By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright 2001 AFP
Rabobank’s Markus Zberg won a hotly contested sprint finish on Friday, while Russian Dmitri Konyshev (Fassa Bortolo) took over the race lead at Tirreno-Adriatico.
Friday’s 156km third stage went from Benevento to Castelpetroso as the race continued its eastward journey across southern Italy toward the Adriatic coast. The day saw plenty of breakaway attempts, including Roberto Petito (Fassa Bortolo), Davide Rebellin (Liquigas) and Sergio Barbero (Lampre-Daikin), who were caught within sight of the 1km-to-go banner.
That set up the furious finish, in which Zberg came off of Konyshev’s wheel to win the dash to the line. In the process, though, Mapei’s Paolo Bettini alleged that Zberg bumped him into the barriers as he was making his way up the right side of the road.
“It was me who was going to win, I was at the point of going up the right side, but [Zberg] pushed me against the barricades with 300 meters to go,” said Bettini.
Zberg took the win, though, with Konyshev moving into the race lead, although he is in a virtual tie on time with Biagio Conte (Saeco), who had held the overall lead since the opening stage.
All of that could change on Saturday’s stage 4, a 170km route ending with a mountain finish in Celano.
1. Markus Zberg (Swi), Rabobank, 156km in 3:59:42.
2. Dmitri Konyshev (Rus), Fassa Bortolo
3. Davide Rebellin (I), Liquigas
4. Michael Boogerd (Nl), Rabobank
5. Francesco Casagrande (I), Fassa Bortolo
6. Marco Serpellini (I), Lampre-Daikin
7. Romans Vainsteins (Lat), Domo-Farm Frites
8. Gabriele Balducci (I), Tacconi-Vini Caldirola
9. Oskar Camenzind (Swi), Lampre-Daikin
10. Roberto Petito (I), Fassa Bortolo
2. Biagio Conte (I), Saeco
3. Zberg, both s.t.
4. Vainsteins, at 0:06
5. Balducci, s.t.
6. Rebellin, at 0:07
7. Nathan O’Neill (Aus), Panaria, s.t.
8. Gianmatteo Fagnini (I), Telekom, at 0:08
10. Petito, both s.t.