Sagan wins Tour de France third stage
PETER Sagan won the third stage of the Tour de France yesterday, easing home in the final 100 metres of a 197km ride from Orchies to the French town of Boulogne-sur-Mer.
It was the Liquigas rider's second stage win of the race, having triumphed in Sunday's first full stage.
Fabian Cancellara retained the overall leader's yellow jersey.
It was the tour's first appearance in France this year following the prologue and two stages across the border in southern Belgium.
Yellow jersey contenders Team Sky were the first to suffer a setback when Kanstantsin Sivtsov was forced to retire.
Sivtsov, one of Sky's support riders for race favourite Bradley Wiggins, was one of several riders caught up in a crash around 140km into the race.
He became the first of the 198 riders to withdraw from this year's race, which ends in Paris on July 22.
The third stage had been feared by a number of different teams and riders due to a succession of six small climbs, five of which came in the last 35km, on tight roads leading to the finish line.
Those fears were confirmed when another crash on the next climb, the Mont Violette, prompted the withdrawal of Spanish sprinter Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar).