Tour de France 2013: Stage three as it happened

Simon Gerrans wins on the final day in Corsica as Jan Bakelants keeps the race leader's yellow jersey.

1 July 2013 Last updated at 16:27

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As it happened

  1. 1622: 

    Right then, the race report is taking shape and the BBC Radio 5 live podcast will be available shortly too. Thanks for keeping me company over the last few hours - I will be back to take you through the action from around 14:30 BST on Tuesday. With the yellow jersey very much up for grabs I think we are in for an exciting day.

  2. 1619: 
    Tuesday's stage

    The Tour heads back for mainland France for Tuesday's stage four - a 25km team time trial around Nice. The riders have to fly there from Corsica first, though. Not much recovery time then!

  3. 1615:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    And Pierre Rolland keeps hold of his polka dot jersey (and shorts) as current leader of the king of the mountains category, thanks to the points he gained on the Col de Marsolino.

    1. Pierre Rolland (France/Europcar) 10

    2. Simon Clarke (Australia/Orica) 5

    3. Blel Kadri (France/AG2R) 5

  4. 1612:  
    Green Jersey, Classification

    Some consolation for Peter Sagan is that he has taken the green jersey off Marcel Kittel with the points he gained for finishing second. Here are the standings after stage three:

    1. Peter Sagan (Slovakia/Cannondale) 74pts

    2. Marcel Kittel (Germany/Argos) 57pts

    3. Alexander Kristoff (Norway/Katusha) 48pts

    SELECTED OTHERS:

    15. Mark Cavendish (Great Britain/OmegaPharma-Quickstep) 25pts

  5. 1610: 

    "He's beaten him by a quarter of a wheel".

    That was Simon Brotherton's 5 live sports extra commentary of the exciting finish to stage three of the Tour de France, which saw Simon Gerrans pip Peter Sagan on the line.

  6. 1607: 

    Geraint Thomas crossed the line in the same group as Mark Cavendish, nine minutes and 15 seconds behind Simon Gerrans. They both made it, though, which is the main thing.

  7.  
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    Richard Meade: Today should be declared National Geraint Thomas Day!

  8. 1602: 
    Good news for a Brit

    So, Geraint Thomas is still going, despite his fractured pelvis, and he is no longer in last place. Tomorrow's team time trial is going to be another tough day for him, though. In normal circumstances he would be a big part of the Team Sky push, so it is a blow for them too.

  9. 1557:  
    Yellow Jersey, Classification

    Here's how things stand at the top of the general classification.

    1. Jan Bakelants (Belgium/RadioShack) 12:21:27"

    2. Julien Simon (France/Sojasun) +1"

    3. Simon Gerrans (Australia/Orica) SAME TIME

    4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland/Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)

    5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway/Team Sky)

    SELECTED OTHERS:

    7. David Millar (Britain / Garmin) SAME TIME

    9. Cadel Evans (Australia / BMC Racing)

    15. Chris Froome (Great Britain/Team Sky)

    60. Alberto Contador (Spain/Saxo)

    99. Peter Kennaugh (Great Britain/Team Sky) +9:16"

    173. Ian Stannard (Great Britain/Team Sky) +26:01"

    184. Mark Cavendish (Great Britain/Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) +26.50"

    194. Geraint Thomas (Great Britain/Team Sky) +26.50"

  10. 1554: 

    The important thing for Jan Bakelants was that he did not allow any time gaps today. He didn't, so he stays in the race leader's yellow jersey, with his one-second advantage still intact.

  11. 1553: 
    Results of stage three

    1. Simon Gerrans (Australia/Orica) 3:41:24"

    2. Peter Sagan (Slovakia/Cannondale) SAME TIME

    3. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spain/Movistar)

    4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland/Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)

    5. Philippe Gilbert (Belgium/BMC Racing)

    SELECTED OTHERS (ALL SAME TIME)

    13. Cadel Evans (Australia/BMC Racing)

    19. Jan Bakelants (Belgium/RadioShack)

    28. Chris Froome (Great Britain/Team Sky)

    29. David Millar (Great Britain/Garmin)

    51. Alberto Contador (Spain/Saxo)

  12. 1549: 

    The award for prediction of the day goes to Aaron White, who tweeted #bbctdf at 1316 BST to say: @simongerrans for the stage win today.

