Vincenzo Albanese finishes seventh in the sprint and Marton Dina remains as KOM
Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali
Stage 3: Ricccione-Riccione (139 km)
Despite the cancellation of the ascent of the very hard Monte Carpegna, which was removed from the route in the previous afternoon due to snow, the third stage of this Settimana Coppi e Bartali maintained the same triple objective for the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team: to maintain the mountain lead of Márton Dina, to be present in the breakaway that could happen and to work hard to explore the options of Vincenzo Albanese in the sprint. And all this, if possible, trying to avoid intangibles such as mechanical mishaps or crashes.
The Carpegna was not on the route, but the six-kilometre shorter course was still complicated, with two scoring mountain passes and a lot of leg-breaking terrain that never scores points but does erode the strength of the riders. In the breakaway of the day, which took a long time to form and ended up consisting of seven riders, the team was unable to make its presence felt despite several attempts to do so. It was time to work for Vincenzo Albanese and protect him well. A job that made all the sense when the last exponents of the breakaway were caught in the last eight kilometres. It was a frenetic end to the race.
In the sprint Albanese would sign an outstanding seventh place, his second top ten in this race and a new step forward for the team. British rider Ethan Hayter was the winner of the third stage, while Danish rider Jonas Vingegaard retained the overall lead, with Edward Ravasi and Alessandro Fancellu in 16th and 17th place respectively. Márton Dina, reflecting the good work being done these days, managed to keep the lead in the mountains. This Friday, in the stage that will be held almost entirely in the Republic of San Marino and with almost 4,000 metres of accumulated vertical drop, he will have a good opportunity to reinforce it with the three mountain passes on the route.
Marton Dina: “I have to be honest, today was really tough for me. I did everything, but really everything, to try to get into the breakaway and the first half hour of the stage for me was really full throttle. Then, the breakaway started but I didn’t have the legs to stay with them: I saved the day, I hope to be in the breakaway tomorrow. I assure you that I will really do everything.”
Vincenzo Albanese: “Today was a strong stage, very challenging. Since the beginning I didn’t have very good feelings, but with the passing of the kilometers I felt better and better. I had a great support from our three sport directors, who have always encouraged me throughout the stage to push me not to give up. The climbs, especially the long ones, are not my terrain: in the final part of the stage I arrived to take part in the sprint, unfortunately in the last 500 meters there was some confusion and I was not able to sprint as I wanted. But I’m happy because at the end I was there with the first ones, despite everything. I’ll try again, I’d like to get a podium or a nice victory: Eolo-Kometa deserves it, we are always ahead and always protagonists since the beginning of the season, sooner or later the victory will come and I’ll give everything to get it as soon as possible”.