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Tour de Suisse 2013: Stage 3

Hello and welcome to stage 3 of the Tour de Suisse.

Hello and welcome to our live coverage from stage 3 of this year's Tour de Suisse, a 203km race from Montreux to Meiringen.

Today's profile should keep the GC contenders and climbers on their toes. The first 160-odd kilometres are relatively flat with the Grimselstrasse. Then there's the far tougher first category climb to deal with. It's just over 12km in length with a 6.3 per cent average gradient. Some slopes of the climb approach the 10 per cent mark though.

 

There are just under 20km from the top of the climb to the finish.

After two stages, here's where we stand on GC:

1 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 2:53:06
2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:03
3 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:00:05
4 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 0:00:12
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:00:16
6 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:00:28
7 Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:34
8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team
9 Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:00:35
10 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:36

And there are also a number of strong riders sitting just outside the top ten in GC:

 

11 Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) Movistar Team 0:00:40
12 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:42
13 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team
14 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:00:43
15 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:00:44
16 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 0:00:45
17 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:47
18 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:00:48
19 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:00:53
20 Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Sky Procycling 0:00:56
21 Johann Tschopp (Swi) IAM Cycling
22 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:58

In the race Damiano Caruso is leading a small break from the peloton.

The Caruso group has just over a minute on the field with 180km of racing remaining.

It looked as though Jesus Herrada (Movistar), and Stefan Denifl (IAM Cycling) were away with Caruso.

Frederique Robert (Bel) Lotto Belisol was a DNS today. He was riding last in GC after yesterday's stage.

170km remaining from 203km

The Caruso group has been brought back but the peloton has split in two. The race leader is safely in the first group though, with the gap at 55 seconds.

165km remaining from 203km

The second peloton is struggling to close the gap at the moment with the time check still at 56 seconds.

Away from the race and Alberto Contador has been telling the media that he's as good as Froome. The Sky rider had the upper hand at the Dauphine but the Tour de France is still a few weeks away. You can read what Contador had to say, right here.

While BMC's 14-man long list has made it out to the public. You can have a look here.

As for Garmin, they have a long-list, short-list, whatever you want to call it but they won't be making any decisions until three days before the Tour de France starts.

We also have the lowdown on Samuel Sanchez's Orbea road bike, which he used on his way to a stage win at the Dauphine.

153km remaining from 203km

50km covered so far with the first categorised climb (third cat) coming up in 9km.

The race averaged 48kph for the first hour but the race is starting to come back together with the gap between the two bunches at 20 seconds.

The race passes through Fribourg with the gap now holding at 30 seconds.

The race has crested the top of the third category climb with Gilbert picking up maximum points:

1 Gilbert (BMC) 5 points
2 Breschel (TST) 3
3 Cancellara (RLT) 2
4 Kelderman (BLA) 1

Here's how we stand in the KOM competition:

 

Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp 12 pts
2 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 8
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 6

A combination of the terrain, the pace and some aggressive riding has seen a group of 17 break free from the peloton. Boonen, Gilbert, Kelderman, Albasini and Elmiger are among those in the lead.

125km remaining from 203km

125km left to race.

120km remaining from 203km

The 18 leaders are: Hayden Roulston (RadioShack), Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma QuickStep), Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma QuickStep), Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp), Philippe Gilbert (BMC), Maxime Bouet (AG2R), Matteo Montaguti (AG2R), Wilco Kelderman (Blanco), Matti Breschel (Saxo Tinkoff), Michael Morkov (Saxo Tinkoff), Michael Albasini (ORICA), Jorge Azanza (Euskaltel), Jérémy Roy (FDJ), Tom Dumoulin (Argos Shimano), Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling), Anthony Delaplace (Sojasun), Rémi Pauriol (Sojasun) and they have 3;15 on the yellow jersey group.

Wilco Kelderman is the best placed rider in GC in the break. He's 53 seconds down on Meyer so right now, he's leading the race.

There's some decent firepower in that break. The most interesting could be Albasini. He can climb and TT and his presence will mean that Orica don't have to do all the chasing. Alas for the Australian team Albasini is over four minutes down on GC.

115km remaining from 203km

115km to go and the gap is up to 3:15.

The bunch have reacted and shaved 30 seconds off the break's advantage.

The break are less than 10km from the feedzone, with the peloton 2'54 back.