    Impressive!

  13.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Ben Lewis: Orica are obviously trying to erase the bus incident from everyone's memory by being aggressive on the road. Good tactic.

    Mike Adams: What on earth does Sagan have to do to win a stage. Big sprinters have had no joy so far.

  14. 1545: 

    Here's Australia's Simon Gerrans on his stage win, the first in a Tour de France for his Orica Greenedge team: "It is fantastic. The guys did a fantastic job of looking after me. I pinpointed this stage while ago and I am pleased I had the legs.

    "It went exactly as we planned - we wanted a guy in the breakaway to go on the offensive. Last few days been leading Daryl out but we switched it around and I managed to hold off one of the fastest guys so I am wrapped. I could see Peter coming up on my left and it must have been close because neither of knew who had won."

  15. 1541: 

    A few people have noted that Simon Gerrans' win means his team Orica Greenedge have managed a much better finish to this stage than they did on day one, when they got their bus wedged under the gantry.

    They earned it too, with Daryl Impey leading Gerrans out in superb style. Sagan was on Gerrans wheel but could not get round him in time.

  16. 1538:  
    Yellow Jersey, Classification

    And Jan Bakelants stays in yellow. RadioShack get their reward for working so hard at the front of the peloton all day.

  17. 1536: 

    That is a turn up for the books. Peter Sagan was the big favourite there. Gerrans got the win, though. Sagan was on his wheel but did not have the acceleration to get past him.

  18. 1535: 
    CHAMPAGNE MOMENT- Simon Gerrans wins stage three of the Tour de France.

    Wow. Australia's Simon Gerrans has just pipped Peter Sagan to the line, by a quarter of a wheel.

  19. 1534: 

    I'm not sure Sagan got it, though.... photofinish.

  20. 1534: 

    Peter Sagan goes for the line...

  21. 1533: 

    Peter Sagan is near the front, and so is Cadel Evans. Team Sky's Edvald Boasson Hagen is up there too. 500m to go.

  22. 1532: 

    Another attack. It's an Argos rider, Tom Dumoulin. The Frenchman has gone for it... and with 1km to go he has a lead of four seconds.

  23. 1531: 

    The breakway is no more. As well as the men going for stage glory, all the main contenders are in the peloton too - Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans, to name but three.

    No Mark Cavendish for the sprint, though. He got dropped on the last climb.

  24. 1531: 

    So, who is your money on here? Peter Sagan?

  25. 1530: 

    Less than 4km left and Nordhaug goes for glory, followed by Chavenel. The game is up, though. This one is going to come down to a mass sprint to the line.

  26. 1530: 

    Lars Petter Nordhaug and Mikel Nieve are the other two men joining Chavenel and Rolland. The gap is being held at seven or eight seconds, because the peloton do not want to catch them TOO soon, and encourage another attack.

  27. 1525: 

    Sylvain Chavanel has caught Pierre Rolland and those two are clear... for a few seconds, before they are joined by two other men. It's not going to happen for any of them, though.

    Behind them on a long straight road, RadioShack are still pedalling desperately at the front of the peloton to keep Jan Bakelants in yellow. They are only about eight seconds behind, with 6km left, and that is not going to be enough for the escapees to stay away.

  28. 1523: 

    A horn blasts out, to signal that the riders are 10km from the finish. Pierre Rolland is flying down this mountain and has a 10-second lead over 10 riders who have jumped off the front of the peloton behind him. Sylvain Chavanel and Peter Sagan are among them - Chavanel wants the yellow jersey, and Sagan wants the stage win.

  29.   
    Rob Hayles, Former GB cyclist and 5 live sports extra commentator

    "The chase is on! The yellow jersey lead is only one second and lots of riders will be looking to take it off Jan Bakelants."

  30. 1521:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    Sorry, I don't have a graphic showing polka dot shorts... I'll try to sort that out. Anyway, Pierre Rolland has just gone over the top of the Col de Marsolino to clinch two mountain points that ensure he will stay on top of that category tonight. Rolland has a 16 second lead on the peloton, but another 12km to go to the finish, all of it downhill.

