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93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage 3
By Staff
Date: 5/10/2010
93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage 3

93rd Giro d'Italia - Stage 3
Deja vu another day of mayhem and carnage in the lowlands as the winds of the North Sea pummel the peloton and crashes define the stage and rearrange the G.C.

© 210 Gazzetta dello Sport

2010 Giro d'Italia
Jersey Leaders Stage 3

Maglia Rosa: Cadel Evans
Points: Tyler Farrar Garmin/Transitions
U25: Richie Porte Saxo Bank
Team: Saxo Bank
Giles Belbin's Parcours Preview Week 1
2010 Giro d'Italia Team & Rider Start List

Belgium's Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step) was triumphant in the final sprint out of a lead group of about 20 riders. Three HTC riders looked to have the win in hand leading Andre Greipel into the final kilometer but Weylandt waylaid his rivals coming up the left side to take the win with Graeme Brown (Rabobank) second and Milram's German sprinter Robert Forster third. 

Lampre's Danilo Hondo followed his compatriot for 4th with Brit Adam Blyth of Omega Pharma/Lotto, fifth.

In a day cursed by the winds off the North Sea, race leader Cadel Evans was caught out in the second group to lose the pink jersey to Alexander Vinokourov who finished in tenth in the the first group of 26 riders to become the third wearer of the maglia rosa in as many days as the race finished it's sojourn in Holland.

Evans may have lost the jersey;but not without a courageous fight in the final 15 kilometers after a crash once again split the peloton. Without a teammate to help Evans got no help in his chase to rejoin the group. What started at a 20 second gap soared to 47 seconds to the second group in spite of the world champions effort.

Well if you weren't convinced that Vino is back in race winning form (and blessed with good luck) after his win in Giro del Trentino and his victory in Liège-Bastogne-Liège; today should convince you that the Kazakh is back to his previous form and in spite of his age in a prime position to defend his race lead.

Neo Pro, Richie Porte of Saxo Bank finished 17th in the first group; the Tasmanian is now "Flying High"  in his grand tour debut  sits in 2nd place on the G.C.; and Best Young Rider's maglia Bianca jersey tied in time to Vino. We just might see Richie in pink after the stage 4 team time trial in

Stage 3 Monday, May 10
Amsterdam - Middleburg 224km

It looked an easy day on paper, a pan flat stage across the reclaimed lands of the Dutch lowlands, a long stage with only the threat of wind testing the peloton's progress from Amsterdam to Middleburg. The day opened up with 197 riders signing in under cloudy skies and very cold conditions of 12 Centigrades (35 F) with the wind already making its presence known whipping across the  riders faces as gun went off and they started on the 224 kilometer contest.

raphic © 210 Gazzetta dello Sport

The action got under way after 2 kilometers with Omega Pharma's Olivier Kaisen went on the attack and was joined by Quick Step's  Jérome Pineau  and Rabobank's Tom the trio quickly opened a 35 second gap that rose to over three minutes by km 13; with little resistance from the peloton the three fought the wind and continued to gain ground running the gap up to over 5 minutes 20 km into the stage.

 Such success could only encourage the three optimists, even if they still had 176 km to go with a gap of 7:45 as the flew through the first hot sprint in Zoetermeer. Tom Stamsnijder led taking the max points with Pineau and Kaisen on his wheel.

The peloton led by Tour of Utah winner Jeff Louder and Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing) taking ten seconds out of the trio... with distance, time and 194 pairs of legs on their side.

The effort of BMC soon started to pay dividends with the gap falling to 2:45 just past the halfway point of the race with 120 km to go. Behind the peloton had split in the wind, with the lead chase group second chase group a further ten seconds back, a dangerous position as the moved onto the dykes and bridges nearer the sea.

The wind showed no mercy to the three groups with 100 km to go the gap was 1:40. Cofidis' Guillaume Blot and Ag2r's Mandri hooked wheels and kissed the turf, Alexandr Vinokourov followed suit; luckily the three were up and racing back on without apparent injury. The two chase groups merged as the peloton slowed.

The three riders dangled off the front of the peloton, but with 87 km to go the wind and 132 kilometers took theri toll and the riders gave up resistance.

