Antonio Puppio finishes fourth in an arrival in Mordano where Alejandro Ropero gives up the maglia rosa
Giro d´Italia U23
Etapa 3: Riccione- Mordano (150,5 km)
Endowed with a great speed, the Italian Antonio Puppio fed the illusions of a second partial victory in this Giro d’Italia U23 for the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team after riding among the five runners who managed to reach the finish line in Mordano. The sprint, in its second consecutive success, was won by his compatriot Luca Colnaghi (Zalf), the new leader of the race. Puppio launched the sprint from 450 metres, but was eventually overtaken by Colnaghi, Britain’s Thomas Pidcock and Austria’s Tobias Bayer.
The aim was to fight for the stage and the plan was to select the race in the winding downhill area near the finish line. Monte Carla, one kilometre at over 8%; Monticino, 3.3 km at 5.3%; Mazzolano, almost two km at 7.7%. At Monticino, it was tried out by the maglia rosa Alejandro Ropero, without success, and continued by Antonio Puppio.
Finally, Puppio, Colnaghi, Tom Pidcock, Bayer, the Belgian Henri Vandenabeele and initially also the Italian Michele Gazzoli stood out on the climb to Monticino, although Gazzoli eventually gave in. The five, several of them very well placed in the overall provisional standings, stood on the finish line with enough margin to fight for victory. Given the income and the bonuses, the change of leadership arrived. Alessandro Fancellu and Alejandro Ropero arrived in the chasing group of 33 units, at 26 seconds.
“The idea was to win the stage; first Alejandro started, then I did it and the final breakaway came out”, explains Puppio, “I had very good feelings and we found a quick agreement between the five breakaways. I started within the last 500 metres, but I ended up being passed. It was close, almost a mess”.
Alejandro Ropero, who in the frenetic start of the stage managed to ride within a group of about thirty units, gave up the leadership and is now fifth in the classification, at 23 seconds: “We knew that today was going to be very hard due to the weather conditions. We have to be happy regardless of having lost the maglia, because we had the opportunity to fight for victory with Antonio. The leadership itself was not an objective, but to fight day by day for the stage victory. We continue to add up and we will see how tomorrow goes, which is another very hard day”. Alessandro Fancellu is twelfth, 48 seconds away from the maglia. The Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team was the best team of the day and remains at the top of this general classification.
This Tuesday, the first complicated day of the Giro U23. To talk about ‘ in a race like this is certainly adventurous, since in all the stages there is always a great battle, full of constant alternatives. But the journey between Bonferraro di Sorgà and Bolca is very complicated and will surely bring about many changes in the overall of the race.
? Isola Press
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)