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Wout van Aert has finished second in the third stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné. In the bunch sprint, the Belgian from Team Jumbo-Visma only had to give in to Irishman Sam Bennett. Van Aert retained his white youth jersey and took over the green points jersey from Boasson Hagen.
Little happened in the relatively flat stage from Le Puy-en-Velay to Riom. Just like yesterday, the stage was affected by bad weather conditions. An early breakaway was caught in the final kilometres, after which the stage ended in a sprint. In the final, his team placed Van Aert well in Bennett’s wheel.
“I didn’t know exactly what to expect from this sprint”, Van Aert explained. “But I wanted to try and see where I could end up. The only way was to accelerate quite early. In a flat sprint like this, Bennett is too strong for me. I am happy with this second place. It is the confirmation of my good form.”
Sports director Grischa Niermann could live with the second place of the young Belgian. “It was a horrible stage. Wet and very cold. The riders suffered a lot. However, it was a stage that was easy to control for the sprinter teams. In the final, Lennard, Neilson and Pascal did a good job for Wout, and Wout managed to position himself in the right wheel. We can certainly live with the second place behind Bennett. Of course you want to win the stage, but the second place was the highest possible today.”