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Tour de Pologne 2017: Stage 3

Welcome to live coverage of the third stage of the Tour de Pologne. The riders got a little bit of a lie-in today with a late afternoon start to the stage. 

At the moment, seven riders have a minute of an advantage over the pelooton. They are Maxime Monfort, Remi Cavagna, Sebastien Reichenbach, Jose Goncalves, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Maciej Paterski and Adam Stachowiak. 

 

There was one non-starter today with Sam Bewley of Orica-Scott pulling out due to illness. 

 

Danny van Poppel is in the race leader's jersey today after finishing second to Sacha Modolo on stage 2. He moves ahead of stage 1 winner Peter Sagan who finished eighth in yesterday's sprint. 

 

1 Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky 6:11:27
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3 Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE-Emirates
4 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott 0:00:04
5 Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:00:06
6 Kamil Gradek (Pol) Poland 0:00:07
7 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data 0:00:09
8 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky
9 Nicollo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:10
10 Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo

 

The breakaway, which formed after the first intermediate sprint, now has 2:30 on the peloton behind. Team Sky is managing the pace behind. 

 

The breakaway 

 

The last two stages of the Tour de Pologne have ended up in a bunch sprint. Today will certainly not. The steep uphill rise to the finish line will make some clear divisions in the overall classification and should give us an early indication as to who is in line to win the overall classification. 

 

Climbers such as Adam Yates, Rafal Majka, Wilco Kelderman and Vincenzo Nibali should go well at the finish. However, it levels out for the final few kilometres so there is a chance for dropped riders to pull the gap back. Watch out for someone like Luis Leon Sanchez, who could feasibly spring a surprise on the favourites. 

 

If you were following the news over the weekend, you will have seen the reports regarding the amateur racer who was caught motor-doping. Well, he has spoken tot he Italian press and denied it all, saying that jealous rivals have dobbed him in. You can read the full story here

 

100 kilometres of today's stage remaining and the gap between the leaders and the peloton is a manageable 3:30. 

 

Maciej Paterski takes the second of three intermediate sprints. Bob Jungels took the first one, just before the breakaway shot up the road. 

 

The route passed through the home town of Przemyslaw Niemiec and the UAE Team Emirates took the time to stop and say hello to his family. 

 

It is one day until the cycling transfer window officially opens, but there are already stories of riders signing deals with other teams. Movistar boss Eusebio Unzue has told the Spanish press that he had secured the services of Eduardo Sepulveda for 2018. Read the full story here and more in our news short. 

 

#TourdePologne Unverified Fact Stage 3 leads the riders to Szczyrk, the city with the lowest vowels' ratio in Poland Am I right @8aldwin?

@AlexandreMignot Mon, 31st Jul 2017 14:51:26

87km remaining from 161km

With 87 kilometres remaining, the gap between the breakaway and the escapees has gone up to 3:50. The peloton, which is still controlled by Team Sky, has kept this seven-man move at close quarters throughout the day. There is still a chance that they could stay away, but that chance is very small. 

 

The riders have passed through the finish town of Szczyrk. They will now complete two loops of a circuit, which contains two climbs, before crossing the line for the final time. 

 

Keeping on the Polish theme, Kasia Niewiadoma signed a deal that would bring her to the Canyon-SRAM team next season. The Polish champion told Cyclingnews that there was no other team she wanted to go to. Read the full story here

 

A reminder of the seven riders in the breakaway: Maxime Monfort, Remi Cavagna, Sebastien Reichenbach, Jose Goncalves, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Maciej Paterski and Adam Stachowiak. They broke free just after the first intermediate sprint and have almost four minutes on the peloton going into this finishing loop.

 

71km remaining from 161km

As we approach the climbs, the peloton is pulling back the escapees. The seven out front have 3:30 on the chasing pack. 

 

That gap is really coming down quickly. It's now just three minutes. How much longer can these guys hold on?

 

As the gap drops drastically again to 2:30, Maciej Paterski launches an attack to mop up the points at the opening climb with Monfort behind him to take second. 

 

Our reporter in Poland, Alasdair Fotheringham, has just driven the final climb to the finish. He describes it as the type of finish for a rider with the skill set of Adam Yates. 

 

"The finish is on a 1.5 kilometer uphill, first part fairly gentle and broad roads, then it swings hard right onto much narrower road, all in thick woods. After that it steepens notably on a long straight section, then a couple of even steeper zig zags.

 


"The final uphill left-hander to finish, a steady climb, but about 1.5 car widths wide at most."

