Hello and welcome to live coverage from stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia.
You join us a 4km into the race and we've already seen attacks. A small break has formed and they've put time into the peloton. The gap is around 2'50.
The four riders up the road are:
Jan Tratnik (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
Ivan Rovny (Gazprom - Rusvelo)
Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data)
Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Triestina)
They have 2'44 over the peloton, which is being controlled and led by Lotto Soudal.
Conditions and stage profile all suggest a bunch sprint today. The stage is under 150km for the first time in the race and the riders have a strong tail/cross wind as we head south and along the coast. Lotto are still controlling the front and they'll be working once again for Greipel who won his first Grand Tour stage of the year yesterday.
Just the one categorized climb on the route today and it's a cat 4 so we won't see any change to the KOM competition - not at the top anyway.
Here's how things stood on GC heading into the stage:
1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 11:18:39
2 Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:04
3 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott 0:00:08
4 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
5 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:10
6 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo 0:00:12
7 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data 0:00:14
8 Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
9 Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors
10 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
Starting in Tortolì on the island's eastern side, stage 3 concludes in Cagliari, the same southern city that hosted the start and finish of the Giro d'Italia's first ever visit to Sardinia, back in 1961. That year, when the Giro was crisscrossing Italy to celebrate the centenary of the country's political union, the Sardinian stage saw Italian domestique Oreste Magni take the biggest victory of his career with a solo win.
You can read Alasdair Fotheringham's complete stage preview, right here.
And if you're just catching up with everything Giro d'Italia, here's our start list. It's the same as every other start list out there but with some purple on there.
At the front of the peloton it's still Lotto on the front. They're doing all the work and that's the pattern we'll see for the majority of the stage today. That should play into Orica's hands as they can save all their riders for later in the race and then leading out Caleb Ewan. The Australian sprinter will be going all-out for the win. He was second on stage 1, he pulled a foot on stage 2, and this is last chance in the opening few days. Tomorrow we have a rest day and then it's Etna.
The Lottos are putting in such a strong shift that they're already bringing back the break. The gap is at around 2'12. It had peaked at 3'00 a few minutes ago.
Conditions, apart from the wind are perfect for racing.
Tortolì: sun, 24°C. Wind: strong – 21km/h.
Cagliari (17.15 - Finish): scattered clouds, 22°C. Wind: strong – 40km/h.
130km remaining from 148km
Team Sky and Movistar are near the front of the bunch and protecting their GC prospects in the race. The strong winds has all the overall contenders on their toes - no one wants to miss a split or be caught up in a fall and the pace remains frantic to say the least.
The four riders in the move stand little to no chance today - especially with the rest day coming up, the sprinters in command, and the block headwind set for the final 40km or so. The gap is at 2'23 with 128km to go as we see Lotto Soudal continue to tap out a fast pace on the front of the peloton.
The road gently climbs but it's just a low drag as Lotto continue to line out the main field. 2'40 to the break so Lotto have eased off ever so slightly.
Incredible stat: Greipel has won a stage in every Grand Tour he has ridden. That goes back to 2008 and 12 Grand Tours. Not even Mark Cavendish has been that consistent.
126km remaining from 148km
We've been racing for around 30 minutes and the peloton are cutting through the kilometres like a press buffet through pizza. We'll be done and dusted with the stage in just a few more hours. Orica are back in the bunch and have formed a bubble - two bubbles actually - around Ewan and their GC hope, Adam Yates.
At the front Greipel has his entire team on the front and setting the pace. Up ahead and Eugert Zhupa (Alb) Wilier Triestina takes a turn in the sprints jersey. He's wearing that because Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Dimension Data is in KOM blue. The gap has gone out to 3'10. That's the biggest it's been since the break formed. Good job from our awesome foursome out front.
And don't forget that you can download our Cyclingnews podcast. It's free, it's packed with interviews and race analysis. Here's our latest edition.
119km remaining from 148km
Inside the final 120km of the stage remaining as the break holds the lead at 3'00.
@Ride_Argyle Sun, 7th May 2017 12:11:46
Ewan is around half-way down the Orica train with Yates close by him. Both men are protected riders within the Australian team. Near them sit Etixx Quickstep. They have duel objectives too with Gaviria another sprinter looking for a stage and Jungels here for the GC. He was top-ten in the race last year.
