wins the sprint on the 3rd stage of the Giro, Tadej Pogacar puts on a show

wins the sprint on the 3rd stage of the Giro, Tadej Pogacar puts on a show
Tim Merlier wins the sprint on the 3rd stage of the Giro, Tadej Pogacar puts on a show

At the end of a third stage oscillating between too calm and very agitated, (Soudal Quick-Step) won the first final sprint of the Tour of Italy, this Monday, on the wet road of Fossano. This is already the eighth victory of the season for the 31-year-old Belgian.

Jonathan (Lidl-Trek) and Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty) complete the podium. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Emirates), who sprinted for two bonus seconds 22 km from the finish then attempted a shot on the last bump, finally caught again 300 meters from the line, strengthens his pink jersey.

two days of sparks which have already allowed the Slovenian to take the lead in the general standings, the peloton did not want to let any breakaways escape during this stage in Piedmont. Between the start in Novara and the first intermediate sprint in Masio, 85 km from the line, no rider managed to stay at the front.

This first sprint granting race points and won by Jonathan Milan (Lidl-Trek) therefore caused the first confusion of the day, the big thighs of the peloton deciding to continue their effort after the line. This break allowed the sprinters, gathered in a group of around twenty runners, to have a lead of up to two minutes over a peloton which notably included Fernando Gaviria, the main trapped.

A scare for Uijtdebroeks

Mobilized to encourage the return of its Colombian sprinter, the Movistar team then set a strong pace in the peloton causing a second break of which Cian Uijtdebroeks, leader of the Visma-Lease a bike, was this time the main victim. A scare without any impact since everyone gathered around 40 km from Fossano.

The rest of the events – apart from this battle for bonuses won by Ben Swift (Ineos-Grenadiers, 3”) ahead of Pogacar (2”) and Geraint Thomas (Ineos-Grenadiers, 2”) – were calmer until the last ten kilometers.

In this winding and hilly finale, all the sprinter teams fought to best position their leader on the last climb towards Fossano. Mikkel Honoré (EF-Education-EasyPost) still tried to take off, followed by Pogacar and Thomas, but the Dane was then unable to follow the acceleration of the first two in the general standings.

We also believed that the Pink Jersey would succeed in surprising all his opponents, but he was finally swallowed up, like Thomas, 300 meters from the line. Merlier, intelligent in launching his sprint at the right time and finding the opening on the right of the road, won by a whisker in front of Milan.



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