|The 2012 Tour de France continued today as the race moved into its home country of France. With crashes spread across the race, a shortened peloton approached the final 1 km uphill climb to the finish line. After Sylvain Chavanel's (Omega Pharma - Quick-Ste) attack in the final 5 kilometers was caught, the sprint for the line began. Similar to stage 1, Liquigas-Cannondale's Peter Sagan won the sprint with Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky Pro Cycling) and Peter Velits (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step).
After just 5 kilometers into stage 3 of the Tour de France, the early breakaway escaped away from the peloton. The breakaway consisted of five men, including Ruben Perez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Sebastien Minard (AG2R La Mondiale), Giovanni Bernaudeau (Europcar), Andriy Grivko (Astana) and Michael Mørkøv (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), who currently leads the Mountains Classification
The peloton was defeated by crash in stage 3 of the 99th Tour de France, with the Tour's first abandons happening throughout the day. Kosta Siutsou (Sky Pro Cycling) and Movistar's Jose Joaquin Rojas were the two riders who were confirmed abandons during the stage.
A stage within the final thirty kilometers took down a good chunk of the remaining peloton, slipping the main field into several groups on the road. World champion Mark Cavendish (Sky), Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp), Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and others were caught behind or within the crash and never made it back to the lead group on the road.
With less than 10 kilometer to go, Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel of Omega Pharma-Quick Step attacked the peloton in and attempt to go for a solo stage win. The Frenchman went on alone for a maximum of two kilometer, but was caught in the end by the chasing peloton lead by RadioShack-Nissan, BMC Racing Team and others.
In the final corner, Peter Sagan found himself at the front of the peloton with only 300 meters to go. The Slovakian national road champion began his sprint and opened a gap on Edvald Boasson Hagen and Peter Velits. The 22 year old found himself the time to sit up and celebrate the win as he rolled across the finish line.
Stage 3 Results
1 Peter SAGAN SVK LIQ 22 4:42:58
2 Edvald BOASSON HAGEN NOR SKY +1
3 Peter VELITS SVK OPQ +1
4 Fabian CANCELLARA SUI RNT +1
5 Michael ALBASINI SUI OGE +1
6 Cadel EVANS AUS BMC +1
7 Nicolas ROCHE IRL ALM +1
8 Samuel SANCHEZ GONZALEZ ESP EUS +1
9 Bauke MOLLEMA NED RAB +1
10 Vincenzo NIBALI ITA LIQ +1
General Classification After Stage 3
1 Fabian CANCELLARA SUI RNT 14:45:30
2 Bradley WIGGINS GBR SKY +7
3 Sylvain CHAVANEL FRA OPQ +7
4 Tejay VAN GARDEREN USA BMC +10
5 Edvald BOASSON HAGEN NOR SKY +11
6 Cadel EVANS AUS BMC +17
7 Vincenzo NIBALI ITA LIQ +18
8 Ryder HESJEDAL CAN GRM +18
9 Andreas KLÖDEN GER RNT +19
10 Bauke MOLLEMA NED RAB +21
Points Classification After Stage 3
1 Peter SAGAN SVK LIQ 116 points
2 Fabian CANCELLARA SUI RNT 74 points
3 Mark CAVENDISH GBR SKY 73 points
Mountains Classification After Stage 3
1 Michael MORKOV DEN STB 9 points
2 Ivan BASSO ITA LIQ 2 points
3 Peter SAGAN SVK LIQ 2 points
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