photo credits @ Eneco Tour
Peter Sagan claimed stage three of the Eneco Tour today, after the world champion emerged victorious during the sprint finale to beat Danny van Poppel (Team Sky) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis).
The start got underway under sunny skies in Blankenberge, with an early breakaway group of five riders containing Yukiya Arashiro (Trek-Segafredo), Martin Elmer (IAM Cycling), Stijn Steels (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Jesper Asselman (Roompot Oranje Peloton) and Mark McNally (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).
From there, the peloton was happy to allow the escapees build-up a maximum advantage of over six minutes.
After 17 kilometers, Steels won the first sprint for the Primus combatively classification, collecting the maximum points ahead of his breakaway companions.
Steels again claimed the maximum sprint points on his way to Ardooie.
With 25 kilometers to go the breakaway group was still competing for points, with Elmiger winning the Eneco Golden Kilometer sprint competition.
As the the breakaway group made their way into the final kilometer, they appeared to have an enough of an impetus hold-off the chase.
However, the peloton eventually caught them along the final straight.
From there, Peter Sagan emerged from the group to seize the stage victory over his rivals in his usual dramatic fashion.
Meanwhile, previous race leader Dylan Groenewegen crossed the line in fourth place, followed by early attacker McNally in fifth.
Sagan scored ten bonus seconds in today’s stage, to move in closer on race leader Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing), who now leads the world champion by a mere three seconds.
Stage 3 Results
SVK 1 SAGAN, Peter (TINKOFF) 4:10:36
NED 2 VAN POPPEL, Danny (SKY)
FRA 3 BOUHANNI, Nacer (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
NED 4 GROENEWEGEN, Dylan (LOTTO NL – JUMBO)
GBR 5 MCNALLY, Mark (WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT)
ITA 6 NIZZOLO, Giacomo (TREK – SEGAFREDO)
SUI 7 ELMIGER, Martin (IAM CYCLING)
GER 8 KITTEL, Marcel (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
GER 9 GREIPEL, André (LOTTO SOUDAL)
NOR 10 KRISTOFF, Alexander (KATUSHA)
General Classification after Stage 3
AUS 1 DENNIS, Rohan (BMC RACING) 8:35:24
SVK 2 SAGAN, Peter (TINKOFF) + 3
NED 3 VAN EMDEN, Jos (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 5
GER 4 SÜTTERLIN, Jasha (MOVISTAR) + 14
SUI 5 ELMIGER, Martin (IAM CYCLING)
NED 6 KELDERMAN, Wilco (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 15
AUT 7 BRANDLE, Matthias (IAM CYCLING)
SLO 8 ROGLIC, Primož (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 16
USA 9 PHINNEY, Taylor (BMC RACING)
GER 10 KITTEL, Marcel (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 17
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