uses cookies for statistics and targeting ads. This information is shared with third parties.

Every day we bring you more pro-cycling news

Veteran Italian escapes select front group on the final descent to take the stage win and overall lead after a hectic battle among the favourites

Photo: Sirotti






06.05.2013 @ 17:25 Posted by Simon Knudstrup

Luca Paolini (Katusha) used all of his experience to take the stage win in a very dramatic third stage of the Giro d'Italia along the Amalfi coast. He escaped a select group of favourites on the final, crash-marred descent and took over the lead from Salvatore Puccio (Sky) in the process.


At the tender age of 36 Luca Paolini makes a very belated debut in his home grand tour this year but today he put his years of experience in races all over the world on show as he outfoxed a number of overall favourites in a very hectic end to the highly dramatic third stage of the race. Always at the front of the peloton he showed his intentions all day and when it all mattered in the end, he showed that he had the legs to finish off the work.


His win came at the end of a highly dramatic stage along the Amalfi coast. Defending champion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) saw the day's final third category climb as the perfect opportunity to put in a surprise attack and so he sent his teammates Ramunas Navardauskas and Peter Stetina to the front to set a hard tempo as the approach the midpoint of the ascent.


On a small descent the Canadian kicked into action and together with Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) he upped the pace. A small group gapped the remained of the peloton and suddenly Nibali, Hesjedal, Tanel Kangert (Astana), Valerio Agnoli (Astana), Bradley Wiggins (Sky), Michele Scarponi (Lampre), Sergio Henao (Sky) and Robert Gesink (Blanco) were ahead of their rivals.


Mauro Satambrogio (Vini Fantini) joined from behind and a little later Cadel Evans (BMC) and Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) also gained contact. Meanwhile, Kangert and Agnoli set a hard tempo as the road again kicked upwards to make their captain Nibali get the maximal benefit of the situation.


Despite the hard Astana tempo the size of the group increased as all of the major GC contenders joined from behind but Hesjedal was in no mood to ease off. The Canadian once again attacked and this team he set off on his own.


The move was of course too dangerous and the 20-rider group managed to bring back the Canadian a little later but Astana continued to set a hard tempo with Kangert at the front. Later he was replaced by the talented Fabio Aru while KOM leader Giovanni Visconti made sure to pass the summit of the climb in first position.


As soon as the group started the descent, Agnoli attacked and he was joined by a very aggressive Hesjedal. Paolini realized that the situation was dangerous and so he also joined the front move. A little later Ivan Santaromita (BMC) and Santambrogio gained contact to form a very strong 5-man group.


Hesjedal set an amazing tempo on the highly technical descent and behind the peloton was completely strung out in a long lone as they negotiated the numerous corners. Scarponi, Nibali and Steven Kruijswijk (Blanco) used their formidable descending skills to join the front move but moments later the Hesjedal move was caught by the front end of the peloton.


Agnoli hit the front on a small climb midway down the descent and at the top Henao took over with Wiggins in his wheel. This was the signal for Paolini to go on the offensive and with 6km to go, he attacked and immediately created a huge gap.


The second part of the descent was no less technical than the first and Paolini used his formidable descending skills to increase his advantage while behind Kruijswijk was chasing with Gesink and Scarponi in his wheel. Disaster happened in a corner with around three kilometers to go as the trio went down and while Gesink and Kruijswijk were quickly back on their bike, it had huge consequences for the Italian whose bike was broken. He had to wait for a long time before he received a replacement from his teammates Simone Stortoni and despite being helped by Przemyslaw Niemiec he ended up losing almost a minute to his rivals.


In the front Paolini did not care and his advantage increased all the way to the flamme rouge where he had plenty of time to sit up and enjoy a stage win in his debut Giro. With Katusha taking a formidable 4th place in yesterday's team time trial, his performance also made him inherit the maglia rosa from Salvatore Puccio who had struggled on the last climb and lost a huge amount of time.


Behind Evans and Hesjedal beat their rivals in the sprint to pick up 12 and 8 bonus seconds respectively as they led home a very small favourite group. The descent had blown the bunch to pieces and the likes of Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r), Carlos Betancur (Ag2r), Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Franco Pellizotti (Androni) lost around 30 seconds to their key rivals.


The descent was marred by a number of crashes and Betancur, Miguel Angel Rubiano (Androni), Robinson Chalapud (Colombia) and Kangert were just some of the riders who hit the deck. For Betancur it ended up costing him a huge amount of time as he ended up in the second group behind Paolini.


The new leader will now try to defend his jersey in tomorrow's mammoth 246km stage. With the top of a category 2 climb located just 6,7km from the finish, it has all the potential to be another hugely dramatic affair.


