There was a rare chance for the sprinters at Tirreno-Adriatico on stage 3 and the fast men of the peloton were never likely to let the opportunity pass them by at Montalto di Castro.
The finish was a complicated one, as the road narrowed and then climbed in the final kilometre and a half, and proved a finale tailor-made for Fernando Gaviria (Etixx-QuickStep), who ripped clear in the final 300 metres to take the win.
The Colombian, fresh from defending his Omnium title at the Track World Championships, had enough in his legs to see off his closest challenger, Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) in a thrilling sprint, while Elia Viviani (Sky) beat Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) to third.
Gaviria’s teammate Zdenek Stybar finished safely in the main peloton to retain the blue jersey of overall leader and provide a double cause for celebration in the Etixx-QuickStep camp.
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