  31. 1518: 

    As soon as I write that, Simon Clarke is history. The man in the polka dot jersey, Pierre Rolland, has caught and passed him. Rolland is also wearing polka dot shorts - not a good look. Looks like he will be wearing them again tomorrow too.

  32. 1515: 

    Simon Clarke has not got those mountain points in the bag just yet. He is still turning the pedals, and still climbing up this big chunk of Corsican rock. Basque rider Igor Anton, of the Euskatel team, is on his tail with 1km to go to the top.

  33. 1513: 

    So, Mark Cavendish will not contest the final sprint but it looks like we are in for one heck of a race down the Col de Marsolino to the finish line. There is 13.5km from the summit to the finish, with a stage win and the yellow jersey up for grabs.

  34. 1511:  
    Polkadot Jersey, Classification

    Chapeau Simon Clarke! The Australian has dropped Sebastien Minard and is charging up Col de Marsolino on his way to two more mountain points, which will be enough to put him in the polka dot jersey tonight as the leader of the King of Mountains category.

    Clarke is about 30 seconds clear of the peloton, with Sebastien Minard and Cyril Gautier on the road between them... for now, at least.

  35.  

    Simon Clarke and Sebastien Minard are about 30 seconds clear of the bunch, who have already gobbled up Alexis Vuillermoz. At the other end of the peloton, Mark Cavendish is among the riders to have been spat out of the back.

  36.  
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    Will in Clapham: Rocky VII - Rocky Balboa vs Geraint Thomas. The film would go on for hours! with neither of them hitting the deck!

  37.   
    Simon Brotherton, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator

    "I've just seen a stat that says RadioShack have been at the front of the peloton for 97% of today's stage."

  38. 1505: 

    I think those five escapees know they are doomed - Simon Clarke goes on the attack to try and scoop up a couple more Mountains points that would make sure of the polka dot jersey tonight. He has got company, though, because Sebastien Minard has gone with him.

    The other three who were in that break, Lieuwe Westra, Alexis Vuillermoz (Sojasun) and Cyril Gautier (Europcar), are currently experiencing what it is like to be a seal being chased by a killer whale.

  39. 1503: 

    The peloton have upped the pace by the way. Added horsepower, I guess. Anyway, the gap to the front five has slipped down to under a minute and is falling fast. I don't think the escapees will make it to the top of this climb on their own.

  40. 1501: 

    With 23km to go, the riders are about to hit the start of the climb up the Col de Marsolino. We have just seen another Tour tradition - a couple of fans on horseback keeping pace with the race. Maybe Geraint Thomas could hitch a ride?

  41.  
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    Daniel Hunter: Surely Geraint Thomas HAS to win the combativity award today. Couldn't imagine riding with a broken finger let alone a Pelvis!!

  42.  
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    Tom Edwards: Re 1418. Sun shining for Yorkshire next year? That would not make for a true Yorkshire stage. We need a mix of sun, snow and rain.

  43.  
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    Andrew McNair: Re 1443. Lie down and recover from a broken pelvis #optimisticChris #bbctdf #geraintthomas

    I don't think he will recover, but he will probably appreciate the rest!

  44.   
    Rob Hayles, Former GB cyclist and 5 live sports extra commentator

    On Geraint Thomas, who is riding with a fractured pelvis and is in last place on the road today, at the very back of the peloton: "At the moment Geraint is holding his ground but last place is the hardest place to sit - if he can move up a couple of places then it makes a lot easier. I have tried it in a wind tunnel and if you have someone behind you then you are sheltered a bit."

  45.  
    Matt Slater, BBC sports news reporter, in Corsica

    "We're about half an hour from show time at the finish in Calvi. There's a good crowd gathering and a nice breeze keeping everybody cool. The five riders who have been out in front all afternoon look like they are about to get a lot of company just in time for the last climb - not a biggie, but it is steep. Like the Peak District, then.

    "Seeing how the likes of Mark Cavendish have been yo-yoing out of the back today, I cannot see a full-on bunch sprint here. No, I will be boring and say Peter Sagan, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Philippe Gilbert etc. But whoever it is, they will have to share top billing for the day with Geraint Thomas. He is riding the Tour de France with a fractured pelvis, for pity's sake!"

