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Press Releases | 28.06.2021

Late crash shatters Peter Sagan’s sprint hopes on chaotic Tour de France stage 3, Ide Schelling reclaims mountain jersey

The climbs of the first two days of the Tour de France weren’t the toughest the riders would encounter in the race, but their positioning made it difficult for the sprinters to contest the win. There would be no such difficulties on stage 3, the 182.9km parcours featuring only two fourth category climbs and a flat run to the finish line in Pontivy. While the polka dot jersey of the King of the Mountains was on loan to Ide Schelling from the race leader, who held the lead in both contests, Ide jumped into the break for a third successive day to make the maillot à pois his own. This group of five built up a lead of more than three minutes before the peloton started working to keep them in check, the gap dropping to a little more than two minutes as the climbs approached. While there was only one point available at the top of each of the fourth category climbs, Ide knew that just one point was enough to win back the jersey. Taking this on the first ascent, the Dutch rider dropped back to the peloton to provide support for Peter Sagan for the day’s predicted sprint finish, as the speeds in the peloton cut the lead of the remaining breakaway riders down to less than a minute with 20km to go. The speeds were incredibly high as the sprint teams ate away at the last few seconds of the break’s lead, and in spite of their best efforts, the peloton passed the trio on the front as though they were standing still, with a little less than 6km to go, only for a crash to create a split in the lead group, the Slovakian national champion lucky to be ahead of this. Picking his way through the bunch, Peter looked to be in the perfect position to go for the win, only to be taken out by Ewan sliding out in front of him on the final corner. With the finish line in full view from the point of the crash, Peter could only think about what could have been. On a day marred by crashes and splits, Wilco Kelderman crossed the line in 26th position to hold fifth place in the GC, with Emanuel Buchmann following soon after and Peter coming in safely to finish the stage. 

 

Results 

01        T. Merlier               4:01:28 

02       J. Philipsen             + 0:00

03       N. Bouhanni           + 0:00 

... 

26       W.Kelderman          + 0:14 

52       E. Buchmann          + 0:26

 

From the Finish Line 

"We were expecting a nervous and tense stage but this one became absolutely hectic after the intermediate sprint. I was feeling well, the guys, and especially Niels, did a fantastic job in keeping me safe and positioning me for the sprint. I was in a very good place in the final stretch to the finish line, ready to contest the stage, but, unfortunately, I crashed with Caleb Ewan. I managed to get up, ride my bike and cross the finish line but, of course, it wasn't the way I wanted. I hope all riders involved in the day's crashes are OK." – Peter Sagan 

"I'm happy to gain the polka dot jersey back. It was my third stage out of three in the breakaway and I could say it was by far the easiest. Straight from the gun, I went away with four more riders who were kind enough to let me take the point in the first KOM. After I got the jersey and my mission was completed, I went back to the peloton and see what I could do for my teammates. I hope everybody is doing well after this hectic and crash-marred finale. It's never nice to come back to the bunch and see your teammates hit the ground. For me personally, it's incredible to be wearing such a jersey in my first Tour de France. It was a dream that came true on the first stage, unexpected, and it's still difficult to realise it's happening." – Ide Schelling 

"It was another stressful day that turned hectic after the intermediate sprint. Daniel brought me perfectly into the narrow part but it then became crazy. There were crashes left and right. Peter was well in front but, unfortunately, crashed as well. In the end, it wasn't a good day for us, but we have to turn the page and forget it. Hopefully, everybody is OK and we can move on." – Wilco Kelderman 

"Peter had a crash in the last corner before the finish and was sliding for a very long time over the concrete. He has quite deep cuts on his right hip and a very big hematoma. It will definitely take a while to get rid of the  bruises and hematoma but we'll see in the next days." – Christopher Edler, Head Doctor 

"Today we had a very clear plan. Firstly, Ide was to fight for the polka dot jersey. He did a very good job, took one point, and is back again in the lead in the mountain classification, which makes us happy. Afterwards, the focus shifted to Peter and the expected sprint finish but also to positioning well our GC leaders. Again, everybody put in a strong effort, worked spotlessly and they were always in the front positions. Peter was in an excellent spot in the final 300 metres but, unfortunately, he crashed with Ewan. He finished on the ground while he should have been fighting for the stage win." – Jan Valach, Sports Director

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