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As it happened: Late crash sees chaotic sprint and new yellow jersey on Tour de France stage 3


Welcome to live coverage of stage 3 of the 2024 Tour de France, which brings the race 230.8km from Piacenza to Turin.

Today’s stage gets under way in just under an hour’s time. The peloton rolls out of Piacenza for the neutralised start at 11.15 CET, with the race due to hit kilometre zero at 11.35.

There are three category 4 climbs on the long run through the Po valley from Piacenza to Turin, though none of them should be difficult enough to deny the sprinters their opportunity on Piazzale Grande Torino this afternoon. First up is the climb to Tortona (1.1km at 6.3%) after 70km, which pays homage to Fausto Coppi. After 155km, the Tour skirts the wine country of the Langhe with the climb to Barbaresco (1.5km at 6.5%), before the day’s final climb to Sommariva Perno (3.1km at 4.6%), whose summit comes with 49km remaining.

Kévin Vauquelin won yesterday's stage to Bologna, while Tadej Pogačar moved into the yellow after making his first attack of the Tour on the San Luca. Jonas Vingegaard, whose participation was in such doubt for so long, was able to follow, while Remco Evenepoel will be buoyed by how he closed the gap over the other side. It was a more chastening afternoon for Primoz Roglic, who lost 21 seconds. You can catch up on yesterday's action here.

Tadej Pogacar

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Evenepoel, Vingegaard and Carapaz are all on the same time as Pogačar, and they could inherit the yellow jersey based on their finishing position if they finish together in the peloton today. Evenepoel, for instance, needs to come in two places ahead of Pogacar to don the maillot jaune. "Pogačar didn't look very happy with that yellow jersey. Especially for him, it was not the intention to get yellow in those first days," Evenepoel said after the stage, joking that he might try to avoid being passed the parcel today. "Then I'll stay behind. No, we'll see. If it's yellow, all the better. If it's not yellow, then so be it." Stephen Farrand has more from Bologna here.

Incidentally, the 3km zone is instead a 5km zone this afternoon due to the technical nature of the run-in to Turin. Therefore, riders will not be penalised time in the event of crashes or mechanical issues in the final 5km.

The main business of the day, however, looks set to be the seemingly inevitable bunch sprint in Turin. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) is the obvious favourite, while Mark Cavendish (Astana-Qazaqstan), who looked on the brink of an early abandon on Saturday is chasing a 35th Tour stage victory. Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek), Sam Bennett (Decathlon-AG2R), Arnaud De Lie (Lotto-Dstny), Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-Alula) and Arnaud Demare (Arkea-Samsic) should all be in the mix too. Dani Ostanek has all the details in the stage preview here.

Astana Qazaqstan Team's British rider Mark Cavendish speaks to journalists as he awaits the start of the 3rd stage of the 111th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, 230,5 km between Piacenza and Turin, on July 1, 2024. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP)

Mark Cavendish reports for duty in Piacenza (Image credit: Getty Images)

In an echo of the 1998 Tour de France start in Ireland, where the team presentation was in ‘Château de Dublin’ and the race climbed the ‘Col du Wicklow Gap,’ ASO has been fastidiously gallicising placenames in Italy at a rate not seen since Stendhal was living the good life in these parts. Torino, like Firenze, is a city whose name is translated in most foreign languages, of course, but some of the other placenames in the roadbook might require a second glance. Today’s start is referred to as ‘Plaisance.’ for instance, while even Tortona has been rendered as the ‘Côte de Tortone.’ 

The peloton has gathered on the start line on the edge of town in Viale Malta, but thankfully the riders will have a chance to see Piacenza’s striking historic centre during the neutralised section as the course winds through Piazza Cavalli and Piazza Duomo, both fine spots to spend an afternoon eating tigelle.

The peloton is navigating the neutralised zone through the streets of Piacenza, famous (among many other things) as the home of former world champion Giorgia Bronzini as well as the famous footballing brothers Filippo and Simone Inzaghi. Another notable piacentino is Jacopo Guarnieri, though he began his cycling career on the other side of the Po in Cremona, with CC Cremonese 1891. The Lotto Dstny rider was understandably disappointed not to be selected for this year's Tour, but he is on hand working for ITV.

