Pozzovivo fires up but Porte doesn’t shake

The Italian climber clinched Giro del Trentino Melinda stage 3 in Fierozzo whilst Team Sky’s Tasmanian showed a solid leadership towards the final showdown (from Malè to Cles)

23 april 2015

At the finish line of Fierozzo, in Val dei Mocheni, Domenico Pozzovivo raised his arms in joy as he found redemption. The rider of AG2R-La Mondiale waited for the last climb to launch his counterattack and catchTorres, Rosa and Bardet, before flying solo to the line, while behind him Richie Porte controlled his rivals and kept the overall leader jersey.

We made a tactical plan after yesterday’s disappointment – the 2012 winner of the race said at the arrival –and it worked. Personally, I am happy to have won a stage that to me is worth more than a podium. I feel ready for a Giro d’Italia were I want to be one of the protagonists, and in which I wish to achieve a top 5 finish, or even a podium.

Porte seems is on his way to take the overall classification, but he must wait for the final stage (Malè-Cles,161,5 km, which starts at 10, with the highlights on Raisport 2, from 18), and until then he doesn’t consider himself the winner. “It would be an honor for me to have my name in the golden book of the race and succeed Vincenzo Nibali and Cadel Evans. We rode defensive today and let the others take the initiative. I’m aware the Giro d’Italia is a completely different story, but it would be very important for me to take the victory here.”

The queen-stage of the 39th Giro del Trentino Melinda started at 10:27, in Ala, where the fans put up for a great atmosphere, the overall picture being rounded out by sunshine and nice temperatures.

The first part of the stage was animated by an escape of 15 riders, who had a good pace and a gap of 2-3 minutes. The breakaway was controlled by Richie Porte’s Team Sky and Colombia-Coldeportes, the team of Rodolfo Torres, wearer of the green jersey, which rewards the best climber in the race. The situation changed dramatically on the Passo del Redebus climb (1st category, 1453 meters). The advantage of the escapees then went down and after the top of the climb, only Torres, Rosa, Dupont and Bardet were still at the front, chased by a peloton in which there were left around 30 riders.

The spectacular and technical descent from Passo del Redebus kept all the cyclists focused until the last 8 km of the stage, which were on an uphill to Fierozzo, in the beautiful scenery of Val dei Mocheni. In an exciting finale, a slighter peloton went closer to the leaders up to the final duel in the last 3 km. The attack ofCunego was the spark that ignited the battle. After the problems he encountered one day earlier, Pozzovivo rediscovered his legs and responded to every attack, until the decisive move:  he needed only a few metres to bridge back over the leaders and see them off without even turning back on the toughest section of the ascent.

Porte secured the leader’s jersey by controlling all his rivals and finishing third, behind Landa, just a handful of seconds after Pozzovivo. The race is up for a thrilling epilogue in a stage which will pay a tribute to“Milordo” Diego Moltrer, important figure of the Trentino society and the Mochena community.

Stage3 classification: 1° Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita, Ag2r-La Mondiale) in 4:54’12”, average speed 36,506 km/h, bon. 10”; 2° Mikel Landa Meana (Spa, Astana) at 5”, bon. 6”; 3° Richie Porte (Aus, Team Sky) at 5”, bon. 4”; 4° Romain Bardet (Fra, Ag2R-La Mondiale) at 5”; 5° Damiano Cunego (Ita, Nippo-Fantini) st; 6° Rodolfo Torres (Col, Colombia-Coldeportes) at 13”; 7° Dario Cataldo (Ita, Astana) at 15”; 8° Diego Rosa (Ita, Astana) st; 9° Louis Meintjes (Zaf, MTN-Qhubeka) at 17”; 10° Leopold Konig (Cze, Team Sky) st.

General classification: 1° Richie Porte (Aus, Team Sky) in 9:44’45”, average speed 36,709 km/h; 2° Mikel Landa Meana (Spa, Astana) at 22”; 3° Leopold Konig (Cze, Team Sky) at 58”; 4° Dario Cataldo (Ita, Astana) at 1’11”; 5° Damiano Cunego (Ita, Nippo-Fantini) at 1’13”; 6° José Pimenta (Por, Bora-Argon 18) at 1’15”; 7° Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita, Ag2R-La Mondiale) at 1’32”; 8° Louis Meintjes (Zaf, MTN-Qhubeka) at 1’33”; 9° Romain Bardet (Fra, Ag2R-La Mondiale) at 1’34”; 10° Edoardo Zardini (Ita, Bardiani-Csf) at 1’37”.