CW Live: Matthews defeats Pedersen to win stage three of the Giro d'Italia; Evenepoel extends overall lead; Cavendish among sprinters dropped

Live updates from stage three of the Giro d'Italia

Hello and welcome to Cycling Weekly's live blog,  where we'll be keeping you updated of all the action on stage three of the Giro d'Italia. It's a long day in the saddle, with the riders taking on 216km in total, the third-most of any stage this year.

News updates


180km to go: A sleepy start to the stage saw two men, Alexander Konychev and Veljko Stojnić, get into the breakaway, and they’ve opened up a gap of over six minutes. They’re both Team Corratec - Selle Italia teammates, and we hope they get on well as as they will be spending a lot of time together during what is the third longest stage of the Giro



145km to go: It’s hardly riveting stuff at the moment at the Giro, but the stage finale promises to be a cracker. There’s a category three and category fur climb in close succession inside the final 40km, which  could provide the springboard for attacks from puncheurs, and will prove a test for any sprinter wanting to stay in the peloton and in contention in the event of a bunch sprint.

The crash yesterday also meant there was a bit of a shake-up in the GC, with some pink jersey contenders being caught out and losing time.

120km to go: Good news everyone - something might actually happen in the stage soon. There’s an intermediate sprint coming up in about fifteen kilometres time. Which of Alexander Konychev, Veljko Stojnić will take the maximum points? It’s not exactly the most exciting prospect, but we’ll take what we can get on such a slow stage.

Of more significance will be which sprinters from the peloton will choose to contest the sprint. Yesterday Fernando Gaviria (Movistar), Michael Matthews (Jayco-AlUla), Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and Filippo Fiorelli (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè) all gained points, signalling their intent to target the Points Classification. But will any of the surprising riders who were in the mix of the final bunch sprint — including Jonathan Milan, who’s wearing the Maglia Ciclamino — go for them today, or save themselves for the finale?

105km to go: Time for the intermediate sprint!

All that means Milan retains his lead in the points classification, with the only change in the top ten being Michael Matthews moving up to eighth-place

Mads Pedersen

(Image credit: Getty Images)

90km to go: Things have gone back into their previous pattern following the intermediate sprint. With 90km to go, the leading duo’s lead is 2-20

85km to go: The weather’s taken a turn for the worse, and it’s started to rain. It's a light drizzle rather than anything genuinely uncomfortable, but does disrupt what had been mild conditions.

75km to go: The gap is now down to 1-30, as Jayco-AlUla and Alpecin-Deceuninck set the pace in the peloton. One of the interesting things to see in the finale will be whether these teams will attempt to drop some of their sprinting rivals on the clibs coming up, so that Pedersen and Matthews will have less competition in the final sprint

Jayco-AlUla certainly seem set to go hard on the final climb. In a pre-stage interview, Michael Matthews revealled that “we’ll be there trying to get rid of as many sprinters as we can, and ride as fast as we can from bottom to top, then assess the situation at the top." 

65km to go: The riders will take on the first of the day's two climbs in about 20 kilometres time. We'll at last have some action to report soon, we promise!

A sighting of Patrick Lefevere on the roadside. He might not look it, but he’s sure to be pleased with his Remco Evenepoel has started the Giro.

There are some wet patches on the road from the rain that continues to drizzle lightly. That could make the descents complicated, and a potentially nervous one for the GC contenders trying to stay safe

50km to go: Things are heating up in the peloton as they approach the first climb. Teams are battling to be as close to the front as possible, and they are stretched out across the wide road

40km to go: Here we go then, the riders are on the first climb, Valico dei Laghi di Monticchio. It’s only a category three, but its average gradient of 6.4% is enough to potentially cause problems

35km to go: Sprinters are dropping like flies on the climb. Cavendish has gone, Ballerini’s gone, Cort’s gone, and Jake Stewart had too stop for a mechanical.

As promised, it was Jayco-AlUla who put the pressure on during the climb, and thinned out the peloton considerably. Pedersen is still there, but was dropping towards the back of the peloton near the summit. Will he be dropped on the next climb?

32km to go: The break was also caught on climb, which means King of the Mountains points were available at the top — and interestingly, Thibaut Pinot sprinted for them, with Santiago Buitrago in second. It looks like the Frenchman has his eye on mountains classification in his final Giro d’Italia.

29km to go: They're onto the next climb, Valico La Croce, and Jayco-AlUla have taken it up again. There can't be much more than 40 riders left in the peloton.

Ineos Grenadiers have also applied some pressure as they near the summit, and more damage has been done. Pedersen has been dropped this time, as has GC contender Brandon McNulty

26km to go: Pedersen and McNulty reach the top of the climb about 10 seconds adrift of the peloton. All is not lost though, as the climbing is done and they have 26km to rejoin.

21km to go: It did not take long for Pedersen and McNulty to chase back on. They're already back at the back of the peloton

20km to go: The wet roads have claimed their first victims as three riders fall on the descent, including Evenepoel's teammate Pieter Serry

16km to go: The riders are now approaching another intermediate sprint, which this time has bonus seconds available rather than points classification points. Evenepoel and Roglic are both up there towards the front of the peloton…

14km to go: João Almeida has gone down while descending, and is off the back of the peloton. He’s looking OK though and has nearly made contact again.

10km to go: Soudal-QuickStep are setting a fast pace at the front of the peloton, but Almeida has nevertheless managed to make it back into the peloton

9km to go: Koen Bouwman led out Primož Roglič for the intermediate sprint, but Evenepoel took the spoils. He gains three seconds while Roglič has to be content with two. Given how small the peloton is, they might both sprint at the finish, too.

8km to go: Surprisingly, Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) is out the back of the peloton again. Having looked so good on the opening day time trial, he stands to lose significant time today.

5km to go: Jayco-AlUla are back on the front again. They'll want Michael Matthews to finish off the job having done so much work to make this such a reduced bunch sprint.

3km to go: Zanna's back at the front for Jayco-AlUla, and has strung the bunch out into single file. It's a quick finale.

1.5km to go: Now Trek-Segafredo have taken control on the uphill drag to the finish, with three riders ahead of Pedersen

Michael Matthews wins stage three of the Giro d'Italia

The sprint seemed to last an eternity, with Matthews looking like he might falter and get passed. But the Australian had the reserves to keep going and hold off Pedersen’s challenge to take victory.

Thanks for joining us today. It took a while to get going but that was a thrilling finale t the stage! You can read a full report of the stage here.



  1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Soudal-Quick Step in 10-18.29
  2. João Almeida (Por) UAE-Team Emirates, at 32s
  3. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, at 44s
  4. Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ, at 46s
  5. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 58s
  6. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Bora-hansgrohe, at same time
  7. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 1-02
  8. Michael Matthews (Aus) Jayco-AlUla, at same time
  9. Jay Vine (Aus) UAE-Team Emirates, at 1-08
  10. Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo, at 1-18

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