Thomson spends the day in the break, untimely puncture for Ciolek at Tirreno-Adriatico.

The third stage of Tirreno-Adriatico saw the race favourite, Peter Sagan, live up to his label by taking the stage win. Michal Kwiatkowski’s (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) good run of form continued, with the Polish rider finishing 2nd on the stage. Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) was third in the uphill sprint to the line.

Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had an indifferent day with Sergio Pardilla abandoning straight after the neutral zone, the Spaniard was unable to continue after suffering the effects of his big crash yesterday. Jay Thomson then got into the break that went away inside the first kilometre of racing, making it two days in a row that Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were represented in the break. Thomson was eventually brought back with 12km to go.

“It was a good long day out. We always knew the sprinters teams would bring it back but it was great for the team and even better training for me to be in the break. I felt okay but my hip and back was still tender from being in the same crash which took Sergio out yesterday.”

“The break had a constant solid pace all day, we just started riding too hard from too far out. That caused the peloton to panic a bit and they started chasing harder. Maybe we could have had a chance at staying away but anyway that’s racing. I will try again over the weekend in one of the mountain stages to see if I can do it again. I’ve lost quite a bit of time now so maybe I’ll be given some freedom, you never know,” said Thomson.

In the final few kilometres, Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were looking to set up Gerald Ciolek on a finish that would have suited the German star. Andreas Stauff, Ignatas Konovalovas and Jaco Venter could all be seen near the front of the peloton, ensuring Ciolek had a good position before the tight and technical uphill finish. Unfortunately Ciolek punctured just as the climb was about to start with 2km to go.

With Pardilla out of the race now and Linus Gerdemann obviously not riding either, Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung aren’t able to have any real GC aspirations. They will therefore continue to be aggressive over the weekend’s mountain stages by looking to get into the breakaway again. Racing continues tomorrow with the first of two mountain stages. Starting in Indicatore and finishing 244km later with a summit finish in Cittareale.

Tirreno-Adriatico (Italy) – (March 12-18/WT)

Sergio Pardilla (ESP)
Gerald Ciolek (GER)
Andreas Stauff (GER)
Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU)
Jay Thomson (RSA)
Jaco Venter (RSA)
Daniel Teklehaimanot (ERI)
Kristian Sbaragli (ITA)

Staff: Jens Zemke (Sports Director), Manel Lacambra (Sports Director), Dr Jarrad van Zuydam (Doctor), Dr Rob Child (Doctor-Nutritionist), Bastian Buffel (Soigneur), Hagen Bernutz (Soigneur), Paolo Baldi (Soigneur) Jim Bryan (Mechanic), Daniele Nieri (Mechanic), Andreas Beck-Watt (Mechanic), Stevie Christaens (Mechanic)

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