Posted by Editoress on 07/6/10
The cobblestones of northern France played havoc with the standings after stage three of the Tour de France. A group of seven riders went clear 13 kilometres into the 213 kilometre race from Wanze to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, including Canada's Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions). When the group hit the first of the cobble sections with 60 kilometres to go, it was clear that Hesjedal was both the strongest and most proficient on the rough track.
Hesjedal dropped the rest of his break companions with approximately 25 kilometres to go, and was holding a 40 second lead over the disintegrating peloton. Behind, the peloton began splitting apart, as riders went down in a series of crashes. The most severe was Frank Schleck (Team Saxo Bank), who may be out of the Tour, but the Yellow Jersey, Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), had at least three bike changes after mechanical problems, and it eventually cost him Yellow.
Once the race had sorted itself out, a group of six was chasing Hesjedal, including Fabian Cancellara and Andy Schleck (Team Saxo Bank), world champion Cadel Evans (Team BMC) and Thor Hushovd (Cervélo Test Team). Cancellara was driving the group, and it caught Hesjedal a heartbreaking 6.5 kilometres from the finish line. Cancellara continued to drive to the line, taking enough time back to regain the Yellow Jersey. Hushovd took the stage win, and the lead in the Points competition, with Hesjedal finishing fourth on the stage and moving into fourth in the GC standings, 46 seconds behind Cancellara. Michael Barry (Team Sky) finished 58th on the stage.
Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) had to chase after a flat, as did Alberto Contador (Astana), and both lost time on overall rivals Evans and Andy Schleck.
Results from today's 4th day of racing
|Stage 3: Wanze to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, 213 km|
|1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team||4:49:38|
|2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky|
|3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team|
|4 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Transitions|
|5 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank|
|6 Fabian Cancellara (Sui) Team Saxo Bank||all s.t.|
|7 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin - Transitions||0:53|
|8 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky|
|9 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto|
|10 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana||all s.t.|
|58 Michael Barry (Can) Team Sky||2:25|
|1 Fabian Cancellara (Sui) Team Saxo Bank||14:54:00|
|2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky||at 0:23|
|3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team||0:39|
|4 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Transitions||0:46|
|5 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step||1:01|
|6 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank||1:09|
|7 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team||1:19|
|8 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana||1:31|
|9 Alberto Contador (Esp) Astana||1:40|
|10 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto||1:42|
|18 Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Radioshack||2:30|
|63 Michael Barry (Can) Team Sky||3:33|
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