Goss wins Paris-Nice 3rd stage
Nuits-Saint-Georges - Australian rider Matthew Goss took the overall lead in the Paris-Nice race after winning Tuesday's third stage, beating Heinrich Haussler and Denis Galimzyanov in a clustered sprint finish in which several cyclists crashed.
Slovakia's Peter Sagan fell after the final turn Tuesday when his back wheel skidded, causing at least two other riders to crash. Goss got his wheel in front and the HTC-Highroad rider held on to win. Sagan was left with cuts to his left arm and leg.
Goss was unofficially timed in 5 hours, 16 minutes, 48 seconds over the 202-kilometer (125.2-mile) trek from Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire to Nuits-Saint-Georges.
Goss replaced Thomas De Gendt of Belgium as the overall leader heading into Wednesday's 191-kilometer (118.4-mile) fourth stage from Creches-sur-Saone to Belleville. Haussler is third overall.
Cedric Pineau, Blel Kadri, Jussi Veikkanen, Cyril Gautier and Romain Hardy broke away early to open up a big advantage in perfect racing conditions, with mild temperatures, clear skies and little wind.
Their lead was slashed to three minutes with 50 kilometers (31 miles) remaining, then just over a minute with 30 kilometers (18.6) to go. After a category 2 climb near the end, it was down to a handful of seconds.
French rider Thomas Voeckler was the first to attack. He overtook four of the front five but Kadri stayed with him. However, they were both overtaken with five kilometers (3.1 miles) remaining.
Half a dozen Liquigas-Cannondale riders then moved to the front, looking to put Sagan in an ideal place to launch an attack over the final stretch.
Misjudging a tight turn, Sagan lost control, his front wheel knocking down another rider as he fell.
Belgian rider Gert Steegmans crashed after taking a turn too wide. But the former Paris-Nice stage winner was able to continue after changing bikes.
Sylvain Chavanel of France changed a tire after a puncture near the end and just managed to catch up in time.
Argentina's Lucas Sebastian Haedo did not start after being knocked over by a police motorbike a day earlier. His team said he hurt his knee and needed stitches.