Jasper Philipsen powers to stage three victory at Tirreno-Adriatico
Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) stormed to victory on stage three of Tirreno-Adriatico after a rapid bunch sprint.
Philipsen was able to rely on a lead out from Mathieu van der Poel which none of Alpecin-Deceuninck’s rivals could answer.
Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) was once again in the thick of the action, taking third place behind Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious).
As the peloton passed under seven kilometres to go, panic would follow as splits in the bunch briefly began to form. Jumbo-Visma duo Wout van Aert and Primož Roglič were driving the pace, which caused pandemonium behind them.
The main field eventually got back on terms, but Alpecin-Deceuninck would not be denied. After a huge turn on the front of the peloton to set up his team mate, Van der Poel peeled off and there would be no stopping Philipsen.
Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) finished in the main field to hold onto the overall lead.
How it happened
After yesterday’s stage two won by Fabio Jakobsen (Soudal Quick-Step), the peloton faced another long day in the saddle at 215 kilometres which was widely anticipated to end in another bunch sprint. There were two categorised climbs on the course, but not severe enough to make a difference.
Once the flag dropped, several riders attacked including Eolo-Kometa brothers Davide and Mattia Bais. Two Corratec riders Stefano Gandin and Alessandro Iacchi - also in yesterday’s break - were back in the mix again too. The quartet swiftly built up a lead of more than four minutes.
As the riders passed the halfway point of the stage, Gandin and Iacchi faded and were swept up by the main field led by Dries Devenyns and Soudal Quick-Step. Alpecin-Deceuninck and Jayco-AIUla began to help with the work on the front of the peloton, and with 80 kilometres left to race, the Eolo-Kometa siblings were soon swept up.
At 54 kilometres to go, the main field raced towards the finish at speed, with a variety of teams jostling for position on the front. Movistar were well represented, looking to help Fernando Gaviria after stage two disappointment. UAE Team Emirates, Jumbo-Visma and DSM were also in the mix.
Biniam Girmay was clearly feeling sharp, so with 30 kilometres left, Intermarché-Circus-Wanty suddenly appeared, looking to get their man into position ahead of what many predicted to be a hectic finish.
Led by Jumbo-Visma, the peloton were sailing along. Unfortunately the high-pace was too much for some, and Negasi Abreha (Q36.5) was involved in a nasty crash, losing his entire rear tyre in the process. Huge splits were forming in the field thanks to a huge turn of speed from Wout van Aert and Primož Roglič.
Several big name riders were distanced, but Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën) and Magnus Sheffield (Ineos Grenadiers) were two who were able to keep in contact. Several key sprinters were distanced, including Fabio Jakobsen (Soudal Quick-Step) and Girmay. Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) was also in the mix.
With seven kilometres to go, the second group began to panic, particularly Bahrain Victorious who had Mikel Landa to protect. Alpecin-Deceuninck were the only sprinters team to make the jump to the first group, so the team continued to push to set up Jasper Philipsen.
Five kilometres later, it was panic over, as Soudal Quick-Step pulled the second group back in contention. The fast men would have their day afterall.
As they flew under the one kilometre to go banner, Trek-Segafredo led the bunch around a series of tight bends. Bahrain Victorious looked to set up Phil Bauhaus and drove the pace. However, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) took to the front of the bunch, determined to not let his team's rivals outmanoeuvre them.
Once Van der Poel peeled off, Philipsen was unleashed with Bauhaus and Girmay hot on his wheel.
In the end, Philipsen simply had too much power and took a fine stage win.
Stage three results, Follonica - Foligno, 216 kilometres
1. Jasper Philipsen (BEL) Alpecin-Deceuninck, in 05-19-08
2. Phil Bauhaus (GER) Bahrain Victorious,
3. Biniam Girmay (ERI) Intermarché-Circus-Wanty,
4. Matteo Moschetti (ITA) Q36.5,
5. Simone Consonni (ITA) Cofidis,
6. Wout van Aert (BEL) Jumbo-Visma,
7. Edward Theuns (BEL) Trek-Segafredo,
8. Dylan Groenewegen (NED) Jayco-AIUla,
9. Fabio Jakobsen (NED) Soudal Quick-Step,
10. Jordi Meueus (BEL) Bora-Hansgrohe, all same time
General classification after stage three
1. Filippo Ganna (ITA) Ineos Grenadiers, at 12-28
2.Lennard Kamna (GER) Bora-Hansgrohe), at 28s
3. Magnus Sheffield (USA) Ineos Grenadiers, at 31s
4. Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates, at 34s
5. Thymen Arensman (NED) Ineos Grenadiers, at 39s
6. Joao Almeida (POR) UAE Team Emirates, at 41s
7. Andreas Leknessund (NOR) DSM, at same time
8. Phillip Casper Pedersen (DEN) Soudal Quick-Step, at 47s
9. Wilco Kelderman (NED) Jumbo-Visma, at 48s
10. Aleksey Lutsenko (KAZ) Astana Qazaqstan, at same time