This race report was filed by Jakob Duma
Today’s 3rd Stage of the tour of Denmark named the “queen stage” went away at 12:25pm with one notable rider missing: Current world number 2 Paolo Bettini didn’t start today as expected, as he left to get ready for Sunday’s big test in Zurich even though a minor injury is bugging him a bit. There were four categorized climbs on today’s stage included the climb op to Yding Skovhøj “The roof of the Tour of Denmark.” Right from the start the attacks started and some of the most active riders were Robert Hayles (Cofidis), Sylvain Chavanel (Bonjour), and yesterday's unsung hero Jørgen Bo Petersen (Team Fakta), but a very controlling CSC-Tiscali didn't allow any breakaways at this point, as race leader Jacob Piil was looking very strong and seemed to be very much in control with a very aware Tyler Hamilton sitting close at his wheel.
The first climb of the day was taken by Estonian Innar Mandoja (AG2R) who extended his lead in the climber's competition ahead of Lennie Kristensen (Team Fakta), yesterday's runner up Jaan Kirsipuu (AG2R), and Jimmy Engoulvent (Bonjour). After the climb Nico Mattan (Cofidis) went away together with Laszlo Bodrogi (Mapei), Elio Aggiano (Mapei), Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Team Fakta), and Sébastien Joly (Bonjour), and CSC-Tiscali promptly reacted as Laszlo Bodrogi posed a major threat to Jacob Piil's yellow jersey. The big Hungarian soon find himself back in the peleton together with Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Team Fakta) and Elio Aggiano (Mapei). Shortly after also Nico Mattan and Sébastian Joly had to give up their mission and were hailed in by the bunch. As the peloton went in to Vejle, race leader Jacob Piil showed his enormous strength when together with Norwegian champion Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Team Fakta) they attacked on a steep little radar with no one able to follow.
The two worked excellently together, quickly getting a good gap at about 30 seconds, and back in the bunch where CSC-Tiscali naturally had left the front none of the other teams could really agree to organise a chase and the two escapers slowly but safely extended three lead to over 1min. Jacob Piil (CSC-Tiscali) who has been literally flying the past couple of days went all out at the front, trying to secure and extend a very health lead before tomorrow's exciting time trail.
In the meantime Andrea Tafi (Mapei-Quick Step) tried desperately to minimise the gap, but even the strong Italian had to capitulate as the fight for the stage win would be decided by the two leaders, Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Team Fakta) looking for his 3rd win this year and race leader Jacob Pill (CSC-Tiscali). They were still prioritizing to work together and didn’t try to attack each other but settle things in the final sprint. Under the Flamme rouge Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Team Fakta) was looking very good and with about 500meters to go the Norwegian champion opened the sprint and went for the line; Jacob Piil tried to go the other way around him but had to settle for 2nd place as the Fakta rider could rise his arm for Team Fakta's 11th win of the season.
The sprint for 3rd place went to Emmanuel Magnien (Bonjour) who beat German champion Danilo Hondo (Telekom), Marcus Ljungqvist (Team Fakta), and Alexandre Usov (Phonak) in a very close sprint. The Tour Of Denmark was yet again hit by an accident as Bekim Christensen (Team Coast) was hit by a motorcycle but gladly, he only suffered a few cuts and bruises and finished the stage in 51st place.
Tomorrow is a split stage with a 98km stage I the afternoon and a very decisive 16km time trail in the evening.
Stage 3 Results
1. Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) EDS-Fakta @ 4h 05' 42"
2. Jakob Piil (Den) CSC-Tiscali @ ST
3. Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) Bonjour @ 1' 03"
4. Danilo Hondo (Ger) Team Telekom @ 1' 03"
5. Marcus Ljungqvist (Swe) EDS-Fakta @ 1' 03"
6. Alexandre Usov (Blr) Phonak @ 1' 03"
7. Michael Skelde (Den) EDS-Fakta @ 1' 03"
8. Tyler Hamilton (Usa) CSC-Tiscali @ 1' 03"
9. Stefan Van Dijck (Bel) Lotto-Adecco @ 1' 03"
10. Frank Høj (Den) Team Coast @ 1' 03"
16. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Mapei-Quick Step @ 1' 03"
GC after Stage 3
1. Jakob Storm Piil (Den) CSC-Tiscali @ 13h 25' 47"
2. Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) EDS-Fakta @ 1' 15"
3. Stefan Van Dijck (Hol) Lotto-Adecco @ 2' 18"
4. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) AG2r-Prevoyance @ 2' 22"
5. Alexandre Usov (Rus) Phonak @ 2' 23"
6. Danilo Hondo (Ger) Team Telekom @ 2' 24"
7. Emmanuel Magnien (Fra) Bonjour @ 2' 24"
8. Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step @ 2' 25"
9. Olaf Pollack (Ger) Gerolsteiner @ 2' 26"
10. Frank Høj (Den) Team Coast @ 2' 27"
11. Allan Johansen (Den) EDS-Fakta @ 2' 27"
12. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Mapei-Quick Step @ 2' 28"
19. Tyler Hamilton (USA) CSC-Tiscali @ 2' 28"