Stage 3: Amorebieta-Etxano to Bayonne, 193.5km
The Sprinters Rule as the Tour finally reaches France
Bayonne, Monday, July 3rd –Jasper Philipsen won stage 3 to Bayonne in a bunch sprint finish ahead of Phil Bauhaus and Caleb Ewan. It’s the third Tour de France stage victory and the 30th career win for the 25 year old Belgian as well as the fifth Tour de France win for Alpecin-Deceuninck. Adam Yates retained the overall lead.
How it happened
174 riders started the stage in Amorebieta-Etxano as the Le Tour prepared to bid farewell to the Spanish Basque country. With a bunch of KOM points up for grabs across a Cat 3 and 4 climbs it was no surprise to see King of the Mountains leader Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) the first in action. He was joined at the front right after flag off by Laurent Pichon (Arkea-Samsic). Powless banked points across climbs at Trabakua (km 13.8) and Millol (37.8) to secure the polka dot jersey mathematically at least until the Tour reaches the Pyrénées on stage 5.
After 30km of racing the time gap was 3’ with 37.2km were covered by the leading duo in the first hour of racing. Before the intermediate sprint at Deba (km 65.8), stage 2 winner Victor Lafay (Cofidis) jumoedaway from the peloton to score 15 points behind Pichon and Powless in order to defend his green jersey.
France, Nous Voici!
After taking maximum points over the last categorised climb at km 112, Powless sat up and left Pichon to ride solo and lead the race in France with an advantage of two minutes over the peloton and 60km remaining. It had been whittled down to 40’’ fifteen kilometres later as the teams of the sprinters entered in action, and after 156km in the lead, Pichon was reeled in with 37km remaining.
A high tempo by the sprinters’ and GC teams put a dampener on any attacks as they eyed up the predicted bunch sprint.
VAN DER POEL LEADS PHILIPSEN OUT
As the peloton rocketed through the streets of Bayonne Intermarché-Circus-Wanty dug deep to give Biniam Girmay to win his first Tour de France stage but in the final kilometre Alpecin-Deceuninck gave a masterclass in lead outs.
Mathieu kept it fast and furious with Jasper Philipsen glued to his back wheel. Van der Poel peeled off with 200m to go leaving Philipsen to claim his third Tour stage. Tour debutant Phil Bauhaus took second spot with Caleb Ewan rounded out the podium. Adam Yates retained the Maillot Jaune.
Stage 3 Results and GC