The finish, on a false flat, had Outschakov (Polti) trying a dash for the line a kilometre out, as he had on both stage 1 and stage 2. Stage winner Lombardi, Outschakov's team-mate, noted that this forced Zanini to make a big effort to counter the attack. "It's that that enabled me to come back to him in the last metres and take him on the line."
More from Abraham Olano after Stage 3 when he said, though, that his immediate preoccupation was "to leave Greece as quickly as possible" -- because of the bad roads, vehicles parked on the race route... All this had made the peloton very nervous. On Sunday he crashed when Djamolidin Abdujaparov touched wheels on a descent leading to the line for the 10 million lira daily Centenary prize. "I got a bruised left side and a minor injury in the arm -- nothing serious," said Olano.
The Italian journalists, he said, have been much preoccupied with comparing him with Miguel Indurain. "But I'm not Miguel Indurain, only Abraham Olano. And then I can't ride the same sort of race that Indurain rode to win in 1992 and 1993. He built his vctory on the two time trials. This year there's only one time trial and that's a pity as far as I'm concerned. In order to win the Giro it will therefore be necessary to attack in the mountains.
This race is also different from others in that there's no name that stands out from the others like Indurain, or Rominger last year." As for Mapei strategy, Olano notes that the crash on Sunday increased team vigilance: "Noe, Nardello and Beltran are about the same height as me, so they'll stay close by me all the time in case I have a mechanical problem and need to change my bike." Adriano Baffi is playing the role of "directeur-sportif in the race", says coach Fabrizio Fabbri, "so he won't be going for the sprints." Gianluca Bortolami has been nominated "the team's free man" [libero de l'equipe] meaning that he can work out his own strategy according to the way the race develops, within the limits of Olano's priorities. "Mapei won't attempt to control the race," says Olano -- we can wait for the first big event, the finish at Monte Sirino next Saturday.
Berzin has pinpointed Olano as "the man to beat". Olano returns the compliment. "Berzin is familar with the route and its difficulties -- the Dolomite and Alpine climbs. I shall be in unknown territory and I'll be counting on my team to help me overcome this handicap. But we two aren't the only ones in the hunt for the pink jersey. Ugrumov musn't be forgotten. He had an unhappy time last season but he's still a complete rider. Among the Italians, I reckon [Francesco] Casagrande is the strongest; behind him I'd go for Rebellin and Belli." And after the Giro? A slightly different view from what we heard from him before. "If I finish the Giro in good form, I'll ride the Tour de France and the Olympics, but I'll give the Vuelta and the Worlds a miss. If I'm tired [after the Giro] I'll take exactly the opposite course."