Boasson Hagen Wins Tirreno-Adriatico Stage Three Sprint

March 9, 2012 Updated: March 9, 2012

Stage Three of the Tirreno-Adriatico cycling race, 178 km from Indicatore to Terni, was the last stage likely to end in a bunch sprint, yet the sprinters’ teams couldn’t organize; the stage ended with individual riders making their own sprints, and Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen proved to be the fastest.

Boasson Hagen explained on the Team Sky website that Mark Cavendish was fighting flu symptoms and wasn’t up for the final sprint.

“I found out at about six kilometers to go that Mark didn’t feel so good and I knew I’d be sprinting,” said the 24-year-old Norwegian. “The whole team did a good job to keep me up towards the front. The guys with me did great work in the last kilometer. I’m really happy to win and that we managed to get the victory.

“It was a long sprint but I went and I knew I had to go for it. I know that I’m pretty good at long sprints and I’ve done it before. You never know what the other guys will do but it worked out well.

“Now we’ll take it day by day. We have Thomas [Lövkvist] here for the GC so we will help him where we can and see where we end up.”

Stage Three was lumpy but contained only one tricky climb, the 2.3-km, 8.3-percent (with ramps up to 14 percent) ascent at Todi. After that the only obstacles were a series of roundabouts in the final five kilometers. After a sweeping left-hand bend in the final 350 meters were straight and flat—there was no reason the sprint teams shouldn’t have been able to line up their leadout trains and make a proper fight of it.

Nonetheless, none of the sprinters managed to finds their leadout riders. Garmin-Barracuda’s Robby Hunter led the pack around the final turn, but Tyler Farrar was way off on the right. Sky’s Mark Cavendish was nowhere to be seen, lost in the pack.

Instead, Edvald Boasson Hagen launched his own sprint down the middle, with Lotto-Belisol’s André Greipel on his left shoulder. As Farrar pushed down the far right, Peter Sagan of Liquigas, who had been riding Boasson Hagen’s wheel, nipped out to the left, and squeezed past Greipel at the line.

The day started with a long break by Colnago’s Filippo Savini. Savini, riding solo, wore out and got caught about 25 km from the line. BMC did a lot of work at the front—the first time they made their presence known in the race so far—but having no strong sprinter, gave up the lead as the peloton hit a headwind with 15 km to go.

GreenEdge’s Matthew Goss kept his leader’s blue jersey; his teammates Stuart O’Grady, Cameron Meyer, and Sebastian Langeveld hold two through four, with Tyler Farrar rounding out the top five.

All that will change tomorrow as Stage Four is very long—252 km—and steep. The first categorized climb, 3.9 km at 3.9 percent and some 8-percent ramps, will seem easy once the riders hit the Passo Lanciano, 12.3 km at 8.4 percent with ramps of 13 percent.

After 245 km, the peloton will hit the 5-km uncategorized climb up the Via dei Marsi, followed by the vicious 1.1-km climb up the Via del Tricalle, 11.6 average with ramps up to 19 percent.

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage Three

 

Rider

Team

Time

1

Edvald Boasson Hagen

Sky

4:45:31 seconds

2

Andre Greipel

Lotto

 

3

Peter Sagan

Liquigas

 

4

Tyler Farrar

Garmin-Barracuda

 

5

Manuel Belletti

Ag2R

 

6

Matthew Goss

GreenEdge

 

7

Kenny van Hummel

Vacansoleil

 

8

Francisco Ventoso

Movistar

 

9

Elia Favilli

Farnese

 

10

Wouter Poels

Vacansoleil

+3

General Classification after Stage Three

 

Rider

Team

Time

1

Matthew Goss

GreenEdge

11:36:44

2

Stuart O’Grady

GreenEdge

+3

3

Cameron Meyer

GreenEdge

+3

4

Sebastian Langeveld

GreenEdge

+3

5

Tyler Ferrar

Garmin-Barracuda

+13

6

Edvald Boasson Hagen

Sky

+13

7

Mark Cavendish

Sky

+14

8

Christopher Horner

RadioShack-Nissan

+20

9

Daniele Bennati

RadioShack-Nissan

 

10

Fabian Cancellara

RadioShack-Nissan