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Tirreno-Adriatico stage 3 – Live coverage

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Buongiorno and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 3 of Tirreno-Adriatico.

As the Cyclingnews blimp takes height, the riders are signing on and lining up for the roll out in the stunning village of Monticiano. 

The 219km stage cuts across central Italy from southern Tuscany near Siena to Gualdo Tadino in Umbria.

There are six climbs in the first half of the stage, offering excellent terrain for a break to go clear.

The stage is underway!

The stage soon hits a climb and so we can expect attacks.   

175 riders started the stage. We already have a first attack!

Four riders have attacked but the speed is high. 

Mark Padun of Bahrain started the attack but is now struggling to stay with the others.

They are Davide Bais (Eolo Kometa), Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama FDJ), Boivin (Israel Start Up Nation) and Niki Terpstra (Total Direct Energie). 

The climb is up to Chiusdino where stage 2 finished.

The peloton has let themn go and the gap is up to 3:30. 

After 11km the break of five have a lead of 5:50.

The riders in the break are Mark Padun (Bahrain Victorious), Davide Bais (Eolo Kometa), Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama FDJ), Boivin (Israel Start Up Nation) and Niki Terpstra (Total Direct Energie). 

Here is the break of the day.

It's another day of racing, with another WorldTour peloton also racing Paris-Nice.

The break is carefully pacing their effort to get over the early climbs.

We will also be covering the women's Healthy Ageing Tour. 

After a fast 50km and another climb south if Siena, the break have extended their lead to 7:20. 

Today's stage will soon pass through Monteroni d'Arbia, close to the best dirt roads covered in Strade Bianche. Sadly the race will not hit the dirt today but the riders will get a chance to enjoy the stunning Crete Senesi hills.  

145km to go

On a gradual climb the break has managed to carve out two more minutes, extending their lead to 8:50. 

125km to go

Mark Padun (Bahrain - Victorious) Davide Bais (Eolo Kometa), Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama FDJ), Guillaume Boivin (Israel Start Up Nation) and Niki Terpstra (Total Direct Energie) jumped away at the start of the stage and have worked well together to extend their lead to 9:00. 

After 100km in the hills, the average speed has been close to 40km/h. To be precise it was 39.900 km/h.

Mark Padun (Bahrain - Victorious) and Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama FDJ) are gthe best placed riders in the break. They are 9:22 down on Van Aert and so will soon become virtual race leader's if they can push out their 9:00 lead a little further.

The pace has risen in the peloton. There could be some concern about cross winds on the more exposed roads.  

Several teams are feeding on the rise to a village of Bettolle and that could be a reason why some teams were moving up to the front. 

Here we go! The roads are exposed  in the fields. 

The roads is turning left and right, changing the direct of the wind. 

The pace is hurting some, including Caleb Ewan, who is swinging off the back of the peloton.

Here we go! Mathieu van der Poel is on the front giving it big watts! 

Other teams are mixing with Alpecin at speed as Ewan slips back through the team cars.

Now Julian Alaphilippe takes a turn on the front as Deceunink also join the attacks in the crosswinds.  

Caleb Ewan has climbed off and abandoned Tirreno-Adriatico. 

Up front there are 100 riders in a front group. They are on the exposed flat roads above Lake Trasimeno trying to catch a cross wind.

The race is now passing below the stunning village of Cortona. Some of you may remember it is the village where the famous Tuscan lifestyle book Under the Tuscan Sun was based. 

90km to go

There are several chasers behind the peloton, including Thibaut Pinot.

This is the five-rider break of the stage, with Niki Terpstra (Total Direct Energie) on the front.

85km to go

This was the view of the peloton and the Tuscan countryside earlier.

Peter Sagan is tucked carefully on the wheels as he tries to find some form.

The Poggio della Croce is slowing the break and hurting their legs. They have been out front for 100km already today.

The climb is also hurting the peloton. They are lined out with one Alpecin rider and Jumbo-Visma now in charge of the chase. Jumbo have three riders ahead of Van Aert and another on his wheel. 

80km to go

The peloton sprints to the summit and for good position on the twisting descent. 

The break leads  by just 3:10 now. 

It is starting to rain, with low clouds hanging over the hills.

70km to go

Behind Peter Sagan gets back on after being dropped on the climb.

The riders have a cross tail wind at the moment but it will be a cross head wind after they turn down the valley at Gubbio.  

Kasper Asgreen had edged off the front of the peloton but has sat up and dropped back onto the wheels.

With 65km to go, riders are eating and drinking. They face a long 219km in the saddle.

The roads are exposed now but the nearby hills are protecting the riders.

With the rain clouds gathering, riders are pulling on gillet and extra layers. Julian Alaphilippe is at the back pulling in his unique rainbow-stripped gillet.