Astana and the sprinters teams came to the fore driving the pace into the wind; the pace and wind split the peloton into three groups. Cadel Evans made the first group of about 40 riders which soon had thirty seconds on the second group led by Lampre; the third faded off the back at almost a minute.

With 38 km to go the chase of the second group led by the combined force of Lampre, Rabobank and Ag2r. Behind the chase was adrift by over a minute. Crashes once again riddled the riders with a dozen riders down that included Sabatini and Bruseghin. Sprinters Loddo are caught out by the crash. Petacchi flatted and gets a wheel change is out of the front group.

In front HTC/Columbia and Team Sky drove the  pace, Evans and Vinokourov were near the front as the peloton lined out with 30 km to go as the sprinters teams took control of the peloton with the advantage of a tailwind opening a gap of 25 seconds on the chase. Christian Vandevelde fell in the middle of the pack and was slow to get up and when he did clutching his right shoulder; he abandoned the race shortly after.

With 16 km to go, Wiggins and Evans went down in a group of about a dozen riders; Evans is up and chasing, but Wiggins worries his knees and is soon joined by 5 of his teammates to be escorted back to the front but valuable time is lost as bike changes are made. On the front of the leaders Liquigas, HTC and Astana

Evans caught the second group with 7 km to go, the gap is only 15 seconds to the leading group of 30. Evans worked his way to the front to lead the chase, but there is no help for the world champion from Sastre, Farrar or Cunego who are in the group.

On the front Liquigas with 4 riders present leads, Astana with 2, HTC with 3 and and Saxo bank 3 riders support the attack. With 4 km to go Maglia Rosa, Cadel Evans is on the front but losing ground as the gap goes to 30seconds.

1 km to go Marcel  Sieberg and Danilo Hondo drive the pace under the red flag. HTC/Columbia takes control of the front with two riders leading Greipel into the final corner with 400 meters to go.

Andre Greipel opens the sprint with 350 meters to go but is caught by Hondo, Brown and Forster. A blue and white jersey comes up the left of the road and Wouter Weylandt of Quick Step outdistances the others in the final meters with Graeme Brown second, and Forster third. Dnilo Hondo

Stage 3 Results
Amsterdam - Middleburg

224km - 5:00:06 - 44.785 km/h
1 Weylandt Wouter Bel Qst 5:00:06 
2 Brown Graeme Aus Rab 
3 Forster Robert Ger Mrm
4 Hondo Danilo Ger Lam 
5 Blyth Adam Gbr Olo 

6 Greipel Andre Ger Thr 
7 Gerdemann Linus Ger Mrm 0:00
8 Nibali Vincenzo Ita Liq 0:00
9 Rohregger Thomas Aut Mrm 0:00
10 Vinokourov Alexandre Kaz Ast 0:00
Stage 3: Full Results & General Classifications

General Classification After Stage 3
1 Vinokourov Alexandre Kaz Ast 10:07:18
2 Porte Richie Aus Sax 10:07:18 0:00
3 Millar David Gbr Grm 0:01

4 Nibali Vincenzo Ita Liq 0:05
5 Sieberg Marcel Ger Thr 0:07

6 Goss Matthew Harley Aus Thr 0:10
7 Greipel Andre Ger Thr 0:10
8 Gerdemann Linus Ger Mrm 0:12
9 Garzelli Stefano Ita Asa 0:15
10 Weening Pieter Ned Rab 0:16

Wednesday 12th May
Stage 4: Savigliano-Cuneo, TTT, 32.5 km
Next up is the 32.5 km team time trial in Savagliano, mostly a 'false flat affair that will present the opportunity for the teams to work to gain time back for their leaders if they or in the case os Garmin and Liquigas and Saxo Bank to increase the gaps.

Expect to see the teams sacrifice riders to maintain or gain position on the G.C. -  arriving with the minimum riders; this time trial is more about supporting the team leader than winning the stage. However expect HTC/Columbia, Saxo Bank, Liquigas/Doimo and Sky, Astana, Rabobank and Garmin/Transitions to gut themselves to weigh in heavily near the top of the rankings. We could see another shakeup at the top and Saxo Bank will be aiming to put one Tasmanian to be the first from the mythic Isles to wear the Maglia Rosa. 

raphic © 210 Gazzetta dello Sport

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