Elia Viviani apologises to Davide Cimolai for altercation after finish of stage three at Giro d’Italia 2021

The Italian sprinter hit his compatriot after the finish line and was frustrated in his post-race interview

The sprinters were denied on stage three of the Giro d'Italia 2021
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Elia Viviani apologised to Davide Cimolai for hitting him after the finish of stage three at the Giro d’Italia 2021.  

Italian sprinter Viviani finished fourth on the stage into Canale, as Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarchè-Wanty-Gobert Matèriaux) rode to a solo victory, leaving the sprinters to fight for the podium places.

Viviani was visibly frustrated after the line and lashed out at his compatriot Cimolai, hitting him in the side as the riders passed the finish line photographers. 

During his post-race interview with broadcasters, including GCN, a dejected Viviani apologised to Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) and explained his frustration, saying he felt Cimolai blocked him in the sprint. 

The Cofidis rider said: "I'm sorry to Cimolai for my after the finish line reaction, but when I see he did the opposite to close me on the barrier, it was really frustrating.”

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Stage three was an unpredictable day of racing, as the sprinters needed to find their way over some tough climbs to be in with a chance at the stage victory. 

Into the final 10km, some of the fastest riders in the bunch had been able to survive the climbs, as bunch sprint looked to be within reach.

But it was not to be for the fastmen, as Van der Hoorn escaped from the breakaway to take a solo win, denying the sprinters. 

Viviani said: “In the end, fourth place on the line. A lot of fatigue on the climbs for nothing.

“We look for the next on. We are always there, so hopefully the consistency pays off.” 

Viviani’s frustration may also be down to his recent results, having won just one race in the last two years. 

The 32-year-old transferred from Deceuninck - Quick-Step to Cofidis at the end of 2019, but hasn’t been the same sprinter since the switch after a winless 2020. 

>>> Who is wearing what jersey after stage three of the Giro d'Italia 2021 

Earlier this year he took victory in the 1.1-ranked Cholet-Pays de la Loire in France, but he will be hoping for a stage of his home Grand Tour to get back to his best.