Australian Caleb Ewan won stage three of the Tour de France in a bunch sprint, a day before the overall contenders are likely to battle in the Tour’s first summit finish.
Ewan earned his fourth career Tour stage victory, surging past several sprinters to edge Ireland’s Sam Bennett after five hours on the saddle. Peter Sagan finished fifth and took over the green jersey, leading the sprinter standings.
Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe remains in the yellow jersey. The top contenders to wear yellow in Paris in three weeks all finished with the same time, too.
Earlier in the stage, king of the mountains leader Anthony Perez broke his collarbone and abandoned the race after crashing into his team car after puncturing a tire.
Perez, a 29-year-old Frenchman, took the mountains lead mid-stage from countryman Benoit Cosnefroy and would have worn the polka-dot jersey for the first time on Tuesday.
Ewan, who won three stages in his Tour debut last year, came back from finishing last in the second stage on Sunday. After the first stage, his team, Lotto-Soudal, lost two of its eight riders to crashes — Philippe Gilbert and John Degenkolb.
“The last two days haven’t been great for us,” Ewan said. “Everyone stayed motivated. We all knew that if it all went right, then I can win the sprint. Everyone did their job today.”
The Tour continues Tuesday with the first of four summit finishes and a chance for general classification contenders to make an early impression. Coverage begins at 7 a.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold.
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!Follow @nbcolympictalk