Stage 3: Marseille to La Grande-Motte

What could have been a routine and relatively uninteresting stage was turned on its ear when a late breakaway led by Team Columbia-HTC splintered the peloton and left several yellow jersey hopefuls struggling to regain ground.

With less than 30 kilometers to go before the finish, several Columbia riders took off from the peloton. Lance Armstrong and race leader Fabian Cancellara were among more than a dozen riders to join them, but Armstrong's teammates Alberto Contador and Levi Leipheimer where left behind, along with overall contenders Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre and Andy Schleck.

Team Columbia-HTC was able to set up Mark Cavendish for his second stage win in as many days, outsprinting rival Thor Hushovd at the line. The lead group managed to gain 41 seconds on the peloton, allowing Cavendish's teammate Tony Martin to jump from eighth to second overall. Lance Armstrong moved from 10th to third.

Columbia-HTC-break
Mark Cavendish (in green) and his Columbia-HTC teammates make a break from the peloton with around 25K before the finish.
AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski

Stage 3 Results

  1. Mark Cavendish – Team Columbia-HTC 5:01:24
  2. Thor Hushovd – Cervelo TestTeam +00:00
  3. Cyril Lemoine – Skil-Shimano +00:00
  4. Samuel Dumoulin – Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne +00:00
  5. J?r?me Pineau – Quick Step +00:00
  6. Fabian Cancellara – Team Saxo Bank +00:00
  7. Fabian Wegmann – Team Milram +00:00
  8. Fumiyuki Beppu – Skil-Shimano +00:00
  9. Maxime Bouet – Agritubel +00:00
  10. Linus Gerdemann – Team Milram +00:00

Other U.S. Riders

  17. George Hincapie – Team Columbia-HTC +00:00
  19. Lance Armstrong – Astana +00:00
  41. Christian Vande Velde – Garmin-Slipstream +00:41
  63. Tyler Farrar – Garmin-Slipstream +00:41
  88. Levi Leipheimer – Astana +00:41
  140. David Zabriskie – Garmin-Slipstream +00:41
  175. Danny Pate – Garmin-Slipstream +04:25

Overall Classification

  1. Fabian Cancellara – Team Saxo Bank – 9:50:58
  2. Tony Martin – Team Columbia-HTC +00:33
  3. Lance Armstrong – Astana +00:40
  4. Alberto Contador – Astana +00:59
  5. Bradley Wiggins – Garmin-Slipstream +01:00

Click Here for More Overall Standings and Jersey Leaders

196.5K (122 miles)

• Marseille has hosted a stage 33 times, including at the first Tour de France in 1903

• La Grande-Motte has hosted twice

• Sprint Points at: La Fare-les-Oliviers, Mouries, Arles

• Mountain Passes: Cote de Calissanne located at 56 kilometers - 1.3km climb to 5.5 percent grade - Category 4; Col de la Vayede at 102km - 0.7km climb to 7.4 percent grade - Cat. 4

St.3-Marseille-La-Grande-Motte
Image courtesy of www.letour.com


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