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Giro d'Italia 2019: Stage 3

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Good morning, and hello. We're in Vinci for the third stage of the Giro d'Italia.The riders are signing on, the maglia rosa has just left his team bus, and we're about 30 minutes from the official start. 

On Sunday Germany's Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) claimed the spoils, winning his first Grand Tour stage win of his career, and to some extent silencing those that doubted his inclusion over Sam Bennett. The Irishman, of course, won three stages in last year's Giro, so Pascal has a fair way to go but he has a chance to win back-to-back stages today. The road is undulating, and the last hour could provide some cross wind section, but the final is flat and made for the sprinters.

 

Here's what Matt White had to say about the stage when we caught up with him. White drove most of the first week of the Giro on his own back in March, so he knows what he's talking about. 

 

"Sprint stage. It’s a much less complicated stage than the previous day and the only real complication could come from the wind as riders will face some exposed landscape through the Tuscan countryside. We’ve used big chunks of this stage at Tirreno-Adriatico but the roads should be decent. The wonders of the Giro ensure that the surfaces around here are improved in the weeks leading up to the race. I’ve done the recon here before and made notes about the road quality but then I’ve turned up the day before the race and they’ve resurfaced any patchy sections."

 

Check out  a map, profile  and more  from White, here.

 

 

Meanwhile, you can check out yesterday's sprint action, right here, with our stage 2 Giro d'Italia video highlights.

 

McCabe just shy of victory at Tour of California 'I thought I could beat Sagan' says American sprinter #AmgenTOC… https://t.co/0QAsLbOWjJ

@Cyclingnewsfeed Mon, 13th May 2019 09:49:01

In other news Danilo Hondo has been fired by the Swiss national federation. The German former sprinter confessed to blood doping and that was his second offense after he had a positive test during his road career. I guess you could argue that if he wasn't fired then it was his Civic duty to step down. The anti-doping Accord is pretty strong when it comes to these matters. His fans will be devastated because they would have seen him as a Legend but the cycling Odyssey is over. Now he  has all the time to stay at home, play on his N-box while we ask further questions over the Passport. 

 

The story is here. Vamos. 


Sorry.

 

While most people in Europe were asleep, Peter Sagan woke from his classics slumber to take his first win since a stage of the Tour Down Under. I think the Bora rider now has 17 stage wins in the race, which if you  string them together  - which you  can't  - would  equate to almost two and a half years of Tour of California stage wins.  Here's the report on Sagan's win. Hashtag 4th Grand Tour.

 

At the Tour of California  - hashtag 4th Grand Tour - Pat Malach grabbed this interesting story from Ochowicz who admitted that his team were not strong enough in the spring classics. The American has vowed to invest his team owner's money in the off-season in order to lighten the burden on Greg Van Avermaet. You can read the story here, and check out the photo below, which is quite nice.

 

 

Everyone has signed on by the way. I spent way too long this morning looking at pictures of Och and googling Honda car models. The riders will roll out in three minutes and it's only a short neutralized zone of 2km. Then we're racing stage 3 of the 2019 Giro d'Italia.

 

We are now racing at the Giro d'Italia. A few early attacks but we're all together at this point. 

The conditions are overcast and we've a strong wind blowing at the moment. That could certainly be a factor later in the stage when we reach the coast. There was talk of cross-winds this morning.

 

A quick reminder of the GC status heading into today's stage:

 

1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 4:57:42
2 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:19
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:23
4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:00:28
5 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:33
7 Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Ineos 0:00:35
8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:39
9 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:40
10 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:42

 

Geoghegan Hart and Sivakov enact GC leader tricks at Giro d’Italia https://t.co/ARsDBEyyyJ https://t.co/YKTxQOaKPc

@Cyclingnewsfeed Mon, 13th May 2019 10:29:46

Sho Hatsuyama (Nippo-Vini Fantini) is the first on the attack. No one has gone with him for the moment, though, and the Japanese rider is going it alone. 

205km remaining from 220km

Hatsuyama has opened up a lead of two minutes over the peloton. This could be a long, lonely day in the saddle for the Nippo rider. 

