Fernando Gaviria sprinted into the leader’s jersey at the Giro d’Italia after his Quick-Step Floors team split the pack in strong crosswinds in an exciting finale to stage three in Cagliari.
In the third day of his maiden Grand Tour, the 22-year-old Colombian wrested the maglia rosa from the shoulders of Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) after the German national champion was caught out in a devastating show of strength from Gaviria’s Quick-Step team.
With six riders in a 10-man break that formed 10km from the conclusion of the 148 km stage from Tortoli, Quick-Step used their power in numbers to turn the 100th edition of the Giro on its head.
Gaviria powered from behind the wheel of team-mate Maximiliano Richeze to take a comfortable win on the flagstones of Cagliari ahead of Germany’s Rudiger Selig (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Italian national champion Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Segafredo).
Australian Nathan Haas, the Dimension Data rider who lead out the final sprint on the home straight, was squeezed out for fourth place while Argentinia’s Richeze completed the top five ahead of Belarus champion Kanstantsin Siutsou (Bahrain-Merida) and Luxembourg champion Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors).
Greipel came home to take tenth place behind Sacha Modolo (UAE Team Emirates) and Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) after a splintered peloton crossed the line 13 seconds down on Gaviria.
With 10 bonus seconds for the win, Gaviria leads Greipel by nine seconds on GC with Lukas Postlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) third, a further four seconds back.