01/07/13 - 11:55
Ajaccio - Calvi
Tour de France • Stage3

Ajaccio - Calvi
Tour de France - 1 July 2013

Tour de France – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 11:55 on 1 July 2013. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Jan Bakelants of RadioShack retains his yellow jersey after finishing in the main pack.


Third for Spaniard Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) ahead of Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharmq-Quick Step).


Victory for Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge), who pips Peter Sagan (Cannondale) by a quarter of a wheel. That's the Australian team's first victory on the Tour de France.


It looks like Sagan has it but Gerrans comes hard and fast towards the end - and the Australian does it!


Sagan is well placed on the front and has one lead out man with him... But GreenEdge trake it up!


Under the banner and now the sprint will begin, with Dumoulin surely set to be swept up.


Tight right hand bend and Tom Dumoulin still holds a small lead over the peloton.


Argos Shimano don't have Kittel or Degenkolb, but they have numbers and one of their men now rides off the front...


It's all over for the four escapees. Sagan may be there because some green shirts are now making themselves known. Matt Goss of GreenEdge is there too - we thought he was out - so he'll be one of the big favourites with Sagan for the win.


Nordhaug puts in a huge dig off the front, but it looks like all four fugitives will be caught very soon.


Actually, Sagan may not be around because there are no Cannondale shirts near the front. The big GC favourites - Evans, Froome and Contador - are all near the front.


Philippe Gilbert is in this main pack, as is the yellow jersey. Most of the sprinters have been distanced though. No sign of Sagan, but we presume he's there.


Rolland and Chavanel are combining well. Back with the peloton, it's Cameron Meyer of GreenEdge driving the chase. They must have their man Brett Lancaster in the frame. Simon Gerrans too, perhaps. Nieve and Nordhaug have joined the two leaders so we have four out ahead.


Rolland has been caught by Chavanel, with Nordhaug and Nieve trying to latch on.


Rolland has 10 seconds on Chavanel and 15 seconds on the pack. He's unsure what to do, what with the TTT tomorrow.


Sylvain Chavanel of OPQS has attacked on the descent! 34 yesterday, Chavanel now rides alone in pursuit of compatriot Rolland.


Rolland took 5 points there, with Nieve taking 3pts in second and Lars Petter Nordhaug of Belkin in third on 2pts. Jurgen van den Broeck of Lotto Belisol led the pack over.


Pierre Rolland had 17 seconds going over the summit - it will be interesting to see if he pushed on for the stage win, or if he sits up, content with his day's work.


Attack by a Belkin rider from the pack! It means nothing for Rolland, who crosses the summit in pole position to take 5 points and double his lead in the KOM standings.


Malacarne has now dropped back, while Rolland is caught by Mikel Nieve - not Anton - near the summit. But the Spaniard cannot hold on, and Rolland looks to have this one sewn up. Anton was off the front earlier, but he was caught, prompting a counter by his team-mate Nieve.


Clarke has been passed by the Europcar duo, who are soon to be joined by a returning Anton. Rolland is really milking the polka dots today - he's in shorts and helmet as well as jersey.


Anton is one of the 92 riders just one second down on Bakelants on GC so he is a threat. But the main pack has things under control. Clarke is either grinning or grimacing on the front... probably the latter because Pierre Rolland, the polka dot jersey, has just attacked from the peloton alongside Europcar team-mate David Malacarne.


Gautier is now passed by Euskaltel's Igor Anton, who has attacked from the peloton. Clarke now has just 15 seconds over the pack.


Westra, Vuillermoz and now Minard have been caught. Clarke dropped Minard at the start of the climb, Gautier drew level and passed.


Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel are two of numerous sprinters and other riders to be dropped by the peloton. The pace is up because of the threat posed by Gautier, the virtual yellow jersey.


Gautier has dropped Vuillermoz and Westra in pursuit of the two leaders. We're onto the final climb of the day, the Cat.2 Col de Marsolino - 3.3km at 8.1%.


Quite a few riders have been dropped off the back of the peloton, including Thomas de Gendt. The Belgian cracked yesterday and lost 17 minutes - he's clearly struggling in this, his second Tour.


Spain's Ion Izagirre has a rear flat and needs to change a wheel with an Euskaltel team-mate. He'll have to really push hard to get back on before the climb.


It's going to be tough for these two to stay out over the summit of the climb because behind them, all hell will break loose.


The duo pass under the 20km to go banner with about 10 seconds over the leaders abd 50 seconds over the pack. Clarke isn't thinking about the win - he's motivated by those KOM points that will make him the outright leader in the polka dot mountains classification.


