Ben Healy wins stage three at Coppi e Bartali
That’s two wins in a row for our team!
Ben Healy claimed stage three of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali.
The Irishman claimed his first pro road win with our team. After matching the best climbers in the race on the last dirt-road climb of the circuit in Forlì, Emilia-Romagna, Ben and his teammate Mark Padun surged clear. The pink EF pair attacked over the final kicker with Italian veteran Domenico Pozzovivo in tow and held off their rivals all the way to the finish on the Glauco Servadei velodrome.
When the trio hit the boards for one decisive lap to finish their 21-kilometer break, Ben put his track skills to work and launched an explosive sprint to make it two wins in a row for our team in the Italian stage race. Sean Quinn won stage two yesterday in Longiano.
“It was a pretty chaotic day and not what we would have expected to be honest. There was a crash pretty early on...and from then on it was my job to mark a lot of the early moves. I had super good legs today. We just came to the final climb today and I could feel it in the legs. I had it so I gave it a go and Mark and Domenico came with me. We pushed all the way to the line. I wasn't sure I had the win until the very last moment when I crossed the line. When we got away on the last climb, I knew there was a good chance I could take the win,” Ben said.
Regarding his first professional win on the road, Ben said, "This win feels really good. Things are going well. We took the win yesterday with Quinn and I think all my hours on the turbo have paid off."
Our team is flying. Yesterday, Sean Quinn and James Shaw one-two-d the peloton in the finale, before Sean sprinted to his first professional victory. Today, it was Ben and Mark’s turn. Who is going to go for it tomorrow?
Stage four takes the peloton into the low mountains around Fiorano Modenese. The 170-km lap includes three categorized climbs and finishes on a hard, tricky circuit around the city. After his powerful ride for Ben today, Mark Padun knows he is in form. Mark is just 36 seconds back from the overall lead and will look for opportunities to go on the offensive. So will James Shaw, who is just 12 seconds out of the leader's shirt. Ben showed today that he is climbing very well, too. If he can get over the first category climb to Serramazzoni, he’ll be hard to beat.
The Irish TT champion also has his eyes on the 18.6-km time trial in Carpi that will close out the race. So does Mark.
"As a team, we have four riders in the top ten on GC so we'll want to figure out how to go into that TT with the leader's jersey and to keep it," he said.
But first, they are going to savor today’s victory with the rest of their teammates.