Astana and Movistar, both teams who missed the break, are now working hard to chase the move down.

Simone Stortoni has abandoned the race.

Roughly halfway through today's stage. The break, consisting of Hayden Roulston (RadioShack), Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma QuickStep), Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma QuickStep), Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp), Philippe Gilbert (BMC), Maxime Bouet (AG2R), Matteo Montaguti (AG2R), Wilco Kelderman (Blanco), Matti Breschel (Saxo Tinkoff), Michael Morkov (Saxo Tinkoff), Michael Albasini (ORICA), Jorge Azanza (Euskaltel), Jérémy Roy (FDJ), Tom Dumoulin (Argos Shimano), Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling), Anthony Delaplace (Sojasun), and Rémi Pauriol (Sojasun) have 3'05 over the Astana/Movistar led peloton.

It's all flat now until the final two climbs of the day. The gap keeps hovering around the 2/3 minute mark though with Astana and Movistar still leading the chase.

There's been another Tour de France short list announced. This time it's Argos Shimano.

HTC used to always keep their list private, even from the riders I think, so that they would be motivated to race throughout June.

80km remaining from 203km

80km remaining in the stage and the break has 3'10 over the peloton.

70km remaining from 203km

A more concerted effort from the peloton and the gap is now down to 2'00.

Another 30 seconds has been chipped off the lead.

It looks like the peloton might catch the group before the next climb, with the gap now down to 1'30.

Ryder Hesjedal has crashed and is out of the Tour de Suisse according to reports.

And we're down to just nine riders in the front group now too.

45km remaining from 203km

The gap has at least gone back out to 2 minutes with some new impetus in the break. The bunch still have everything under control at this stage though.

The nine leaders are:  Hayden Roulston (RadioShack), Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma QuickStep), Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma QuickStep), Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp), Philippe Gilbert (BMC), Wilco Kelderman (Blanco), Matti Breschel (Saxo Tinkoff), Michael Albasini (ORICA), Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling)

That's very disappointing news for Garmin with the loss of Hesjedal who was looking to find his form having left the Giro with illness. At the moment Orica are driving the peloton.

The break are on a long flat straight road but the peloton have their in their sights.

A few riders are struggling to hold the pace at the back of the field as we race towards the final two climbs of today, a fourth cat, then a first cat, before the long descent to the finish.

Astana are also going a lot of work near the front of the peloton still. They've been instrumental in bringing this break back.

It's still a very strong break up the road with a number of powerful and proven riders but really they need at least 3-4 minutes before starting the final climb if they're to have any chance of winning today. The gap is currently at 2 minutes.

The break race over the finish line for the first time with the bunch now 2'01 back. Gilbert comes to the front and sets the pace with Albasini following him through.

The riders are now climbing, with the break on the penultimate climb of the day.

Boonen leads them over the top to take some KOM points. There's been some rain so the roads will be pretty slick on the descent towards the final climb.

Saxo Bank are now setting the pace for Kreuziger.

And now the leaders are on the final climb of the day. Boonen looks to be struggling.

There's an attack from the peloton from Argos and now Terpstra is slipping back.

30km remaining from 203km

The gap is now down to 1'18.

Burghardt is now leading the peloton for BMC and his leader Van Garderen as now Gilbert is starting to struggle and has lost about 10 meters on the break.

29km remaining from 203km

29km to go and the gap is now down to 1'21. There are just six riders left in the break.

Andy Schleck is quite near the front of the peloton.

The break are doing a good job of holding the break at the moment. There are still some steep sections to come before the long descent.

Vansummeren is being distanced now, his shoulders rocking as Roulston is also dropped. So we have just four riders in the lead now.

Lampre set the pace for Scarponi, it will be interesting to see what he can do today. Saxo Bank are showing their intent though

26km to go so there's still a fair distance remaining of this climb before the 19km descent. Roche is setting the pace at the front of the peloton.

Andy Schleck has been dropped, the RadioShack rider losing major ground on the climb. The bunch now have the leaders at 43 seconds with Roche doing a lot of the work.

He's really riding for a Tour de France slot and even though he has a man in the break the Danish team are trying to set something up for Kreuziger.

Confirmation from Garmin that Hesjedal is at the hospital. In the race and Meyer is starting to struggle as Albasini is given the green light and now leads the race and his alone. This climb really suits him but he has just 19 seconds on the peloton.

