We got what we were hoping for on this stage as the cobbles really lived up to expectations. It was tough, it was difficult, and we saw a reshuffle in a lot of areas. It was a good day for cycling.
Cervelo and Saxo Bank’s tactics were very clear, they wanted to make things as hard as possible and get their men up there, and they certainly achieved their goals. They were the two big winners today. I know Thor Hushovd was upset yesterday, but he made up for that today and he’s taken a big advantage for the green jersey too, so it was a great day for him.
Saxo Bank did very well to get Andy Schleck up the road with Cancellara, although the loss of Frank is a blow. He was a co-leader of sorts with Andy, and had as good a chance as the likes of Lance Armstrong or Cadel Evans of making the podium, but I still think that the race for the yellow jersey is really between Andy and Alberto Contador.
Contador did a good job today on the cobbles and he limited the gap to Andy Schleck quite well. The only mistake Astana made was at the finish, when Vinokourov rode on the front and Contador lost contact. I want to give the benefit of the doubt to Vinokourov and say that it was just a breakdown in communication. You have to remember that the crowds were massive and the riders were on the rivet, so you can see how that might happen. Either way, it’s unfortunate for Contador, you just can’t afford to give time away like that.
So the winners today were Hushovd and Andy Schleck, obviously, and Cadel Evans can be pleased too. Wiggins did well also, and obviously Geraint Thomas did a great ride. Fabian Cancellara also worked his way back into yellow.
The big losers were definitely Lance Armstrong, Ivan Basso and Carlos Sastre. Armstrong will not be happy, he punctured at a very bad moment and it was very difficult after that for him. Still though, it’s only the third stage, there’s a long, long way to go and anything can happen.
Stage 3 results
1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team 4:49:38
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
4 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin – Transitions
5 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
6 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank
7 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin – Transitions 0:00:53
8 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team
9 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
10 Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana
11 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank
12 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale
13 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0:01:13
GC after Stage 3:
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank 14:54:00
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:00:23
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:39
4 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin – Transitions 0:00:46
5 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step 0:01:01
6 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 0:01:09
7 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team 0:01:19
8 Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 0:01:31
9 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0:01:40
10 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:01:42
11 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale
12 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin – Transitions 0:01:47
13 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 0:01:49
14 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team
15 David Millar (GBr) Garmin – Transitions 0:02:06
16 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas-Doimo 0:02:24
17 Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0:02:25
18 Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Radioshack 0:02:30
19 Thomas Löfkvist (Swe) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:02:34
20 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0:02:35
Courtesy Scott Sunderland