase but the break still has 25 seconds. 

 

The break has picked up the pace, with Frederik Backaert (Wanty - Groupe Gobert) doing a long turn up front.  

 

42km remaining from 185km

We're coming up to the second sprint of the day. We should see a battle for the points. 

 

The riders are approaching Ardooie. They will be grateful to see the finish twice before the sprint to the line. It's twisting and technical. 

 

 

This map shows the final kilometres of the stage.

 

 

The chicane with a kilometre to go will be the key point, with sprinters needing to be well placed going into and out of the chicane.

 

Tom Dumoulin takes a rear wheel after a flat. He gets help to move back up to the peloton.   

 

The break has a 1:20 lead but the peloton is letting them hang out front and sweep up the sprints and minor prizes.

 

Here comes the Primus sprint. 

 

They five are sprinting for the prime. 

 

Piet Allegaert (Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise) wins it and so extends his lead in the special competition and keeps the dark green sprints jersey.

 

Behind more and more sprinters' teams are massing on the front of the peloton. 

 

The peloton hits Ardooie and gets a taste of the testing finish.

 

The peloton makes it to the line comfortably this time, passing the finish some 53 seconds down on the break. 

 

Riders grab bidons from their soigneur just past the finish.

 

The riders will now cover two 15.4km circuits around Ardooie. 

 

The peloton is squeezed into some small country roads, lining out under the effort of AG2r upfront.   

 

26km remaining from 185km

The break is coning up to the innovative Golden Kilometre, that includes three sprints, which offer time bonuses.

 

Tony Gallopin does a quick bike change and chases the peloton.

 

The Golden KM has split the break as they fight for the sprints.

 

Frederik Backaert (Wanty - Groupe Gobert) won all three sprints to gather 9 seconds.

 

22km remaining from 185km

Andre Greipel is at the back of the peloton and on his radio, no doubt asking for help to get back up front.  

 

18km remaining from 185km

Ryan Gibbons (DimensionData) needs his team car for service. That could end his chances in the sprint.

 

 

The peloton hits the chicane near the finish, with one lap to go.  

 

It's a tight right, left chicane that will line-out the peloton with one kilometre to go.

 

It could get nasty in the chicane with a kilometre to go before the expected sprint finish. 

 

The break is still 25 seconds out front as it starts to rain. 

 

11km remaining from 185km

The peloton is lined out after the the country lanes but its closing down the break.

 

The speed is high now. 

 

Team Sky are on the front to lead out Viviani, while Katusha is there for Rik Zabel. 

 

Quick-Step Floors will ride for Kittel but he will not like the fight for position in the final kilometre.

 

Cannondale-Drapac are gathering at the front, with Wouter Wippert their sprinter. 

 

A tight right turn causes problems for some as riders hit the brakes on the inside. 

 

8km remaining from 185km

The peloton is finally about to sweep up the break of the day.

 

And so Elmar Reinders (Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij) jumps away for lone glory. 

 

Sander Cordeel (Veranda's Willems Crelan) joins him but the others sit up and are caught.

 

6km remaining from 185km

Team Sky take charge of the peloton as the final attackers are caught. 

 

Gruppo compatto. 

 

The peloton spreads across the wide road but they will be squeezed soon. 

 

Trek is riding for van Poppel but Bora is riding for Sagan. 

 

No sign of Quick-Step floors for now.

 

4km remaining from 185km

The roads are wet. it's going to be a hectic sprint to the chicane.

 

Kittel seems to have backed out of the sprint as riders use the footpath to cut the corner. 

 

3km remaining from 185km

Bodnar keeps the speed high for Sagan as other teams try to move up.

 

2km remaining from 185km

Sagan is well placed as the fight for positioning will be crucial.

 

Orica-Scott have several riders up front. 

 

Here, finally comes Kittel, dragged up front by a teammate.

 

They dive through the left turn okay. 

 

Crash in the chicane! 

 

50 riders made it through before the crash.

 

Drucker goes with a solo move.

 

Here come the sprinters.

 

They catch him with 80m to go. Sagan wins it!

 

Sagan lead it out in the final 100m and had the speed to hold off his rivals.

 

Sagan took the right line to win it well from the front. 

 

Sagan punched the air with one hand, making sure he did not crash after the line.

 

He beat Edward Theuns of Trek and Rudy Barbier of AG2R.  

 

Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL) was fourth but all the other big-name sprinters were nowhere to seen and finished out of the top ten. 

 

The peloton was split into several small groups after the crash but it was inside the final three kilometres and so they will likely all be given the same time.

 

 

This is the photo finish of the sprint finish. Sagan won by almost a bike length. 

 

 

It was Sagan's second consecutive victory in Ardooie after also winning last year.  

 

This is the top ten result from the stage. 

 

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
2 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
3 Rudy Barbier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
4 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
5 Loïc Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
6 Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-Scott
7 Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
8 Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
9 Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise
10 Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb

 

This is Sagan's 99th career victory. He could hit 100 tomorrow, where another sprint is expected. 

 

Stefan Kung (BMC) finished safely and so retained the overall lead.

 

He leads Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe) by 4 seconds, with Sagan now up to third at 5 seconds thanks to his stage winner's time bonus. 

 

Sagan gets a huge cheer from the Belgian cycling fans as he steps on the podium as stage winner.

 

He gets a keg of Primus beer and even a children's tricycle as prizes.

 

Talking about the hectic sprint finish, Sagan said:

 

“Today I remembered we are racing again in Belgium because today was like a spring Classic. It was crazy, all day in the front, the trains trying to overtake one against another.”

 

“It was a crazy day. It started to rain also, and was very dangerous - in the final there was a crash. I’m very happy because team Bora-Hansgrohe and my teammates worked very well and we took another victory, which is amazing for us.”

 

Sagan was cautious about his chances of winning again on Thursday and so taking his 100th career win. He was also cautious about his GC chances despite having picked up some bonus seconds.

 

We’ll see. First we have to survive until tomorrow," he said.


"For sure this is very good (taking bonus seconds) but for sure there will come one day where there’ll be a lot of groups and a lot of gaps. It’s about seconds and in the end, day-by-day."
 

 

This is the new overall classification, showing that Sagan is up to third place overall after his stage victory.

 

1 Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team 8:15:08
2 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:04
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:05
4 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb 0:00:08
5 Lars Boom (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:10
6 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:14
7 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:16
8 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:17
9 Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:22
10 Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team 0:00:24

 

Looking down the GC we can see that Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) is well placed in eighth place, only 17 seconds back. 

 

Giro d'Italia winner Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) is sixth at 16 seconds.

 

We can expected them to fight for victory in the hilly stages at the weekend.   

 

We have the first images of the sprint finish in Ardooie. 

 

Sagan's celebrations and the disappointment shown by Theuns and Barbier say it all.

 

 

Sagan used his bike skills to be ahead of a late crash and then had the speed to win the sprint.

 

 

Marcel Kittel was not in the results today. He seemed to avoid the dangers of the final kilometre chicane and the wet roads.

 

 

 

Our photographer snapped this shot of him crossing the line.

 

 

Stefan Kung finished behind the lead group after the split in the peloton but kept his race leader's green jersey. 

 

 

Following today's stage near Roeselare, the BinckBank Tour peloton transfers east close to the border with the Netherlands for Thursday's fifth stage.

 

It covers a 154km twisting loop around Lanaken near Maastricht. The roads include several climbs in the Limburg hills but another sprint finish is expected.

 

 

Join us tomorrow for blow by blow live coverage of all the action.

 

For a full report and photo gallery from today's stage, click here. 

 

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