photo credit @ Tinkoff – Saxo
Tinkoff – Saxo’s Manuele Boaro claimed stage 3, the Queen stage, of this year’s Circuit de la Sarthe-Pays de la Loire atop the Mont des Avaloirs, after crossing the finish ahead of Pierre Rolland (Europcar).
As a result of today’s victory, the Italian rider wrested the leader’s jersey from the shoulders of his teammate Adriano Malori (Movistar), to take over the race lead.
“I was determined to win today because my team had done such a great job to bring me in a good position in the finale”, Boaro said.
“Every time that I come to this race, I want to do well. Three years ago, I finished second overall and in the time trial as well, but this time, the race was much harder with this fourth stage finish at the top of the climb. I still have to defend the jersey for one day. After that I’ll ride the Amstel Gold Race and the Flèche Wallonne but my big hope is to get a start at the Giro d’Italia and help Alberto Contador to win it.”
A breakaway group containing Vladimir Isaychev (Katusha), Louis Meintjes (MTN-Qhubeka), Marco Minaard (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Thomas Boudat (Europcar) and Benoît Jarrier (Bretagne-Séché Environnement), got underway early on in today’s race. And, from there, the escapees proceeded to build up a sizable advantage of 5 minutes over the peloton.
“I was up there to defend Jacques’ [Janse van Rensburg] KOM jersey”, explained the South African who took over from his teammate. “We had to take away the points. We’re all good climbers and we had several cards to play in the finale and also to keep Stephen [Cummings] fresh for the last lap.”
Back in the peloton, a counter-attack got underway, this time involving Merhawi Kudus (MTN Qhubeka), Boaro, defending champion Ramunas Navardauskas (Cannondale-Garmin), Jan Bakelants (Ag2r-La-Mondiale), Pierre Rolland (Europcar), Alex Howes (Cannondale-Garmin), Tiago Machado (Katusha), while Pierrick Fédrigo (Bretagne-Séché Environnement) and Leonardo Duque (Colombia) managed to bridge themselves across to the group as well.
With 12 kilometers remaining, Boaro and Navardauskas decided to attack once more at the bottom of the final climb to Mont des Avaloirs.
However, only Boar managed to stay out front, as Navardauskas was swept up by the chase, while Rolland and Hivert and others proceeded to catch the Lithuanian rider – and cross the finish ahead of him.
“I’m very frustrated”, Rolland said. “We were too many together for the stage win. I came second in stage 1 of the Volta Catalunya, second again today. I did pretty well at the Giro d’Italia last year (4th) but I haven’t won a race for two years. I’m not rewarded for my efforts today.” His last win was at the Mont des Avaloirs in the 2013 Circuit de la Sarthe.
Top 10 Finishers
1 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo
2 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar
3 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
4 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement
5 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ.fr
6 Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha
7 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
8 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
9 Stephen Cummings (GBr) MTN – Qhubeka
10 Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
General classification after stage 3
1 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo 11:35:18
2 Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar Team 0:00:03
3 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:05
4 Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha 0:00:06
5 Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:10
6 Stephen Cummings (GBr) MTN – Qhubeka 0:00:11
7 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:00:20
8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar
9 Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:21
10 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement 0:00:23
11 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:26
12 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement 0:00:27
13 Aleksei Tsatevich (Rus) Team Katusha 0:00:31
14 Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Team Katusha
15 Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Bretagne-Séché Environnement 0:00:35
16 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:00:38
17 Rasmus Guldhammer (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling 0:00:41
18 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar 0:00:42
19 Simone Stortoni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
20 Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ.fr
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