The mighty Aussie Cadel Evans
(Silence-Lotto) gave a display of his
skills and got a prestigious solo victory in Thursday's mountainous stage three of the
Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali
, running from Scandiano
to Pavullo nel Frignano over 190 km.
Stage 3 Profile
He also moved atop the GC ahead of
Stefano Garzelli, who lost the jersey despite finishing a solid second in
the stage, 32" behind the winner. Another excellent Italian, Vincenzo "The
Shark" Nibali, snatched third at 01 minute 22 seconds and is currently
sitting on the lowest podium step also, when it comes to the overall.
The duel begins. Photo © Fotoreporter Sirotti
All top three finishers as well as yesterday's stage winner Niklas
Axelsson launched the decisive attack with a dozen kilometres to go, but
Evans sped off on his own less than one mile later, and nobody was good
enough to cover such move.
Cadel Evans Attacks! Photo © Fotoreporter Sirotti
The in-form Australian, already a stage winner at Paris-Nice and Tour
of Andalusia this year, took his season's tally to three victories; and
his winter training (notably his January training in Australia) must not
be no stranger to such accomplishments. The guy is now very close to add
the overall triumph in this event to his palmares, but he'd better keep
some of his good condition also for upcoming challenges like a certain
race going in France in July, and the following Olympic Games. This could
really be Cadel's best year on the road. Garzelli showed some excellent
legs too, but that didn't keep the Italian from getting his fifth
second-place finish in this early season.
Earlier in the stage it was a young Italian called Luca Celli (Team LPR
Brakes) who made the headlines, initially as part of a seven-strong
breakaway that came after about 40 kms and featured also Canadiaan Michael
Barry (High Road), as well as Matthias Frank (Swi - Gerolsteiner), Harald
Morscher (Aut - Team Volksbank), Massimo Mazzanti (Ita - Preti Mangimi),
Michael Stevenson (Swe - Amore & Vita-Mc Donald's) and Juan Pablo Dotti (Arg
- Cinelli-Opd). The frontrunners put over two minutes into the field, but
the group was down to six men as Morscher lost contact.
Leo Giordano leads with Luca Celli on Monte Barigazzo. Photo © Fotoreporter Sirotti
Later on Luca Celli broke away solo, courtesy of a move that Barry,
Frank, Mazzanti, Dotti and Stevenson didn't follow. Leonardo Giordani
succeeded in breaking away from the field, catching the five "first
chasers" and dropping them, and eventually closing down on Celli on the
foggy slopes of Monte Barigazzo, where Michael Barry was hauled back in by
the peloton, and the leading duo could hold on to a decent advantage.
Garzelli Suffers in the chase. Photo © Fotoreporter Sirotti
Both Astana's Swissman Thomas Frei and Tinkoff's young attacker Ivan
Rovny (Russia) gave it a try at joining Celli and Giordani, but in vain.
Nevertheless, the two Italians were caught by the peloton at the foot of
the last climb of the day, the Valico di Gaiato, whose slopes saw the Fab
Four we mentioned earlier come into action, especially Cadel, who was just
too strong today, such that even Garzelli, who never gave up his efforts,
eventually had to concede defeat and congratulate the winner.
Garzelli congratulates Evans on his victory. Photo © Fotoreporter Sirotti
Evans is more than likely to retain the overall leader's mantle also at
the end of tomorrow's fourth and penultimate leg, a flat sprinter's stage
going from Rio Saliceto to Finale Emilia over 182 kilometres, with four
laps of a local circuit in the start town and six laps around the
Cadel holds his prize of a big Mortadella, he apparently likes it.
Photo © Fotoreporter Sirotti
Team High Road's Marco Pinotti Report:
After stage 3 the race is going very well; we have only 6 riders and we
did a good time trial. Stage 2 and 3 was very hilly and I'm happy with my
perfomance. It's not easy to be in the front having raced only few one day
races; but I think I have trained well and felt better than last year this
week. Possoni is climbing well and the whole team is riding well and
focused. Michael Barry was very strong in the break today.
More in the coming days,
Stage 3 (Scandiano to Pavullo, 192 km): Top 10 Places
1. EVANS, Cadel (Aus - SILENCE-LOTTO) - 05h10'50" (10")
2. GARZELLI, Stefano (Ita - ACQUA SAPONE-MOKAMBO) - at 32" (06")
3. NIBALI, Vincenzo (Ita - LIQUIGAS) - at 01'22" (04")
4. FROHLINGER, Johannes (Ger - GEROLSTEINER) - at 02'04"
5. MAZZANTI, Luca (Ita - TINKOFF CREDIT SYSTEMS) - at 02'04"
6. SELLA, Emanuele (Ita - CSF GROUP NAVIGARE) - at 02'04"
7. NOE', Andrea (Ita - LIQUIGAS) - at 02'04"
8. SANTOROMITA, Ivan (Ita - LIQUIGAS) - at 02'04"
9. ILLIANO, Raffaele (Ita - DIQUIGIOVANNI-ANDRONI) - at 02'04"
10. CATALDO, Dario G (Ita - LIQUIGAS) - at 02'04"
Complete stage results
Vincenzo Nibali gives it all in his chase of Evans and Garzelli. Photo © Fotoreporter Sirotti
Settimana Coppi & Bartali - GC after Stage 3: Top 10 Places
1. EVANS, Cadel (Aus - SILENCE-LOTTO) - 11h36'20"
2. GARZELLI, Stefano (Ita - ACQUA SAPONE-MOKAMBO) - at 23"
3. NIBALI, Vincenzo (Ita - LIQUIGAS) - at 01'19"
4. AXELSSON, Niklas (Swe - DIQUIGIOVANNI-ANDRONI) - at 02'05"
5. MAZZANTI, Luca (Ita - TINKOFF CREDIT SYSTEMS) - at 02'08"
6. LLOYD, Matthew (Aus - SILENCE-LOTTO) - at 02'14"
7. SELLA, Emanuele (Ita - CSF GROUP NAVIGARE) - at 02'18"
8. SERPA, PEREZ Josť (Col - DIQUIGIOVANNI-ANDRONI) - at 02'20"
9. SZMYD, Sylwester (Pol - LAMPRE) - at 02'22"
10. NOE', Andrea (Ita - LIQUIGAS) - at 02'41"
Full GC after stage 3
here (pdf file)
10th Settimana Coppi & Bartali - Stage 1a
Settimana Coppi & Bartali - Stage 1b
Settimana Coppi & Bartali - Stage 2
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