The 21-year-old attempted to chase down a three-man move on the one-kilometre climb to the line, and only just fell short of taking the stage victory. Belgian rider Nicolas Vereecken (Team 3M) took the win, ahead of former Europcar man Jeremy Cornu.
“It was always the stage we were looking towards and we rode well as a team,” said Doull. “I’m pretty happy with a top three.
“There were three riders away, so I went with 500m to go. I caught two of them, but somebody else came around me. It’s hard to get that type of finish right sometimes.”
Doull and his Wiggins team-mates Mark Christian, Jon Dibben and Andy Tennant trained at altitude in Tenerife for the two weeks prior to the race, and are evidently benefiting from that now the French race has reached its toughest stages.
He added: “I thought we’d all be there or thereabouts. I think the thing we’re lacking is the top end; that’s why we were down in the prologue [Doull was the team’s best finisher there, in 17th] even though we’re four-kilometre specialists.
“I think we’re getting better from day to day.”
Doull moved up to ninth overall, just 15 second behind race leader Dimitri Claeys (Verandas Willems), with two stages remaining.