Press release Lotto Belisol: Report Tour stage 3
The third stage of the Tour was won by Gerrans, who beat Sagan in a very close sprint. Rojas came in third. During this very last stage at Corsica Bakelants could secure the yellow jersey. Tomorrow, Rolland will start again in the polka dot jersey while sagan took over the green jersey from Kittel. Today’s stage was a 145.5km long course along the west coast of Corsica. The winding country roads led the riders over the mountainous route from Ajaccio to Calvi.
Few seconds after the official start at 12h55 five riders immediately jumped out of the peloton for a long break-away: Westra, Vuillermoz, Gautier, Clarke and Minard. After 12km the riders already reached the top of the Col de San Bastiano (4th category) for the first climb of the day, in which Clarke took the KOM. During the next climbs of 3rd category (Col de San Martino after 58km and Côte de Porto after 75km) it was also Clarke who proved to be the strongest climber of the escapees. Minard won the intermediate sprint after 28.5km. André Greipel sprinted in the chasing bunch and placed 7th after Kittel and bevore Cavendish.
Meanwhile in the bunch especially Radioshack was stepping up the pace, in order to safeguard Bakelants’ yellow jersey. During the last 20km the Lotto Belisol riders with Jurgen Van den Broeck were racing in the front of the pack in the run up to the Col de Marsolino (2th category) with its top on 13km from the finish. At this phase of the race the five leaders were caught and Rolland took the last KOM after a succesful attack. 10km before the finish a new break-away was formed with Rolland, Nieve, Chavanel and Nordhaug. Nevertheless the bunch could take them all back. Within the final km Dumoulin made one last attempt to break away but he was rapidly caught by the pack. As a result the third stage of the Tour de France was settled in a bunch sprint.