Arnaud Demare won a third stage at the 2022 Giro d'Italia after he held off Phil Bauhaus and Mark Cavendish in a thrilling sprint finish.

Demare won stages five and six and made it a hat-trick as he powered across the line first in Cuneo following a 150km route from Sanremo on Friday.

That keeps Demare top of the points standings and comfortably in possession of the maglia ciclamino, which he won in 2020 and looks all set to regain this time around, with Cavendish some 117 points behind.

The Frenchman was part of the chasing pack that caught a four-rider breakaway in the final section of stage 13, and it was he who launched the final sprint.

Demare had just enough power to edge across the line ahead of Bauhaus to his right and Cavendish to his left.

"It was an incredible day. They really resisted at the front. We had all the elements ready and everybody worked," said Demare.

"We were really riding hard. The guys did a great job. It was a monstrous lead-out. With 1.5km to go we had to go up that climb hard. I did as strong a sprint as I could."

Juan Pedro Lopez remains wearing pink for another day, as he maintained his 12-second lead over Richard Carapaz and Joao Almeida.

Bardet bows out

It was a bad day for Romain Bardet, who was only 14 seconds shy of Lopez in the general classification standings when he fell ill during stage 12 on Thursday.

Unfortunately for Bardet and Team DSM, the Frenchman's condition worsened overnight and he has had to abandon the race.

Team-mate Romain Combaud said: "There was only one week left. It's horrible for us. He is a great champion.

"My role today was to stay with him. We said we would have an easy day, and he would get better tonight. But with the heat it was just too much for him."

STAGE RESULT

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 3:18:16
2. Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Victorious) same time
3. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Viny) same time
4. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) same time
5. Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS   

General Classification  

1. Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 54:37:23
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:12
3. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +0:12

Points Classification

1. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 238
2. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Viny) 121
3. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 117

King of the Mountains  

1. Diego Rosa (Eolo-Kometa) 83
2. Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 69
3. Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) 43

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