Giro Stage 3 Preview

Sunday, 6 May 2018

A long hot day across the desert before a likely sprint finish in Eilat to conclude the Giro’s visit to Israel.

Stage 2 review: We know cycling is a team sport. If you wanted to prove this to others then yesterday’s stage served up some good examples. First BMC Racing chased down the breakaway and then lead out Rohan Dennis so he could take over the race lead. Then Quick Step guided Elia Viviani through the streets of Tel Aviv and if he was having to improvise at times the support still saved him energy especially as Jakub Mareczko was having to duck and dive for himself before storming up the finishing straight. Viviani won and it’s the first stage win for the Italians, a matter that matters as long as it hasn’t happened. As Pier Bergonzi notes in today’s Gazzetta Dello Sport it’s also a victory for two track riders as both Dennis and Viviani have extensive experience on the boards.

The Route: a long day, 229km plus five more in the roll-out from the start as they head across the Negev desert to Eilat.

The Finish: a U-turn with 1.6km to go but gentle around a roundabout before a sharp-right hander with just 350m to go.

The Contenders: bis repetita, a copy of yesterday’s stage? Elia Viviani was a long way ahead but no two sprints are ever the same. The heat matters, will this hinder Sam Bennett?

Elia Viviani
Sam Bennett, Jakub Mareczko
Bonifazio, Modolo, Guardini

Weather: hot with a top temperature of 36°C and and a light crosswind from the east, it looks like nothing to shred the bunch but the terrain is exposed and if the wind is stronger than the forecast then we’ll see.

TV: Host broadcaster RAI offers the best coverage, Eurosport has the rights for many countries across Europe and Australia and it’s streamed via Fubo in the US and Dazn in Japan. The finish is forecast for 6.00pm local time, 5.00pm CEST.

jc May 6, 2018 at 9:09 am

Elia Viviani was impressive at the end, picked his way through and jumped onto the right wheel.

Seems to be some variable weather forecasts around, even if the wind blows perhaps the sort of stage where there are echelons for a while but then come back together?

Perhaps Rohan Dennis fancies another go in a sprint after his performance yesterday?

Ecky Thump May 6, 2018 at 9:46 am

I’m already looking ahead at the upcoming stages, but is it possible that a TT’er of one form or the other never loses the Pink Jersey?
The GC boys are all around 20″ + down but there’s a large cluster all together, so Dumoulin can’t let someone (Wellens for instance) pop away next week for fear of pulling a GC’er with him, of whom Pinot (and I’m calling him a TT’er as he has the ability even though he can disappoint too) is the nearest challenger and looks on good form and is a Pink contender for Etna.
I also have a feeling that Froome is going to be looking for bonus seconds already and that has to draw Dumoulin on too.
So presumably Dumoulin in Pink again next week, or possibly Pinot.

Dumoulin will certainly have to be in Pink after stage 16, by some margin, and stay in it.
Otherwise it could be Froome, or even Pinot.

After his TT on Friday, Dumoulin looks in great shape and admitted as much.
With his development over the past few seasons, and the course as it is, I wonder therefore if he can ride in Pink for much of this race.
But amongst his closest contenders are other TT’ers.
The Giro of the TT’er?

Digahole May 6, 2018 at 10:53 am

Despite being French champ, hard to put Pinot as a TT specialist isn’t it? Just because he’s so inconsistent… Yates occasionally pulls out a good TT, like the other day, but you’d never put him up there.

I’m anticipating more of tug of war between the climbers and TT guys. Don’t see any reason that Pozzovivo and especially Pinot and Yates, considering form, will lose time before the Zoncolan stage and in fact should have the chance to take bonus seconds over TD and Froome… not convinced he’s the same physically and mentally as last year… then take a little more on the Zoncolan.

Anyway, bring on Etna!

Ferdi May 6, 2018 at 11:09 am

Yesterday was such a bore that I had the time to look at their clothing. Why are shorts so long now? They’re supposed run mid-thigh, not down to the knee. Now they look like big blood-sausages. Anyone tell Castelli and the rest that this is ‘orrible?

