TDF 2021:- Stage 3, Lorient > Pontivy 182.9 km **Spoilers**
Stage 3: Lorient > Pontivy 182.9 km28-6-21
After two days that catered for the puncheurs the sprinters of this year’s Tour de France will get their first opportunity. The stage departs Lorient, the hometown of former King of the Mountains winner Warren Barguil. Lorient hosted the start of the 5th stage of the 2018 Tour de France. The race went to Quimper, where Peter Sagan took the spoils.
The riders travel from Lorient with the race hugging the coastline before heading inland, through the department of Morbihan, to Pontivy, where the finish lies near the enchanting Château des Rohan.
While the route is not completely flat and does contain two, fourth category climbs, it is nowhere near as demanding as the weekend stages. So too is the finish, where a 3.5 kilometers downhill flies down to a flat finale, near the 15th century, Château des Rohan in Pontivy.
The first of two consecutive days penciled in by the sprinters, so expect a small breakaway to comprise of the French wildcard teams. Only sprinters who have arrived with poor condition may struggle, but the peloton should arrive en masse.
The finishing sprint takes place along Pontivy's high street, with the line below the castle walls.
Favourites stage 3 Tour de France 2021
***** Caleb Ewan, Tim Merlier
**** Arnaud Démare, Wout van Aert
*** Mark Cavendish, Cees Bol, Mathieu van der Poel, Mads Pedersen
** Christophe Laporte, Nacer Bouhanni, Danny van Poppel, Peter Sagan
* André Greipel, Niccolò Bonifazio, Max Walscheid, Michael Matthews, Sonny Colbrelli
Stage town for the 12th time
Lorient's history began with the creation of the Le Faouëdic shipyards. The construction of the ship the Soleil d'Orient, better known as the Orient, gave its name to the town, which enjoyed an era of great prosperity until 1769. In 1791, Lorient turned its back on colonial trade to become a military port. Between 1880 and 1930, the growth of trade and fishing led to the creation of major port infrastructures.
The Second World War then turned its destiny upside down. After the fall of France in June 1940 the head of Germany’s U-boat Arm, Konteradmiral Karl Dönitz, was keen to use the French Atlantic ports as forward bases for his U-boat force. Lorient was selected and the base built was capable of sheltering thirty submarines under cover. Although Lorient was heavily damaged by Allied bombing raids, this naval base survived through to the end of the war.
Lorient is the most important port in mainland France for langoustines, as well as Loctudy and Lesconil.
On the road
Carnac (Pop: 4,300)
Carnac is one of the two sites in Brittany where the first human traces were found.
The alignments of Carnac
The megalithic alignments were erected around 4500 BC. The site has the highest concentration of megaliths in the world. Over nearly 4 km, there is an alignment of nearly 4,000 standing stones: menhirs, dolmens and covered walkways.
Stage town for the first time
Pontivy owes its origin to St Ivy, a Scottish monk who came to evangelise Brittany. According to legend, he had a bridge built over the Blavet river, which gave its name to the town: "Pont-Ivy". Land of the Rohans, Pontivy built its reputation around its 15th century medieval castle.
Even if the Tour de France has never stopped here, Pontivy is a major cycling centre in Brittany as the birthplace of several personalities in this sport in the region, starting with David Lappartient, the current President of the International Cycling Union......
It is also the birthplace of the Le Drogo brothers: Ferdinand, French champion in 1927 and 1928, and Paul, winner of a stage in the 1929 Tour before becoming the sports director for Louison Bobet and the Groussard brothers. Another local cycling figure, Fernand Picot, twice winner of the Grand Prix de Plouay, took part in eight consecutive Tours de France between 1955 and 1962, finishing 13th in 1957. In recent years, Pontivy has been the birthplace of the French road champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot.
Galettes with mashed potatoes
The recipe is from Pontivy, this mashed potato pancake is a speciality of central Morbihan.
It is a pancake like any other, which once cooked can be decorated to taste with sausage, bacon, andouille, or salmon, with the difference that the classic cake dough (flour, salt and water) is mixed with mashed potatoes. This obviously makes the dough more compact, more nourishing and less light, but that's what makes it so charming.
"Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.