Evans extends Trentino lead

Cadel Evans solidified his race lead at the Giro del Trentino with victory on the stage three summit finish.

The Australian continued his momentum in the build-up to the Giro d'Italia with a stirring win in Roncone, fending off his rivals on the steep final climb.

Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R-La Mondiale) came home three seconds behind Evans after the pair had formed part of a five-man group which stole clear late on. Astana team-mates Mikel Landa and Michele Scarponi were nine and 18 seconds back respectively after the 184.4-kilometre test.

With the day's break swept up it was Team Sky who hit the front heading onto the final second-category climb. Attacks had arrived on the drag up to Breguzzo but it was left to the pink jersey of Evans to light up the race on the second summit finish in succession.

The result sees Evans take a lead of 45 seconds over Pozzovivo into a selective fourth and final stage on Friday. The battle for the final podium spot is much tighter, with seven riders separated by the same amount of seconds.

Summit finish

As the race departed Mori Team Sky were keen to ensure a rider got in the break, controlling the early going. That vigilance paid off as Dario Cataldo made his way up the road in a sizeable group of 12 riders on the hour mark.

With the best-placed escapee little over a minute behind leader Evans, BMC were forced to chase on tough and undulating terrain. Help from Lampre-Merida arrived as the peloton gradually wore down following the first-category Passo del Durone.

With relations breaking down in the group of escapees, Cataldo was among the riders who looked to forge onwards heading into the finish. Astana had other ideas and as they raised the tempo the race came back together in time for the final climb.