Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen took the spoils in stage 3 of the Dauphiné today after a lead-out from teammate Geraint Thomas set him up to win the sprint by a wheel from Michael Matthews of Orica - GreenEdge. Gianni Meersman took third to cement his green jersey lead, with David Veilleux remaining in the overall lead.
Today's 167km parcours was predominantly flat with two category 3 climbs in the second half, but it didn't look like a day that would unduly tax the sprinters. Sander Cordeel (Lotto - Belisol), Fumiyuki Beppu (Orica - GreenEdge), Jacob Rathe (Garmin - Sharp) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil - DCM) went away as soon as racing was underway, and although they built up a decent advantage of over six minutes it never looked as if the peloton, marshalled by Europcar to protect current leader David Veilleux, would let them go. By the time the second climb reared up the advantage was down to less than a minute and Cordeel, the last rider to succumb, was reeled in with 13km to go.
With the TT specialists – including Tony Martin and Lieuwe Westra – dropping off to save their legs for tomorrow's individual time trial, it was the sprinters to the fore to contest the stage victory and a strong lead-out from Geraint Thomas put Boasson Hagen in a great position to just edge Matthews on the line.
1. BOASSON HAGEN Edvald SKY PROCYCLING 4h 03' 32" 2. MATTHEWS Michael ORICA GREENEDGE st 3. MEERSMAN Gianni OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP st 4. HUSHOVD Thor BMC RACING TEAM st 5. VIVIANI Elia CANNONDALE st 6. JANSE VAN RENSBURG Reinardt TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO st 7. BOUHANNI Nacer FDJ st 8. VOSS Paul TEAM NETAPP-ENDURA st 9. CHAVANEL Sylvain OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP st 10. GAVAZZI Francesco ASTANA PRO TEAM st
1. VEILLEUX David TEAM EUROPCAR 12h 00' 22" 2. MEERSMAN Gianni OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP + 01' 56" 3. GALLOPIN Tony RADIOSHACK LEOPARD + 01' 57" 4. VALVERDE Alejandro MOVISTAR TEAM + 01' 57" 5. BARGUIL WARREN TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO + 01' 57" 6. FUGLSANG Jakob ASTANA PRO TEAM + 01' 57" 7. THOMAS Geraint SKY PROCYCLING + 01' 57" 8. MADRAZO Angel MOVISTAR TEAM + 01' 57" 9. PORTE Richie SKY PROCYCLING + 01' 57" 10. CONTADOR Alberto TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF + 01' 57"
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.