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10th Coppi & Bartali Week - Stage Three
By Fabio
Date: 3/27/2008
10th Coppi & Bartali Week - Stage Three

10th Coppi & Bartali Week - Stage Three
Evans vs. Garzelli vs. Nibali. A true clash of giants, with just one just one winner. Not from the host country. Stage report, results inside.

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.

Race leader 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 finishing town.

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,
Marco Pinotti

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 here (pdf file)

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"
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
* 10th Settimana Coppi & Bartali - Stage 1b
* 10th Settimana Coppi & Bartali - Stage 2

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