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Paris-Nice Stage 3: Andrew Talansky takes the stage and race lead

Garmin-Sharp's Andrew Talansky prevails on day when Race to the Sun was played out in filthy conditions...

Andrew Talansky of Garmin-Sharp has won Stage 3 of Paris-Nice and takes over the race lead amid pouring rain in Brioude on a day when a number of climbs smashed the peloton to pieces. The 24-year-old American won from a small group of seven riders that had managed to keep ahead of a small chasing group in the finale. Europcar's Davide Malacarne finished second on the stage, while Gorka Izagirre of Esukaltel was third. Team Sky's Vasil Kiryienka had a spectacular fall on a snaking descent as the stage neared its conclusion, but indications are that nothing was broken.

The Belarus rider’s crash came with a little over 10 kilometres to go, after he followed an attack from Astana’s Maxim Iglinsky on the descent from the Category 2 Cote de Mauvagnat towards the end of the 171lm stage from Châtel-Guyon.

Passing the Ukrainian to lead the way down, Kiryienka came through an S bend when suddenly he lost the back end of the bike, Iglinsky somehow managing to miss both the stricken rider and his Pinarello which had flown across the road.

Afterwards, Nicolas Portel, Team Sky sports director, said: “It was a shame that Kiri went down. It was tricky conditions and he was off the front at that moment. He has lost some skin on his right side but the team has checked him over and nothing is broken. He will be fine to start the stage tomorrow. He was smiling after the stage!”

Kiryienka’s chute apart, it was a good day for Sky. After their team mate’s crash, Richie Porte and David Lopez, together with Garmin-Sharp’s Talansky, managed to bridge across to join a small group of riders up the rode, and the seven would stay away until the finish.

However, it was Garmin-Sharp who had most to celebrate after Talansky – nicknamed Pit Bull – emerged from that group to win the stage and take the overall lead, roaring as he crossed the line.

Garmin-Sharp Sports Director Geert Van Bondt said: “Andrew and the team did a fantastic job today and met our objective of getting Andrew in a good position going into the final climb.

“We knew he had to be up front going in, and that he had to take the decent in a top 10 position, which he did. He then he made the split at the bottom of 7 riders, executing perfectly.

“Andrew and the team fought hard for today’s stage, it was an impressive team victory and victory for Andrew, who cleared the final meters perfectly, outsprinting a strong group after a long day.

“Taking the leader’s jersey was a great bonus, we’re happy and proud and looking forward to the coming stages.”

One rider who had a day to forget was Ivan Basso, who lost around 3 minutes on the leaders after having to change his rear wheel due to a puncture at a crucial moment.

Tomorrow looks like another tough day, with four Category 2 and three Category 3 climbs on the 199.5km route between Brioude and Saint-Vallier as the race continues its progression south.

Paris-Nice Stage 3 result

1  Andrew TALANSKY          Garmin-Sharp        4:06:15
2  Davide MALACARNE         Europcar           Same time
3  Gorka IZAGUIRRE          Euskaltel
4  David LOPEZ              Sky
5  Richie PORTE             Sky
6  Romain BARDET            AG2R-La Mondiale
7  Andriy GRIVKO            Astana
8  Jonathan HIVERT          Sojasun           at 7 seconds
9  Enrico GASPAROTTO        Astana
10 Maxime BOUET             AG2R-La Mondiale
11 Lieuwe WESTRA            Vacansoleil-DCM
12 Diego ULISSI             Lampre-Merida
13 Maxim IGLINSKY           Astana
14 Nicolas ROCHE            Saxo-Tinkoff
15 Alberto LOSADA           Katusha
16 Bart DE CLERCQ           Lotto-Belisol
17 Daniel NAVARRO           Cofidis
18 Jean-Christophe PERAUD   AG2R-La Mondiale
19 Arnold JEANNESSON        FDJ
20 Peter VELITS             Omega Pharma-Quick Step

Overall standings after Stage 3

1  Andrew TALANSKY          Garmin-Sharp         14:39:36
2  Andriy GRIVKO            Astana                  at 3”
3  Davide MALACARNE         Europcar
4  Sylvain CHAVANEL         Omega Pharma-Quick Step at 4”
5  Gorka IZAGUIRRE          Euskaltel               at 5”
6  Lieuwe WESTRA            Vacansoleil-DCM         at 6”
7  Richie PORTE             Sky                     at 7”
8  Peter VELITS             Omega Pharma-Quick Step at 8”
9  David LOPEZ GARCIA       Sky                     at 9”
10 Jonathan HIVERT          Sojasun                at 12”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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