News | Vuelta a Espana • August 27, 2018
Consonni takes a top 5 finish in stage 3
Fifth place for the Italian rider in his first sprint in a Grand Tour
UAE Team Emirates tackled the second road stage of this year’s Vuelta with a solid performance that saw the team’s young Italian sprinter, Simone Consonni, contest a fast sprint finish after nearly five hours of racing. Fabio Aru continued to build on his form and crossed the line just behind the sprinters to move into 18th position in the GC standings.
The 178.2km route, which ran from the coastal town of Mijas to Alhaurín de la Torre was always going to favour the sprinters, despite featuring one category one and one category two climb over the Puerto del Madrono and Puerto Viento respectively. The pace was high throughout the day and the early breakaway riders were only given a short leash before they were finally reeled back in over the last 10kms of the race, allowing the sprinters in the pack to contest the podium. Consonni got himself into a great position during the ‘flame rouge’ and battled hard over the final 200m – against a world class field of fast men – to take a well-earned fifth spot (photo Bettini). Current Italian champion Elia Viviani (Quick Step Floors) won the stage in 4:48:12”.
Commenting on his top five position, Consonni said: “I’m pretty satisfied, especially because I’ve had some tough days to contend with in these early stages. I did my best to avoid being dropped on the climbs today and had great support from my team mates. I succeeded in being in the peloton for the sprint and in achieving a 5th place, which is a good result for me as it’s my first sprint in a Grand Tour.”
Further back in the peloton, UAE Team Emirates’ domestiques worked tirelessly to protect their GC leader who, despite carrying light abrasions to his right leg from yesterday’s crash, kept himself in the mix during the long flat run in to the finish line to gain a respectable position on day three of La Vuelta.
Stage 4 is another hilly day for the peloton and features the second of nine summit finishes. The route leaves the Costa del Sol from Vélez-Málaga and runs for 162km to Sierra de la Alfaguara via an inland course that includes two category one climbs; the first over the Alta de la Cabra Montes and the second up the Puerto del Alfacar to the finish line, which sits 1,440m above sea level.
Stage 3 Results
1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick Step Floors 4:48:12”
2 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Segafredo s.t.
3 Peter Sagan (Slo) BORA Hansgrohe s.t.
5 Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates s.t.
General Classification Standings
1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 9:10:52”
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar +0:14”
3 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb +0:25”
18 Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates +0:47”