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Giro d'Italia stage 3 – Live coverage

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Good morning and welcome to our live coverage from stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia.

This morning we're in Biella and the official role out takes place in just over ten minutes from now. The rain has been pretty persistent this morning, so we're in for our first wet day of the race. The opening half is almost totally flat but we have a number of short, late climbs that could tease the stage away from the pure sprinters. It's a well balanced stage from the race organisers. 

Here's how things stand on GC heading into today's stage.

General classification after stage 2

1 Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 4:29:53
2 Edoardo Affini (Ita) Jumbo-Visma 0:0:13
3 Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma 0:0:16
4 Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:0:20
5 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
6 Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:0:21
7 Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
8 Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:0:22
9 Matthias Brändle (Aut) Israel Start-up Nation 0:0:25
10 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 0:0:26

Here's a shot of our race leader in action on stage 2. He should be fine today but those final climbs could be tricky for some riders, and you can bet that one of the GC riders is going to face some sort of late incident. This is the Giro after all. 

Writer, Peter Cossins has studied the route for today and here's what one of the most likable authors (I wrote lickable first time around) in cycling, had to say about the stage profile:

We are rolling on stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia and it's rain jackets all round for the riders this morning. Ganna is on the front and all smiles while Romain Bardet looks a little less amused with the conditions. 

So we should see a break go from the gun this morning but it will be interesting to see how many sprinters' teams commit early on. Lotto Soudal don't have the firepower to chase all day and they might even look at the conditions and decide to throw a rider up the road, although that's unlikely. This stage really suits a rider like Peter Sagan though, who can handle the punchy climbs better than most sprinters. 

We can't rule out Tim Merlier though, who was a very convincing winner yesterday. He's no slouch on the shorter climbs either, as he's proved throughout this year. Here's Procycling's excellent analysis from stage 2

Six riders have clipped clear already but there are more trying to get across as the rain continues to fall. 

Groupama are there, Androni are chasing with one rider and we could have a group of eight forming in a couple of minutes. The peloton have sat up! 

7 riders. That Androni rider who was trying to make it a grateful 8 hasn't been able to make contact, while the peloton sit up and just roll along. We'll have the full list of riders in the break shortly. 

Our team on the ground have spoken to Matt White from Team BikeExchange and he's said that due to the weather, today could end up being a race for the GC riders. We agree with his expert opinion. 

There is still a rider trying to make it over, the Androni rider didn't give up and is slowly closing the gap. Nice effort.

No time gap at the moment but at the 9km mark the seven leaders had 1'24 over the main field.

Nice work from Simon Pellaud, who sits up and then drafts Andrii Ponomar, the youngest rider in the race, into the break. So now we have eight riders in the break. Andrii Ponomar can take a well earned rest at the back of that group  now. Pellaud instantly gives him some advice, telling him to drop one of his layers. Still no update on the time gap at the moment. 

Going back a couple of days now but Josh Croxton was watching the opening TT and he spotted some interesting new kit. Take a look

Over four minutes for the race leaders but still no confirmed distance or time gap. Ponomar made contact with the break at km18.

In unrelated Giro d'Italia news, Bradley Wiggins has confirmed that he will be releasing a new film in 2022, ten years after he won the Tour de France. We asked him about the last few years - which have been difficult and knocked his reputation. Here's what he had to say on such matters

Bodnar has moved to the front and he's injected some pace into the peloton for the first time today as the race starts to string out ever so gently. No sign of Ineos near the front but DSM have a rider near the front too.

The confirmed gap is at 6'30 with 158km to go. Bora are just going to hold the break here for the time being before really ramping up the chase because there's still a long way to go.

151km to go

The riders can see some slightly brighter skies than the ones they faced earlier in he stage but the rain is still coming down - albeit lighter than before.

Race leader Ganna is sat on Puccio's wheel but Ineos are getting a bit of a free ride at the moment thanks to Bodnar, who has been on the front for almost 20km. 14km to go in the stage.

Alpecin Fenix have joined the chase and put rider on the front and the break are losing about 15 seconds per 5km of racing at the moment. The gap is just under 6 minutes. 

We've covered 52km to at this point in the race and a few riders have started to drop back to their team cars. Up ahead and the break hit an unclassified bump in the road but they're still working well together at this point. 5'39 is their gap with 137km to go.

The first round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup took place on the weekend. You can find our race reports, news and results, right here.

Keeping on the MTB beat, Bikeperfect caught up with Tod Wells for this must-read interview. Check it out

132km to go

The roads are starting to dry out and the GC riders will be hoping that those conditions are maintained during the second half of the stage as we see Ineos line out near the front and for the first time Ganna has his jacket off so we can finally see the maglia rosa.

