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Nizzolo sprints to victory in Beaufays

Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack-Nissan) won stage 3 of the Tour de Wallonie today at the conclusion of a hard day of racing in the Belgian Ardennes. The 23-year-old Italian sprinted to his first victory of the season which also earned him the leader's jersey.

Mikhail Ignatyev (Katusha) followed Nizzolo across the line in second place while Gianni Meersman (Lotto Belisol) finished third.

The kick to the finish was marred by a crash inside the final 100 meters with several riders hitting the tarmac, including Pieter Jacobs (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator), Guillaume Bonnafond (AG2R La Mondiale), Michael Barry (Sky), Michel Kreder (Garmin-Sharp), Egoitz Garcia (Cofidis), Steve Morabito (BMC) and Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM). All managed to get up and cross the finish line but the extent of their injuries have yet to be confirmed.

"I'm very, very happy with this win," said Nizzolo. "I was a bit angry yesterday, because I was positioned badly in the sprint. The sensation in the legs was good, so I knew I had the shape to do something. The team was amazing today. Jakob [Fuglsang] kept on telling me I had to go as hard as I could on the last climbs, because it could end up in a sprint.

"Once the last climb was done, I asked the guys to keep the speed high, so that no one would attack us. Matthew [Busche] did a great pace making in the last kilometers. Then Ben [Hermans] pulled really hard and finally Jakob gave me the perfect lead-out. I sprinted out of his wheel and nobody came close to catching me again."

The general classification still remains tight with two stage to go. Nizzolo moves into the leader's jersey, but is tied on time with Pigthart. Ignatyev holds third overall at one second while Lloyd Mondory (AG2R La Mondiale) lies in fourth at nine seconds. Overnight race leader Danilo Napolitano (Katusha) did not find the hilly parcours to his liking and finished in a group more than 27 minutes behind Nizzolo, surrendering the leader's jersey to his compatriot.

Covering 186km from Marche en Famenne to Beaufays, the stage featured nine categorised climbs including several which are part of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège spring classic's route: the Côte de Wanne, Col de Stockeu, Côte de la Vecquée and Mont Theux.

Attacks came fast and furious from the start of racing culminating in an early break comprised of 15 riders: David Boucher (FDJ-Big Mat), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Sharp), Marco Haller (Katusha Team), Kenny De Haes (Lotto Belisol Team), Francesco Chicchi (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), Laurent Didier (RadioShack-Nissan), Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team), Claudio Corioni (Acqua & Sapone), Maxime Anciaux, Antoine Demoitie, Loic Pestiaux, Boris Vallee (all Idemasport-Biowanze), Sébastien Delfosse (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony), Sébastien Chavanel (Team Europcar) and Tom Dernies (Wallonie Bruxelles-Credit Agricole).

Their advantage grew to more than three minutes with 101km remaining, but the arduous parcours coupled with chasing from BMC and Sky in the peloton worked to reduce the break's lead.

The escape group began to shatter on the 1-2 punch of the Côte de Wanne and Col de Stockeu ascents resulting in just Didier and Ligthart remaining at the head of affairs with a lead of less than one minute.

Joost Van Leijen (Lotto Belisol) tried to bridge from the peloton to the leaders, but with 37 kilometres remaining all of the attackers had been caught.

Several more riders attempted to escape in the ensuing kilometres, but nothing stuck until Ben Hermans (RadioShack-Nissan) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) attacked with 25 kilometres to the finish. The duo were joined by Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) and Jelle Wallays (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator), but with Belgian champion Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) taking strong pulls at the head of the field this escape, too, came to a conclusion at 15km to go.

Vladimir Isaichev (Katusha) struck out on his own and was soon joined by Hermans, Pieter Serry (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) and Carlos Betancur (Acqua & Sapone). The Russian couldn't handle the pace on the hilly terrain and was dropped and the remaining trio were brought back with 8km to the finish.

Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) launched an immediate counter-attack and drew out Acqua & Sapone's Danilo Di Luca and Carlos Betancur plus Steve Morabito (BMC). Under the impetus of a RadioShack-Nissan led field, reduced to approximately 30 riders at this point, the break was caught with five kilometres remaining.

One last attack was launched by Rémi Pauriol (FDJ-BigMat), but the three RadioShack-Nissan riders working for Nizzolo brought back the Frenchman and delivered their Italian teammate to the front where he claimed the stage win with a bike length to spare.

1Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan4:47:07
2Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha Team
3Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
4Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
5Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha Team
6Kevin Ista (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's
7Francesco Reda (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
8Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
9Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
10Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
11Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
12Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
13Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
14Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Acqua & Sapone
15Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
16Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
17Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
18Pieter Serry (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
19Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's
20Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
21Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
22Thomas Degand (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's
23Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
24Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky Procycling
25Rémi Pauriol (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
26Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan
27Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
28Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
29Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin - Sharp
30Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack-Nissan0:00:23
31Jakob Fuglsang (Den) RadioShack-Nissan0:00:00
32Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:00:32
33Gregory Habeaux (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's0:00:34
34Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:00:00
35Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:43
36Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
37Arnaud Gerard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:00:45
38Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:00
39Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin - Sharp0:00:00
40Michael Barry (Can) Sky Procycling0:00:00
41Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:00
42Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:00:00
43Serge De Wortelaer (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze0:01:49
44Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:00:00
45Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:15
46Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar
47Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
48Johann Tschopp (Swi) BMC Racing Team
49Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
50Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha Team0:02:37
51Laurent Evrard (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
52Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale
53Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:04:42
54Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:48
55Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:06:07
56Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
57Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:07:42
58Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
59Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's0:09:38
60Laurent Didier (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan
61Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar
62Christophe Premont (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
63Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:12:30
64Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
65David Boucher (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
66Julien Stassen (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze
67Maxime Anciaux (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze
68Antoine Demoitie (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze
69Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
70Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
71Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin - Sharp
72Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
73Boris Vallee (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze
74Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha Team
75Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
76Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
77Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha Team
78Nelson Oliveira (Por) RadioShack-Nissan
79Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Lotto Belisol Team
80Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:24:18
81Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
82Claudio Corioni (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
83Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin - Sharp0:27:21
84Boris Dron (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
85Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Garmin - Sharp
86Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Sharp
87Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
88Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
89Philippe Legrand (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
90Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky Procycling
91Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
92Olivier Chevalier (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
93Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
94Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling
95Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's
96Loic Pestiaux (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze
97Quentin Van Heuverswijn (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze
98Quentin Bertholet (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
99Tom Dernies (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
100Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
101Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
102Nikita Novikov (Rus) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
103Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team
104Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
105Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar
106Steven Caethoven (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's
107Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
108Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
109Reinier Honig (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
110Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar
111Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
112Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling0:32:29
113Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team
114Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin - Sharp
115Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling
116Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
117Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
DNFAnthony Ravard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFNacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
DNFSimon Spilak (Slo) Katusha Team
DNFMatteo Pelucchi (Ita) Team Europcar
DNFAlexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar

General classification after stage 3
1Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) RadioShack-Nissan13:53:49
2Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
3Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) Katusha Team0:00:01
4Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:09
5Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:00:10
6Davy Commeyne (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:00:11
7Jelle Wallays (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:00:12
8Kevin Ista (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's0:00:14
9Egidijus Juodvalkis (Ltu) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
10Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
11Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan
12Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
13Thomas Degand (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's
14Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
15Pieter Serry (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
16Egoitz Garcia Echeguibel (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
17Bert De Waele (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
18Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
19Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
20Francesco Reda (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
21Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
22Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
23Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin - Sharp
24Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
25Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha Team
26Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's
27Michael Barry (Can) Sky Procycling
28Jakob Fuglsang (Den) RadioShack-Nissan
29Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Acqua & Sapone
30Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
31Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
32Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin - Sharp
33Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky Procycling
34Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team
35Rémi Pauriol (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
36Benoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
37Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone0:00:24
38Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack-Nissan0:00:37
39Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:00:46
40Gregory Habeaux (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's0:00:48
41Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:00:57
42Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team Europcar
43Arnaud Gerard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:00:59
44Serge De Wortelaer (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze0:02:03
45Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:29
46Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
47Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar
48Arnaud Labbe (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
49Johann Tschopp (Swi) BMC Racing Team
50Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:51
51Laurent Evrard (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
52Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) Katusha Team
53Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:04:56
54Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:02
55Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:06:21
56Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
57Stijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:07:56
58Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:08:06
59Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's0:09:45
60Laurent Didier (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan0:09:50
61Christophe Premont (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole0:09:52
62Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Team Europcar
63Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha Team0:12:40
64Julien Stassen (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze0:12:44
65Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
66Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
67Sander Armee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
68Antoine Demoitie (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze
69Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha Team
70Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
71Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
72Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin - Sharp
73Maxime Anciaux (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze
74Joost Van Leijen (Ned) Lotto Belisol Team
75Nelson Oliveira (Por) RadioShack-Nissan
76Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
77Gert Steegmans (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:13:28
78Boris Vallee (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze0:13:58
79David Boucher (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat0:16:14
80Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:24:32
81Claudio Corioni (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
82Kenny De Haes (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
83Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Acqua & Sapone0:27:25
84Luke Rowe (GBr) Sky Procycling0:27:27
85Davide Appollonio (Ita) Sky Procycling0:27:29
86Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Sharp0:27:33
87Loic Pestiaux (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze
88Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:27:34
89Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team
90Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team
91Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
92Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's0:27:35
93Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
94Philippe Legrand (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
95Olivier Chevalier (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
96Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Garmin - Sharp
97Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) Team Europcar
98Steven Caethoven (Bel) Accent Jobs - Willems Veranda's
99Reinier Honig (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
100Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
101Quentin Bertholet (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
102Sébastien Rosseler (Bel) Garmin - Sharp
103Nikita Novikov (Rus) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
104Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
105Frédéric Amorison (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
106Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
107Tom Dernies (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
108Boris Dron (Bel) Wallonie Bruxelles - Credit Agricole
109Quentin Van Heuverswijn (Bel) Idemasport - Biowanze
110Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
111Tony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar
112Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:32:39
113Christopher Sutton (Aus) Sky Procycling0:32:43
114Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin - Sharp
115Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling
116Adam Blythe (GBr) BMC Racing Team0:33:03
117Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:56:09

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Based in the southeastern United States, Peter produces race coverage for all disciplines, edits news and writes features. The New Jersey native has 30 years of road racing and cyclo-cross experience, starting in the early 1980s as a Junior in the days of toe clips and leather hairnets. Over the years he's had the good fortune to race throughout the United States and has competed in national championships for both road and 'cross in the Junior and Masters categories. The passion for cycling started young, as before he switched to the road Peter's mission in life was catching big air on his BMX bike.

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