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New Italian team ISD ended Mirco Lorenzetto’s two-day stranglehold on the Giro di Sardegna, with Oscar Gatto sprinting to victory in Thursday’s 181km third stage from Oristano to Tortoli.
The hilly stage featured more than 3,000 meters of climbing, but the top teams reeled a two-man break, but not before 22 riders slipped away near the end.
Giovanni Visconti led things out for his teammate Gatto to keep a lid on world champion Alessandro Ballan (Lampre), who finished second but is in good position to win the overall with two stages left.
The victory is Gatto’s first since racing as a stagiare with LPR in 2006. He went winless in two seasons with Gerolsteiner and thanked team manager Luca Scinto for letting him regain his confidence.
Lorenzetto, who won the opening two stages, finished out of the top 10, and forfeited the overall leader’s jersey to Gatto going into Friday’s fourth stage from Arbatax to Cagliari.
Results Stage three
1. Oscar Gatto (ITA), ISD 4hr 31min 37sec
2. Alessandro Ballan (ITA), Lampre, same time
3. Giovanni Visconti (ITA), ISD, s.t.
4. Daniele Bennati (ITA), Liquigas, s.t.
5. Grega Bole (SLO), Amica, s.t.
Overall standings1. Oscar Gatto (ITA), ISD 13h 12m 30s
2. Daniele Bennati (ITA), Liquigas, at 0:04
3. Alessandro Ballan (ITA), Lampre, s.t.
4. Jesus Del Nero Montes (ESP), Fuji-Servetto, at 0:04 6
5. Giovanni Visconti (ITA), ISD, s.t.