Starting at 14.15 you can follow the action on


7 riders go off the front

The 222km stage from Sorrento to Marina di Ascea took place along the Amalfi coast and with two hard climbs in the final part of the stage it was expected to be a thrilling, unpredictable affair. Forecasts even predicted rain for the final part of the stage but fortunately the roads remained dry on the technical descents.


As soon as the flag was dropped Manuele Boaro (Saxo-Tinkoff) attacked and he was joined by Willem Wauters (Vacansoleil), Bert De Backer (Argos-Shimano), Dirk Bellemakers (Lotto), Jackson Rodriguez (Androni), Fabio Taborre (Vini Fantini) and Jarlinson Pantano (Colombia) in what would be the day's early escape. They were allowed to build up a gap of around 7 minutes before the Sky team decided to up the pace in the peloton.


Christian Knees, Xabier Zandio and Danny Pate set a modest tempo at the front to keep the gap stable but it was soon clear that the British team did not intend to defend the jersey of Puccio. As they got closer to the finish line and no one tried to chase Taborre could start to dream of taking over the maglia rosa as he was the best-placed of the breakaway riders 22 seconds behind Puccio.


Omega Pharma-Quick Step start to chase

With 84km to go Omega Pharma-Quick Step showed that they wanted to try to win the stage with either Mark Cavendish or Gert Steegmans and so Jerome Pineau and Michal Golas upped the tempo. When they hit the bottom of the day's first climb with 77km to go the gap was down to less than 5 minutes but as soon as the road started to point upwards the Belgian team stopped their effort.


The reason was obvious as Cavendish was dropped soon after and together with the likes of Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) and Francesco Chicchi (Vini Fantini) he created a small group some way behind the peloton. Meanwhile, there was plenty of nervousness as all the big favourites carefully stayed near the front.


The break battles for mountains jersey

De Backer was dropped from the break at the bottom of the climb and he was soon after picked up by the peloton. As his former escape companions neared the top of the climb they started to battle it out for the KOM points and Pantano was the first to attack.


He was caught by his 5 companions and instead Wauters beat Boaro and Taborre to take 9 points and the lead in the mountains competition. The trio gapped the three other escapees but on the descent a regrouping took place.


Near the top of the climb Kanstantsin Siutsuou went to the front to make sure that Wiggins could start the descent in the best possible position and as the peloton crested the summit the Sky train was firmly in control. They safely negotiated the descent while the Cavendish group managed to rejoin the peloton just before they hit the coast to set off on a flat run-in towards the day's final climb.


Taborre on the attack

With 54km to go Taborre decided to set off alone and the remaining escapees were not able to follow his acceleration. He managed to build up a gap of more than 1 minute to his chasers who were unable to cooperate.


In the peloton Paolini showed his intentions as he asked Pavel Brutt and Maxim Belkov to up the tempo and when they were assisted by Vermote and Pineau who still believed in Cavendish and Steegmans, the gap started to come down rapidly. As they hit the bottom of the day's final climb they continued their hard effort and with 29km to go the chasers were caught.


However, the quartet used up their energy and for a moment the pace eased off. That was the signal for Hesjedal to kick into action and he asked Navardauskas and Stetina to go to the front. This kicked off the dramatic final part of the race and when Taborre was picked up with 25km remaining it was time for the big favourites to start their battle from which Paolini emerged as a highly deserving winner.



1. Luca Paolini 5.43.50

2. Cadel Evans +0.16

3. Ryder Hesjedal

4. Mauro Santambrogio

5. Samuel Sanchez

6. Giampaolo Caruso

7. Pieter Weening

8. Bradley Wiggins

9. Benat Intxausti

10. Robert Gesink


General classification:

1. Luca Paolini 9.04.32

2. Bradley Wiggins +0.17

3. Rigoberto Uran +0.17

4. Benat Intxausti +0.26

5. Vincezo Nibali +0.31

6. Valerio Agnoli +0.31

7. Ryder Hesjedal +0.34

8. Giampaolo Caruso +0.36

9. Yury Trofimov +0.36

10. Sergio Henao +0.37


Points classification:

1. Luca Paolini 29

2. Mark Cavendish 28

3. Cadel Evans 20

4. Elia Viviani 20

5. Ryder Hesjedal 16


Mountains classification:

1. Willem Wauters 9

2. Giovanni Visconti 8

3. Manuele Boaro 5

4. Cameron Wurf 3

5. Fabio Aru 3


Young riders' classification:

