Taco van der Hoorn solos to victory after surviving from the breakaway on stage 3
Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) solo'ed to victory on the third stage at the Giro d'Italia after surviving a late attack from the breakaway
On his first Giro Van der Hoorn was part of a break that escaped the main pack five kilometres into the 190-kilometre stage.
With eight kilometres to go he accelerated away from the other survivor of the eight-man break, Swiss rider Simon Pellaud of Androni, and held off a disorganised pursuit.
He crossed the line with four seconds to spare, holding his hands to his head in a gesture of disbelief.
"After the finish, I was thinking: 'is this real?" the Intermarche rider said on the podium.
Italian Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) won the sprint for second place, four seconds behind the winner. Another Italian Filippo Ganna of Ineos kept the overall lead.
The breakaway, which included Ukrainian Andrii Ponomar, at 18 and eight months, the youngest Giro rider since 1929, disintegrated on the short sharp hills in the second half of the stage in the vineyards near Alba.
With the pack closing the two survivors, Van der Hoorn and Pellaud kept riding.
"I didn't believe when we had one minute with 25k," said van der Hoorn. "I just think that 0.5 per cent it's enough chance and I just take it."
After following the Swiss rider up the last climb, Van der Hoorn accelerated away and quickly stretched a 35-second lead to a minute.
"Simon was pulling me hard on the climb I'm a bit heavier and I was struggling. But on the descent I was feeling much stronger," said Van der Hoorn. "I was thinking I have to go now and do a bit higher speed."
He was helped by a disorganised pursuit as the leading teams in the peloton waited for their rivals to do the work and close the gap.
"For me, it was so surreal that I as there in front and the peloton was not coming back at me. I didn't believe it," said Van der Hoorn. "The (team radio) was saying 40 seconds, still 40 seconds. I was thinking 'Ah! maybe I really make it'."
Peter Sagan, a favorite for the stage, his Bora team just ran out of gas and then UAE came to the front too late.
Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers retains the Pink Jersey.
Tomorrow's fourth stage serves its first uphill finish, at 187 kilometres, the race travels from Piacenza to an intriguing finale in Sestola, one for the GC riders.
VIDEO: 2021 Giro d'Italia Stage 3 Highlights
2021 Giro d'Italia Stage 3 Top 10
1 Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 4:21:29
2 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation 0:0:04
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
4 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cofidis
5 Patrick Bevin (NZl) Israel Start-up Nation
6 Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
7 Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
8 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo
9 Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
10 Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
2021 Giro d'Italia GC after Stage 3
1 Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 8:51:26
2 Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma 0:0:16
3 Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:0:20
4 João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
5 Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:0:21
6 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 0:0:26
7 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech 0:0:27
8 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-Nippo 0:0:29
9 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers 0:0:30
10 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:0:32