Passo Giau reshuffles Adriatica Ionica GC
Jhonatan Narvaez spends the day in the break, while fellow neo-pro James Knox moves up in the standings.
Stage 3 of the Adriatica Ionica race brought to the fore the climbers, who were in for a feast at the start of the day, with three big classified ascents on the course: Passo Rolle (20.5km, 5.9%), Passo Valles (4.1km, 8.6%) and Passo Giau (8.3km, 9.3%), Cima Coppi at previous editions of the Giro d'Italia.
A seven-man breakaway animated the 158.3km-long stage – which Elia Viviani began in the leader's jersey – until the final slopes of Valles, were the attacks that came from the bunch spelled the end of their time at the front. Among the escapees was also Ecuadorian Champion Jhonatan Narvaez, runner-up this season at Drôme Classic and part of the Quick-Step Floors squad who took the victory at the Hammer Limburg, a few weeks ago.
As soon as the move was nullified, Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) and Marco Frapporti (Androni Giocattoli) took off and helped also by the fast descent, built a 50-second buffer on the peloton. With Passo Giau looming on the horizon, the duo's move proved to be a short-lived one and the pack brought them back without too much trouble. From that group, Ivan Sosa (Androni Giocattoli) attacked inside the last two kilometers and soloed to victory, taking also the leader's jersey in the process.
Neo-pro and first rider to top the best young rider classification at the Italian race, James Knox was the highest-ranked Quick-Step Floors rider, coming across the line in 14th place, a result that helped the 22-year-old Brit make a huge jump in the general classification, where he lies in 17th with two days to go.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images