Michael Matthews won the stage between Vasto and Melfi after 213 kilometers, his third win in the Italian round. In the first view of the Apennines, Remco Evenepoel retains the ‘Maglia Rosa’ for the fourth stage, this time between Venosa and Lago Laceno.
Australian cyclist Michael Matthews won stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia, crossing the finish line in first place in Melfi. Matthews, who considered retirement a few weeks before the race due to poor performances and health issues, claimed his third Giro stage win and tenth in a Grand Tour. Matthews paid tribute to his team and staff for their support, emphasizing the role of teammate Filippo Zana, the Italian national champion, in shredding the sprinters on the classified climbs.
A tough start of the years
Matthews had a fantastic 2022 season, winning a stage at the Tour de France and a bronze medal at the World Championships. However, Covid-19 and injuries hampered his performance in the early part of the year, forcing him to miss Classics such as Milan-San Remo and Flanders. Matthews thanked his team for their support from the very beginning, saying that this victory was his way of showing appreciation to them. He also acknowledged the emotional significance of the victory, saying that cycling was his sport, his goal, his hobby, his dream.
Despite his recent slump in form, Matthews’ victory at the Giro is not surprising. He has won 40 events to date, with only 12 of them coming outside of the WorldTour. His most recent non-WorldTour victory came in the 2016 Vuelta a la Rioja race in Spain.
The victory in stage 3 of the Giro was not planned, according to Matthews. “I didn’t even know where I was in the final corner of the race, maybe in third wheel?” he pondered. Matthews saw his success as a team victory. He regards his squad as a family, with everyone playing an important role in his career.
Matthews’ victory in the Giro d’Italia reflects his tenacity and the support he received from his teammates. As he acknowledged, the win was a success for the entire team, as well as the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in his career, whom he considers his family.
In the general classification, Remco Evenepoel maintains the ‘Maglia Rosa’ for the moment, with a 32-second lead over Joao Almeida, another one of the top favorites. Roglic, the first of the Jumbo – Visma, falls already at 44 seconds, while the Welshman Geraint Thomas, from Ineos Grenadiers; and Aleksandr Vlasov, from Bora; are already almost a minute behind, tied for fifth position. Among the favorites, there is still the Englishman Teo Geoghegan Hart, winner of the Giro in 2020, who is already one minute and two seconds behind the lead in seventh position.
The Apennines await
The fourth stage represents the first ride through the Apennines, a preview of the Alps that we will see later in the race. The 175-kilometer stage begins in Venosa and ends in Lago Laceno, where we will surpass 1000 meters above sea level for the first time in this Giro. This stage will also include the race’s first uphill finish.