Dylan May 6, 2018 at 11:49 am

I assume that’s for aero, or ‘aero’ purposes. Either way it’s about selling the next pair of shorts. Fair enough to the sponsors, it’s their shop window. I had the coverage on in the background but I enjoyed both the KOM chase and the intermediate sprint!

RonDe May 6, 2018 at 1:37 pm

Negev desert or green hills of Yorkshire? No contest!

AnotherDavid May 6, 2018 at 2:47 pm

The classic old roads and villages in the hills of Italy, that’s what it should be. What the hell are they doing racing in such a bland location?

Richard S May 6, 2018 at 3:25 pm

Yesterday they just rode down a motorway and today is an arrow straight road through the blandest of bland deserts. Compared to anywhere in Italy it’s a miserable place to hold a bike race. Israel must have paid a fortune for this, but It would have been better if RCS had paid not to go there. Can’t wait for it to start properly in Sicily.

J Evans May 6, 2018 at 4:48 pm

Glad I’m not missing much. I always boycott the races in deserts – but not for reasons of tedium (that’s just a bonus).

Joe Saroni May 6, 2018 at 5:26 pm

Agreed. When I want to eat Italian, nothing beats the food in Italy. If I want Middle Eastern, then Israel is a good choice. Italian in Israel just does not do it for me. I want my Giro in Italy, not Israel, Ireland, or Holland. In all due respect to the Israeli organizers, I’m waiting for the real Giro to start in Sicilia.

Othersteve May 7, 2018 at 3:05 am

The French may have a argument with your “nothing beats Italian food”
We all look forward to the race starting a new in Sicily.

The crowds in Israel look a bit mift at guys riding in the desert.

Larry T May 7, 2018 at 9:36 am

10 (or 20) million euros makes a lot of (bad) things possible.

gabriele May 7, 2018 at 8:43 pm

And in Yorkshire we had a women race, too! (and they added a stage, which isn’t yet enough but looks good when others are being stingy)

PS The Giro Rosa or Giro Donne in July – a fantastic race in its own right – isn’t organised by RCS, so they can’t claim any merit for that.

Bern May 6, 2018 at 3:28 pm

I dunno…I dig the desert, if only for the contrast. But yeah – it does not make for the most compelling bike race backdrop…call me desultory…?

Ferdi May 6, 2018 at 7:43 pm

What a thrilling show today. I think I’ll watch the replay. And then I’ll write an epic poem.

Steve May 6, 2018 at 11:47 pm

Blue skies, huge crowds, a fascinating parcours, intriguing tactics, top riders. The Tour de Yorkshire was great, loads better than that massed time trial up a dusty dual carriageway that was on the other side.
Can’t wait for the Giro to start though.

Dime May 7, 2018 at 9:44 am

Agree with you Steve, TDY perhaps the best short stage race I have seen for many years. Thoroughly enjoyable, attacking racing, great course, great weather and fantastic tv spectacle scenery. Did I mention the crowds!! So refreshing.

brennandy May 7, 2018 at 7:36 pm

Stage 3 of TDY had it all. I was also thinking – of the TDYs slot in the race calendar being perfect. Its right after the Belgium one day classics – it features similar Mur like climbs (short, crazy % ramps). For certain riders plans – jumping to the three day TDY is a great link in race training.

Ivy May 7, 2018 at 7:33 am

The scene after winning is really beautiful. Enjoy this sports and learn from team work.

The GCW / Strictly Amateur May 8, 2018 at 1:34 am

I really like the Giro. In Italy. Not the country the organizer sold out to. For many reasons.

-0-

“…the end of the 229km stage that was buffeted by strong desert winds and sand…

“That was the worst, most hazardous sprint I’ve ever done,” Dumoulin told reporters at the line.

“On Sunday, there were more camels and goats than fans along the long stretch of barren roads as the stage pushed across the barren Negev Desert. Traffic signs warned of camel herds and tank crossings in the thin strip of land sandwiched between Egypt and Jordan.”

http://www.velonews.com/2018/05/giro-ditalia/dumoulin-blasts-dangerous-giro-finale_465348

When You see a tank crossing sign, You know things are screwed up & You’re in the wrong place.

Now back to Giroland.

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