There was double delight for Team Sky after stage three of the Critérium du Dauphin
on Wednesday, as Edvald Boasson Hagen won the bunch sprint for stage victory and Bradley Wiggins kept the leader’s yellow jersey.
He will have been relieved to get through a chaotic finale in La Clayette. With the breakaway brought to heel on the flat Loire roads, Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s stranglehold on the bunch was challenged by an attack 1,500 metres out by Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team).
Seconds after the Classics star had been pulled back, Ricardo Garcia (Euskaltel-Euskadi) tangled with another rider and crashed 400 metres from the finish.
He took out Radioshack man – and fellow Basque – Markel Irizar, and his airborne, bouncing bike had riders taking evasive action.
In front, powerful Boasson Hagen timed his jump right to scorch past Gerald Ciolek for his fifth win of the season.
On the podium, the Norwegian received flowers and, more unusually, a big, stuffed toy cow, courtesy of the race sponsors.
Time trial test
Sky will hope for a Bradley Wiggins win in tomorrow’s predominantly-flat 53-kilometre time-trial between Villie-Morgon and Bourg-en-Bresse.
It’s an ideal opportunity for the Briton to take control of the race, though similarly sharp-looking Cadel Evans may give him a good challenge.
We’ll be covering it with live text coverage on the Cycling Weekly website tomorrow afternoon – expect the usual blend of incisive opinion, sharp wit and surreal musings.
Critérium du Dauphiné 2012, stage three: Givors to La Clayette, 167km
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky
2. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
3. Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM
4. Roger Kluge (Ger) Argos-Shimano
5. Murillo Fischer (Bra) Garmin-Barracuda
6. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Radioshack-Nissan
7. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-ISD
8. Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank
9. Sebastien Hinault (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
10. Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Saxo Bank-Sungard
General classification after stage three
1. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky
2. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 1 second
3. Andriy Grivko (Kaz) Astana at 2 seconds
4. Carlos Barredo (Spa) Rabobank at same time
5. Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick Step at 4 seconds
6. Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank at same time
7. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step at 5 seconds
8. Jéröme Coppel (Fra) Saur Sojasun at 6 seconds
9. Andrey Amador (CRC) Movistar at same time
10. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 7 seconds
Bradley Wiggins with Kanstantin Sivtsov behind
Luis Angel Mate and Egoi Martinez in escape
FDJ-BigMat and Argos-Shimano chase the break
Edvald Boasson Hagen takes the stage win
Bradley Wiggins keeps the race lead
Critérium du Dauphiné 2012: Latest news
Live text coverage: Criterium du Dauphine stage four time trial
Bruyneel disappointed with RadioShack’s lack of results
Wiggins on Dauphine: ‘I’ve come here to race’
Wiggins happy with second in Dauphiné prologue
Critérium du Dauphiné 2012: The Big Preview – includes team list, TV guide, recent winners and more
Wiggins back to defend Critérium du Dauphiné title
Critérium du Dauphiné 2012: Stage reports