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Tour de France: Stage 2 route map (letour)

Tour de France: Stage 2 route map (letour)

We head into stage three of the Tour de France with the memory of Mathieu van der Poel’s breathtaking performance fresh in our minds. The Dutch sensation claimed a ride for the ages on the Mur de Bretagne to take not only his first Tour de France stage victory, but also the lead of the race as he pulled on the yellow jersey.

Stage three is one designed for the pure sprinters, rather than the likes of Van der Poel and Julian Alaphilippe. It has just two categorised climbs, both around 2km in length. With that said, never right off the flying Dutchman. Wout van Aert will want to make his mark on the Tour given his two Classics rivals have already won stages. But it is unlikely he will have the raw pace over 200m to beat the fastest men in the world.

Given Irishman Sam Bennett is not at the race due to an injury, Caleb Ewan will be the outright favourite to take stage three. The Australian said before the start of the season that he wants to win a stage of each Grand Tour. He has already claimed victory at the Giro d’Italia, so a win here would leave him just the Vuelta a Espana to go.

Tour de France: Stage 2 route map (letour)Tour de France: Stage 2 route map (letour)

Tour de France: Stage 2 route map (letour)

The elephant in the room is Mark Cavendish. The Manx Missile returns to the race for the first time since 2018 and has not won a stage of the Tour for five years. Could this be his time? British fans will hope so, but Cavendish has notoriously taken a couple of stages to get his eye in before he claims his first win. That may be the case even more so given his recent lack of Grand Tour action. He was also pulling on the front in the lead up to the finish up the Mur de Bretagne, so his legs may not be as fresh as some others.

Aside from Ewan and Cavendish, the likes of Arnaud Demare and three-time world champion Peter Sagan will be hoping to profit from a day in which the punchy riders probably take a much-deserved break. Outside bets include sprinters such as Bryan Coquard, Michael Matthews, Sonny Colbrelli and Nacer Bouhanni.

Tour de France: Stage 3 profile (letour)Tour de France: Stage 3 profile (letour)

Tour de France: Stage 3 profile (letour)


Alaphilippe and Van der Poel stole the show in the first two stages as they made the most of punchy uphill finishes. But stage three is undoubtedly one for the more pure sprinters. It’s always difficult to predict who will raise their hands aloft at the end of the first flat stage. But given everyone is fresh, it often goes to the man with the best raw pace.

That man is probably Caleb Ewan, although Arnaud Demare promises to push him very close. You imagine Cavendish may go a few stages before challenging for the win, but don’t write him off for this one.

Start time

The stage gets under way just after 12pm (1pm local time) and is set to finish around 4.30pm in the UK.

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