Good morning and welcome to the Cyclingnews live race centre for stage 3 of the Tour de France. We've had an action-packed Grand Départ, with the rain-soaked chaos on Saturday and a breathless Julian Alaphilippe exhibition on Sunday, but it's time to leave Nice behind. Today's stage takes us 198km north west, to Sisteron. It's an undulating day in the saddle but a bunch sprint would seem to be the most likely outcome.
The pre-stage podium ceremony is well underway, and it's CCC who are being presented to the abyss at the moment. The riders will roll out at 12:10 local time, with the race proper getting underway around 10 minutes after that.
🏟+🚲+🖋 pic.twitter.com/SeYFEAwR7VAugust 31, 2020
Before we get going, why not catch up on yesterday's action? We have an in-depth write-up and photo gallery, plus all the results and standings at the link below.
It certainly hasn't been the gentlest of introductions to a Tour de France, and while many expect a sprint at the end of the day, this is far from one of those flat opening-week processions.
The opening half of the stage looks like a proper slog, with the Col du Pilon and Col de la Faye coming together and the road continuing to rise thereafter. The Col des Lègues will put the sprinters in more trouble again, but what swings this back in their favour are the 70 or so lightly downhill kilometres ahead of the run-in to Sisteron. It should be enough ground for some organised teams to bring about a bunch gallop, but it will again be one contested with fatigued legs.
On the way to stage three. And what an incredible venue we have for today's start. The Allianz Riviera stadium of @ogcnice_eng 😍 #TDF2020 pic.twitter.com/vLGe1IIa46August 31, 2020
Recommended reading today is Barry Ryan's feature on Marc Hirschi. Everyone knows about Alaphilippe, everyone knew he was going to attack on that climb, and everyone knew he was going to win. What many people didn't know is Hirschi would be one of the two able to follow, and what many people don't know is much about the Swiss 22-year-old at all - including Adam Yates, going by his post-race interview. Anyway, Barry recently interviewed Hirschi at length and has the following story for us.
The riders are gathering on the start line. Alaphilippe, of course, is in the yellow jersey. Stage 1 winner Alexander Kristoff, who handed it over yesterday, is now in green, while Hirschi is the best young rider in white and Benoit Cosnefroy is in the polka-dot jersey after another random attack took him to the top of the mountains classification yesterday.
The riders are on the move, tucked behind the race director's car as they head through the short opening neutralised section.
The départ fictif is given! The 3rd stage is a go! 🏳️Le départ fictif de la 3ème étape est donné ! 🏳️#TDF2020 pic.twitter.com/xfunENzrRdAugust 31, 2020
Christian Prudhomme rises through the sunroof and is about to wave us underway
The flag is waved and here come the attacks. Total Direct Energie and Cofidis on the move.
Oliver Naesen jumps across.
It looks like Naesen's trying to help out polka-dot jersey wearer Cosnefroy, his AG2R teammate. And now the peloton locks up. It's a four-rider breakaway.
That's it. The break has formed in the first kilometre. Joining Cosnefroy and Naesen are Anthony Perez (Cofidis) and Jérôme Cousin (Total Direct Energie). Perez is second in the KOM standings, tied on points with Cosnefroy, so this looks like a battle for the polka-dots on the three cat-3 climbs we have on the menu. No one else looked keen, so the peloton seems accepting of a bunch sprint in Sisteron.
Naesen sits up and drifts back to the bunch. He wasn't really interested in that small break and will save his legs for another day. It appeared his role was to simply make sure Cosnefroy didn't miss it - not that it was a hard break to make it into.
189km to go
That leaves us with a three-rider breakaway (Cosnefroy, Perez, Cousin), followed nearly three minutes later by a peloton where the race leader's Deceuninck-QuickStep are now setting the tempo.
It's a good scenario for QuickStep. They haven't had to raise their heart rates so far in the first act of their defence of the maillot jaune, and with a break of just three riders, they shouldn't have to sweat too much in keeping this under to control to ensure a bunch sprint for their fast man Sam Bennett.
