Stage 3 of the 2020 Tour de France was a quiet day for the peloton after a weekend of ups and downs. And no team had quite the downs as Lotto Soudal, who lost both Philippe Gilbert and John Degenkolb to injury on the first stage. But a thinned-out team wasn’t going to stop Caleb Ewan from snagging his fourth career Tour stage win today in a hotly contested bunch sprint. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quickstep) hung on for second and the European champion, NTT’s Giacomo Nizzolo, crossed the line third. No change in the GC so Julian Alaphilippe spends another day in yellow.
Ewan absolutely flew through the final 50 metres, zipping by everyone as he zigged and zagged through a chaotic sprint. With so much racing missed out on this year, a powerhouse sprint was a delight to see! Dare we say it was Cavendish-esque?
A mullet alone
While the final five kilometres (okay, maybe just the final km) brought fierce, fiery racing, the earlier hours brought … scenery. If you tuned in late (smart move), then you probably missed the mullet of Jerome Cousin (Total Direct Énergie) fluttering in the wind by its lonesome self as he spent most of the day out front, showing perseverance and his team’s colours for kilometre after kilometre.
We’ll get the world’s best aerodynamicists on this one, JV.
Jokes aside, Jerome is a class act
Watching roads dry
After another afternoon of heavy rain, the peloton’s pace slowed and we began the process of watching the roads around Nice dry.
When stages seem to last forever, spare a thought for the social media managers with time and no action on their hands. The Quicksteppers social team took it in their stride, though …
It did give me an opportunity to search out how the teams were dressing their jersey leaders. The splendid LouLou looked as gleeful as ever! [And black bibs, thank heavens! – Ed]
AG2R took a different approach. . . those bibs! It’s what we all feared – the full pox.
One thing is sure though …
All is right with the world again. Peter is in green again.
The final word
Stage 3 Top 5
1 Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) 5:17:42
2 Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quickstep) same time
3 Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) s/t
4 Hugo Hofstetter (Israel Start-Up Nation) s/t
5 Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) s/t
GC Top 10
1 Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) 8:41:35
2 Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +0:04
3 Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) +0:07
4 Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +0:17
5 Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates s/t
6 Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) s/t
7 Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) s/t
8 Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling) s/t
9 Guillaume Martin (Team Cofidis) s/t
10 Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-SCOTT) s/t
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep)
Points jersey Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe)
King of the Mountains Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R la Mondiale)
Best Young Rider Marc Hirschi (Sunweb)
Most Combativity of the Stage: Jerome Cousin (Total Direct Énergie)
For full race reviews, go to cyclingnews.
Official race website: Le Tour
Header image: ©AFP/Vincent Salut / GETTY IMAGES