Setmana Catalana: New Sprint Winner: Zanotti, New Leader Overall: Zberg, Old Sprint King: Zabel
In a tension filled day that ended in another bunch gallop, Marco Zanotti of Fassa Bortolo showed that “possibly” the old king of sprinting, Erik Zabel, has had his day.
A 129 riders set off from Casellу de Emparies to cover the 174.8 kilometres to Parets del Vallйs. At 15 kilometres, Andea Tafi (CSC), Garcia Calvo (Labarca 2) and Matsaars (Rabobank) attacked, a little later to be joined by 13 others, including Pascual Llorente (Kelme) who has been in good form. By 38 kilometres they had a gap of 1 minute 50 seconds. Over the Alto de Angeles (2nd. cat) they were down to 1 minute, the first over was Torrent (Paternina), second Gil (ONCE) and third, Pascual Llorente (Kelme).
They were pulled back at 65 kilometres by Telekom and the team of overall leader Bayarri, Phonak. There was some little escapes made, but to no success, over the Alto Sant Feliu (3rd. cat), Barbero of Lampre was first over the top, a 109 riders stayed together to the finnish, where Marco Zanotti easily out-sprinted Erik Zabel, Beat Zberg was third and took the overall lead.
Tomorrow, stage 4: no sprint finish, after 144 kilometres to the summit of the Coll de Pal (Baga), at an altitude of 2,080 metres, I dont thing there will be 100 riders together to contest the win. The race starts at 160 metres and undulates to the bottom of the finishing climb, then rizes 1650 metres in 20 kilometres, nice!
Stage 3 Result:
1st. M.Zanotti (FAS) 4:26:43.
2nd. E.Zabel (TEL) same time.
3rd. B.Zberg (RAB) same time.
4th. I.Galvez (KEL) same time.
5th. A.Usov (PHO) same time.
6th. S.Commeso (SAE) same time.
Overall After Stage 3:
1st. B.Zberg (RAB) 11:36:56.
2nd. G.Bayarri (PHO) same time.
3rd. A.Engels (RAB) same time.
4th. V.Ekimov (USP) same time.
5th. I.Landaluze (EUS) same time.
6th. N.Burgos (CRF) same time.
113th. M.Barry (USP) at 19:48 secs.