Nizzolo sprints to victory in Beaufays

RadioShack-Nissan rider takes over leader's jersey from Napolitano

Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Nissan) won stage 3 of the Tour de Wallonie today at the conclusion of a hard day of racing in the Belgian Ardennes. The 23-year-old Italian sprinted to his first victory of the season which also earned him the leader's jersey.

Mikhail Ignatyev (Katusha) followed Nizzolo across the line in second place while Gianni Meersman (Lotto Belisol) finished third.

The kick to the finish was marred by a crash inside the final 100 meters with several riders hitting the tarmac, including Pieter Jacobs (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator), Guillaume Bonnafond (AG2R La Mondiale), Michael Barry (Sky), Michel Kreder (Garmin-Sharp), Egoitz Garcia (Cofidis), Steve Morabito (BMC) and Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM). All managed to get up and cross the finish line but the extent of their injuries have yet to be confirmed.

"I'm very, very happy with this win," said Nizzolo. "I was a bit angry yesterday, because I was positioned badly in the sprint. The sensation in the legs was good, so I knew I had the shape to do something. The team was amazing today. Jakob [Fuglsang] kept on telling me I had to go as hard as I could on the last climbs, because it could end up in a sprint.

"Once the last climb was done, I asked the guys to keep the speed high, so that no one would attack us. Matthew [Busche] did a great pace making in the last kilometers. Then Ben [Hermans] pulled really hard and finally Jakob gave me the perfect lead-out. I sprinted out of his wheel and nobody came close to catching me again."

The general classification still remains tight with two stage to go. Nizzolo moves into the leader's jersey, but is tied on time with Pigthart. Ignatyev holds third overall at one second while Lloyd Mondory (AG2R La Mondiale) lies in fourth at nine seconds. Overnight race leader Danilo Napolitano (Katusha) did not find the hilly parcours to his liking and finished in a group more than 27 minutes behind Nizzolo, surrendering the leader's jersey to his compatriot.

Covering 186km from Marche en Famenne to Beaufays, the stage featured nine categorised climbs including several which are part of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège spring classic's route: the Côte de Wanne, Col de Stockeu, Côte de la Vecquée and Mont Theux.

Attacks came fast and furious from the start of racing culminating in an early break comprised of 15 riders: David Boucher (FDJ-Big Mat), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Sharp), Marco Haller (Katusha Team), Kenny De Haes (Lotto Belisol Team), Francesco Chicchi (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), Laurent Didier (RadioShack-Nissan), Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team), Claudio Corioni (Acqua & Sapone), Maxime Anciaux, Antoine Demoitie, Loic Pestiaux, Boris Vallee (all Idemasport-Biowanze), Sébastien Delfosse (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony), Sébastien Chavanel (Team Europcar) and Tom Dernies (Wallonie Bruxelles-Credit Agricole).

Their advantage grew to more than three minutes with 101km remaining, but the arduous parcours coupled with chasing from BMC and Sky in the peloton worked to reduce the break's lead.

The escape group began to shatter on the 1-2 punch of the Côte de Wanne and Col de Stockeu ascents resulting in just Didier and Ligthart remaining at the head of affairs with a lead of less than one minute.

Joost Van Leijen (Lotto Belisol) tried to bridge from the peloton to the leaders, but with 37 kilometres remaining all of the attackers had been caught.

Several more riders attempted to escape in the ensuing kilometres, but nothing stuck until Ben Hermans (RadioShack-Nissan) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) attacked with 25 kilometres to the finish. The duo were joined by Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) and Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator), but with Belgian champion Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) taking strong pulls at the head of the field this escape, too, came to a conclusion at 15km to go.

Vladimir Isaichev (Katusha) struck out on his own and was soon joined by Hermans, Pieter Serry (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) and Carlos Betancur (Acqua & Sapone). The Russian couldn't handle the pace on the hilly terrain and was dropped and the remaining trio were brought back with 8km to the finish.

Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) launched an immediate counter-attack and drew out Acqua & Sapone's Danilo Di Luca and Carlos Betancur plus Steve Morabito (BMC). Under the impetus of a RadioShack-Nissan led field, reduced to approximately 30 riders at this point, the break was caught with five kilometres remaining.

One last attack was launched by Rémi Pauriol (FDJ-BigMat), but the three RadioShack-Nissan riders working for Nizzolo brought back the Frenchman and delivered their Italian teammate to the front where he claimed the stage win with a bike length to spare.