BMC are now leading  the reduced peloton. There are less than 20 riders as Kelderman is swept up.

It looks like Scarponi is struggling but where is Meyer, we've lost sight of him.

Rui Costa, last year's winner, is here, Pinot too. Tangert as well.

Van Garderen is setting the pace and has brought Albasini back so it's all together, although there are less than 20 riders in the lead peloton.

Meyer is not in this lead group.

The race leader is chasing further down the climb without any help.

There's still time for Meyer to recover though. The race dips down slightly but we're climbing again. The descent is going to be tricky, it's a technical one but it's going to be even harder in the wet conditions.

Peter Sagan is in the lead group and is right on the back of the two BMC riders at the front of the peloton.

The Cannondale rider looks comfortable and if it comes down to a sprint he'll be the favourite. Dan Martin is also in the lead group. Visconti is there too and Mollema.

It's still  Van Garderen on the front of the peloton setting the pace.

The American lifts the pace again and has the move strung out. He takes a quick look behind him and then settles back to his pace setting duties.

Frank sits on van Garderen's wheel but he's not looking as comfortable as the American.

Van Garderen pulls over, his work done and Kreuziger takes over straight away. He's lifted the pace dramatically.

They're on the descent and Kreuziger is stretching the lead group.

It looks like Scarponi has made it back to the lead group.

Kreuziger isn't the cleanest through the corners but he's not holding back that's for certain.

18km remaining from 203km

18km to go and we'll almost certainly have a new race leader. If Meyer can't catch the leaders then Mathias Frank should take yellow.

There are now four leaders, Kreuziger, Sagan, Rui Costa and Frank.

16km remaining from 203km

They've broken clear on the descent.

The Saxo rider is doing all the work and he's looking good on the less technical corners as Sagan now comes through and takes a long turn.

Sagan will happily work as beating three riders in a sprint is a much easier proposition. 

The other three riders are all going to work as well due to their GC aspiration. Behind and Daniel Martin leads the chase.

The road now levels off and starts climbing before the final plunge down to the finish.

The four leaders have 27 seconds with 14km to go.

Dan Martin is doing a lot of work in the chase but it's almost a one man job at the moment.

Mollema has attacked from the chase group and Martin is trying to catch him.

Mollema is clear but is 24 seconds behind the leaders. They won't want him to bridge up and will need to keep on pushing. So far Rui Costa hasn't done much work, perhaps because Visconti is in the chase.

The gap has now gone out to 31 seconds with 11km to go.

Under 10 km to go and the gap is 34 seconds. Frank is riding towards the leader's jersey right now. Mollema is about to be caught by the chase group.

Mollema has actually stayed clear but he's still 31 seconds down on the leaders with 6km to go.

Rui Costa has now started to work with it clear that Visconti and co are not going to come back.

Costa also wants to put time in Mollema too.

3km remaining from 203km

3km to go and Sagan hits the front on the final section of the descent.

Sagan is the favourite for the stage but it will be interesting to see if any of the other try and take him on. Maybe a late attack?

Sagan is at the front and controlling the pace.

Sagan had attacked.

Incredible. Kreuziger closes the move down.

And Costa will lead out with Sagan on his wheel.

Sagan takes the win, Rui Costa second and Frank will now lead the race on GC.

 

 

Mollema now comes to the line and then the rest of the chase at 44 seconds.

Meyer now comes up to the line and but he's down by 1'47 and loses his yellow jersey.

Albasini comes over the line soon after. GreenEdge went for it today with Albasini in the break but it didn't come off for the Australian team.

In GC Frank leads Kreuziger by 23 seconds with Rui Costa in third.

Frank gives van Garderen a hug at the line. The American was crucial in dropping Meyer and setting up Frank for the finish.

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling 4:46:27
2 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team
3 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
4 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team
5 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:00:39
6 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 0:00:46
7 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp
8 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ
9 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team
10 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale

And in GC:

1 Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team 7:39:18
2 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:00:25
3 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team 0:00:35
4 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 0:00:53
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:00:57
6 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:01:08
7 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp 0:01:23
8 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 0:01:26
9 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:28
10 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:01:39

Thanks for joining us today. You can find our report and results right here. Tune in tomorrow for more live coverage from the Tour de Suisse.

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