With most teams anticipating that the race would heat up in the second half of the stage, the peloton kept tight control of proceedings, not allowing the day’s early three-rider breakaway to go more than three minutes up the road.
With nerves already starting to creep into the bunch after some earlier crashes, Ventoso was unfortunately caught out, crashing 90 kilometers into the 176.5-kilometer stage and being forced to stop racing. A full update is provided below.
All three of the day’s categorized climbs came inside the final 70 kilometers, of the 176.5-kilometer course, and with the peloton setting a fast pace approaching the slopes of the first ascent, the Côte de la Sainte-Baume, the gap fell quickly.
By the time the leaders reached the summit of the five-kilometer long climb, their advantage was down to less than 30 seconds with the catch eventually made by the first part of the peloton, which had split under the pressure being applied at the front, shortly after.
On the two remaining climbs, the Côte de Mazaugues, and the Côte de Sainte-Philomène, the gap between the two groups extended out to 50 seconds and in the end, it was clear that the first half of the bunch would go on to contest the victory.
CCC Team were unluckily caught out when the split occurred with Amaro Antunes, Víctor de la Parte and Laurens Ten Dam all finishing in the first main chasing group around five minutes behind Sam Bennett (BORA – hansgrohe), who took the win from a reduced bunch sprint.
Medical Update on Francisco Ventoso
CCC Team doctor, Dr. Piotr Kosielski:
“Francisco crashed around 90 kilometers into today’s stage in France and he was immediately taken to hospital for observation. X-Rays revealed that he has sustained a broken fifth metacarpal bone in his left hand. He will require surgery at home in Spain but providing everything goes to plan, Francisco should be able to resume training indoors within the week after surgery. The normal recovery period for this sort of injury can be up to four to five weeks and, I think we can except Francisco to have made a full recovery and be training on the road within that time frame. We will continue to monitor his recovery to determine when he will be able to race again.”
“I had bad luck today because the crash happened after a tree branch on the road got caught in my front wheel. I didn’t see it in the middle of the road but, it immediately broke my front wheel and I flew over the top of my handlebars. I am of course disappointed with the situation but, these things happen and now all I can do is try to have the necessary surgery as fast as possible and get myself back on the bike as soon as I can.”
Paris – Nice
Stage 6: Peynier > Brignoles (176.5km)
Top 3: 1. Sam Bennett (BORA – hansgrohe) 2. Arnaud Démare (Groupama – FDJ) 3. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
CCC Team Top 3: 72. Amaro Antunes 83. Víctor de la Parte 90. Laurens Ten Dam
Tirreno-Adriatico Stage Three: Bunch Sprint in Foligno
Stage three of Tirreno-Adriatico came down to an expected bunch sprint in Foligno, where CCC Team’s riders finished safely in the bunch behind stage winner Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep).
A six-rider breakaway went clear early in the 224-kilometer stage, the longest of the race, and maintained a four-minute advantage for the majority of the stage.
With the race situation under control, the peloton enjoyed a relatively calm day in the saddle, until the chase began to heat up in the final 40 kilometers.
The six leading riders persisted and held the peloton off for as long as possible until they were finally caught four kilometers from the finish.
After remaining hidden in the peloton for much of the stage, the CCC Team train made its way to the front to put Greg Van Avermaet in a good position approaching the technical finale.
Van Avermaet stayed out of trouble at the front of the race to avoid any crashes or splits and up ahead, the sprinters battled for the stage win with Viviani proving to be the strongest.
Quotes from the Race Car:
Valerio Piva, Sports Director:
“Our objective today was to stay out of trouble and deliver the team safely to the line. With a long, flat stage like today’s, it’s almost certain that the breakaway won’t go to the line and as we don’t have a pure sprinter, we were more focused on avoiding any crashes and splits in the finale. The guys stayed around Greg Van Avermaet and made sure he was in a good position.”
“Now, we turn our focus to tomorrow’s stage which is another good one for Greg. Hopefully, we will be up there again.”
Stage 3: Pomarance > Foligno (224km)
Top 3: 1. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 2. Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) 3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates)
CCC Tem top 3: 17. Greg Van Avermaet 46. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck 52. Gijs Van Hoecke