The fairytale journey of Domenico Pozzovivo has been continued today with force; an astonishing second place finish in the third stage of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali.

I surprised myself,” he said. “Who would have thought that a podium would be reached so soon?”

There are a few answers to that; his professionalism, drive, and his experience. But there was another surprising factor today, his anger!

Yeah, I was furious!” he said. “I used that to drive me.”

To understand you have to go back to the first few kilometers of the race, where a crash took place, splitting the peloton in two. The unlucky ones, like Domenico, were helpless as they were caught behind, where the riders in the front took advantage and escaped. “It was completely inappropriate,” said the veteran Italian, “I would have waited. It was only the start. A few years ago, it wouldn’t be possible, but now the ethics seem different these days in the peloton.

But his Israel—Premier Tech teammates went to work, and had to dig deep to chase the breakaway riders down.

Three hours later, it was Pozzovivo’s turn to make his own move, 500 meters from the top of the last gravel section. “I sensed that everyone was on their limit, so I took off.”

Only two riders, both from EF Education — EasyPost , could follow, and for the last 22 kilometers worked together well to maintain their gap. In the end, the riders behind could not catch them, and Pozzovivo succumbed only to Ben Healy. “It’s the first time I sprinted in a velodrome” he smiled.

But he was not quite satisfied. “It turns out that my mind is even stronger than my body, and I believe I am not done here.”

What’s ahead?

The journey continues as he moves up to 6th place on GC, with one more hilly stage tomorrow, before the final stage, an 18.6 kilometre time-trial, which should prove decisive in the overall classification.