Caleb Ewan Stamps his Authority on Stage 3 with Sprint Victory
Caleb Ewan dominated the stage sprint with incredible bike handling skills and sheer speed to take his fourth Tour de France stage win
Caleb Ewan (Lotto–Soudal) zigzagged his way through an elite field to snatch victory on Stage 3 at the Tour de France as Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck–Quick-Step) stayed in yellow.
Caleb Ewan flew past Bonifazio, Coquard, Trentin, Bol, Thuens, Sagan, Hofstetter, Nizzolo and finally Bennet from the back, to show he's the fastest sprinter at the Tour de France.
Ewan flirted with the barriers before effortlessly flying past an ailing Sam Bennett (Deceuninck–Quick-Step) to make up for crashing in the opening stage.
Solo breakaway frenchman Jerome Cousin (Direct Energie) was swallowed up by the peloton with 16 kilometres remaining, setting the scene for a bunch sprint after a relatively uneventful day as the peloton enjoyed an easier day which was mostly dry and sunny.
Earlier, polka dot jersey contender Anthony Perez (Cofidis) abandoned the Tour from after fracturing his collarbone on a descent of the Col des Leques, having suffered a rear puncture.
Caleb Ewan said afterwards,"In the last km I was a bit too far forward so I dropped back a bit into the wheels. That gave me time to rest the legs a just a little before the last hit out. I found my way through the wheels - coming from behind is a bit of a risk - but I found my way along the barrier and I came with a lot of speed and it worked in the end."
"The first ones were very special but it's the Tour de France and it's the biggest race in the world and it's the one that every rider wants to win at. I'm so happy to get another win and prove that last year wasn't just a fluke. I hope to come back in more years and keep winning.
"We knew today could possibly be quite hard. Luckily a break went and it was quite controlled. We need to take every sprint opportunity that we can because they're quite rare this year. With the caliber of sprinting here it's always going to be hard, but we'll have a few more opportunities and we'll take them when they come."
Julian Alaphilippe, who kept his yellow jersey with a minimum of fuss today but faces a tougher test tomorrow on the first summit finish of the Tour, "We had a really good day. The team really controlled everything. We tried to go for the sprint and Sam got second today. You can't see, but I'm smiling. I'm really happy to wear the yellow jersey, we defended it today and we'll do it again tomorrow. Tomorrow is a big day, there's a big climb up to the finish but I hope we're going to do it. We'll take it day by day and see what happens."
Alexander Kristoff lost the green jersey to Peter Sagan, "My sprint never really got started today. I was boxed in at the finish and couldn't open up. The legs weren't super either. I will shift my focus now to the team and supporting Tadej. My personal goals come later in the season for the Classics, so I'll have a couple more sprint opportunities here but I'll be looking out for the overall team goals mainly."
Tomorrow's fourth stage from Sisteron to Orcières-Merlette is 175 km, the first Mountain Finish. An altitude finish early on the Tour is extremely rare. The Grand Départ in Nice allows the race to evolve rapidly in the spectacular scenery of Hautes-Alpes. Stage four is the first hilly excursion in the Dévoluy mountains isn’t made to split the pack too much. But the final climb to Orcières-Merlette, 1,825 metres high, a hairpin-laden, 7.1km final ascent with an average gradient of 6.7 per cent.
Tune in tomorrow as the GC battle commences!
VIDEO: 2020 Tour de France Stage 3 Highlights
2020 Tour de France Stage 3 Top 10
1 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal 05:17:42
2 Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-Quickstep
3 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
4 Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation
5 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
7 Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb
8 Matteo Trentin (Ita) CCC Team
9 Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
10 Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie
2020 Tour de France GC after Stage 3 Top 10
1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep 13:59:17
2 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 00:00:04
3 Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team Sunweb 00:00:07
4 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 00:00:17
5 Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 00:00:17
6 Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 00:00:17
7 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 00:00:17
8 Sergio Andres Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Pro Cycling 00:00:17
9 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 00:00:17
10 Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott 00:00:17