Preview: What you need to know about stage 3 of the 2021 Tour de France

It should be a sprint.

by Matt de Neef

Date: Monday June 28
Start: Lorient
Finish: Pontivy
Distance: 182.9 km

After two lumpy days and already plenty of movement in the general classification standings, the sprinters get their chance to shine on stage 3. There are two fourth-category climbs on the profile, but a flat finish should favor the sprinters.

The thing to keep an eye on will be the weather; as of Sunday evening, the forecast called for thunderstorms in Pontivy on Monday afternoon. Wind and wet roads could make it trickier to keep things under control, and some riders fare better in tricky conditions than others.

What to watch for: Three tight corners of 90º or sharper in the final 2.5 km, the last of which comes 1.5 km from the line and narrows quite a bit.
Who’s it for: The fastmen.
Dane Cash’s picks: Caleb Ewan should be the fastest finisher in this race, so I like his chances to nab his first win on stage 3, assuming the weather doesn’t make things too crazy. Arnaud Démare could be Ewan’s biggest rival, while a resurgent Mark Cavendish is also a contender. Tim Merlier is another rider I like for this stage, but with his teammate Mathieu van der Poel in yellow, it’s tough to say exactly how Alpecin-Fenix will play things.

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