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Horsens - Horsens
Giro d'Italia - 7 May 2012
Giro d'Italia – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 17:35 on 7 May 2012. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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A superb win for Goss - GreenEdge's first in grand tours - but it was a finish marred by that huge pile up. Expect a lot of fall-out from that one...
Phinney enters an ambulance on the finish line, but he has emerged and will cross the line to complete the stage.
Phinney is still not up. He looks to have a problem with his ankle. He will need to cross the line unaided if he wants to continue the race.
Replays of the crash show Cavendish just getting into his stride before Roberto Ferrari sweeps in front and takes out his front wheel.
Goss took the win from Haedo and Farrar.
A debut grand tour win for Orica GreenEdge in a sprint marred by that big spill. Cavendish is up on his feet and walking over the line with his bike, covered in road rash. Phinney is still down.
BIG CRASH: Cavendish goes down and brings a whole load of riders with him, including pink jersey Taylor Phinney. Matthew Goss powers clear to take the win!
GreenEdge are now on the front, with the other favourites right behind. Cavendish in Demare's wheel...
Cavendish is sitting behind Mark Renshaw. Old habits die hard... we're approaching the kite.
Saxo have three on the front, but Sky once again muscle in, with Thomas and Kennaugh.
Sky form their train again, before Colnago have a dig to mix things up. Hushovd and GreenEdge move up too.
Astana have disappeared as Liquigas take it ip on the left-hand side of the peloton. Rabobank's Dennis van Winden, who crashed yesterday, has sat up and will coast to the finish. His team-mates are on the front now, riding for Mark Renshaw.
It's an Astana-Sky battle on the front as they pass the 4-to-go banner. Cavendish looks pretty calm and relaxed. He has Hunter on his wheel, working for Garmin team-mate Farrar.
Now Astana come to the front, for their man Gasparotto.
Omega Pharma are trying to bring Chicchi closer to the front. Positioning is so important in sprint finishes like this. Sky use their muscle to totally dominate the front now.
Saxo Bank are joined by GreenEdge. Goss and Haedo the sprinters in question. Sky are there, of course, while Euskaltel are right on the back, of course.
It's getting a bit fiesty on the front. Taylor Phinney and Ivan Basso are right up there, as are Frank Schleck and Michele Scarponi. These GC men don't want to be caught out on this final day in Denmark.
Colnago and Orica GreenEdge are nearing the front too, for their men Modolo and Goss. Saxo Bank and Liquigas are there too.
Sky have five riders leading out Cavendish at the moment as Bak is swept up by the bunch.
Lars Bak still has 10 seconds over the bunch. Provided there's no crash today, it will be interesting to see who's in form and who's not in the final bunch sprint. Yesterday Cavendish won easily, but the field was decimated by that Theo Bos crash. Can anyone upset the world champion today?
Bak heads into the finish area out in front - perhaps that was his main reason for attacking, granting the home crowds a second sighting of a Danish rider leading the field into Horsing.
Denmark's Bak has about 10 seconds over the bunch, who are not letting him get off the leash.
Now Liquigas take up the pace, working for their man Sabatini while keeping Basso out of trouble.
ATTACK: A lone Lotto Belisol rider jumps clear. It's Lars Bak, trying to do what he did yesterday today.
RadioShack clearly think Daniele Bennati has the legs to feature heavily today. Sky still do the pace setting. Sergey Lagutin of Vacansoleil-DCM is near the front as well.
Team Sky, Liquigas, Astana, Lampre, RadioShack and Rabobank are all fighting for position son the front of the bunch.
FDJ-BigMat come to the front. They will be thinking about their man Arnaud Demare - although the Frenchman's lead-out Geoffrey Soupe picked up third place yesterday, so they have options. It's a long time since FDJ have had cards to play in bunch sprints during the grand tours...
Christensen is about to be caught by the pack. Nice effort from the Saxo Bank rider.
CRASH: It happened a bit ago, but images are just filtering through the internet. A security man was hit by a rider while waving a flag to warn the peloton of some on-coming road furniture. Apparently everyone was okay.
Two laps to go for Christensen, who passes by the finish line amid jaunty cheers from the home fans.
Christensen has opened up a small gap over his five breakaway companions, who have now sat up. The lone Dane has 30 seconds over the bunch.
ATTACK: Denmark's Mads Christensen (SaxoBank) goes for the inevitable long-pot to give the crowds something to cheer.
