Thanks for joining us today - a full report will be up on the site very soon. Be sure to return for live action tomorrow for stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia.
Rapallo - Sestri Levante
Giro d'Italia - 11 May 2015
Giro d'Italia – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 19:35 on 11 May 2015. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Matthews is now six seconds clear of team-mate Simon Clarke on GC, with two other Orica-GreenEdge riders - Simon Gerrans and Esteban Chavas - a further four seconds back in third and fourth. Alberto Contador is the best placed rider of the favourites, 17 seconds down in fifth place.
Belgium's Philippe Gilbert (BMC) took third place which was a great effort considering his role in the break. Russia's Sergei Lagutin took fourth for Katusha ahead of Paolo Tiralongo of Astana.
Textbook stuff from Orica-GreenEdge with pink jersey Michael Matthews led out for quite a straight-forward sprint win ahead of Trek's Fabio Felline.
A solitary Garmin-Cannondale rider emerges from the tunnel with a few bike lengths... Astana lead the chase...
Back as one now as Garmin-Cannondale take up the pace as the pack enter a coastal tunnel. Not long to go now...
With Sky's Elia Viviani not in this lead group, Kanstantin Siutsov tests his legs on the front in a move foiled by Gilbert.
It's all over for the break as the final two riders are reabsorbed into the peloton. Sky, Astana and BMC have all come to the front now alongside Tinkoff-Saxo and Orica-GreenEdge.
Kochetkov refused to give up and has another dig. Clarke covers it while the other two, Paterski and Hansen, drop back to be swallowed up by the pack.
Clarke still sandbagging this quartet as they pass under the 5-to-go banner with just 5 seconds over the pack.
It's just 10 seconds now for the leading quartet. Still Tinkoff-Saxo drive the pace for their man Alberto Contador, who is surely the Giro champion elect. Tucked behind is the Orica-GreenEdge team of Michael Matthews, the hot favourite for today's finish.
They're riding as a four now with Hansen setting the tempo before pulling back to third in line. Clarke is at the end of the train - he doesn't need to work, knowing that his team-mate Matthews, the pink jersey, is lurking behind.
Paterski, Hansen and Clarke have Kochetkov in their sights... this is a thrilling finale, but you get the impression that the streamlined pack will still catch them just in time.
Attack by Adam Hansen! The Australian takes advantage of the moment of indecision amid the break and surges clear, taking Clarke and Paterski with him. It's Hansen's 34th birthday today.
The gap is up to 21 seconds for lone leader Pavel Kochetkov of Katusha. Some of the chasers are looking over their heads as if expecting the peloton to come back.
Relieving reports coming in that Domenico Pozzovivo's injuries are not life-threatening. That is wonderful news. Let's hope for a speedy recovery for the little Italian.
The 10 chasers are Ulissi, Paterski, Hansen, Gilbert, Herrada, Samoilav, Villella, Chaves, Gavazzi, Boaro. So, two riders for CCC and two for GreenEdge. Gilbert may fancy his chances - although he's annoyed with his BMC car for giving a water bottle to one of the orange CCC men. That said, he then goes and gives Herrada half a power bar and so it's swings and roundabouts.
Kochetkov still has 16 seconds on the 10 chasers and another 55 seconds on the peloton. It's perfectly poised.
That long descent is over and they're onto the flat run into the finish. The peloton is strung out but trails the lone leader by 1:10 now. Interesting.
Reports from Italian national TV that Pozzovivo is breathing for himself after that horrific fall. He is in an ambulance en route to hospital.
Lone leader Kotchetkov rides with 25 seconds over around 10 pursuers, with the pack another 10 seconds further back.
Pozzovivo is still being attended and an ambulance has arrived. Some of the back riders and team cars are trying to pass, quite slowly, because the Italian is still lying on the middle of the road. Again, we can just hope that it's not as serious as it looks.
Kochetkov still out alone on this fast, technical descent. Chaves, Gilbert, Clarke, Paterski and Samoilav in pursuit. An ambulance crew has finally made it to Pozzovivo and he is being attended. We will keep you up to date with any developments.
Pozzovivo must have been trying to make up some of that lost time. We didn't see the crash, but we saw the aftermath and it was not welcome viewing. It's all we can do to hope and pray that he's all right and we don't have another tragedy on our hands on the Giro.
CRASH: This looks very, very nasty for Dominico Pozzovivo of Ag2R-La Mondiale. He's motionless on the road and being attended to by a team-mate and a doctor. He must have clipped the side of the road or something. Let's pray it's not as serious as it looks.
Just 15 seconds for lone leader Kochetkov over the break, and 32 seconds back to the pack. It's a tall order, for sure.
