Stage three of the Ster ZLM Toer saw the second bunch sprint in as many days, but Max Walscheid was unable to repeat his strong finish from yesterday after being affected by a late crash.
The stage saw an early breakaway of eight riders pull clear, building their advantage to over 3 minutes with 120km to race. The peloton, keen for another sprint opportunity, was very attentive throughout the stage and kept the gap in check, eventually catching the final two leaders in the last 3km before setting up a fast finish. The team were set to bring Max into position but a crash saw Laurens hit the deck and the team’s preparation go out the window as they lost each other and couldn’t get Max back to the front before the sprint.
After the stage, Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts gave his verdict on the stage: “Today’s stage covered some difficult climbs in Limburg but the peloton was quite defensively controlled so it came to a bunch sprint. Unfortunately, a crash with 4km to go split our lead-out train and we could not bring Max to a good position for the sprint. “