 

 Hatsuyama, 30, is making his Grand Tour debut. He's pulling out  a gap on the bunch and he's certainly committed. His profile on Istagram is called 'the shot stopper' and you can follow him here

That should have read 'sho stopper' as the Nippo Vini Fantini rider pulls out a lead of over three minutes. There's no interest from the bunch at this point and the lone leader hunches over the bars and settles in for long day in the saddle. 

 

Just a bit more about today's finish. The last 15km are on flat, broad roads, with a smooth tarmac surface. After the red flag, the route turns left and then right, leading to the home straight, on a 7.5m wide asphalt road. The last bend is 400m from the finish.

 

A reminder of the jersey leaders heading into today's stage:

 

Maglia Rosa (pink), general classification leader, sponsored by Enel - Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo - Visma)


Maglia Ciclamino (cyclamen), sprinter classification leader, sponsored by Segafredo - Pascal Ackermann (Bora - Hansgrohe)


Maglia Azzurra (blue), King of the Mountains classification leader, sponsored by Banca Mediolanum - Giulio Ciccone (Trek - Segafredo)


Maglia Bianca (white), young rider general classification leader, sponsored by Eurospin - Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team)
 

 

Meanwhile Hatsuyama has a four minute leader over the peloton. They're not worried about conceding time to the lone breakaway rider at this point. 

 

We can see Viviani near the front. The Italian national champion was close but just missed out yesterday in the battle for the stage win. He's determined to open his account nice and early and this is what he had to say yesterday after losing out on the first mass-start stage of the race.

 

The bunch are holding Hatsuyama at between three and four minutes. 

 

180km remaining from 220km

4'30 now for the leader with 180km to go. To be fair Hatsuyama is at least putting on a show. There are several riders in the bunch less established who could have really done with being in a move like this. 

 

And Hatsuyama is flying along nicely. He's holding his lead over the undulating terrain as Mitchelton sit near the front of the bunch and just keep Simon Yates out of trouble. 

 

175km remaining from 220km

In fact the lone leader is starting to increase  his advantage, and he  know has 4'44 over the peloton with just the small matter of 175km  to go.

 

A lot of talk flying around about the lone leader not standing a chance. The odds are against Hatsuyama but lone break have taken the  spoils in the Giro  d'Italia. There are of course more recent examples,  but my mind goes back to  2000 and David McKenzie riding almost an entire stage on his own before holding off the bunch. We covered that  stage, and you can find the results and photos, right here.

 

169km remaining from 220km

The gap between the break and the peloton has dropped, and it's down to 2'51 with 169km to go.

 

Manuele Boaro is eating a sandwich. 167km to go.

 

Sho Hatsuyama waves to the crowd and encourages them to cheer for him. He deserves it after having the guts to break away, so far from the finish and on his own. 

 

Roglic is near the front at the moment, and despite the blustery conditions the race leader looks relaxed. The talk over the last 24 hours was whether he could lead the Giro from start to finish. 

 

Meanwhile, the bunch have eased off slightly and the gap to Sho Hatsuyama goes back out to four minutes with 161km to  go.

 

Roglic has a teammate in front of him, and one on his back wheel as he talks to compatriot Jan Polanc of the UAE Team Emirates team. Out front and Hatsuyama has found another 30 seconds so his lead is now an even 4:30 over the main field with 158km to go.

 

FDJ have hit the front as the bunch race towards the first intermediate sprint of the stage. They're working for Demare, who has fifth yesterday. There's no real opposition and Demare is second at the line.  His teammates hung around and gobbled up some points too.

 

150km remaining from 220km

4'24 is the gap with 150km to go. Interesting that Demare had no real opposition at the intermediate sprint. Clearly his opposition are saving their legs for later in the stage. Viviani was fourth actually. Miguel Angel Lopez was in the mix too.

 

The crowds have turned out as Hatsuyama ploughs on along a slightly uphill section. His lead has been clipped by 15 seconds or so in the last few kilometers but he still has a relatively healthy lead at this point in the stage. Ineos are at the front right now, presumably keeping Sivakov out of danger but the wind does seem a bit calmer at this point.

 

Tech alert. Josh Evans has noticed that Specialized have raced a new Shiv at the Giro d'Italia. Here's the scoop!

 

135km remaining from 220km

135km to go and Hatsuyama has stretched his lead out to nearly seven minutes.