ATTACK: Simon Clarke decides it's time to go and attacks off the front of the break, taking Sebastien Minard with him.


The TTT may be tomorrow, but RadioShack are putting in a large shift today. Their main priority is to reel in this break, which still has a 40 second lead that puts Gautier in the virtual yellow jersey.


The official Tour guide had this to say about stage three: "If Peter Sagan hasn't won a stage by now, this will be the one that suits him best in the first week. Hilly and technical, it will be another nervy day in Corsica." So far, the nerves haven't been too bad - but there's still that decisive climb. Is Sagan that man today? Or will someone else spring a surprise?


Arthur Vichot is finally back with the peloton after that crash, which came at a very tricky moment, with the pace high on this interminable descent.


Europcar have come to the front of the peloton alongside RadioShack - perhaps they will use Gautier as a springboard for a move from Voeckler or polka dot jersey Rolland? Off the back, Sky's Peter Kennaugh has punctured and is making his way back into the peloton.


The five leaders - Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM), Sebastien Minard (AG2R), Alexis Vuillermoz (Sojasun), Cyril Gautier (Europcar) and Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) - have one minute over the peloton. Gautier has just unzipped his jersey.


CRASH: French national champion Arthur Vichot has hit the tarmac - he was the only one to go down so perhaps it was a touch of the wheels with an FDJ team-mate.


Remember, with the top 93 all within a second of the race lead, we could well see a new race leader today - provided Jan Bakelants doesn't finish in the same time as the stage winner. That is RadioShack's big challenge - make sure their man finishes in touch with the stage winner.


Interestingly, Lotto Belisol are near the front of the peloton so perhaps the believe their man Andre Greipel can get over the final categorised climb and contest the finish today. It will be very interesting to see how this pans out - if one or a cluster of riders have around 30 seconds going over that climb 13km from the finish, you'd fancy their chances to hold on to it all the way to Calvi.


The leaders are onto the Col de la Palmarella, which isn't one of today's categorised climbs, but will still sap the energy from their legs after what has now been a very testing 100km in the saddle. Westra leads before Gautier and Minard come through for a pull.


RadioShack are pushing the pace on the front of the pack, with the yellow jersey of Jan Bakelants separating his team-mates from the Team Sky at the head of a heavily strung-out peloton. Sky's Geraint Thomas, who is riding with a fractured bone in the pelvis, is not with his team-mates - the Welshman is clearly suffering a lot today on the back of the pack.


Westra has a near miss on the downhill after tacking a bend badly - that will be a little wake up call for the Dutchman.


Cyclist Magazine did a special feature on Corsica this month to coincide with the Tour and their reporter wrote of the "goosebump-inducing mountain vistas". He wasn't wrong - todays' scenery has really been quite breaktaking.


The break are starting to talk to one another a bit, with Cyril Gautier in particular rather vocal. Their gap is back to 1'45 as the peloton allows them to dangle out ahead a bit longer.


The oldest man in the peloton, Jens Voigt, is now driving the pace for RadioShack on the front of the pack. The 41-year-old is riding his 16th Tour this year - he's been involved every summer since 1998.


Sky have come to the front to take control. The British-based team of favourite Chris Froome know that while the race will not be won here in Corsica, it could be lost. They have the Saxo Tinkoff team of Alberto Contador, and the RadioShack outfit of yellow jersey Jan Bakelants, right on their heels.


It's really hot as the riders edge north towards Calvi, the reputed birthplace of Christopher Colombus. The temperature is up to 29 degrees centigrade as the break continue to defy the peloton, with a gap of 1'30. Up next is the uncategorised Col de la Palmarella, then a descent towards the foot of the final climb, the Col de Marsolino.


CRASH: Four riders hit the deck in the peloton. The worst hit is Niki Terpstra of OPQS, who looks a bit sore as he waits for a new bike. Mikel Nieve of Euskaltel was involved in that too, as were riders from Sojasun and Cofidis.


Mark Cavendish (OPQS) was slightly distanced over the summit of the Cote de Porto but he should be able to fight back on. All will depend on the final climb today, but it may still come down to a bunch sprint. With Cavendish back, two of his team-mates are on the front of the pack to slow things down, and the break see their lead creep back up to one minute.


For a third time, Simon Clarke beats Alexis Vuillermoz to the summit to take maximum points over the climb. Those two points puts the Australian level with Pierre Rolland and Blel Kadri in the battle for the polka dot jersey.


France's Yohan Bagot (Cofidis) has abandoned the race, we've heard.


