Merlier wins stage on another dramatic day

29 June 2021 03:15:53 GMTPlus10

Geraint Thomas and Primoz Roglic both suffered crashes on an action-packed third stage of the Tour de France on Monday.

Roglic is 1500/1 to win the Tour while Thomas is 4500/1 behind favourite Tadej Pogacar, who is available at 1/1000.

Thomas suffered a dislocated shoulder and will be battling to be fit for stage four after Alpecin-Fenix's Tim Merlier claimed the sprint with team-mate Jasper Philipsen coming in second.

There was drama in the closing stages as Caleb Ewen fell and brought Peter Sagan down with him.

Another Alpecin-Fenix rider Matheiu van der Poel held onto the yellow jersey with an eight-second lead over Julian Alaphilippe. Pogacar is 39 seconds behind in sixth.

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Tuesday will be another flat stage as the riders take on the 150km trip from Redon to Fougeres and then they will face the first individual time-trial of this year's race the following day.

Despite the carnage behind him, Merlier was unable to hold his joy at claiming a first stage victory in the world's biggest cycling race.

He said: "This is the biggest victory of my career so far - a dream come true.

"After my victory in the Giro d'Italia I was already very happy, and now I’ve won a stage at the biggest race of the world.

"This Tour has already been a success for us at Alpecin-Fenix.

"We are very happy with these two stages and Mathieu's Yellow jersey.

"I hope to reach Paris and fight for the victory in the Champs-Elysees."

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