The drop in pace in the peloton has helped the break push back up their lead. they are at 6:00 with 60km to go.

55km to go

The break leads by 5:50 and so Alpecin have put two riders on the front to pick up the chase.

Here comes the sprint.

The break rolls through the sprint point and so Davide Bais (Eolo Kometa) leads the others across the line.

Alpecin are upping the pace after leaving Umbertide. 

The break has covered the short climb and is diving down the valley towards Gubbio, desperate to stay away.  

40km to go

Rear flat for Viviani. The speed is up and so he will perhaps take a bike change.

Several team leaders are given a final bidon for the final 35km of the stage.

Padun takes a big turn on the front of the break but their lead is down to 2:45.

Ouch. Ivan Cortina is full of road rash after a crash. He has lost skin on both sides.

The race will soon pass below Gubbio and then continue south towards Gualdo Tadino.

Viviani is back in the bunch. But he is likely to struggled on the rise to the finish.

30km to go

Ineos and Deceuninck are also moving up. 

25km to go

The Umbria valley is on the path of the religious pilgrims and so is dotted with superb architecture.   

The next section of road is gradually downhill and so will be fast as the peloton pursue the break. 

The lead of the break is fading more and more. It is down to 1:30 now.

Padun does a turn in the break using an super tuck position. 

18km to go.

Sivakov stops perhaps due to a mechanical problem. He is best young rider but faces a chase to get back on.  

Deceuninck are leading the peloton at high speed.

Sivakov gets back on and is taken up front by Salvatore Puccio and Jonathan Castroviejo.

10km to go

After a right turn the final 9km are flat and straight before the kick up to the finish.

Ludvigsson and Bias are dropped from the break.

10km to go

More mechanical problems for Viviani. His chances are over.

Positioning for the finish is vital. The road climbs to a sharp left turn with 1km to go. 

It is followed by a sweeping right and then another left turn to the finish.

Merlier has been dropped and so it is up to van der Poel today.

5km to go

This is the kick-up to the finish.

Asgreen leads Alaphilippe up to the front, alongside Jumbo.

Crash in the bunch!

Quinn Simmons and Stefan Kung are involved.

Belletti of Eolo also went down hard on his shoulder.

2km to go

Alaphilippe is second wheel.

Van Aert and van der Poel are there too!

So is van Avermaet.

Last KM!

Deceuninck lead it out. 

Alaphilippe has let a gap go.  

Van Aert leads the chase.

Boom. Van der Poel wins it!  

He was on Van Aert's wheel and then accelerated to victory. 

He went deep but is happy to win.

Van Aert was forced to lead out the sprint after Alaphilippe let Stybar go alone in the final 500m. 

Alaphilippe rode for Ballerini but they were a little too far back and so Ballerini ran out of road. 

Van der Poel crossed arms and then appeared to pull out a sword as a victory celebration.

Sergio Higuita (EF) was an impressive fourth after being with Van Aert and van der Poel in the sprint.

Greg van Avermaet finished fifth, while Tadej Pogacar was 7th. 

Van der Poel took a ten-second time bonus for his win but Van Aert picked-up six seconds and so kept the race lead. 

This is the top ten for the stage and the GC.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
RankBibResult
1Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix5:24:18
2Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-VismaRow 1 - Cell 2
3Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 2 - Cell 2
4Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-NippoRow 3 - Cell 2
5Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 5 - Cell 2
7Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team EmiratesRow 7 - Cell 2
9Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-up NationRow 9 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
General classification after stage 3
RankBibResult
1Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma14:01:47
2Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix0:0:04
3Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep0:0:10
4Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious0:0:19
5Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:0:20
6Robert Stannard (Aus) Team BikeExchangeRow 5 - Cell 2
7João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 6 - Cell 2
8Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-NippoRow 7 - Cell 2
9Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 8 - Cell 2
10Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 9 - Cell 2

So far Van Aert has collected a total of 20 bonus seconds. They could be the difference between overall victory and a place on the podium at the end of Tirreno-Adriatico. 

Of course, everything will depend on what happens this weekend on the mountain finish at Prati di Tivo and then on the Muri stage around the ramps of Castelfidardo.

Here's MvdP win.

Here's a series of three great finish shots. 

Mathieu van der Poel

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mathieu van der Poel

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Van der Poel said he wanted to win to make up for his mistake in Thursday's sprint.

He explained his folded arm celebration: 

For van der Poel, winning the stage was about putting things right after missing out on Thursday.

MvdP also talked about how he took advantage of Van Aert chasing down Stybar's late attack.

To read more about the stage and see our full results and growing photo gallery, click below. 

Here's MvdP on the Tirreno-Adriatico podium. 

However Van Aert remains with the crown and race lead at Tirreno-Adriatico before Saturday's important  mountain stage.

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