Bennett was in a great position on the Promenade des Anglais on the opening day, but let another rider onto the wheel of his lead-out man and that disrupted his rhythm. The Irishman is such a talented rider but he doesn't half put pressure on himself, and every win feels like catharsis with him.
More on Bennett and his sprint rivals from four-time green jersey winner Sean Kelly, who we spoke to at the weekend.
Here was Alaphilippe at the stage start. Like last year, he's gone for black shorts and yellow bar tape.
This might be a relatively unthreatening break but Deceuninck-QuickStep aren't giving them much rope. The gap has stabilised at 2:25.
The break pass through Vence, where a somewhat concerning number of fans are lining the roads. The COVID-19 headlines have made way for the opening-day drama and Alaphilippe's exploits, but this remains a precarious Tour. A reminder that two positive cases in one team bubble will see the whole team expelled from the race. Here's the latest on that situation.
⏱️ The breakaway's lead stabilises at around 2'10.⏱️ L'avance de l'échappée se stabilise à 2'10 environ.#TDF2020 pic.twitter.com/13210piSIeAugust 31, 2020
Yellow chain too for our race leader
😍 @alafpolak1’s @iamspecialized bike 😍Photo: @BeelWout pic.twitter.com/Z8EJzPbmOkAugust 31, 2020
It's Remi Cavagna leading the bunch for QuickStep as they take on a downhill section. Before long, the road will tilt uphill for the best part of 40km.
The gap is holding at 2:10 as Cosnefroy, Cousin, and Perez grind their way uphill. The first categorised climb is the Col du Pilon (8.4km at 5.1%) and it officially starts in just a few kilometres' time.
This is Cosnefroy's third day on the attack at this year's Tour, out of three stages. The first was a somewhat doomed solo mission on the flat run-in to Nice, the second a mid-stage bridge to the break, which was slightly suprising given he might have chosen to wait and play his hand in the finale. Still, he ended up with the polka-dots.
The 24-year-old is a rising star and has happy hunting ground at this Tour but has taken a scattergun approach so far. It's just hard to suppress his attacking instinct, which has contributed to comparisons with a certain Julian Alaphilippe. We fuelled those comparisons when we interviewed him in December, finding a young rider full of energy and ambition.
And here's a shot of Cosnefroy in the break a few moments ago.
151km to go
The breakaway trio start the Col du Pilon with a lead of 1:45.
Weather alert. It has started raining and the riders are calling for their capes.
This won't be a welcome sight after the tribulations of the opening day, when the rain turned the roads into what pretty much every rider described as an ice rink. The reason seemed to be the fact it hadn't rained for so long, and the downpour brought all the oil from motor vehicles to the surface, meaning riders were hitting the deck descending at a snail's pace. Hopefully those rains will have cleaned the roads and we won't have the same kind of slippery surface skim here.
The peloton moved to neutralise much of that opening stage, in what was a welcome piece of collective action in the absence of anything meaningful from the UCI or CPA. Here's one of the peloton's leading voices, Luke Rowe, on how it unfolded, including a bit of a telling off for Astana, who seemed to push on more than the others, resulting in their leader Miguel Angel Lopez careering into a road sign.
🌧 It's raining again...🌧 Il pleut de nouveau sur la route du Tour.#TDF2020 #TDFunited pic.twitter.com/oPR9ZGNUKjAugust 31, 2020
Showers were predicted but this is more than a shower. It's a downpour, with large raindrops slapping onto the tarmac.
Lotto Soudal have sent a rider to the front on the climb. The gap is now 1:25 to the three leaders, who are 3km from the top.
2000 metres from the top of the Col du Pilon and the games between Cosnefroy and Perez begin. Cousin threatens with an acceleration but it's back together now.
It's a long day in the saddle for a relatively slim potential haul. This climb and the other two cat-3 climbs offer 2 points for the first rider and 1 point for second. Coupled with the cat-4 climb later, there are a maximum of seven points on offer today. In the KOM standings, it's currently 18-18 between Cosnefroy and Perez.