Results
1Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan4:47:07 
2Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha Team  
3Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
4Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
5Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha Team  
6Kevin Ista (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
7Francesco Reda (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
8Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
9Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
10Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
11Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
12Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
13Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
14Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Acqua & Sapone  
15Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
16Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
17Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
18Pieter Serry (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
19Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
20Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
21Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
22Thomas Degand (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
23Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
24Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky Procycling  
25Rémi Pauriol (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
26Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan  
27Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
28Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
29Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin - Sharp  
30Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack-Nissan0:00:23 
31Jakob Fuglsang (Den) RadioShack-Nissan0:00:00 
32Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:00:32 
33Gregory Habeaux (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's0:00:34 
34Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:00:00 
35Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:43 
36Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
37Arnaud Gerard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:00:45 
38Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:00 
39Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin - Sharp0:00:00 
40Michael Barry (Can) Sky Procycling0:00:00 
41Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:00 
42Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:00:00 
43Serge De Wortelaer (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze0:01:49 
44Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:00:00 
45Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:15 
46Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar  
47Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
48Johann Tschopp (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
49Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
50Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha Team0:02:37 
51Laurent Evrard (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
52Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale  
53Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:04:42 
54Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:48 
55Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:06:07 
56Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
57Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:07:42 
58Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
59Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's0:09:38 
60Laurent Didier (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan  
61Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar  
62Christophe Premont (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
63Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:12:30 
64Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
65David Boucher (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
66Julien Stassen (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze  
67Maxime Anciaux (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze  
68Antoine Demoitie (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze  
69Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
70Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
71Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin - Sharp  
72Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
73Boris Vallee (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze  
74Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha Team  
75Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
76Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
77Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha Team  
78Nelson Oliveira (Por) RadioShack-Nissan  
79Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Lotto Belisol Team  
80Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:24:18 
81Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
82Claudio Corioni (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
83Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin - Sharp0:27:21 
84Boris Dron (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
85Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Garmin - Sharp  
86Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Sharp  
87Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
88Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
89Philippe Legrand (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
90Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky Procycling  
91Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
92Olivier Chevalier (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
93Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
94Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling  
95Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
96Loic Pestiaux (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze  
97Quentin Van Heuverswijn (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze  
98Quentin Bertholet (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
99Tom Dernies (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
100Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
101Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
102Nikita Novikov (Rus) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
103Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team  
104Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
105Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar  
106Steven Caethoven (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
107Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
108Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
109Reinier Honig (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
110Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar  
111Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
112Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling0:32:29 
113Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team  
114Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin - Sharp  
115Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling  
116Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
117Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
DNFAnthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFNacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
DNFSimon Spilak (Slo) Katusha Team  
DNFMatteo Pelucchi (Ita) Team Europcar  
DNFAlexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar  
General classification after stage 3
1Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan13:53:49 
2Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
3Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha Team0:00:01 
4Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:09 
5Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:00:10 
6Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:00:11 
7Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:00:12 
8Kevin Ista (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's0:00:14 
9Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
10Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
11Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan  
12Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
13Thomas Degand (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
14Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
15Pieter Serry (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
16Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
17Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
18Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
19Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
20Francesco Reda (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
21Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
22Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
23Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin - Sharp  
24Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
25Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha Team  
26Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
27Michael Barry (Can) Sky Procycling  
28Jakob Fuglsang (Den) RadioShack-Nissan  
29Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Acqua & Sapone  
30Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
31Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
32Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin - Sharp  
33Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky Procycling  
34Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
35Rémi Pauriol (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
36Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat  
37Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone0:00:24 
38Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack-Nissan0:00:37 
39Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:00:46 
40Gregory Habeaux (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's0:00:48 
41Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:00:57 
42Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar  
43Arnaud Gerard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:00:59 
44Serge De Wortelaer (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze0:02:03 
45Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:29 
46Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
47Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar  
48Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
49Johann Tschopp (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
50Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:51 
51Laurent Evrard (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
52Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha Team  
53Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:04:56 
54Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:02 
55Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:06:21 
56Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
57Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:07:56 
58Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:08:06 
59Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's0:09:45 
60Laurent Didier (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan0:09:50 
61Christophe Premont (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole0:09:52 
62Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar  
63Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha Team0:12:40 
64Julien Stassen (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze0:12:44 
65Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
66Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
67Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
68Antoine Demoitie (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze  
69Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha Team  
70Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
71Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
72Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin - Sharp  
73Maxime Anciaux (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze  
74Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Lotto Belisol Team  
75Nelson Oliveira (Por) RadioShack-Nissan  
76Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
77Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:13:28 
78Boris Vallee (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze0:13:58 
79David Boucher (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:16:14 
80Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:24:32 
81Claudio Corioni (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
82Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
83Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Acqua & Sapone0:27:25 
84Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky Procycling0:27:27 
85Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling0:27:29 
86Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Sharp0:27:33 
87Loic Pestiaux (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze  
88Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:27:34 
89Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
90Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team  
91Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
92Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's0:27:35 
93Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep  
94Philippe Legrand (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
95Olivier Chevalier (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
96Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Garmin - Sharp  
97Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar  
98Steven Caethoven (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's  
99Reinier Honig (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
100Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
101Quentin Bertholet (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
102Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin - Sharp  
103Nikita Novikov (Rus) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team  
104Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team  
105Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony  
106Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
107Tom Dernies (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
108Boris Dron (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole  
109Quentin Van Heuverswijn (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze  
110Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
111Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar  
112Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:32:39 
113Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling0:32:43 
114Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin - Sharp  
115Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling  
116Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team0:33:03 
117Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:56:09 
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