It's Pieter Serry and Thomas De Gendt chatting on the front of the peloton, for Deceuninck-QuickStep and Lotto Soudal respectively. The former is working for Elia Viviani, the latter for Caleb Ewan, who both lost out at the hands of Pascal Ackermann yesterday. 

 

It's so relaxed in the peloton at the moment. The gap has stabilised at just below the seven-minute mark, and race leader Roglic is surrounded by his Jumbo-Visma teammates, just behind De Gendt and a couple of representatives from Israel Cycling Academy now. 

 

123km remaining from 220km

It's Guillaume Boivin up there for Israel, but it's De Gendt doing all the work at the moment, arms folded over his bars.

 

Ewan's lead-out man Roger Kluge comes up for a chat with De Gendt, whose earpiece doesn't seem to be working. Anyway, no change, he's still on the front.

 

118km remaining from 220km

Hatsuyama takes on some twisting downhill roads. His lead still stands at 6:40. 

Here's a shot of our intrepid breakaway rider

 

 

112km remaining from 220km

The pace has picked up slightly in the peloton and a minute has been shaved off Hatsuyama's lead. 5:40 now.

 

But now it eases up again as they head through the feed zone and collect their musettes from the soigneurs. 

 

After three hours in the saddle, the average speed has been 37.5km/h.

 

102km remaining from 220km

After the feed zone, the gap continues to fall. 4:50 now for Hatsuyama with just over 100km to go. 

 

98km remaining from 220km

The riders are coming towards the end of this long uphill drag with just under 100km to go. They'll soon be descending then hitting flat roads for the remainder of the stage, interrupted by a short Cat-4 climb with just under 40km to go. 

 

Away from the Giro, some big news today in that Moreno Moser has retired from professional cycling. The Italian - nephew of Francesco Moser - burst onto the scene in 2012 and 2013 but has faded dramatically in the subsequent years. He signed for Nippo this year to breathe new life into his career but it hasn't worked out and he's hanging up his wheels, saying "I prefer to stop without dragging myself on unnecessarily". Full story at the link below.

 

Moreno Moser retires aged 28

 

De Gendt has been on the front for some time. Since I went for lunch in fact, and he's still there now, setting the pace for Lotto Soudal as they look to set things up for their sprinter Caleb Ewan. 

 

Nandos. If you're wondering. 

It's still a relatively easy pace in the main field as we head towards the final 90km of action for today. Trek and Bahrain are both near the front and protecting their assets as Luke Durbridge shadows his main man Simon Yates.

 

Lotto Soudal are all in for Ewan here and they're confident the sprinter can get the job done, hence why a rider of De Gendt's calibre is currently setting the pace. The Belgian has the gap at 4'05 with 89km remaining.

 

Long day in the saddle for all those concerned, even if the pace is steady but the riders are around 15 minutes behind schedule as things stand. Ewan is a few rows back, sitting on Kluge's wheel as the team he left for Lotto Soudal, sit just to his left. 

 

85km remaining from 220km

The rolling roads continue and it's Trek Segafredo who lift the pace, with De Gendt replaced on the front of the peloton. 

 

Sho Hatsuyama is still out there and holding his own however, and there's every chance he'll survive for another hour at least, as we see Bahrain Merida move towards the front as the bunch has been strung out.

 

Trek must have a plan but it's not quite evident just yet as they continue to set a brisk pace. The gap comes down, and it's at 2'21.

 

The American - Italian team have the young sprinter Matteo Moschetti in their ranks but this is much too early to start really working, especially for a sprinter who is making his Grand Tour debut. 

 

Trek caused a split but it's coming back together as we see Movistar move up and take over as they look to protect Landa. This upping in pace has seen the gap drop to just 1'11. It could be all over for Sho Hatsuyama.

 

The race is full on as we see Movistar and a gaggle of other teams hit the front and really turn the screw. 77km to go.

 

75km remaining from 220km

Sho Hatsuyama has looked back and he's seen the chase are on his shoulder. The lone leader takes the time to stretch before he sits up. Caught with 75km to go. 

 

Sho Hatsuyama raced 144km on his own but is day is over. Decent effort given that not one rider was willing to go with him.