Here we go. Into the final 500m of the climb. Cousin leads, Cosnefroy sticks religiously to Perez's wheel.
Perez opens up, Cosnefroy immediately springs into action!
Perez gets it. Cosnefroy struggles to get around and now goes behind in the virtual KOM standings.
142km to go
The peloton crests the Col du Pilon with a deficit of 1:50 to the three leaders.
After a short descent, we're climbing again. It's the Col de Faye, another cat-3 climb that averages 4.8% over 5.3km.
We've got some pre-stage thoughts from the 2019 champion Egan Bernal.
"It’s one of those stages that maybe doesn’t seem so hard but you have to be alert," he says. "These stages are always the ones where something happens – crashes, that type of thing. We have to be switched on, more than anything.
As for how he's going after the first two stages: "Good, good, good. It’s only the start of the Tour. There is a long, long way to go, and we’ll see how it goes from here."
Here's how the scrap for the KOM points played out.
⛰ After a huge effort, @PerezAnthony1 is first up the Col du Pilon. He is the virtual leader of the mountain classification.⛰ Au prix d'un gros effort, Anthony Perez passe en tête au Col du Pilon. Il est en tête du classement de la montagne !#TDF2020 #TDFunited pic.twitter.com/8wvCEiUHOsAugust 31, 2020
The peloton had come back to 1:30 but the pace has been knocked off on this second climb. 2:15 as it stands.
Into the final kilometre of the Col de la Faye and this time it's Cosnefroy on the front, switching up his tactics.
Cosnefroy slows as he looks over his shoulder to keep tabs on Perez. Cousin's just minding his own business at the back.
Cousin goes to the front to lift this snail's pace, and now the banner comes into view...
Perez goes for it and Cosnefroy has to respond again, but he can't...
A convincing win there for Perez, as Cosnefroy has to sit up in the final metres and watch Perez surge clear. On paper, you'd normally back Cosnefroy in an explosive uphill sprint but Perez is clearly the stronger of the two out there today and now has a two-point lead in the virtual KOM standings.
132km to go
The peloton crest the Col de la Faye with a deficit of two minutes.
The road dips down now for a couple of kilometres but then it's back into an uphill drag for the best part of 15km, taking us to the highest point of the stage. From there, it's an undulating 30km to the third cat-3 climb of the day - the Col de Lègues. And from there it's mostly downhill to the finish.
The breakaway trio are looking at each other, soft-pedalling, seemingly wondering how much to commit to this. The gap is still slim at 2:05 and the peloton are taking it so easy behind.
Cousin goes solo. A slightly bizarre set of circumstances sees Cosnefroy give his compatriot a push to help him launch up the road. Cousin clearly wants to make the most of this break but the other two couldn't muster the commitment he was after.
So Cousin is ploughing a lone furrow on the road to Sisteron, where he has history...
Cast your minds back to the 2018 Paris-Nice, and one of the most glorious examples of shithousery in recent memory. Cousin was away with Nils Politt in the finale of stage 5, and simply refused to do a turn. The big German grew increasingly exasperated but continued to ride, towing Cousin to the line, where he completed the mug-off. Some weren't happy with the tactics but that's racing, and Cousin twisted the knife in his post-race interview when he explained how he'd just dispatched 'the Kathusa rider'.
"I played with his balls a little. That's the way I won. I'm so generous in my efforts all year and I was beaten in similar circumstances so many times before that I decided to maneuver differently for once and see if it worked. I didn't steal this."
Even less of a threat now for the peloton, who let the gap drift out to 3 minutes as Cosnefroy and Perez are welcomed back. This has turned into something of an active rest day, even if the undulating parcours and the rain will nevertheless contribute to the overall fatigue.
To prove how chilled it's been. We're some 20 minutes behind even the slowest predicted time schedule. The average speed so far has been 32.7km/h.