UAE Team Emirates team's Slovenian rider Tadej Pogacar wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey awaits the start of the 3rd stage of the 111th edition of the Tour de France cycling race, 230,5 km between Piacenza and Turin, on July 1, 2024. (Photo by Thomas SAMSON / AFP)

Tadej Pogacar at the start in Piacenza. (Image credit: Getty Images)

After the extremes of heat over the weekend, the conditions appear to be a little more amenable today, with the temperatures expected to be in the mid 20s for much of the afternoon.

The peloton passes kilometre zero but the race hasn't started just yet, with Christian Prudhomme stretching out his arms from the sun roof of the lead car to tell them to slow down as Gianni Vermeersch had a mechanical issue in the neutralised zone. The bunch won't be upset about knocking a kilometre or two off the full 230km distance.


The peloton is ambling gently through these opening kilometres, with nobody willing to go on the offensive just yet. Understandable after a high-octane opening weekend and with the race's first foray into the Alps to come tomorrow. 


No reaction from the bunch, and Abrahamsen and Kulset quickly open a lead of a minute. The 20-year-old Kulset is the youngest rider on this Tour. 


Back in the peloton, there's a front wheel puncture for Enric Mas, who gets a swift change and immediately rejoins the fray. This has been about as gentle a start to proceedings as this race allows these days, and there will be plenty of tired legs in the peloton glad of the temporary respite.


The climb of the San Luca yesterday strongly suggested that this Tour will be Pogacar-Vingegaard IV, while Evenepoel's remarkable pursuit indicates that he is the clear favourite for the time trial later this week. For the rest, including Primoz Roglic, it was a day for limiting losses. "Not exactly how we hoped, but it was damage limitation in the end,” Tom Pidcock said afterwards. Stephen Farrand has more from Bologna here.


All quiet at the head of the race for now. The television coverage enterains us with a grab from Astana-Qazaqstan's race radio, where Mark Renshaw reminds his riders to stay towards the head of the bunch and make sure no more than two or three riders go clear. "We just monitor who's jumping and make sure there's not too many," Renshaw says. The radio crackles into life again soon afterwards: "I don't think there's going to be too many riders motivated to jump away today."


Mark Cavendish struggled on the opening stage in particular, but he lines up today with designs on stage victory. “I'm ok. I'm a bit tired but everyone is, with the combination of those hard days and the heat, not to mention the long transfer," Cavendish told Eurosport. "We had 180km in the bus this morning, we were up at 6.30… That type of stuff takes it out of you, we're not used to it at the start of the Tour but everybody’s in same boat so hopefully it’s a level playing field in the sprint."

“We've talked through the final, we know what we have to do,” Cavendish continued. “We've got a long straight run, then a 90-degree left turn and another one. I don’t know if you have to brake around it, but if you’re in the first positions you should be ok. Then it’s a 700m straight with a kick inside the last 500km. I like a couple of kilometres of a straight because you can look at what’s going on. But 700m is still good, it’s good to get the lead-out wound up. I have the best guy in the world in Michael Mørkøv and I’ve got Cees Bol to lead us through the corners before that.


The race passes through the elegant town of Broni, which is the adopted home of 1994 Giro d'Italia winner Evgeni Berzin. The Russian runs a car dealership in the town, a line of business he entered while he was still in the peloton. 


Tadej Pogačar spoke to Eurosport before the start about his attack over the San Luca, where Jonas Vingegaard followed. "I was not surprised, I would say, but I was actually happy with my legs," he said. "I was really happy that I made a gap to the others. It would be better to make a gap to Jonas also. He is really strong, but we will see tomorrow how will be the legs."






The climb out of Tortona, the so-called Côte de Tortone, is the day's first climb, and we might - might - see some activity from the peloton here, even if Abrahamsen is already guaranteed to carry the polka dot jersey into tomorrow's stage. 




Matteo Jorgenson, a faller yesterday, drops back to the medical car, seemingly for an adjustment to one of his bandages.



Alpecin-Deceuninck wind up the pace for the sprint, with Decathlon-AG2R also moving up on behalf of Sam Bennett.

Alpecin-Deceuninck keep ratcheting up the pace but Jasper Philipsen doesn't seem to be with them. They swing off and Arkea-Samsic take over for Arnaud Demare.


Intermediate sprint - Alessandria



Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Deceuninck) has been another man performing a lion's share of the pace-making in the bunch today, though the pace has been a relatively gentle one, certainly in comparison to the intensity of the opening two days.



Maillot jaune Tadej Pogacar is aboard a yellow-flecked Colnago V4Rs today and our own Tom Wieckowski has all the details here.





