After a wild first two stages to kick off the 2013 Tour de France, the third and final stage will likely feature a bit of a different change of pace.
The first stage of the Tour featured one of the craziest finishes in a while. A team bus got stuck underneath the finish-line banner, forcing race organizers to change the finish line area, causing a large crash involving around 25 riders. Despite all of the chaos, Marcel Kittel was able to win the first stage of the race.
The second day of the race was much smoother, with no crashes happening, although a dog apparently nearly caused another crash during Sunday’s race.
Jan Bakelants was able to take the second yellow jersey and the overall lead from Kittel after the race was over.
Now, the third and final stage in Corsica is ready to go on Monday.
This stage will be 145.5 kilometers long, starting in Ajaccio and finishing in Calvi. However, there’s not really any flat area for riders to coast on. Riders will be going up and down constantly while going through plenty of turns.
Jean Francois Pescheux gave a good summary of the route on the race’s official website, saying:
We are not going to hide our feeling of satisfaction: this is the kind of stage we've been looking for for years! It's simple: there's not a single metre of flat, which means the peloton will get very stretched out, presenting the very real possibility of splits occurring. Let this be a warning to any team leaders who might mistakenly believe they can ride towards the back of the field? especially as, at 145km, this stage is very short! It will give the puncheurs plenty to conjure with. Thinking about just the French riders of that type, I can imagine Voeckler and Chavanel will be itching to get going... Whatever happens, at the finish we will know the names of those riders who can't win this Tour.
The lack of long straightaways makes it much harder for riders to keep safe. With that in mind, there very well could be another crash on the third day of the Tour.
While this race might not be the most taxing on the riders, it’s very hard to coordinate turns with so many riders around you in very close spaces. If just one rider gets in the way, it could spell trouble for an entire group.
Sprinters should make this an interesting finish at the end of the stage, as you can see from the elevation change of the final kilometer.
With the mostly downhill finish, we will likely see who can break away and take the third yellow jersey at the very end of this race.
This was the first time the Tour has ever been to Corsica, and it’s been a very interesting start to the event. Monday’s race should be just as wild.