The 212km third stage starting from Châlette-sur-Loing and finishing in La Châtre is the longest stage of the race. With just one classified climb in the stage, this was predicted to be one for the sprinters.
There was a solo rider in the breakaway who was allowed to escape the peloton and produce a gap of almost 10 minutes, with the bunch unconcerned about the risk. With around 25km to go, the breakaway was caught.
It was in the last 500m where the action took place as a crash between a few of the key contenders in the sprint opened up an opportunity. With Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) appearing to be the favourite, our Ivan Garcia launched an attack and proved to be too strong, pipping Sagan to the line.
Cortina took advantage of difficult conditions for the win “I am always happy to compete at Paris-Nice, and it’s really amazing for me to win the stage at such race as Paris-Nice. At the final, I managed to find my good place and position for the final sprint to go full gas. As everybody suffered in such hard conditions, I was waiting, as always to try and use such conditions like today and grab my chance. The character of the race was like the classics race, and I’m really happy before the upcoming classics ahead to take a victory. I am super happy with the performance of the whole team. I did a good job with Dylan at the front, and in the end, everything went really good, and I took my chance for the win”.
Our Sports Director Gorazd Stangelj was impressed with Ivan’s form in the team “We are super happy for this big victory and also because Ivan has already shown from the first stage that he’s in excellent condition. He’s proving to be a real team man capable of helping his teammates in critical moments and today he has been able to seize the opportunity and win with high quality. He also showed to be one of the best riders for the Belgian classics, and this gives us hope for the next races”.
(All pictures can be used for editorial and non-commercial usages only and are copyright @Bettiniphoto @TeamBahrainMcLaren)
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