Milan - Versatile Colombian Fernando Gaviria upset a host of stage hopefuls including world champion Peter Sagan on his way to his maiden win in the Tirreno-Adriatico race on Friday.
In what was a memorable double for Etixx-Quickstep, Czech team-mate Zdenek Stybar, a day after soloing to victory, maintained his overall lead with a 09sec advantage on a small group containing BMC pair American Tejay Van Garderen and Greg Van Avermaet of Belgium.
Gaviria is fresh from defending his world title from track cycling's multi-discipline omnium event, and the 22-year-old showed a flawless transition from the boards to the roads to hold off a quality sprint field and break his duck in the 'Race of the Two Seas'.
In his wake were Australian Caleb Ewan (Orica), Italian Elia Viviani (Team Sky) and Slovakia's world champion Sagan, who couldn't match the pure sprinters on the day.
Stage four is an even less undulating route, over 222km from Montalto di Castro to Foligno on Saturday, that is likely to favour the sprinters again.
Results from the third stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico cycling race on Friday, a 176 km race from Castelnuovo val di Cecina to Montalto di Castro:
1. Fernando Gaviria (COL/ETI) 4hr 17min 28sec, 2. Caleb Ewan (AUS/ORI) same time, 3. Elia Viviani (ITA/SKY) s.t., 4. Peter Sagan (SVK/TIN) s.t., 5. Leigh Howard (AUS/IAM) s.t., 6. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA/TRK) s.t., 7. Zico Waeytens (BEL/GNT) s.t., 8. Sacha Modolo (ITA/LAM) s.t., 9. Moreno Hofland (NED/LOT) s.t., 10. Nikias Arndt (GER/GNT) s.t.
1. Zdenek Stybar (CZE/ETI) 9hr 51min 18sec, 2. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) at 09secs, 3. Daniel Oss (ITA/BMC) s.t., 4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) s.t., 5. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) s.t., 6. Gianluca Brambilla (ITA/ETI) 11, 7. Bob Jungels (LUX/ETI) s.t., 8. Peter Sagan (SVK/TIN) 14, 9. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) 18, 10. Sebastien Reichenbach (SWI/FDJ) s.t.