Ewan dominates the sprint on the eve of the first high finish

The Australian beat Bennett in Sisteron and Alaphilippe continues to lead. The actors will change this Tuesday in Orcières-Merlette, a climb that Ocaña made a legend.


Caleb Ewan, the tiny 1.65 Lotto sprinter, born 26 years ago in Sydney, the son of a Korean mother and an Australian father, scored another notch in his record with his victory in the third stage of the Tour, at the finish line de Sisteron, unreleased until this Monday. The elusive Ewan came out of nowhere, off the back of Sam Bennett, to come back on the last shot of the kidney. It is his fourth victory in the great French: the other three were conquered last year, among them the prestigious arrival of the Champs Elysees. The Belgian team thus takes its first joy, after the withdrawals of Degenkolb and Gilbert in the first two days of the race.

At 4pm, sharp, the Tour de France official director ventured to make an announcement: "No option to keep the polka dot jersey for Benoît Cosnefroy." The narration explained that the current leader of the Mountain was classified virtually one point from Anthony Pérez at that time, and as there was only one point left at stake, at the col de l'Orme, the Cofidis cyclist was going to be the new king of the classification, whatever happened, after having passed in the lead through two third category ports of the day: La Faye and Lèques.

Cosnefroy and Pérez, who had already been protagonists on Sunday, had returned to get into the day's break to fight for the Mountain jersey, where they started tied at 18 points, but with the Ag2R rider stuffed into the points tunic red. Anthony Pérez, the Andalusian from Toulouse, grandson of Jaén, fought fiercely and already had in his hand that dream that he staged on the slopes of Arjona in the summers of his childhood. I was going to get on the podium at the Tour de France. At last.

There was only one assumption that could deprive him of glory ... And it was fulfilled. Only six minutes later, at 4:06 p.m., the official director reported again: “Pérez's abandonment. The Cofidis rider who was leading the classification of climbers leaves the Tour route ”. The Frenchman from Arjona, or Spaniard from Toulouse, had fallen on a descent, when he was running at 58 km / h, and had broken his left clavicle. It was 16:09, just nine minutes after his announcement, and Radio Tour rectified: "In the scenario mentioned above, there was a certain hypothesis that did allow Cosnefroy to keep the polka dot jersey: the withdrawal of Anthony Pérez." There could still be more changes, because Cosnefroy himself fell in a roundabout, with five kilometers to go, when the peloton was heading towards the finish line.

Dear readers, before you, the stark reality of cycling. A fall prevented Pérez from getting on the podium this Monday, just as a fall in the Pyrenean Menté prevented Luis Ocaña from winning the 1971 Tour when he was served on a tray. And it comes up because the race arrives this Tuesday at Orcières-Merlette, the alpine station where another son of Spanish emigrants, the Mont de Marsan from Cuenca, or the French from Priego, had managed to distance the fearsome Eddy Merckx to 8 : 42 minutes. Only an accident could deprive you of success. And he did.

In the theater of the Alps the actors will change again. This Monday it was the turn of the sprinters, who will now give way to the fighting cocks, to the aspirants to reign in Paris. Julian Alaphilippe, who was already solvent last year in the mountains, defends the yellow jersey. Among the candidates to snatch it from him there are two Spaniards who already showed their claws in the last climb on Sunday: Mikel Landa and Marc Soler. Tour points up.

Photos from as.com
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