The 3rd stage of the Tour de Luxembourg would come down to a bunch sprint today with Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) securing the stage victory. The pack nearly missed their opportunity though as breakaway rider Rodolfo Torres (Colombia) was caught in the final 200m of the stage.
Torres was part of an original 7 man breakaway that escaped after around 30km of racing. Cult Energy were weary to let the leaders get too much of an advantage and held the gap under the 3’00” barrier. The 161km route was again littered with short climbs and the peloton was once again whittled down to around 50 riders after the chase intensified with 40km to go.
Torres went in pursuit of the final KOM points with 12km to go and left his attacking counterparts behind. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had put in some good chase work during the 3 circuit laps to ensure Kristian Sbaragli had the chance to contest for the victory once again. Over the top of the last climb, Torres had 30 seconds to play with and he showed good strength to make it all the way to the final straight but the sprinters would still have their day.
Greipel would show his good form once again by taking the win ahead of Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) and Enrico Gasparotto (Wanty Groupe Gobert). Kristian was in the game right to the line after some good work by Gerald Ciolek but in the end the Italian had to settle for 4th place. Linus Gerdemann (Cult Energy) held on to the leader’s yellow jersey.
Kristian Sbaragli – Rider
I had good sensations once again and with only 50 riders in the finale it was a good stage for me. The team were great, they helped me all day. Gerald brought me to a good position with 500m to go. I was just bumping and barging with another rider for Griepel’s wheel just before the sprint started. Unfortunately I didn’t win any bonification seconds to move up on the GC.