Splits about to form? The wind is picking up from the side and that's starting to cause a few little gaps. Will Lotto look to exploit that and where are Etixx because they would be well-suited to this, even if their Spring Classics line-up isn't here.
Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data) took the intermediate sprint points. 112km to go. And now he's sat up. He just wanted the points.
Tactical move there from Dimension Data. Still Lotto on the front and doing all of the work for Greipel with the gap at 2'51.
And now Dimension Data have put two men near the front and they've started to attack with Haas involved and trying to get more of the intermediate sprint points. So we have three leaders up the road with:
Jan Tratnik (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)
Ivan Rovny (Gazprom - Rusvelo)
Eugert Zhupa (Wilier Triestina)
2'37 for the fearsome threesome up the road. 106km to go and they should hang on until the road turns inland and we have more of a headwind. That's in another 60km or so.
Bora are also moving up towards the front. They'll be hoping that Sam Bennett is feeling better after illness spoiled his chances on stage 2. This is his Giro debut and he'll want to head home with a stage to his name.
Bahrain pull Nibali to the front as well. They pushed the pace on the final descent yesterday and that helped split the field before the finish. Today they'll look to just try and keep their leader out of trouble as gusts of wind push the riders from left to right.
96km remaining from 148km
Inside the final 100km of the stage already and the break's advantage has dropped to 2'11. Lotto still on the front but a few more GC and sprint team are beginning to organise themselves.
It's been a rather poor 24 hours for Katusha. Not only did Zakarin lose 20 seconds here at the Giro but Kristoff confirmed to the media that the team have hold him he's too heavy. Probably one of the worst things a rider can hear from his team. He's out of contract at the end of the season too.
89km remaining from 148km
89km to go and the status quo continues with Lotto Soudal leading the bunch and the break holding onto a 2'17 lead. We've 88km to go, so just under two hours of racing given the current speed and race profile.
The Maglia Rosa takes on some lunch as his team provide the perfect pocket within the peloton for him to relax. 85km to go and the race has eased into a slight lull as more and more riders drop back to the team cars. We see Hansen on the front now for the leading team, as he takes a turn for Greipel. They've raced together every season since 2007. That's a long, long time in pro cycling.
The break and the bunch are just ticking through the kilometres at the moment. The gap is holding at 1'50 with 79km to go.
Bak is on the front now. He's another HTC old boy alongside Hansen, Greipel, and Monfort.
@TrekSegafredo Sun, 7th May 2017 13:04:10
And QuickStep have started to move up towards the front has they position Gaviria ahead of the final 70km of racing. Perhaps the Belgian outfit will try something in the cross-winds. They have the pedigree but perhaps not the entire line up here.
The three leaders are working well together as they tick through the stage. They've a cross-tailwind at the moment but the wind changes soon enough as the race heads further inland.
Just behind Lotto Soudal we have Bahrain with Visconti leading their squad. At the back of the bunch we see Woods, who is making his Giro debut. His team have had success with Canadian before in this race - having won the Giro in 2012 with Hesjedal. They would settle for a stage win this time around.
Greipel is off the back. Either for a nature break or to go back to the car. Or both. He's being paced back to the bunch by a teammate.
Move up. Move up. Dumoulin is near the back and on his own with no teammates around him. He needs to move up and find a spot near the front.
FDJ and Dimension Data have both moved up as we see a number of squads organise their teams at the front of the race. The fight for position, before the road changes direction, has well and truly started.
59km remaining from 148km
The gap to the leaders is at 1'42 with 59km to go.
Dumoulin wisely listens to our advice, and moves towards the front with his Sunweb team.
Some information from the finish from our man on the ground Alasdair Fotheringham:
The ast 20 kilometres have strong cross-winds, very exposed raods, but specially from 12km to go. That's where the wind changes direction, particularly when they swing right with 4.5 kilometres to go. Finish has some paving stones in the finale.
Mechanical for Jungels who is forced to chase back to the main field. The leaders are on a slight climb but they're still keeping their lead at 1'46 with 54km to go.
The wind is really starting to pick up and we'vw a few nervous faces in the peloton. This is crunch time.
