Stage 3: TDF 2023: Race to the Finish in Bayonne

July 3, 2023

Amorebieta-Etxano to Bayonne, 195.5 km

03/07/2023 – Tour de France 2023 – Etape 3 – Amorebieta-Etxano / Bayonne (187,4 km) – PHILIPSEN Jasper (ALPECIN-DECEUNINCK), POGACAR Tadej (UAE TEAM EMIRATES)

Today’s flat stage highlighted the strength of the sprinters, and with a slight uphill to the finish, the 25-year-old Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin) won the sprint–but in dicey fashion, pushing out Wout Van Aert to the barriers on the right. Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) was second, and Chris Ewan (Lotto Dstny) was third. Mark Cavendish, Team Astana Qazaqstan, who did not compete in Tour last year, came in 6th to the line. At the Giro this year in May, Cavendish announced that this season would be his last.

Adam Yates retained the Yellow Jersey for the third time in a row, the first rider to do so since 2017, when his compatriot Geraint Thomas was the leader in the first four stages, before Chris Froome, another Briton and his teammate at Team Sky, took over in stage 5 to La Planche Des Belles Filles.

“It was a tense final, but this is the Tour de France: there are no presents to nobody, everybody goes all-in,” said Philipsen after the stage.  “I am really happy I kept it to the finish line. It’s amazing to have Mathieu van der Poel as a lead-out man…It was a tricky final, with that bend close to the finish line, and I took the shortest way to the finish.”

That perhaps, was a reference to the way he moved over to the right, barring Van Aert?

The details

Jumbo Visma’s Wout Van Aert and Ingegaard were lined up for the finish

03/07/2023 – Tour de France 2023 – Etape 3 – Amorebieta-Etxano / Bayonne (187,4 km) – POWLESS Neilson (EF EDUCATION – EASYPOST), PICHON Laurent (TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC)

with 5 km to go.  With 3 km to go, Cavendish was about 20 riders behind. Turning a large bend towards the finish with 2 km to go Team Soudal was in the front to lead out Fabio Jacobsen. Cavendish was 10 riders back.

At the finish, Wout Van Aert was pushed into the barriers by Jasper Philipsen–obvious to anyone who was watching.

Laurent Pichon who formed a breakaway with and was out in front of the peloton for the majority of the stage, was caught 20 km from the finish.

Bayonne hosted the stage finish for the 31st time: it’s a town where many eventual Tour winners claimed a stage: Lucien Petit-Breton in 1907 and 1908; Octave Lapize in 1910; Firmin Lambot in 1920; Ottavio Bottecchia in 1925; Nicolas Frantz in 1926; Jacques Anquetil in 1964. The last stop of the race in the major city of the French part of the Basque Country was twenty years ago.

03/07/2023 – Tour de France 2023 – Etape 3 – Amorebieta-Etxano / Bayonne (187,4 km) – PICHON Laurent (TEAM ARKEA – SAMSIC)

Expecting the sprint finish at the start of today’s stage, Cavendish told reporters, “I’ll just try to win what I can at the Tour de France”, he said. “34 times I’ve been able to understand how hard it is to win a stage of the Tour de France, I know that you can only try. And we’ll keep trying with everything we’ve got and see what happens, not just for today’s stage but for every sprint opportunity we get.”

Victor Lafay is the first Frenchman in the green jersey since 2021 (Julian Alaphilippe wore it on stage 3 and stage 4). In the XXIst century, two other Frenchmen wore it: Arnaud Démare from stage 4 to stage 6 in 2017 and Jimmy Casper the day after he won stage 1 in Strasbourg in 2006. Christophe Moreau after the Prologue in 2001 and Sylvain Chavanel after stage 2 in 2010 also led the points classification but they were busy in the yellow jersey.

Results of the intermediate sprint at Deba (km 65.8)
1. Laurent Pichon, 20 pts
2. Neilson Powless, 17 pts
At 1’35’’
3. Victor Lafay, 15 pts
At 2’30’’
4. Mads Pedersen, 13 pts
5. Jordi Meeus, 11 pts
6. Biniam Girmay, 10 pts
7. Jasper Philipsen, 9 pts
8. Mark Cavendish, 8 pts
9. Caleb Ewan, 7 pts
10. Bryan Coquard, 6 pts
11. Mathieu van der Poel, 5 pts
12. Dylan Groenewegen, 4 pts
13. Peter Sagan, 3 pts
14. Alex Kirsch, 2 pts
15. Fabio Jakobsen, 1 pt

With 73 km to go, Laurent Pichon is alone at the front 2’25” before the peloton. He held on until about 20 km to the finish.

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