Ben King had a successful day in the breakaway on stage 3 of the Giro di Sicilia and rode himself into the lead of the KOM standings. The American climber scored maximum points over the route’s two intermediate tests before an uphill finish in Caronia saw Kyle Murphy stay with the leaders to finish in 13th.
King now leads the classification by 10 points over stage winner and new race leader, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team).
“I’m really proud of the effort,” King said after the finish. “The break was eight riders, so the first sprint was tactical and the second was all guts since we started the 11km climb with only a minute advantage over the chase.”
The Virginian had to hold off a charging peloton going over the HC categorized Pollina climb. “They were breathing down my neck and I had to do a time trial up the entire climb. The last kilometer was everything I had left,” King said, having dug-deep to distance his breakaway rivals.
Don’t worry Brian, we know you’re a really big fan 😉 pic.twitter.com/ignbKDyLsc
— Rally Cycling (@Rally_Cycling) September 30, 2021
The team’s GC leader, Kyle Murphy, goes into Friday’s final stage only 13 seconds behind Valverde. Speaking about the performances of his Rally Cycling teammates, King said, “We have consistently found ways to win this season by racing with heart and commitment. I believe Kyle can finish well on GC.”
“It was great to be there leading him into the finishing climb. If I can get in the breakaway again tomorrow then I can be valuable to him later in the stage,” King added.
Like Charles-Étienne Chrétien on stage 1, King will now wear the unique pistachio colored KOM jersey, something he relishes. “It’s my favorite gelato flavor,” he enthused.
Stage 4 from Sant’Agata di Militello to Mascali is over mountainous terrain and offers riders a total of 50 KOM points spread over two climbs.
With small gaps in the general and KOM classifications, everything is still to play for on the final day. Don’t miss the action on GCN+ and Eurosport Player from 7:20 am ET.
Giro di Sicilia KOM standings
1 KING Ben – Rally Cycling 30
2 VALVERDE Alejandro – Movistar Team 20
3 SCARONI Cristian – Gazprom – RusVelo 20
4 COVI Alessandro – UAE-Team Emirates 14
5 NIBALI Antonio – Trek – Segafredo 12
General classification after three stages
1 VALVERDE Alejandro – Movistar Team 13:45:18
2 COVI Alessandro – UAE-Team Emirates 0:07
3 RESTREPO Jhonathon – Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec 0:09
4 GABBURO Davide – Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè ”
5 BARDET Romain – Team DSM 0:11
6 VELASCO – Gazprom – RusVelo 0:13
15 MURPHY Kyle – Rally Cycling ”
— Oskar Scarsbrook to rallycycling.com