Lampre's Gavazzi sprints to stage three win in Pais Vasco
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lampre's Gavazzi sprints to stage three win in Pais Vasco

by VeloNation Press at 11:49 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results

Lampre-Farnese Vini sprinter Francesco Gavazzi brought some much needed good news to his team today by winning the 187 kilometer stage three of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco from Viana to Amurrio.  Spaniard Oscar Freire (Rabobank) finished in a disappointing second place again, but still managed to take over the general classification from Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) as a consolation. HTC-Columbia rider Peter Velits rounded out the podium in third.

It took the category two climb of the Alto de la Aldea, nearly 20 kilometers into the race, to get the day's breakaway started. The move included Michael Albasini (HTC-Columbia), Rémy Di Gregorio (Francaise des Jeux), Egoi Martínez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Iban Mayoz (Footon-Servetto-Fuji) , Alan Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Eduard Vorganov (Katusha). The leading six worked well together despite a flat tire for Martínez and crash by Pérez, and managed to build their gap up to around three and a half minutes forty kilometers later.

By mid-stage the break had increased their advantage by a minute, but work by the Caisse d'Epargne team for their race leader Alejandro Valverde, with help from the Rabobank team of Oscar Freire, brought the difference back down to 3 minutes and 30 seconds with 45 kilometers remaining. The Euskaltel-Euskadi pair were putting in more effort than the others, with Pérez paying for his efforts and being dropped from the group.

With just over 20 kilometers left a concerted effort by Rabobank and Lampre-Farnese Vini had brought the lead of the five escapees down to 2 minutes and 30 seconds. By the time the quintet reached the final categorized climb of the day, the category three Alto de Mendeika, the gap was down to 2 minutes and 15 seconds and Mayoz, who showed signs that he was struggling earlier, was left behind by the leaders.

The closing chase was led by the Rabobank, RadioShack and Caisse d'Epargne teams, and at the 15 kilometer mark the leading foursome had less than a minute over the charging peloton. The break was defiant in their efforts until the end, but were reeled in with only 4 kilometers remaining. The sprint from the leading group went to Italian Francesco Gavazzi who repaid his team for their efforts, beating a frustrated Freire for the victory.

Vuelta al Pais Vasco stage 3 results:
1. Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) - 4h 49m 52s
2. Oscar Freire (Rabobank) @ s.t.
3. Peter Velits (HTC-Columbia)
4. Alexandre Botcharov (Katusha)
5. Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
6. Davide Vigano (Team Sky)
7. Christian Knees (Team Milram)
8. Davide Malacarne (Quick Step)
9. Paul Martens (Rabobank)
10. Kristjan Koren (Liquigas-Doimo)

Overall standings following stage 3:
1. FREIRE, Óscar ESP RAB 14h 41m 30s
2. VALVERDE, Alejandro ESP GCE @ 2s
3. HESJEDAL, Ryder CAN GRM @ 3s
4. KOLOBNEV, Alexandr RUS KAT @ 3s
5. ZUBELDIA, Haimar ESP RSH @ 3s
6. PINOTTI, Marco ITA THR @ 3s
7. RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin ESP KAT @ 3s
8. CUNEGO, Damiano ITA LAM @ 3s
9. DEVENYNS, Dries BEL QST @ 3s
10. VAN DEN BROECK, Jurgen BEL OLO @ 3s


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