Giro d'Italia, Stage 3: Gilbert Third11. May 2015, Sestri Levante (ITA) — Road Team
Philippe Gilbert of the BMC Racing Team sprinted to a third-place finish Monday at the Giro d'Italia after spending much of the short, fast-starting stage in a breakaway with two other teammates.
Michael Matthews (ORICA-GreenEDGE) took the win ahead of Fabio Feline (Trek Factory Racing) and Gilbert to retain the leader's maglia rosa jersey. It was Gilbert's fifth top-three result of the season and his best since also placing third at Brabantse Pijl last month.
"It is good to have a third place," Gilbert said, "but I was really coming fast at the end so it is possible to have a bigger result. The win was possible today, so it is a bit of a disappointment.
Gilbert, Silvan Dillier and Marcus Burghardt were part of a group of more than two dozen riders that was continually splitting up and re-grouping in the first two-thirds of the 136-kilometer, lumpy stage toward the coastal town of Sestri Levante.
Dillier, who is riding his first grand tour, said he did a lot of work to help put the pressure on the teams that missed the move.
"Tactically, this was good for us," Dillier said. "Tinkoff-Saxo was chasing pretty hard. We never had a big advantage, so it was hard to stay away to the end. But when we have a smaller bunch coming to the finish, for sure we have a better chance to win the sprint with Philippe."
After the last of the escapees was brought back inside the last 10 kilometers, a group of 70-some riders headed toward the finish. Gilbert said he spoke with teammate Damiano Caruso about helping him in the sprint.
"Caruso did a really big effort to help me," Gilbert said. "We are rooming together and yesterday he explained to me that he was doing lead outs for (Peter) Sagan in the past. So he had the experience. I told him, 'let's do it tomorrow if we can,' and that is what we did today. Maybe tomorrow, we can do it again. I hope so."
BMC Racing Team Sport Director Fabio Baldato said having six riders finish in the leading group was also a good accomplishment.
"We did our race and we are very satisfied with the team's performance," Baldato said. "The guys did what we asked today and it was too bad the breakaway was never let go. But that is sometimes how it goes in a race."
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