1. Fabio Aru 9.05.37

2. Rafal Majka +0.29

3. Carlos Betancur +0.36

4. Wilco Kelderman +1.16

5. Diego Rosa +1.19


Teams classification:

1. Katusha 17.12.02

2. Sky +0.36

3. BMC +0.50

4. Astana +0.50

5. Garmin-Sharp +1.52



The Best Danish Cyclist To Bet On At 2022 Tour De France 13.01.2022 @ 15:262022 Upcoming Tournament Overview 03.01.2022 @ 09:45Best Place to Find Stand-Up Paddleboards 16.06.2021 @ 08:16What are Primoz Roglic’s Chances to Win 2021 Tour de Fr... 17.03.2021 @ 08:37Amazing victory by young champion Sarah Gigante 04.02.2021 @ 14:21Three reasons why cycling is one of the best ways to ex... 28.09.2020 @ 12:03Why do businesses use meeting room managers? 14.09.2020 @ 13:42Five things that you can do, if you want to gain more f... 20.08.2020 @ 15:38One for the road 09.06.2020 @ 15:25List of CyclingQuotes previews 07.05.2020 @ 13:20Blue Energy: room for all interests 26.08.2019 @ 12:56Get your daily dose of exercise at home 08.07.2019 @ 10:443 good advice to be able to afford your favorite bike 25.02.2019 @ 12:32Cycle through gorgeous landscapes 22.10.2018 @ 21:41Balance Your Economy and Diet and Start Saving Money 08.10.2018 @ 11:18Stay Safe: 3 Helmets That Can Keep Your Head Protected... 20.07.2018 @ 07:59Planning to bet on Tour De France - Bet types and strat... 24.05.2018 @ 14:18Basics of cycling betting 25.10.2017 @ 13:10Bauer moves to ORICA-SCOTT 28.08.2017 @ 10:45End of the road for CyclingQuotes 08.01.2017 @ 16:00Rui Costa confirms Giro participation 07.01.2017 @ 12:55Van Avermaet: I am not afraid of Sagan 07.01.2017 @ 09:45Unchanged course for E3 Harelbeke 07.01.2017 @ 09:32Jenner takes surprise win at Australian U23 Championships 07.01.2017 @ 08:53No replacement for Meersman at Fortuneo-Vital Concept 06.01.2017 @ 19:14Barguil with two goals in 2017 06.01.2017 @ 19:06More details about French Vuelta start emerges 06.01.2017 @ 14:16Kristoff to start season at Etoile de Besseges 06.01.2017 @ 14:10Ion Izagirre announces schedule for first year at Bahrain 06.01.2017 @ 12:40JLT Condor optimistic for Herald Sun Tour 06.01.2017 @ 09:19Haas leads Dimension Data trio in fight for Australian... 06.01.2017 @ 09:15Sagan spearheads Bora-hansgrohe at Tour Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:12Henao and Thomas lead Sky Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:09Bauer crowned New Zealand TT champion 06.01.2017 @ 08:33Van der Poel ready to defend Dutch title 05.01.2017 @ 21:00Pantano ambitious for first Tour with Trek 05.01.2017 @ 20:41Landa with new approach to the Giro 05.01.2017 @ 20:36Sunweb Development Team sign Goos and Zepuntke 05.01.2017 @ 20:27Dumoulin confirms Giro participation 05.01.2017 @ 20:19Bauer targets victories in Quick-Step debut 05.01.2017 @ 20:16Gaviria and Boonen lead Quick-Step in San Juan 05.01.2017 @ 20:13Team Sunweb presented in Germany 05.01.2017 @ 20:09ASO take over major German WorldTour race 05.01.2017 @ 11:01Team Sunweb unveil new jersey 05.01.2017 @ 10:54Reactions from the Australian TT Championships 05.01.2017 @ 08:27Dennis defends Australian TT title 05.01.2017 @ 08:21Scotson takes back to back U23 TT titles in Australia 05.01.2017 @ 08:15Utrecht on track to host 2020 Vuelta 04.01.2017 @ 18:28Pre-season setback for Talansky 04.01.2017 @ 17:56Kristoff: It's not impossible for me to win in Rou... 04.01.2017 @ 17:49Boom close to first cyclo-cross win in LottoNL debut 04.01.2017 @ 17:40UAE Abu Dhabi make late signing of Arab rider 04.01.2017 @ 17:36UAE Abu Dhabi unveil new jersey 04.01.2017 @ 17:30BMC unveil race schedule 04.01.2017 @ 17:21Androni sign Costa Rican super talent 04.01.2017 @ 17:13

Currently no news in this list

43 years | today
20 years | today
Yohann GENE
41 years | today
40 years | today
25 years | today