Michael Woods rues mechanical issues as Gianluca Brambilla pips him to Tour du Var 2021 overall victory

The Italian stole a march on the rest to secure the stage and GC, as Tao Geoghegan Hart finished second on the final stage three

(Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Michael Woods looked to be closing in on Israel Start-Up Nation's first overall victory as a WorldTour outfit, but Trek-Segafredo's Gianluca Brambilla had other ideas.

Attacking on roads local to his home of Monaco, the Italian dropped Valentin Madouas, undoing Groupama-FDJ's hard work setting up the move, before soloing to victory, holding a number of talented chasers at bay.

Tao Geoghegan Hart attacked late on to try and bridge the gap but had to settle for second place, 13 seconds down.

With Woods crossing the line in the next group, a further five seconds in arrears, he relinquished the GC to Brambilla.

The Canadian, who had won stage two to displace Brambilla's team-mate Bauke Mollema atop the pile, was left to rue mechanical issues that he says thwarted his defence of the leader's jersey.

"I felt very good, I certainly had great legs today, felt like I was one of the strongest guys in the race," Woods said after the finish.

"Unfortunately, some mechanicals cost our team and we slipped into second overall. I'm really proud of how I raced and how the team raced so I can't complain."

Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) finished three minutes down, with team-mate Tom Pidcock 10 minutes back on the final day of his debut race, both Brits easing their way into the new season. Thomas will next turn out at Tirreno-Adriatico in March, while Pidcock will line up for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad next weekend.

Results

Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var 2021, stage three: Blausasc to Blausasc (136km)

1. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, in 3-42-32

2. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 13 seconds

3. Ben O'Connor (Aus) Ag2r Citroën

4. Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ

5. Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, all at same time

6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Premier Tech, at 18s

7. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ

8. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo

9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa-Samsic

10. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation, all at same time

Final general classification

1. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, in 12-51-00

2. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation, at five seconds

3. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo, at 6s

4. Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 9s

5. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 11s

6. Ben O'Connor (Aus) Ag2r Citroën, at same time

7. Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 13s

8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Premier Tech, at 18s

9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkéa-Samsic, at same time

10. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 26s