TORINO ITALY JULY 01 A general view of Silvan Dillier of Switzerland and Team Alpecin Deceuninck leads the peloton passing through a Cascinotti Fornace Tortona village during the 111th Tour de France 2024 Stage 3 a 2308km stage from Piacenza to Torino UCIWT on July 01 2024 in Torino Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

The peloton on stage 3 of the Tour de France. (Image credit: Getty Images)

TORINO ITALY JULY 01 Mark Cavendish of The United Kingdom and Astana Qazaqstan Team competes during the 111th Tour de France 2024 Stage 3 a 2308km stage from Piacenza to Torino UCIWT on July 01 2024 in Torino Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

Mark Cavendish in the peloton ahead of a likely sprint finish in Turin. (Image credit: Getty Images)


Cavendish has a minute or so to make up on the bunch, but at the race's current level of intensity, the Manxman is unlikely to encounter any problems in getting back on.



The bunch swoops between the red-tiled roofs of Neive en route to the foot of the short climb towards Barbaresco. 



Sobrero hails from nearby Montelupo Albese, where his father Giorgio is a winemaker, producing Dolcetto d'Alba and Barbera d'Alba. In other words, he is used to quaffing on something altogether more palatable than his new sponsor's produce...

The GC teams have massed towards the front, but the pace is still relatively calm. Lidl-Trek directeur sportif Steven de Jongh's radio announcement sums up the situation neatly: "GC teams are nervous and they blocked the road so you cannot do the pulling anymore."

PIACENZA ITALY JULY 01 Dylan Groenewegen of Netherlands and Team Jayco AlUla meets the media press prior to the 111th Tour de France 2024 Stage 3 a 2308km stage from Piacenza to Torino UCIWT on July 01 2024 in Piacenza Italy Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images

Dylan Groenewegen has some notable eye and nose-wear for today's stage. (Image credit: Getty Images)








Jan Tratnik moves up towards the head of the peloton for Visma-Lease a Bike, while a delegation from Ineos is also moving into position. 

This will be the second Grand Tour stage to finish in Turin this year, after the breathless opener to the Giro d'Italia in May. On that occasion, on an already hilly day, RCS Sport slotted in the late climb to San Vito to ensure it wouldn't be a reduced group sprint, with Jhonatan Narvaez taking the win ahead of Tadej Pogacar.  There are no such late wrinkles on the profile here. This is the day's final climb and Grellier will crest the summit with a little over 49km still to race.


The indefatigable Silvan Dillier leads the peloton over the climb, and they are beginning to whittle seconds off Grellier's advantage. It's hard to see anything other than a bunch sprint in Turin - but that doesn't preclude a change of yellow jersey, given that Evenepoel could inherit the tunic from Pogacar if he finishes two places ahead of the Slovenian in the bunch. 











The peloton is bunched tightly as it hurtles along at 53kph on the run-in to Turin. The wide roads mean there hasn't been too much jostling for position just yet, but expect that to change the closer we get to the finish...


Pogacar is tucked in third wheel behind a pair of his UAE teammates on the left-hand side of the road. Ineos are also present in numbers towards the front, together with Visma and Intermarche.










Van der Poel sits up, realising that he won't make it back to play a part in the lead-out. Out in front, it's Lotto dictating terms for De Lie.


There's no relenting out in front, but the bunch looks to have split due to that incident. It's not clear if all the sprinters are in the front group


Decathlon open the sprint for Sam Bennett, but Mads Pedersen still has Lidl-Trek support...

Pedersen opens his effort but Biniam Girmay and Fernando Gaviria go with him...

Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty) wins stage 3 of the Tour de France.

Fernando Gaviria (Movistar) was second ahead of Arnaud De Lie (Lotto-Dstny).

Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) is fourth, ahead of Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-Alula). 

Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost) was 14th on the stage and that might - might - be enough to put him in the yellow jersey. It all depends on where Pogacar and Evenepoel finished, but they might have been held up by the late crash.

It appears they were - Pogacar and Evenepoel roll home together in the second group, and I think that might well put Carapaz in yellow. Jonas Vingegaard comes home in the third group. The crash was deep inside the final 5km, so this has no impact on their overall times, but their positions on the stage will determine the yellow jersey.

Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost) is the new yellow jersey of the Tour de France.


