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Tim Merlier wins crash-ridden third stage of Tour de France

Pontivy (France) : Tim Merlier won the third stage of Tour de France cycling race, beating fellow Belgian Jasper Philipsen in the 182.9km long flat stretch between Lorient to Pontivy.The third stage witnessed many crashes as Welshman Geraint Thomas and Slovenian Primoz Roglic, both favourites, lost time after falls during the stage. Caleb Ewan of Australia and Peter Sagan of Slovakia also crashed during the closing stages of the day’s race.However, it was the first-ever Tour stage win for 28-year-old Merlier. His Alpecin-Fenix team-mate Mathieu van der Poel of the Netherlands kept the overall lead.”I am living a dream I think,” said Merlier, who had won a stage at the Giro d’Italia last year.”After the Giro I was already really happy and now I win a stage on the Tour, the biggest race in the world. I cannot believe it.”

Stage 3 (top five):

1. Tim Merlier (Bel/Alpecin-Fenix) 4hrs 28mins 01secs

2. Jasper Philipsen (Bel/Alpecin-Fenix)

3. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra/Arkea Samsic)

4. Davide Ballerini (Ita/Deceuninck-Quick-Step)

5. Sonny Colbrelli (Ita/Bahrain Victorious)

Overall leaders after stage 3

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned/Alpecin-Fenix) 12hrs 58mins 53secs

2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra/Deceuninck-Quick-Step) +8 secs

3. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Ineos Grenadiers) +31secs

4. Wout van Aert (Bel/Jumbo Visma) Same time

5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned/Bora-Hansgrohe) +38secs





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