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Tour de France 2011 Stage 3: Farrar prevails in Redon

Dedicates win to Wouter Weylandts

Today Tyler Farrar dedicated his first Tour de France win to his departed friend Wouter Weylandts, who died in the Giro d’Italia. It was the second consecutive win for Garmin-Cervelo, as their lead-out train outlasted that of Mark Cavendish’s HTC squad.

The day begin typically for a sprinter’s stage – a breakaway of Mickael Delage (FDJ), Niki Terpstra (Quick Step), Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Movistar), Ruben Perez (Euskatel) and Maxime Bouet (AG2R) formed and then stayed away through both the intermediate sprint and the only classified climb of the day. Delage led through both. Mark Cavendish worked hard to ensure that he was the first rider in the peloton to cross the intermediate sprint.

The crosswinds on the climb up the bridge of Pont de Saint-Nazaire created a couple of splits in the field that took riders several kilometres to mend. Meanwhile, in the breakaway, Gutierrez and Delage attacked their break-mates, but this only stalled the inevitable capture.

In the lead-up to the sprint, HTC appeared to have control, but soon ran out of men to help Cavendish. Thor Hushovd and Julian Dean ushered Farrar to the line where he held off a charging Romain Feillu of Vacansoleil.

Thor Hushovd retains the yellow jersey; JJ Rojas of Movistar, third on the stage, takes over the green; Philippe Gilbert keeps with polka dot kit and Geraint Thomas is still in the white jersey of the best young rider.