 

1st Tauron Mountain Prime I cat. 1. Premia Górska Tauron I kat. : 1. Paterski 2. Monfort 3. Reichenbach 4. Stachowi… https://t.co/hnXk8b6IjV

@Tour_de_Pologne Mon, 31st Jul 2017 15:30:20

60km remaining from 161km

Team Sky still working on the front with Van Poppel sitting in second wheel. Bahrain-Merida are just behind looking after Vincenzo Nibali. 

 

Meanwhile, BMC's Ben Hermans has been involved in a crash and has had to drop out of the race. 

 

2:05 the latest time gap for the escapees as they struggle to keep the peloton at bay. 

 

Bob Jungels, who is here at the Tour de Pologne and could be in with a shout of victory, signed a three-year extension to his contract with Quick-Step Floors. Read the full story here

 

The breakaway is passing through the President's of Poland mansion in Vistula. Ucieczka przejeżdża obok rezydencji Prezydenta RP w Wiśle.

@Tour_de_Pologne Mon, 31st Jul 2017 15:46:49

52km remaining from 161km

Reichenbach takes the points at the top of the second KOM of the day. Paterski was second, however, and retains his place as virtual leader of the competition. Still 52 kilometres to go with the gap now dropping down to 2:00.

 

There are still two more climbs to come before the finish, but the question will be if the leaders can stay away to pick up the points. It will surely help Paterski if they are caught earlier. 

 

42km remaining from 161km

Bora-Hansgrohe are now helping with the chase as the gap drops below two minutes. They are looking to set up Rafal Majka for glory today. The push in pace is doing some serious damage with the advantage just 1:45.

 

Britton flying under the radar at Tour of Utah https://t.co/XfEi1D31TO https://t.co/N2NYbXrujV

@Cyclingnewsfeed Mon, 31st Jul 2017 15:59:01

That is me for now, I'm going to hand you over to Laura Weislo for the final 40 kilometres of the stage. 

 

37km remaining from 161km

A reminder of our breakaway as the peloton draws ever closer: Maxime Monfort (Lotto Soudal), Remi Cavagna (Quick-Step Floors), Sebastien Reichenbach (FDJ), José Gonçalves (Katusha-Alpecin), Bert-Jan Lindeman (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Adam Stachowiak (Poland) are still away but they are in sight of the bunch now.

37km remaining from 161km

That's it for the original breakaway, but we've had a second group jump from the peloton, with a Cannondale-Drapac rider forging clear past the remnants.

This move shuffled the breakaway - and riders are being shot out the back of the peloton on this climb. We have a new group out front just ahead of the bunch - Bahrain, Sky, looks like Muhlberger from Bora, a Sunweb rider and Laurens De Plus of Quick-Step.

34km remaining from 161km

The peloton is strung out behind De Plus, with his teammate Bob Jungels (who just signed a 3-year deal) popping out for a peek behind. They're almost near the top of this climb.

De Plus takes the mountain points over the top with a last dig, and he's done quite a bit of damage at the back of the peloton.

31km remaining from 161km

A short, narrow descent over the top caused further splits in the bunch, but now the road has widened out again and riders are chasing back on at 78kph.

Sky is leading the peloton on the descent, looking to set up Wout Poels.

28km remaining from 161km

After that fast descent, Sky let up on the front, but there's no sign of Danny Van Poppel. We'll see groups rejoin before this final climb as the pace slackens.

It's the last chance for riders to get bottles from the car, and Patrick Konrad is making sure the Bora riders will have what they need for the finale.

25km remaining from 161km

Once more we have an attack from Cannondale-Drapac, it looks like Toms Skujins

Skujins seems to have grabbed the sprint bonus over the cobblestones, and as he's caught, AG2R La Mondiale have countered.

Importantly, Poels took 2 seconds behind Skujins, and Montaguti was third with a single second. He's been reeled back in as Sky resume control over the front of the peloton.

21km remaining from 161km

Katusha-Alpecin have now come forward next to Sky with Ilnur Zakarin in tow. They are heading into the climb with 21km to go.

This climb crests with 11.3km to go, then it's a quick descent and uphill to the finish. Katusha are setting a steady pace for the moment as Sunweb and Lotto Soudal join them at the front.

Goncalves is picking up the pace, as Zakarin is handed a bidon by a teammate. Bahrain-Merida are moving Nibali off, dropping him onto Zakarin's wheel.

Katusha also have Spilak in tow, who is a punchier climber than Zakarin and could be their man for the stage.

16km remaining from 161km

The peloton is in an arrow shape behind Katusha, as they big-ring this climb through the forest.

The scale of the stage profile is deceptive, in that this climb isn't very steep, but at the pace Katusha are driving it, it's not easy at all. Pellizotti is being shelled.

