Kristoff Wins Stage 3a Of The Three Days Of De Panne

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) won stage 3a of the Three Day of De Panne this morning.

Today saw two stages and the first was a 112.6km stage starting and finishing in the Belgium town of De Panne.

Russell Downing (Team NetApp-Endura), got himself into the first attack of the day with Mike Terpstra (Team 3M), Tim De Troyer (Accent Jobs-Wanty), Niko Eeckhout (An Post-Chainreaction), who took the first sprint, and Thomas Vanhaecke (Team 3M)with 64kms to go.

They had a lead of 1.20 which was whittled down to 16 seconds with 41kms to go.

it went back out again to thirty seconds but was soon ended and for the last fifteen kilometres, Keirsbulck, Vermote and Konig were on the front with a small lead.

Matt Brammier came up to join them for but with nine to go, the juncture was made and Stuart O'Grady went on the attack in a stage that was now without Boonen, Greipel and Sagan.

With O'Grady caught with four to go, a bunch sprint was inevitable and Katusha's Alexander Kristoff in the green jersey sprinted home to win in a time of 2.29.02, ahead of Sacha Modolo (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox) and Elia Viviani (Cannondale Pro Cycling) after Mark Cavendish was squeezed out..

Kristoff became the new race leader thanks to the ten seconds time bonus for winning the stage which gives hime a four second lead over FDJ's Arnaud Demare  and nine seconds over Mark Cavendish. .