The third stage of the 105th Tour de France brought on the challenging but beautiful discipline of the team time trial. For Team KATUSHA ALPECIN the goal was to stay close to the general classification riders. A result of ninth place at 53-seconds to winners BMC was good enough to accomplish pre-race objectives.
“I think we can be happy with our result. It was not perfect and we lost a lot of riders quite early, which was not the plan. I think we still have to work on this but I think for the small number of riders we had left at the end, we did a good job,” explained team rider Tony Martin.
Nils Politt brought home Martin, Ilnur Zakarin and Ian Boswell for the 35.5k rolling course in Cholet, stopping the clock at fifty-three seconds off the top time of 38:46 (54.94 km/h). Team Sky was second (+.04) and QuickStep Floors was third at 7-seconds.
“At the end of the TTT only the strongest survive so we were able to perform well at the end, especially Nils Politt was really good. I think we did a good job, we are happy about today. This result is OK for us and fits more or less within the goal we set for ourselves. We didn’t lose too much time to the leading riders so we can be happy about that,” concluded four-time world TT champion Tony Martin.
The yellow jersey went to BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet, with teammate Tejay Van Garderen in second place on the same time, and Sky’s Geraint Thomas in third place at +.03 seconds.
The Tour de France returns to the road tomorrow with another stage fit for the sprinters. At 195k, stage 4 begins in La Baule and ends in Sarzeau.
Photos © Tim De Waele/Gettysport