Race favorites Primoz Roglic and Geraint Thomas, as well as ace sprinters Peter Sagan and Caleb Ewan were all involved in nasty crashes before Tim Merlier won a drama-filled stage three of the Tour de France on Monday with one manager making a passionate plea for new safety measures. Merlier’s teammate Mathieu van der Poel kept hold of the overall lead on a brutal day of racing peppered with falls on the rain-slick, narrow winding roads in Brittany with Thomas dislocating a shoulder and 2020 runner-up Roglic losing valuable time.
Yellow jersey wearer van der Poel cut a dour figure compared to the tear-filled elation he experienced after winning Sunday’s stage two.
“It was a very fast, technical run-in with all the general classification guys racing for their places, it’s difficult to say anything now,” said van der Poel.
“It’s a big race, (in the) overall standings guys fighting against sprinters, for sure it’s a dangerous sport,” said the Dutch Alpecin rider in muted celebrations after he not only retained the yellow jersey but also led out Merlier’s sprint train.
TOUR DE FRANCE STAGE 3 RESULTS
|3||BOUHANNI Nacer||Team Arkéa Samsic||0:00|
|4||BALLERINI Davide||Deceuninck – Quick Step||0:00|
|5||COLBRELLI Sonny||Bahrain – Victorious||0:00|
|6||ALAPHILIPPE Julian||Deceuninck – Quick Step||0:00|
|7||VAN DER POEL Mathieu||Alpecin-Fenix||0:00|
|8||BOL Cees||Team DSM||0:00|
|9||TURGIS Anthony||Team TotalEnergies||0:00|
|10||WALSCHEID Max||Team Qhubeka NextHash||0:00|
|1||VAN DER POEL Mathieu||Alpecin-Fenix||12:58:53|
|2||ALAPHILIPPE Julian||Deceuninck – Quick Step||0:08|
|3||CARAPAZ Richard||INEOS Grenadiers||0:31|
|4||VAN AERT Wout||Team Jumbo-Visma||0:31|
|5||KELDERMAN Wilco||BORA – hansgrohe||0:38|
|6||POGAČAR Tadej||UAE-Team Emirates||0:39|
|7||MAS Enric||Movistar Team||0:40|
|8||QUINTANA Nairo||Team Arkéa Samsic||0:40|
|9||LATOUR Pierre||Team TotalEnergies||0:45|
|10||HIGUITA Sergio||EF Education – Nippo||0:52|
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini