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Richard Carapaz pulls hard on the front on a late claim, with Ben Healy and other team mates in tow, on stage 3 of Tirreno-Adriatico today (Photo: Ivan Benedetto-SCA-Cor Vos)

Ben Healy (EF Education-EasyPost) was at the pointy end of the racing during stage 3 of Tirreno Adriatico today and has kept himself in touching distance of a strong overall performance as the first big climbs edge closer.

While today’s finale was a lumpy one, Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) managed to stay the distance and won in a reduced bunch sprint from Jonathan Milan (Lidl-Trek) and Kévin Vauquelin (Arkéa-B&B Hotels).

Healy’s EF Education-EasyPost team was active on the front, especially Richard Carapaz, on the only classified climb of the day, the Casacatalda just inside the final 20km.

While those efforts from the US-registered squad did not distance the big general classification favourites, many riders were spat out the back of the peloton, which numbered just 80 riders at the finish.

Healy was in that bunch, finishing in 29th place and on the same time as the winner, Bauhaus, and now sits 34th overall, at 39 seconds.

The Irish champion placed 48th on Monday’s opener – a 10km TT in Lido di Camaiore – when he was 39 seconds down on stage winner, and still race leader, Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates).

Yesterday, stage 2 saw the riders race 198km from Camaiore to Follonica, which ended in a bunch sprint won by Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck); Healy in the bunch in 115th.

The race continues tomorrow with a 207km stage from Arrone to Giulianova. Though there is a significant climb on the route – Valico di Castelluccio, 17km long and averaging five per cent – it is crested after just 70km of racing, limiting its potential to cause serious damage.

However, the 11.9km HC climb of San Giacomo on Friday – 11.9km at 6.2 per cent – may prove a springboard for decisive attacks as it is followed by a descent and about 8km of undulating terrain to the finish.

On Saturday the riders move on to the biggest test; the HC summit finish of Monte Petrano, which is 10.2km long and averages 7.9 per cent.

That should decide the general classification as the second half of Sunday’s concluding stage is on a flat circuit into San Benedetto del Tronto, after a series of small climbs in the opening half.

Phil Bauhaus wins stage 3, after 225km of racing from Volterra to Gualdo Tadino (Photo by Gian Mattia D’Alberto/LaPresse)

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