120km to go
The peloton continue to lend Cousin more rope, as the gap stretches out beyond the four-minute mark.
There are plenty of hills to come on this mid-part of the stage. The next classified climb is 35 kilometers away, however.
That's the Cat-3 Col les Lèques (6.9km at 5.4 per cent), while the Cat-4 Col de l'Orme (2.7km at 5 per cent) lies a further 35km away.
After the farcical opening stage of the Tour, which saw countless riders crash on slick roads in the pouring rain before a rider-organised neutralisation, a group of 30 riders have organised to take more control of their own safety.
The group has formed a chat with their union, the CPA, and looks to be replacing any one 'patron' of the peloton.
111km to go
Deceuninck-QuickStep are still in control at the head of the peloton, with five men up there. Tim Declercq leads the way, if you hadn't already guessed.
Cousin's lead has come down a little in recent kilometres. It's now 3:45.
It's down to 3:15 now. They're definitely speeding up behind. There's no real incentive to catch anytime soon though.
The rain is falling on the peloton again now. It's a miserable day out there.
We're seeing more châteaus than attacks today. It's a very quiet one.
100km to go
We're past the halfway point now. 98km down and 100km to go.
Cousin is carefully picking his way down this wet descent. He's 2:45 up on the peloton now.
Meet the man Fabian Cancellara compares to Kylian Mbappé, Marc Hirschi, who took second on stage 2 after following Julian Alaphilippe's winning attack.
Over on Eurosport, they're talking about their experiences of eating boar.
"I've never had good boar in France."
Quality fare, this.
Over on ITV Chris Boardman is talking about the unexplored opportunities of hydraulic brake fluid. Take me back to the boar chat!
90km to go
Cousin is coming to the bottom of the downhill that leads to the foot of the Col des Lègues. He has a lead of 2:30 now.
Cousin begins the climb. It's 6.9km at 5.4%.
The rain has eased and the sun is even poking out.
The nicest thing I can say about this stage so far is that I am thankful that I am not doing live report on it.August 31, 2020
Today we have a story on Michal Kwiatkowski, with some interesting comments on the role of Richard Carapaz, the late addition to the Ineos Grenadiers roster. The absence of Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas seemed to leave Egan Bernal as the sole leader but Richard Carapaz could be a really dangerous option, potentially racing in a different way and giving Jumbo-Visma a real headache.
The peloton have knocked it off on this climb, not that it has ever really been 'on' today. Anyway, Cousin's lead stretches out to 3:50.
80km to go
Cousin drags himself over the top of the Col des Lègues and does so with a lead of 3:40. He's the hero of the day and is heading for the red dossard of the 'most combative' rider today, that's for sure.
Ooh, a bit of action... The bunch comes to the top of the climb and Cosnefroy attacks, with an actual lead-out. Perez was on the wheel but had to unclip - not sure what happened there. Cosnefroy therefore grabs the one remaining KOM point.
In the KOM standings, Perez now leads with 22 points to Cosnefroy's 21. There's one point remaining on the Cat-4 Col de l'Orme a little later, but that should go to Cousin.
Cosnefroy looks to be pushing on on this descent, with his teammate joining back up with him. He's 20 seconds ahead of the bunch now in a move that pretty much sums up his Tour so far.
It's Nans Peters with Cosnefroy and they're 15 seconds ahead of the peloton at the moment.
A couple of splits at the back of the bunch and NTT are scrambling around. Maybe Nizzolo was in trouble.
The peloton has lined out here. It's a gentle downhill now and the pace has definitely lifted.
I know these tweets are coming from the QuickStep account, but they never cease to surprise me...
To paraphrase the one and only Hank, Los Angeles poetry scene's most prominent voice for decades:"There is a loneliness in this #TDF2020 stage so great that you can see it in the slow movement of a clock's hands."August 31, 2020
The peloton is back as one, and Nizzolo is at the back, now being dragged up again.
