Tour de France Stage 3: A Day for Sprinters to Make a Move

Photo credit: Tim de Waele - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim de Waele - Getty Images

From Bicycling

Stage 3 - Nice to Sisteron - 198km - Monday, August 31

Monday’s Stage 3 starts in Nice and takes the peloton on a 198km ride to the foot of the Alps, where an early summit finish awaits the riders at the end of the Stage 4.

With three Category 3 climbs and one Category 4 climb throughout the day, there will be plenty of riders looking to go on the attack, including a rider or two from AG2R in the hopes of defending Benoit Cosnefroy’s King of the Mountains jersey. The Frenchman is tied with his compatriot, Anthony Perez of Cofidis, so this battle should prove to be the central storyline of the first half of the stage. An uncategorized climb in the first 10km should give them the perfect opportunity to escape.

Then it’s up to the sprinters’ teams hoping to take advantage of one of few chances they’ve been presented with during the Tour’s first week. With the exception of the Category 4 Col de l’Orme 45.5km from the finish line, the final 80km are generally downhill, which should give teams like Quick-Step, BORA-Hansgrohe, and Lotto-Soudal plenty of road to make the catch and set-up their lead-outs.

The run-in to the finish line is straight, with no corners but a few pieces of road furniture—including a roundabout just before 2km-to-go. Crashes are still a strong possibility as the peloton will be large and everyone is nervous. The weather is expected to be sunny, with temperatures in the 70s and a headwind as the race approaches Sisteron.

Assuming he stays upright, which is easier said than done so far in this year’s Tour, Quick-Step’s Julian Alaphilippe should have little trouble defending his yellow jersey. Stage 4’s summit finish should give us an indication as to how long he intends to try and keep it.

Riders to Watch

Stage 3 should be a day for the sprinters with Quick-Step’s Sam Bennett, BORA-Hansgrohe’s Peter Sagan, and Lotto-Soudal’s Caleb Ewan the best bets for the win. And don’t discount Stage 1 winner Alexander Kristoff of UAE or Elia Viviani of Cofidis.

When to Watch

This is not a stage to readjust your schedule for. Tune-in at about 10:45 a.m. EDT for the final 10km—or watch the replay later.

How to Watch

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