Victor Lafay staged a late attack to win stage two of the Tour de France in San Sebastian on Sunday as Great Britain’s Adam Yates held on to the Yellow Jersey.

After two tough days in the Basque country, the race will enter France for the first time on Monday.

Starting just outside Bilbao in Amorebieta-Etxano, the first 130km will be raced inside Spain before the peloton crosses the border for a 60km run-in to Bayonne.

And after suffering for the first two days, all eyes will be on the pure sprinters for the first time.

Tour de France Stage 3 betting tips

  • Jasper Philipsen to win stage three @ 2/1
  • Mads Pedersen to win stage three @ 12/1

Date: Monday 3 July, 2023
Time: 12:15
Location: Starting in Amorebieta-Etxano, Spain

Jasper Philipsen to win stage three @ 2/1

Mark Cavendish will be the name on most cycling fans’ lips ahead of stage three as he seeks to become the outright holder of the record for most stage wins at the Tour de France.

The Manx Missile, in his final Tour before retirement, came into the race locked on 34 stage wins with the legendary Eddy Mercx and he has around eight chances to overtake the Belgian over the next three weeks.

Cav showed that he could still sprint with the best when winning the final stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia but, unlike in previous years, he doesn’t have the same powerful lead-out train as some of his rivals.

The stage one route is not entirely flat either, with five climbs in the first half of the stage, which could hinder Cavendish’s chances of being in the final shake-up.

One man who should be able to navigate those early challenges is Belgian sprinter Jasper Philipsen, who broke his Tour de France duck with two stage wins at last year’s race, including on the iconic Champs-Elysees.

Philipsen has been in decent form this season, winning two stages at Tirreno-Adriatico and three one-day races in Belgium, and he looked in good shape when sprinting for points at the intermediate sprint on stage two.

Mads Pedersen to win stage three @ 12/1

Former world champion Mads Pedersen is another rider who should have little trouble negotiating the climbing tests at the start of the stage, and the Dane has already signalled his intention to challenge for the points classification at this year’s Tour.

Pedersen will be keen to mop up as many points as possible in the race for the green jersey and there are more on offer at the finish line than anywhere else.

The Dane is a stage winner at all three Grand Tours and stage three could offer Pedersen another opportunity for more top-level success.

 

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