Schumacher Wins Stage 3 of Giro, Takes Maglia Rosa
Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) has won Stage 3 of the Giro d?Italia.
Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) has won Stage 3 of the Giro d?Italia. Schumacher took a two-up sprint from Jose Luis Rubiera (Discovery Channel) to win the rolling, 202-km ride from Perwez to Namur in 5:14:41. Rubiera finished second at 0:02, and Schumacher?s teammate Davide Rebellin took third at 0:06. Schumacher has taken the maglia rosa from Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel). <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
The stage was ridden in windy, overcast conditions. Early on, Moises Aldape (Ceramica Panaria) escaped and Amael Moinard (Cofidis), Markel Irizar (Euskaltel), and Raffaele Illiano (Selle Italia) joined him. The quartet gained three minutes within 10 km before Discovery Channel and then Quick Step rode tempo to peg the break?s advantage at about 4:00.
At 132 km, with the break?s lead down to 3:15, Irizar crashed. His companions waited for him, and the Spaniard got back on. By the time that the break had reached Huy (141 km), the peloton was within two minutes of the escapees.
At 152 km, Illiano was dropped, but eventually, he got back on. In the peloton, disaster struck. Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) crashed in the rain on the descent of the Cote de Ahin (145 km). His teammates rallied around him, and the Italian star chased the bunch for 10 km to get back on.
With 30 km left, the break led the bunch by 1:30. Petacchi and two teammates stopped, and the Giro doctor put ointment on Petacchi?s left knee. The three Milram riders resumed racing, but Petacchi stayed near the doctor?s vehicle to be treated. With 25 km remaining, the bunch was 1:05 ahead of Petacchi and would finish 14:36 ahead of the Milram captain.
With 20 km left, the break was reeled in. CSC moved to the front to keep Ivan Basso out of trouble. The Danish squad and Gerolsteiner led the field. CSC?s caution proved justified when a crash split the field. With three km left, Paolo Bettini (Quick Step), Damiano Cunego (Lampre), and Rebellin were among those leading the field.
At the base of the climb to the Citadel in Namur, Alberto Loddo (Selle Italia) attacked, but Rubiera countered and dropped the Italian. With one km left, however, Schumacher streaked up to the Spaniard. With 800 m remaining, Schumacher was in the lead, and he would not be bested.
In the overall, Schumacher leads Savoldelli by 0:13 and Rebellin by 0:23. Stage 4 should not change this state of affairs. The rolling, 182-km stage from Wanze to Hotton will feature two climbs from Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the Cote de Wanne and Stavelot-La Haute Levee. These climbs might break up the field. Who will win the stage? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!