2021 Tour de France S3: Ten kilometers perilous, serial crashes change the situation
On June 28th, the third stage of the Tour de France ended. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) took the lead in the last 2km and opened up a sprint route for his teammates. Jasper Philipsen sent the final assist and launched Tim Merlier. In the end, Tim Merlier won the stage championship, and the Alpecin-Fenix team took the stage champion and runner-up.
The third stage is a flat road stage with a total length of 182.9km and only contains two grade 4 climbing and a sprint point on the way. The chance of breaking through the group to win the championship is small, and the flat road before the finish line will bring us the first group sprint of this Tour de France.
The race officially began, and Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe), wearing a substitute polka dot shirt, once again launched a charge. The Dutch cyclist only needs to score one more point to get his own climbing polka dot shirt. Soon, the breakout group of today’s game was formally formed. Ide Schelling, Jelle Wallays (Cofidis), Michael Schär (AG2R Citroën), Cyril Barthe and Maxime Chevalier (B&B Hotels) formed a five-member group. They established 2 points and 30 points after the start of the game 30km The lead in seconds. Behind the breakout cyclists, the Lotto Soudal team continued to lead the main group, protecting Caleb Ewan to compete for the stage championship.
There was a dark cloud over the field, Lotto Soudal and the FDJ team took turns leading the lead. Suddenly, an accident happened. Geraint Thomas, Luke Rowe (Ineos Grenadiers), Tony Martin, and Robert Gesink (Jumbo–Visma) fell to the ground. Among them, Robert Gesink was injured and retired. three minutes. Soon after, it rained heavily, Geraint Thomas followed Luke Rowe hard to catch up, and the riding rhythm of the main group slowed down slightly.
The rain gradually stopped and Geraint Thomas returned to the main group with the help of three teammates, but his condition was not ideal, and he moved on after changing cars. With 100km away from the finish line, the lead of the breakout group dropped to 2 minutes. The main group did not rush, and the Alpecin-Fenix team also participated in the lead.
The breakout group came to the first level 4 climb in the game. Ide Schelling kicked out and the other four ignored his offense and let Ide Schelling get 1 point. Ide Schelling is in a good mood, and his climbing points have overtaken Mathieu van der Poel. He will wear his own polka dot shirt after the game. Then Ide Schelling waved goodbye to the breakout group, slowly retreated to the main group, and ended the day's mission.
Breaking through the four sprint points in harmony, Cyril Barthe won first place. The main group arrived later. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) led the rush with his teammates. Mark Cavendish followed closely. Peter Sagan and Arnaud Démare also rushed to the front, but Caleb Ewan on the right side of the track was even better. Several big-name cyclists go hand in hand. In the end, Caleb Ewan scored 11 points for the fifth sprint point, and Mark Cavendish, who crossed the line sixth, scored 10 points.
Jelle Wallays led the breakout group through the climbing point, and the convoys began to line up. In the last 15km, the time gap between the two groups was only 39 seconds. Bahrain Victorious, Ineos Grenadiers, Jumbo-Visma, Deceuninck-QuickStep team topped the front to control the pace of the race. At 12.5km, Maxime Chevalier from the breakout group was recovered. The DSM team came to the front and accelerated wildly, and the main group was divided into two.
The accident happened again, and the main group crashed twice within a few kilometers. The first crash occurred in the last 12km. Miguel Angel Lopez, Mark Cavendish, David Gaudu and Valentin Madouas (FDJ) fell to the ground; the second crash occurred in the last 10km. This time Primož Roglič was pushed out of the track and fell. The injury is serious. After changing cars, Primož Roglič hurriedly pursued, and under the protection of Tony Martin and other teammates, tried to return to the fast-moving main group.
In the last 5km, the breakout cyclists were all recovered. At 4.2km, the leading group suffered a serious crash at the corner, Arnaud Démare fell to the ground and Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) retired. At 2km, Mathieu van der Poel appeared in the front of the race and galloped towards the finish line with the leading group. The high-speed pull once again screened the leading group. At 900m, Mathieu van der Poel completed the task, and the Alpecin-Fenix team pulled up a sprint train to fully support Tim Merlier for the stage championship.
Jasper Philipsen led Tim Merlier into the last corner. Behind them were Caleb Ewan and Peter Sagan. The three rushed almost at the same time. But at the most intense moment, Caleb Ewan collided with Tim Merlier, Caleb Ewan lost his balance and fell heavily to the ground. Peter Sagan couldn't dodge, was tripped by Caleb Ewan, and lost his chance to compete for the championship. At this time, Tim Merlier was unstoppable, sprinting vigorously, and successfully won the stage championship. The puncher Jasper Philipsen also performed well, finishing second in the stage and Nacer Bouhanni (Arkea-Samsic) third.
Caleb Ewan's situation is not optimistic, lying on the ground for a long time unable to get up, was carried into an ambulance to the hospital. Peter Sagan got up immediately after the crash and finally finished the race. From the current news, Caleb Ewan has a fractured clavicle and will withdraw from this Tour de France.
In terms of overall results, Mathieu van der Poel maintains a leading position. He will continue to wear the lead yellow jersey, and Julian Alaphilippe has the second overall result. Primož Roglič lost a lot of time in a crash and dropped to 20th overall, 1 minute and 35 seconds behind Mathieu van der Poel. Richard Carapaz rose to third, Wout Van Aert fourth, and Tadej Pogacar sixth. In addition, Julian Alaphilippe kept the sprint green shirt, Ide Schelling regained the climbing polka dot shirt, and Tadej Pogacar continued to maintain the best young cyclist white shirt. Michael Schär won the Combativity award for the stage.