Fernando Gaviria makes his comeback with sprint win on stage three of Tour of Poland 2021

The Colombian sprint has been winless since September last year

Fernando Gaviria wins stage three of the Tour of Poland 2021
(Image credit: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

Fernando Gaviria made his comeback from a winless season so far, sprinting to victory on stage three of the Tour of Poland 2021. 

The Colombian star was anonymous in the bunch until the final 100m of the stage into Rzeszów, when he found a gap in the middle of the bunch and powered through to secure the victory ahead of Jumbo-Visma’s Olav Jooij. 

João Almeida (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) finished safely in the bunch to hold onto the race lead with four stages remaining.  

How it happened 

Stage three of the Tour of Poland 2021 was another brutally long 226km course, running from Sanok to Rzeszów.

This time the climbing was stacked in the first half of the route, with countless uncategorised ramps and three categorised ascents, all in the opening 100km.

Then into the second half of the stage, there were two bigger climbs, followed by a lumpy final third that led into a pan-flat dash to the line, the first chance for the pure sprinters so far. 

As the flag dropped, a sizeable breakaway began to form and after 20km the leading group was well established, with 10 riders making the cut, including Simon Clarke (Qhubeka-NextHash), Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux). 

That group pulled out almost four minutes on the bunch in the opening 100km, with Deceuninck - Quick-Step the main team pulling in the peloton. 

Into the final 50km the break had been reeled back to around two minutes and it was a tense chase into the final few kilometres, as the escapees were swept up by the bunch with just 3km to go.  

Into the final straight it was Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) who led the bunch for his sprinter Phil Bauhaus, who then tried to latch onto the wheel of the surging Jumbo-Visma train, eventually losing position and getting blocked on the inside. 

As Jumbo’s Olav Kooij launched his sprint 100m from the line the bunch opened up in the middle, with Fernando Gaviria powering into the gap and ploughing past to take the victory, his first of the year. 

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Kooij was knocked into second while Bauhaus held on to take third. 

Almeida holds the leader’s jersey with a four-second advantage to Gaviria’s team-mate Diego Ulissi. 

Tour of Poland 2021, stage three: Sanok to Rzeszów (226.4km)

1. Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates, in 5-18-15
2. Olav Kooij (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
3. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
4. Max Kanter (Ger) Team DSM
5. Max Walscheid (Ger) Qhubeka-NextHash
6. Jonas Rickaert (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
7. Hugo Hofestetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation
8. Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Michał Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers
10. John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto-Soudal, all at same time 

General classification after stage three

1. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, in 9-42-47
2. Matej Mohorič (Slo) Bahrain Victorious, at 4s
3. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, at same time
4. Michał Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers, at 11s
5. Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 18s
6. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious, at 22s
7. Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert-Matériaux
8. Jai Hindley (Aus) Team DSM)
9. Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe, all at same time
10. Einer Auguso Rubio (Col) Movistar, at 26s 

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.