Stage 3 Ajaccio to Calvi 145.5km

Tour de France Stage 3: Hail to the bus driver

Another stage in Corsica and another day of cracking weather and amazing scenery. Sagan was the favourite and was looking to go into the Team Time Trial tomorrow wearing yellow. 

Clarke chasing the coveted spotted dick kit, as worn by Rolland.

Clarke chasing the coveted spotted dick kit, as worn by Rolland.

Again the break went…well basically immediately. Westra lit the touch paper and was soon joined by 4 others: Minard, Gautier, Clarke and Vuillermoz. Clarke, the winner of the climbers jersey in last year’s Vuelta seemed to have a clear goal for the day at hand. 

And so it was for the vast majority of the stage. The break would come down under a minute and the peloton would sit up and let it go back out again. If we were riding in the group we would have been soaking up the sun and enjoying the scenery. Why hasn’t the Tour been here before?? 

For us, the humble television spectator, we need the commentator to add the sugar to the spice. Having Eurosport as our medium this Tour means we get Sean “Marbles” Kelly and the vastly underrated Carlton Kerby, who we have to say we’re taking quite a shine to. Carlton had a couple of pearlers tonight, including a reference to the magic spanner when Vichot was hanging onto the team car and that the reason why the boulders on the side of the road were making him nervous was because “geological time includes today”. Goodbye Marcel, hello Carlton! 

Anyhow, back to the race and with 25km to go Minard attacked and that basically meant good night nurse for break. Soon after Clarke attacked, spying off the remaining KOM points on the final climb to put him polka dots for two days at least. 

This didn’t seem to agitate the group. Gautier attacking the break remains and Anton coming out of the group did and this signed Clarke’s death certificate. To rub salt into the wound Rolland and an Europcar teammate attacked out of the group for the KOM. 

All the while Greipel, Cav and co were all going OTA at a rapid rate. When Degenkolb went out the back after tipping him last night, we can’t deny that a little Teutonic schadenfreude passed through us. 

Over the top and Rolland took the KOM and then pushed on with it, with Nieve from Team Scrabbleboard and Nordhaug (Who?) working to bridge across. Then Chavanel attacked on the descent LIKE A BOSS and soon enough he was driving the break like he stole it. 

With only a 9 to 10 second gap it was a tenuous agreement in the break and soon enough Nordhaug cracked and attacked henceforth killing any hope they had of staying away. 

With 2.3 to go Tom Domoulin from Argos went off the front but it was doomed with Cannondale not letting history repeat itself from the day before. Though it seemed in their haste to make sure they were there at the end Sagan ran out of team mates about 500m too early and it was then that Daryl Impey came through at warp speed with Gerrans on his wheel. Sagan latched onto Gerrans wheel and who Gerro opened it up it was a drag race to the finish. Sagan didn’t have the extra gear to clear it out and Gerrans won with a bike throw at the line. Amazing effort by the entire Green Edge team today, they really BUSted themselves to be in the mix.

BY WOODY

PS not to late to enter the TIPPING COMP - 

Also special mention has to go out to Janno who is already over 20 minutes down. This is his rookie year and its to be expected that he will be truly sh1t but this is setting the bar higher than ever before.

OK, Team Time Trial tonight. Even for cycling fans its like watching paint dry. I will try and add some excitement to the thing, not sure how yet. Does everyone have a webcam???