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Michael Matthews earns 40th career victory on Giro d’Italia’s third stage

Michael Matthews earns 40th career victory on Giro d'Italia's third stage

Michael Matthews took his first win of the season in Monday’s third stage of the Giro d’Italia, the fastest in a reduced bunch sprint. His last victory was a triumph in last year’s Tour de France. Remco Evenepoel was comfortable in the pink jersey; he now leads João Almeida by 32 seconds and Primož Roglič by 44 seconds. Canada’s Derek Gee was in the reduced bunch, finishing 52nd on the day and pouncing up to 46th in the GC.

The Course

Monday’s fare was a relatively long route distinguished by a two-step climb peaking with 27 km to race. After a couple of kilometers of descent, Cat. 3 Valico dei Laghi di Monticchio led to Cat. 4 Valico La Croce before another rippling downhill and a 11-km false flat to the line in Melfi. It was a rainy day.

It wasn’t the kind of course likely to spring a big breakaway. In fact, only two fellows from wildcard team Team Corratec-Selle Italia bothered to fly their flag. In the peloton, there was a lot of chat.

Eritreans Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Natnael Tesfatsion and Henok Mulubrhan enjoyed a chin wag.

The intrepid duo started up Valico dei Laghi di Monticchio with a 1:30 gap. There was a spirited battle for position going into the sharp left turn onto the climb. Jayco-AlUla and Trek-Segafredo led the way, fragmenting the field. The breakaway was hauled back before the crest. Thibaut Pinot, racing his last Giro, flashed out to snaffle up the maximum KOM points on both Valico dei Laghi di Monticchio and Valico La Croce to put himself in the climber’s jersey on Tuesday.

Eighty riders started the final 27 km together at the front, and Jayco continued to put in the work, especially Italian champion Filippo “Not Ganna” Zana. Evenepoel buffered his race lead by winning the intermediate sprint in Rapolla.

In the sprint, Matthews came right around Mads Pedersen, who had followed his lead out man. The Jayco-AlUla rider held off Pedersen and Kaden Groves for the victory.

Tuesday ends with the Cat. 2 ascent Colle Molella peaking 3 km from the line in Lago Laceno.

2023 Giro d’Italia Stage 3

1) Michael Matthews…

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