  46. 1454: 

    The RadioShack squad are looking to keep Jan Bakelants in yellow for another day. He has got a one-second advantage over 92 other riders, so they have to be on their guard.

  47. 1453: 

    Jens Voigt, the oldest rider in the race at the age of 41 and competing in his 16th Tour de France, is at the front of the peloton and leading the RadioShack squad that includes the yellow jersey of the race leader Jan Bakelants.

    I spoke to Voigt before the Tour, about how to survive the world's toughest cycle race, and he told me: "The Tour de France is not just a bike race, it is an adventure. Probably one of the biggest adventures left on this planet. Completing it is equal to getting to the summit of Mount Everest."

    He's right as well.

  48. 1449: 

    There are now 33km to go for our five leaders.

    Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM), Sebastien Minard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Alexis Vuillermoz (Sojasun), Simon Clarke (Orica-Greenedge) and Cyril Gautier (Europcar) have been out on their own all day, baking in the Corsican sun, and their lead is still hovering around the one minute 20 second mark.

  49. 1443: 

    Time for a Geraint Thomas update - it was a relief when TV pictures showed the Welshman, who is still plugging away, right at the back of the peloton. He is riding very awkwardly... but then that is to be expected from someone with a broken pelvis.

    He has got less than 40km to go until he can have a lie down and try to recover before tomorrow's team time trial.

  50. 1441: 

    Ah, here's my first sight this year of another Tour tradition - a helping hand.

    French road race champion Arthur Vichot came off and had to wait a while for assistance from his FDJ team car. That left him with work to do to get back in touch with the peloton but he seems to have picked up a convenient mechanical problem with that fall and, while a mechanic fiddles with his gears, Vichot gets a free tow up the road.

  51.  
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    Rick Cuthbert: Can we have a David Millar update? It would be good to see him spend time in yellow again. Can he do it?

    Millar is in the peloton and, in theory, could nick that second back off Jan Bakelants at the end of this stage today. If not, tomorrow's team time trial offers him an even better opportunity, because Millar's Garmin team are a strong outfit.

  52. 1432: 

    The riders are spread out again as they come down the Col de la Palmarella. RadioShack, looking to protect Jan Bakelants in the yellow jersey, are at the front and are clearly not going to let the five escapees - including Cyril Gautier, who is currently a second behind Bakelants overall - get too far ahead at this stage.

    With 43km to go, the gap is still around one minute and 30 seconds.

  53. 1430:  
    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentary is now under way with Simon Brotherton, Graham Jones Rob Hayles. The link will appear on the right-hand side of this page or on the cycling index.

  54.   
    Polkadot Jersey, ClassificationGET INVOLVED

    Andrew Harvey: What's happening in today's King of the Mountains classification?

    Australia's Simon Clarke has been hoovering up most of the points - he has been first to the top of all three category climbs and has picked up a total of five points, moving him level with the current king of the mountains leader, Pierre Rolland.

  55. 1422: 
    Chris Froome

    There are plenty of Brits among the cycling fans to have invaded Corsica this week. Do I need to tell you that I am very envious of them? I am, in case you are wondering...

    Anyway, some of them managed to get hold of Chris Froome's autograph before the start today. If you are wondering how the British hope is doing, Frome is safely in the peloton along with his rivals Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans and, despite the glorious weather, I bet he will be quite pleased to get off the island in one piece... He has about 50km or so to go to get to the finish line.

  56. 1418: 
    The Tour de France in Corsica

    As I've mentioned (a couple of times!), the scenery in Corsica is stunning. I bet their tourist board is pretty chuffed with the way the weather has been while the world has been watching the Tour. Let's hope the sun shines in Yorkshire next year too!

  57.  
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    Rich Wilson: Unlike other grand tours the tdf doesn't have time bonuses for sprints and finishes, would reinstating them make it even more interesting?

    Yes... and even more chaotic too!

