PezCycling News - What's Cool In Road Cycling : Giro15 St.3: Multi-Matthews!

Giro d'Italia
Giro15 St.3: Multi-Matthews!
Race Report: Stage Three and all the world is pink - but especially Australia - as Michael Matthews reprises his last year’s Giro performance of winning with that most beautiful of jerseys on his back. The multi-jersey wearing Australian cooly crossed the line in pink...again.


The stage played out according to script; big break, sprinters toasted on the GPM and a diminished, select group fighting it out with Matthews hotly tipped before the stage - and not disappointing. He keeps the jersey for the Aussie team whilst ‘man of the match,’ Pavel Kochetkov (Katusha & Russia) takes that cool blue climbers’ jersey as just reward for his aggressive day in the saddle.

Specialists, Orica-GreenEDGE won the Stage One TTT in this race and Elia Viviani confirmed that speed which PEZ first recognised back in the Grenoble Six days when he was lapping at times within a whisker of the best French pure sprinter by winning Stage Two

But Elia won’t win today; this one is too hard for the real fast-men but not tough enough for mountain goats, the Giro organisation describes it thus; ‘136km from Rapallo to Sestri Levanti, a short and demanding stage through the Ligurian hinterland.’

giro15st3-ptofile-620

The break when it came was a big one and with two hours to go we made it something like this as riders ‘popped’ out of the group on this twisting, turning, rising, dropping parcours:

Simon Clarke and Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE), Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo), Marcus Burghardt, Silvan Dillier and Philippe Gilbert (BMC), Salvatore Puccio (Team Sky), Branislau Samoilau and Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi), Ruben Fernandez and Jesus Herrada (Movistar), Gianfranco Zilioli (Androni), Maurillo Fischer (FDJ.fr), Branislau Samoilau (CCC Sprandi), Adam Hansen (Lotto Soudal), Pavel Kochetkov (Katusha), Cedric Pineau (FDJ.fr), Luca Chirico, Francesco Gavazzi, Edoardo Zardini and Nicola Boem (Bardiani-CSF), Davide Villella (Cannondale-Garmin) and a dangerous man for a day like this called Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida).

Forgive us if we’ve missed one or two but there were a lot of guys in there.

Back in the peloton it wasn’t Orica-GreenEDGE setting the tempo in defence of pink, it was those Tinkoff-Saxo boys keeping the gap to the break in check at just on a minute.

The day’s big climb is the Barbagelata (GPM cat 2) at 92 K in and they’re on it now as the 25 or so up front are now halved with the gradient biting and the CCC boys grinding it out at the front of the group. The beauty of reaching the top of this climb is that it’s downhill or flat virtually all the way to the line off the summit and one man alone or a little group will have a sporting chance of holding off the peloton.

Giro d'Italia 2015 stage - 3The big break of the day

Big Kochetkov goes solo and takes the GPM points back to Russia with the peloton at around a minute back. The descent is tricky but Kochetkov is neat and tidy as we learn that Clarke is now virtual race leader having snaffled bonus seconds at intermediate sprints.

And Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R-La Modiale & Italy) is down on the descent – we said it was tricky – and that’s the second crash in two days for the little Italian. It doesn’t look good . . .

Ahead, our Russian whistles under the 35K to go banner as Tinkoff-Saxo and Astana keep their Capi well to the fore of the peloton and out of trouble. The ambulance stops for Pozzovivo; it’s over for him; let’s hope he’s going to be OK (we'd learn later that his injuries were not life threatening).

Giro d'Italia 2015 stage - 3The big Russian Kochetkov look good for the win... for a while

Kochetkov is off the descent looking composed and stylish as the breakaway survivors forget their differences to try and deal with this anti-social Ruski who has 20 seconds on them.

Clarke, Hansen, Paterski, Gilbert, Gavazzi, maybe 10 in total will all soon be trying to brutalise each other – but for now, they’re amigos as Kochetkov reminds us of those big, strong Soviets from the 70’s. His position is radical, seat way up, long stem slammed down hard on the head race – a la Pippo Pozatto, nice.

The main group is one long line, Tinkoff-Saxo and Astana lead – it looks savage. Our man from beyond the Urals has 20 seconds on the survivors who are messing around; they can see the peloton in the rear view mirror – but not Hansen, who uses the lull as his cue to strike out alone.

Giro d'Italia 2015 stage - 3Hansen had to try for a solo

Paterski and Clarke bridge; and they can see Kochetkov, who’s not into that ‘high cadence’ nonsense as he thumps a big one into the last 11K. And now we have four – Kochetkov, big and strong; Clarke, a former Vuelta stage winner; Hansen won a Giro stage last year and Paterski, a man well on form with a stage win in Catalonia and a top 10 in the Amstel Gold.

But the Tinkoff-Saxo machine has them in sight – those blue and yellow boys have worked hard today – and talking of blue, the Ligurian Sea is at it’s stunning best, today. It’s over with inside four K to go; it’s flat and fast all the way, now.

Tinkoff-Saxo, Astana and Sky keep their 'Bosses' out of trouble but the flurries are starting; Bardiani go but it’s snuffed – we’re in the tunnels now, red kite and it’s warp speed. Matthews is there, Gerrans leads it out, Trek go, it’s Felline but Matthews tucks in on him and it’s pink, pink, pink as Matthews jumps him for the win.

giro15st3-matthews-sprint-620

Stage and pink to Matthews as Kiss pump out; ‘I Was Made For Loving You’ – wish I was there . . .

Giro d'Italia Stage 3 Result:
1. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE in 3:33:53
2. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek
3. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC
4. Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Katusha
5. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana
6. Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha
7. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Southeast
8. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
9. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana
10. Yonathan Monsalve (Ven) Southeast
11. Grega Bole (Slo) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
12. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana
13. Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale
14. Elia Favilli (Ita) Southeast
15. Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC
16. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin
17. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar
18. Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin
19. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo
20. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana
21. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE
22. Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida
23. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana
24. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo
25. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC.

Giro d'Italia Overall After Stage 3:
1. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE in 8:06:27
2. Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:06
3. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEDGE at 0:10
4. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEDGE
5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0:17
6. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo
7. Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
8. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana at 0:23
9. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana.
10. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana
11. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana
12. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana
13. Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana
14. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC at 0:25
15. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step at 0:29
16. Maxime Bouet (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step
17. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar at 0:31
18. Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar
19. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar
20. Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar
21. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek at 0:33
22. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC at 0:35
23. Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling
24. Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC
25. Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC.

 


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