Skujins and a bunch of others are being jettisoned out the back - the pace up front is just brutal.

The peloton is down to about 60 riders now as the road begins to kick up - still another 4km of climbing to go.

14km remaining from 161km

They're still 3km from the top of the climb and already Katusha have burned out all but three riders - two of them are Zakarin and Spilak.

And Zakarin goes!

Zakarin gets a good gap, going... going...

 

Bahrain Merida and Sunweb will need to drive the chase.

It's AG2R pulling the bunch along at the moment, but Zakarin's gap is opening.

13km remaining from 161km

10 seconds for Zakarin as he passes under an inflatable...

13km remaining from 161km

BMC come to the front with Rohan Dennis and he's definitely eating into Zakarin's gap.

13km remaining from 161km

That's it for Zakarin. Dennis just mowed him down, and is now looking around to see what other damage he's done.

Van Garderen is parked near the back of this reduced bunch.

It's a good day for Dylan Teuns, in-form winner of Tour de Wallonie. 

 

We've got an attack from Jack Haig (Orica-Scott)!

11km remaining from 161km

1k to the top of the climb is where Haig attacked, he's opened up a nice gap.

10 seconds for Haig, and again it's Dennis having to do the work to control the gap.

Inflatable. Flag. Flag. Flag. Flag. Flag. Flag... there are so many road sponors! Haig gets the KOM points amid a string of inflatables.

17 seconds later Sky leads the bunch over the top.

Haig gets down onto the top tube as he hurtles down this rough road descent.

Diego Rosa (Sky) is leading the chase behind.

The bunch behind has shrunk dramatically as they chase Haig.

There are maybe 30, more like 25 guys chasing after Haig. This is a flat-out run to the finish.

There's a gap in the chase, with Rosa, Pozzovivo and Teuns leading, but the gap is being shut down - still 19 seconds to Haig who is descending like mad.

5km remaining from 161km

Inside 5km to go and Dennis is in full TT mode trying to chase down his compatriot.

3km remaining from 161km

After pedaling like mad on the descent, not sure how much Haig will have for this short, sharp climb. We shall see - 8 seconds is the gap!

3km remaining from 161km

3k to go for Haig, who's riding like a motorbike still.

Haig is about to be caught, but this will set up teammate Adam Yates quite nicely.

Dennis pulls off inside 2k to go without catching Haig.

Haig leads into the climb, and it's Rosa who seals the deal sprinting into the finale.

Haig's not giving up, but it's almost game over.

Haig is finally passed at 1k to go.

Sagan is still here!

17% grade, ouch.

Valerio Conti of UAE is getting a gap.

Yates goes after him.

Yates pulls Teuns across to Conti.

Conti's popped, now it's just Yates and Teuns.

Teuns makes a break for it, while Oomen comes across to Yates.

Kelderman rather. But Sagan is still in there!

Teuns is leading but Sagan comes around the chasers.

Teuns just gets it! But Sagan was second.

Sagan could be the new race leader

Majka came third, with Kelderman and Slagter behind.

Excellent stage win for Teuns, and an impressive climb by the world champion to regain the race lead.

1 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team 3:51:41
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
4 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb
5 Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac 0:00:05
6 Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJ 0:00:07
7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
8 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott
9 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:00:12
10 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:14

For all the work done by Team Sky, Poels narrowly made the top 10 and 12 seconds.

The GC still looks pretty tight:
General classification after stage 3

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 10:03:02
2 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:06
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:12
4 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:16
5 Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac 0:00:21
6 Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJ 0:00:23
7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:24
8 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:00:25
9 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott 0:00:25
10 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data 0:00:30

In particular, Bora-Hansgrohe have some good options with Majka third overall.

That's the first WorldTour victory for Teuns, which is some consolation for having not managed to take the race lead.

But who can argue with that climb from Sagan? He paced himself well, hanging on over the steepest part and only putting in his top effort in the final turn to pass all of the chasers.

Teuns is well positioned for the coming hillier stages where Sagan might suffer, however.

That was a pretty brutal new finish for the Tour de Pologne - it certainly opened up the GC a bit.

Looking a bit further down the standings, Poels is at 25 seconds, Nathan Haas at 30, Nibali at 31s, while Zakarin lost 38 seconds. There are only 21 riders within a minute of Sagan.

You'll find the full results, report and photos in our race report later on today.

Thank you for following stage 3 of the Tour de Pologne live with Cyclingnews. We also have the Tour of Utah opening stage today, so be sure to check back on our homepage above to find out who wins.

Tune in again tomorrow for stage 4 of Tour de Pologne!

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