Tour of the Alps: O’Connor wins stage 3, Pinot takes race lead

Australian Ben O'Connor earned the stage victory, with Chris Froome finishing sixth as he prepares for the Giro d'Italia.

MILAN (AFP) — Australian Ben O’Connor won the third stage of the Tour of the Alps on Wednesday, with four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome finishing sixth.

Dimension Data rider O’Connor crossed the finish line alone five seconds ahead of Thibaut Pinot of Groupama-FDJ with the French rider taking the overall race lead following the 138.3-kilometer stage from Ora to the southern Tyrol town of Merano.

Italy’s Domenico Pozzovivo and Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno are second and third overall. Froome is racing as he continues preparations for next month’s Giro d’Italia.

Froome crossed the line in sixth on the stage, which featured two difficult climbs along the way and a final summit 25km from the finish.

Froome, 32, is racing despite his ongoing case with the UCI’s anti-doping unit after he turned in an adverse analytical finding for the asthma drug salbutamol at the Vuelta a Espana last September.

Thursday’s fourth and penultimate stage is a 134.3km ride between Chiusa/Klausen and Lienz in Austria.