We're hearing Anthony Perez has abandoned. That's a bit of a surprise, given he was in the break today and was heading into the polka-dot jersey. We saw him unclip and swing out when chasing Cosnefroy at that last KOM, so not sure if that had something to do with it.
65km to go
With 65km remaining, Cosnefroy's latest madcap escapade has come to an end - he and Peters are back in the peloton. Cousin continues alone with a lead of 2 minutes.
Confirmation on Perez. He crashed on the descent of the Col des Lèques and has broken his collarbone. That's a huge huge shame for him and his Cofidis team, who were set for a day in the polka-dots tomorrow.
Cofidis haven't won a Tour de France stage since Sylvain Chavanel all the way back in 2008. There'll be high hopes that will change this year, and possibly today, with Elia Viviani now in the ranks.
Puncture for Sam Bennett. No panic for the Irish champion as he munches away on some food while a mechanic fumbles with the thru-axle. He's back on his way and won't have any trouble getting back to a peloton that's still going steady with 60km to go.
More info on Perez's crash.
"He first had a puncture in the downhill of Col des Lèques, then he hit a Cofidis team car and crashed. His left collarbone is broken."
👀 Take a look at the final km of today' stage. Who do you think will take the win?👀 Voici le dernier kilomètre de cette troisième étape. Qui voyez-vous s'imposer à l'arrivée ?#TDF2020 pic.twitter.com/jrSAwpl189August 31, 2020
Still it's Deceuninck-QuickStep on the front of the bunch, although controlling this break hasn't really required any input from anyone else. Can they make it two in a row? Bennett is one of the big favourites here, but will face competition from the likes of Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT) and Elia Viviani (Cofidis). After the tough opening two days, and the elevation gain we've had today (albeit on a slow slow day), there could be room for the less pure sprinters to have a say, so expect to see the likes of stage 1 winner Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), the ever-present Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), and Cees Bol (Sunweb) in the mix.
Puncture for Nizzolo's who has had a few problems today. He'll be back without any real worries.
50km to go
Into the final 50km of this stage. Yes, still 50 whole kilometres to go. Cousin is still alone in the lead, 1:45 ahead of a peloton still being pulled along by Tim Declercq. We're coming up to the final climb of the day, the Col de l'Orme. Shortly after that will be the intermediate sprint in Dignes, and then it's all about the run-in to Sisteron, where the sprint trains will begin to assemble.
Cousin hits the Col de l'Orme, which is 2.7km at 5%.
Over the top of the Col de l'Orme, Cousin has a lead of 1:45.
Cousin is exploiting his full aero tuck as he heads down towards the intermediate sprint, where we should see some action in the peloton from the green jersey hopefuls.
Here's how things stand in the points classification
1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates 64
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 46
3 Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC Team 36
4 Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-Quickstep 35
5 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep 30
6 Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo 30
7 Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team Sunweb 25
8 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 22
9 Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept 22
10 Michael Schär (Swi) CCC Team 20
Cousin crosses the intermediate sprint line but the points won't mean much to him. They will, however, to the fast men in the bunch behind, where the pace is now really starting to increase on the approach. The gap is down to a minute
NTT take it up!
Sagan comes through to take it after a lead-out from Oss. Bonifazio was second, with Bennett and Kristoff also up there.
Cousin has his forearms on his bars and his left hand draped over his right. Head down, mullet sticking up, he's squeezing every last ounce out of this solo breakaway. 50 seconds is his gap with 33km to go.
💚 At the Intermediate Sprint, 🇸🇰 Peter Sagan makes his move to take 6 points in the hunt for 🇳🇴 Alexander Kristoff's green jersey!💚 Au sprint intermédiaire, 🇸🇰 @petosagan grapille et reprend 6 points au maillot vert 🇳🇴 @Kristoff87 !#TDF2020 #TDFunited pic.twitter.com/s6SeC2rPoWAugust 31, 2020
Here's Perez after his crash. A horrible way for his day and Tour to end.
