The Spin: Giro Stage 3

Monday, 7 May 2012

Today’s stage starts with a moment of remembrance for Wouter Weylandt who lost his life during Stage 3 last year.

The last day in Denmark, today’s stage is a circuit race with the start and finish in in Horsens. Riders start and do a 100km loop, then another 45km loop, then they return to Horsens to face three finishing laps of 15km in and around the city.

But the bigger difference today is the narrowness of the roads, today’s stage features more secondary roads. There is a hill so again we can expect some racing for the points. The finishing circuit is itself flat. Mark Cavendish has closed in on the pink jersey but if he won the stage and the intermediate bonus today then he’d still be one second short. Barring an accident BMC and Taylor Phinney will enter Italian soil with the maglia rosa.

The finish straight is long at over 1,400 metres but the final 5km have some tricky corners although the riders will get to test them earlier in the day.

The finish is expected earlier between 3.50-4.15pm Euro time. The weather could change with sunny skies at the start and a chance of a shower later in the afternoon.

Talking of showers, the riders will hope for a quick wash before boarding the plane for Italy. The race transfers to Italy, the first of one of many transfers during the race and like an orchestra warming up before a performance we can expect the first notes of discontent about the travel involved, the late arrival in hotels and more.

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{ 14 comments }

James May 7, 2012 at 9:28 am

It’s Cav’s stage to lose! Maybe you could do a piece on Mark Renshaw’s predicament? It feels like he has been duped by Rabobank or he’s very short on confidence and thus not pushing back when they ask him to play leadout man for Bos?

ToTheBillyoh May 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Dutch team. Dutch Sponsor. Dutch star. I doubt that Mark harbours too many illusions. That said riders often say that they do and don’t have the legs on any given day so provided he hasn’t spent all his tickets protecting Theo that day Mark may well get his chances. Hope so. But yes it will be without any decent leadout.

Paul I. May 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Bos is faster than Renshaw, but seems to be seriously lacking in racing savvy, so you can see why from Rabo’s perspective it makes perfect sense for Renshaw to look after the upcoming young star. Now, as to whether that is what he signed up for …

Leopejo May 7, 2012 at 9:37 am

The finish is expected earlier, around 4 pm CET, plus minus 15 minutes.

This transfer is long, but those first notes of discontent will hopefully be the last. The first change new race director Acquarone promised, before more human and less extreme mountain stages, was shorter transfers and more attention to logistical problems.
With a short glance at the map, the only difficult transfer will be the last one, from Stelvio Pass to Milan, some 220 km, but it will come before the last, short (time trial) stage. The other long transfer is only 160 km from Frosinone to Civitavecchia.

The Inner Ring May 7, 2012 at 9:44 am

Thanks, the main road book said 5pm finish but you’re right today’s program says 3.50pm. I’ve updated this.

El Gato de La Cala May 7, 2012 at 9:55 am

The Giro being in Denmark is BIG – in Denmark, that is. But good for Cavendish as well who seems to perform better without any kind of hills. Bet he wont finish the race anyway. Bring back the Giro d´Italy to where it belongs!

ToTheBillyoh May 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Was it just me or did Cavendish on Stage 2 seem like he really hadn’t kicked in the afterburners? (No offence Gossy.) Or had the long sprint used up the tank?

Gerrald May 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Regarding Renshaw vs Bos: I can simply not see why Renshaw decided to join Rabo. Either he had the illusion to be able to sprint for his own chances (which indeed is naive, as pointed out above), or he fancied to become the leadout for a mediocre sprinter (which is hardly believable if you have the power to be leadout for Cav). So what drove him to this decision?

The Inner Ring May 7, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Give him a chance. After being an expert lead out rider, it’s no surprise he wanted a try at winning.

Note also that he’s there as a mentor for fellow Australian Michael Matthews too.

Peter May 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Renshaw and Bos have been sharing the lead in the sprints this season when they are riding together. The Tour of Turkey was a good example of this with both of them winning. I’m pretty sure that’s how they’ll do the Giro: deciding before or during each stage who will be sprinting. It wouldn’t surprise me if Renshaw is sprinting today, especially after Bos his crash yesterday (and Renshaw showing great form by finishing 6th still!).

Kjetil May 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm

The Giro being big – in Denmark and all that yawn…

I think it’s wonderful how the Danes (or more precicely Jyderne) have embraced it. Haven’t seen TdF style tractor parades in the Giro before. People were populating the sand dunes 3 hours before race arrival yesterday. Every little landsby is pink and all Danebrogs flying.

So it’s a precourse. But a great one.

bluesky May 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I think that if a rider ‘leaves/abandons’ the race before the last day then he should forfeit his stage wins/points etc……….the race is 3 weeks………tough it out !!!

Anonymous May 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Ouch!

lukascph May 8, 2012 at 10:40 am

I spent four days travelling after the Giro, and it was great. What were boring flat stages for the rest of the world was maybe an even bigger event for the Danes than the Worlds last year (and there were not only Jutes there, I live in Copenhagen myself).

I certainly understand the comments about getting the Giro back to where it “belongs”, and I think that wasting a rest day on the long transfer from Northern Europe isn’t optimal (but they did the same when starting in Sardinia, and that’s part of Italy).
As far as I know most riders loved this little detour, and the transfer (at least for the riders) was well-organized with two charter planes from Billund to Verona. I think it was less time-consuming than some long road transfers in the Giro/Tour in recent years; but I feel awfully sorry for the guys having to drive the team buses, sponsor cars etc. through Germany.

What I would like to see is an unpartial and honest assessment of the Danish Giro start – optimally by The Inner Ring himself: Was it a success from a non-Danish standpoint (’cause we obviously think it was awesome)? What do riders, staff, organisers really think (beyond the normal PR stuff that Acquarone said, although it may well be his honest opinion? Should it be done again? And if so, should they try to go for more selective routes? I can recommend gravel roads known from the GP Herning, Vejle climbs known from the Tour of Denmark, a circuit in Odsherred maybe (and yes, that’s pretty much all the demanding terrain we have) – it would probably still end in a sprint, but not 100% certain. And suspense is what makes a race interesting, after all. Another possibility is crossing the Great Belt Bridge – it’s been done before in the Tour of Denmark, and it’ll make for great footage.

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