Van der Poel and van Aert duel up the slopes of Gualdo Tadin on Stage 3 of Tirreno-Adriatico

Mathieu van der Poel powered away from his closest rivals to win the uphill sprint at the end of the third stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico in Gualdo Tadino on Friday. The Dutch national champion, who rides for Alpecin-Fenix, surged past race leader Wout van Aert in the final meters to make up for his near miss the day before

Van der Poel and Van Aert duel up the slopes of Gualdo Tadin on Stage 3 of Tirreno-Adriatico

“I was thinking about myself, about my mistake yesterday. I was really happy to take the win,” Van der Poel said.

When a breakaway that formed just three kilometers after the start of the 219 kilometer stage in Monticiano was reeled in with less than three kilometers to go, Van der Poel was badly positioned, as he had been the day before when he finished third behind Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe and Belgian van Aert.

This time, Van der Poel had moved close to the head of the pack by the time Zdenek Stybar accelerated away in the final kilometre. The Czech had appeared to be leading out his Deceuninck Quick Step team-mate Alaphilippe, who did not accelerate, creating an instant gap.

Van Aert of Jumbo-Visma gave chase with Van der Poel on his wheel. As Van Aert caught the Czech, Van der Poel pounced.

“I was surprised by the move by Alaphilippe, which was kind of smart,” said van Aert. “But if I still wanted the victory I had to react, and unfortunately I took Mathieu on my wheel, which was at that point a waste of energy.”

Van der Poel, who punched the air as he crossed the line in 5:24:18 at the end of the longest stage of the seven-day race, agreed that he had gained from Stybar’s break.

“Wout immediately reacted, otherwise it could have been dangerous, but I think I did the right thing by waiting,” he said.

“It was a really hard sprint, it went uphill a bit, and after such a long stage today, yeah, it hurt,” he said.

Van Aert leads the overall classification by four seconds from Van der Poel with Alaphilippe third at 10 seconds.

It was only the eighth time Van Aert, Van der Poel and Alaphilippe have started a day’s road racing together but it continued a pattern. Every time the trio have all been in a field, one of them has won.

Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar finished 10th to take the white jersey for best young rider. He sits fifth overall, 20 seconds behind Van Aert.

“I’m happy for the white jersey,” the Slovene who rides for UAE said, adding that he is looking ahead to Saturday’s mountainous 148km stage from Terni to Prati di Tivo.

“Tomorrow’s the hardest stage, and I feel good so we look forward for tomorrow and I hope for good legs.”

Meanwhile, sprinter Caleb Ewan, who started the day in the cyclamen jersey of the points leader climbed off his bike with 98.5km to go.

His Lotto-Soudal team tweeted that the Australian sprinter: “has withdrawn from the race as he has been suffering from mild gastro-enteritis. The decision to abandon was taken in order to not jeopardise his participation at Milano-Sanremo” on March 20.

VIDEO: 2021 Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 3 Highlights

2021 Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 3 Top 10

1 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 5:24:18
2 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
3 Davide Ballerini (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
4 Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo
5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
6 Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
7 Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team
8 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
9 Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar Team
10 Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation

2021 Tirreno-Adriatico GC after Stage 3

1 Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma 14:01:47
2 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 0:0:04
3 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:0:10
4 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious 0:0:19
5 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:0:20
6 Robert Stannard (Aus) Team BikeExchange
7 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
8 Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo
9 Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe

Tag: tirrenoadriatico
Mar 16 2021 - NEWS: Tour de France champion Pogacar wins Tirreno-Adriatico
Mar 15 2021 - NEWS: Wurtz Schmidt takes stage six from breakway as Pogacar holds lead
Mar 14 2021 - NEWS: Mathieu van der Poel attacks to win stage five at Tirreno-Adriatico
Mar 13 2021 - NEWS: Pogacar rises in the mountains and takes Tirreno-Adriatico lead
Mar 12 2021 - NEWS: Van der Poel and Van Aert duel up the slopes of Gualdo Tadin on Stage 3 of Tirreno-Adriatico
Mar 11 2021 - NEWS: Alaphilippe sprints to Tirreno-Adriatico second stage win
Mar 10 2021 - NEWS: Wout Van Aert wins Tirreno-Adriatico opening sprint stage
Mar 02 2021 - NEWS: Yates, Pogacar, Bernal and Thomas headline 2021 Tirreno-Adriatico
Sep 14 2020 - NEWS: Simon Yates Time Trials to Tirreno-Adriatico Victory
Sep 13 2020 - NEWS: Van der Poel takes stage 7 in nail-biting finish at Tirreno-Adriatico
Sep 12 2020 - NEWS: Simon Yates retains the race lead after stage six sprint
Sep 11 2020 - NEWS: Simon Yates attacks to take stage and Tirreno-Adriatico lead
Sep 10 2020 - NEWS: Hamilton wins stage 4 as Woods retains the lead on Stage 4
Sep 09 2020 - NEWS: Michael Woods powers to stage 3 victory at Tirreno-Adriatico
Sep 08 2020 - NEWS: Ackermann wins second-straight stage at Tirreno-Adriatico
Mar 07 2022 - EVENT: 2022 Tirreno-Adriatico