  58.  
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    Mike Adams: Re Bagot. Thomas sees your food poisoning and raises you a broken pelvis... #painthresholdsareirrelevant

  59. 1410: 

    Team Sky move to the front of the peloton, with 60km to go, before RadioShack take over the duties: the five escapees are a minute and 30 seconds clear, and firmly in the peloton's sights.

    Just one proper climb to go now, the category two Col de Marsolino, but plenty of bumps before the riders hit the slopes of that one, which start about 30km from the finish.

  60. 1404: 
    OUCH!

    Watch out! While some riders are tucking into their 'musettes', or food bags, others are tasting tarmac. Crashes during the feed zones are common, because riders can lose concentration while they check out what's in their sandwiches (or, more likely, rip open an energy gel) at speed.

    Dutch rider Niki Terpstra, one of Mark Cavendish's Omega Pharma-Quickstep team-mates, took the worst tumble and is getting treatment, but his injuries do not look serious. Three other men also came off their bikes but they all seem ok too.

  61. 1401: 

    Mark Cavendish was also dropped by the main bunch on the way up the Col de San Martino... but he is now safely back in the peloton.

    The gap to the front five has gone up and down more than the profile of today's stage, and has grown back to one minute and 20 seconds as they and the pack prepare to enter the feed zone - it's lunchtime.

  62. 1358: 

    We've lost another one. French rider Yoann Bagot of the Cofidis team has become the second rider to abandon the Tour today - he was reportedly suffering from food poisoning.

    Meanwhile, Geraint Thomas continues to battle on with his fractured pelvis. He is at the back of the peloton today and is 196th and last in the overall standings too.

  63.  
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    Jules Stow: Thomas making a heroic effort but think Sky are too professional not to make the hard decisions if he can no longer contribute.

    philwaud: Geraint Thomas must be a lunatic, get off that bike and get some rest!

  64. 1353: 

    Our five leaders have an advantage of less than 30 seconds now, with 70km to go.

    Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM), Sebastien Minard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Alexis Vuillermoz (sojasun), Simon Clarke (Orica-Greenedge) and Cyril Gautier (Europcar) are being reeled in as they tackle today's latest climb, another short one to the top of the category three Cote de Porto.

  65. 1350:  
    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    A quick heads up for you: BBC Radio 5 live sports extra will have live commentary with Simon Brotherton, Graham Jones and Rob Hayles from 14:30 BST to the end of the day's racing, which will also be available on this very page and the cycling index. I'll nudge you when it starts.

  66.  
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    Chloe Green: Thomas is showing major respect for the tour, but will it hamper his future riding ability? I hope not! He's being a hero.

  67.  
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    Tom: Gee Thomas is a trooper for trying to carry on but he isn't going to be able to help Froomey's cause and he might do more damage.

  68. 1344: 

    Corsica continues to give us some truly spectacular scenery as a backdrop to this Tour, and this cliff-side descent is no different.

    The riders are zig-zagging down between vast cracks in the rock, with bright sunshine above them and blue sea beneath them. Makes me want to jump in, but I guess that is not a good idea if you are on your bike and travelling at around 50mph.

  69. 1342: 

    Back on the road, and the riders are descending the Col de San Martino at a furious pace. No much room for error there, and it is a long way down. The peloton is strung out down the road and the increase in speed has seen the gap to the front five come down to less than a minute.

  70. 1340: 
    Rod Ellingworth and Geraint Thomas

    Here's Geraint Thomas talking to Team Sky coach Rod Ellingworth before the start of today's stage. He's riding with a fractured pelvis and is in a lot of pain. Should he continue? Sometimes, as with Bradley Wiggins in this year's Giro d'Italia, it is the team doctor who makes the decision. No rider wants to quit, especially the Tour de France.

    But what do you lot think? Tweet me using the hashtag #bbctdf or text me on 81111. Remember to put your name on those texts, though. I can't use them if you don't.

  71.  