Pink jersey Taylor Phinney comes towards the front to keep out of trouble. Remember, he went down yesterday 8km from the finish and had quite a struggle to get back on and maintain his lead.
The peloton is properly strung out now as the lead comes down to 37 seconds. The six leaders, led by local boy Mads Christensen, as not throwing in the towel just yet, however.
Once again, the clouds look grey and ominious, but once again, the rain is holding off. If you live in Denmark is must always be like living in the shadow of a potential downpour.
The lead is just a minute now. Surely the peloton will hold the ultimate sweeping up of this six-man group for as long as possible, to deter possible counter attacks.
They're well onto the Horsens city street circuit now. The 14.6km circuit is on wide urban roads with a series of technical corners between 7km and 5km to go. The last 5km are almost all straight with the last corner 2km from the finish. The finishing straight is 1000m long, with the final 500m on an eight metre wide road.
The speed in the peloton is certainly getting quicker as the main teams jostle for positions on the front. The gap is 1:28 now.
The gap is tumbling now. It's below two minutes as the six escapees pass the two-to-go banner. Of course, there are still three laps of the city before it's really two-to-go...
BMC are nowhere near the front: they may have the pink jersey, but there's no pressure on them today. It's the teams of the sprinters who are leading the chase at the moment, primarily Team Sky. The gap is 2:03 as the leaders approach Horsens for three laps of the city before the finish.
The gap's 2:40 as Sky control the pace on the front of the peloton.
By contrast, Vacansoleil-DCM's Keizer has just ditched his sleeves. The Dutchman is also wearning normal shorts and has no gloves. Tough.
Again, given the cold, many riders are wearing three quarter length shorts today, covering their knees. And long sleeves and gloves are the oder of the day too. Astana's Paolo Tiralongo has opted for the full head to toe (and finger) skin suit. He looks quite a sight as he pops back to pick up bidons from the team car.
The six leaders still have around three minutes over the peloton.
It's a good thing Balloni has the blue jersey: with his bright yellow shorts, sleaves, helmet and bike, the other break-away riders would be blind if he were doing a full Farnese.
Blue jersey Alfredo Balloni (Farnese Vini) leads the break over the summit of today's small fourth category climb to consolidate his lead in the mountains standings.
The race is now live on British Eurosport. You can also listen to Sean and David while watching the action on the
Keizer won the intermediate sprint ahead of Navardauskas and Minguez. That's 6, 4 and 2 bonus seconds each, which means Navardauskas has cut his deficit to 18 seconds behind Taylor Phinney on the GC. Given Garmin's strength in team time trials, the Lithuanian could be in pink on Wednesday evening in Verona...
The six leaders pass through the feeding zone. A reminder of the composition of the group: Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Barracuds), Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM), Alfredo Balloni (Farnese Vini), Miguel Minguez (Euskaltel), Reto Hollenstein (NetApp) and Mads Christensen (Saxo Bank).
The break is approaching both the feeding zone and the day's only climb. The gap is back to 3:10.
The lead of the six escapees has dropped to just below three minutes.
The six leaders have 3:30 over the peloton. Who do you think will win today's stage? The smart money is on Cavendish making it two, but perhaps Tyler Farrar will feel inspired to win one year after the death of his friend Wouter Weylandt? Have your say below...
Mark Cavendish is wearing the red sprinters jersey today, but underneath a sleeveless bip with the rainbows of the world champion. It's quite a set up - as this photo from Twitter shows.
Swiss rider Reto Hollenstein is 26 years old and rides for NetApp. He has no pro wins to his name. Finally, local boy Mads Christensen is a former youth national time trial champion. The Saxo Bank rider, 28, is a former youth track specialist and comes from the town of Odder, which the races passes through today.
Spaniard Miguel Minguez made his grand tour debut in last year's Giro and has one professional win to his name - the team time trial in the 2008 Tour de Navarre. The Euskaltel rider is 23 years old.
Alfredo Balloni was involved in yesterday's break and picked up the points over the fourth category climb to put him in the blue mountains jersey. If he places in today's fourth category climb, he'll be sure to wear the blue jersey into his native Italy on Wednesday. The 22 year old rides for Farnese Vini and is a former national junior track and time trial champion.
