A French rider on BBox Bouygues was successful for the second day in a row at the Three Days of De Panne while David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) remains in contention for overall victory.
Sébastian Turgot delivered his BBox Bouygues team its second consecutive stage win ahead of a breakaway group that threatened to ride away with the GC as well. Turgot finished ahead of Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Andrej Grivko (Astana) and Dutch rider Jens Mouris (Vacansoleil).
Overnight leader Steve Chainel lost grip of the leader’s jersey when he missed out on an elite, 10-man chase group. Luca Paolini (Acqua e Sapone), second in Tuesday’s opening stage, came across 41 seconds back and climbed into the leader’s jersey with one day of racing left to go.
Turgot marked the day’s winning move in the opening hour of racing in the 214km stage. Of the original 12 in the breakaway, only four made it to the line to contest for the spoils in a very long, cold day in the saddle.
“We won today, we won yesterday and we won the Critérium International with Pierrick Fedrigo, things are truly going well,” Turgot said of his Bbox team. “I didn’t ride in the group because I was defending the jersey of Chainel. That’s racing.”
The dangerous breakaway forced Garmin-Transitions to make the chase, with Millar part of a 10-man group that crossed the line 41 seconds in arrears.
Paolini is tied with Grivko on time, with Frederik Amorison (Landbouwkrediet) in third at nine seconds back and Millar in fourth at 12 seconds back.
Millar remains in contention for the overall in what’s now a four-man race for the GC. Turgot slotted into fifth, well beyond striking distance at 1:30 back.
The race concludes Thursday with a split stage. The morning sector is a 112km circuit course around De Panne, followed by the decisive 14.8km individual time trial along the De Panne shore.
Strong winds and some tight corners will prove critical in the otherwise flat course that favors the purists like Millar. Grivko is Millar’s most dangerous rival in Thursday’s TT test.
1. Sébastien Turgot (Fra), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, 4:55:07
2. Philippe Gilbert (Bel), Omega Pharma-Lotto, s.t.
3. Andriy Grivko (Ukr), Astana, s.t.
4. Jens Mouris (Nl), Vacansoleil Pro Cycling, s.t.
5. Bobbie Traksel (Nl), Vacansoleil Pro Cycling, at 0:41
6. Luca Paolini (I), Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo, at 0:41
7. Nikolay Trusov (Rus), Katusha, at 0:41
8. Hayden Roulston (Nzl), HTC-Columbia, at 0:41
9. Mirco Lorenzetto (I), Lampre-N.G.C., at 0:41
10. James Vanlandschoot (Bel), Verandas Willems, at 0:41
1. Luca Paolini (I), Acqua & Sapone-Caffe Mokambo, 9:30:10
2. Andriy Grivko (Ukr), Astana, s.t.
3. Frédéric Amorison (Bel), Landbouwkrediet-Colnago, at 0:09
4. David Millar (GB), Garmin-Transitions, at 0:12
5. Sébastien Turgot (Fra), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, at 1:30
6. Jens Mouris (Nl), Vacansoleil Pro Cycling, at 1:37
7. Nikolay Trusov (Rus), Katusha, at 2:15
8. Mirco Lorenzetto (I), Lampre-N.G.C., at 2:15
9. Manuel Quinziato (I), Liquigas Doimo, at 2:18
10. Hayden Roulston (Nzl), HTC-Columbia, at 2:21