photo credits @ ASO
Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin–Deceuninck) took the glory in stage 3 of the Tour de France, emerging victorious in an intense sprint finale in Bayonne today.
It had been a largely uneventful day until then, with the riders seemingly happy to coast along the 187.4 kilometer route from Amorebieta Etxano to Bayonne, finally entering France after a hectic first couple of days in northern Spain.
Neilson Powless and Laurent Pichon spent most of the stage out front as the day’s only two escapees. But, when Pichon was swallowed up inside the final 40 kilometers, the stage was handed over to the sprinters.
In a fast finish, teams jostled ferociously in order to move their respective sprinters into position. But, it was Philipsen who was perfectly delivered to the line, with Phil Bauhaus in second and Caleb Ewan in third, while Wout Van Aer was squeezed down to fifth in more disappointment for the Belgian rider.
Meanwhile, Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) finished safely in the peloton to remain in the overall lead after a straightforward day for the maillot jaune.
Earlier, Powless marked the day’s first breakaway effort, with the American rider quickly being joined by Pichon.
From there, the duo went on to establish an advantage of three minutes over the peloton.
With Powless focussed on keeping his polka-dot jersey, Pichon was happy to let him lead over every climb.
However, with all of the climbs behind them, Powless eased off, allowing Pichon to ride on.
With the sprinters always set on having their day, Pichon was inevitably caught with 38 kilometers to go, turning all eyes on a sprint finish.
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