Here are the results from the intermediate sprint
1. Jérôme Cousin, 20 points
2. Peter Sagan, 17
3. Niccolo Bonifazio, 15
4. Giacomo Nizzolo, 13
5. Alexander Kristoff, 11
6. Daniel Oss, 10
7. Sam Bennett, 9
8. Matteo Trentin, 8
9. Bryan Coquard, 7
10. Max Walscheid, 6
11. Michael Morkov, 5
12. Geoffrey Soupe, 4
13. Damiano Caruso, 3
14. Rémi Cavagna, 2
15. Sonny Colbrelli, 1
Want to watch the finale of this stage (as well as looking at me writing about it)? Here's the low-down on how you can do that.
Still QuickStep on the front as Declercq takes the bunch under the 25km to go banner. I don't think any other team has done a single turn turn today. It's still calm but it won't be long before things start heating up and teams begin the scramble to get their lead-outs organised and into position.
24km to go.
Cousin's lead is down to just 30 seconds. He can look behind and see the advancing peloton.
It's a headwind on the finishing straight, and a stiff one at that. Timing is going to be crucial here. No one will want to be hitting the wind any further than 200m out.
20km to go and 20 seconds left for Cousin. It's slowly winding up but it's still yet to really intensify.
Ineos now set up on the left-hand side of the road. They're simply looking to keep Egan Bernal out of trouble up until the safety net of the 3km-to-go banner.
Cousin puts his hands into the drops and springs out of the saddle on a false flat. A courageous ride from the Frenchman today.
16.3km to go
There it is, all over. All we can say is 'chapeau' to the rider who has solely taken the responsibility for making something, anything, happen today.
But now we forget about the Frenchman and turn our attention to the sprint finish. Teams are starting to get organised now the catch has been made.
Bahrain McLaren are prominent here, with Landa to protect on GC and Colbrelli to tee up for the sprint. NTT have set up for Nizzolo on the right, with Cofidis and Ineos on the left.
Who are you picking for the win today? Let us know via Twitter @cyclingnewsfeed
In my pre-race predictions I backed Bennett to be the most successful sprinter at this Tour, so I'm going to pick him today. He has the best lead-out, especially now Ewan has lost Degenkolb and Gilbert. The issue is that question of pressure, and I can't decide if there'll be more or less of it after his teammate Alaphilippe won yesterday.
Towards the 10-to-go banner we go and now the pace really lifts. NTT are still on the right as QuickStep lose Declercq and go with Jungels.
10km to go
Here we go then. This is where the road drags uphill, and Bahrain come to the fore on the left, with Mitchelton also looking interested.
Here's a preview of the final 5km
Groupama-FDJ have moved up on the right with 7.5km to go. No Demare here, who's cleaning up everywhere else, but they're trying to look after Pinot, who crashed just inside the 3km banner on the opening day.
A traffic island and a big roundabout combine to split the bunch up.
Crash. Cosnefroy is down after riding into the back of an Ineos rider. There was another crash a little further up, too.
Dayer Quintana went down, as did a Jumbo rider, but who?
It was Van Aert, who's back on his bike but won't be sprinting for the win today.
5km to go
The lead-out continues to wind up and QuickStep are back on the front once more.
CCC look keen and take it up now. They have Trentin and Van Avermaet.
We're grinding up a false flat again and CCC have two riders on the front. Sunweb move up on the left now. They're working for Cees Bol
Ineos hit the front now. It's Rowe with Bernal on the wheel.
Ineos won't be going anywhere near this sprint but Rowe is taking the 2019 champion to the 3km to go banner, where GC times are neutralised in the event of a crash.
3km to go
Rowe takes Bernal under the banner and now QuickStep take it up again. It's Asgreen on the front, Alaphilippe second wheel
Mitchelton-Scott now try to take it up on the right. Lotto Soudal are there behind them - first time we've seen them today.
Asgreen and Juul-Jensen jostle for position into the roundabout with 2km to go.
And now Lotto Soudal hit the front. Kluge and De Buyst are with Ewan.
