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. 

Tim Bonville-Ginn
Tim Bonville-Ginn

Tim Bonville-Ginn is 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.

Bonville-Ginn started working in cycling journalism while still at school and university for a voluntary site based on Twitter before also doing slots for Eurosport's online web team and has been on location at the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain, UCI World Championships and various track events. He then joined the Cycling Weekly team in late February of 2020.

When not writing stories for the site, Bonville-Ginn doesn't really switch off his cycling side as he watches every race that is televised as well as being a rider himself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager.

He rides a Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on his local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being his preferred terrain.