Mauro Schmid sits fifth in the standings after the hardest day of the race so far.
Stage 3 of the season’s first World Tour race comprised three hard climbs – Norton Summit, Checker Hill and Corkscrew Road – but only the last of these was really in the spotlight, and rightly so, as it came inside the final ten kilometers and featured some viciously steep gradients.
With the two-man breakaway caught some twenty kilometers from the base of this ascent, the GC teams pushed a pace so brutal at the front that only a depleted peloton arrived on the early slopes of Corkscrew Road. Around 1500 meters from the top, three riders pulled away and put some considerable daylight between them and the chasers, before fighting for victory in Campbelltown, where Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) prevailed.
Distanced on the climb, Soudal Quick-Step’s Mauro Schmid joined the first chasing group and went all-out on the descent together with Mattia Cattaneo and Dries Devenyns, thus retaining his place in the general classification top five, where he had made his way thanks to Thursday’s impressive ride. Now, only two days separate the Swiss from what would be his first ever top 10 in a World Tour stage race.
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