Peter Sagan won stage three of the Tour de France with an assured victory in Longwy. Having recaptured Lilian Calmejane, who had not been in the early break but had instead attacked sixty kilometres out, joining Nate Brown (tonight's King of the Mountains( and Nils Politt, then leaving them behind and surviving until ten kilometres from the line, the peloton hit the final climb into the French town.
They came as a mob onto the narrowing roads, before Nicolas Roche for BMC put some order into things in aid of his leader Richie Porte. When his stint was finished, the Tasmanian made an unexpected attack on what had been expected to be a less stern climb, with Alberto Contador and Rafal Majka on his wheel the only people in a position to react to the attack. Even they were unable to, as Porte, perhaps a punchier rider than either, sent Contador floundering as Majka dug deep to close the gap for his team mate Sagan. He succeeded for the most part, Sagan finishing the job before opening up the sprint.
It was there he hit what seemed like disaster, his foot unclipping from the pedal at what seemed like the crucial moment, Greg Van Avermaet accelerating to his side as the Slovakian slowed, but he never panicked, getting his foot back in and back up to speed soon after, fighting off the challenge of Michael Matthews and Daniel Martin (who would take two seconds plus four more in bonuses on his GC rivals) in the last couple of hundred metres.
- Peter Sagan (SVK), Bora-Hansgrohe - 5:07:19
- Michel Matthews (AUS), Team Sunweb - same time
- Dan Martin (IRE), Quick-Step Floors - st
- Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), BMC - st
- Alberto Bettiol (ITA), Cannondale-Drapac - 0:02
- Arnaud Démare (FRA), FDJ - st
- Jakob Fuglsang (DEN), Astana - st
- Geraint Thomas (UK), Team Sky - st
- Chris Froome (UK), Team Sky - st
- Rafal Majka (POL), Bora-Hansgrohe - st
With eighth place, Geraint Thomas kept hold of the yellow jersey. The consistent Arnaud Démare took green, Nate Brown polka dots, and Pierre Latour is now in white.