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Team Jumbo-Visma has provided spectacle in the third stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico. The yellow-black formation pulled the peloton into echelons in the final 15 kilometres of the stage but saw the coup fail in the nick of time. Wout van Aert finished sixth in the bunch sprint.
The 216-kilometre third stage took the riders from Follonica to Foligno. Four Italians broke away from the peloton, but they were caught 40 kilometres from the finish. In the nervous final, Team Jumbo-Visma took the initiative and caused chaos in the peloton.
A group of about twenty riders, including five Team Jumbo-Visma riders, managed to grab a slight lead over the rest of the field, but in the last three kilometres, the peloton caught them. In the final sprint, Van Aert chose Fabio Jakobsen's wheel, which earned him sixth place.
"I believe our coup caught some guys off guard. Unfortunately, no classification rider got in trouble, but it was worth trying", Van Aert said. "I had wasted too much energy when the peloton rejoined. I did what I could, but I had no resources left."
"Last night, we noticed that there would be a lot of wind today"
Sports director Frans Maassen saw how the team's coup nearly succeeded. "Last night, we noticed that there would be a lot of wind today. We decided to take the initiative to stay ahead of the other teams. The execution was good, but unfortunately, we couldn't stay away."
The first hill stage awaits the peloton tomorrow. Van Aert believes that the 218-kilometre stage will be ideal for him. "It's a finish where I have opportunities. We'll see; I hope I have excellent legs."