Angel Vicioso (Androni Giocattoli) pipped Britain’s David Millar (Garmin-Cervélo) to take the third stage of the Giro d’Italia from Reggio Emilia to Rapallo, but the day’s racing was overshadowed by the death of Leopard-Trek’s Wouter Weylandt.
Weylandt fell on the descent of the Passo Del Bocco with 25km remaining, and underwent 40 minutes of cardiac massage on the roadside. He was airlifted to hospital, but Italian broadcaster RAI announced his death at approximately 4.30pm British time.
Giro organiser RCS cancelled the post-race podium ceremony, and it is unclear whether or not Millar will wear the maglia rosa during tomorrow’s stage.
The Brit now leads Vicioso, and an HTC-Highroad pack consisting of Kanstantsin Sivtsov, Marco Pinotti and Craig Lewis.
Before tragedy hit the Giro
Gianluca Brambilla (Colnago-CSF Inbox), Pavel Brutt (Katusha), Bart De Clearq (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Davide Ricci Bitti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) formed the day’s early breakaway, escaping just a few kilometres into the stage.
De Clerq was just 34 seconds behind the Maglia Rosa; as the gap swelled to six minutes, he became the race leader on the road.
Lampre, Garmin-Cervélo and Liquigas did a sizeable amount of the work to close the breakaway down, and with the gap reduced to less than a minute with 30km remaining, the four escapees were never going to contest for the victory.
They were still ahead when Weylandt crashed, but were caught on the Madonna del Grazie, the final climb of the day.
Mark Cavendish was shelled out here, but the sluggish-looking Manxman at least had 2008 Tour de France winner – and noted climber - Carlos Sastre for company.
Ahead, Daniel Moreno (Katusha), Christophe Le Mevel (Garmin-Cervélo), Pablo Lastras (Movistar) and Vicioso instigated the winning move, with Millar jumping across to them for the final 2km.
Le Mevel worked for his more experienced leader, but Millar could not match Vicioso’s explosive finish.
The finale have been exciting, the maglia rosa may have been passed on to another Brit, but the racing soon became an irrelevance.
Giro d’Italia 2011, stage three: Reggio Emilia to Rapallo, 173km
1. Angel Vicioso (Spa) Androni Giocattoli in 3-57-39
2. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Cervelo
3. Pablo Lastras (Spa) Movistar
4. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha
5. Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Garmin-Cervelo all at st
6. Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank at 12s
7. Jerome Pineau (Fra) Quick Step at st
8. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Colnago-CSF at 21s
9. Fabio Taborre (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
10. Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Ag2R all at st
Overall classification after stage three
1. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Cervelo
2. Angel Vicioso (Spa) Androni Giocattoli at 7 secs
3. Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) HTC-Highroad at 9 secs
4. Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Highroad at 9 secs
5. Craig Lewis (USA) HTC-Highroad at 9 secs
6. Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Garmin-Cervelo at 12 secs
7. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 13 secs
8. Pablo Lastras (Spa) Movistar at 18 secs
9. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Radioshack at 19 secs
10. Tiago Machado (Por) Radioshack at 19 secs
Early escape group headed by Bart De Clercq
Mark Cavendish gets dropped by the lead group
David Millar finishes second
Giro d’Italia 2011: Related links
Giro d’Italia 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index
Giro d’Italia 2011: Start list
Giro d’Italia 2011: Latest news