Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage three of the Giro del Trentino.
Giro del Trentino: Landa wins stage 2
Welcome today's coverage of stage 3 three of the Giro del Trentino. We'll have all the action of the key climb of the stage and the fast descent to the finish.
Today's stage covers 206km and we join the action with 75km to go.
Team Sky is leading the chase of a breakaway of five riders, defending the leader's jersey of Mikel Landa.
The five riders on the attack are:
Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Argon 18), Antonio Molina (Caja Rural), Marco Tizza (D'Amico Bottecchia), Magno Nazaret (Brazil) and Marco Zamparella (Amore e Vita).
70km remaining from 204km
The five are struggling to stay clear, with the gap now down to just 50 seconds.
The riders are currently on the descent of the first climb of the day: the Nova Ponente.
The second climb of the stage is expected to inspire some serious attacks and a fight for the race lead and eventual overall race victory.
The climb is called the Fai della Paganella and is 11km long, with some sectors at 8 and 9%.
Team Sky is still working on the front, with the gap down to 40 seconds.
The riders are currently in the feed zone, taking bottles and food before the big final climb.
With the stage 204km long and including two major climbs, this is the second feed zone of the day.
50km remaining from 204km
There are 50km remaining but the riders face a tough finale with the climb of the Fai della Paganella.
The Astana team has started to work with Team Sky in pursuit of the break. We will soon find out if the Kazakh team intends to ride for Vincenzo Nibali or the more in form and now better placed Jakob Fuglsang.
The riders are enjoying another day of sun and warm weather but conditions are expected to change for the final stage on Friday.
The start of the stage was super fast thanks to the gradual decent down the valley from Austria. The break finally formed after 50km and a first hour of 47km/h.
The riders are on the valley road between the two climbs, riding through the vineyards.
Live television has just shown a crash from earlier in the stage, with Hugh Carthy of Caja Rural gonig down hard.
40km remaining from 204km
The peloton is letting the break hang out front, with the gap rising to 1:15.
Team Sky continues lead the chase, with Alex Peters doing a long turn on the front before the start of the big climb.
The break is about to start the final climb, while in the peloton, some riders gathers final bidons before the decisive climb.
The break has opened the gap to 1:50 as the peloton plays cat and mouse. Team sky knows the race will explode on the 11km long Fai della Paganella climb.
25km remaining from 204km
The break passes through the finish area but no face the Fai della Paganella climb.
We can see that Hugh Carthy is back in the peloton and talking to his Caja Rural team car after his crash on the valley road.
The gap to the peloton is 1:15.
The peloton is splitting as they overall contenders begin the climb.
Astana has taken control of the race and is setting a fast pace to try to put Landa and Team sky under pressure.
Scarponi makes a move but Landa follows him and then attacks himself.
Now Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani-CSF) attacks, trying to take advantage of the battle between Sky and Astana.
The final riders in the break are swept up with ease, as the best climbers emerge.
There are only 20 riders left in the front group.
Nibali is struggling and has dropped out of the front group.
Fuglsang seems to be the team leader and protected rider for Astana.
Now AG2R attack but Landa follows them with ease.
Bardet goes again! AG2R are taking the race to Landa.
Peraud also surges away but Landa follows him too. The Basque rider seems in control and very strong.
Bardet goes again but Landa is on his wheel.
Now Fuglsang goes and he is followed by Landa and Bardet.
The three seem the strongest but the others close the gap to create a front group of ten riders.
Astana has three riders but Nibali is off the back.
More attacks from AG2R but Landa is marking them by pushing a big gear on the climb.
It looks like Hugh Carthy is in the front group.
The pace has dropped and so Nibali has made it back to the front.
He could be a threat on the descent to the finish.
Landa is setting the pace on the front but does not have any Sky teammates with him.
Peraud goes again but Landa goes after him and attacks with decision now.
Landa does not seem at his perfect race weight but is very strong.
Fuglsang has joined Landa and Peraud, as too has Domenico Pozzovivo.
@TeamSky Thu, 21st Apr 2016 13:46:26
Behind other riders are suffering on the climb.
But other riders join the leaders to form an eight-rider group. Nibali has again lost contact.
15km remaining from 204km
The riders are close to the summit of the Fai della Paganella, with Landa stilll leading the front group.
The false flat at the summit has allowed other rider to get across to the front group.
AG2R has three riders: Bardet, Peraud and Pozzovivo.
Pozzovivo jumps away but Landa closes the gap yet again.
Some riders are thinking about the climber's points, other for the stage victory. Landa is focused on defending his race lead.
They start the twisting descent but can Nibali get back on and fight for the stage victory?
The 10-6-4 second time bonuses will also play a factor in the race and the fight for the stage victory.
Results confirm that Fuglsang was the first over the top of the climb but Landa is leading the race down the descent.
@TeamSky Thu, 21st Apr 2016 13:58:16
Bora Argon 18 has two riders in the front group and could be a threat.
7km remaining from 204km
The descent is fast and on a long straight road now.
Bora Argon 18 has Konrad and Bachmann in the move.
Bachmann almost crashed as he tried to pass Landa on the grass at high speed.
The leading group includes Landa, Bardet, Peraud, Pozzovivo, Fuglsang, Kangert, Bernal, Firsanov, Buchman and Konrad.
4km remaining from 204km
As the decent ends there are more attacks.
But the riders are marking each other carefully.
Kangert tries to go away but Landa chases again.
Kangert goes again and his time has a gap.
Landa is on the front but seems happy to let Kangert go.
Firsanov (Gazprom) also tries to go away. But Kangert has a good gap now.
Kangert takes the final corner and hits the line first.
Konrad wins the sprint for second place at 10 seconds or so.
The other riders were in his slipstream.
Kangert finished ten seconds clear and took a 10-second time bonus. That could be enough to take the lead.
Landa was out of the top placings and so didn't pick up any time bonuses.
Nibali and Agnoli finish two minutes down but celebrate Kangert's victory.
Kangert has closed the gap in the GC is set to be four seconds down on Landa.
Riders are finishing in small groups after the climb split the peloton.
Landa is confirmed as race leader, Kangert is now second at 8 seconds, with Fuglsang at 10, Firsanov at 15.
Romain Bardet (AG2R) is fifth overall at 20 seconds.
@AstanaTeam Thu, 21st Apr 2016 14:18:00
The Giro del Trentino ends with a final hilly stage in the Val di Non where the famous Melinda apples are grown.
Kangert revealed that he had not won a race for four seasons and so was especially happy to have done it today.
We have provsional results:
1 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 05:50:27
2 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Argon 18 00:00:10
3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
4 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
5 Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
6 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Team Sky
7 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
8 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
1 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Team Sky 10:37:23
2 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 00:00:08
3 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 00:00:10
4 Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 00:00:15
5 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:00:20
6 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Argon 18
7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 00:00:24
8 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18 00:00:26
Mikel Landa pulls on the race leader's purple jersey for another day. He did not seem concerned that he was alone on the final climb.
“It was a hard day with lots of attacks, with lots of riders attacking because they had nothing to lose. But my form is good and so I was able to defend the jersey,” Landa said.
Thanks for joining us for live coverage today. We'll have a full stage report and photo gallery of all the action very soon on Cyclingnews.
We also have coverage of the sprint finish at the Tour of Croatia and the latest news on the Giro d'Italia start list and from the teams targeting Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday.
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