TOUR DE FRANCE STAGE 3 HIGHLIGHTS
Race favourites 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 and crossing the line with his kit in tatters.
Lotto’s Ewan was taken to hospital and the Australian subsequently withdrew from the Tour with a broken clavicle. Sagan had cuts and bruises but was quickly back in the saddle. Jack Haig of Bahrain Victorious and Robert Gesink of Jumbo also pulled out injured.
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.
STAGE 3 HIGHLIGHTS
GERAINT THOMAS CRASH
FINALE AND EWAN, SAGAN CRASH
RBA/AFP Photo: Bettini