Cycling - Cunego takes first win of season in Coppi e Bartali stage three

Damiano Cunego sprinted to stage three of the Coppi e Bartali while his Lampre team-mate Diego Ulissi hung on to the front group to retain his lead of the five-day race.

Cycling - Cunego takes first win of season in Coppi e Bartali stage three

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Damiano Cunego of Lampre (Imago)

It was Italian Cunego's first win of the season as he won the dash for the line ahead of Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini - Selle Italia) and Matej Mugerli (Adria Mobil).

The finish was flat following a climb to the top of the Piane di Mocogno following a 157km stage from Zola Predosa.

After 40km Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani Valvole – Csf) attacked and nine riders - Fabio Felline (Androni), Jaroslaw Marycz (CCC Polsat Polkowice), Leonardo Duque (Colombia), Klemen Stimulak (Adria Mobil), Chrisopher Jones, Keil Reijnen (Unitedhealthcare), Manuel Amaro, Filippo Savini (Flaminia-Fondriest) and August Jensen (Team Oster Hus Ridley) - went with him.

Thirty kilometres further along Pirazzi broke out from the new lead group and built a lead of two minutes on them, with the peloton a similar distance further back.

As he was slowly dragged back in, the peloton led by Lampre was also gaining on the group of nine. Felline broke from the latter and took the lead from Pirazzi while climbing the steep Passo delle Cento Croci, crossing the summit out in front.

After the descent, Lucas Euser (Unitedhealthcare) left the peloton and passed everyone for the lead before he fell back into the mix ahead of the final ascent.

Cunego, Santambrogio and Ivan Basso (Cannondale) attacked in turn on the incline, but a bunch sprint was inevitable at the top of the hill - and Basso went early, holding off Santambrogio for the win.

Saturday is a 14.2km time trial in Crevalcore.

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