Giovanni Lonardi takes the top spots

Giovanni Lonardi takes the top spots

Italy’s Giovanni Lonardi was declared the winner of stage 3 in Marmaris after Danny van Poppel who crossed the line first was relegated for irregular sprinting. The Polti-Kometa rider also moved into the lead of the general classification whereas his compatriot Enrico Zanoncello and stage 2 winner Max Kanter rounded out the stage podium. Türkiye’s Samet Bulut and Germany’s Vinzent Dorn retained the red and white jerseys respectively.

After several unfruitful skirmishes and the peloton waiting for the stragglers from the first hills, a four-man breakaway group eventually took shape at km 35, formed of Filippo Conca (Q36.5), Willie Smit (China Glory), Antoine Berlin (BikeAid) and Konrad Czabok (Mazowsze). Conca won the intermediate sprint and Czabok the Treasures of Türkiye sprint but it wouldn’t affect the different classifications. The maximum time gap was 3’15’’ at km63.

Conca went on his own in the first categorised climb with 40km to go. Berlin remained in between and received the reinforcement of Samuele Zoccarato (VF Group-Bardiani) and later Lennert Teugels (Bingoal WB), Burak Abay (Sakarya BB) and Ryan Cavanagh (Kinan). They were all brought back by the pack within 15km to go. Lander Lookckx (TDT) tried his luck towards the top of the last climb but it was a reduced bunch sprint in Marmaris.

In the absence of Bora-Hansgrohe’s pure sprinter Sam Welsford who was off the back like most of his pairs, Danny van Poppel launched from far out and thought he’d won until he was relegated by the commissaires’ panel.  

Stage winner, race leader and points classification leader Giovanni Lonardi said in the press conference:

“We were looking for the win every day and it happened today after two nice placements on stage 1 and stage 2. I was feeling well but Danny van Poppel boxed me in, uncorrectly according to me and this is how it was, the jury said. It’s fair like this. Before I got boxed in, I felt I was going to win.

I’ve had the perfect team today. We outnumbered the others in the main group at the end. The sprint was launched 400 metres before the line. I took van Popppel’s wheel. It was far from the line but I felt I was going to pass him because I had really good legs but he blocked me on the left side. I had the legs for winning.

Our goal for this race was firstly a stage win. I needed to win. I’m truly happy even though I would have preferred the picture with my arms up in the air. We’ve always done well here. The route suits my characteristics as a rider and I’m on good form ahead of the Giro d’Italia. It’ll be my third Giro d’Italia. To win there is always very difficult but I hope to do well too. I’ll take whatever comes. 

I think I’ve come ten or twelve times in Türkiye for racing. I love it, not only the courses but also the venues, the people… I feel a real link between myself and this country.” 

King of the Mountains Samet Bulut declared:

“In the first 50km, I kept looking for a breakaway. I was targeting the KOM points but it has never been possible and the move went without us. I saw that my main rival Vinzent Dorn wasn’t at his best also, so I felt more secure. I can say that I took a bit of a rest today and I’m glad that I’m still wearing the red jersey.”

Treasures of Türkiye classification leader Vinzent Dorn said:

“It was very difficult to make the break today. We said before the stage that I would take a recovery day today and I would not try to go clear because tomorrow will be very hard. But I will try again tomorrow. My team-mate Antoine Berlin did a great job to go in the break. He was so many times on the attacks at the beginning. I’m happy to have him as my team-mate.