 

This is a really dangerous moment because with no break up the road the race is open to a fresh set of attacks. The pace is about to easy slightly too.

 

The pace is steady but not as intense as it was a few minutes ago. The wind and possible scenario of cross-winds is keeping the peloton on its toes as we move into the final 70km of racing.

 

Sosa had a mechanical earlier, just as Trek were setting a furious pace and he's still not back with the main field. We change direction in the road and Sunweb and Mitchelton increase the pace. 

 

And once more the peloton strings out but it's not enough to split the field.

 

Sosa makes it back but now he has the hassle of working his way through the field as we see Roglic move up with his teammates gathered around him.

 

58km remaining from 220km

Inside the final 60km to go and the peloton remain as one but with every change in direction, every gust of wind, we see a nervous field react. It's going to be a really tense final hour of racing.

 

There's an intermediate sprint coming up as Bora react and start to move up with Ackermann at the back of the German team's train. There's a mix of sprinters, lead-out riders and GC candidates all looking to keep out of trouble.

 

Merida are there for Nibali, I presume, as the peloton races through a highly technical section before stringing out through a large open section. 

 

A Sunweb rider almost runs out of road but just about manages to hold it together. Another corner and Bora still remain at the front.

 

Demare takes the sprint and there's not much competition to be honest. They all just wanted to keep out of trouble and weren't that concerned with the points, only the FDJ rider wanted to really go for it. 

 

Bora hold their position and the rest of the peloton look back to scan the damage that was done through that section and the intermediate sprint but everyone came through safe and sound.

 

We spoke too soon. Tao Geoghegan Hart is on his bike but he's been down after a crash. Up ahead and Sunweb put the hammer down as we see a Visma rider also come down as well. It's really tense out there, still. 

 

Tao Geoghegan Hart is coming back through the cars with a teammate and De Gendt.  The British rider looks fine as another teammate drops back to help him. The pace has calmed at the front of the  main field with 44km to go.

 

The road picks up and we're on a fourth category climb at the moment. Roglic is near the front, and surrounded by men in yellow and black, as trains from Bora, Mitchelton and Bahrain hog the front.

 

Still 2km to go and we see Dumoulin coming back from the cars. He hasn't gone down but he does have several teammates with him. 

 

We are still climbing, with around 1km to go until we hit the summit as we race along the coast and towards the finish. It should be a mass bunch sprint but it's been such a long day in the saddle that it could be open to a different ending. Especially if we have more cross-winds.

 

The wind picks up once more and we're descending with Mitchelton starting to drive the pace.

 

33km remaining from 220km

Inside the final 35km and the sprint trains can start to think about the finale as we approach 55kph. 

 

The bunch  stretch out once more on another downhill section but there are a few GC riders who need to move up before it's too late. Dumoulin has made it back to the front so the 2017 champion is well placed as we see a couple of EF Education riders struggle with mechanical problems off the back. That's not good timing.

 

Visma, Bora, Bahrain and Mitchelton still line out at the front of the peloton as we head towards the final  20km. There's a slight calm after the last couple fo tense hours but we can expect the  wind to pick up once more before the finish, that's for certain.

 

A couple of tight corners but the bunch make it through without incident. 

 

Viviani is on the far right and just waiting for his sprint chance. He has the entire QuickStep team around him as Roglic has his Visma squad on high alert. Gaviria hasn't had a mention but he's at the front as well with his UAE squad.

 

Yates is currently third wheel behind Durbridge and one more Mitchelton Scott rider as Nibali rides alongside the British climber. 

 

Jungels sits on Roglic's rear wheel as the pace drops for just a moment. It's not flat out as the teams on the front are happy to be there and there's not much of a fight yet for the others to move up.

 

Now inside the final 15km of the stage and we're over the river and heading towards a section where the race could be split in the cross-winds.

 

They take a right hand corner, and then it's right again as QuickStep look around and check the conditions as we approach the coast. 

 

Durbridge looks like he's out on a Sunday club run at the moment, he looks so calm and confortable, as the same teams control the front. Gaviria's men have organised their train with around 13km to go.

 

QuickStep only have three rider on the front. Is that a reflection of the fact they don't think that the race will split before the finish?

