Fighting a brutal head wind, Australia’s Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) waited until the last possible second to accelerate and make his move to win Stage 3 (Nice > Sisteron) of the Tour de France. Julian Alaphilippe (DQS) retained the yellow jersey and overall lead during the third day of the Grand Race as it meandered through the Provence countryside.
Ewan crashed on the opening day of Le Tour during a slippery Stage 1 in Nice. He also finished near the back of the pack in Stage 2, but a determined Ewan rallied to a Stage 3 victory.
“The last two days haven’t been great for us, obviously the first day we crashed and lost two guys so we’re down to six already,” said Ewan. “But everyone’s staying motivated, we all knew that if all went right then I could win the sprint. Everyone did their job today and made up for the two guys we missed. It worked.”
TOUR de FRANCE – STAGE 3 RESULTS
1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 05:17:42
2. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quickstep)
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT)
Ewan edged out Ireland’s Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) at the Sisteron finish line. Bennett came in as one of the favorites at 2/1 odds to win Stage 3. Italy’s Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) took third place.
👀 Relive the last km and the beautiful sprint victory of @CalebEwan 🇦🇺
— Tour de France™ (@LeTour) August 31, 2020
Stage 3: Nice > Sisteron
The third day of the Tour de France featured a 198 km ride from Nice into Sisteron. The riders faced a couple of modest Category 3 climbs, including a non-challenging Category 4 (the easiest) with Col de L’Orme less than 40 km to the finish.
Teams combatted furious head winds as they set up their sprinters for the final 10 kilometers outside of Sisteron and its medieval citadel.
“The guys did a great job keeping me at the front,” explained Ewan. “In the last kilometer, I was a bit too far forward, so I dropped back a bit into the wheels. That gave me time to rest the legs just a little before the last hit out.”
Last summer, Ewan made a splash by winning three stages during his rookie season at the 2019 Tour de France.
“The first ones were very special but it’s the Tour de France and it’s the biggest race in the world, and it’s the one that every rider wants to win at,” said Ewan. “I’m so happy to get another win and prove that last year wasn’t just a fluke. I hope to come back in more years and keep winning.”
On Deck: Stage 4 Sisteron > Orcieres-Merlette
If you’d like to watch a brutal climb before the finish line, then don’t miss Stage 4 of the 2020 Tour de France.
Once the riders leave Sisteron for a 160 km trek to Orcieres-Merlette, they’ll ascend the hilly Devoluy Mountains. But it’s the arduous Category 1 (the most difficult) climb during the last 10 km that will create separation from the peloton before the summit finish.
Primoz Roglic, the consensus favorite to win Le Tour this year, is the favorite to finish first atop the mountain in Orcieres-Merlette. Roglic is 5/1 odds to win Stage 4 according to William Hill.
GC STANDINGS (THRUGH STAGE 3)
1. Julian Alaphilippe (DQS) 13:59:17
2. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +0:04
3. Marc Hirschi (Sunweb) +0:07
Oddsmakers pegged Alaphilippe as the second favorite to win Stage 4 at 11/1 odds.
Alaphilippe won Stage 2 on Sunday, which put him in the lead. He rode with the peloton during Stage 3 and didn’t see any change in the general classification (GC) standings. Alaphilippe holds a four-second lead over Adam Yates.
“I’m really happy to wear the yellow jersey,” said Alaphilippe. “We defended it today and we’ll do it again tomorrow. It’s a big day (tomorrow) with a big climb up to the finish. I hope we’re going to do it. We’ll take it day by day and see what happens.”
Alaphilippe improved to 14/1 odds to win the 2020 Tour de France. The flamboyant Frenchman is one of the top climbers in the world, and is now 5/1 odds to win the King of the Mountain title.