Copenhagen, Jul 4 (IANS): As several riders crossed the finish line at the same time on Sunday, Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Team BikeExchange was declared the winner of a photo finish in the third stage of the Tour de France in Denmark.
Jumbo's Wout Van Aert finished second but retains the yellow jersey with a seven-second advantage in the overall standings. Jasper Philipsen was in third place at this stage.
The competitive 182 kilometres flat course between Vejle and Sonderborg in south Denmark, close to the German border, was always going to be conducive to an extremely exciting high-speed race where the possibility of an accident among the pack of riders in the field was always going to be highly likely.
For a while, it seemed only Maxime Bouet from the Arkea team would be the only crash of the day until the real drama of the race unfolded during the last 13 minutes.
At the end of the race, teams began to react by increasing their speed and jockeying for positions near the front of the field to keep their captains ahead. This new dynamic resulted in the expected big crash, as the middle of the pack effectively went down, taking out half of the field of riders, Xinhua reports.
However, at the front of the field this went unnoticed as all eyes were focused on the beckoning finish line where everyone of the front riders had a chance of victory as the leading position kept changing amongst them.
The Tour leaves Denmark and returns to France on next Tuesday with the fourth stage, a 171.5 km run in the hills between Dunkirk and Calais.