Tour de France: Yellow jersey Cancellara surprises sprinters

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fabian Cancellara in his yellow jersey at the start of the 3rd stage in the Tour de France 2007 in Waregem.
Image: Johan Vandamme.

In the third and longest stage of the Tour de France today, the Swiss leader Fabian Cancellara didn't wait to compete with the sprinters, and used his time trial qualities to just hold them off and haul in a second victory.

The wind was stopping the whole peloton and it's hard to ride 240km with the wind in your face. That's one of the reasons that the whole peloton chose to ride slower because we are not machines, we are humans.

—Fabian Cancellara

The riders had 236.5 km in front of them when they started around 11 a.m. this morning in Waregem, Belgium, heading for the French town Compiègne, which is known also as the start of the race Paris-Roubaix. Remarkably, the riders didn't go faster than 30 km/hour most of the stage, so they came in an hour behind schedule after almost seven hours in the saddle.

After an early escape, Nicolas Vogondy and Matthieu Ladagnous were joined by Stephane Auge and Frederik Willems (the first three French, the latter Belgian) at 42 km of the finish. The former duo had a maximum lead of around 13 minutes 45 seconds, but the quartet of escapees was caught by the peleton just 500 m from the finish.

He pulled a rabbit out of the hat there! I've never seen anything like that in my 11 Tours.

—Stuart O'Grady on Cancellara

The yellow jersey and winner of the prologue took an early shot at the finale and managed to keep off Erik Zabel, Danilo Napolitano and Tom Boonen, among others. The bonus seconds expand Canchellara's lead from 13 to 33 seconds. In the climbing ranking, David Millar lost the polka dot jersey to Stephane Auge but remains third, 43 seconds behind Cancellara.


Results of the third stage:

  1. Fabian Cancellara: 6 hrs 36 mins 15 secs (others listed: same time)
  2. Erik Zabel
  3. Danilo Napolitano
  4. Tom Boonen
  5. Robert Hunter
  6. Robert Foerster
  7. Robbie McEwen
  8. Bernhard Eisel
  9. Mark Cavendish
  10. Heinrich Haussler

Overall standing:

  1. Fabian Cancellara: 15 hrs 12 mins 8 secs
  2. Andreas Klöden: + 33´´
  3. David Millar: + 41´´
  4. George Hincapie: + 43´´
  5. Bradley Wiggins: + 43´´
  6. Vladimir Gusev: + 45´´
  7. Tom Boonen: + 46´´
  8. Vladimir Karpets: + 46´´
  9. Thor Hushovd: + 49´´
  10. Mikel Astarloza: + 49´´