Giro d'Italia
3rd stage: Vasto - Melfi (216 km)

nside us there are the feelings that fist each other. On the one hand there is the anger of those who are not satisfied with a placing, of those who are here to win, of those who pushed with their hearts and voices the last meters of Vincenzo Albanese who finished fourth at the finish line in Melfi. On the other, there is the joy of once again being there at the front: first among the Professional formations, first among the Italians, last to surrender to the winning sprint of the day’s favorite Michael Matthews (who preceded Pedersen and Groves).

Hard to decide which feeling to give reason to, after watching Albanese struggle once again until the last pedal stroke before finding someone stronger than him: because we know how much Vincenzo has suffered this year, we know how much he has worked to present himself in shape for this Giro d’Italia, how much he would deserve a victory. Hard to decide whether to be angrier or happier, after another narrow victory.

Difficult, though strong remains the pride: always. And even stronger the hope: the Giro has just begun, and EOLO KOMETA is there. And it will be there until the end, to try to win.

The stage saw a long breakaway by the Konyschev-Stojnic duo of Team Corratec, who got as far as a 7′ lead before the peloton went to work to bring themselves back under fire. On the first climb of the day, Jayco AlUla (Matthews’ team, the favorite) went to work with a great Filippo Zana, and the pace they set skimmed the peloton, peeling off the pure sprinters. A few crashes on the descent, some skirmishes between Roglic and Evenepoel on the flying finish line, and then the splendid sprint with Albanese beaten by Matthews who was very good at setting up a long sprint and taking advantage of his team’s work.

All round the captain – photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2023

Vincenzo Albanese: “At the end I was really well placed, however I was beaten by stronger riders than me: but I am happy. I know I can play it, there are many stages left and my condition is very good. Today we faced the climb very strongly, the road was wet and you had to be careful not to fall: in the final I was fine but alone I maybe wasted some energy that I then lacked in the final. I think it was difficult to do better than that, now I’m waiting for the Salerno and Naples stages that pass through my area, and then the Giro is still very long.”

Stefano Zanatta: “Today’s stage suited our characteristics, so we decided to try it with Albanese. We hoped to stay with an extra rider at the end but unfortunately Fetter punctured and we missed a man who would have helped him. Albanese then did very well and brought home a very good result, a fourth place in the Giro gives value to all the results achieved so far. Tomorrow is the first uphill finish, and we will keep racing to find a stage win.”

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