Cavendish wins 3rd stage of Tour de France

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

ANGERS (France)—Mark Cavendish showed off his sprint­ing ex­pe­ri­ence by edg­ing Ger­man ri­val An­dre Greipel in a photo fin­ish to win the third stage of the Tour de France on Mon­day.

World cham­pion Peter Sa­gan held on to the yel­low jer­sey he claimed a day ear­lier.

It was Cavendish’s sec­ond vic­tory in this Tour and 28th over­all, match­ing Bernard Hin­ault for sec­ond on the all-time list be­hind Eddy Mer­ckx, who had 34 stage wins.

On a very slightly uphill fin­ish, Cavendish kept ped­al­ing to the line while Greipel, who was ahead, put his head down a bit too early.

Nei­ther rider knew who won im­me­di­ately.

Greipel started cel­e­brat­ing but then quickly changed his mind. Cavendish looked around with a blank stare un­til vic­tory was con­firmed. Peter Sa­gan will don the yel­low jer­sey for the first time at the Tour de France on Mon­day but he may be in for a bumpy ride.

The 223.5km third stage from Granville to Angers is pan flat but Sa­gan could be in for a frosty re­cep­tion from fel­low rid­ers fol­low­ing his vo­cif­er­ous at­tack on the pelo­ton on Sun­day evening.

Af­ter his stage vic­tory, the fifth of his ca­reer but first since 2013, Sa­gan lam­basted his col­leagues for reck­less rac­ing.

“Now in the group ev­ery­body is rid­ing like they don’t care about their life — it’s un­be­liev­able!” he stormed.

“It’s like ev­ery­body is rid­ing (as if they) lose the brain.”

He added that the pelo­ton had lost its habit of self-polic­ing but it re­mains to be seen if that is the case, or whether some­one will take um­brage with the pop­u­lar Slo­vak.

“It’s not log­i­cal. In the group, be­fore there was re­spect. When some­one did some­thing stupid, ev­ery­body throws their (wa­ter) bot­tle on him or beats him with (tyre) pumps,” com­plained Sa­gan, whose Tinkoff team leader Al­berto Con­ta­dor crashed on both of the first two stages.

“In front, there are a lot of guys that don’t know how to (ride) a bike — it’s like that.

“To­day I’m in yel­low but maybe to­mor­row I will go home (af­ter crash­ing out), this is the Tour de France.”

Mon­day’s stage will al­most cer­tainly fin­ish in a bunch sprint, mean­ing there is lit­tle chance of Sa­gan los­ing the yel­low jer­sey.

All the top sprint­ers lost time on Sun­day’s sec­ond stage as they were un­able to keep up on the short but tough fi­nal climb to the fin­ish.

But for Mark Cavendish, win­ner of Satur­day’s open­ing stage, Mar­cel Kit­tel and An­dre Greipel, Mon­day’s stage will pro­vide them with fresh op­por­tu­ni­ties. And Greipel for one will be relieved. “Nice to know al­ready af­ter the 2nd day @LeTour that the speed the pelo­ton is do­ing on hilly roads is a lit­tle too fast for me,” joked the burly Ger­man.

He won four stages in last year’s race — al­though Kit­tel was miss­ing from the pelo­ton — but could man­age only fourth on Satur­day’s open­ing stage. For the over­all con­tenders it will be a chance to re­group fol­low­ing Sun­day’s fran­tic fi­nale.

Mon­day will be about stay­ing safe and out of trou­ble, par­tic­u­larly for Con­ta­dor af­ter his two crashes.—AFP

Ger­many’s An­gelique Ker­ber in ac­tion against Ja­pan’s Misaki Doi in their Wim­ble­don fourth-round match at Wim­ble­don on Mon­day.

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