Escape eludes the sprinters as Peter Sagan takes third after BORA-hansgrohe’s exceptional efforts on Giro d’Italia stage 3
The second sprint finale in as many days was predicted for stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia. At 190km, the parcours was one of the longest of the race, and with three categorised climbs to ascend before the finish in Canale, only the fittest of the fast men would be in a position to go for the win. However, with weather conditions potentially affecting the finish, the outcome was far from certain, and with a group of eight escaping early on, the breakaway had their sights set on the stage as well. The peloton worked to keep the escapees on a short lead, but with their lead going above six minutes, BORA-hansgrohe took control and swiftly reduced the lead, falling gradually as the kilometres went by, Maciej Bodnar driving the pace and the break’s advantage dropping to less than 4:30 with 100km to go. With no fewer than six BORA-hansgrohe riders at the head of the peloton, the gap fell dramatically and, in addition to coming closer to catching the break, the team’s strenuous pace was also tiring out any of the faster riders who thought they could challenge for the win. Finally, after 120km on the front, Maciej dropped off the front for a well-deserved rest after a huge effort, the gap at 1:30 with 40km left. Giovanni Aleotti, Matteo Fabbro and Daniel Oss were driving the pace and protecting Peter Sagan, as the gap dipped below fifty seconds with 15km remaining. In a tense final few kilometres, there were questions over whether the reduced bunch could catch the last member of the break, with BORA-hansgrohe the only team that had been willing to put the effort in to reel them back in. Snapping at Van der Hoorn’s heels as he crossed the line to take the win, all the peloton could do was fight for the remaining places, coming just four seconds behind. With a strong sprint and a well-timed bike throw, Peter took third, closing this hard day with a place on the podium.
01 T.Van Der Hoorn 4h21’29”
02 D.Cimolai + 0:04
03 P.Sagan + 0:04
From the Finish Line
"I think we had the perfect strategy for today and the team worked very well to execute it. Once again, I'd like to thank all my teammates for their tremendous effort, they worked so hard to try our chance at the stage win. We did the best we could, just the way we do every day. We are a team that always races to win, not settle for second or third." – Peter Sagan
"Today we had a big chance for a stage win with Peter and we truly did the best we could towards that goal. Everybody gave their absolute maximum, from the start line to the finish line. However, we can't do everything on our own, you also need some collaboration from the rest of the peloton. All our guys put in a tremendous effort and fought for the victory, that's after all what we do. Peter was second in the group sprint, but that's not the point, we race to finish first not second or third." – Jan Valach, Sports Director