Late Ewan surge seals Tour de France stage three victory

Twitter: @Lotto_Soudal

Caleb Ewan bounced back from disappointment in the first two stages of the Tour de France to seal a superb victory in the third stage on Monday. 

The Lotto-Soudal rider crashed on the first stage before finishing last in the second, but was imperious in the closing stages in Sisteron, beating Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) in a sprint finish. 

Bennett's Deceuninck-Quick-Step team-mate, Julian Alaphilippe, finished in the peloton to keep the yellow jersey, with an advantage of four seconds over Adam Yates.

Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Jerome Cousin (Total Direct Energie) and Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) broke away early in the 194-kilometre route from Nice.

Perez collected enough points on the Cols de Filon, Paye and Leques to secure the King of the Mountains jersey for stage four, but his race ended with a high-speed collision on the descent from the latter climb. 

The 29-year-old Frenchman collided with a Cofidis vehicle as he chased back after a puncture, suffering a suspected fractured left collarbone, collapsed lung and broken rib.

The peloton picked up speed with 16km remaining, reeling in a tired Cousin for the final sprint. 

Peter Sagan (Bora–Hansgrohe) made a move from far out but Bennett passed him and Australian Ewan then jumped off he wheel of the Irish champion to add another stage victory to the three he secured last year.  

EWAN'S RISK REWARDED

Ewan praised his team-mates for their contribution and has set his sights on more victories. "The guys did a great job keeping me at the front," he said. “Coming from behind is a bit of a risk but I got through past the barrier and had the speed in the end.

"This is the biggest race in the world and I'm so happy to get another win and prove last year wasn't a fluke. I hope to keep coming back and keep winning."

STAGE RESULT

1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 5:17:42
2. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling Team)
4. Hugo Hofstetter (Israel Start-Up Nation)
5. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 13:59:17
2. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +0:04
3. Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) +0:07

Points Classification

1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 79 
2. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) 77
3. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 74

King of the Mountains

1. Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) 21
2. Michael Gogl (NTT Pro Cycling Team) 12
3. Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) 6

WHAT'S NEXT

A 160.5km ride from Sisteron to Orcieres-Merlette takes in the spectacular scenery of the Hautes-Alpes and features a 1800 metre climb.


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