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June 8, 2016 – Italian Fabio Aru broke clear on the final hill and dug deep to hold off the swooping peloton to win stage three of the Criterium du Dauphine on Wednesday.
RELATED: Herrada wins Dauphine Stage 2
The 25-year-old Astana man was on his own for a full 13km after cresting the last climb with a slender 10-second lead and needed all the resilience he could conjure to hold off Alexander Kristoff in second and Niccolo Bonifazio in third as the chasing pack crossed the line just two razor-thin seconds adrift.
Aru chased after Tony Martin on the 3km long final climb with an average 8.2 percent gradient, around 20km from the finish. The Sardinian then confidently broke off on his own for a daring solo bid for victory.
Aru was the break-out star of last season, winning the Vuelta a Espana and finishing runner up to Alberto Contador at the Giro d’Italia. The Italian will make his Tour de France debut next month. Contador held onto the race leader’s yellow jersey despite suffering a mechanical failure around 4km from home.
The Spaniard faced a desperate, high-speed chase to catch the peloton after changing his bike. He maintained his six second lead in the overall standings ahead of Australian Richie Porte, with Tour champion Chris Froome third at 13sec. Aru is well off the pace after losing more than a minute on Sunday’s 3.9km prologue before dropping more time on Tuesday’s second stage.
Thursday’s fourth of seven stages through the southern Drome region is a 176km run over flat and rolling terrain.
Final kilometers of Stage 3
Results Stage 3:
1. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 4:19:54
2. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 0:00:02
3. Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
4. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
6. Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18
7. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge
8. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
9. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
10. Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 13:13:10
2. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:06
3. Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:13
4. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step 0:00:21
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step 0:00:24
6. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:27
7. Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 0:00:31
8. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:37
9. Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:43
10. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:48