Live: 2012 Tour de France – Stage 3 – Orchies to Boulogne-Sur-Mer
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Tour de France 2012 (Poster by Chungkong)
Join us tonight for live coverage of Stage 3 of the 2012 Tour de France. The 197-kilometer stage runs from Orchies to Boulognes-Sur-Mer. Live coverage will begin at 8:30PM AEST with updates throughout the stage.
Relatively speaking, the stage can be classified as flat, but with six categorised climbs in the final 65km and an uphill finish, it is not a race for your traditional sprinter.
There are four category four climbs and two category three climbs that come after the one and only sprint point of the race, which is at kilometer 119. The final climb to the finish is 700m long at 7.4 percent.
Depending on the size of the break, I would expect team Liquigas to attempt once again to put Peter Sagan in position to pick up intermediate sprint points to extend his lead on the green jersey. He currently has 78 point, with Mark Cavendish in second place with 63.
Cavendish is likely to contest the points, but with Team Sky working for Wiggins, he may have to do some more train hopping to pick up points at the intermediate sprint.
The finish of stage three, like stage one, favors a classics rider. The likes of Philipe Gilbert, Fabian Cancellara, Cadel Evans and Peter Sagan are the riders to watch. All of these riders have something to gain in tonight’s stage.
Philipe Gilbert is still looking for last year’s form and this could be an opportunity for him to prove he’s back in full force. He finished fourth on similar terrain in stage one and is definitely looking to improve on that performance.
Cadel Evans may try to gain a few seconds on Wiggins with a late attack and a bit of separation from the field on the final climb to the finish. He’s only 10 seconds down on the Brit.
Fabial Cancellara’s goal is simple, keep yellow for another day. Having seen him defend it on stage one, I’m confident he will be somewhere near the finish of stage three. However, team Radioshack-Nissan will have to do a better job of working for Cancellara and helping him near the finish if he’s to win.
Other riders to watch are Edvald Boasson Hagen of Team Sky, Alejandro Valverde of Movistar, and Sylvain Chavanel, who won the 2011 French championships in Boulogne-Sur-Mer. Look for him to try to break away late on one of the climbs.
My pick for stage three is Peter Sagan. He seems to excel on this type of terrain where traditional sprinters fall off the back and has been on phenomenal form since the Tour of California.
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