Sagan Takes Second Stage Win of Tour
Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) has won his second stage of the 2012 Tour de France.
Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) has won his second stage of the 2012 Tour de France. Sagan burst into the lead in the last 100 m to take Stage 3, a hilly, crash-marred ride from Orchies to Boulogne-sur-Mer, in 4:42:58. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) outsprinted Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) at 0:01, and Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) finished fourth to keep the maillot jaune.
The hostilities began early. At five km, Andriy Grivko (Astana), Giovanni Bernaudeau (Europcar), Ruben Perez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Sebastien Minard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), and Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff) sallied off of the front. By 30 km, the quintet had forged a 5:40 lead. At that point, the peloton, led by RadioShack-Nissan, pegged the advantage at under 5:00.
The first part of the stage was flat. As the field took on the hilly second part, crashes occurred. Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) went down in an early crash, and then a larger pileup occurred. This one took out Konstantin Siutsou (Sky) with a broken tibia.
With 37 km left, 2:30 separated the bunch from the break. The break accelerated and dropped Bernaudeau. The peloton accelerated and began to shell riders. Another crash occurred, and Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge), J.J. Rojas (Movistar), and Giampaolo Caruso (Katusha) hit the deck, with Rojas abandoning with a broken collarbone. Philippe Gilbert (BMC) was caught in the crash and spent the rest of the stage chasing futilely.
BMC led the pursuit of the break. Attrition took its toll, and with 16 km remaining, only Grivko and Morkov were still in the lead. The crashes had split the field, and maillot jaune Cancellara was in the lead group, as was defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC), Bradley Wiggins (Sky), and Sagan.
With 10 km left, Morkov and Grivko led the lead group by 0:28. Three km later, Morkov was reeled in, and Grivko yielded two km after that.
With five km to go, Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) attacked. He led going into the last km, but the bunch engulfed him. Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) charged into the lead, but Sagan brushed by him for the win. In the final km, another crash took down Oscar Freire (Katusha), pinning others against the barriers, and delaying still others.
In the overall, Cancellara leads Wiggins and Chavanel by 0:07. Stage 4, the 2012 Tour's longest at 214.5 km, will be a rolling affair with a short climb 12 km from the finish. Who will win? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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