A short hill heading into the final kilometre broke up the majority of sprinters’ trains, including the Giant-Alpecin line-up for stage one winner and race leader Marcel Kittel.
Pelucchi squeezed through his rivals, simply out-pacing them in the final 100 metres. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) came home for second place, with Tom Van Ashbroeck (LottoNL-Jumbo) in third. Kittel retained the race lead after placing seventh on a day that was thankfully free of the mass crash that marred the previous day’s sprint finale.
Marcin Bialoblocki – more commonly seen riding in the colours of British team One Pro Cycling but representing his home nation of Poland – was the last of the day’s escape group to get caught by the peloton. Bialoblocki attempted to keep the chasing bunch at bay by time-trialling his way to the finish line, but conceded defeat with in the final 5km.
Dutchman Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) was a non-starter, citing fatigue after his ride in the Tour de France. Despite the mass high-speed crash at the end of the previous day’s stage, remarkably only one rider withdrew overnight due to injury – Katusha’s Maxim Belkov.
The race moves into hillier terrain on Wednesday, with 200km stage four from Jaworzno to Nowy Sącz that features three climbs in its second half, but could still end in a bunch finish. The WorldTour-level race concludes on Saturday, August 8.
Tour of Poland 2015, stage three: Zawiercie to Katowice, 166km
1. Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling in 3-48-41
2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
3. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo
4. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida
6. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx-QuickStep
7. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
8. Pawel Franczak (Pol) Poland
9. Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana
10. Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling all same time
Overall classification after stage three
1. Marcel Kittel (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing at 6 secs
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 10 secs
4. Marcis Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing at 10 secs
5. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 12 secs
6. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo at 12 secs
7. Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale at 16 secs
8. Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky at 16 secs
9. Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ at 16 secs
10. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-Alpecin at 16 secs
Video: Aero vs lightweight bike