Giro d'Italia: Van der Hoorn takes Intermarché's first win on stage 3

Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux) was the surprise winner of the third stage of the Giro d'Italia, denying the sprinters to hold on for a solo victory having ridden out in front all day.

The win is easily the biggest of his career, and also a huge moment for his team, for whom this is the first win of the season since being promoted to the World Tour.

"I can't believe it," said a beaming Van der Hoorn once he'd got his breath back. "I just wanted to go in the break and be aggressive all Giro. It was really difficult to get to the front and win a stage, or get to the finish line with the group."

Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) won the sprint from a reduced bunch for second ahead of Peter Sagan, whose Bora-Hansgrohe team had dropped many of the top sprinters on the stage's climbs.

Despite doing so much work to drop their rivals Bora-Hansgrohe were unable to finish off the job by catching Van der Hoorn, who was the sole survivor of an eight-man group who went clear at the start of the stage.

After this breakaway had already been reduced to five after the earlier climbing, Van der Hoorn went clear with Simon Pellaud (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) on an uncategorised but steep rise 17km from the finish. But it was only after he attacked Pellaud with 9km to go, and suddenly increased his advantage over the chasing peloton from 40 seconds to one minute, that he looked like he might actually have a very real chance of surviving.

At the time attacking his breakaway partner seemed like a foolish move, given how much harder it is to ride solo without assistance after having already done so much work during the stage, but Van der Hoorn was remarkably strong and held off until the finish to win with an advantage of four seconds.

Cimolai, Sagan and fourth-place finisher Elia Viviani (Cofidis) will be bitterly disappointed at missing out on the stage win, having worked so hard to remain in the bunch after a ferocious pace set by Bora-Hansgrohe on the stage's three categorised climbs saw many of the top sprinters to be dropped, including yesterday's winner Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix), Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal), Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka Assos)

All the GC favourites remained in the peloton, as well as Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), who retains the pink jersey.

How it unfolded

The peloton set off from Biella having to face the stress of wet roads in what were initially bleak, grey conditions.

They were at least spared a stressful start to the stage, as a seven-man group escaped up the road with little fuss.

In that break was Vincenzo Albanese, who was in the blue jersey having gained King of the Mountains points yesterday, along with his EOLO-Kometa teammate Samuele Rivi. They were joined by Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux), Lars van den Berg (Groupama-FDJ), Samuele Zoccarato (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R Citroën) and last year's winner of the intermediate sprint classification Simon Pellaud (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec)

After valiantly chasing alone for over 10km, Pellaud's 18-year-old teammate Andrii Ponomar also joined the escapees, forming the final 8-man group that would spend most of the stage out front.

They were granted a gap of over six minutes, before Bora-Hansgrohe and Alpecin-Fenix upped the pace for their sprinters Peter Sagan and Tim Merlier.

As the weather brightened up and the riders shed their rain jackets, the gap began steadily coming down, and had been reduced to almost 3-30 by the day's intermediate sprint 73km from the finish.

The size of the break meant they took all of the maglia ciclamino points available at the intermediate sprint (with Pellaud outsprinting Zoccarato for the maximum twelve points), but back in the peloton Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubeka-Assos) didn't seem to realise this, as he sprinted to the line anyway.

The Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec duo in the break tried to challenge Albanese's lead in the King of the Mountains classification ahead of the first climb of the day, but was unsuccessful; Albanese's teammate Rivi was able to neutralise an attack from Ponomar just prior to the climb, then Albanese managed to mark an attack from Pellaud before outsprinting him at the line.

Back in the peloton, Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) drifted towards the back as Bora-Hansgrohe set a steady pace, but was not dropped as the group remained intact. There were splits on the descent, exacerbated by a crash involving around half a dozen riders, but the pace after was slow enough for the peloton to reform.

Bora-Hansgrohe caused much more damage on the second climb, as sprinters Tim Merlier, Dylan Groenewegen, David Dekker (both Jumbo-Visma) and Caleb Ewan were all dropped and taken out of contention.

They continued to push on on the third and final categorised climb, where they managed to at last distance Giacomo Nizzolo, who had only just about managed to hang on on the last climb.

Back in the break, Albanese further extended his lead in the mountain classification by sprinting for first over the second climb and third on the final climb. But by the top of the latter, the tempo set by Bora-Hansgrohe had significantly reduced their lead over the peloton to less than 1-30.

These climbs had seen the leading group reduced to just five after Rivi, Ponomar and Gougeard were dropped, and shrunk further when Pellaud attacked with Zoccarato and Van der Hoorn on the uncategorised climb 17km from the finish, with Zoccarato being dropped near the top.

That climb was also the launchpad for attacks in the peloton from Tony Gallopin (AG2R Citroën) and Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), who held a lead of a couple of seconds by the top.

They managed to catch Zoccarato, but Van der Horn and Pellaud remained elusive, as they continued to ride well together. 

With 9km left to ride, and their advantage over the peloton still at 40 seconds, Van der Hoorn attacked Pellaud That might have seemed like a questionable decision, but Van der Hoorn increased his lead on the peloton to a minute.

