Riding is Life

Discuss: Michael Matthews nicks Mads Pedersen in Stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia

Michael Matthews narrowly took a showdown of versatile sprinter types on the slightly uphill finish of Stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia, holding off a late challenge from Mads Pedersen. The win is Matthews’ first of the season and his first since Stage 14 of the 2022 Tour de France.

The late climbs injected some tension into the race as Trek-Segafredo and Jayco-AlUla pushed the pace, especially when it was Trek’s own Pedersen who was briefly distanced and had to chase back on. João Almeida of UAE Team Emirates also went down in a crash and briefly lost contact, while Remco Evenepoel took the final intermediate sprint and the time bonus over Primož Roglič, who was second.

Did Trek race too aggressively? Amanuel Ghebreigzabier did much of the late work, including an infernal pace on the first climb to haul back the early, two-rider break. But the pace put his own teammate in trouble and the effort of that chase seemed to show in the final as Pedersen had a clean line to the finish but couldn’t come around Matthews. Or was Matthews just better on the day?

Also, Evenepoel’s aggressive racing shows he’s not taking Roglič’s TT time losses for granted. It’s worth noting that racing for time bonuses is usually Roglič’s style; at the recent Volta Catalunya, his six-second GC win over Evenepoel was fueled partly by 43 seconds in time bonuses. Now, Evenepoel is using Roglič’s own tactics against him. Is it too much, too soon, or will Remco need every second he can get before Roma?

Finally: picks for tomorrow’s first not-quite-summit-finish?

Brief results:

  1. Michael Matthews (Jayco-AlUla)
  2. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo)
  3. Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
  4. Vincenzo Albanese (EOLO-Kometa)
  5. Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
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