Tyler Farrar became the first ever American to claim a Tour de France stage on July 4 – Independence Day across the pond – as Garmin-Cérvelo claimed their second Tour de France stage ever in as many days in Redon.

Mark Cavendish and the HTC-Highroad lead-out train were expected to dominate the stage’s finish, but two sharp corners on the run-in slowed the bunch down and Cavendish was crowded out before the last bend.

As a result Cavendish was pushed behind his rivals round the final bend, and Garmin-Cérvelo were left in a perfect position with Thor Hushovd, Julian Dean and Tyler Farrar right at the front.

From there, the American had it wrapped up – as he said afterwards, with a lead-out from yellow jersey holder and world champion Thor Hushovd, he was only called on to sprint from one hundred and fifty metres out. He crossed the line with hands outstretched making a W-sign in tribute to Wouter Weylandt, his best friend who was killed in a crash during the Giro d’Italia.

Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DSM) made a late challenge and finished second, and José Rojas (Movistar) was a close third, with Cavendish eventually finishing fifth.

Geraint Thomas (Sky) made a late bid for glory, jumping off the front with five hundred metres to go. He was banking on the final corner, which was a sharp left-hander, being disruptive enough for him to stay clear, but it wasn’t to be.

Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DSM) also launched a late attack with two kilometres to go, but never got near gaining enough distance on the peloton to pose any danger.

Cavendish declassified from intermediate sprint

There were two main talking points to the action earlier in the day, with Cavendish and Hushovd both declassified from the intermediate sprint results, and a split in the peloton on the day’s only classified climb causing a brief moment of panic.

There was an early attack from Mickael Delage (FdJ), Niki Terpstra (Quick Step), Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Ivan Gutierrez (Movistar) and Ruben Perez Moreno (Euskaltel-Euskadi), whose breakaway stayed away until the final kilometres, meaning that sixth to 15th were the only points-winning positions left available to the bunch at the intermediate sprint.

Cavendish crossed the line first and it looked like he had taken the points with ease, but both he and Hushovd were declassified from the result after the end of the stage.

There was a small amount of leaning as the riders jostled for position, although not enough to raise eyebrows until the omission on the results sheet.

Cavendish tweeted afterwards expressing confusion at the ruling, a sentiment that may be shared by many given how tame the jostling looked. The commissairres, however, judged it to be illegal, and, in the absence of Cavendish, Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha) took the ten points.

The day’s only classified climb was a sixty-six metre hop over the Saint-Nazaire bridge. It didn’t look too testing, but the peloton split as it climbed it at high speed and with strong crosswinds.

A main group of about fifty riders came down the climb with a lead of several hundred meters and the race was briefly thrown into chaos. Although most of the top contenders were at the front, Ivan Basso
(Liquigas) found himself trailing in a small group that also included
Ben Swift (Sky).

Lars Bak (HTC-Highroad) eventually took control of the situation and urged Leopard-Trek and Garmin-Cervelo, the pace setters at the time, to ease off – surely much to Liquigas’s relief. 

There was also a late scare for Cofidis team leader Rein Taaramae. He punctured with twelve kilometres to go and made it back to the bunch just in time only thanks to three Cofidis teammates who paced him back.

Hushovd remains in yellow and José Rojas will wear green tomorrow. His third position, combined with seventh in the intermediate sprint and fourth two days ago, put him seven points ahead of Tyler Farrar. 

Results


Tour de France 2011, stage three: Olonne-sur-Mer to Redon, 198km


1. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Cervelo in 4-40-21

2. Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM

3. Jose Joaquin Rojas Gill (Spa) Movistar

4. Sebastien Hinault (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale

5. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Highroad

6. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Garmin-Cervelo

7. Julian Dean (NZ) Garmin Cervelo

8. Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM

9. Andre Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto

10. Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur-Sojasun all at same time



Overall classification after stage three

1. Thor Hushovd (Nor) Garmin-Cervelo 9-46-46

2. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at same time

3. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 1 sec

4. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky at 4 sec

5. Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Leopard-Trek

6. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky

7. Frank Schleck (Lux) Leopard-Trek

8. Andy Schleck (Lux) Leopard-Trek

9. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard-Trek

10. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Team Sky all at same time

British

17. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Highroad at 5 secs

23. Ben Swift (GB) Team Sky at 11 secs

Geraint Thomas and Ben Swift, Tour de France 2011, stage three



Geraint Thomas and Ben Swift

Bradley Wiggins, Tour de France 2011, stage three



Bradley Wiggins

Mikael Delage in escape group, Tour de France 2011, stage three



Mickael Delage heads the escape group

Scenery, Tour de France 2011, stage three



Stage three scenery

Thor Hushovd in yellow, Tour de France 2011, stage three



Race leader Thor Hushovd

Tyler Farrar wins, Tour de France 2011, stage three



Tyler Farrar takes his first Tour stage win

Tour de France 2011: Related links



Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

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Tour GC contenders: the winners and losers after stage one



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Tour de France 2011: Teams, riders, start list

Tour de France 2011: Official start list

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Tour de France 2011: Team guide

Tour de France 2011: Stage reports



Stage two: Garmin win team time trial to put Hushovd in yellow



Stage one: Gilbert blasts to victory as Tour gets off to spectacular start

Tour de France 2011: Highlights videos



Stage two video highlights



Stage one video highlights




Tour de France 2011: Photo galleries


Stage two photo gallery by Andy Jones





Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson





Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson





Tour de France 2011 team time trial training photo gallery by Andy Jones



Tour de France 2011 team presentation by Andy Jones



Tour de France 2011 team press conferences by Andy Jones



Tour de France 2011 team presentation by Graham Watson

Tour de France 2011: Live text coverage



Tour de France 2011 LIVE: CW’s text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2011: Archive videos

Video: 2003 Centenary Tour

Video: Lance Armstrong retrospective

Video: Behind the scenes at the Tour

Video: Guerini’s 1999 stage win

Video: Thrills and spills at the Tour

Video: Armstrong in 1999

Video: The Indurain years

Video: Ladies of the Tour

Video: Best of bizarre

Tour de France 2011: TV schedule

British Eurosport Tour de France 2011 TV schedule

ITV4 Tour de France 2011 TV schedule

Tour de France 2011: Related links

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Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Tour de France 2011: Older news items

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2011 Tour de France teams named

Tour de France 2011: Route details

The mountains of the 2011 Tour de France

Cavendish challenging for up to eight stages in 2011 Tour

 


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  • Dave Hanley

    Not everyone realises that the commissairres are idiots, so every now and again thay have to come up with a diabolical decision like today’s just to leave you in now doubt as to what immense idiots thay are.
    There will be a lot of disqualifications this year if they’re going to penalise every rub of the shoulder in the sprints.

  • red balloon

    the commissairres are idiots

  • Ken Evans

    “There was a small amount of leaning as the riders jostled for position,
    although not enough to raise eyebrows until the omission on the results sheet.”

    This is ridiculous !
    Did either rider protest ?

    This is sprinting, it is supposed to be rough.
    Riders should be penalised for not being competitive !

    The soft judging is a recent thing,
    in Hoban’s day there used to be jersey pulling, hand-slings,
    all sorts of things going on.

    Sprinting isn’t a sport for wimps !