Italy's Elia Viviani celebration was short lived as he was stripped of the Giro d'Italia stage three win.
Orbetello (Italy) (AFP) - Italy’s Elia Viviani was denied a home win on Monday with the Team Deceuninck rider stripped of the Giro d’Italia third stage win for swerving in front of another competitor in the final sprint on Monday.
Colombia’s Fernando Gaviria of UAE Team Emirates was awarded victory with race organisers demoting the 30-year-old Viviani, who had been wearing the Italian colours of red, white and green, after reviewing footage.
Colombian Gaviria was declared the stage victor with France’s Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) moving up to second and Germany’s Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) third.
For 24-year-old Gaviria it was a fifth Giro victory, having won four stages the last time he competed in 2017.
But the Colombian insisted: “Whoever crosses the line first is the winner.
“He’s (Viviani) the winner, I’m second, that’s how it is.”
“I am sorry for Elia, I would like to win differently.
“I sent him a message after I was declared the winner.”
Viviani, who finished second in Sunday’s stage behind Ackermann, had remained winner for only a few minutes to the disappointment of the home crowd.
The Olympic omnium champion was penalised for impeding fellow Italian Matteo Moschetti by cutting in front of him after a gruelling 5hr 23min 19sec in the saddle.
“I’m sorry for Elia who is a great rider, and a fair sprinter,” added the Colombian.
“Today was a complicated stage. There was a lot of stress, we knew there was a strong headwind at the finish and no team wanted to take the lead too early because of the head wind at the very end.”
Jumbo-Visma’s Slovenian rider Primoz Roglic holds the overall leader’s pink jersey for the third day, 19sec ahead of Britain’s Simon Yates of Mitchelton-Scott with Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali of Bahrain-Merida third at 23sec.
The 219km stage got underway in Vinci, to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Italian master painter Leonardo da Vinci, who was born in the Tuscan town.
Despite fears of strong wind, it was a calmer than expected start with just one solo breakaway rider, Sho Hatsuyama of Nippo-Fantini, battling alone in front and the first 140km passing without the predicted stress.
The stage was marked by numerous falls with Britain’s Tao Geoghegan Hart losing more than one minute and a half.
“With only one rider in the breakaway, it made it a very long stage,” said Roglic.
“It enabled me to enjoy the Maglia Rosa (pink jersey) a bit more. I wasn’t really scared of the crosswinds at the end because we are a team from Holland so we know how to deal with the wind.”
Tuesday’s fourth stage, one of the longest in this year’s race, covers 235km from Orbetello to Frascati, south of Rome, with undulating twisting roads with the closing kilometres uphill.