Stage 3 race report
Another stage in Corsica and another day of cracking weather and amazing scenery. Sagan was the favourite and was looking to go into the Team Time Trial tomorrow wearing yellow.
Again the break went…well basically immediately. Westra lit the touch paper and was soon joined by 4 others: Minard, Gautier, Clarke and Vuillermoz. Clarke, the winner of the climbers jersey in last year’s Vuelta seemed to have a clear goal for the day at hand.
And so it was for the vast majority of the stage. The break would come down under a minute and the peloton would sit up and let it go back out again. If we were riding in the group we would have been soaking up the sun and enjoying the scenery. Why hasn’t the Tour been here before??
For us, the humble television spectator, we need the commentator to add the sugar to the spice. Having Eurosport as our medium this Tour means we get Sean “Marbles” Kelly and the vastly underrated Carlton Kerby, who we have to say we’re taking quite a shine to. Carlton had a couple of pearlers tonight, including a reference to the magic spanner when Vichot was hanging onto the team car and that the reason why the boulders on the side of the road were making him nervous was because “geological time includes today”. Goodbye Marcel, hello Carlton!
Anyhow, back to the race and with 25km to go Minard attacked and that basically meant good night nurse for break. Soon after Clarke attacked, spying off the remaining KOM points on the final climb to put him polka dots for two days at least.
This didn’t seem to agitate the group. Gautier attacking the break remains and Anton coming out of the group did and this signed Clarke’s death certificate. To rub salt into the wound Rolland and an Europcar teammate attacked out of the group for the KOM.
All the while Greipel, Cav and co were all going OTA at a rapid rate. When Degenkolb went out the back after tipping him last night, we can’t deny that a little Teutonic schadenfreude passed through us.
Over the top and Rolland took the KOM and then pushed on with it, with Nieve from Team Scrabbleboard and Nordhaug (Who?) working to bridge across. Then Chavanel attacked on the descent LIKE A BOSS and soon enough he was driving the break like he stole it.
With only a 9 to 10 second gap it was a tenuous agreement in the break and soon enough Nordhaug cracked and attacked henceforth killing any hope they had of staying away.
With 2.3 to go Tom Domoulin from Argos went off the front but it was doomed with Cannondale not letting history repeat itself from the day before. Though it seemed in their haste to make sure they were there at the end Sagan ran out of teammates about 500m too early and it was then that Daryl Impey came through at warp speed with Gerrans on his wheel. Sagan latched onto Gerrans wheel and who Gerro opened it up it was a drag race to the finish. Sagan didn’t have the extra gear to clear it out and Gerrans won with a bike throw at the line. Amazing effort by the entire Green Edge team today, they really BUSted themselves to be in the mix.
A reminder for tomorrow to familiarise yourself with the TTT rules. Remember you get your individual riders time, not the team time. Basically make sure you pick a rider who will be in the finishing 5 riders of a team. If your rider is dropped…then you lose time.
Right, no two ways about it, 145 of you correctly took Gerrans for the win. Seriously. Approximately 1000 tippers lost no time at all. We generally see a bit of Australia bias in the tipping, but full credit to all of you who managed to nail this.
Special mention to Michael Miles who selected Bouhanni and dropped a cool 16:44…
On to the overall and there are still 844 tippers on equal first in terms of time. At the other end, Gary Morris has a 49 second grasp on the lanterne rouge. We have a tie break mechanism (see under other information) but we use the rules that le Tour uses to determine places. Not that it will make any difference whatsoever over the next few stages. Once we hit the hills we’ll see everyone fall to pieces and the truly great tippers come to the fore.
Nick Anskey has taken over the sprint competition with an incredible 110 points. Jérémy Pen and Olly Stevens are on 99.
In the KOM, Simon McMillan, David Chessor and Gary Cameron are all on 6 points.
It’s pancake flat tomorrow and it’s all about teamwork. There are some critical injuries to take into consideration before making selections. There doesn’t seem to be a clear favourite for the TTT, but that’s what makes it exciting. Don’t tip a rider who gets dropped! Nothing worse than taking the first rider dropped from the winning team.
General Classification tipping ladder top 50 after stage 3
|2||Michael Van Bergen||12:21:28||27||1|
|10||Lukas van der Steen||12:21:28||8||1|
|19||Paul L Decker||12:21:28||45||0|
|41||Paul Le Fevre||12:21:28||40||0|
|42||Ed de Carvalho||12:21:28||8||1|
To view the full CyclingTips competition ladder, click here