2013 Tour de France–Stage 3

1 Jul

The best part of today’s stage for this fan was the scenery. The Tour is known for showing off the abundant beauty of France, but the island of Corsica takes it to a new level. I don’t think I’ve ever seen water that blue. The clear turquoise water and white sandy beaches, the cliffs and canyons of Stage 3’s route – all breathtaking.

The racing wasn’t too bad either.

We had the usual break, a group of five guys. Like every early breakaway of the Tour so far, Europcar had a rider. Presumably he was there to capture points in the climbing competition since his teammate Pierre Rolland started the stage with polka dot jersey – and shorts – and bike. Personally I think it’s  a little early to devote so much to showing off the jersey when it is unlikely even someone of the caliber of Rolland, will keep it. But that’s the French for you.

Like yesterday, the route was lumpy, lumpier actually, causing the sprinter favorites to fall off the back – all except for Peter Sagan. Holding the yellow jersey, Team Radio Shack was stuck with doing the majority of the work in the peloton. Team Sky was near the front, Cadel Evans (who I happen to think looks terrific in that he has no pressure on him whatsoever) also stayed near the front as did Alberto Contador and Saxo-Bank.

Things stayed that way until around 20 kilometers from the finish when Simon Clark attacked his break mates as the peloton was hot on their tail at about 1 minute out. Rolland took off chasing down Clark and passing him. Fellow Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel gave chase as did 2 other riders eventually and for a short time the 4 were in the lead – until the closing peloton was ready to make the catch. They swallowed up the group and then the mad dash to the finish ensued.

I was positive Sagan would win. He had a teammate leading him out and even when Simon Gerrans and his teammate passed them on the right charging ahead I wasn’t worried. No way would Gerrans beat Sagan in a sprint to the line.  No way.

Wrong. It makes me think Sagan has an injured shoulder from his crash on Stage 1, otherwise he should win fairly easily.

 

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