Clarke took second place over the summit ahead of GreenEdge team-mate Chaves. Now we have a quick descent and then the flat run-in to the finish. Matthews, the pink jersey, is still with the main pack and must be the favourite today.
Kochetkov crests the summit of the Cat.4 climb to secure the blue king of the mountains jersey. He has about 20 seconds over the othes escapees and 45 seconds over the pack.
Attack by Pavel Kochetkov of Katusha, who blasts clear of the other remaining escapees ahead of the final push to the summit.
I spoke too soon - Pirazzi clearly blew a gasket there because he suddenly dropped like a stone just as he was about to make the connection. He's been caught by the pack and is heading the same way as his team-mate Battaglin.
Pirazzi has almost managed to catch the leading group. The gap was 45 seconds but it's now down to just 18. Mixed news for Bardiani, though, with Enrico Battaglin, a former Giro stage winner, dropped.
Team Sky's Vasil Kiryienka and Sebastien Henao have also been dropped by the peloton, while some of the escapees have been caught, including Marcus Burghardt. Meanwhile, there are a few counter attacks with Stefano Pirazzi of Bardiani-CSF having a pop.
Zardini, who picked up maximum points on the first climb, has been dropped by the leading group, which is bring driven by the orange CCC duo of Samoilav and Paterski.
We're onto the Cat.4 climb to Barbagelata and already some riders are struggling on the back of the pack - including the red jersey Elia Viviani, the Team Sky rider who won yesterday's opening spring stage to Genoa. Dayer Quintana, brother of defending champion Nairo, is also struggling a bit. He crashed badly yesterday.
At the second intermediate sprint, Philippe Gilbert takes the honours ahead of Simon Clarke and Silvan Dillier in a carbon copy of the first. But that means that Clarke now has four bonus seconds - which puts him in the virtual pink jersey. Will we see a third GreenEdge Australian in the race lead tonight?
It's worth noting that that crash yesterday, around 10km from the finish, was caused by a spectator on a fixed wheel bike trying to join the peloton. A video captured the incident and you can see the rider in question scarper quickly along the pavement on his bike. Italy's Domenico Pozzovivo was held up in the crash and is now almost two minutes down on GC as a result. Worse, Pieter Serry of Etixx was forced to retire with a broken collarbone.
The riders are on that descent now on a road that heads down towards the sparkling Lago di Brugneto. The road is narrow and twisting. The gap is still around the 50-second mark.
Now it's Lampre-Merida on the front of the break, with Mori setting a tempo for Ulissi just ahead of the GreenEdge duo of Clarke and Chaves. The gap is still just 45 seconds with the entire Tinkoff-Saxo team - minus Boaro, who's in the break - on the front of the pack.
Luka Mezgec (Giant-Alpecin) has been dropped by the pack, as has Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep). The Belgian was part of the initial break today. And there's a mechanical for Spaniard Benat Intxausti of Movistar, who needs a bike change and will have to fight back on. We're on a short and sharp climb ahead of the descent that precedes the next categorised climb.
His work done, Luca Chirico drops back from the leading group. The Italian had been completely burying himself for Bardiani team-mate Zardiani - but to little effect, because the gap is coming down.
So far, so good for Orica-GreenEdge. With two men in the break, they don't need to do any pace-setting in the pack. The gap is minimal - just 49 seconds - and so should it come back together, their man Matthews would be one of the favourites for the victory.
Greipel, the German national champion, has been dropped thanks to this infernal pace being set by Tinkoff-Saxo. He might manage to get back on when the road heads downhill before the next categorised climb.
The Bardiani duo of Zardini and Chirico have been driving the pace for the leading group for quite a while now. Meanwhile, on the back of the peloton Andre Greipel is desperately trying to hodl on.
Still Tinkoff-Saxo drive the pace in the pack, keeping the gap just under a minute. It looks like they're hell bent on not allowing this one to stick. Such is the pace that numerous riders are being blown off the back as the road continues to edge uphill.
I think we've finally cracked the composition of this break: Philippe Gilbert, Silvan Dillier and Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Branislau Samoilau and Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Diego Ulissi and Manuele Mori (Lampre-Merida), Gianfranco Zilioni (Androni-Giocattoli), Davide Villella (Garmin-Cannondale), Davide Malacarne (Astana), Mikel Nieve (Team Sky), Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal), Luca Chirico and Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani-CSF), Francesco Gavazzi (Southeast), Pavel Kochetkov (Katusha), Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo), Simon Clarke and Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge), Ruben Fernandez and Jesus Herrada (Movistar).
