SAN DIEGO, July 7, 2014 – The third stage of the Tour de France saw the race’s final day in England. The 71 mile flat stage seemed like an easy ride after Sunday’s long, crazy ride, but there is no such thing as an easy day at the Tour de France.
British fans had hoped to see their favorite Mark Cavendish in contention to win today’s stage, but there was still plenty of excitement from the rest of the sprinters and their teams vying for the victory.
Elite sprinters Mark Renshaw, Marcel Kittel and Peter Sagan powered toward the finish line, and though it seemed Sagan would slide out of Kittel’s slipstream at the very end, but he couldn’t match Kittel’s power and the big German rider for Giant-Shimano won his second stage victory in this year’s Tour, with Sagan and Renshaw following.
Kittel gave credit to his team, saying it was hectic due to the rain, and he got a bit lost coming into the finish. But he relied on staying on the wheel of his leadout rider and fellow German John Degenkolb, and said it was the fastest finish he ever rode. “It’s not something you can take for granted that it happens like that, and I’m happy it worked out.” Degenkolb said it was a dream weekend and a dream start to the Tour.
Rain greeted the peloton as it came to the outskirts of London, typical weather for a summer day. Combined with the many traffic islands, tunnels and twists on the London streets, it made for a harrowing ride into the city.
An early breakaway was caught within a reasonable distance to the finish line, and the teams with sprinters in contention for a stage win set up perfectly for an exciting sprint finish for the fans.
The excited English fans haven’t learned like French fans to stay out of the riders’ way as they lean in from the side of the road. Cyclists including American Tejay Van Garderen have taken to Twitter to post messages asking them to please contain themselves shooting their selfies and stay out of the way.
Vicenzo Nibali continues to wear the leader’s yellow jersey. Sagan has picked up enough intermediate sprinting points to keep the sprinter’s green jersey. Cyril Lemoine of Cofidis has the polka dot jersey, and Romain Bardet of AG2R wears the young rider’s jersey.
All of the top GC contenders remain in the hunt within seconds of the lead, including Americans Van Garderen, Andrew Talansky, and 42-year-old Chris Horner.
Stage 4 takes the Tour across the English Channel back to France for a rolling stage along the northern Opal Coast of France from Le Touquet-Paris-Plage to Lille Métropole. The riders won’t have time to enjoy the beautiful scenery as they ride this long rolling stage.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Follow the Tour de France daily in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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