Giro d’Italia: Stage 3

The third stage of the Giro d’Italia was won by Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE). After a short stage the maglia rosa beat Fabio Fellini (Trek Factory Racing) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) in a sprint of a reduced peloton. GC riders Jurgen Van den Broeck and Maxime Monfort crossed the finish line in this first group, without any problems.

Rigoberto Uran finished 42nd in the front group for Etixx - Quick-Step, losing no time. Gianni Meersman crashed at the end of the long descent of the final climb. He has abrasions on his right shoulder as well as hip and knee, as well as pain in his chest from the impact of the ground. However, Meersman finished the stage. He was not the only rider to crash during the day however, as there was also a serious crash involving Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R - La Mondiale).

In the beginning of the stage numerous riders attacked. Because of the many hills ten riders were left on the last top at 43 kilometres from the end, Adam Hansen of Lotto Soudal was one of them. Kochetkov of Katusha jumped away; Hansen, Clarke and Paterski could bridge, but the peloton wasn’t far behind and caught them all with five kilometres to go.

Adam Hansen:  “It was a painful birthday (laughs). Before the stage I had decided to keep an eye on Simon Clarke of Orica-GreenEdge. Because of the nature of the course I had expected a lot of riders would ride aggressively and because Orica had several riders in the same time in GC I thought they would let him attack, which did happen. In the beginning there were many attacks, more than 30 riders escaped, but the more kilometres we covered, the more riders were dropped.”

"I lost contact with the peloton in the last climb but I wasn't so far from the group, so I was chasing to come back," Meersman said. "I was almost there in the back of the peloton when suddenly in a corner on the right I got a puncture and I lost my front wheel. I was on the ground immediately, there was nothing to do. I had to wait a long time to get a wheel to come back and then at that point I waited for the gruppetto and rode into the finish with them. It's a pity because I was closing the gap and close to rejoining, and I think I could have done the sprint today. It's a missed opportunity for me."

"Today was a really nervous stage," Uran said. "It was up-and-down, left-and-right the entire day. We were always in a lined out field. Tinkoff-Saxo set a good tempo the entire day. We had a good day as we stayed on the wheels and lost no time. To be honest I am happy that this stage is behind us. In a stage like this, anything can happen around any corner, like it did with the crash of Pozzovivo. I saw him crash in front of me. I hope that it is nothing serious, and I wish him all the best."