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"It was my first try but not the last one, of course. Now I am happy with the blue jersey. This is a good motivation for me for the next days in the Giro."

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele

GIRO D'ITALIA

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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LUCA PAOLINI

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PAVEL KOCHETKOV

RIDER PROFILE
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SERGEY LAGUTIN

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11.05.2015 @ 20:27 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

From the break Pavel Kochetkov had a plan on Monday’s stage 3 of the 98th Giro d’Italia and that was to stack up enough points to claim the blue climber’s jersey at the end of the stage. Mission accomplished for the 29 year old Russian rider who rode away on the final climb to earn maximum points and put on the jersey for best climber in the finish town of Sestri Levante. Joining him with good results in the sprint finish were teammates Sergey Lagutin and Luca Paolini, taking fourth and 6th behind stage winner Michael Matthews. 

 

"We had a plan to control the situation in front and to try to go in the escape. So when some riders attacked I was there to follow them. Later some other riders came to us, so we had a big group in front. I tried to save energy and to consider the possibility for an attack later in the race. I found a good moment just before the top of the last climb when I was on the steepest part. I took the points on the top and started to go downhill. It was easier for me to stay alone in front on the downhill. Later I saw that I still had a gap and I said to myself to try to do my best. It was a good try and I was close. It was my first try but not the last one, of course. Now I am happy with the blue jersey. This is a good motivation for me for the next days in the Giro," said Team Katusha rider Pavel Kochetkov.

 

The final rush to the finish line resulted in a group sprint won by race leader Matthews of Orica-GreenEdge. Rounding out the podium were Fabio Felline (Trek Factory Racing) and Philippe Gilbert of BMC after just over three-and-a-half hours of racing.

 

"We knew it could be a good stage for a breakaway to have success so we stayed in front in the beginning and later it was Pavel who managed to go in a breakaway. He was strong today. He used his experience from the recent Tour de Romandie and did a very smart race. In the end Pavel was really close to success, but the peloton caught him and the Orica rider with only 3 km to go. I am happy with Sergey Lagutin and Luca Paolini who represented our team well in the final sprint taking 4th and 6th places. Very nice," said team director Dmitry Konyshev.

 

Despite only two categorized climbs on today’s profile, there was rarely a moment where the terrain wasn’t going either up or down for most of the 136 km on the stage that started along the coast in Rapallo. Pavel Kochetkov was part of all the breakaway action for today’s stage, putting himself in the front to react to every move from the head of the peloton. It was on the way up the final climb to the top of the Barbagelata that Kochetkov made his bid for the blue jersey, surging ahead before the top of the climb and taking the points before beginning the plunge to the finish line. Once the chasing group brought Kochetkov back, he gave it one more try but was marked by Simon Clarke of Orica-GreenEdge. At less than 4 km to go the group was together and rushing to the finish line for the sprint won by Matthews, making his second win in as many days. The Australian rider retained the pink leader’s jersey and now holds six- and ten- seconds to teammates Clarke and Simon Gerrans, the only separations at the top of the leader board coming from time bonuses on the finish line.

 

Unfortunately, due to the acute gastroenteritis, Anton Vorobyev was forced to abandon the race. Yesterday, in spite of sickness, Vorobyev started stage 2 and finished it, but today after his condition did not improve, it was decided he needed to stop the race.

 

Tuesday’s stage looks to be another up-and-down day with three category-3 climbs on the 150 km route from Chiavari to La Spezia.  

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