    Team Sky on Twitter: Heroic effort from @GeraintThomas86 today. Showing so much heart at the #TDF

  72.  
    Matt Slater, BBC sports news reporter, in Corsica

    "So, Geraint Thomas has broken his pelvis (and is being a bally hero about it), Mark Cavendish has been under the weather, and David Millar just missed out on wearing yellow today by about a metre. But are we complaining? Not a bit of it. Thomas is a trooper, Cavendish will get his chance on Wednesday and Thursday, and Millar is a philosophical soul - he might even claim the lead in Tuesday's team time trial. And then there is Chris Froome, who clearly enjoyed panicking his rivals yesterday by accelerating up the final climb.

    "It's another tough one today. Hot and twisty, like a withered chilli. Nasty climb near the finish, too. Is this a day for a break to stay away?"

  73. 1325: 

    I can confirm that Kazakhstani rider Andrey Kashechkin has pulled out, however. He abandoned after 15km of today's stage.

    His team, Astana, have just tweeted: Andrey Kashechkin abandons st3 #tdf digestive trouble, unable to eat on Sunday.

  74. 1323: 
    OUCH!

    Oh dear. I've just seen some pictures of Team Sky's Geraint Thomas, and they do not look good. The Welshman is riding with a fractured pelvis that he sustained in a crash on stage one, and he looked in real pain as he received treatment from his team car. He's not stopping, though.

  75. 1321: 

    There are 92km of the 145.5km to go for the five escapees: Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM), Sebastien Minard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Alexis Vuillermoz (sojasun), Simon Clarke (Orica-Greenedge) and Cyril Gautier (Europcar).

    Team Sky and RadioShack are setting the pace at the front of the peloton but they seem quite happy with the gap, which has come down to just under three minutes.

    French rider Gautier, one of the 92 riders sitting a second behind race leader Jan Bakelants in the overall standings, holds the virtual yellow jersey on the road but there is a long way to go before he can think about wearing it for real on the podium.

  76. 1316:  
    Green Jersey, Classification

    Apologies, I meant to tell you earlier where that intermediate sprint left things at the top of the standings in the points category. The winner of a flat stage gets 45 points, so those are the days when Mark Cavendish will do some damage to his rivals, or at least expect to!

    1. Marcel Kittel (Argos) 57pts

    2. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) 49pts

    3. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) 48pts

    SELECTED OTHERS:

    8. Andre Grepeil (Lotto) 30pts

    9. Mark Cavendish (OmegaPharma-Quickstep) 25pts

  77.  
    Gurning for France
    Thomas Voeckler

    In case you are not familiar with Tommy Voeckler's work, he is well known for launching attacks in the mountains... and for the way he grimaces while doing so. We've not seen enough of him so far in this year's Tour, although that will probably change soon.

  78.  
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    Dave from Darlington, enjoying the sun: Today's stage is made for the face pulling, Tommy Voeckler, Peter Sagan will keep his powder dry for a few days yet

  79.  
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    From Alex: If someone is injured but not dropping out because of respect for the competition (e.g. Tony Martin or Geraint Thomas) can they sit out the team time trial or have to choose between dropping out and holding back their team?

    Hi Alex, there are nine men in each team at the start of the Tour and, in a team time-trial, each rider takes the time of the fifth man home. So Thomas is not going to hold back his team tomorrow in Nice - it is more the case that he will not be able to help them if he cannot keep up. And, if he is dropped, he will be given a separate time.

    It's still a blow for Team Sky that he is not 100%, because he is an important part of their 'machine'. Thomas told me before the Tour that he was particularly looking forward to the team time trial - it's one of his strongest events, because it is similar to the team pursuit, at which he excels on the track (he's a double Olympic champion at it).

  80. 1249: 

    Not a lot has changed at the front of the race. Those five men are about three minutes 45 seconds clear, and they have about 107km to go until they reach the finish line at Calvi. Lots of climbing still to come, though, and the next mountain is a more difficult one - the category two Col de San Martino.

  81.  
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    Who will win today's stage?

    Mark Davis: Edvald Boasson Hagen has looked in good form however its hard to see past Peter Sagan for today's stage

    Mike Adams: Andy Schleck to test his legs, no mountains to worry about until the weekend. David Millar to have a go. Love to see Tommy Voeckler win.

    Simon Garlinge: The Garlinge Pick of the Day for #TdF13 #Stage3 is Phillipe Gilbert. Looks like the sort that would revel in this terrain.

