Team Columbia-HTC takes advantage of a lax peloton and breaks away. Delivering their sprinter Mark Cavendish to the line for another win, Cavendish's second win in just as many days.
Lance Armstrong finished with the break away group and moves up 7 spots to third overall. Fabian Cancellara remains in the Maillot Jaune.
Prior to the race, Astana was fined 65 Euros for not signing in on time. Race director Jean-Francois Pescheux had this to say, "How typical that this team were late. It is disrespectful to the public who came here just to see Armstrong, the money makes no difference to them. We will ask the UCI (the sport's governing body) to make the fines harder."
Stage 3 Results
1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team Columbia - HTC - 5:01:24
2 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team
3 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Skil-Shimano
4 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne
5 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Quick Step
6 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank
7 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Team Milram
8 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Skil-Shimano
9 Maxime Bouet (Fra) Agritubel
10 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram
11 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Astana
12 Thierry Huppond (Fra) Skil-Shimano
13 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
14 Stéphane Auge (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne
15 Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia - HTC
16 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Team Columbia - HTC
17 George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia - HTC
18 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team Columbia - HTC
19 Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana
20 Koen de Kort (Ned) Skil-Shimano
21 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team Columbia - HTC
22 Christophe Kern (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne
23 Simon Geschke (Ger) Skil-Shimano
24 Haimar Zubeldia Aguirre (Spa) Astana
25 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Columbia - HTC
General classification after stage 3
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank - 9:50:58
2 Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia - HTC - 0:00:33
3 Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana - 0:00:40
4 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana - 0:00:59
5 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream - 0:01:00
6 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana - 0:01:03
7 Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Team Milram
8 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence - Lotto - 0:01:04
9 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team Columbia - HTC - 0:01:10
10 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana - 0:01:11
Full results here..
Links to news sites...
"Cavendish wins 3rd Tour stage; Armstrong advances
LA GRANDE-MOTTE, France (AP) - Britain's Mark Cavendish has won his second straight stage at the Tour de France, while Lance Armstrong climbed to third place overall by keeping up with a breakaway group.
Fabian Cancellara extended his overall lead to 33 seconds after Monday's third stage.
Cavendish finished in an unofficial time of 5 hours, 1 minute, 24 seconds, with Armstrong and 23 other riders given the same time." Read more from the AP...
"Cavendish wins dramatic stage into La Grande-Motte
Better make that two, Mr Cavendish
Another day of searing heat, another four-man break and another victory for Mark Cavendish. For two days the script has looked so similar, where Team Columbia-HTC has written, directed and starred in the drama.
Yet today's daytime soap opera was of a different sort from the normal, formulaic flat Tour stage which would have been expected from the profile.
The fireworks from Columbia-HTC came when, according to team captain George Hincapie, they found themselves alone at the front in strong crosswinds trying to bring back the breakaway." Read more from CyclingNews.com...
Photos by CorVos