Monday July 6th, 2015

Stage 3Anvers / Huy

Start 13h40 (Local time)

Key moments

video06.07.2015

Summary

video06/07/2015 

Summary

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The 2012 winner of the Flèche wallonne Joaquim «Purito» Rodriguez of Katusha found the way to glory again atop the Mur de Huy on a crash marred stage. Runner up Chris Froome (Sky) took the yellow jersey with an advantage of only one second over Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) who missed out on the lead for the third consecutive day. The 2013 winner of the Tour de France is already 36 seconds ahead of arch-rival Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) in the overall classification ahead...

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Third overall, 13 seconds behind new leader Chris Froome, Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) had a near-perfect start to the Tour de France and he admitted his performance on the Mur de Huy had been «a pretty big success».

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Yesterday was a bad day because I had worked so much and the puncture and crashes have ruined everything, it was sad. But today's win is great. It's the fruit of a phenomenal team work. I'm very happy. It's a fantastic mental booster for all of us.
When I saw the 400 metres to go mark, I wasn't even thinking. In the last Flèche wallonne, I got boxed in and I couldn't attack. I didn't want this to happen again. I'm not surprised that Froome and Contador couldn't follow me because this...

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Brilliant the previous day on the wind-swept roads of Zealand, Alberto Contador faltered in the finale of stage 3 on Mur de Huy, finishing 12th, 18 seconds behind Joaquim Rodriguez and Chris Froome.

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I'm glad that I keep the green jersey for a second day in a row. It's important for Lotto-Soudal to have it tomorrow as we're a Belgian team in a stage starting in Belgium. It's a much awaited stage with cobblestones. Belgian fans love that. I don't know for how long I'll be chasing points. I'll contest all the bunch sprints when I'll get a chance, whether it's for a finish or an intermediate sprint but we have other goals in the team too. Today, we also wanted to bring Tony Gallopin in a...

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I knew it would be very difficult to go for the stage victory because of the profile of the race at the end but I wanted to try because I like this kind of breakaways. I already tried yesterday and it didn't work out so I've wanted to try again. At least I made the decisive move, it was already a success. I already won the price of most aggressive rider last year in stage 3 in London, it's quite funny. It wasn't exactly my goal at the start but I'm happy to be awarded.

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Going into the Mur de Huy, I tried to stay right behind Alberto Contador to help him in case he'd need something but the rhythm was too high for me uphill. I lead the best young rider competition and I'm not far down in the green jersey but I'll see day by day if it'll be appropriate to look for points or not. My priority is to assist Alberto and we have a big job to do tomorrow on the pavés.

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Trek Factory team director Alain Gallopin saw his leader Fabian Cancellara lose the yellow jersey after an awful pile-up some 60 km before the finish line of stage 3 and he said the organisers were right to stop the race.

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I think the Mur de Huy is typically the climb for punchy types of climbers. That's why it's been a great performance by Purito. I expected it and I was marking him. The climb doesn't suit me really so it's a surprise to come here in second place and gain some time over the other GC contenders. I couldn't be happier. It's an amazing feeling to be back in yellow after the disappointment I had last year. I didn't expect to lead the race so early. I don't know how much we can read the race...

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Nearly three minutes down on Chris Froome after three days of racing and a very bad day on the Mur de Huy, France's Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), third last year, was not very optimistic about the immediate future.

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Joaquim "Purito" Rodriguez was one of the injured riders after yesterday's stage. He punctured once and crashed twice. “My elbow, hip and knee are injured”, he said after visiting his physiotherapist. “It's been a day of suffering, more than in a mountain stage. I'm not that worried about the time lost (1.28), that can happen to other riders, today or tomorrow, and there are stages to make it up if I'm fine. I'm more worried about my knee. I hope it'll be ok.”

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Alain Gallopin, assistant directeur sportif of Trek Factory Racing, told letour.com this morning: “Today it's a mini Flèche wallonne, tomorrow it'll be a mini Paris-Roubaix, which won't be a problem for Fabian [Cancellara]. Today it'll be harder. He's 15kg heavier than other riders. It makes a difference in a climb with a gradient up to 19%. We'll have to limit the losses to keep the jersey or to take it back tomorrow. With Fabian, we never know. He's a great champion. He might be less...

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It's common saying that the Tour de France is a classic every day. It's even truer this year. After a day of crosswinds and echelons in Holland, which has certainly affected some riders' physique, stage 3 features one of the most stunning finishes of the Spring classics. Starting in Antwerp, the race ends up atop the Mur de Huy. It's the home of the Flèche wallonne since 1983. The Chemin des Chapelles – its real name – is a 1.3km long climb with an average gradient of 9.6% and a maximum...

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