Monday 11th May 2015
Rapallo to Sestri Levante
150km (3 KOMs, 2 Sprints)
1st - Michael Matthews, Orica-GreenEDGE (3:33:53)
2nd - Fabio Felline, Trek Factory Racing
3rd - Philippe Gilbert, BMC Racing Team
Pink Jersey - Michael Matthews, Orica-GreenEDGE
King of the Mountains - Pavel Kochetkov, Team Katusha
Sprint - Elia Viviani, Team Sky
Best Young Rider - Michael Matthews, Orica-GreenEDGE
Orica-GreenEDGE’s sensational start to this year’s Giro is maintained after Michael Matthews’ brilliant Stage 3 win. The day’s riding led the peloton into the hills for a relatively short 136km. A 25 rider group broke clear in the early kilometres including Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing with Matthews’ teammate Simon Clarke being the closest to the pink jersey.
Branislau Samoilau (CCC Sprandi), Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal), Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep), Rubén Fernandez (Movistar), Cedric Pineau (FDJ), Nicola Boem (Bardiani-CSF), Maurilo Fischer (FDJ), Darwin Atapuma (BMC), Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi), Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida), Jesus Herrada (Movistar), Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Davide Villella (Cannondale), Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo), Esteban Chaves (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) and Gianfranco Zilioni (Androni-Giocattoli) rounded out the rest of the break.
The large size of the break limited its ability to work together and gain any substantial time on the peloton. With 75km to go a narrow one-minute advantage was held and Matthews was sitting pretty in pink. The early km of the category two Barbagelata divided the break with less than a dozen riders staying in touch. Kochetkov secured the mountain jersey after taking full points atop the climb. An unfortunate spill lead Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) to end his Giro early.
As the peloton swept up the remainder of the break Orica-GreenEDGE grew with confidence. Simon Gerrans laid out the final effort for Matthews who delivered the goods with a win reminiscent of 2014. After three days of racing Orica-GreenEDGE appears to have executed their early game plan perfectly with two stage wins, the Pink Jersey and a hat trick of riders atop the general classification. What else can they bring? We can’t wait to see their next move!
Thanks again to Graham Watson for another winning image.