General classification after stage 3

Girmay was back in 10th wheel when the sprint started, and it wasn't clear if Intermarche were thinking more of Gerben Thijssen for the sprint, but the Eritrean moved up in the closing metres and then smartly chose to make his sprint down the right-hand side, between Pedersen and the barriers. De Lie found himself behind a slowing Pedersen. He tried to go right around Pedersen and Girmay, but there wasn't much room, and his effort served largely to impede Groenewegen. A messy sprint, in other words, but a most worthy winner, as Biniam Girmay becomes the first Eritrean Tour stage winner.

Biniam Girmay on his victory: "Ever since I started cycling, I’ve always been dreaming to be part of the Tour de France - but now, I can’t believe it, to win the Tour de France in my second year in a big bunch sprint, for me it is unbelievable.

Girmay fights back the tears as the magnitude of his victory hits home. He is the first Black African to win a stage of the Tour, another first after his victories at Gent-Wevelgem and the Giro d'Italia in 2022. Girmay's victory comes 74 years after Marcel Molinès - riding for the North African selection - became the first-ever African-born stage winner in Nîmes in 1950. 

Girmay's victory is all the more remarkable given that both his promising Classics campaign and his Giro d'Italia were ended prematurely by heavy crashes. The Eritrean had started this season very well, mind, after a difficult 2023, and he was quickly drafted into Intermarche's Tour plans. In years past, Intermarche had been unable to secure visas for riders and support staff to train with Girmay in Eritrea, governed by the totalitarian dicatorship Isaias Afwerki, one of the world's most repressive regimes. This year, Rein Taaramae, who regularly trains in Rwanda, managed to enter Eritrea to provide Girmay with a training partner operating at something approaching his level, and sports director Aike Visbeek was hopeful that change would pay dividends

Jasper Philipsen and Mark Cavendish, meanwhile, were among the sprinters to miss out on the bunch finale due to that late crash.

Mark Cavendish didn't come down but he lost some positions and momentum due to the crash. "I wasn’t the only one," he said. "I was just looking to stay up. I’m too little to see what’s going on but I could hear it. Someone skidded and I was just waiting for someone to hit from behind. Luckily they didn’t and we kind of got through, but we were way off it and with 2.5km to go we were out of it. I don’t think anybody was seriously hurt and that’s the main thing."

Dylan Groenewegen was frustrated after his 5th place: “There wasn’t enough space to launch my sprint, so that’s a big disappointment because I had a feeling that I had really good legs, and there was more possible, but that’s sprinting.”

TORINO ITALY JULY 01 Richard Carapaz of Ecuador and Team EF Education EasyPost celebrates at podium as Yellow Leader Jersey winner during the 111th Tour de France 2024 Stage 3 a 2308km stage from Piacenza to Torino UCIWT on July 01 2024 in Torino Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Remco Evenepoel was the man expected to take yellow from Pogacar, but the Belgian was held up by the late crash. "Yes, it's a surprise for us," Carapaz says. "We thought it would be difficult, but today I felt good and think it was worth the risk. I had to play for it and had to try to go for it. The team has done incredible work until the end. I'm really happy."

Jonas Abrahamsen (Uno-X Mobility) remains in the green jersey, 10 points clear of Girmay, and the Norwegian also retains the king of the mountains jersey, 13 points up on Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ). Remco Evenepoel retains the white jersey, while Movistar lead the teams classification.

Remco Evenepoel shrugged off any disappointment at missing out on yellow. “I wanted to come in at my ease - well, figuratively speaking – and that was a success. The mission of the day was a success,” he told Sporza. " I didn't think about yellow. I'm here without injuries and hopefully it will stay that way. Others have fallen seriously and that's not nice to see."

Mathieu van der Poel, meanwhile, suffered not one but two punctures in the finale, which prevented him from serving as Jasper Philipsen's lead-out man - though Philipsen was himself disrupted by the crash that split the bunch 2.4km from home.

Mark Cavendish's prospects of a 35th Tour stage win were ruined by the late chaos here, though the Manxman was reliefed to have avoided going down in the crash. Stephen Farrand was at the Astana bus after the stage and he reported on the scene.

Richard Carapaz takes an historic first yellow jersey for Ecuador. "It's a dream for me because of all the respect I have for the Tour to wear yellow at the best race in the world," he said. Read the full story here.

A full report, results and pictures from today's stage are available here.

Dani Ostanek has more reaction from Biniam Girmay in Turin here.

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