No big lead-out trains here. This could be a scrappy one. 1.5km to go!
UAE take it up on the right but Sunweb have it on the left. Lotto are down the middle with NTT tucked in behind.
Final km! Sunweb take it up!
Big three-man lead-out for Sunweb
Oss comes through for Sagan
Sagan hits the front!
But now Bennett comes through.... and now Ewan!!
Ewan takes it!
Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) wins stage 3 of the Tour de France
Wow. What a sprint. Bennett and Nizzolo went either side of Sagan as they opened up and Ewan was still a fair way back at that point, but he weaved his way through at incredible speed, overhauling Bennett in the last 25 metres.
We spoke about the headwind and the need to leave it late. Sagan went far too early and faded. Ewan, who's especially good in a headwind given his super low profile, came from really far back and nipped right around Sagan then left around Bennett, all in the final 50 metres. Amazing.
Insane sprint from Caleb Ewan. How did he get to the front?? (Already thought this but) he's the best sprinter in the world #TDF2020 pic.twitter.com/i85tsoLvLUAugust 31, 2020
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal||5:17:42|
|2||Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-Quickstep|
|3||Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling|
|4||Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation|
|5||Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|6||Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo|
|7||Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb|
|8||Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC Team|
|9||Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept|
|10||Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie|
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep||13:59:17|
|2||Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott||0:00:04|
|3||Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team Sunweb||0:00:07|
Here's the finish line shot
"In the last k I was a bit too far forward so I dropped back a bit into the wheels. That gave me time to rest the legs a just a little before the last hit out. I found my way through the wheels - coming from behind is a bit of a risk - but I found my way along the barrier and I came with a lot of speed and it worked in the end.
"The first ones were very special but it's the Tour de France and it's the biggest race in the world and it's the one that every rider wants to win at. I'm so happy to get another win and prove that last year wasn't just a fluke. I hope to come back in more years and keep winning.
"We knew today could possibly be quite hard. Luckily a break went and it was quite controlled. We need to take every sprint opportunity that we can because they're quite rare this year. With the caliber of sprinting here it's always going to be hard, but we'll have a few more opportunities and we'll take them when they come."
Here's our report page
Here's a word from Alaphilippe, who kept his yellow jersey with a minimum of fuss today but faces a tougher test tomorrow on the first summit finish of the Tour.
"We had a really good day. The team really controlled everything. We tried to go for the sprint and Sam got second today. You can't see, but I'm smiling. I'm really happy to wear the yellow jersey, we defended it today and we'll do it again tomorrow. Tomorrow is a big day, there's a big climb up to the finish but I hope we're going to do it. We'll take it day by day and see what happens."
Here's Kristoff, who lost the green jersey to Sagan.
"My sprint never really got started today. I was boxed in at the finish and couldn't open up. The legs weren't super either. I will shift my focus now to the team and supporting Tadej. My personal goals come later in the season for the Classics, so I'll have a couple more sprint opportunities here but I'll be looking out for the overall team goals mainly."
We're gathering all the snap post-stage reactions into one place...
🏆 Podiums Stage 3 #TDF2020 💛 @MaillotjauneLCL 🇫🇷 @alafpolak1 🟢 Maillot vert @WeLoveCyclingFR 🇸🇰 @petosagan ⚪🔴 @maillotapois 🇫🇷 @BenoitCosnefroy ⚪ Maillot blanc @opticiens_krys 🇨🇭 @MarcHirschi pic.twitter.com/scq5K2uCDcAugust 31, 2020
Here's the latest on the polka-dot battle, which was the most interesting part of the first 197 kilometres of today's stage. Cosnefroy keeps the jersey but wasn't entirely comfortable with the circumstances as Perez crashed out.
That's it for our live coverage today. I'll leave you with our stage report page, where you can find a full write-up, plus a photo gallery and the full results. Keep an eye on Cyclingnews for all the latest from the race and a preview of tomorrow's first summit finish a little later on. We'll be back with full live coverage of that key early mountain stage, so catch you then. Bye!
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