Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the third stage of the 2021 Tour de Suisse.
Today's stage is another hilly one after Monday's stage 2, which saw Mathieu van der Poel take victory in Lachen on his return to road racing following a spell on the mountain bike.
Stefan Küng continues in the race lead today. The Swiss rider, who won the opening time trial, leads Van der Poel by a solitary second.
We're around 20 minutes from the start of today's stage.
The team presentation is currently ongoing in Lachen.
Team @TeamEmiratesUAE with @MarcHirschi looks ready: pic.twitter.com/gOjiJTJQnaJune 8, 2021
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The peloton will roll out in a couple of minutes.
And we're off to start stage 3.
🇨🇭 #TourdeSuisse🚩 Let's go! 👋 pic.twitter.com/YQCIQdKPd1June 8, 2021
There's climbing from very early on today, so a chance for the breakaway to make a move. No categorised climbs until the two third-cats in the final 60km of the stage, though.
175km to go / 8km done
Remy Rochas (Cofidis), Claudio Imhof (Switzerland) and Benjamin King (Rally) have attacked on that first hill.
The trio are 1:45 up the road now, with Mathias Frank (AG2R Citroën) chasing.
Frank is around 1:15 behind the break.
The riders have climbed up that uncategorised hill now and will tackle a lumpy plateau.
The peloton lies two minutes back. It looks like Frank is unlikely to make it across to the front anytime soon.
165km to go / 17km done
Frank lags a minute behind the lead trio. The peloton now three minutes down.
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154km to go / 38km done
Frank has now made it across to the break. They're 3:30 up on the peloton at the moment.
The riders are still racing atop a plateau early in the stage. There's a descent coming up in around 10km and then it's all rolling roads and hills to the finish.
The break starts the descent off the plateau 4:30 up on the peloton.
132km to go / 50km done
After 50km there's no change in the race situation, but the break has pulled out a bit more of a gap to go 4:40 clear.
The gap is only going up as the stage progresses. It's up to seven minutes now.
John Degenkolb thinks the break can make it to the finish today.
"There's a big chance a breakaway can make it to the finish."@Lotto_Soudal's @johndegenkolb assesses the possible outcomes on @tds Stage 3 🎥_________🇨🇭 #TourdeSuisse pic.twitter.com/RWjnd2vfMZJune 8, 2021
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Rochas is the best-placed man in the break at 1:50 down. He's the virtual leader right now. The rest of the break are minutes down.
102km to go / 80km done
Trek-Segafredo are among the teams working at thee front of the peloton currently. Seven minutes to the break.
A bit of an upping of the pace in the peloton as the close the gap to just under six minutes.
Meanwhile, Cofidis rider Tom Bohli stops with a puncture
It has been a very uneventful stage so far...
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80km to go / 102km done
A look at the four men in the breakaway today.
#TDS 🇨🇭5'50 d'avance pour le quatuor de tête 🏁 85km📸 @GettySport pic.twitter.com/syv3TfycMuJune 8, 2021
BikeExchange are also working in the peloton now.
Alpecin-Fenix and Trek-Segafredo are also working at the front.
68km to go / 114km done
The four in the break are still together and have 4:10 on the peloton.
The third-cat climb of the Bottenwilerstrasse is coming up for the break soon. They're currently on a small uncategorised hill.
The gap is under four minutes now.
The break are tackling that third-cat climb now. It's 2.4km long at an average of 6.5 per cent.
King jumps away at the top to take maximum points ahead of Rochas and Imhof.
The peloton crosses the climb 3:50 down on the break. BikeExchange lead the way.
54km to go / 128km done
The intermediate sprint in Vordemwald is next on the menu.
Imhof leads Frank and Rochas over the sprint point.
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A look at the breakaway today with King leading the way.
The break are riding the run-in to the finish now. It's an uphill rise to the 100 metres to go mark. Still another 45km to go for them though.
Jack Bauer leads the peloton for BikeExchange. Alpecin-Fenix, Groupama-FDJ and Astana-Premier Tech also up there.
The peloton rolls through the line 3:30 down on the break.
Crash in the peloton. Nathan van Hooydonck (Jumbo-Visma), Kobe Goossens (Lotto Soudal) and Johan Jacobs (Movistar) go down.
And now another crash on a narrow piece of road. Neilson Powless (EF) among those involved along with a few teammates.
Everyone is back up and running from both crashes.
Flat tyre for Andre Greipel.
I'll be handing over to Patrick Fletcher for the last part of the stage.
Bora-Hansgrohe are chasing hard on the front of the bunch.
The pace ebbs away slightly but teams are now jostling for position ahead of this next and final climb, which tops out 20km from the line.
27km to go
The breakaway hit the climb at Rütsch. It's 3.4km long with an average gradient of 6.1 per cent, and maximum pitches of more than 11 per cent.
The peloton start the climb 1:30 in arrears.
Groupama-FDJ take it up, with one rider in front of race leader Kung.
But here come Alpecin-Fenix. Van der Poel's team lift the pace
Imhof is dropped from the break. He was in the break yesterday too and is understandably suffering
Bora are right alongside Alpecin as they set a hard pace.
It's Fabbro on the front for Bora and he gaps his leader Schachmann, such is his pace.