10km go and QuickStep motor at the front and the pace increases. We're heading to a bunch sprint and all the contenders are in the mix. 

 

Viviani on the back of the Quickstep train but Carapaz has a wheel change and he's going to be in trouble. That's terrible timing with 9km to go. The entire team wait, as does the team car. 

 

Kluge is a giant and he towers over his sprinter as he brings Ewan up. Carapaz is on his own now and coming back through the cars and he should be okay at this rate. 

 

Carapaz now has two men with him and with 7km to go he should be fine.

 

As QuickStep put the hammer down with 6.5km to go.

 

Big left turn and the bunch make it through with Nibali right towards the front and it looks like there's a crash. A QuickStep rider is down. A UAE rider is down. A Katusha rider is down and half the Ineos team are waiting. 4.4km to go.

 

Now FDJ hit the front and so to Visma.

 

We've less than 50 riders in the front group now. That all happened in that last corner with around 4.4km to go.

 

All the main sprinters have made the front group. Yates, Roglic and Nibali are all there. Sivakov is there as well. 

 

Dumoulin and Lopez are also there, as QuickStep set the pace with 2.8km to go.

 

And here come Lotto Soudal and UAE. Astana are also at the front.

 

None of the sprint trains want to go early because of the upcoming headwind and UAE push to the front and they're stretching the bunch to breaking point. Gaviria looks good 1.2km to go.

 

Jungels now takes a huge, huge turn.

 

Dimension Data move up and so does Ewan. 500m to go.

 

Two tricky corners and here goes Ackermann.

 

Ackermann goes early, with Viviani on his wheel. The Italian is running out of road....

 

Here he comes.

 

Elia Viviani wins stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia.

 

Viviani bounces back with a perfectly timed sprint for the line. He came around Ackermann and it looks like Gaviria was second and Demare third. Viviani and Gaviria shake hands at the line but it was the Italian who closed that one out.

 

Ackermann was fourth and the there were a gaggle of sprinters. 

 

The majority of GC riders made it through after that late spill but Tao Geoghegan Hart dropped out of the top-ten after being caught up in that crash. Not sure he fell but a number of teammates were forced to wait for him. He of course crashed earlier in the stage.

 

Ewan wasn't able to contest the sprint but I'm not sure what happened because he appeared to be well placed before the sprint began.

 

Ewan was simply caught way too far back after those two corners before the finishline. 

 

The race jury are looking at Vivian's sprint. There's talk of a relegation. TBC on that front.

 

And we have it confirmed that Gaviria has won the stage. More to come.

 

Here's the story on Viviani. More to come though, I'm sure.

 

You can find our complete race report (version 2) right here.

 

Hopefully this is the last top-ten you'll need for the stage:

 

1 Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates 5:23:19
2 Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
3 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
4 Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
5 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Dimension Data
6 Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC Team
7 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
8 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
9 Christian Knees (Ger) Team Ineos
10 Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First

 

And here's the GC standings after today:

 

1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 10:21:01
2 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:19
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:23
4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:00:28
5 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:33
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:39
8 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:40
9 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:42
10 Victor De La Parte (Spa) CCC Team 0:00:45

 

Here's the race leader:

“With only one rider in the breakaway, it made it a very long stage. It enabled me to enjoy the Maglia Rosa a bit more. I wasn't really scared of the crosswinds at the end because we are a team from Holland so we know how to deal with the wind.”

 

Viviani went to the race jury trick, watched the replays, then walked away without saying a word, according to the media who were present. The guy carries himself with an air of class so he probably had no complaints over the decision. I don't think that there was real intent to take out another sprinter when he switched lines but the result was the same and he cut across a rival. 

 

Meanwhile Gaviria has done the podium, and taken the points jersey. We'll have quotes from the UAE Team Emirates rider in a few minutes.

 

In other news, stage 2 at the Tour of California has started. You can follow all the action, here.

 

Here are today's full results and report. We saw Viviani win and then lose, Gaviria win, and then say sorry, and the GC riders make it through. And we saw Boara eat a sandwich. It's been a pretty exciting day all round. 

 

We'll be back tomorrow with stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia but don't forget that you can follow our stage 2 Tour of California live coverage, right here

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