Giro Stage 3: Solo win for Taco van der Hoorn

After a wetish and lumpy stage dominated by a good sized breakaway of 8 riders, and a chase dominated by Bora Hansgrohe seeing many a sprinter dropped from the large peloton (110 riders) still left at the finish,  Taco van der Hoorn from the breakaway held on to take a glorious victory.

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Giro Stage 3: Solo win for Taco van der Hoorn

Stage 3 of the 2021 Giro d’Italia  was won from the breakaway by Taco van der Hoorn. Photo: Giro d’Italia

After a wetish and lumpy stage dominated by a good sized breakaway of 8 riders ( Alexis Gougeard, Simon Pellaud, Vincenzo Albanese, Samuele Rivi, Lars Van Den Berg, Taco Van Der Hoorn ) and a chase dominated by Bora Hansgrohe (working for Peter Sagan) seeing many a sprinter dropped from the large peloton (110 riders still left at the finish).

As the breakaway got smaller and smaller as the finish drew closer, last man standing from the break was Taco van der Hoorn who attacked Simon Pellaud when these two riders were the only ones left at the front and the gap was down to a minute to the peloton. It was his first win since September 2018 in the Classic Impanis – Van Petegem.

The key move – Taco attacks Pellaud Photo: Giro d’Italia

As the finish approached, and the roads went up with gradients of 15%, the attacks behind from the peloton from the likes of Tony Gallopin and Giulio Ciccone disrupted the chase from Bora Hansgrohe in a finale described by Sean Kelly as a leg breaker. But even these fresh legs from the attackers were struggling to bridge the gap to the Belgian van der Hoorn who’s grimaces showed just what a big effort he was making.

In the end, van der Hoorne came into the final K with a big enough (14 secs) lead to hold on to win by four seconds and win the biggest race of his career and one he promised he will celebrate tonight. Ganna continues to hold onto the Pink jersey and the GC contenders all stayed upright and finished in the peloton.


Taco van der Hoorn: It is simply amazing! To be honest, it is surreal. I have won a stage of the Giro, something I would never have dreamed of. The last km was technical with several left turns. I looked back under the flamme rouge and then felt I could win. I took the turn with the necessary caution, then enjoyed the home stretch. Three years ago, I suffered a serious concussion after a crash. I had to hang up my bike for eight months. My career was hanging by a thread then. It was also the case at the end of last season when I was without a contract. But I persisted and I finally received my chance at Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. The team gave me a great program and I’m happy I could reward them with this victory. I like working with this team, the atmosphere in the group is fantastic. A win took a long time coming for us, and now we have it. We deserved it.

“Today I just wanted to go in the break and be aggressive. I doubt… it was very difficult to win the stage or get to the finish line with the group. But I just think for every one or 0.5% chance, it’s enough, so I’ll take it.”

“I didn’t believe, actually when we had 1 minute with 25 km to go, or something, but the guy from Androni, was pulling really hard on the climb, it was actually full gas, but then afterwards, I’m a bit heavier and I think my aero position was a bit better, so I could go quicker … he was tired and I dropped him and then I learned on the radio that I still had 40” or something so I went full gas to the line. I couldn’t believe it. I was really thinking, with one K to go, I was looking behind and I was thinking, “Oh f***!” I’m going to make it, what the f***!” And then, yeah, just the last part was incredible.”

“Five months ago I considered quitting cycling because I had no contract. Today, I won a stage on the Giro d’Italia”.

Filippo Ganna: “We saw a really great job from Bora today. The speed on the climbs was very high, and we saw a lot of sprinters dropped. I saw Remco with really amazing legs on one of the last climbs. I turned to see him, and he had a big gear on the front, a 53 (chainring). Amazing legs for him. We’ll see tomorrow, then we’ll look day by day. For me, it’s hard tomorrow, but obviously I’ll try to defend, but we know we have two big riders on the team, and we have to support them.”

Tim Merlier: Maglia Ciclamino (Points jersey). “I was not on my level today. Already this morning it was hard, but it was too fast today. I hope I have better days. Maybe [I will defend the Maglia Ciclamino]. I still lead Viviani, so we will see day to day. The recognition here is important.”

Giulio Ciccone: It wasn’t a planned attack, but seeing how the race was going, I went with my gut. After over a month without racing, I wanted to understand the reactions in over-revving.” “My role as a wild card allows me to try, to spend some extra energy to take advantage of opportunities like this. When I attack, I always believe it can go right. Today the finale wasn’t really my terrain, but I knew it could be eventful. I didn’t get very far on it.”

Peter Sagan “I think we had the perfect strategy for today and the team worked very well to execute it. Once again, I’d like to thank all my teammates for their tremendous effort, they worked so hard to try our chance at the stage win. We did the best we could, just the way we do every day. We are a team that always races to win, not settle for second or third.”

Davide Cimolai (2nd, winner of the bunch sprint): “Today, I suffered a lot on the climbs, especially the second last one was hard for me, but I managed to survive it and stay in the group. At the end, I took the responsibility to do the sprint and I’m happy for this second place, beating guys like Sagan, Viviani, and Gaviria. However, at the same time, I’m also disappointed because I lost an opportunity to win a stage in the Giro! For sure we will try again but you can’t turn back time and change what has already.”

Gaviria: “I’m happy because arriving at the front today confirmed the condition is good and the team worked really well. The legs were a bit tied up in the sprint after all the hard racing before but I’m looking forward to more opportunities for victory over the next couple of weeks in this Giro.”



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