Six early escapees played a main role in the third stage of the Tour of Sicily (2.1) between Realmonte and Piazza Armerina in the provinces of Agrigenta and Enna.
Not long after the start at the south coast of the Italian island the breakaway was formed on the first slopes of Naro (15.6km at 2.6%), the first categorized climb of the day. The seven riders of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert stayed united in the stretched peloton which crossed the hilly countryside with a strong headwind 4 minutes behind the leaders.
After the forced abandon of Gerben Thijssen because of physical problems, the peloton was skimmed in the explosive final race hour. The climbers in the selection under the direction of Jean-Marc Rossignon survived the selection as one unit and were part of a group of twenty riders after an explosion of the peloton on one of the steep sections with 10 kilometer to go.
Behind the last survivor of the early breakaway, several groups joined each other and sprinted for second place. German rider Georg Zimmermann took ninth place and approaches the top twenty of the general classification, were Domenico Pozzovivo (5th) and Louis Meintjes (13th) are on the eve of the final stage towards the top of the Etna.