  82. 1238:  
    Green Jersey, Classification

    Speaking of which, the main field have just battled it out for today's intermediate sprint points. There were 10 points up for grabs for the first to cross the line (because the five escapees got the big points).

    Marcel Kittel, currently wearing green, took the 10 points, ahead of Andre Greipel and the Isle of Man's Mark Cavendish. Cav picked up eight points.

  83.  
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    Fraser Pirie: Can you explain how the intermediate sprint works? How does it start and finish? Thanks!

    Fraser, an intermediate sprint comes midway through a stage and is part of the points competition for the green jersey. The winner gets less points than for a flat stage win, 20 compared to 45, and the first 15 men over the line all score something.

  84. 1231: 

    In case you were wondering, it's a glorious sunny day in Corsica. I'm not sure Jan Bakelants' RadioShack team-mates are appreciating the warm weather at the moment, though, because they are at the front of the peloton, working to make sure that the five escapees do not increase their lead.

  85. 1229: 

    We saw a glimpse of how strong Britain's Chris Froome is feeling yesterday too, when he burst away from his rivals with a cheeky attack on the final climb. Froome came home with the bunch but said with a smile afterwards that "it's always good to keep people on their toes".

    "I knew the descent was tricky and dangerous," the Team Sky rider said. "I was on the front with Richie Porte and I thought it might be a good time, just to push on a little bit, get ahead and take the descent at my own pace and stay out of trouble."

  86.  
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    Mark Darby in Wimbledon: Amazing how many crashes there have been already. The coach debacle didn't help on stage one, but I think the average speeds now being ridden means we could see more riders crashing and dropping like flies with injures.

  87. 1224:  
    Yellow Jersey, Classification

    By the way, here's how things stand at the top of the general classification after stage two. All the main contenders - the likes of Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans - are one second behind Bakelants, on the same time as David Millar.

    1. Jan Bakelants (Bel) RadioShack - Leopard 8 hours, 40 minutes, 03 seconds

    2. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Sharp +1"

    3. Julien Simon (Fra) Sojasun

    4. Daryl Impey (SA) Orica GreenEdge

    5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky

  88. 1222: 

    In reply to Ken and Matthew, I think Tuesday's team time trial in Nice offers Millar his best chance of getting hold of that yellow jersey. But, before we speculate too much on that, let's get through today!

  89.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Ken Smith: Can David Millar summon up the energy to pinch yellow today or tomorrow?

    Matthew Scott: What's the chance of seeing David Millar in yellow by the end of today. Would be great to see!

  90. 1220: 
    David Millar

    Yesterday's stage win was a fantastic moment for Jan Bakelants, but a big disappointment for David Millar, who would be in yellow instead if the pack had caught the Belgian, rather than finishing one second back. Instead, the Scot is in second-place overall.

    "It did go through my head that I was virtual yellow jersey on the road effectively," Millar said afterwards. "We were just all exhausted at the end, me in particular. I couldn't get out of the saddle. I'm cramping all over my body. But I'm very satisfied, as this is not where I expected to be."

  91. 1217: 

    Back on the road today, and those five escapees are still increasing their advantage... so I think it is about time I told you who is out in front.

    They are: Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM), Sebastien Minard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Alexis Vuillermoz (sojasun), Simon Clarke (Orica-Greenedge) and Cyril Gautier (Europcar).

    With 130km of the 145km stage to go, they lead by four minutes and 10 seconds, and have just gone over the top of the first of today's four categorised climbs, the fourth-category Col de San Bastiano.

  92. 1214: 
    Jan Bakelants in yellow
    Jan Bakelants

    Speaking of predictions, I'm pretty sure nobody picked Belgium's Jan Bakelants to win stage two on Sunday. The Radioshack Leopard rider went for glory in the last kilometre and held off the chasing pack to triumph by a second and take the race leader's yellow jersey too.

    The 27-year-old, a graduate in bio-engineering said: "On the radio they shouted 'go, go, go!'" said Bakelants afterwards. I saw at 500m that I still had a decent gap, and I said, 'Come on, hold this: it is going to be the nicest day of your life' and I did it. When I crossed the finish line I was so overwhelmed.

