The Danish Grand Départ came to an end on Sunday in Sønderborg with another bunch sprint, on stage 3 of the Tour de France. Dylan Groenewegen took the win while David Gaudu arrived at the same time as the Dutchman after avoiding the final’s troubles. The young Frenchman therefore remains totally in the mix before joining France for the first rest day. Stefan Küng also climbed to ninth place overall on Sunday thanks to the various splits. Next appointment on Tuesday, in Dunkirk.

This Sunday, the Tour de France was about to say goodbye to Denmark and its public, very large and noisy throughout this first block of racing. To complete this Danish stay, the riders had to go from Vejle to Sønderborg, in the far south of the country, after quite an easy course. The anticipated sprint also discouraged the usual fugitives, and only the polka dot jersey wearer Magnus Cort (EF Education-Easy Post) actually went on the attack. The Scandinavian rider collected a few additional points on the way but mostly enjoyed the crowd’s enthusiasm. In the back, the sprinters’ teams obviously had no trouble controlling a single man. The time gap rose to seven minutes at best but was eventually closed before even entering the last fifty kilometres. The bunch therefore became more and more nervous. “Like yesterday, we kept updated about the weather, which was changing a lot”, saidPhilippe Mauduit. “This morning, they forecasted gusts of 35 km/h in the final. At the end, it was 5-6 km/h. We decided to take it easier than yesterday, except in the final because there were obviously big risks of crashing. Even if it is sometimes dangerous in the front as well, the crashes happened in the second part of the bunch this time. We wanted to avoid that, and we succeeded”.

“They did what they had to do“, Philippe Mauduit

Thanks to the work of his bodyguards, like Stefan Küng and Kevin Geniets, David Gaudu was able to get through the big crash that split the peloton ten kilometres from the end. The French climber crossed the line at the same time as Dylan Groenewegen, winner of the final sprint. “The guys kept David up front, and that was the goal this morning knowing this winding final with cobblestones and big changes of direction”, added Philippe. “We had to stay safe. We eventually leave Denmark with all our riders and without having lost time. They did what they had to do, and they did it well”. As a small bonus on Sunday, Stefan Küng took advantage of the few splits that occurred in the final to gain four places in the general classification. He now finds himself ninth, thirty seconds behind the yellow jersey Wout van Aert. David Gaudu sits in 31st position, fifty-seven seconds behind the Belgian rider. Tomorrow, the first rest day will be mostly used by the team staff to join the North of France. As for the riders, they will land this Sunday evening in France and will thus be able to fully recover on Monday.

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