With 38 seconds over the pack and the fantastic Gorges de la Spelunca a thing of the past, the leaders now move onto the next climb of the day - the Col.3 Cote de Porto (2km at 6.4%).


The peloton has strung out considerably as the riders tackle these series of hairpin bends and winding downhill roads. Geraint Thomas, the man with the fractured pelvis, is unsurprisingly on the back.


This is quite a perilous descent, with only a low stone wall separating the winding road from quite a steep slope down towards the dense undergrowth and rocky outcrops. The leaders only have 50 seconds to play with now as Belkin continue to pile on the pressure. Belkin's Lars Boom was in the break both days previous to stage three - perhaps he's feeling good again.


The riders are passing past the famous fiery red and orange pinnacles of the Calanques de Piana, a UNESCO World Heritage site. These protected coastal cliffs are truly extraordinary - and the aerial images are up there with the best ever seen on the Tour. On the road, not able to appreciate the surroundings, Belkin have moved to the front of the pack.


Sky have now come to the front of the peloton to drive the pace, and the gap of the leaders has come down to 1'25 so they may not stay out for much longer.


Thomas looks very uncomfortable on the back of the peloton, constantly shuffling in the saddle. He's clearly in pain, and Sean Kelly doesn't think the Welshman will be able to stick it out for much longer. "If you have a hairline crack of the pelvis then it's not looking good for Thomas and he will struggle to continue in this race," said Kelly just now on British Eurosport.


Simon Clarke of GreenEdge once again pipped Alexis Vuillermoz of Sojasun to take the two points over the summit. That puts the Australian on three points in the KOM standings and just two behind the polka dot jersey of Pierre Rolland.


More on Geraint Thomas - reports coming in that the Welshman is actually riding with a small fracture in his pelvis, which was discovered after a scan following yesterday's stage. 'It was like a win itself to get to the finish,' Thomas told journalists yesterday at Ajaccio.


The Saxo Bank team of Alberto Contador are near the front alongside Belkin and RadioShack. Sky have also formed a cluster on the other side of the road, with Richie Porte sticking close to his leader Chris Froome.


Geraint Thomas, who crashed heavily in the opening stage, is receiving treatment off the back of the peloton. The Welshman has been in the wars this season, crashing pretty much in every monument of the spring classics season. Sky will need him in good nick for tomorrow's TTT.


The leaders are combining well and riding in a tight group - they'll need to keep this up, and not attack each other, if they want this to have any chance of lasting the distance. The current gap is 3:10.


The leaders are on to the second categorised climb of the day, the Cat 3 Col de San Martino 7.5km at 5.4%.


The final rider in the break, Simon Clarke of Orica-GreenEdge, made his breakthrough last year with victory in the fourth stage of the Vuelta en route to taking the race's polka dot jersey as best climber. This is the first Tour for the 26-year-old former youth national champion.


Lieuwe Westra, who instigated this break from kilometre zero, is riding his third Tour for Vacansoleil-DCM on the back of a strong spring season in which he took the first stage of the Tour of California and finished 3rd in the Volta ao Algarve and 8th in Paris Nice. The 30-year-old crashed out of last year's Tour in stage 11.


This is 31-year-old Sebastien Minard's fifth consecutive Tour de France but, oddly enough, he's never finished as high as in his debut race in 2009, which he finished 38th. the third Frenchman in this break is 25-year-old Alexis Vuillermoz, who is riding his debut Tour. The Sojasun rider is a cyclo-cross specialist still looking for his first pro win.


There's no urgency in the chase from the peloton - this scenario suits the vast majority of the field just fine. RadioShack are on the front, with OPQS and Saxo Bank tucked in behind. There will be more action later on - especially with that final climb of the Col de Marsolino just 15km from the finish - but for now it's the calm before the storm.


We've seen a lot of Europcar so far in this year's Tour: Jerome Cousin attacked in stage one, then yesterday we saw David Veilleux, Thomas Voeckler, Pierre Rolland and Cyril Gautier ride on the front of the race at different moments. Gautier made his move on the last climb of the day and looked strong until being swept up with 7km remaining. The 25-year-old is at it again today, and is currently the virtual race leader. This is his fourth Tour and earlier this year he won the Tour de Finistere.


The road hugs the coast for the next 10km before heading inland for the next categorised climb on the menu. The five leaders - Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM), Sebastien Minard (AG2R), Alexis Vuillermoz (Sojasun), Cyril Gautier (Europcar) and Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) - have 3:45 over the pack.


