Marcel Kittel of Giant-Shimano, who celebrates his 26th birthday today, gave everything he had to pip Team Sky's Ben Swift to win Stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia in Dublin this afternoon, with Cannondale's Elia Viviani finishing third. Michael Matthews of Orica-GreenEdge remains in the race lead.
Swift, who had needed to battle back from a puncture with around 23km remaining of the stage from Armagh, had got a terrific leadout from Edvald Boassold Hagen as the peloton became strung out in the final kilomeetre due to a series of tight corners as the race headed across the River Liffey.
But Kittel, winner yesterday in Belfast and wearing the red points jersey today, managed to overhaul the Yorkshireman, still looking for his first Grand Tour stage win, on the line, the extent of the Giant-Shimano rider's effort clear afterwards as he lay on the road, spent.
It was another wet and windy day as the race headed south across the border from Armagh to Dublin, though the sun was out towards the end of the stage, and once again the weather did not deter big crowds from turning out along the 187km route.
For the second day running, Belkin’s Maarten Tjallingi was in the break and the Dutch rider crested both of today’s Category 4 climbs – tackled early on at 23.2km and 51km – first to consolidate his lead in the mountains competition.
Joining Tjallingi in the break were Androni Giocattoli’s Yonder Godoy, Colombia’s MigueRubiano, Lotto-Belisol’s Gert Dockx and Giorgio Cecchinel of Neri Sottoli-Yellow Fluo.
The last of the escapees to be brought back was Cechinel with 7 kilometres remaining to the finish in Dublin’s Merrion Square.
Tomorrow sees an unusually early rest day to allow the race to transfer back to Italy, where it will resume on Tuesday with a flat stage from Giovinazzo to Bari in the southern region of Puglia on the Adriatic Coast.o
Reaction to follow.
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.