Duo move up after stage three

08 Jul 2019

Duo move up after stage three

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Tour de France – Stage three: Binche – Epernay, 215km

Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas moved up one place to sixth and seventh respectively at the Tour de France following stage three.
 
An exciting finale in Champagne country saw the peloton tackle a series of punchy short climbs, with a reduced bunch battling it out on an uphill drag in Epernay.
 
Bernal and Thomas crossed the line 12th and 13th, with the former edging his way on to the right side of a five-second gap in the peloton.
 
As a result Bernal moved up to sixth, 40 seconds back on new race leader Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), with Thomas five seconds further back in seventh.
 
Alaphilippe used the final categorised climb of the day – the Cote de Mutigny – as a launchpad, accelerating clear before completing an impressive solo stage win.
 
Team INEOS were well placed throughout the day and worked hard to remain to the fore in the closing stages, with Jonathan Castroviejo and Wout Poels setting a tempo, limiting the escape of Alaphilippe.
Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas

I felt okay really considering that the short, steep climbs aren’t necessarily what I love.
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- Geraint Thomas

“I felt okay really considering that the short, steep climbs aren’t necessarily what I love. I think we rode really well as a team and were always in a good position and communicating really well. It was a good day.
 
“I think [hillier stages] helps settle the race down a bit. It’s better than five flat sprint days which are super nervous and dodgy. I quite like it. 
 
“I felt really good yesterday. Obviously today I wasn’t dancing up the climbs but I felt okay. I didn’t want to do more than had to be done. I’m aware that there were some bonus seconds up for grabs – but when you see some of the guys up there like Alaphilippe I’ll leave it to them. It was about just getting through it as best as possible.”
 
- Egan Bernal
 
“I think today was really really hard. Alaphilippe was impressive. I tried to go behind him for the bonification but it was impossible. I think all the peloton were suffering a lot today. After a TTT it’s always hard the next day. But today was hard because it was a tailwind all day. It was fast and the last climbs were really steep. Those things make the race hard.”
What's Next?

The sprinters get their chance to shine again on Tuesday on the run into Nancy. It's not quite that straightforward however, with a final fourth category climb to negotiate with 16km to go. If the sprint teams can protect their rider it should be a bunch kick, with general classification contenders simply looking to stay out of trouble.
photo: ASO/Alex Broadway

photo: ASO/Alex Broadway

Stage three result:

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 4:40:29
2. Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) +26"
3. Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) s.t.
4. Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team)
5. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)
12. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS)
13. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) +31"


Overall Standings:

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 9:32:19
2. Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) +20”
3. Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) +25"
4. George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) s.t.
5. Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) +40"
6. Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) s.t.
7. Geraint Thomas (Team INEOS) +45"

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