    "If you had said to me on Sunday morning that I would take the stage win and the yellow jersey then I would have punched you in the face. Today it's probably the first and last time I will wear the yellow jersey. It's incredible."

  93. 1212: 
    OUCH!

    One man who will not be winning today's stage is Kazakhstani rider Andrey Kashechkin of the Astana team. According to reports, the 33-year-old has clinched the unwanted honour of becoming the first rider to abandon this year's Tour. I will confirm that as soon as I can, and also try to find out why he has pulled out.

  94. 1209: 
    GET INVOLVED

    If you have got any questions about the terminology or tactics of the the Tour de France then just get in touch.

    I want your predictions too, though, obviously. For starters, who is your tip for today's stage win?

    Tweet me using the hashtag #bbctdf or text me on 81111. Remember to put your name on those texts, though, because I cannot use them if you don't.

  95. 1207: 
    Tour terminology

    In case you are new to cycling, a 'puncheur' is a rider who has the legs for bursts of power to surge up short, steep climbs. They are decent sprinters too, but not fast enough to challenge the likes of Mark Cavandish in bunch sprints to the finish. They tend to figure strongly in the Spring Classics, where the terrain is testing without becoming mountainous... like today's stage!

    Jean Francois Pescheux expects Tommy Voeckler and Sylvain Chavanel to figure today, but I would keep an eye on Peter Sagan and Philippe Gilbert too.

  96. 1205: 

    Race director Jean Francois Pescheux on today's stage three of the Tour de France: "We are not going to hide our feeling of satisfaction with this one: this is the kind of stage we've been looking for for years!

    "There is not a single metre of flat which means the peloton will get very stretched out, presenting the very real possibility of splits occuring. This stage is very short and it will give the puncheurs plenty to play with."

  97.  
    Stage Three

    Le Tour de France official Twitter: Step 3 - Ajaccio / Calvi - 145.5 km: Not a single metre of flat! It is a stage made โ€‹โ€‹for puncheurs!

  98. 1203: 

    French rider Jeremy Roy of the Francaise des Jeux team has told France's Velo magazine that today is "the stage of all dangers".

    Why? Well, try winding roads along Corsica's wild western coast, then a speedy 10km downhill from the Marsolino Pass, the last of four mid-grade climbs, down to the finish line. Sounds like fun to me, but then I am not riding it at breakneck speed...

  99. 1201: 

    More on today's stage now...

    The last of the race's three days in Corsica is short, but certainly not sweet - it is the most scenic so far, but also the most challenging. Expect thrills, spills and hills over the next few hours.

  100. 1159: 

    We are only about 3km into today's stage, but we have already had a break. Five riders are about 30 seconds clear.

  101.  

    Times journalist Owen Slot tweeting before the start of today's stage in Ajaccio: Just watched Geraint Thomas attempt to swing his leg over his bike. Took two attempts and eventually required assistance. V painful.

  102. 1155: 
    Geraint Thomas has a fractured pelvis
    Geraint Thomas

    There are still 198 riders because Team Sky's Geraint Thomas has started today, despite scans last night revealing a small fracture in his pelvis, sustained in that nasty crash near the end of stage one.

    Thomas, who is in last place overall after finishing 17 minutes and 34 seconds behind the peloton (the main group of riders) on Sunday, said after finishing that stage: "It felt like I was out there for an eternity. It's mainly [hurting] when you are bending or pushing it - like riding your bike.

    On the crash, which saw him somersault off his bike: "I remember flipping straight over and landing straight on my back. I didn't slide or anything, so it was a difficult fall. It wasn't like I was in a bad position. I didn't think it was really bad as in broken bones. But it took a while to get up."

  103. 1148: 

    Yep, good morning and welcome to stage three of the 100th Tour. The bad news for the 198 riders who are about to roll over the start line for today's 145.5km hop from Ajaccio to Calvi is that things are going to get harder, not easier.

  104. 1144: 

    Buses blocking the route, dogs running across the road. So far, the 2013 Tour de France has been a bit like my ride into work. All we need now is for an angry motorist to cut up the entire field, claiming that he is entitled to because they are holding him up and he "pays his road tax".

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