(Reuters) - World champion Peter Sagan sprinted to victory on stage three of the Tirreno-Adriatico on Friday as a crash ruined the chances of some of his rivals in Montalto di Castro.
Team Sky looked well-placed to take their second stage in succession as Italian Elia Viviani was the first to launch his attack but Bora-Hansgrohe rider Sagan roared past him out of the bunch to win by a bike length.
The likes of Mark Cavendish and Fernando Gaviria did not feature after being caught up crash 500m from the line.
BMC’s Australian rider Rohan Dennis took the overall leader’s jersey from team mate Greg Van Avermaet.
After suffering with illness in the build-up to the race, forcing him to pull out of the Strade Bianche last weekend, Sagan said he was back at full power.
“The season only starts now. I hope this is not the last victory,” the Slovakian said after his first victory of the season. Saturday’s stage 171-km stage four ends in Terminillo.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Alison Williams