Suddenly it seemed he had a very real chance of making it to the finish. Ciccone and Gallopin continued to chase and managed to drop Zoccarato, while UAE Team Emirates and Cofidis were now part of the desperate pace in the peloton to bring back the attackers, but still, Van der Hoorn held on.

Their work did see the gap start to tumble, and Ciccone and Gallopin were caught 2km from the finish, but Van der Hoorn still had a chance with a lead of 20 seconds.

By this point, he was gasping for breath and rocking side to side, but as he entered the finish straight with the peloton still visibly adrift, it was clear that he had pulled off a miraculous victory. 

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 4:21:29
2Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation 0:00:04
3Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
4Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
5Patrick Bevin (NZl) Israel Start-up Nation
6Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
7Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
8Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo
9Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
10Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
11Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën Team
12Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
13Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
14Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
15Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
16Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
17Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
18Natnael Tesfazion (Eri) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
19Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team
20Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
21Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team DSM
22Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
23Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
24Matteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
25Larry Warbasse (USA) AG2R Citroën Team
26Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
27Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
28Samuele Zoccarato (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
29Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
30Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
31Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
32Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos
33Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
34João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
35Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
36Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
37Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation
38Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
39Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos Grenadiers
40Joe Dombrowski (USA) UAE Team Emirates
41Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
42Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
43Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
44Edward Ravasi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
45Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
46Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
47Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM
48Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
49Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
50Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
51Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
52Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ
53Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team
54George Bennett (NZl) Jumbo-Visma
55Jai Hindley (Aus) Team DSM
56Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
57Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
58Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar Team
59Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
60Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
61Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain Victorious
62Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
63Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team DSM
64Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
65Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
66Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
67Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team
68James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep
69Einer Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar Team
70Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo
71Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious
72Tanel Kangert (Est) Team BikeExchange
73Mark Christian (GBr) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
74Dario Cataldo (Ita) Movistar Team
75Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos
76Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Education-Nippo
77Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange
78Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Team BikeExchange
79Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
80Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
81Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
82Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Team BikeExchange
83Jefferson Cepeda (Ecu) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
84Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
85Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
86Harold Tejada Canacue (Col) Astana-Premier Tech
87Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
88Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
89Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
90Jan Hirt (Cze) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
91Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation
92Tejay van Garderen (USA) EF Education-Nippo
93Guy Niv (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
94Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
95Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar Team
96Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
97Lars van den Berg (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
98Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team DSM
99Simone Ravanelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
100Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
101Simon Pellaud (Swi) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
102Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis
103Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
104Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers
105Jhonatan Narvaez Prado (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers
106Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Team Qhubeka Assos
107Callum Scotson (Aus) Team BikeExchange
108Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis
109Cameron Meyer (Aus) Team BikeExchange
110Michael Storer (Aus) Team DSM
111Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team 0:00:46
112Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:59
113Natnael Berhane (Eri) Cofidis 0:01:36
114Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis
115Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:56
116Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Bahrain Victorious 0:08:49
117Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
118Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:09:36
119Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
120Vadim Pronskiy (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
121Alexander Krieger (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix
122Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
123Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
124Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
125François Bidard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
126Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
127Andrii Ponomar (Ukr) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
128Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
129Lawrence Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
130Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
131Edoardo Affini (Ita) Jumbo-Visma
132Amanuel Gebreigzabhier (Eri) Trek-Segafredo
133Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (Col) UAE Team Emirates
134Simone Petilli (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
135Max Kanter (Ger) Team DSM
136Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
137Paul Martens (Ger) Jumbo-Visma
138Simon Carr (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
139Simon Guglielmi (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
140Mauro Schmid (Swi) Team Qhubeka Assos
141Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team Qhubeka Assos
142Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
143Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den) Team BikeExchange
144Samuele Rivi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
145Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:10:34
146Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cofidis
147Jens Keukeleire (Bel) EF Education-Nippo
148Nicola Venchiarutti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
149Iljo Keisse (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
150Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) UAE Team Emirates
151Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Team Qhubeka Assos
152Davide Gabburo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
153Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:13:05
154Filippo Tagliani (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
155Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
156Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
157Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJ
158Alex Dowsett (GBr) Israel Start-up Nation
159Matthias Brändle (Aut) Israel Start-up Nation
160Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team Qhubeka Assos
161Oscar Riesebeek (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
162Samuele Battistella (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
163Romain Seigle (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
164Kobe Goossens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
165Tim Merlier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 0:14:06
166Umberto Marengo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
167Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal
168Michael Hepburn (Aus) Team BikeExchange
169Attilio Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
170Nico Denz (Ger) Team DSM
171Julius van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-Nippo
172David Dekker (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
173Senne Leysen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
174Wesley Kreder (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
175Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
176Riccardo Minali (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
177Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
178Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
179Manuel Belletti (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
180Márton Dina (Hun) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
181Albert Torres Barcelo (Spa) Movistar Team
182Roger Kluge (Ger) Lotto Soudal
183Jimmy Janssens (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
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Sprint 1 - Canelli km. 114
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Pellaud (Swi) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 12
2Samuele Zoccarato (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 8
3Samuele Rivi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team 6
4Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team 5
5Andrii Ponomar (Ukr) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 4
6Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 3
7Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 2
8Lars van den Berg (Ned) Groupama-FDJ 1
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Sprint 2 - Canale km. 190
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 25
2Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation 18
3Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 12
4Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis 8
5Patrick Bevin (NZl) Israel Start-up Nation 6
6Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 5
7Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates 4
8