Ewan eighth as crosswinds split third stage of Giro d'ItaliaSun 7 May 2017
Anticipated crosswinds didn't disappoint on stage three of the Giro d'Italia, as they split the bunch in the final 20km.
22-year-old Caleb Ewan sprinted to take eighth position at the front of the second group, as Fernando Gaviria took advantage of impressive work by his Quickstep teammates in the cross winds to take the win.
"We all knew the point the winds were coming but there was just one team who got better organised than anyone, had the numbers, and made the race," sport director Matt White said. "They earned that win."
"It was chaotic, everyone was fighting for the front but we just didn't get where we needed to be.
"From there, we were trying to support both Caleb and Adam Yates. Adam actually did a really good job for a small guy to be in the second split when it first went."
How it happened:
A flat stage three promised more drama than its profile suggested with fewer kilometres than the previous two days and crosswinds forecast, encouraging aggressive riding.
As it would happen, just three riders went free early and despite a faster pace, the first 70km were reasonably settled with the break reaching a maximum advantage of just a three-minutes.
They were kept under control by race leaders Lotto-Soudal and eventually brought back to the bunch with 25km to go.
Tensions rose as the anticipated cross winds in the final 20km approached.
All teams, including the outfits of overall contenders, started fighting for position but it was Quickstep that were more organised than everyone, putting numbers on the front and causing a split.
With their sprinter and GC rider present, they had a lot to gain and pushed on hard to the line as everyone else tried to recover behind.
Ewan won the sprint in the second group, 13seconds behind, whilst Yates also finished comfortably in the second group with the main general classification contenders.
Giro d’Italia – Stage 3
1. Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep) 3:26:33
2. Ru Diger Selig (Bora Hansgrohe) ST
3. Nizzolo Giacomo (Trek Segafredo) ST
8. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:13
Giro d’Italia – General Classification after stage 3
1. Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep) 14:45:16
2. Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) +0:09
3. Lukas Postleberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:13
6. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:17