Cadel Evans fumed after a messy third stage of the Giro D’Italia saw him lose the leader’s pink jersey to Russian Alexandre Vinokourov.


Evans’ chain came adrift some 10km out from the line – though the second Aussie after Brad McGee to wear the maglia rosa more than once managed to limit the damage to 45sec after the 224km ride from Amsterdam to Middelburg.

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“What a day. Racing 225km on my nerves, with a crosswind. All that to end up finding myself adrift 9km from the finish. It is really enraging!” said an exasperated Evans.

“Until then everything had gone swimmingly well.

“The the wind started up and coming round a corner all the Sky team were on the ground and the rest of the guys fell on top of them.

“If Holland is a country that is extremely welcoming for cyclists, there are a lot of things on the roads that one doesn’t see when one is in the peloton, the little obstacles that add to the problems.”

Weylandt wins the stage

Belgian Wouter Weylandt won the stage, sneaking in ahead of another Australian – Rabobank’s Graeme Brown – and German Robert Foerster after another strongly favoured German sprinter, Andre Greipel, slid just out of contention going into the final bend.

Weylandt clung on in the melee and nudged over the line to win in 5hr00min06sec as German Danilo Hondo of Lampre and Briton Adam

Blyth of Omega Pharma Lotto brought up the rear.

Saxo Bank’s Australian Baden Cooke and Briton David Millar of Garmin were also in the mix.

Vinokourov in pink

Veteran Alexandre Vinokourov, riding for Astana, took the overall leader’s pink jersey.

Vinokourov admitted he had not set his sights on the jersey at the start of the day.

“I wasn’t going for the pink jersey … but I am happy Evans has lost it,” he said.

“I’m very satisfied to be in the pink. This allows us to go off last in (Wednesday’s) team time-trial. That’s perfect.

“The team did excellent work. I saw Greipel was in front of us and I thought he’d take the jersey if he won. But he didn’t win and now we can really go for it in the time trial. The team will be more motivated than ever.”

Tuesday is a rest day which sees the peloton transfer to Italy.