The peloton of the Giro d'Italia started the third stage in the rain. On the program this Monday, a crossing of the Piedmont region of 190 kilometers from Biella towards Canale in the north-west of the country. Four climbs, spread over the last 70 kilometers, offered the prospect of an uncertain stage.
Like the day before, the first attack turned out to be the right one for the breakaway. After 5 kilometers, eight men received the green light from the peloton. Among them, the Dutchman Taco van der Hoorn, who had already distinguished himself at the forefront this season during Milan-San Remo and the E3 Classic. This group had accumulated a maximum lead of 6.30 minutes after an hour of racing.
As we approached the first climb of Piancanelli (7.5 km at 4.9%) after 120 km, the gap had dropped to 3 minutes. van der Hoorn made a good impression up front, managing his effort and not taking part in the fight for the mountain jersey, worn by his escape companion Albanese (EOLO). In the climb of Castino (5.1 km at 4.8%) whose summit was located 45 km from the finish, the breakaway lost two units while the peloton had returned to 2 minutes.
Quickly, the fugitives entered the penultimate climb of Manera (4.9 km at 5.9%). At the bottom of its long descent to the fourth ascent of Guarene (2.6 km at 6.8%), listed as a bonus sprint, the peloton was back to one minute. 20 kilometers were still remaining. This was the moment chosen by van der Hoorn and Pellaud (Androni) to distance themselves from the rest of the breakaway.
But behind, the pack led by Bora-Hansgrohe was determined to catch them. Taco van der Hoorn tried his chance at 10 kilometers from the finish, dropping Pellaud off. He then managed to keep all his pursuers in check, and the peloton was 30 seconds behind with 5 kilometers from the finish. At the end of the suspense, and after a breakaway of nearly 190 kilometers, the Dutchman arrived alone on the finish line at Canale. He claims the first victory of the season for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, also its first on a Grand Tour, on the very first Giro of the Belgian team.
Thanks to the 12th and 13th places of Quinten Hermans and Andrea Pasqualon, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux finished first in the team classification for the second consecutive stage.
Taco van der Hoorn:
"It is simply amazing! To be honest, I don't realize. I won a stage of the Giro, something I would never have dreamed of. The last km was technical with several left turns. I looked back under the flamme rouge and then felt I could win. I took the turn with the necessary caution, then enjoyed the home stretch. Three years ago, I suffered a serious concussion after a crash. I had to hang up my bike for eight months. My career was hanging by a thread then. It was also the case at the end of last season when I was without a contract. But I persisted and I finally received my chance at Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. The team gave me a great program and I'm happy I could reward them with this victory. I like working with this team, the atmosphere in the group is fantastic. A win took a long time coming for us, and now we have it. We deserved it."
1. Taco van der Hoorn
2. Davide Cimolai +4
3. Elia Viviani
12. Quinten Hermans
13. Andrea Pasqualon
64. Rein Taaramäe
90. Jan Hirt
134. Simone Petilli +9:36
174. Wesley Kreder +14:06
176. Riccardo Minali