Road World Champion Remco Evenepoel extended his overall lead at the 106th Giro d'Italia. A place in the first large group was enough for the Belgian on the third stage, and the 23-year-old gained three bonus seconds along the way.
On the 213-kilometer stretch from Vasto to Melfi, Australian Michael Matthews won ahead of Danish former world champion Mads Pedersen and his compatriot Kaden Groves.
In the general classification, Evenepoel is now 32 seconds ahead of the Portuguese Joao Almeida. The cushion on his biggest rival, third-placed Slovenian Primoz Roglic, extended the Vuelta champion to 44 seconds. Lennard Kämna also finished with the leading group and is a good one and a half minutes behind Evenepoel.
Evenepoel secures time credit ahead of Roglic
The race only picked up speed in the last 30 kilometers when several top sprinters were no longer able to keep up with the pace on two climbs in the third and fourth categories. Evenepoel's team ensured that the captain was well placed on the descent and secured a time credit in the bonus sprint ahead of Roglic.
The first real mountain test will take place on Thursday. Three climbs have to be mastered on the 175-kilometer stage to Lago Laceno. The Colle Molella, which has an average gradient of more than six percent, is only crossed three kilometers before the finish line.