As his teammate Mark Cavendish did yesterday, Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen sprinted to victory in the third stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, making it back-to-back wins for the British squad.
At the opening of the stage, Italian Filippo Savini (Colnago-CSF Inox) set off on a long solo break, which saw him off the front for over 150km. The long hard effort of the day was not to be, however, as he was caught and reeled in by the peloton, led by a charging BMC and Philippe Gilbert, with just 30km left.
Boasson Hagen revealed that Cavendish had told him he wasn’t feeling up to Friday’s sprint, giving the Norwegian the green light to contest the victory. “The plan from start was to work for Cav in the sprint but with about six kilometres to go he said he wasn’t feeling super great, so they said I’d do the sprint and the team worked for me,” said Boassen Hagen. “It’s nice to win and finish things off.
“Cav’s the team’s sprinter and when he’s good I’m happy to work for him and then take my chances if he’s not feeling great,” he continued. “He’s a good guy and is always honest, as he proved today. He said he wasn’t good straight away. We trust each other and we know we can work well together.”
Race leader Goss finished sixth on the stage and admitted he has his eyes on bigger prizes. “I’d have liked to get more of a run yesterday. It was difficult today but I feel good for Milan-Sanremo, there aren’t as many guys at the finish of that race.” he said.
“Today I was a little too far back in the sprint and it was difficult to move up in the last few corners. The important thing is that my legs felt good. I’m in the shape I need to be to be competitive at Milan-Sanremo.”
Garmin made an effort to launch American sprinter Tyler Farrar, who was third on Thursday, but Boasson Hagen put the hammer down in an early sprint that proved the strongest of the day.
The final five kilometers of the race were littered with five dangerous roundabouts, but they proved to be little challenge to Boasson Hagen, who out-kicked Lotto’s Andre Griepel and Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) for the win. American Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) slotted in fourth. Matt Goss holds his lead.
Saturday’s fourth stage is a grueling 252km from Amelia to Chieti.