Cannondale's Peter Sagan got on the wheel of BMC Racing's Philippe Gilbert and overhauled the former world champion to win Stage 3 of Tirreno-Adriatico in Arrezzo today. On a long uphill drag to the finish, the man who beat Sagan into second place at last weekend's Strade Bianche, Omega Pharma-Quick Step's Michal Kwiatkowski, finished second to take over the race lead from team mate Mark Cavendish. Orica-GreenEdge's Simon Clarke pipped Gilbert, who finished fourth, to third place.
The final 900 metres to the line had a gradient of 5 per cent, and seemed perfect for Gilbert's puncheur style. The Belgian had to go early, though, and once Sagan, with his stronger finish, got on Gilbert's wheel with the line in sight, there was only likely to be one winner.
Overnight leader Cavendish had been dropped from the front group ahead of that final climb, but the overall lead remains with Omega Pharma-Quick Step, which won the opening day's team time trial, courtesy of Kwiatkowski.
Another of its riders, Rigoberto Uran, is now second on GC with Clarke of Orica-GreenEdge - which set the second-fastest time on Wednesday - third.
Afterwards, Sagan said: Today I am very glad for the win. Thank you to all my team-mates because they put me on the front. It was a very dangerous finish.
"When I saw parcours for Tirreno-Adriatico, this stage was very special and I wanted to be on the front today, and I take another victory. I am very happy."
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.