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Gianni Moscon (Ineos Grenadiers) won stage 3 of the Tour of the Alps with a bike throw, just ahead of Felix Großschsrtner (Bora-Hansgrohe).
The two were part of a four-man break that escaped with 22km to go.
This is Moscon’s second stage win in three days. The 27-year-old won the opening stage, in his adopted home town.
Close call. But it's Gianni Moscon again in Naturns/Naturno 🥇🇮🇹
2nd Felix Großschartner
3rd Michael Storer pic.twitter.com/BR4tzDr0i1
— Tour of The Alps (@Tourof_TheAlps) April 21, 2021
Overall race leader Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) maintains a 45-second lead.
“It was a tough stage, but the team was really in control and we did a good job. There were a lot of guys trying for the breakaway because I think today was the last chance. The team did a really good job today to control so today wasn’t so difficult for me,” said Yates.
How it happened
Overnight, team Continental team Uno-X, which had been sending riders up the road in breakaways withdrew before the start of the stage due to a positive coronavirus test amongst the team.
Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation) — looking to take the jersey of the KOM leader — attacked early with Matteo Fabbro (Bora-Hansgrohe).
A large group gave chase, forcing Yates and Team BikeExchange to do the pacemaking behind Moscon and Großschartner, as well as Luis León Sánchez and Harold Tejada (both Astana-Premier Tech), Tony Gallopin and Francois Bidard (both AG2R-Citroën) Edward Ravasi and Mark Christian (both Eolo-Kometa), Antonio Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-Victorious), Tejay van Garderen (EF Education-Nippo), and Michael Storer (Team DSM).
Having gained as much as three minutes, the chasing group brought the break to within two minutes at 50km to go, and then stretched the advantage out over two-and-a-half minutes after an uncategorized climb.
Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers), second on the GC, tangled in a crash gapping the main group until nearly 25km to go, at the base of the final climb.
Hermann Pernsteiner attacked the short and steep ascent on Tarres bringing Moscon. The stage winner dropped the instigator but was soon joined by Großschartner, Matteo Fabbro (Bora-Hansgrohe), and Michael Storer (Team DSM) at the 20km kite.
Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious) gave chase from the main group along with teammate Pernsteiner and the two bridged up to Antonio Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), Luis León Sánchez (Astana-Premier Tech), François Bidard (AG2R-Citroën), and De Marchi.
Nearly at the 10km to go mark, Pernsteiner was absorbed in the chasing bunch, and with teammate Bilbao looking to improve his overall standing upped the tempo and closed the gap to Moscon’s group to less than half a minute.
As the break closed in on 5km to go, and then 3km, the catch by the chasing five looked all but assured, with the main bunch still more than a minute back.
— INEOS Grenadiers (@INEOSGrenadiers) April 21, 2021
Moscon, tasting victory opened the dash to the line first, attacking the quartet on the front. Großschartner saw Moscon going away and reacted, but it was just a moment too late and Moscon won a second stage.
What’s to come
Stage 4 (168.8km) will challenge riders with a tough go over the Passo Castrin before taking on the Cat 1 Passo Campo and then the Cat 2 Boniprati before a very fast downhill run-in to the finish in Pieve di Bono.
Yates, a capable climber, will need to be attentive to attacks from Bora-Hansgrohe looking to slim the gap to Großschartner.
Tour of the Alps Stage 3 Results
- Gianni Moscon (Ineos-Grenadiers), at 4:04:25
- Felix Großschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe), at s.t.
- Michael Storer (Team DSM), at 0:01
- Matteo Fabbro (Bora-Hansgrohe), at s.t.
- Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation), at s.t.
- Antonio Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), at s.t.
- François Bidard (AG2R-Citroën), at s.t.
- Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious), at s.t.
- Luis León Sánchez (Astana-Premier Tech), at s.t.
- Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-Victorious), at 00:13