Dutchman Martijn Keizer of Vacansoleil-DCM is also 24 and is riding his second grand tour after making his debut in last year's Vuelta. He won the 2007 Tout du Haut Anjou and is a former national youth time trial champion. Keizer joined Vacansoleil from Rabobank back in 2010.
Let's take a closer look at the six leaders. Ramunas Navardauskas shone in Saturday's time trial. The 24-year-old Lithuanian is the current national road race champion, a title he also won back in 2007. He is winner of the Liege-Bastogne-Liege juniors race and was part of the Garmin team that won the Tour de France TTT last year. 22 seconds behind Taylor Phinney in the GC, Navardauskas is the virtual pink jersey on the road.
The average speed has increased to 42 km/h with the six leaders still holding just over three minutes over the peloton.
The lead of this six-man group is 3:15 with the peloton happy to let the escapees ride ahead, while keeping their advantage in check.
The six-man break is currently 3:25 clear of the peloton, putting Navardauskas in virtual pink.
World champion Mark Cavendish, who is wearing the red points jersey today, picked up 20 bonus seconds in Herning but is 27 seconds down on Phinney in the GC. As such, even if he were to win today's intermediate sprint and final sprint and pick up maximim bonus seconds, he's still be one second short of the summit. Barring incident, the American should wear the pink jersey into Italy.
The best placed rider in the GC in this group is Lithuanian youngster Navardauskas, who topped the leaderboard in Saturday's ITT for a long period before being pipped the likes of Manuele Boaro, Gustav Larsson, Alex Rasmussen, Geraint Thomas and Taylor Phinney, the current pink jersey. The Garmin rider trains BMC's Phinney by 22 seconds in the standings.
Italian youngster Alfredo Balloni was in the break yesterday and picked up the points in the race's first climb. He's in the blue mountains jersey so he'll be keen to preserve that lead to arrive in Italy with the jersey still on his shoulders. As for Saxo's Mads Christensen, the race passes through his home town of Odder today, so his presence is no surprise.
There's a break: Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Barracuds), Martijn Keizer (Vacansoleil-DCM), Alfredo Balloni (Farnese Vini), Miguel Minguez (Euskaltel), Reto Hollenstein (NetApp) and Mads Christensen (Saxo Bank).
No movement from the peloton as yet, which is rolling along at a slow speed of around 35 km/h.
Today's stage has an early start so the riders can board a plane to Italy, where the race will resume on Wednesday with stage four's team time trial in Verona. The idea is to make sure the peloton doesn't touch town too late in Italy after the long transfer. Still, with a day off on Tuesday and a late start on Wednesday, there shouldn't be too many complaints.
The riders will do a 100km loop north of Horsens followed by a 45km loop south of the city. There will then be three 15km laps in and around the city before, in all likelihood, a bunch sprint finale.
Like yesterday's stage, there is one fourth category climb today which, once again, comes just after the feeding zone around half way through the race. The roads in Eastern Jutland are rather narrow, so the peloton will have to pay attention. There were a few spills yesterday, including the nasty final bend crash involving Theo Bos (Rabobank) and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha).
They're off! All 198 riders have taken to the start today...
It's cloudy with a bit of sun today in Horsens - but like the previous two days, very cold: just 9 degrees celsius on the east coast of Denmark.
The RadioShack Nissan team was on the front row for the minute's silence ahead of today's stage: Weylandt rode for Leopard Trek, which merged with RadioShack in the off season. Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Barracuda - Weylandt's best friend in the peloton - was also on the front. No one would begrudge the American the win today.
It another cruel twist of fate, the Mayor of Horsens died yesterday. the 56-year-old suffered a heart attack during a bike ride to celebrate the Giro passing through his home town. Our thoughts are with his family.
A minute's silence was followed by a rendition of Wouter Weylandt's favourite song, Sex on Fire by Kings of Leon. The late Belgian rider's sister was present at the start, and thanked fans for all their support over the last year. It's one year since Weylandt's death, and one year since his victory in stage three of the 2010 Giro.
Today's third and final stage in Denmark will begin with a poignant moment of remembrance for Wouter Weylandt, who was tragically killed in an accident in stage three of last year's Giro. RIP WW 108.
Britain's Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) won the first road stage of this year's Giro yesterday with an expert win in the bunch sprint at Herning - just as he had done in Copenhagen back in September when he became world champion on Danish soil.
Welcome to live coverage of stage three of the Giro d'Italia, a 190km loop in and around the Danish coastal town of Horsens.