Tirreno-Adriatico – Van Avermaet Wins Stage 3


BMC rider Greg Van Avermaet wins stage 3 in Tirreno-Adriatico and takes the overall lead, Sagan second, again

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Tirreno-Adriatico – Van Avermaet Wins Stage 3

With a powerful uphill dash to the finish Friday, BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet won for the first time this season and took the overall lead at Tirreno-Adriatico.

Van Avermaet took full advanatage of a well-orchestrated lead-out from his teammates in the final moments of the 203-km race. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) was runner-up and Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-Quick Step) finished third.


Photo: Tirreno-Adriatico

After a five man group got away early on the stage, the race came down to an uphill bunch kick and the stage winner said afterwards “This is a special day for me,” Van Avermaet said. “I looked at the road book when I knew I was coming to Tirreno-Adriatico, and I was confident about these two stages – Stages 3 and 4. Stage 4 will be a little bit harder, but I knew that today’s finish would really suit me. I looked at what happened last year when (my teammate) Philippe Gilbert was third”.

“I knew it could be a good day for me, although there were some good guys to beat. I have come close a few times this year, so I am really happy that I could finish it off. The team worked really well for me, because on a stage like this it is really important to be well positioned. And, of course, I am really glad I could keep guys like Sagan off.”

Van Avermaet leads Sagan by two seconds overall and becomes the second rider in BMC Racing Team history to win a stage and wear the blue leader’s jersey at the “Race of the Two Seas.” In 2011, now-retired teammate Cadel Evans took the lead on Stage 5, then won Stage 6 on his way to overall victory.

“It is important to me because I am leading the team here and you can only be a leader if you win races,” Van Avermaet said. “I finished second or third a few times recently: in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Flanders last year, and in Qatar, Oman and Strade Bianche this year. I sprinted all the way to the line today – I didn’t raise my hands in case I didn’t win. If you celebrate and they come past you, it is even worse.”

Danilo Wyss took some of the pressure off the BMC Racing Team before the finale by being part of the day’s breakaway for the second straight stage. Already the leader in the king of the mountains competition, Wyss added to his advantage by taking maximum points over the day’s two climbs.

“It is nice to keep the green jersey,” Wyss said. “It was a tactic of the team to put a guy in the break so we did not have to work behind. We had Greg as a favorite for the stage, so it was good for the team to have someone in the break. I am really happy for him and of course for the team. It is good for the team to win a stage and take the lead. It is a perfect occasion for us.”

Second again for Sagan
Peter Sagan had started the day with high expectations aiming for the win but after the stage, Sagan admitted that he was disappointed with missing out on the win by the length of a wheel.

“I’d like to thank all my teammates for their excellent work today. They pushed hard all day and gave their best to bring me in a good position for the final sprint. I was really looking forward to winning today and the team really deserved a victory”.

“However, it didn’t turn out that way as I made a mistake. I entered the final corner too late and I was four or five positions down and had to overtake too many to get to the front. I finished in second place, I am sorry for the guys but that’s cycling”.

Third for Zdenek Stybar
“Mark Renshaw brought me perfectly with Fabio Sabatini to the front,” Stybar said.” They were there all the time. Mark was amazing, he brought me to the front at the perfect time. On the final kilometre I knew I had to be in front so I moved up”.

“I fought for position. Then when we hit the small cobblestones, I maybe hesitated a bit too long and it possibly cost me a bit in the sprint. But even then, considering I finished 3rd with such strong riders I am still happy. When we passed the finish the first time I knew it was a good finish for me”.

“So we tried, and the team believed in me this morning until the finish. OK, I didn’t get the win, but I am really happy about my condition and I think we can try something again in the next stages with a strong team here”.

“Tomorrow will be another good test. But I think for the moment, I can say my condition is heading in the right way for my objectives and also that our team did all the right things today in support of me for the finale.”

1. Greg Van Avermaet, BMC Racing Team 4:58:17
2. Peter Sagan, Tinkoff-Saxo
3. Zdenek Stybar, Etixx – Quick-Step
4. Filippo Pozzato, Lampre-Merida
5. Fabian Cancellara, Trek Factory Racing

19. Nairo Quintana, Movistar Team
20. Leopold Konig, Team Sky
26. Daniel Martin, Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
30. Alberto Contador, Tinkoff-Saxo
35. Stephen Cummings, MTN – Qhubeka
41. Adam Yates, Orica GreenEdge
85. Ian Stannard, Team Sky 0:00:33
119. Mark Cavendish, Etixx – Quick-Step 0:01:13
160. Christopher Juul Jensen, Tinkoff-Saxo
161. Sam Bennett, Bora-Argon 18 0:04:41

1. Greg Van Avermaet, BMC Racing Team 8:34:31
2. Peter Sagan, Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:02
3. Adriano Malori, Movistar Team 0:00:08
4. Fabian Cancellara, Trek Factory Racing 0:00:09
5. Matthias Brandle, IAM Cycling 0:00:10
6. Ramunas Navardauskas, Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:13
7. Stephen Cummings, MTN – Qhubeka 0:00:14
8. Jonathan Castroviejo, Movistar Team 0:00:16
9. Edvald Boasson Hagen, MTN – Qhubeka
10. Andriy Grivko, Astana Pro Team 0:00:17

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