Alberto Contador took yesterday’s stage and it looks like the race for the red jersey is over. The climbing isn’t and today presents a sharp summit finish. Revenge for Chris Froome, confirmation for Contador or the chance for a new name to emerge.
Stage 3 Wrap
A clear win for Alberto Contador who was dropped into place by his Tinkoff-Saxo team with Ivan Basso the last to set the pace before the Spaniard took off. In fact Basso’s pace was so strong he’d towed Contador clear with only a few riders able to follow. Then Contador went clear, he appeared to be checking his power meter a lot initially but it later turned out to be faulty, he blamed interference from TV signals. The move was vintage Contador, he can be impossible to follow but doesn’t keep riding away, he gets a gap then manages and preserves the lead. Yesterday he took 30 seconds within one kilometre – although the TV time captions were off at times – and maintained this advantage most of the way up the long climb. Behind Sky’s Peter Kennaugh was leading the chase with Romain Bardet behind and initially Froome was nowhere to be seen, at least on TV. But Froome came past the others. Contador was clearly superior but Froome’s time for the climb will have been close.
Stage 4 Preview
As the profile shows there’s another summit finish. This one is shorter than yesterday but has 3.5km at over 10%, one for the pure climbers again. See altimetras.net for the full profile.
Yesterday’s climb helped establish a hierarchy to the race and today it’s likely riders far down on GC are given some more leeway: Tinkoff-Saxo can contain the race but don’t need to neutralise everyone. Contador is still the obvious pick, this time he only needs to track Chris Froome and then pip in the sprint. The shorter climb should suit Romain Bardet more and Tim Wellens too.
|Chris Froome, Mikel Nieve, Romain Bardet|
|Wellens, Kudus, Inxausti, Reichenbach|
Weather: cloudy with rain at times and a top temperature of 10°C with a light crosswind for the long approach to the final climb.
TV: live on Eurosport with the finish forecast for around 3.45pm. Tune by 3.00pm to watch them approach the climb. For more viewing options, as ever cyclingfans.com and steephill.tv have links to live feeds.