Argos and Cannondale do all the work ahead of the intermediate sprint, and it's Marcel Kittel who pips compatriot Andre Greipel (Lotto) with Mark Cavendish (OPQS) crossing next ahead of Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale). There won't be much of a change in the green jersey standings, but every point helps.


The escapees seem to have come to an accord and no one contests the sprint, with Sebastien Minard leading the five riders over in one long line. They're clearly keen to make this break stick and so don't want any thing to disrupt their rhythm. Westra is the second rider over, followed by Gautier. The real fireworks will come with the peloton in a few minutes...


The teams of Argos and Cannondale are edging towards the front of the pack ahead of the intermediate sprint. Meanwhile, Kanstantsin Siutsou of Sky stops to change a wheel for a puncture.


After a foray up and over from Ajaccio, the riders are now back on the coast and currently riding along the wondrous Golde de la Liscia, which has white sand and turquoise blue sea. Today's stage will prompt numerous people to go online and book a holiday in Corsica, that's for sure.


The current white jersey is the Polish 23-year-old Michal Kwiatkowski of Omega Pharma-Quick Step, who finished third yesterday just behind Sagan.


The intermediate sprint comes after this descent so expect some action back in the pack. Marcel Kittel currently leads the green jersey competition by four points over Peter Sagan, the German swapping his yellow from stage one for green yesterday after finishing way off the pace in the grupetto.


The gap for the five leaders is up to four minutes as they make their way down this sinuous and highly technical descent.


We've just heard that Astana's Andrey Kashechkin has retired from the race. If that's confirmed, the Kazakh rider will be the first rider to withdraw from the 100th edition of the Tour.


There's a flurry of activity as the five escapees launch into sprint towards the summit, but it's the Australian Simon Clarke who pips Vuillermoz to take the solitary point. The 26-year-old GreenEdge rider has pedigree with polka dots - he won the climber's jersey in last year's Vuelta.


Just the one point available for the first rider to cross the summit, which won't worry the current leader of the KOM standings, Pierre Rolland of Europcar. Rolland picked up five points on the race's first Cat.2 climb yesterday after a solo attack to cross the summit in pole position. He's currently level on points with Blel Kadri of Ag2R-La Mondiale, but took the polka dot jersey yesterday because of the calibre of the climb.


The gap is already up to 3:35 for the five escapees, who are already onto the first categorised climb of the day, the Cat.4 Col de San Bastiano (3.4km at 4.6%).


The first 93 riders on GC are split by just one second after two eventful stages in Corsica. In fact, 92 of those riders are all level on time - it's just Jan Bakelants who is one slender second ahead in the overall standings. Cyril Gautier of Europcar, however, is now the virtual race leader. Like Alexis Vuillermoz, the Frenchman is one of the 92 riders one second down on GC, but he higher placed than his compatriot by virtue of stage placings.


Westra - along with his Vacansoleil-DCM team-mate Thomas de Gendt - finished in the grupetto yesterday and lost a huge 17 minutes on GC. There's his motivation to start the break today...


The five riders are Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM), Sebastien Minard (AG2R), Alexis Vuillermoz (Sojasun), Cyril Gautier (Europcar) and Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge). So we have three Frenchmen, a Dutchman and an Australian out in front of the pack, with the RadioShack team of yellow jersey Jan Bakelants controlling things on the front of the peloton.


Four riders have joined Westra on the front of the race - including men from French teams Ag2R-La Mondiale, Europcar and Sojasun. Full break down coming up, but the escapees have already opened up quite a gap.


Right from the outset, Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) breaks clear from the peloton.


They're off! The 198 riders of the 2013 Tour de France get the third stage under way...


There is no flat today, with the road going up and down relentlessly. There's practically no staight road either, with numerous bends taking the riders through some spectacular landscape. All set for the start...


The riders are in the neutral zone ahead of the official start. It's another sunny day in Corsica with blue skies and a temperature in the mid 20s.


Yesterday, Belgium's Jan Bakelants held on by one slender second to defy a rampaging peloton to take a remarkable victory in stage two of the Tour de France - and the race lead - in Ajaccio. The 27-year-old from RadioShack - riding his debut Tour de France - was part of a six-man break that formed on the final run into the finish of the lumpy 154km stage from Bastia. Bakelants held off the peloton to take the yellow jersey, with Peter Sagan sprinting to second place.


Welcome to live coverage of stage three of the Tour de France, a lumpy 145.5km between Ajaccio and Calvi with four categorised climbs over narrow roads through astonishingly beautiful scenery. It's going to be tough, spectacular and explosive.