Tour de Savoie Mont-Blanc, Stage 3: Guerreiro Runner-Up, Geoghegan Hart Second Overall

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By Sean Weide
18 Jun 16

Modane, France - Ruben Guerreiro's runner-up finish led three Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team riders in the top 10 Saturday on a double-stage day at Tour de Savoie Mont-Blanc, while Tao Geoghegan Hart climbed into second overall.

Frenchman Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) took the win in the 123-kilometer road race after Guerreiro attacked several times up and over the final climb that preceded a seven-kilometer downhill run-in to the finish.

"With a headwind on the downhill, it was hard to stay away," Axeon Hagens Berman General Manager Axel Merckx said. "Ruben also did a lot of work when he was in an earlier breakaway. He was pretty confident in the sprint, but started cramping near the finish."

Guerreiro enjoyed his best result since winning G.P. Palio del Recioto in Italy in March. The other podium finish by the 21-year-old from Portugal came in April when he was third at the Under 23 edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, a race won solo by teammate Logan Owen.

Geoghegan Hart (seventh) and Adrien Costa (ninth) were the other two Axeon Hagens Berman riders in the top 10. They were part of a group of nine who finished four seconds after Jan Maas (Rabobank Development Team), who placed third, 30 seconds after Perichon.

Geoghegan Hart's result puts him three seconds behind new race leader Léo Vincent (CC Etupes). Saturday afternoon's second stage is a 7.5-kilometer individual time trial.

"It will be a very interesting time trial," Geoghegan Hart said. "It is 2.5 kilometers of twisty uphill, one kilometer of downhill very twisty, one kilometer of uphill, three kilometers of twisty downhill and then a kick to the line. Need I say any more?"

Geoghegan Hart, Guerreiro and a third Axeon Hagens Berman rider - Irish Under 23 national road champion Eddie Dunbar - were part of an 18-man breakaway that enjoyed a 1:25 advantage over the peloton with 50 km to go. When their escape was finally caught about 30 km from the finish, Guerreiro and Perichon went on the attack.

Geoghegan Hart said he is looking forward to the time trial, knowing Sunday's final stage will also figure prominently into the general classification.

"I will give it a good go," he said. "We had an interesting morning stage with about 50 kilometers in a big break with Ruben and Eddie, and then some interesting moments in the final. So the time trial will be a test of everyone's recovery as much as anything."

(Photos of Guerreiro (left) and Geoghegan Hart by Davey Wilson.)

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