Alan Banaszek claimed 2nd place on stage 3 of Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali. 19-year old rider was beaten only by Thomas Boudat, in a sprint from a successful breakaway.
Info: March 25th, Crevalcore – Crevalcore, 171.4km
Course: flat, held on a 13-kilometer lap around Crevalcore
The plan was to move as a team up front with 5 laps to go and to try to rip the group apart, by setting strong pace. Unfortunately Direct Energie had the same idea, but implemented it a little bit sooner. The peloton was starting to stretch, and when a crash happened it split in few pieces. I was very close from falling myself, since the rider who went down was just ahead of me. I had to slow down and do a 1-kilometer long sprint to bridge the gap to the front group. I was the last one to join them.
In the finale riders were pushing through to get the spot just behind Boudet. He had few of his teammates in the break, was well led-out and everyone knew he is the man to beat. In the finishing meters I was able to overtake some riders and crossed the line in 2nd place, losing by half a bike length.
One of the first attacks turned into the breakaway of the day. It was launched by Davide Ballerini (Androni Sidermec Bottecchia), Josu Zabala (Caja Rural – Seguros Rga) and Niccolò Salvietti (Sangemini – Mg K Vis), who established the biggest gap of the stage at 3:30, with more than 100km to go.
With 70km remaining there was a crash in the bunch which split the field. Alan Banaszek was able to get into the first group, which consisted of around 25 riders. They quickly set the pace high and the 3-man escape was caught in a blink of an eye.
Banaszek’s group was holding off the chasers, keeping around 30-second advantage. The second group was fiercely trying to bridge the gap, but the leaders were not going to let that opportunity to slip away.
It was all decided in a sprint from the breakaway and Alan Banaszek finished just behind the winner, Thomas Boudat (Direct Energie), in 2nd place. Wiliam Clarc (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team) rounded out the podium, while his teammate, Tom Skujins, retained overall lead.