The party in the third stage of the Settimana Ciclistica Italiana started over halfway into the stage.
The reason? The wind.
Israeli riders Guy Niv and Guy Sagiv played a vital role on the windy battlefield. They were among the team members that sprinter Barbier and GC competitors Ben Hermans and Sep Vanmarcke relied on.
Over the team radio, Israeli sports director Dror Pekatch encouraged his pupils to give it a go in the final 20 kilometers. They did, and their efforts resulted in echelons.
Barbier was in the front, and so were ISN’s GC riders. The French sprinter found himself in a good position to launch his final effort, finishing third.
After the finish, he said that the team raced very attentively and took the initiative when it mattered. “We were together in the front, and that resulted in a good day for us. I am happy that I podiumed, and that Sep moved up a spot.”
The previous number two in the general classification missed the cut and is out of contention, moving Vanmarcke up a notch.
ISN is now also the leader in the team classification.
ISN’s GC ambitions for Settimana are more alive than ever. Tomorrow is an important day to work on those ambitions with Ben Hermans and Sep Vanmarcke. As Vanmarcke moved up a spot, he’s only six seconds away from taking the overall victory.
It wasn’t particularly Sebastian Berwick’s day. He suffered a crash, a change of wheels and a bike change, but came back to the bunch and carried out his job sufficiently afterwards.