Watch: On-board footage shows carnage of Tour de France stage three

Velon give us a view of what it would've been like avoiding the crashes on stage three

Robert Gesink crashes out of the Tour de France 2021
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The third stage of the 2021 Tour de France will likely be remembered for all the wrong reasons after the stage was marred with crashes.

Riding from Lorient to Pontivy, the Tour peloton had very changeable weather to contend with as well as very tight twisty roads with plenty of road furniture. Not to mention to right angle turns and downhill sections in the final two kilometres.

From their on-bike cameras, Velon gives us an insight into what it was like to be on the bike inside the peloton on such a grim day for the riders with a handlebar-view of the carnage.  

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The crashes saw two of the three big pre-race favourites, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) both hit the deck as well as sprint star Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) with the Australian later having to abandon due to a broken collarbone.

A large number of riders went down during the day with Robert Gesink (Jumbo-Visma), a key domestique for Roglič, crashing out as well as Bahrain Victorious' general classification hope, Jack Haig also having to step off the bike.

The vicious pace also saw very big gaps as Alpecin-Fenix and Team DSM dominated the lead out for the sprint, Alpecin-Fenix eventually won that battle and pulled off an impressive one-two on the day with Tim Merlier and Jasper Philipsen.

Some big GC names did lose time with only Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) the two potential GC men in the front group. 

Riders like Enric Mas (Movistar), Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) and Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) all made good rides to finish in the second group just 14 seconds behind with defending champion, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) limiting his losses to just 26 seconds.

Thomas also made it in with Pogačar despite dislocating his shoulder in an early crash which took quite a while to come back from.

Roglič looked very beaten up when he crossed the line 1-21 after Merlier alongside Miguel Ángel López (Movistar) but has since been given the all-clear to continue riding.

The fourth day of the race is set to be another sprint stage with 150.4km from Redon to Fougères on the menu. 

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.