Contributed by David Duncan
In Stage 3’s more traditional action, a break of four riders spent the day doing what breakaways do until the sprinters’ teams saw fit to assist the Astana boys and chase them down so their fast guys could finally see some action.
Astana formed a dark, depressed-looking army on the front of the field for most of the day.
In the end it was Cervelo TestTeam’s Thor Hushovd who easily took the win as Freire, Renshaw, Farrar, and Cavendish fought for the scraps.
The break put up quite a fight today…
They even made it into the finishing circuits, but couldn’t quite hold off the galloping hordes from behind.
Francisco Mancebo once again displayed his early season form when he leapt from the peloton and across to the break to take the first KOM points on the top of Sierra Road before returning to the field for some much deserved rest.
The misery continued unabated for the third full day in a row.
It was windy too. See, the windmills prove that without even having to see if they’re moving. They always move.
Levi ran into Lance and fell down.
Levi Leipheimer and Lance Armstrong also had a bit of excitement in the form of a wheel overlap which saw Leipheimer making the pavement’s acquaintance. Luckily for the pair there were no major consequences.
Other than that, the news was all Cervelo and their impressive leadout. Thor Hushovd needed only to go through the motions after Roulston, Rollin, and Lancaster picked him up and dropped him off with 150m to go.
Bradley White finished the day with the Most Aggressive Rider jersey after a long, hard-fought ride in the break.
Stage 3 Results
1 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervйlo TestTeam 4.28.12 (37.3601 km/h)
2 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
3 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Team Columbia – Highroad
4 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin – Slipstream
5 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Columbia – Highroad
6 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Cervйlo TestTeam
7 Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Colavita / Sutter Home
8 Freddy Rodriguez (USA) Rock Racing
9 Markus Zberg (Swi) BMC Racing Team
10 Pedro Horrillo (Spa) Rabobank
General Classification After Stage 3
1 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 13.51.14
2 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Columbia – Highroad 0.24
3 David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin – Slipstream 0.28
4 Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana 0.30
5 Christopher Horner (USA) Astana 0.34
6 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana 0.38
7 Thomas Lцvkvist (Swe) Team Columbia – Highroad
8 Josй Luis Rubiera (Spa) Astana
9 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas
10 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 0.39
11 Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Rock Racing
12 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank 0.40
13 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas 0.42
14 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin – Slipstream
15 Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step 0.51
16 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Rock Racing 0.56