Giacomo Nizzolo likes technical uphill sprins that was exactly what he found in today's third stage of the Giro d'Italia. However, the Italian got lost from his Trek teammates in the finale and finished back in 9th, thus losing a very big opportunity to go for s stage win.
The 187-kilometer from Armagh to Dublin culminated in the expected bunch finish with Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) winning his second stage in as many days. It was not the perfectly played out sprint as yesterday, but Kittel showed his sprinting expertise and jumped to what appeared an impossible win in the final meters - a nice gift on his birthday. Ben Swift (Team Sky) and Elia Viviani (Cannondale) completed the top three on the stage.
Unlike yesterday, Giacomo Nizzolo was unable to get himself into the best position and finished in ninth place.
“I can say it definitely could have been better,” said Nizzolo shortly after the finish. “The team brought me to good position with 1.3k to go and then we got a little be lost from each other. Then Cannondale began to pull very fast and the peloton was in one line; I tried to move up in last kilometer, but I was a little too far back.
"It would have been much better if I was more in the front, and when I saw the finish line with the corners and that it was a little bit uphill, which is normally good for me, I was really sorry.”
An early five-rider breakaway formed the action for most of the race, with a few big crashes in the peloton adding a nervous energy for the final kilometers. When the inevitable catch to the breakaway occurred with around seven kilometers remaining, the team sprint trains took over. The earlier rain had stopped, and the roads were more or less dry for the final romp into Dublin, resutling in a furious speed for the last kilometers; add in a few tricky corners and it made positioning difficult. It was not the textbook sprint that Trek Factory Racing had played out yesterday, explained Boy van Poppel, one of the key lead out men for Nizzolo.
“It was a very nervous race from 35k to go,” he said. “It was along the coast with a lot of wind. My job today was to keep [Robert] Kiserlovski in front for the GC, and I kept bringing him to the front. In the finish I was looking for Giacomo and Danilo [Hondo].
"We were behind the team of Giant-Shimano and we wanted to pass them, but it was hectic with all the corners. We made a mistake in the last kilometer and lost each other. It’s a learning lesson for the next races.
"I am not happy with the ending - it was a pity, as I know we can do much better. I know we can win. The feeling in the team is very good, and we cannot be satisfied with ninth.”
Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge) retained the maglia rosa. Tomorrow is a rest day as the entire race shifts to Italy for stage four on Tuesday.
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