Dennis Moves into the Blue Jersey after Chaotic Finish to Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 310. March 2017, Montalto di Castro (ITA) — Road Team
The blue jersey was passed onto the shoulders of BMC Racing Team’s Rohan Dennis on Tirreno-Adriatico stage 3 after a late crash saw Peter Sagan (Bora - Hansgrohe) take the win in a reduced bunch sprint for the line.
In a similar manner to stage 2, the day’s breakaway was established early with seven riders going clear and extending an advantage of 2’30” after just 15km of racing.
Despite another day over 200km, the pace was high with riders covering 44.9km in the first hour of racing as they headed towards the only categorized climb.
BMC Racing Team kept a watchful eye on the action at the front of the race, as the peloton limited the breakaway’s advantage to four minutes. But, with stage 3 billed as one for the sprinters, the gap started to fall steadily with 100km to go.
The final breakaway rider held on until inside the final 20km of the day before being swept up by the main bunch as they charged towards a fast and furious finale.
With a short and punchy rise in the final kilometer, it wasn’t a straightforward run into the finish with sprinters’ teams battling for position. In the end, the speed of the peloton, and a late crash saw the peloton strung out along the road with Peter Sagan (Bora - Hansgrohe) finding himself in the best position to power across the line.
With Van Avermaet caught behind the crash, it was Dennis who crossed the line first for BMC Racing Team, earning him the right to wear the blue leader’s jersey heading into stage 4, and the summit finish to Terminillo.
Van Avermaet, Damiano Caruso, and Tejay van Garderen round out the top four places on the General Classification.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“You never think about there being a crash in the final kilometer so for me, the most important thing about today’s stage is that no-one was caught up in that. Of course, the silver lining for me is that I get the chance to wear the blue jersey. We are all on the same time, so it feels as though we are just passing the jersey around.”
“I am happy to be in this position heading into tomorrow, but it will be a tough stage. We haven't had a climb like the one at the end of tomorrow’s stage yet, so I am hoping I can do well. For me, that means both being able to test myself and work for Tejay Van Garderen unless I am told otherwise.”
“I have to learn how to climb with the best if I want to do well in the Giro d’Italia later on in the year and this race is really a stepping stone to hopefully becoming a Grand Tour contender. There is no pressure on me; I am just looking to do the best that I can and see where my form is. If it doesn’t work out, that’s fine. I can learn from it and try to keep improving.”
Stage 3: Monterotondo Marittimo > Montalto di Castro, 204km
Top 3: 1. Peter Sagan (Bora - Hansgrohe) 2. Elia Viviani (Team Sky) 3. Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Soudal)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 24. Rohan Dennis, 34. Stefan Küng, 35. Damiano Caruso.
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.