Bora are back though, with Bodnar on the front and setting the pace for his man Peter Sagan, who is chasing his third win of the season and his second Giro stage after the one he claimed in 2020.

117km to go and the gap is at 5'12. 

Rain is expected at the finish and right now the rain jackets have been ditched but the peloton have increased the pace and the gap is dropped to 4'11 with 111km to go.

Sagan is currently sitting in about 12th place in the bunch and just cleans his glasses and takes a look at his teammate at the front of the bunch before settling back into the pace line. He's a big favourite for today if it comes down to a reduced bunch sprint.

Inside the final 100km of the stage and the gap is holding at 4'23 but this isn't going to be a stage for the breakaway, that's almost certain.

Tom Pidcock was in MTB action at the weekend too. He started way down on the grid and overtook dozens of riders before the finish. Here's our story on the young Ineos pro.

It's still Alpecin and Bora on the front and doing all the work with the Ineos squad lined out just behind them. There's a bit of wind out there too but the riders are frequently changing direction, while the gap is at 4'12.

Lunch bunch. Riders pick up some sustenance from the side of the road with 90km to go and some fresh bidons are distributed through the peloton as Albanese sits tight and waits for the first climb of the day. He's wearing the mountains jersey today. Here's a reminder of the riders in the break:

Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team), Alexis Gougeard AG2R Citroën Team), Andrii Ponomar and Simon Pellaud (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Samuele Zoccarato (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane), Vincenzo Albanese (Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team), Lars van den Berg (Groupama-FDJ), and Taco Van Der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux). 

Here's how the situation stands on GC:

General classification after stage 2
1 Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 4:29:53
2 Edoardo Affini (Ita) Jumbo-Visma 0:0:13
3 Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma 0:0:16
4 Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:0:20
5 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
6 Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:0:21
7 Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
8 Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:0:22
9 Matthias Brändle (Aut) Israel Start-up Nation 0:0:25
10 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 0:0:26

87km to go

Some major news coming out this morning:

Sarah Storey was granted a backdated Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) after returning an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for salbutamol during the 2012 Paralympics.

Mohoric is at the back of the bunch but he's a rider who could potentially try something today on one of the late descents. Much will depend on whether he's required to look after team leader Mikel Landa.

Problem for Masnada who has to stop and take a new bike. Ewan has a problem too and has to take action when a rider almost takes him out in the next feedzone. He makes it through without being caught. 

Well this has made me feel utterly ancient. 

Onto the first climb of the day and Andrii Ponomar has gone off the front. 74km to go. That's after Pellaud took the intermediate sprint. Back in the bunch and the gap is at 3'40.

Giacomo Nizzolo has just opened up a sprint for the points at the intermediate but there are no points for ninth. Pointless, in more ways than one.

Ponomar has been caught by the rest of the break with 72km to go.

It's just a third cat climb to kick things off at the moment but the gap between the break and the bunch is down to 3'28 with 70km to go. Bora have complete control with their entire team at the head of affairs. 

Ganna has moved up too, more concerned with the descent to come than this 7km climb that the peloton are currently on.

Ewan is at the back of the bunch. Not a great sign to be honest. 69km to go.

This is a long climb for the sprinters but the pace isn't that frantic. He could just be going back to the team car but we'll see. The Australian at least has a teammate with him.

The two Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team are nervously looking at each other as they look to secure the mountain points and Pellaud has attacked with 1km to go. 

Vincenzo Albanese goes with him and van der Berg makes it three riders. It's been this trio for the top of the climb.

Vincenzo Albanese is fastest over the top, well ridden and he'll be the holder of the blue jersey for another day. Pellaud could only manage third on the climb.

The break re-form on the descent with Ponomar just a little further back. He should make it back though. 

Mohoric moves to the front and Bodnar gives him a double take before giving it a bit more gas. This could be a really important descent. 

It's a really technical descent and we're so lucky that the roads are dry but there could be the odd wet patch still out there. 

And just like that there's a crash in the bunch.

Manuel Belletti is down and he's struggling to get back to his feet as we see Ponomar  almost loss it on a right hand corner. This is tense.

A Trek rider came down in that Manuel Belletti crash too but he's okay as we see Ponomar make it back to the break with 63km to go.

Bodnar is cutting nicely through the descent and all the tricky corners as behind him the peloton line out over a good few hundred meters. 

Two more fourth cat climbs to come and the bunch are back together. It looks like Ewan has made it back to the peloton. 

Bora put the hammer down once more ahead of the next climb of the Castino. Team BikeExchange have just brought Simon Yates to the front as well so the GC battle is hotting up at this point too. 

