Having finished second in both stage 1 and 2, the German made it count in Saturday’s 143km race, which was made up of long laps around Nanning. The win means Ackermann retains the leader’s jersey.
Aleksandr Riabushenko (UAE Team Emirates) placed second, and Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) came third for the third time in the race.
“We wanted to come here to win a stage, and now we’ve achieved that,” said Ackermann. “After my two second places on the first few stages, I feel less pressure now that I’ve taken a win here.”
The five-lap course featured a short climb, and it was on the penultimate climb of the day that the action kicked into life.
The three-man breakaway were caught at the foot of the the ascent, and as the peloton crested the category 3 climb, Astana hit the gas and split the peloton. The race came back together on the following lap, but on the final climb of the day, attacks from Wanty-Groupe Gobert and Deceuninck-QuickStep whittled down the peloton to around 40 riders.
Mitchelton-Scott bossed the final 10km of the race as they looked to set up Trentin, and Ackermann was sure to mark the Italian through the close of the race.
“The plan was to stay with Trentin and be within the first ten riders to get over the last climb,” said Ackermann. “That wasn’t an easy feat, because the ascent was quite hard. I tried to follow Trentin, because we knew he was strong, and in the end it was the right decision.”
Ackermann was confident in leaving Trentin to move first in the final sprint, and came around him in the final 200m to kick to the win.
Sunday’s stage finishes with a climb to the line and so the GC is likely to shake up as the sprinters cool their jets.
GC after stage 3:
- Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe): 9:57:45
- Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott): +0:00:07
- Aleksandr Riabushenko (UAE-Team Emirates): +0:00:16