Francesco Gavazzi (Astana) has won stage three of the 2012 Tour of Beijing.
The Italian won a sprint at the end of the 162.5km stage from Green Sea Forest Park to the Great Wall at Yan Qing Ba Da Ling.
Ireland’s Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) was second, while Team Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen finished third.
Gavazzi said: “I am delighted with the victory, which I have been chasing for the whole of this year.
“I have had lots of placings this season, partly due to bad luck and partly – like yesterday – because I found myself up against riders who were stronger than me.
“I was desperate to end the season well: this is my first year at Astana and I wanted to repay the faith of this team, which has always believed in me.”
He is now second overall and pledged to make life difficult for race leader, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), who assumed the lead yesterday with a solo victory.
Today the German world time trial champion enjoyed a quiet stage while Boasson Hagen broke clear for what looked like certain victory in the closing kilometres.
But the Norwegian was reeled back within sight of the line by Martin. Gavazzi stayed calm and remained on the Irish rider’s wheel before launching a perfectly timed sprint to claim victory.
Tomorrow’s 165.5km stage will take the riders from Yan Qing Gui Chuan Square to the Chang Ping Stadium.
Tour of Beijing stage three – result
1) Francesco Gavazzi (ITA) Astana – 4:05:08)
2) Daniel Martin (IRL) – Garmin-Sharp – ST
3) Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) – Team Sky
4) Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA) – AG2R-La Mondiale
5) Rui Da Costa (POR) – Movistar
6) Tom Jelte Slagter (NED) Rabobank
7) Eros Capecchi (ITA) – Liquigas-Cannondale
8) Moreno Moser (ITA) – Liquigas-Cannondale
9) Mathias Frank (SWI) – BMC Racing Team
10) Daniele Pietropolli (ITA) – Lampre-ISD
1) Tony Martin (GER) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep – 9.35.52
2) Francesco Gavazzi (ITA) – Astana +40”
3) Daniel Martin (IRL) – Garmin-Sharp +50”
4) Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) – Team Sky +52”
5) Eros Capecchi (ITA) – Liquigas-Cannondale
6) Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA) – AG2R-La Mondiale +56”
7) Tomasz Marczynski (POL) – Vacansoleil-DCM
8) Rafal Majka (POL) – Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
9) Rui Da Costa (POR) – Movistar +1.00
10) Tim Wellens (BEL) – Lotto Belisol