Silvan Dillier can't follow that pace for Alpecin, but Van der Poel still has two teammates around him.
Kung is still right up there.
Rochas attacks up front!
Frank is dropped, but is all smiles.
King is also distanced but is trying to chase.
Back in the bunch, Fabbro continues to pile on the pressure.
Van der Poel attacks!
Alaphilippe on the case. Then two Ineos riders and Chaves, Woods, Fuglsang.
25km from the line but Van der Poel is on the move.
Alaphilippe attacks now!
Rochas crests the climb alone with a lead of 20 seconds as those elite riders sweep past King.
The Astana rider is Fraile - not Fuglsang. The Ineos riders are Carapaz and Dunbar.
A decent gap back to the rest. Schachmann missed that after all that work from Fabbro.
Astana are chasing this down. They have Fraile up front but they want Fuglsang up there and not losing time.
Alaphilippe goes again as he senses the chase group coming back
The world champion opens a gap as the field stretches out again.
It's coming back together behind.
The road dips downhill again now and Alaphilippe is pressing on. He has flown past Rochas and nearly took him out in the process.
22.3km to go
Alaphilippe takes a small gap onto the flat!
The world champion commits to this solo effort. Who has the numbers to chase behind?
There are still around 50 riders in this reduced peloton.
Ineos are chasing with Rohan Dennis now.
Alaphilippe admits defeat and settles back into the pack.
Dennis shits the gap as Ineos have four on the front of this reduced peloton. Sivakov and Dunbar are the other riders there with Carapaz.
Kung is safely in this bunch, as is Matthews.
We're on an uphill drag but will soon be dipping downhill again through the second intermediate sprint, where we could see a battle for the bonus seconds (3-2-1).
Attack! It's Anthony Turgis (Total Direct Energie)
BikeExchange take over from Ineos and shut it down.
But here comes another Total attack
This time BikeExchange send a rider to mark it.
The BikeExchange rider is starting to contribute! This will put the pressure on the other teams.
Marc Soler (Movistar) attacks now.
A split in this bunch behind Soler's 10-rider group.
The Total rider up front is Pierre Latour and the BikeExchange rider with him is Amund Grondahl Jansen
But they're closed down by that Soler-led chase group, and the rest of the bunch isn't far behind.
Intermediate sprint time. Mattia Catteneo (QuickStep) attacks and wins it, followed by Dunbar and Woods.
Soler tries to press that mini move on. It's coming back but this group is really stretched.
10km to go
10 to go and this bunch of 50 riders is back together but there's no organised tempo-setting and this could continue to be a chaotic run-in.
Alpecin-Fenix have started to work as Cortina gets a five-second gap.
Cortina has nine seconds with 6.5km to go.
BikeExchange have put a rider on the front as well now.
Soler is up there third wheel performing the blocking duties.
Vakoc is the Alpecin chaser as Cortina moves out to 16 seconds.
Total start pulling now as well.
4km to go
4000 metres to go for Cortina! He has 13 seconds in hand.
The Belgian puts in a big surge in tempo, as the chase threatened to fizzle out.
3km to go
Cortina loses a few seconds. 11 seconds now and it's tilting away from him once more.
2km to go
Cortina passes the 2km to go banner and he's putting in a huge effort to hold off this chase
Direct Energie, BikeExchange, and Alpecin are burning their last riders now. Is it too late?
1.5km to go
The gap is down to 9 seconds now!
1km to go
Xandro Meurisse puts in a big turn to close the gap to five seconds under the flamme rouge!
Vansevenant takes it up! Alaphilippe in the wheel.
Cortina is caught!
Final lef-thand bend. Vansevenant leads out Alaphilippe.
Van der Poel is on Alaphilippe's wheel.
Van der Poel attacks!
Van der Poel storms clear again!
Van der Poel wins
Laporte takes second place, Alaphilippe hangs on for third, Matthews fourth.
Another 250-metre sprint from Mathieu van der Poel and another stage won by several bike lengths. Wow.
Van der Poel into the yellow jersey
With 10 more bonus seconds for the win, he takes the overall lead from Kung. Alaphilippe claimed four bonus seconds but only led Van der Poel by 5 seconds at the start of the day, meaning he'll still be second at one second, just to a different rider.
Let's hear from the winner
"I had a good day again. We wanted to make the race hard on final climb, but there were still around 40 guys with us. We did the sprint one lap before the finish and I saw it was something that suits me really well, so I aimed for that.
"As long as it's possible maybe, but it will be difficult [to defend the yellow jersey]. Maybe tomorrow is an opportunity still but in the mountains it'll be too hard for me."
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix||4:24:26|
|2||Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis|
|3||Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep|
|4||Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange|
|5||Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|6||Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo|
|7||Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team DSM|
|8||Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech|
|9||Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie|
|10||Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation|
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix||8:49:14|
|2||Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep||0:00:01|
|3||Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ||0:00:04|
|4||Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:00:06|
|5||Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep||0:00:13|
|6||Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team||0:00:16|
|7||Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers||0:00:17|
|8||Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo||0:00:29|
|9||Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal||0:00:37|
|10||Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo||0:00:39|
|10||Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo||0:00:48|
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