2nd longest stage ends with a bunch sprint. Another day done for Sam Bennett.
After a 6k neutralized phase, the 3rd stage today from Granville to Angers was still 223,5k long, including one sprint and one KOM.
„The injuries of Sam look better then yesterday, we work pretty hard on his recovery but he´s suffering a lot. It was really a huge crash and it is also hard to recover from that mentally. But Sam is a real fighter, he made it yesterday within the time limit to the finish. Now we will see day by day. “- Jan-Niklas Droste, medical team
Sam said that the 2nd stage was extremely long for him and he couldn´t do any accelerations after corners because of the abrasions and stiches on his fingers. Today the stage was even longer, but the pace at the beginning of the stage was very moderate and it was important that he could stay in the peloton until the final kilometers.
The peloton decided to take it an easy day, covering just around 35 kilometers in the first hours. With about 90k to go Thomas Vöckler decided to give it a go and closed on Fonseca. The pair took the sprint of the day and still were leading by 2 minutes with 60k to go. But when the sprinter teams started to pull on the front of the peloton and pushed the speed, the gap came down fast. Vöckler and Fonseca were caught 8 kilometers before the finish.
In the final BORA - ARGON 18 supported Shane Archbold. The "Kiwi" in the team rides his first ever Tour and normally is the last lead-out rider for Sam Bennett. Today the sport directors decided to let him try to go for a result. At the 1k-to-go-banner Shane was positioned very well, right on the wheel of Peter Sagan. But on the last meters he did not have the energy left to battle for the sprint. Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data) did beat André Greipel just by some millimetres and took his second stage in this years Tour de France.
„The boys supported my very well during the day. I was in a good position, but in the final it was a big fight. I have experience in lead-outs but not in lead-outs like this. I did everything to hold my position in the sprint, but it was uphill and very hard. I am happy that I got this chance today and this experience will help me in future lead-outs to support Sam even better. “– Shane Archbold
„I was really happy that it was today a flat and quiet stage. For Sam it is necessary that he can recover a little bit after his crash, stay in the peloton and finish within the time limit. That's all we are expecting for the moment and now we are already a little more optimistic in the team. “– Enrico Poitschke, sports director