With only one categorized climb to tackle, stage three lent itself to a fast finale and it was clear with the way the peloton was riding throughout the whole day that this was what was being set up.
The day started off with six riders going clear in the opening kilometers of the day but, unlike the freedom yesterday’s breakaway was able to gain, the peloton kept today’s attackers on a tight leash with the advantage never allowed to extend beyond two minutes 30 seconds.
Heading into the final 30 kilometers, the peloton picked up the pace further with the advantage of the three remaining leaders dropping to inside one minute before they were eventually caught with just nine kilometers to go.
Despite some later attackers trying their luck, the bunch was back together inside five kilometers to go with CCC Team moving up to the front of mass to help bring Trentin into position for what would become a fast and furious sprint to the line.
When the sprint was launched, Trentin was well-placed right up at the business end of the peloton and he looked strong as he battled against some strong sprinters’ teams before ultimately securing eighth on the line.
At the end of the day, and following on his strong performance on yesterday’s tricky uphill finish, Greg Van Avermaet moved up to tenth on the General Classification ahead of the queen stage tomorrow, which should share things up in the overall standings.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“We kind of had a try at doing something for the sprint the other day on stage one but today I think we executed our plan really well. I was there and everybody did their job to keep me protected and helping me to spend as little energy as possible before the sprint. The sprint itself was not perfect as I was on the wheel of the lead out man of Jakobsen and there was some confusion in the final moments that saw him stop with 200 meters to go. I hesitated a little and never really gained the speed again so they just came faster from behind. It was a really good improvement already and step by step we are going to get there.”
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
Stage 3: Orihuela > Torrevieja (175km)
Top 3: 1. Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo-Visma) 2. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) 3. Matej Mohoric (Bahrain – McLaren)
CCC Team Top 3: 8. Matteo Trentin 36. Greg Van Avermaet 59. Michael Schär