In front of huge crowds and the perfect royal backdrop, Marcel Kittel scorched up The Mall in London to take his second win in three stages. Vincenzo Nibali retains yellow after some super work by Astana.
Two out of three ain’t bad
The 155km route through beautiful Cambridgeshire and Essex was only ever going to end in a sprint finish. As the peloton sped into London, everyone held their breath when the sprinter teams went to work on the rain-slick roads. We need not have worried. The rock solid, well-drilled Giant-Shimano train delivered Marcel Kittel to perfection, and once he opened up 200m from the line, no one could come off his wheel.
He was quick to credit his team in the post-stage interviews: “The team did a really great job. I was in perfect position, I just had to wait and wait. It was one of the fastest sprints I’ve ever done.”
With two stage wins and day in yellow for Marcel, the sprint train working well, and John Degenkolb looking in fine form too, I predict we’ll be seeing a lot more of Giant-Shimano this Tour.
You really have to hand it to Peter Sagan (Cannondale). New hair style, great bike paint job, winner of the green jersey in last two Tour de France editions, not to mention the huge talent he possesses –it’s a lot to live up to for the 24-year-old Slovak, but he seems to wear it all lightly.
He placed second in the sprint to Harrogate on stage 1, fourth on the hill fest of stage 2, and second again today. These consistent results, plus his willingness to battle for the intermediate sprint points, mean he is leading the green jersey competition once more.
VeloVoices rider of the day
Can this really go to anyone other than Marcel Kittel? I think not. I’m awarding this for always delivering on his team’s hard work, for the fastest pair of legs on The Mall, and for brightening the stage winner’s podium. Just how many more stages will he win by the time we finish in Paris?
Stage 3 result
1. Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) 3:38:30
2. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) same time
3. Mark Renshaw (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) s/t
4. Bryan Coquard (Europcar) s/t
5. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) s/t
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) 13:31:13
2. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) +0:02
3. Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEDGE) same time
4. Greg van Avermaet (BMC) s/t
5. Chris Froome (Sky) s/t
6. Bauke Mollema (Belkin) s/t
7. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) s/t
8. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) s/t
9. Jurgen van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) s/t
10. Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) s/t
Points leader: Peter Sagan (Cannondale).
King of the Mountains leader: Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis).
Best young rider: Peter Sagan (Cannondale).
Team classification: Sky.