PIC: LAMPRE-FONDITAL The Italian Matteo Bono (Lampre) held off his two breakaway companions to take the 3rd stage of the 61st Tour de Romandie. For the Japanese rider Fumiyuki Beppu, who finished second, and particularly for the Italian Marco Pinotti, third, the escape, launched after just 4km, was an opportunity missed. Fellow Italian Paolo Savodelli (Astana) holds on to the leader’s jersey. Beppu (Discovery Channel) could have become the first Japanese rider to have won a stage at this level while Pinotti managed to miss out on the leader’s jersey by just four seconds after some counter-productive tactics. His attempt to drop Beppu and Bono, forced them to chase him down and left all three either unwilling or unable to drive for the finish during the final few kilometres – something which would have guaranteed yellow for Pinotti. “We knew from the beginning of today’s stage that the action was good, but when Pinotti attacked with 20k to go, I didn’t really think I had enough for the victory,” Bono said. “My legs weren’t so good and Beppu was pedaling very well. But then Pinotti suffered the effort and I saw that I was the strongest on the last climb, so I went for it. I’m very happy for the team and our supporters.” At the beginning of the 162km stage from Moudon to Charmey-en-Gruyre, the peloton had allowed the breakaway trio to get progressively further away until it reached a maximum 19’21” gap at the 60km mark. The escapers reached the top of the 2nd category Col du Gibloux at 102.6 km with a 13 minute lead. The trio maintained their form, however, and 20km from the finish Pinotti made his tactically ill-advised move, attempting to drop Beppu and Bono. At 10km to go he had an 8 minute advantage on the peloton but was just 19 seconds ahead of his fellow escapees. They caught him with 4km to go and after his exertions Pinotti proved incapable of making any impression in the final sprint. The peloton filed in while 3’49 after the winning group – just enough to ensure that Savoldelli holds onto yellow. Pinotti can expect an uncomfortable reception from his team mates and sponsor this evening having thrown away both a possible stage win and a day in yellow. Tour de Romandie Stage 3: Moudon – Charmey (162.6km) Stage 3 results 1 Matteo Bono (Ita, Lampre – Fondital) 4.04.15 (39.943 km/h) 2 Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 00:00:00 3 Marco Pinotti (Ita, T-Mobile Team) 00:00:00 4 Christophe Moreau (Fra, AG2r Prvoyance) 00:03:51 5 Thomas Dekker (Ned, Rabobank) 6 Andrea Tonti (Ita, Quickstep – Innergetic) 7 Theo Eltink (Ned, Rabobank) 8 Roger Beuchat (Swi, Team L.P.R.) 9 Markus Fothen (Ger, Gerolsteiner) 10 Patrick Calcagni (Swi, Liquigas) General classification after Stage 3 1 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita, Astana) 12.23.20 2 Marco Pinotti (Ita, T-Mobile Team) 00:00:04 3 Roman Kreuziger (Cze, Liquigas) 00:00:05 4 Chris Horner (USA, Predictor – Lotto) 5 Markus Fothen (Ger, Gerolsteiner) 00:00:06 6 Sandy Casar (Fra, Franaise des Jeux) 7 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz, Astana) 00:00:09 8 Patrick Calcagni (Swi, Liquigas) 00:00:10 9 Francisco Perez Sanchez (Spa, Caisse d’Epargne) 10 Hubert Schwab (Swi, Quickstep – Innergetic) 00:00:11 11 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel, Predictor – Lotto) 12 Beat Zberg (Swi, Gerolsteiner) 00:00:12 13 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin, Franaise des Jeux) 14 David Zabriskie (USA, Team CSC) 15 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa, Caisse d’Epargne) 00:00:13 16 Cadel Evans (Aus, Predictor – Lotto) 00:00:14 17 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned, Unibet.com) 00:00:15 18 Karsten Kroon (Ned, Team CSC) 19 Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro, Liquigas) 00:00:16 20 Thomas Dekker (Ned, Rabobank) 21 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol, Lampre – Fondital) 22 Andrea Tonti (Ita, Quickstep – Innergetic) 23 Michael Barry (Can, T-Mobile Team) 24 Janez Brajkovic (Slo, Discovery Channel) 00:00:17 25 Andy Schleck (Lux, Team CSC) 00:00:18 Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.
A cat-and-mouse snafu toward the end of a long breakaway changed everything and nothing. procycling.