Cycling: Hushovd wins after dramatic Tour stage

The Tour de France peloton endured another bumpy ride as Thor Hushovd emerged victorious on stage three today.

Seven cobbled sections - some of which feature in the Paris-Roubaix spring classic - totalling 13.2-kilometres featured on the 213km third road stage from Wanze in Belgium to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut.



And Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team) emerged victorious as the 97th Tour entered France for the first time, with Team Sky's Geraint Thomas second in the sprint finish on another dramatic day.



The day unfolded at a frenetic pace and was full of incident.



Frank Schleck (Team Saxo Bank) and Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) were unseated on the first section of pave in France.



Luxembourg rider Frank Schleck was seen in a foetal position in the middle of the road and after crashing yesterday, there were fears his Tour might be over before reaching the mountains.



His brother Andy Schleck (Team Saxo Bank), Thomas (Team Sky) and world champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) enhanced their positions in the general classification standings, while overall favourite Alberto Contador (Astana) claimed bragging rights over fierce rival and seven-time winner Lance Armstrong (Team RadioShack).



Team Sky leader Bradley Wiggins finished in a small group ahead of Contador, pulling back some time lost in the opening prologue as he seeks Britain's first podium position in Paris on July 25.

Fabian Cancellara (Team Saxo Bank) reclaimed the yellow jersey, while Thomas took the white jersey for best young rider aged 25 and under and moved up to second overall.

Evans climbed to third, Ryder Hesjedal (Team Garmin-Transitions) fourth, Andy Schleck sixth and Contador ninth.



Yellow jersey incumbent Sylvain Chavanel (QuickStep) slipped to fifth, while Armstrong fell to 18th.



Wiggins improved his position to 14th, one place ahead of fellow Briton David Millar (Team Garmin-Transitions).



After the crash-strewn opening two road stages, further strife was expected to befall a number of the peloton on the third road stage, a day on which Armstrong last week predicted there would be "carnage".



The route used the same pave which features in the Paris-Roubaix classic, an annual event known as 'The Hell of the North' due to its passage through the First World War battlefields.



A seven-man escape began after 13km, with Hesjedal (Team Garmin-Transitions) the catalyst.



The Canadian was joined by Tour debutant Steve Cummings (Team Sky) and five others - Pavel Brutt (Katusha), Pierre Rolland (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Roger Kluge (Milram), Stephane Auge (Cofidis) and Imanol Erviti (Caisse d'Epargne).



Three cobbled sections were ridden over in Belgium, with four of the seven pave passes taking place in the final 30km of racing in France.



Teams placed staff members along the cobbled route, holding spare wheels and bikes, with the worn, dust-covered stones often troublesome.



The peloton was split, with the main bunch led by Team Saxo Bank and Cervelo Test Team narrowing the gap to the escapees as the race crossed the border into France.



Frank Schleck crashed on the fourth section of pave, with Martin and a number of other riders caught up in the ensuing melee.



In the meantime, Hesjedal managed to go out alone, while Cummings was joined in pursuit by Hushovd, Cancellara, Andy Schleck, Thomas (Team Sky) and Evans.



Nine riders were in a second group, with Armstrong among them until he punctured 15km from the finish.



Chavanel punctured too and encountered further trouble inside the final 10km, but he was further back.



Hesjedal was caught in the final 7km and Hushovd won the ensuing seven-man dash for the line.



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high