Pint-sized Brazillian climber Alex Diniz (Funvic-Brasilinvest) soared away on the final climb of stage three at the Tour de San Luis to claim a stage win two years after he returned from a two-year doping suspension.

The 27 year-old also took over the leaders jersey thanks to his 24 seconds over second place Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) and third place Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) at the end of the day.

The expected challenge from the likes of Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and Joaquin Rodriguez failed to materialise although it is the Saxo-Tinkoff rider that sits best placed just 48 seconds off the lead. It went from bad to worse for Rodriguez; not only does his team’s WorldTour place remain in doubt but he lost over seven minutes on the 8km final climb. 

In fact it was Lotto-Belisol who turned out one of the better performances of the day, placing Jurgen Van Den Broeck and former Tour stage winner Bart De Clercq within 30 seconds of the lead. Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) sits just beneath them in sixth and will be the man to watch during tomorrow’s 19.2km time trial. 

With two first category climbs to negotiate in todays’ stage, including a brief foray above 2000m in altitude, it was not a surprise to see Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) finish in the grupetto to surrender any chance of the overall win.

In fact he’s not got much to look forward to over the next few days. Two heavy days in the mountains follow tomorrow’s time trial before a lumpy stage concludes the race on Sunday.

The warm weather and high altitude racing could, however, be much more important come Spring.





Riders make a splash while fording a stream in the foothills of the Andes





Contador limited his losses on the final 8km climb to just 48 seconds 





Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was less fortunate; he lost over two minutes










Fun-sized Brazilian Alex Diniz wins the stage

Results

Tour de San Luis, stage three: La Punta to Mirador del Potrero de los Funes, 173.1km

1. Alex Diniz (Funvic-Brasilinvest) in 4-29-36

2. Mauro Santambrogio (Fantini Vini-Selle Italia) at 24 secs

3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) s.t.

4. Bart De Clercq (Lotto-Belisol) at 25 secs

5. Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) s.t.

6. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) s.t.

7. Ricardo Diaz (San Luis Somos Todos) at 29 secs

8. Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) at 34 secs

9. Miguel Angel Rubiano (Androni-Giocattoli) s.t.

10. Andre Cardoso (Caja Rural) s.t.

Others

13. Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) at 48 secs

32. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) at 2-03

62. Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) at 7-17

66. Scott Thwaites (NetApp-Endura) s.t.

94. Jonny McEvoy (NetApp-Endura) at 13-17

108. Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) at 21-05

Overall classification after stage three

1. Alex Diniz (Funvic-Brasilinvest) in 12-07-48

2. Mauro Santambrogio (Fantini Vini-Selle Italia) at 24 secs

3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) s.t.

4. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) at 25 secs

5. Bart De Clercq (Lotto-Belisol) s.t.

6. Tejay van Garderen (BMC) s.t.

7. Ricardo Diaz (San Luis Somos Todos) at 29 secs

8. Miguel Angel Rubiano (Androni Giocattoli) at 34 secs

9. Andre Cardoso (Caja Rural) s.t.

10. Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) s.t.

Others

59. Scott Thwaites (NetApp-Endura) at 7-17

93. Jonny McEvoy (NetApp-Endura) at 13-17

100. Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) at 21-05

Related links



Mark Cavendish pipped by Sacha Modolo in San Luis



Perfect start for Mark Cavendish in San Luis

 

  • stuart stanton

    Honestly……..”after he returned form a two-year doping suspension” You really couldn’t make it it up could you?. Heaven help us if the mainstream media gets hold of this story