Tour de France 2011: Cavendish punished as Farrar wins

Tyler Farrer celebrates stage victory
Farrar celebrates winning his first stage in the Tour de France

Britain's Mark Cavendish suffered a blow to his hopes of winning the Tour de France's green jersey as American Tyler Farrar won the third stage.

Cavendish was stripped of the 10 points he won in the intermediate sprint for a clash with Thor Hushovd and then complained about being impeded on the final corner as he finished fifth.

"I was fighting and kamikaze Romain Feillu came flying in," said Cavendish.

Farrar sprinted home, giving America its first Tour win on Independence Day.

But Cavendish, who was aiming for his 16th stage victory in the Tour, suffered a double blow as not only did he lose 10 points, but also suffered at the final corner at the hands of second-placed Feillu from France and Spain's Jose Joaquin Rojas, who came third.

"I thought I was going to crash at the end," added Cavendish. "I thought I was coming down. I was 40 metres behind coming out of the last corner with no speed whatsoever.

"I went full gas. I gained 40 metres and finished with the front four and gained points there - it just shows my form. Some people will write me off, but it'd take a very uneducated person to do it right now."

The 26-year-old later found out about his disqualification and said on social networking site Twitter:external-link "Just discovered Thor and I have been disqualified from the intermediate sprint today. Seriously no idea why?! #devastated.

"Just heard that Thor's offered to take the punishment solely. What a true gentleman. Thank you."

However, Cavendish suggested the offer from his rival would probably not alter the decision of race officials and he later added: "About to joke that #TdF changing to 21 individual timetrials, but saw other riders in final of today on TV & believe decisions are personal."

Hushovd, who continues to lead the Tour, said: "It's true we rubbed shoulders, but it's [part of] the race."

Farrar's win in the 198km stage, meanwhile, was Garmin-Cervelo's second in a row, after they won Sunday's team time trial.

The top of the general classification rankings were unchanged, with Hushovd retaining the yellow jersey ahead of team-mate David Millar.

Farrar now has wins in all three Grand Tours and he celebrated victory at the finishing line by making a 'W' sign in honour of his friend Wouter Weylandt, who died during the Giro d'Italia in May.

"It's incredible to win a stage," said Farrar. "I've been chasing this for a long time so to get it means so much, and to get it on the 4th of July makes it so much better.

"I couldn't have asked for any more from the guys and I'm so glad I could finish the job off.

"We have a very professional and experienced lead-out and we know what to do - I didn't have to start sprinting until 150 metres to go and it's hard to beat someone when you set them up like that."

Stage 3 result:

1. Tyler Farrar (US/Garmin-Carvelo) 4hrs 40 mins 21 secs

2. Romain Feillu (Fra/Vacansoleil-DCM) same time

3. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa/Movistar) same time

4. Sebastien Hinault (Fra/AG2R La Mondiale) same time

5. Mark Cavendish (GB/HTC-Highroad) same time

6. Thor Hushovd (Nor/Garmin-Carvelo) same time

7. Julian Dean (NZ/Garmin-Carvelo) same time

8. Borut Bozic (Slo/Vacansoleil-DCM) same time

9. Andre Greipel (Ger/Omega Pharma-Lotto) same time

10. Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra/Saur-Sojasun) same time

Overall standings:

1. Thor Hushovd (Norway/Garmin) 9hrs 46 mins 46 secs

2. David Millar (GB/Garmin) same time

3. Cadel Evans (Aus/BMC Racing) +01"

4. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky) +04"

5. Linus Gerdemann (Ger/Leopard-Trek) same time

6. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor/Team Sky) same time

7. Frank Schleck (Lux/Leopard-Trek) same time

8. Andy Schleck (Lux/Leopard-Trek) same time

9. Jokab Fuglsang (Den/Leopard-Trek) same time

10. Bradley Wiggins (GB/Team Sky) same time