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Circuit de la Sarthe stage 3: Mads Pedersen scores second win in three days

Danish sprinter racks up another win, leads general classification.

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Danish sprinter and former world champion Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) raced to his second win in three days at the 2022 Circuit de la Sarthe.

While Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) opened the final attack early, but faded to third. Kévin Vauquelin (Arkéa-Samsic) came second on the stage and leads the best young rider classification.

“I believed in it, at 10 meters, I really believed in it, it’s a shame. But I finished second behind Pedersen, it’s not just anyone,” commented Vauquelin after the stage.

Pederson won the opening stage, and was second on stage 2. With another podium-topper, he now leads the general classification by 23 seconds.

“It was not easy; the whole team worked really well,” said Pedersen. “Alex [Kirsch] left me in a really good position with around 1.5-2 kilometers to go. I went in the wheels of FDJ as they had a good lead-out, and then [Kevin Vauquelin] did a really good attack. That meant I had to do an early sprint to catch him but luckily it was a small uphill finish, and it was hard for a solo guy to keep the bunch away. I caught him on the finish line.”

The 176.5km route saw six riders go off the front at 15 kilometers in, on wet roads, and gained as much as five minutes. All five riders were eventually brought back, and it was Georg Steinhauser (EF Education-EasyPost) who nearly stole the stage, and was caught with nearly 2km remaining.

“It’s been a good week; it’s nice to have a shape like this and especially with Paris-Roubaix coming up,” added Pedersen. “The boys did a massive work the whole day: Filippo [Baroncini] started pulling early, and then Kampy [Alexander Kamp] took over with really impressive work, and then Markus [Hoelgaard] did the last bit. We had to count a bit on a few other teams to help catch back the last guy from EF, but yeah, we were not the only ones who wanted a sprint.”

2022 Circuit de la Sarthe stage 3 results

  1. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), 4:04:23
  2. Kevin Vauquelin (Arkéa-Samsic), at s.t.
  3. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), at s.t.
  4. Paul Penhoët (Groupama-FDJ), at s.t.
  5. Hugo Hofstetter (Arkéa-Samsic), at s.t.

2022 Circuit de la Sarthe general classification

  1. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), 12:38:48
  2. Kevin Vauquelin (Arkéa-Samsic), at :23
  3. Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R-Citroën), at s.t.
  4. Axel Zingle (Cofidis), at s.t.
  5. Lucas Plapp (Ineos-Grenadiers), at s.t.