Mezgec sprints to fifth in chaotic finale on stage three of Tirreno AdriaticoFri 10 Mar 2017
Giro d’Italia stage winner Luka Mezgec showed his pedigree today, sprinting to fifth place for ORICA-SCOTT on stage three of Tirreno Adriatico after avoiding a big crash with 500metres to go.
As expected an early breakaway went clear out of the neutral zone and spent most of the day out front before finally giving up the ghost with 20kilometres remaining.
ORICA-SCOTT had Roman Kreuziger and Adam Yates up near the front alongside the general classification favourites as a fast and stressful finale unfolded.
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) won the sprint with a late surge after a crash disrupted proceedings with Mezgec skillfully staying out of trouble to finish in fifth place.
“It was a fairly predictable stage today,” said Sport director Matt White. “The last hour was really fast and the speed made things very nervous for the general classification teams, thankfully all of our guys made it through ok and avoided the late crash.”
“Luka works extremely hard for the team and he fully deserved our support today, the finale was never going to be straightforward and the plan was 100% to try and get Luka in a favourable position to have a go at the sprint.
“The late kick made it difficult and he did very well to finish in the top five against some world class competition.
“Tomorrow is obviously a key day and will give shape to the general classification, it is set to be a battle royal between some of the worlds best climbers.”
How it happened:
Today’s stage three rolled out of the stunning geothermal area of Monterotondo Marittimo this morning with more beautiful sunshine and spectacular racing ahead.
Much like yesterday an early breakaway formed after 12kilometres with seven riders going clear and developing a lead of around four minutes.
Stage three had been tipped as one for the sprinters, but as with most of this races parcours there was plenty of ups and downs to contend with.
The seven leaders were never fully let off the leash and the attentive peloton held them hovering between three and four minutes for over 100kilometres.
With less than 70kilometres to go Bora-Hansgrohe moved up to the front of the peloton and immediately brought the gap down to less than two minutes, with a long descent towards the finish in Montalsto di Castro still to come.
The pace remained high and the breakaway shrank to only four riders before finally being caught by the speeding peloton with 25kilometres to go.
A chaotic finale followed with the bunch tearing up the last ramp into the finish town as Bora-Hansgrohe set a furious pace for Sagan. A heavy crash split the peloton as Sgan launched a late sprint to take the stage win and Mezgec avoiding the chaos to place fifth for ORICA-SCOTT.
Tomorrow’s stage four is the heavily anticipated mountain stage, covering 187kilometres from Montalto di Castro to Terminillo (Campoforogna). The Terminillo is an iconic climb and has played host to a Tirreno Adriatico summit finish many times in the past with gradients over 12% in places it is sure to be a stage for the pure climbers.
Tirreno Adriatico stage 3 results:
1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 04:51:59
2. Elia Viviani (Team-Sky) ST
3. Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Soudal) ST
5. Luka Mezgec (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
General classification after stage 3:
1. Rohan Dennis (BMC-Racing) 11:07:13
2. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC-Racing) ST
3. Damiano Caruso (BMC-Racing) ST
13. Adam Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) 00:00:24
Photos courtesy of ©TDWsport.com