x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Cycling: Luca Paolini is in the pink after leading final breakaway in Giro d'Italia's Stage 3

Luca Paolini pulled on the pink jersey as overall leader after Stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia, taking over from fellow Italian Salvatore Puccio. Sir Bradley Wiggins is second overall.

Italian Luca Paolini crosses the finish line first to win the third stage of 96th Giro d'Italia going from Sorrento to Marina di Ascea
Italian Luca Paolini crosses the finish line first to win the third stage of 96th Giro d'Italia going from Sorrento to Marina di Ascea

MARINA DI ASCEA, Italy // Italian Luca Paolini used a late solo attack to win the third stage of the Giro d'Italia on Monday and take the overall leader's pink jersey from compatriot Salvatore Puccio.

Paolini, who rides for Katusha, broke away toward the end of the final descent to complete the 222-kilometre leg from Sorrento to Marina di Ascea in 5 hours, 43 minutes, 50 seconds.

Cadel Evans beat defending champion Ryder Hesjedal in a bunch sprint for second place, with both finishing 16 seconds behind.

Overall favorite Sir Bradley Wiggins finished eighth on the stage and is second in the general standings, 17 seconds behind Paolini.

Main rival Vincenzo Nibali is fifth, 14 seconds further back.

Paolini timed his break to perfection on the descent of the Sella Di Catona, attacking 6.5 kilometres from the finish.

Hesjedal attacked several times on the second and final classified climb, but could not build up enough of an advantage and was caught each time.

The third stage took the peleton along the picturesque Amalfi coast and featured an early breakaway by seven riders who built up a lead of more than seven minutes at the midway point.

But the Team Sky riders, who won the team trial on Sunday, were in control of the peleton and the gap slowly began to shrink as they approached the start of the first climb of the day, up the San Mauro Cilento. At the summit, the leaders had an advantage of just over four minutes.

Fabio Taborre made a solo break away from the leading group with 50km to go, but the peloton again picked up the pace and swallowed up the chasers before catching the Italian.

Hesjedal then attacked with 25km remaining, was caught and broke again together with Valerio Agnoli and Paolini.

The group was again back together 14km from the finish before Paolini's attack on the final part of the twisting descent to the finish.

 

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