Giro d Italia: Stressful Stage 3 Ends in Bad Luck for Dennis7. May 2017, Cagliari (ITA) — Road Team
Strong winds on the final day in Sardinia made for a fast and nervous third stage of the Giro d’Italia, with Rohan Dennis crashing in the final 10km to lose more than five minutes at the finish line.
After a longer-than-predicted stage 2, the peloton set a fast pace throughout the 148km stage from Tortoli and allowed four riders to form the day’s breakaway in the opening kilometer.
Knowing the winds would increase in the final 60km, the peloton kept the breakaway under control and the advantage reached a maximum of 3’30”.
The four riders became three after Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data) dropped back to the peloton, and inside the final 100km the breakaway’s advantage began to fall.
With 26km to go, the catch was made and the peloton battled for position with strong crosswinds causing riders to drop off the back of the bunch.
Knowing the final 15km was a risk, BMC Racing Team had a strong presence at the front of the peloton before ten riders went clear and gained 20 seconds on the bunch.
It was at this moment that Dennis suffered an untimely crash and was forced to chase back, a task made difficult by the strong crosswinds and fast pace set by the peloton trying to catch the front group.
Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep-Floors) won the sprint from the front group and inherited the Maglia Rosa, and Tejay van Garderen finished safely in the main bunch, 13 seconds behind Gaviria.
Dennis crossed the line in the last group, 5’22” behind. The peloton enjoys the first of three rest days on Monday as the race transfers from Sardinia to Sicily.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“It was about 10km to go and we were making an echelon to try and bring that front group back. A Bardiani-CSF guy came around me as I was trying to start it, or trying to help start it, and he just turned left on my front wheel and took me out. So I didn’t even have a chance, there was no split second where I could try and hold it up. I was down on my right side before I knew it.”
“The shower hurt. But mainly my neck hurts, I’ve got a bit of a headache. It’s just the jarring of going down, but I’ll see the osteo and get that fixed. I’ll continue as normal [on stage 4]. Obviously, I’m five minutes or so down and I think that’s a pretty big margin already after three days. Anything can happen and I’m not just going to throw in the towel and just go ‘oh stuff it’, but I have to be realistic and say look, GC is pretty well done and I’m just going to have to keep doing what I was planning to do and ride as if it isn’t done and still get that experience and look after myself for a full three weeks.”
Tejay van Garderen:
“It was a fast day with a high average speed. I think we must have finished half an hour ahead of schedule or something like that. It was a tough day along the coast. We knew the wind was going to be nervous, we had earmarked the section in the meeting where it could split, and it definitely split there. But, we were well-prepared. We didn’t lose time to any GC guys, other than Bob Jungels (Quickstep-Floors) who got a few seconds. It’s a pity about Rohan and what happened to him. But I think we made it off this island pretty well.”
Maximilian Sciandri, Sports Director:
“As I said even yesterday, islands are dangerous. I checked the weather this morning and I saw Cagliari with 70km per hour wind so I thought this is going to be a hard one. Full stress from when we hit the coast. Then it was a slight tailwind which was ok and then we went to the coastline and from there it just became the most stressful part. We saw one key point with 13km to go, which was that big roundabout and almost every team tried to be there. Ups and downs. We lost Rohan who crashed, got hit by a Bardiani guy, and is pretty disappointed. He lost a pretty big amount of time. But, the other side of it is that Tejay was safe into the finish with his teammates around him.”
Dr. Giovanni Ruffini on Rohan Dennis:
"Rohan Dennis went down on his right side at a high speed so naturally has a fair bit of road rash and superficial contusions. He has a sore neck which is a result of the crash but usually, nothing the team's physiotherapist can't fix. We will see how Rohan wakes up tomorrow but he is lucky to escape with nothing serious and he will be able to continue racing."
Stage 3 Tortoli > Cagliari (148km)
Top 3: 1. Fernando Gaviria (Quickstep-Floors), 2. Rudiger Selig (Bora-Hansgrohe), 3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo).
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 43. Ben Hermans, 45. Tejay van Garderen, 46. Manuel Quinziato.
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