Mads Pedersen‘s (Lidl-Trek) peerless early-season form continued at the Tour de la Provence as the former world champion took a third stage win in three days to extend his GC lead.
The Dane was the strongest from a select lead group in the final spring, outpacing Axel Zingle (Cofidis) at the finish in Manosque after a group of 10 split from the rest on the final climb of the day, the Col de l’Aire del Masco, inside the final 30km.
Clément Champoussin (Arkéa-B&B Hotels) led the remainder of the group home two seconds later, while Bruno Armirail (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale) and Ewen Costiou (Arkéa-B&B Hotels) finished among the group to move into second and third on the general classification.
Costiou had earlier been out front alone as he chased down the remains of the day’s breakaway – Marco Frigo (Israel-Premier Tech) was the last man standing from the move. However, Pedersen and his group – with the Dane putting in a good amount of work himself – who made their way across to the Frenchman.
Frigo survived to within sight of the finish line, the catch being made just 400 metres from the finish a cruel ending for the Italian’s move. He’d end up 11th on the stage, 12 seconds behind Pedersen, who made the best of the poor conditions and once again showed he was the strongest man in the race in the sprint for the line.
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