GIRO 2022. Cavendish wins last stage in Hungary, Van der Poel enters the rest day as leader

© AFP

Mark Cavendish won the third stage in the Giro in a bunch sprint, from Kaposvar to Balatonfüred (201 km). The Brit of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl was the best in the longest, but probably also the most boring stage in this Giro. Mathieu van de Poel remains leader.

Werner Bourlez

How did the victory come about?

The flight of the day came immediately after the start: three Italians went ahead: teammates Mattia Bais and Filippo Tagliani (Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli) and Samuele Rivi (EOLO-Kometa). Striking: the two teammates also went on the attack together on Friday. They got up to six minutes ahead but Alpecin-Fenix, later aided by Lotto-Soudal and Groupama-FDJ, kept the gap under control. At 28 km from the finish, the regrouping was already a fact.

At 12 km from the finish, Pascal Eenkhoorn and Rick Zabel attacked. The German only wanted to defend his blue mountain jersey on the short climb to the abbey of Tihany and quickly let himself down, the Dutchman was caught a little later.

The expected bunch sprint came and Mark Cavendish turned out to be the fastest, ahead of Arnaud Démare and Fernando Gaviria. Immediately his sixteenth stage win ever in the Giro.

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What did the favorites do?

Stay in the pack and don’t lose time. They had nothing to gain in this sprint stage.

What did the Belgians do?

Edward Theuns sprinted to sixth place. The rest showed themselves in a subservient role. Senne Leysen led the pack for miles in the service of leader Mathieu van der Poel to keep the gap with the early breakaways under control. In function of Caleb Ewan, Thomas De Gendt also lent a hand. Dries De Bondt stayed close to Van der Poel as a watchdog all day. Bert Van Lerberghe played an important role in the sprint train for Cavendish as the penultimate man.

Anything else you should know?

Slovenian Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious) is the first quitter. Due to wrist pain, two days after his fall in the first stage, he gave up on the way.

After three days of racing in Hungary, the riders will have a rest day tomorrow to make the transfer to Sicily, where a mountain stage will immediately follow on Tuesday, arriving on the flanks of Etna.

© REUTERS

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