It's all very confusing with so many riders in the lead group - the official feed is listing different names from other media outlets and so there's a lot of guesswork going on. For instance, the TV images claim that the Sky rider in the group is Mikel Nieve and not Salvatore Puccio, while there's no sight of Darwin Atapuma or Tom Boonen, despite being listed in this group...
The situation is chopping and changing out there - the pace is very high and the peloton is all strung out with the intermediate sprint coming up. The break is back together after both four-man groups were reabsorbed, and it's BMC's Burghardt and Dillier cranking up the pace.
Another four in pursuit in Axel Domont (AG2R-La Mondiale), Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal), Philippe Gilbert (BMC), Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge). It's Hansen's birthday today. The Australian is riding his 11th consecutive Grand Tour... and team-mate Lars Bak won when the Giro last visited Sestri Levante... good omens?
Four riders now leading: Ruben Fernandez (Movistar), Silvan Dillier (BMC), Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) and Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani-CSF).
Bert-Jan Lindeman, the blue jersey, seems to be back in the peloton now. The Dutchman was in the break, but failed to pick up those mountain points on the first climb.
Tucked in behind Tinkoff-Saxo is the Orica-GreenEdge team of pink jersey Michael Matthews and then the Sky and Astana squads of Richie Porte and Fabio Aru. They trail the seven leaders by 1:15.
Ulissi and Villella have been joined by five other riders on the front of the race - Dillier, Zardini, Samoilav, Puccio and Boaro. They have 30 seconds on the other 19 escapees, who in turn have 35 seconds over the Tinkoff-Saxo-led peloton.
The riders are on a long, uphill drag that will lead to a plateau of sorts ahead of the next categorised climb. This is an interesting group, with most teams involved. Some big names there too, with the likes of Gilbert, Boonen and Atapuma there. GreenEdge have played their cards well, with two men - Chaves and Clarke - in the lead group. Both would go into the pink jersey were this break to go the distance - although the gaps are very small.
Tinkoff-Saxo have taken things up on the front of the peloton. The break has come back together with 28 riders now out ahead, including that man Zardiani who was the lone leader. Ulissi and Villella have a dig and open up a small gap in front of the other escapees.
It's been very tricky getting the right information regarding today's early break - but finally it seems to have settled now that the race is broadcasting live images of the action.
Six riders are in pursuit of lone leader Zardiani. They are: Hansen, Ulissi, Gavazzi, Clarke, Zilioli and Herrada. They're 40 seconds down, with the other escapees a further 20 seconds back.
Zardini has stretched out his lead on the descent and currently rides with about 30 seconds advantage over his fellow escapees.
Eduardo Zardini (Bardiani-CSF) picks up maximum points over the summit ahead of Ulissi and Herrada.
Bert-Jan Lindeman, who secured the first blue mountains jersey of the race yesterday, will look to pick up more points today for LottoNL-Jumbo. His fellow Dutchman Tom Jelte-Slagter (Cannondale-Garmin) tried to bridge earlier the gap but failed to make it. The initial break included five riders and formed after 5km on an uncategorised hill before others managed to make the junction.
The riders in the leading group are: Branislau Samoilau (CCC Sprandi), Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal), Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep), Rubén Fernandez (Movistar), Cedric Pineau (FDJ), Nicola Boem (Bardiani-CSF), Maurilo Fischer (FDJ), Darwin Atapuma (BMC), Maciej Paterski (CCC Sprandi), Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida), Jesus Herrada (Movistar), Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Davide Villella (Cannondale), Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo), Philippe Gilbert (BMC), Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge), Bert-Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani-CSF), Chad Haga (Giant-Alpecin), Davide Malacarne (Astana), Axel Domont (AG2R-La Mondiale), Luca Chirico (Bardiani-CSF), Pavel Kochetkov (Katusha), Salvatore Puccio (Team Sky) and Gianfranco Zilioni (Androni-Giocattoli).
We pick up the race on the first categorised climb of the day, with a group of around 20 riders around one minute ahead of the peloton. Full details coming up.
The remaining 195 riders started today's stage around 12:35 GMT. Two non-starters: Pieter Setty (Etixx-QuickStep) and Ramon Carretero (Southeast), who both crashed out yesterday.
Australia's Michael Matthews wears the pink jersey for today's third stage, which could well be a sprint finish - but from a depleted peloton after those climbs. Matthews, incidentally, is one of the hot favourites for today's stage, along with the likes of Sacha Modolo, Gianni Meersman, Philippe Gilbert, Juan Jose Lobato, Fabio Felline, Enrico Battaglin, Gregor Bole, Simon Gerrans and perhaps even Andre Greipel.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of stage three of the Giro d'Italia - a short but undulating 136km ride from Rapallo to Sestri Levante, which includes two categorised climbs and a number of successive peaks.