Nick Schultz took his second third place in successive stage at Coppi e Bartali as he sprinted to an impressive third place on stage three in Riccione
The day’s breakaway was reeled back in with 20km still to race with the stage coming down to a bunch sprint. Schultz was led into position by teammate Cameron Meyer, and despite sprinting not being his speciality, the Australian mixed it with the fast finishers at the end of a hard day of racing.
The bonus seconds on the line propelled the 26-year-old into third place overall, just one second behind race leader Jonas Vingegaard ahead of tomorrow potentially decisive stage.
“It was a really hard stage today, but I’m very happy for my second podium here. It was pretty surprising for me and probably the rest of the guys too.
I had great support from my teammates all day long to make the stage as easy as possible. Particularly Damien Howson through all the stage was always by my side, keeping me out of the wind and in a good position on the climbs and then Cameron Meyer in the finale was sensational and put me in the perfect position to sprint.
I think tomorrow it’s going be the decisive stage and I’m expecting a super hard day considering the very close ranking on GC and the tough route with so many climbs. I feel ok for now, the sensations seem good and hopefully will stay the same tomorrow and we can try to get another result and go for GC also.”
Gene Bates (Sports Director):
“It was a little bit of a surprise to see Schultz third in a sprint finish! We spoke about this this morning before the start if it would be a selective stage then it could be a good opportunity to get some seconds in the finish.
It was a really hard stage in the end and we knew that any fast rider that would be there in the finale would be very tired, so we can go for the sprint and see what happens. The team was fantastic, and the boys did a really good job.
Four seconds in the sprint is good for Nick’s overall and tomorrow it will a really tough day and you need to have the legs to try to win. The circuit that you have to do seven times is very challenging and the best riders will be at the front.
Nick is looking very good, he’s happy, healthy and is in a good form. When you have these three things you can do a lot of good results.”
2021 Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali Stage 3 Results:
1. Ethan Hayter 3:49:21
2. Shane Archbold ST
3. Nick Schultz (Team BikeExchange) ST
General Classification after Stage 3:
1. Jonas Vingegaard 10:37.46
2. Ethan Hayter +0:01
3. Nick Schultz (Team BikeExchange) +0:01
9. Kevin Colleoni (Team BikeExchange) 0:20