Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) won the third stage of the Tour of the Alps today, the German proving too strong for the breakaway group as he attacked in the final kilometre of the race.
Part of a seven-rider breakaway group for more than half the race, Kämna launched multiple attempts to stretch the leaders at the front of the race heading into the closing stages. While they were to little avail, none of the other riders were able to match his power and speed when he attacked with only 1km left.
Andrey Amador (Ineos Grenaiders) tried his best to close the gap as he finished second, while Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) managed to take the final step of the podium on the line.
Meanwhile, Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious) maintains his slim general classification lead, as he finished in the peloton nearly a minute back from Kämna.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The third stage of the Tour of the Alps set up opportunities for riders to launch long-range attacks. A series of early climbs offered some chances to breakaway, but the 20km ascent towards the Passo Furcia presented the perfect opportunity to really split the peloton.
With its summit 23km from the finish line and the final 6km of the Passo Furcia climb averaging at 9% gradient, riders brave enough will have ample opportunities to attack, either by themselves or in select groups. From there, the riders faced a technical descent for 10km, before heading onto a generally flat terrain towards the finish line in Villabassa.
Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious) led the GC coming into the third stage, his win yesterday helping him to build a slight advantage overall. His win came after some perfectly executed Bahrain-Victorious tactics, and the team looked set to produce another strong showing towards Villabassa.
The race started slightly tetchy, with a false flat covering the first 50km. Shortly after, though, 10 riders attacked near the halfway mark, with two more from the peloton opting to bridge across during one of the shorter, earlier ascents. Their gap fluctuated between two and four minutes, which lasted until
However, no Bahrain-Victorious rider went with the breakaway, the team instead choosing to conserve their energy for the latter stages of the race and try to dictate proceedings similar to the way they did the day previously.
Upon reaching the summit of the Passo Furcia, Vadim Pronskiy (Astana Qazaqstan) and Torstein Træen (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) both decided to attack from the leading group. However, a crash by Træen on the technical descent saw him dropped from the front of the race, with James Piccoli (Israel-Premier Tech) soon after joining Pronskiy at the front.
With 13km to go, the majority of the initial breakaway group came back together, but the reduced peloton had closed the deficit to 1-33, with Bilbao, Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious), Ineos Grenadiers riders Pavel Sivakov and Richie Porte, Miguel Ángel López (Astana Qazaqstan) and Romain Bardet (Team DSM), among others, all catching up.
A mechanical problem for Merhawi Kudus (EF Education-Easy Post) saw him drop out of the leading group at the 10km mark, with the chasers just over a minute behind.
Responding to an attack at the front, Piccoli opened up a slight gap to stretch the leaders. Andrey Amador (Ineos Grenadiers) followed, before all seven riders came back together. Plenty of attacks and counter-attacks proceeded, though nothing could stick in the final 5km. Meanwhile, the chasing group's tempo failed to improve, the gap still around the minute mark with under 3km left.
Into the final kilometre, Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) launched himself away from the leaders, with Amador the only rider looking to respond. The Costa Rican powered through the gears to try and catch Kämna, but the German managed to hold on after his convincing attack.
Amador came home in second, with Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) in third. Pello Bilbao maintains his lead in the GC.
TOUR OF THE ALPS, STAGE THREE: LANA TO VILLABASSA (154.6KM)
1. Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, in 4-02-56
2. Andrey Amador (CRi) Ineos Grenadiers, at 3s
3. Jonathan Lastra (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, at 4s
4. Natnael Tesfatsion (Eri) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli, at same time
5. Will Barta (USA) Movistar
6. James Piccoli (Can) Israel-Premier Tech
7. Vadim Pronskiy (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan
8. Sean Quinn (USA) EF Education-EasyPost, at 57s
9. Felix Gall (Aut) AG2R Citroën, at same time
10. Pavel Sivakov (Fra) Ineos Grenadiers
GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE THREE
1. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain-Victorious, in 12-12-08
2. Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM, at 6s
3. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ, at 12s
4. Felix Gall (Aut) AG2R Citroën Team, at 16s
5. Pavel Sivakov (Fra) Ineos Grenadiers
6. Einer Augusto Rubio (Col) Movistar
7. Eddie Dunbar (Ire) Ineos Grenadiers
8. Thymen Arensman (Ned) Team DSM
9. Esteban Chaves (Col) EF Education-EasyPost
10. Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers, all at same time
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