Merlier Sprints to Victory in Stage 3 of Giro d’Italia

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05/6/2024| 0 comments
Tim Merlier sprints to victory in stage 3 of Giro d'Italia 2024
Tim Merlier sprints to victory in stage 3 of Giro d'Italia 2024 for Team Soudal-QuickStep RCS Sport - LaPresse

Merlier Sprints to Victory in Stage 3 of Giro d’Italia

Tim Merlier (Soudal-QuickStep) has won stage 3 of Giro d’Italia 2024 ahead of Jonathan Milan (Lidl-Trek); Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) leads general classification ahead of Geraint Thomas (Ineos-Grenadiers)

Stage 3 of Giro d’Italia 2023 took the Giro peloton on a 166.3-kilometer ride in false-flat terrain from Novara to Fossano. The route included a category 4 climb after approximately 50 kilometers and from there on the height of the hilly terrain increased slightly for the professional cyclists in this year’s Giro. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) was the general classification leader following his victory in yesterday’s stage 2.

Unexpectedly, there were no hostilities early in the stage as no riders showed a lust for breakaway action. The riders were tired from the action-packed first two stages and the smaller wild card teams had no intention of spending valuable energy in a stage that was already destined for a sprint finish.

There were still no active breakaways when the riders passed by the rice fields of Vercelli with 150 kilometers left of the stage.

The peloton cruised along with an average speed of 38 km/h. The time was spent on refueling and talks between the riders.

Lilian Calmejane (Intermarche-Wanty), Andrea Piccolo (EF Education-EasyPost) and Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Deceuninck) tried their luck in an attack for a short while with 120 kilometers left, but the riders were caught by the chasing peloton led by the Lidl-Trek team.

Davide Ballerini (Astana) and Calmejane then attempted to establish a breakaway duo approximately 115 kilometers from the finish line. They built a small advantage but were caught quickly thereafter.

Ninety kilometers remained and the pace in the peloton had been reduced to cruse speed.

It took an intermediate sprint to create a bit of action in today’s stage 3 of Giro d’Italia. The intermediate sprint was won by Jonathan Milan (Lidl-Trek) ahead of Edward Planckaert (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Olav Kooij (Team Visma – Lease a Bike). 

The speed in the peloton had increased following the intermediate sprint and some riders had woken from their Cinderella sleep. A group featuring approximately twenty-five riders attacked and quickly built a lead of 01:45 minutes, while discussions at the front of the peloton were ongoing: why was supposed to reel in the attackers? The sprint teams were well-represented in the break, and it was now up to the general classification teams to reduce the lead – not exactly the dream scenario for UAE Team Emirates and Ineos-Grenadiers.

Team Movistar, Bahrain Victorious and Team Polti Kometa initiated a hard chase and were now spending the energy they had intended for a sprint finish in Fossano at the end of the stage. The lead of the front group was reduced to one minute with 65 kilometers left to ride. 

The Giro peloton passed through the town of La Madonna.

The breakaway group had an advantage of 28 seconds with fifty kilometers left. Give kilometers later the lead had been reduced to a miniscule ten seconds. The two groups re-merged, and a third chase group also joined the fun. Ineos-Grenadiers took to the front to control the action.

The Giro peloton now passed through a famous truffle production region known to culinary aficionados around the world. Perhaps the Giro riders needed to enjoy spaghetti with fresh summer truffles tonight to regain their pedaling potency. 

The Giro peloton finally reached the last kilometers of the stage and the sprinter teams initiated their lead outs for their sprinters.

The expected sprint train for Lidl-Trek’s Jonathan Milan was missing from the front with just five kilometers left.

Ineos-Grenadiers and Alpecin-Deceuninck were leading. The Lidl-Trek riders emerged from behind – as did Tadej Pogacar in his pink outfit.

Mikkel Honore attacked with three kilometers left for Team EF Education-EasyPost. Pogacar joined him as did Geraint Thomas.

The Honore-Pogacar-Thomas trio forced their way towards the finish line. Would the sprinters be cheated of their stage win in today’s stage?

Honore was dropped from the front trio.

Thomas and Pogacar fought hard. The sprinters were launching their sprints from behind. They were caught with 200 meters left.

Jonathan Milan launched his sprint, but Soudal-QuickStep’s Tim Merlier was the fastest man on the day. Finally, a win for Soudal-QuickStep. Biniam Girmay completed the stage podium for his Intermarche-Wanty team.

Pogacar remains general classification leader in Giro d’Italia 2024. Pogacar leads ahead of Thomas.

Stay tuned to for complete race coverage from Giro d’Italia 2024.

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