Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) has taken his third straight stage win at the Tour of Guangxi and the 23-year-old continues to lead the overall, points and youth standings.
Three riders – Nuno Bico (Movistar), Jack Haig (Orica-Scott) and Daniel Oss (BMC) – formed the day’s main breakaway, but the peloton wasn’t willing of making any gifts ahead of the race’s queen-stage, and as consequence the trio couldn’t establish a significant lead.
The escapees were brought back before the last intermediate sprint, where Julian Alaphilippe grabbed three seconds to put him into contention for the general classification, but other moves soon followed from the bunch, with Lawson Craddock (Cannondale-Drapac) and Matej Mohoric (UAE Team Emirates) giving it a go and managing to stay at the front until the final five kilometres of stage three.
Quick-Step Floors took the reins in the bunch at the three kilometres to go mark and began setting a high pace in the pack, before Max Richeze brought Fernando Gaviria to the front and helped the Colombian stamp again his authority on the Tour of Guangxi sprints.
Gaviria’s fantastic turn of speed couldn’t be matched by his opponents – Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb) and Magnus Cort (Orica-Scott) – as the 23-year-old completed his hat-trick of victories in China and increased his cushion in the overall classification, where teammate Julian Alaphilippe sits in tenth place ahead of the race’s only uphill finish.
“Can’t say I had the best sensations in my legs this morning, but things became better as the stage progressed,” said Gaviria after scoring the team’s 55th UCI victory of the 2017 season.
“Having all the guys around, protecting me in every moment, helped a lot today. Martin and Pieter worked hard and pulled back the break, while Max provided another solid proof lead-out in the final 500 metres. I love this team, it’s my second family and I’m really proud to be part of the Wolfpack and live so many great moments with them.”