2011 Giro d'Italia, stage 3
Angel Vicioso wins stage 3. Photo: Graham Watson | grahamwatson.com

Angel Vicioso (Androni Giocattoli) won out of a late-forming breakaway Monday after a spectacular twisting finale on the Italian Riveria at the Giro d’Italia.

Garmin-Cervelo’s David Millar, who bridged to the group in the final kilometers, takes over the maglia rosa from overnight leader Mark Cavendish, who lost about three minutes in the final 10k.

The finale, however, was marred by concerns for Belgian Wouter Weylandt, who crashed in the final 25km and was later declared dead.

Organizers canceled the podium ceremony out of respect for the Leopard-Trek rider.

Vicioso, a Spaniard on an Italian team, outsprinted a five-man group that formed in the final 9km of stage 3, a 173km ride between Reggio Emilia and Rapallo.

The early break.

Pavel Brutt (Katusha) Davide Ricci Bitti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli), Gianluca Brambilla (Colnago-CSF Inox) and Bart De Clerq (Omega Pharma-Lotto) slipped away in the first 30 kilometers of the break and hit a maximum lead of 5:50. De Clerq was the best placed rider, at 34 seconds behind Cavendish. Brambilla was on a KOM-points mission, and soon became the leader of that competition on the road.

The four worked well together, but the gap shrunk considerably in the last 40km. Under pressure, Ricci came unglued on the penultimate climb, but rejoined on the descent.

In the finale the catch was inevitable as Lampre was determined to get Petacchi another sprint win and perhaps the maglia rosa. The four men were caught with 13km to go.

The finale was far from a typical run-in, however, as the pack hit a 2.5km climb starting with 10km to go. The steep climb was followed by a technical descent.

Four men tested their climbing legs early on the ascent, but were soon swallowed up. Meanwhile, the climb was claiming sprinters and climbers, as Cavendish and Carlos Sastre each struggled to stay in contact.

Less than a kilometer from the summit, Garmin-Cervelo’s GC man, Christophe Le Mevel, took a flyer, joining Pablo Lastras (Movistar), Daniel Moreno (Katusha) and Vicioso.

Vicioso, a prolific stage winner in Spanish races, was the best sprinter in the group.

The balance of power shifted however, when Millar bridged on the twisting descent, giving Garmin two riders in the small group. More importantly, Millar was the best placed rider in the group and needed only a few seconds’ gap ahead of the peloton to take the overall lead.

The serpentine finish left little time for tactics as the chase group disintegrated. De Mevel and then Millar charged into the final kilometer, and Vicioso came off Millar’s wheel to take the win by several lengths.

Up next:

Stage 4 is 216km along Italy’s western coast from Quarto Dei Mille to Livorno.

Quick results
Stage 3

  • 1. Angel Vicioso Arcos, (ESP) Androni Giocattoli-Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni , at 3:57:38
  • 2. David Millar, (GBR) Garmin-Cervelo , at
  • 3. Pablo Lastras Garcia, (ESP) Movistar , at
  • 4. Daniel Moreno, (ESP) Team Katusha , at
  • 5. Christophe Le Mevel, (FRA) Garmin-Cervelo , at

GC

  • 1. David Millar, (GBR) Garmin-Cervelo , at 10:04:29
  • 2. Angel Vicioso Arcos, (ESP) Androni Giocattoli-Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni , at 10:04:36 at 0:07
  • 3. Kanstantsin Sivtsov, (BLR) HTC-Highroad , at 10:04:38 at 0:09
  • 4. Marco Pinotti, (ITA) HTC-Highroad , at 10:04:38 at 0:09
  • 5. Craig Lewis, (USA) HTC-Highroad , at 10:04:38 at 0:09

Complete results