Matthews Wins Stage 3 of Giro d'Italia
Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) has won Stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia. The Australian took a bunch sprint to win a crash-marred, hilly, 136-km ride from Rapallo to Sestri Levante in 3:33:53. Fabio Felline (Trek Factory Racing) finished second, and Philippe Gilbert (Team BMC Racing) finished third. Matthews remains the maglia rosa.
As soon as the stage began, a huge group sallied off of the front. Branislau Samoilau and Maciej Paterski (both from CCC Sprandi-Polowice); Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal); Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick Step); Rubén Fernandez (Movistar), Cedric Pineau, Nicola Boem, and Maurilo Fischer (all from FDJ); Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida); Jesus Herrada (Movistar); Marcus Burghardt, Darwin Atapuma, and Philippe Gilbert (all from BMC); Davide Villella (Cannondale-Garmin protected by POC); Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo Bank); Esteban Chaves and Simon Clarke (both from Orica-GreenEdge); Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo); Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani-CSF); Chad Haga (Giant-Alpecin); Davide Malacarne (Astana); Axel Domont (AG2R-La Mondiale); Luca Chirico (Bardiani-CSF) Pavel Kochetkov (Katusha); Salvatore Puccio (Team Sky Pro Cycling); and Gianfranco Zilioni (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) jumped into the lead, but collaboration was poor. Tinkoff-Saxo Bank led the peloton in pursuit of the fugitives, and with 75 km left, one minute separated the bunch from the break.
On the Category 2 Barbagelata, the day’s last climb, Samoilau accelerated, and the resulting combustion dropped about half of the break members. Tinkoff-Saxo Bank continued to chase, and Vasili Kiriyienka and Sebastian Henao, two of Sky man Richie Porte’s mountain helpers, were dropped.
With the gap down to 0:18, Kochetkov attacked. He led his erstwhile companions by 0:22 on the descent, with the peloton at about 1:00.
Behind, Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) crashed. The Italian suffered head injuries but was conscious when an ambulance took him to a hospital.
Hansen attacked from the chase group, and Paterski and Clarke joined him. The trio caught Kotchetkov with 10 km remaining. Orica-GreenEdge appeared at the front of the peloton. Kotchetkov took another dig, but the bunch reeled in the break with 3.3 km to go.
Tinkoff-Saxo Bank remained in control at the front, but Astana took over in the last km. Orica-GreenEdge powered to the front on the left, and Simon Gerrans dropped off teammate Matthews on Felline’s wheel. Felline made his move, but Matthews came around him with 150 m left to win.
Matthews owed his victory to textbook tactics and teammate assistance. “It was only a short stage but they made it quite hard for us,” the Orica-GreenEdge rider said. “We were lucky we had the two guys in the break from the start so we didn’t have to chase for most of the stage.
“Then Simon Gerrans and the boys worked really hard to set me up perfectly for the sprint and I can’t thank them enough.
“The Giro d’Italia so far is a dream come true for me.”
In the overall, Matthews leads Clarke by 0:06 and Gerrans by 0:10. Stage 4 will be a be another lumpy stage. The 150-km ride from Chiavara to La Spezia will feature two Category 3 climbs, the second of which will summit 10 km from the finish. It adds up to a small group sprint or a break for the win. Who will win? Matthews? Gilbert? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
Today's Giro d'Italia stage winner Michael Matthews and his Orica-GreenEdge team use our training tracker to log, analyze and plan their training and nutrition. Get their advantage by signing up for the same training tracker here.