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Slovakian Peter Sagan produced a late burst of power to claim victory in the third stage of Tirreno-Adriatico on Friday, with Michal Kwiatkowski taking the overall lead from Mark Cavenish. Sagan, of the Cannondale team, finished several bike lengths ahead of Kwiatkowski and Australian Simon Clarke on a slightly uphill finish in Arezzo after 210km of racing from Cascina. Pole Kwiatkowski, of Omega-Pharma, now leads Colombian teammate Rigoberto Uran in the overall standings by 10sec with Orica-GreenEdge rider Clarke third at 13 seconds.
Belgian classics specialist Philippe Gilbert (BMC) had been in contention for the stage win but failed to follow Sagan’s final acceleration and eventually finished fourth. A five-man breakaway escaped earlier in the stage but Europcar’s Bjorn Thurau attacked solo on the second lap of the finishing 11km-long circuit and went on to build a lead of one minute on his chasers. Thurau fought valiantly but the advance of the chasing peloton prompted him to sit up early in the final lap, when a mix of climbers and overall riders congregated for the finale.
Germany’s world time trial champion Tony Martin, of Omega-Pharma, then whittled the field down with a turn of pace inside the final kilometre. It left an eight-man lead group climbing their way to the finish and after Gilbert tried to escape solo with 400 metres to go Sagan countered to take the win.
Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 3
1. Peter Sagan (SVK) Cannondale 5:10:17
2. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL) @ s.t.
3. Simon Clarke (AUS)
4. Philippe Gilbert (BEL)
5. Daryl Impey (RSA)
6. Daniele Bennati (ITA)
7. Andre Greipel (GER)
8. Simon Geschke (GER)
9. Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA) @ :04
10. Lloyd Mondory (FRA) s.t.
General Classification After Stage 3
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma 9:26:36
2. Rigoberto Uran (COL) @ :10
3. Simon Clarke (AUS) :13
4. Tony Martin (GER) @ :15
5. Daryl Impey (RSA) @ :17
6. Peter Sagan (SVK) @ :22
7. Andre Greipel (GER) @ :30
8. Daniele Bennati (ITA) s.t.
9. Luke Durbridge (AUS) @ :31
10. Cameron Meyer (AUS) s.t.