Mar 22, 2023 at 5:14 PMUpdate: 3 minutes ago
Remco Evenepoel won the third stage of the Tour of Catalonia on Wednesday. The Belgian left Primoz Roglic behind in the final of an exciting mountain stage, but came just short of taking over the leader’s jersey.
Roglic and Evenepoel gave the world a taste of the Giro d’Italia for the third day in a row. The two are top favorites when the Italian stage race starts in a month and a half. Roglic won the first battle on Monday, Tuesday’s stage ended in a draw and Evenepoel turned out to be the best on Wednesday.
The third stage in Catalonia took the riders to the ski village of La Molina in the Pyrenees. There was a lot of climbing along the way, although the cols were not too steep.
Evenepoel put his Soudal Quick-Step helpers in the lead, as a result of which the early escapees were caught. Guillaume Martin, Richard Carapaz and Maxim Van Gils capitulated on the final climb as the last adventurers.
Evenepoel attacks, Roglic does not take over
Evenepoel placed his gear about 5 kilometers from the finish. Only classification leader Roglic could follow the 23-year-old Belgian. The Slovenian let his major competitor do the work and refused to take over.
Evenepoel kept looking back, but Roglic didn’t move a muscle. In the end, the Jumbo-Visma leader did not have good legs. With mighty pedal strokes, Evenepoel kept him behind in the last hundreds of meters. At an appropriate distance from this duo, Giulio Ciccone, who on Tuesday trumped Evenepoel and Roglic for the stage victory, sprinted to third place.
Because Evenepoel celebrated his stage victory extensively, the difference between the two ruffs was limited to two seconds. This is how Roglic keeps the leader’s jersey, with the Belgian in second place in the same time. The Tour of Catalonia lasts until Sunday. Friday’s stage ends on a tricky climb.
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