A six-rider breakaway had established an advantage of two minutes and twenty seconds before the race was neutralized and once riders sought shelter in the team buses and cars and were transported to Okrug to re-start the race, the breakaway set off with their advantage before the peloton followed suit.
With just one climb in the shortened stage, the chase was on from the beginning and the breakaway was slowly pulled back before the ascent took its toll and numerous riders were dropped from the bunch.
Victor de la Parte showed his form in his first race back since crashing out of the Vuelta a España and responded to an attack from Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) on the climb, forming a five-rider chase group, that eventually caught the breakaway at the top of the climb.
The group pushed hard on the descent, but were re-joined by a large group featuring Zimmermann, Serge Pauwels, and Joey Rosskopf, to set the stage for a bunch sprint.
Zimmermann and Rosskopf tried their luck with attacks in the final 10 kilometers but eventually, it was a sprint for the line with Yevgeny Gidich (Astana Pro Team) taking the win and Rosskopf finishing in eighth place.
Zimmermann crossed the line in the same group, in 17th place, to move into 16th place on the General Classification as the best-placed young rider with three stages remaining.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Fabio Baldato, Sports Director:
“It was a really chaotic stage and no one really knew what was going on but it was definitely the right call to neutralize the stage and re-start it in calmer conditions. We had Víctor de la Parte up there with Yates in that move and it’s clear he has good legs, so we will be riding for him in the General Classification. It is good to have Georg Zimmermann in the young rider jersey and we will do what we can to defend the jersey, but the priority is definitely a podium with Víctor.”
Stage 3 Okrug > Makarska (45km)
Top 3: 1. Yevgeny Gidich (Astana Pro Team), 2. Grega Bole (Bahrain Merida), 3. Alex Edmonson (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
CCC Team top 3: 10. Joey Rosskopf, 14. Serge Pauwels, 17. Georg Zimmermann