Ewan has been brought to the front too by Lotto Soudal, Nizzolo is here too and the gap is down to 3'08 with 49km to go. We're almost on the second climb of the day. 

The climb has started and it's just over 4km in length and already a couple of riders in the early break are starting to suffer. 

Groenewegen has been dropped with 48km to go. No teammates for the Dutch rider who will now have to chase on the descent. 

Another six riders have been distanced, including Bodnar, who was on the front from around 170km to go. Job done for the Bora rider. 

Merlier has been dropped too as Sagan's team turn the screw. They want to get rid of all these sprinters as quickly as possible. Nizzolo is still in the mix though.

Up ahead and Ponomar has been dropped and the bunch are at 2'21 with 47km to go.

Dekker has been dropped too and he'll probably link up with Groenewegen. Bora are just grinding down their opposition at the moment. 

46km to go and Ewan has been dropped. I thought he'd be okay today given his early season form when it comes to climbing but he's lost contact twice and this time he's told his teammates not to wait for him. 46km to go.

45km to go

Nizzolo is slipping back as we see Vincenzo Albanese snaffle up three more points at the top of the climb. Nizzoli is at the back but Viviani is just about hanging on.

Don't forget that you can look into streaming the race, live, by clicking on our handy guide, just here.

Bora are pushing the pace, even on the descent and that's because they don't want the likes of Ewan coming back. They also don't want Viviani and Nizzolo the chance to recover. Gaviria is still in the main field. 

Rivi has been distanced by the break as we take on the third fourth cat climb of the stage. Affini is struggling at the back of the bunch so that might see the white jersey change hands.

39km to go and we've lost about 30 riders from the main field and we're down to six leaders on the road. They have 1'48 as Bora continue to do all the work. 

Ponomar has just been caught by the peloton. 39km to go.

Nizzolo has two riders from his team around him but he's starting to lose ground yet again. He's digging deep though and just about keeping it together. 

Sagan isn't finding this pace to his liking and he's in pain too but he's so well placed right at the front but with 38km to go Nizzolo has been dropped. He's gone but Gaviria is right on Sagan's wheel. 

Van der Berg sets the pace for the break but then Samuele Zoccarato attacks and gains a short gap. Pellaud has caught him and the pair have about 50m on the rest of the break.

Pellaud is first over the top, followed by Samuele Zoccarato. 36km to go and the gap is at 1'36.

Viviani is still holding on for dear life and he has his entire team with him. He'll be fine as we're just about to crest the climb but how much has this taken out of his legs for a possible sprint?

We still have an uncategorized climb to come at the next intermediate, so the climbing is far from over for the riders today. 

Long and rapid descent to this next intermediate sprint that comes at the top of a climb. It's all Bora on the front but Ineos aren't far from the action either. Sagan's men are trying to ensure that riders like Ewan and Nizzolo don't come back.

Alexis Gougeard has been brought back by the peloton as we finish the descent and head towards the critical point of the stage. 

22km to go

We've still got five leaders out front but with 21km to go their advantage is at 1'09. They'll be caught before the intermediate sprint at this rate.

The break are working well and giving it everything but the writing is on the wall at this point. With 19km to go the gap is down t 1'06. 

The road now goes uphill for 2.7km. Not categorized as a climb though, remember. 18km to go.

Pellaud leads the break but the gap is at 1'09 and the toughest part of the climb is still to come.

And Pellaud has attacked but he's got a Taco on his case. 

17km to go and the two leaders are clear with Pellaud doing all of the work so far. The bunch are at 49 seconds.

16km to go

It looks like some of the pace has dropped off but now Fabbro takes over. Viviani and Gaviria are still in the mix.

Samuele Zoccarato has just made it three riders up front with 15.8km to go as the road once more tilts towards the sky and approaches 15 per cent.

45 seconds for the break and now AG2R attack with Gallopin and a rider from Trek going clear. It's Ciccone.

DSM kick a rider off the front and now the gap is just 29 seconds with 15km to go.

Pellaud is first over the top and he takes the bonus seconds as Ciccone leads Gallopin and they have about 6 seconds. 

It looks like Viviani was there but I couldn't see Gaviria. He certainly wasn't on Sagan's wheel like he was on the previous climb. 

12km to go

10km to go

Bora have just one rider on the front and Ineos aren't interested in taking up the chase. 

8.6km to go and Taco Van Der Hoorn has attacked. He has 41 seconds. That's a really brave move the gap is up to 44 seconds now.

The biggest five miles of Taco Van Der Hoorn's career now as he gets over the bars and looks for every second he can. 46 seconds with 7.6km to go.

Pellaud has already lost 12 seconds to Taco Van Der Hoorn.

Viviani is being brought to the front but Taco Van Der Hoorn has a full minute now.