Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe wins stage three of the 2016 Tour of California to claim the overall race lead
- Peter Kennaugh suffers suspected broken collarbone

Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-QuickStep) took a solo win on stage three of the 2016 Amgen Tour of California on Tuesday.

The Frenchman attacked his general classification rivals on the final climb on Gibraltar Road to take a solo victory, and the overall race lead. Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo) placed second, with George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) in third – the same positions they now occupy overall.

Disaster struck for Team Sky as a crash in the peloton inside the final 20km saw British road race champion Peter Kennaugh (Sky) take a hard fall. Kennaugh was obviously in pain, and was taken to hospital with a suspected broken collarbone.

The escape group of the day was formed of British rider Andy Tennant (Team Wiggins), King of the Mountains leader Evan Huffman (Rally Cycling), Kirsts Neilands (Axeon Hagens Berman), Gregory Daniel (Axeon Hagens Berman), Oscar Clark (Holowesko-Citadel), Tanner Putt (UnitedHealthcare) and Julian Arredondo (Trek-Segafredo).

Andy Tennant was part of the day's escape group on stage three of the 2016 Tour of California

Andy Tennant was part of the day’s escape group on stage three of the 2016 Tour of California

Heading into the final climb with 18km still to race, Putt and Daniel had left their companions behind, but with the peloton at just a minute and a half behind. Daniel then went solo with around 11km to go.

Behind him, 2015 champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) slipped into the trailing group, evidently not intent on defending his title.

Also there were Bradley Wiggins (Team Wiggins) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data). Overnight leader Ben King (Cannondale) was another of those who found the pace too high, and his spell in the golden jersey was over.

Ben King and Peter Sagan on stage three of the 2016 Tour of California

Ben King and Peter Sagan on stage three of the 2016 Tour of California

As Daniel was caught, his Axeon team-mate Neilson Powless attacked from the bunch and opened up a 30-second gap as the climb steepened.

Lachlan Morton (Jelly Belly) and Stetina also attacked from the dwindling peloton and bridged to Powless with 3.7km remaining.

Peter Stetina, stage three of the 2016 Tour of California

Peter Stetina, stage three of the 2016 Tour of California

Stetina struck out with 2km to go, and behind the GC contenders group split apart with Alaphilippe launching a fast move to catch Stetina. Then Alaphilippe – second overall last year – accelerated again to take a solo win.

Wednesday’s stage four is another hilly one which will suit riders coming out of the classics season, particularly with the two final climbs of Laureles Grade summit and Mazda Raceway summit in the final 10km before the race finishes in the iconic Laguna Seca race track. Given the coastal nature of the route, winds blowing off the Pacific Ocean could be a factor all day.

>>> Tour of California 2016 route: stage by stage

Results

Amgen Tour of California 2016, stage three: Thousand Oaks to Gibraltar Road, 167.5km
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx-QuickStep
2. Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo at 15 secs
3. George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo at 25 secs
4. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing at 27 secs
5. Neilson Powless (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman at 30 secs
6. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 33 secs
7. Lachlan Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly at 35 secs
8. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing at 48 secs
9. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing at same time
10. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale at 59 secs

Julian Alaphilippe in the race lead, Tour of California 2016

Julian Alaphilippe in the race lead, Tour of California 2016

General classification after stage three
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx-QuickStep in 12-49-47
2. Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo at 19 secs
3. George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo at 31 secs
4. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing at 37 secs
5. Neilson Powless (USA) Axeon Hagens Berman at 40 secs
6. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Giant-Alpecin at 43 secs
7. Lachlan Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly at 45 secs
8. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing at 58 secs
9. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing at same time
10. Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 1-09

Tour of California 2016 stage three

Tour of California 2016 stage three

Tour of California 2016 stage three

Tour of California 2016 stage three