Dimension Data again hit the front as they go for intermediate sprints and Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data) beat Nizzolo to the line for fourth place. Nice leadout from Haas there.
47km remaining from 148km
47km to go and the direction in the road is about to change. This is could be the most important point in the stage for both the GC men and the sprinters.
Howes is back with the team car and picking up some bottles. Up the road and the three leaders have 1'24 of their advantage left. Still Lotto Soudal lead the peloton as the break start the only climb of the day - it's just a cat 4.
42km remaining from 148km
Roughly an hour left of the racing as Rovny pulls a Contador and takes his earpiece out. Doubt that Bruyneel is on the other end telling him to wait for Lance though.
Nizollo is back with the Trek car. Every time the road points upwards he starts to suffer. 40km to go and the gap is at 1'48.
FDJ, Bahrain, Team Sky and LottoNL are are moving up towards the front of the bunch. It's about to get very, very interesting.
The three leaders are starting to feel the strain out front and see the bunch take a chunk of time out of their lead as it drops to 1'34.
35km remaining from 148km
Into the final 35km of the stage and we see the break start to look around. They're nervous and they know that the bunch are starting to hunt them down with a bit more intent. The gap is at 1-09.
And Lotto pick up the pace once more, and the gap drops to under a minute for the first time in hours.
We've had another of punctures in the last few minutes but now a GC guy has to stop. It's Zakarin. Again. He's now chasing back with his teammates. He lost 20 seconds yesterday after a late split and he can't afford another mistake this early in the race. 30km to go.
30km to go and all of a sudden the break is about to be caught. A collective decision it seems as Lotto make the catch. That's a little early to catch the move...
Ah no chance... and Tratnik has attacked just before the catch was about to be made. It means the rest of the break react and all of a sudden we have three leaders once more.
Tratnik is the last man standing with super Zhupa and and Rovny caught by the bunch. Lotto, Etixx, and Cannondale have all moved up. LottoNL are trying to get in on the action too.
Sky have created this Mighty Ducks style arrow formation in the middle of the field. Top marks for style but it's probably not intentional and they probably want to be nearer the front.
26km remaining from 148km
26km to go and it's all back together again. Verona has a flat, and then a rider from Sunweb. Lots of chasing for both riders but they can come back through the team cars easily enough.
On a descent not with Sunweb, Lotto Soudal and Sky now setting the pace on the front of the bunch. Bahrain, as they did yesterday, usher Nibali towards the front of the action too.
22km remaining from 148km
Just 22km to go and it's a blockhead wind. The cross winds are apparently between 15-10km to go.
The pace has dropped because of the wind and because there isn't a single team that wants to take up the pace duties. Konrad has come off the road but he's quickly back on his bike and chasing the main field.
20km remaining from 148km
Sky, QuickStep, Lotto Soudal, Astana, Bahrain, Sunweb all at the front and a LottoNL rider is in the ditch too. Not enough room with so many rider trying to move up and they're taking too many risks.
And now we have a race and the pace jumps right up. 19km to go.
The white jersey hits the front for Bora as the road narrows once more.
Bahrain and Sky exchange a few words as Thomas looks up and sees his team ahead of him. No sign of Orica just yet. Where is Ewan?
Willier move up as the road changes direcion again. Keisse for QuickStep is going to be a key rider today, especially in the cross-winds.
Yates is near the front and Greipel is moved up by his men. Perfectly done by the Lotto team. 16km to go.
So much tension out there as riders are looking all over the place as they try and find the best line, and look for their squad. Now we see Ewan and there's Pinot too. BMC move up as well.
@Movistar_Team Sun, 7th May 2017 14:37:38
BMC take control now and Sky have lost their position. Orica charge up the other side to join BMC.
The road widens and Trek bring Mollema up. Greipel hits the front on his own. On his own. a huge turn just to get himself near the front again.
Thomas is doing something similar but it's Sunweb on the front now. Sky have fought back and they're now back into contention as well.
First time we've seen Movistar all day as they lead Quintana to the front. Thomas puts himself on Pinot's wheel.
Trek take control now but it will not last long because every team are burning matches. Sunweb are about to come over the top.
Headwind for now but they're about to change direction.
