TOUR DE FRANCE 2015 Rodriguez King of the Mur, Froome back in yellow

Tour De France

Tour De France

The 2012 winner of the Flèche wallonne Joaquim «Purito» Rodriguez of Katusha found the way to glory again atop the Mur de Huy on a crash marred stage. Runner up Chris Froome (Sky) took the yellow jersey with an advantage of only one second over Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) who missed out on the lead for the third consecutive day. The 2013 winner of the Tour de France is already 36 seconds ahead of arch-rival Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) in the overall classification ahead of stage 4 on the cobblestones in north of France.

198 riders took the start of stage 3 in Antwerp. Bryan Nauleau (Europcar), Serge Pauwels (MTN-Qhubeka), Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18) and Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) rode away from the gun at the initiative of the Frenchman. They got a maximum lead of 3.45. The gap was stabilized at 3.20. It was their advantage at km 47.5 in Eddy Merckx’ native town Meensel-Kiezegem, where a statue was unveiled in tribute to the world’s greatest cyclist ever who turned 70 in June.

Race neutralized after a crash

Approaching the first climb of the Tour de France, the côte de Bohisseau, the peloton was about to rejoin the breakaway riders when a big crash occurred. William Bonnet (FDJ), Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) and Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) were the first three riders forced to pull out. Yellow jersey wearer Fabian Cancellara (Trek) was also involved in the crash. Due to the extraordinary circumstances of the crash at a very high speed, the race was neutralized to allow the injured riders to be back in the peloton. Twenty five minutes after the crash, a new start was given at the top of the côte de Bohisseau with 50km to go.

Team Sky puts the hammer down

41km away from the finish, Team Sky put the hammer down. Tinkoff-Saxo, then Astana also accelerated and split the peloton in two parts while injured riders were noted quite far back. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Romain Bardet (AG2R) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) made their way back to the first group. Angelo Tulik (Europcar) attacked in the côte d’Ereffe but Team Sky brought him back as they decided to keep Chris Froome out of trouble by pulling the bunch on a high speed in the lead up to the Mur de Huy. Tinkoff-Saxo took over from the British team with 10km to go.

Brilliant conclusion by “Purito”

Luca Paolini (Katusha) led the peloton of around 40 riders into the Mur de Huy. Froome and Contador went in a duel but couldn’t follow an acceleration by Joaquim “Purito” Rodriguez 400 metres before the top. Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal) kept his slipstream for a while but it was Froome who manage to rejoin him right on the line, too late for winning the stage but the Brit was strong enough to make a difference of 11 seconds over Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar), 18 seconds over Contador. Froome is back in the yellow jersey two years after winning the Tour de France.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.