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Ivan Santaromita (BMC) wins stage 3
BMC rider wins his first race as professional
The 28 year-old Italian won the general classification at the 2010 Coppi & Bartali stage race but had never felt the emotions of winning a professional race with his arms in the air. It was the family's second win at the Giro del Trentino after his brother Mauro-Antonio won the race overall in 1989.
Ivan Santaromita beat fellow Italians Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) and Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) after being in the break of the day during the tough hilly stage around Trento.
"I'd forgotten what it was like to win. It's been a long time. But this moment pays me back for the sacrifices I've made in all these years," Santaromita said with a huge smile on his face in the winner's press conference.
"I knew it was today or never. This morning Cadel (Evans) and Baldato told me that I was free to go in the break and try and win the stage. I tried my hardest to take my chance. When you've got riders like Cadel and Gilbert as teammates, it’s natural that you work for them, they're the greats of the sport. But when you get a chance, you've got to take it and fortunately I did today.
"In the sprint we were all watching each other but I noticed that Scarponi had cramps and so marked Tiralongo. I got on his wheel and waited. He was the one to beat and so I jumped him in sight of the line."
Riding the Giro d'Italia for Cadel
Santaromita has raced or Quick Step (2005-2007), Liquigas (2008-2010). He joined BMC in 2011 and has been one of the key domestiques for Cadel Evans, helping the Australian win the Tour de France in 2011.
BMC has still to confirm the team for this year's Giro d'Italia but 'Santa' revealed he will be part of the starting nine in black and red.
"The team will all be for Cadel. People are saying that Wiggins and Nibali are the big favourites but I'm sure he'll be up there too and can fight for victory," Santaromita predicted.
"I'll try and help Cadel as much as I can at the Giro and here at Trentino. First I want to celebrate this win because it's a special day. I'll worry about the last stage and the pain in my legs tomorrow."