Tirreno (st. 3) / París-Niza (st. 5)
Adriano Malori sacrifices himself for Nairo Quintana on Tirreno-Adriatico stage three, leaves Maglia Azzurra for Van Avermaet (BMC) as Belgian wins in Arezzo prior to weekend's mountain stages
The spirit of the Movistar Team was clear for everyone again on day three of Tirreno-Adriatico, a flat, yet long (203km) travel from Cascina to a technical, five-lap circuit in Arezzo. Despite wearing the Maglia Azzurra as leader of the overall classificatino, Adriano Malori devoted himself to protecting Nairo Quintana, who finished in 19th spot and avoided any time gaps into the sprint. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) narrowly won over Peter Sagan (TCS) and Zdenek Stybar (EQS).
With no differences in the GC between the race favourites today -Malori is now in 3rd behind Van Avermaet and Sagan; Castroviejo has jumped into 8th-, Nairo will start the duo of mountainous stages in the 'Due Mari' located 11” behind Urán (EQS), 10” in arrears of Nibali (AST), 8” after Pinot (FDJ) and 2” behind Alberto Contador (TCS). Saturday will bring a 'marathon route' as riders cover 226km between Indicatore and Castelraimondo, with the Poggio San Romualdo (Cat-2) plus two ascents of the Crispero hill (Cat-3), the last one just 8k from the 'arrivo.'
Paris-Nice: Another eventful day
Good fortune is still hiding is face to the Movistar Team in the 70th Paris-Nice, after countless misfortune on yesterday's mountain top finish. The 192km stage five from Saint-Étienne to Rasteau saw the telephone squad getting involved in difficulties for three of its riders, though without physical consequences. Rubén Fernández suffered them twice: a crash with 30km remaining forced him to pursuit the tail of the bunch across the convoy, and another pile-up with 3k to go took him out of the group again, finishing five minutes behind day's winner Davide Cimolai (LAM) and stepping out of the overall top-20.
At the crash just prior to Rasteau's finish, Ion Izagirre and Eros Capecchi were also affected, thus unable to help out José Joaquín Rojas into the sprint. The Spaniard was well placed for the final rush, yet couldn't but equal his fifth place from the last two sprints in the race. Gorka Izagirre (23th across the line) is still in eighth overall before the weekend showdown in the mountains next to Nice, starting with tomorrow's six climbs heading into the coast (180.5km).