Nizzolo has moved up and he looks dangerous. Can he break his duck and win in the national champions's jersey?
Cross winds and it causes a small split and riders have been dropped off the back.
Jungels just moves to the very front as more riders are spat out the back. Bennett dropped.
10km remaining from 148km
10km and QuickStep set the pace. This is it.
Greipel sprints, that's right sprints to get into contention.
And Junglels has a gap and there are splits all over the road. Quickstep and Keisse have split the race to pieces.
Jungels takes a huge turn and he has his entire team with him. Greipel made it. Thomas is chasing.
Where are the other GC men? No Quintana and Greipel has been dropped. Thomas is with him.
Gaviria is in the lead group.
Greipel will not make it back as things stand. The lead group includes about 11 riders. Thomas is caught between the groups. Nizzolo is in the lead group but the entire race has been blown to pieces.
Zakarin is with Greipel and Thomas. BMC have missed out, and LottoNL with 7km to go.
Mechanical for BMC but not sure if it's van Garderen or Dennis. Either way they have no riders in the lead group.
From what I can see only Jungels is there for GC. Orica are chasing with Thomas, and Zakarin. The gap is 18 seconds.
6km remaining from 148km
6km to go and the Nibali is in the maglia rosa group. Only Jungels has taken advantage when it comes to GC.
Haas is the man from Dimension Data. Bora have one rider there as well. Six from Quickstep.
28 seconds for Jungels. They have to think about pink and the stage second. 31 seconds now.
4km remaining from 148km
Under 5km to go and it looks like we're going to have a new race leader. No sign at all of Quintana. I've not seen him in the Nibali group yet. The gap is 18 seconds.
20 seconds so it's starting to come down.
3.5km to go and the gap is holding 20 seconds.
Lotto are trying to organise a chase and it's now 15 seconds. It's coming down. Can Greipel save his jersey?
A huge turn on the front from Keisse with 2.2km to go. 16 seconds for the leaders.
And Jungels drives for home.
He's running out of men but he's doing all the damage himself and even Gaviria is losing a bit of ground. Haas takes a turn and there's a reforming at the front. 1.1km to go and the gap is less than 15 seconds.
Jungels leads out from a long, long way.
Gaviria is on his wheel.Then Haas and Nizzolo.
Gaviria takes the stage. It's his first ever stage win in a Grand Tour. Haas fades and takes fourth. Incredible scenes on stage 3 of the Giro. Rudiger Selig was second with Nizzolo in third. Jungels with an immense day. And confirmation that Gaviria takes the win and the maglia rosa.
Unstoppable sprint from Gaviria but it was a real team effort from QuickStep. They split the field with around 10km to go and there was no looking back. The move caused complete chaos behind and on GC Jungels gains a few seconds on his rivals. We'll have to see the rest of the time cuts later on.
In GC Gaviria leads Greipel by 9 seconds and Jungels is up to fourth. Thomas is the next best GC man at 10th, 23 seconds down on the maglia rosa.
Still no news on where Quintana was in that hectic finale. Nibali made the Thomas group but Quintana couldn't be spotted. He might have been in there but if he was, he was well hidden.
Stage top 10
1 Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors 3:26:33
2 Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
3 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
4 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data
5 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
6 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:03
7 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
8 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott 0:00:13
9 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
10 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
News in that Rohan Dennis crashed in the finale. We are outside the BMC team bus and will have more information on that as we get it.
And here the new GC after today's incredible action. Meanwhile, Gaviria is on the podium for the first time in his career in a Grand Tour.
1 Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors 14:45:16
2 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 0:00:09
3 Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:13
4 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors
5 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Bahrain-Merida
6 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott 0:00:17
7 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
8 Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data 0:00:23
9 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
10 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
Results in and Dennis lost 5;22 due his crash. If accurate that's a huge blow for the Australian and his team.
Confirmation that Quintana finished in the second group, 13 seconds down on Gaviria.
@quickstepteam Sun, 7th May 2017 15:39:21
@giroditalia Sun, 7th May 2017 15:40:14
You can now find our video stage highlights, right here.
Our complete stage report with photos, results and our report, is right here.
Thanks for joining us today. We'll be back on Tuesday with the key stage to Mount Etna.
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