• Fernando Gaviria (R) is the new race General Classification leader, wearing the Maglia Rosa. (Getty)Source: Getty
Fernando Gaviria claimed his maiden grand tour stage victory when he won the third stage of the Giro d'Italia, also snatching the overall leader's pink jersey.
Cycling Central

8 May 2017 - 5:40 AM 

The 22-year-old Gaviria benefited from some outstanding work by his Quick Step-Floors teammate Bob Jungels, who rode himself to the ground to keep the peloton at bay in the finale.

Gaviria easily outsprinted Ruediger Selig (Bora Hansgrohe) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Segafredo) the end of the 148km stage from Tortoli to Cagliari in Sardinia.

“It goes without saying this is the best day of my career,” Gaviria said. “To win a stage at the Giro and take the leader’s jersey is a dream come true.”

With about 10km left, a brutal acceleration by Quick Step-Floors split the peloton and all the pre-race favourites were trapped behind, leaving a front group of eight to fight it out for the stage win.

“We were aware the wind could play a huge role today and as soon as we took that corner and had the coast on our right side, the team rode full gas,” Gaviria said.

“From that point on, it was a team time trial until the finish, with the guys driving a hard tempo without ever looking back.

“Our move was a textbook one and I couldn’t be prouder of the entire team, who rode selflessly. The first two days weren’t the easiest for us, but we bounced back in style today and we are very happy.”

Overall, Gaviria leads Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal), who started the day in pink, by nine seconds. Stage 1 winner Lukas Pöstlberger (BORA-handgrohe) is third.

Australia's Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) is sixth overall, 17 seconds behind Gaviria and is seventh in the sprint standings on 50. Greipel is leading the sprinters on 81 points.

Monday is a rest day and Tuesday's fourth stage will end on the flanks of Mount Etna, where the pre-race favourites such as defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and 2014 winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar) are expected to up the pressure.