Even the third stage of the Tour of the Alps was marked by low temperatures and the race route modified (Passo delle Erbe out because of the snow).
The greatest selection was made on the last climb to the finish where the Astana Pro Team guys had been very active with Luis Leon Sanchez doing an important work for the captain, Dario Cataldo, firstly in the attack with Landa and Pozzovivo, than helping Michele Scarponi to keep the gap short between the break and the bunch of the GC contenders, then Scarponi attacking and finishing at 15 secs from the winner.
“It has not been my best day – said Scarponi after the finish – it was very cold for the entire day and in the final we tried to do our best as a Team.”
“I’m not disappointed by the result because I knew I was not at the 100% here – explained the Italian – anyway I think we did pretty good: when my team mate Cataldo finished to work at 1.8 km to the finish line, I’ve increased the speed because if not, the attackers could have gained really much… then Thomas attacked me and he went away but this was today stage, there are still two stages on the last of which there is the Bondone Mountain to climb…”.
Very good performance also by Dario Cataldo: “I took the wheel of Landa and Pozzovivo when they attacked and I was feeling pretty good – explained Cataldo – then on a steep point Pozzovivo increased considerably the speed and I suffered: on that point I decided to sacrifice any ambition of mine for the GC and I waited for the group of Scarponi to impose a quite high speed and help my team mate not to take a big gap from the two at the front”.
The winner of today third stage was the British Geraint Thomas who is also the new leader in the GC. Michele Scarponi, 11th on the finish at 15 secs, he is now 4th in the GC at 21 secs from the leader.
Tomorrow, fourth stage of the Tour of the Alps, from Bolzano to Cles, 165,3 km with the Passo della Mendola in the first part and the difficult ascent to the Forcella di Brez that will end at 34 km to the finish line.