- This stage provided another good opportunity for us to win the stage. And the team did a super job during the day. We always were in front, trying to control the situation. On the last climb it was Chris Froome, who made an attack and me and Miguel Angel, we followed him. At the beginning of the last descent we found ourselves in the chasing group, 30 seconds behind three leaders. The downhill was super fast, we just followed the line of Froome. In the end we caught the leaders and everyone started to look at us. Finally, a rider went away, while Miguel Angel immediately started to work hard for me, trying to close the gap. In the end of the day, we could not catch him and there was just another sprint for 2-3 places… I am a bit disappointed, because we were really motivated to win this stage as the team did an amazing job and I felt very good. Yeah, we still have two more days here at the Tour of the Alps, and we will keep on trying. The main thing is my form is coming up, I am improving day by day, - explained Luis Leon Sanchez.
The third stage of the race started in Ora and finished in Merano (138,3 km). It was another sunny day here in Trentino. While a group of riders went away in the beginning of the stage, Astana Team together with a few other teams started chasing, taking the situation under control. On the penultimate climb of the day Passo della Mendola Thibaut Pinot has attacked together with Domenico Pozzovivo and Ben O’Conner. This group made a difference on the top of the climb, but inside the final 10 kilometers the chasing group with Luis Leon Sanchez and Miguel Angel Lopez has come across, rejoining the leaders.
Ben O’Connor made a good attack with 5 km to go, while Miguel Angel Lopez did his best to help Luis Leon Sanchez and to close the gap of 8-10 seconds. Finally, O’Connor made it until the end, taking the stage win, while 5 seconds later Thibaut Pinot won the sprint from the chasing group for second place. Pozzovivo was third, while Luis Leon Sanchez finished 5th. Miguel Angel Lopez was 11th.
After three days at the Tour of the Alps Pinot took the lead in the general classification after the current leader Ivan Ramiro Sosa crashed down on the descent, losing around 5 minutes at the finish line. Astana’s leader Miguel Angel Lopez holds the third place in the overall, 15 seconds behind Pinot. Luis Leon Sanchez is 7th, +1.27.
Stage 4 of the race will be held tomorrow: 134,3 km from Klausen to Lienz.
Photo credit: ©Bettiniphoto