Tirreno-Adriatico Sagan wins stage 3, Kwiatkowski Leads overall


Mark Cavendish handed his leader’s jersey to teammate Kwiatkowski while Peter Sagan won stage 3 of Tirreno-Adriatico

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Tirreno-Adriatico Sagan wins stage 3, Kwiatkowski Leads overall

Mark Cavendish lost the overall lead on the uphill finish on stage 3 of Tirreno-Adriatico as the climber-sprinters rode clear to battle it out for the stage with Peter Sagan timing his effort far better than Philippe Gilbert who went to early and parked up to finish 4th.


Photo: http://www.gazzetta.it

Second on the stage was Michael Kwiatkowski who now leads overall after teammate at Omega Pharma Quickstep Mark Cavendish finished 49 seconds back in 93rd place.

Starting from Cascina with over 200k in front of them, five riders were quickly up the road pounding out a lead of up to seven minutes before the teams controlling the peloton said enough and started to bring them back.

With the race leader in Mark Cavendish, Omega Pharma Quickstep were left to do the majority of the donkey work until the final section of the race when other teams got involved to set their riders up for the finale.

Again, like it was with the catch of Alex Dowsett the day before, the reeling in of the final breakaway was left late as Bjorn Thurau resisted until 7 kilometres to go. Then, the teams started to go head to head before the gradient of the finale taken at full gas took its toll and it was every rider for themselves.

Leading into the climb, Quickstep were doing the pace making, full gas, and behind the teams of the contenders where lining up, Lotto, BMC and Cannondale. With the selection in single file, twisting left and right through the built up area leading to the finishing climb, it was Tony Martin who had his pedal to the metal leading the way for Kwiatkowski.

Martin died a death only for Gilbert to take up the running within sight of the finish but it was too early and the BMC rider was swamped first by Sagan leaping clear and then Kwiatkowski and Simon Clarke finishing second and third respectively. Gilbert was fourth.

Important Victory says Sagan

The victory by Sagan shows the Slovak to be good form for Milan-San Remo , a monument in the sport of cycling on March 23. “I hope so. We’ve now entered a very important part of the season.”

“It was an important victory for me to prove that my condition is growing,” said Sagan. “I’m very happy, of course. This win is good for morale, for me, and my teammates as well, who need a special thanks for the great support they give me every day along every stage. I dedicate the win to my mother, who is not in good health.”

“I knew I did not have many chances in this Tirreno-Adriatico after seeing the race book. Today’s stage was not suited for many riders in the peloton, maybe five or six, including me,” commented Sagan. “I’m happy I hit the target. Up next is a really important part of my season, the Classics, starting at Milano-Sanremo. Performance like this is a big boost of confidence.”

“The finale was really confusing. Everybody wanted to be in the front today starting from the last 10 km. Longo Borghini took me to leading position at 3 km to go. It was not easy to keep there. I’ve lost some positions before the uphill, but then the Bennati’s action was the right one for me to take the front.”

“Then, when Gilbert attacked I was not worried. I think he did it a little bit early, but most important for me it was the great feeling I had. Of course, I looked to the other riders, but I first concentrated on doing my best,” added Peter. “The final uphill? It was hard, a brutal effort, but worth it in the end.”

Small gaps but GC takes shape

The gaps behind them were relatively small but the GC is starting to take place with Kwiatkowski leading by ten seconds from teammate Rigoberto Uran with Simon Clarke in third overall at 13 seconds. The climbers are massing just outside the top 10 with Contador in 11th at 36 seconds and Quintana two seconds further back. Others in that little group include Richie Porte (16th) and Nicholas Roche (19th).

140314 OPQS Tirreno Adriatico Stage 3 PodiumLeader Jersey KWIATKOWSKI (c) Tim De Waele

Kwiatkowski in blue. Photo: OPQS/Tim DeWaele

“You can see, even in yesterday’s race that in the end everyone was nervous,” Kwiatkowski said. “Everyone wants to stay near the front for the GC or the sprint. Luckily I really had so much support today from my teammates.”

“I’m really thankful that I could stay safe because of them, especially seeing the crashes like there were yesterday. As for my performance today, if you want to do well, you have to believe you can win. I finished 4th last year in the GC. This year we are motivated, we have a good lineup, and we had a good start of the race. So, why not go for maybe a stage win and the GC lead for the team once again on a day like today?”

“Matteo Trentin and Tony Martin did a great job putting me into position. I wasn’t able to get the victory, but OK, now I am in the Maglia Azzurra. I know the hardest stages are still in front of us and it is just beginning. But, we’ll do our best. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) is being always kept near the front with the support of his team, and Sky is always on the front as well, so we’ll see what will happen between us and our competitors tomorrow.”


1 SAGAN Peter Cannondale 05:10:17
2 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
3 CLARKE Simon Orica GreenEDGE
4 GILBERT Philippe BMC Racing Team
5 IMPEY Daryl Orica GreenEDGE
6 BENNATI Daniele Tinkoff-Saxo
7 GREIPEL André Lotto Belisol
8 GESCHKE Simon Team Giant-Shimano
9 NOCENTINI Rinaldo AG2R La Mondiale 00:04
10 MONDORY Lloyd AG2R La Mondiale

11 URAN Rigoberto Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
12 DéMARE Arnaud FDJ.fr 00:06
14 CONTADOR Alberto Tinkoff-Saxo
16 PORTE Richie Team Sky
19 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team
21 GESINK Robert Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
25 CUNEGO Damiano Lampre – Merida
31 HORNER Chris Lampre – Merida
32 MARTIN Tony Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
36 ROCHE Nicolas Tinkoff-Saxo
46 BAUER Jack Garmin Sharp
51 QUINTANA Nairo Movistar Team
55 VANSUMMEREN Johan Garmin Sharp
57 BASSO Ivan Cannondale
73 CANCELLARA Fabian Trek Factory Racing 00:26
82 STANNARD Ian Team Sky 00.36
83 DEMPSTER Zakkari Team NetApp – Endura
84 DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO David Team NetApp – Endura
93 CAVENDISH Mark Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 0.49
109 MARTIN Daniel Garmin Sharp
113 WIGGINS Bradley Team Sky
114 KENNAUGH Peter Team Sky
137 PETACCHI Alessandro Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 01:47
150 VOSS Paul Team NetApp – Endura 2.14
151 MILLAR David Garmin Sharp
157 CIOLEK Gerald MTN – Qhubeka 00:49
167 KITTEL Marcel Team Giant-Shimano 09:10
170 DOWSETT Alex Movistar Team

1 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 09:26:36
2 URAN Rigoberto Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 00:10
3 CLARKE Simon Orica GreenEDGE 00:13
4 MARTIN Tony Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 00:15
5 IMPEY Daryl Orica GreenEDGE 00:17
6 SAGAN Peter Cannondale 00:22
7 GREIPEL André Lotto Belisol 00:30
8 BENNATI Daniele Tinkoff-Saxo
9 DURBRIDGE Luke Orica GreenEDGE 00:31
10 MEYER Cameron Orica GreenEDGE
11 CONTADOR Alberto Tinkoff-Saxo 00:36
12 QUINTANA Nairo Movistar Team 00:38
13 AMADOR Andrey Movistar Team
14 CAPECCHI Eros Movistar Team
15 INTXAUSTI Beñat Movistar Team
16 PORTE Richie Team Sky 00:39
17 ROELANDTS Jurgen Lotto Belisol 00:40
18 KREUZIGER Roman Tinkoff-Saxo 00:44
19 ROCHE Nicolas Tinkoff-Saxo
20 BODNAR Maciej Cannondale 00:46


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