Milan is second in the first sprint of the Giro d’Italia

Hectic finale on stage 3 of the Corsa Rosa and Johnny came close to success at the first opportunity

Sprints are among the most adrenaline-pumping moments in cycling and today, in Fossano, for arrival of the third stage of the Giro d’Italia, that fact was confirmed. In the bunch finish, Jonathan Milan competed for success all the way to the line surrendering only to Merlier (Soudal-Quickstep).

But, before the time for the sprint came, the third day of the Giro threw up some surprises for the script. With more than 70km to go, the first twist came when a group of 24 riders with nearly all the sprinters in the peloton (Milan included) held the peloton in check for more than 20km. At 3km, another twist, with the Maglia Rosa Pogačar (UAE) attacking along with Thomas (Ineos) and Honorè (EF), whose attempt was only foiled the last kilometer, having wrought havoc in the peloton.

In the last 300 meters, at the end, the sprinters entered the stage. Johnny Milan played his cards right, but today he had to settle for second place. With a keen winning instinct, he is already looking towards the next opportunity.

Sprinting to the line! (©GettyImages)

Johnny’s word

It was a very chaotic stage finish to manage. Pogačar and Thomas’ attack undoubtedly made it more complicated. Well, I suffered quite a lot their action and an extra effort was needed to catch them. I won’t hide that until the moment we got them back, some apprehension was there.

I think as a team we did a good job today. We did great on the last kick, where we were in control in the first positions. Then, as mentioned, the final attack threw the game into disorder and we didn’t organize the train as we wanted. I held the position with Stuyven, then I saw Trentin coming full gas on the right and I followed that trajectory. In the end it was clear Merlier had a better sprint than me, congratulations to him. I knew from the beginning that every sprint would be very hard-fought. Today was just the first of several challenges. We are already looking forward to the next opportunity, which on paper could be as early as tomorrow.

At the end of the day there remains a hint of regret from having got so close to the win, but on the other side I got the confidence that the condition is there. I also took a step forward for the ciclamino jersey, a goal I look at in the long term but one that I care a lot.

Jasper Stuyven leading Milan in the first positions of the peloton (©ZacWilliams)

Juanpe Lopez comforting Johnny just after the finish (©SeanHardy)