Giro Stage 3 Preview

Fast and flat and potentially a repeat of yesterday’s stage, only if Marcel Kittel can win again he’ll take the overall lead in the race.

Marcel Kittel sprint

Stage 2 Wrap: Marcel Kittel won with apparent ease. Several other sprinters and their teams were derailed with only FDJ keeping things together at the end at least until EQS’s Fabio Sabatini jumped prompting FDJ to react early. No matter, Kittel launched his sprint before FDJ had even finished their manoeuvres for what looked like an easy win. The German is showing what the Italians call “great health”.

The Route: another stage as flat as a pannenkoek. Today’s stage is almost the reverse of yesterday’s route, instead of Arnhem to Nijmegen now it’s Nijmegen to Arnhem only with a loop to the east instead of to the west but it’s equally as flat. There is the climb to the Posbank on a ridge and like yesterday a genuine hill but unlike yesterday’s wooded climb this is an exposed effort on open terrain.

The Finish: two laps in and around Arnhem before a long curving finishing straight, just like yesterday. It’s as simple as that although the run to the line is slightly downhill which increases the chance of a crash.

The Contenders: yesterday’s preview cited all the reasons why Kittel was going to win and now we can add the ease of his win yesterday and add the prospect of the pink jersey on top. If anything it feels too much and many will be queuing on his wheel and relaunching their sprint trains.

Among all the rest there’s still too much quality in the field, it’s a matter of several teams being able to drop their sprinter in contention. Easier written than done but surely more teams will deliver today.

Marcel Kittel
André Greipel, Arnaud Démare
Hofland, Viviani, Modolo, Viviani

Weather: warm, sunny and a top temperature of 25°C. The wind gets up to 25km/h, stronger than yesterday and enough for teams to exploit in places.

TV: the finish is forecast for 5.15pm Euro time with TV coverage beginning at 2.15pm but save yourself and tune in later.

Eurosport is covering the race across most of Europe. beIN SPORT has the rights in the US and France while Italian host broadcaster RAI offers the best coverage with experienced commentators as well as roving reporters on motorbikes to add extra coverage. As ever, cyclinghub and are the go-to sites for schedules and pirata feeds. The timing will vary but the finish is expected for around 5.15pm CET each day.

27 thoughts on “Giro Stage 3 Preview”

  1. One of these stages is a nice showpiece for the fast guys – but two IDENTICAL stages in a row? Flat, flat, flat, finishing circuit x 2, wind it up and sprint.

    I hope grand tours give Holland a miss for a few years if this is all we can expect.

      • That was still a sprint but suppose it’s always fun to see echelons. If the wind hadn’t blown, it would have been equally as boring as yesterday.

      • Wow, so there is an idea worse than this start to the Giro – ‘save yourself and tune in later’ sums it up. There are hills in Holland so why choose this route?

        • There are hills, but really only in the Limburg province, where the Amstel Gold Race is held.

          Frankly, the rest of the country is pretty much identical to what you have seen Yesterday and will see today.

          The Gelderland is co-funder of this years Grande Partenza so all these racing is only taking place in this region.

          That said, we could’ve seen some more intersting route design, for example take the sand & dirt roads that are in the Veluwe national park.

          • Seeing the riders on the bridges was symbolic to me.
            Check out ‘Major Allison Digby Tatham-Warter’ and his umbrella at Arnhem.

  2. Yesterday was more like a cyclist parade than racing. The average was moderate 40km/h. Still it was nice to see a huge number of people on the roadside. I’m expecting more of the same today. Kittel will take another win today.

  3. I must concur with those above. This route looks pretty lazy frankly. Why not scoot along the coast to give some interesting scenery even if the wind doesn’t blow? Kittel looks as though he’ll win the sprint with his eyes closed. Greipel, Ewan and Viviani were particularly disappointing last night (Oz time). No surprise that I fell asleep on the couch!

    Unless the wind is forecast to blow, I’ll be getting an early night. ?

  4. The briefness of your stage 2 wrap and stage 3 review says it all inrng. This is a really lazy demonstration of route planning but kudos to the Dutch spectators for their support of the event.

  5. Berg en Dal: 12%. Posbank : 10%. Not all as flat as you might think. But ‘King of the Mountains’ is a bit too much is this stage of the Giro.

  6. How many other grand tour stages and ‘classics’ can be reduced to the last few kilometres and receive the ‘tune in later’ treatment? Loads and loads.

    So why the unlove for these stages?

    As already pointed out the province of Gelderland paid for it and wanted to feature as much of the province as possible, while creating a safe route for riders and fans alike.

    • Agree.
      I enjoyed yesterday but if readers want to dwell on the negative, we’ve had similar elsewhere.
      Don’t tune in if it bothers you so much.
      I loved it when the breakaway riders were waving to the crowd in Nijmegen.

    • Firstly, I’m sure everyone who is saying the stage is boring says that about every single one of the terrible obstacle-less stages we have in grand tours now.

      Secondly, all they had to do was include Berg en Dal/Posbank in the city loops and while still a sprint there would be a non-zero chance of a threatening attack and a non-zero chance of a surprise winner if, say, Kittel was caught out of position.

      It’s not ‘no sprint stages’, it’s ‘no 100% sprint stages’.

      • Yup, it’s the Tour of Italy, not “Maarten Tjallingi’s goodbye pedal”.
        A ‘safe route’? Lord above, don’t make that a priority: why not just have them on six-lane highways?

  7. Yep pretty flat and uneventful till the last kilo but HEY how cool the GIRO is on and then the TdF come on the late nights and red eyes (down under)
    Keep up the great info InRng thanks

  8. I really enjoyed Stage 2. Nice and safe for the riders and the crowds were amazing. Tjallingi waving to the crowd was a great moment, and all 3 breakaway riders getting a prize at the end. It’s nice to see Fraile going for yet another KOM jersey. Best of luck to him!

    I liked keeping an eye on Majka and Betancur inside the final 10km. There were some close calls in the run-up to the sprint. Lots of road but still nervous and tough for the sprinters!

  9. It’s having stages like this which have given this years Giro one of the best sprinter lineups in a long time.. Knowing the biggest names in GC will always favour the tour not a bad idea to have a relatively ‘easy’ first week to tempt over stars to the start line who may have been out off if first week was to hard and hilly.

  10. It’s having stages like this which have given this years Giro one of the best sprinter lineups in a long time.. Knowing the biggest names in GC will always favour the tour not a bad idea to have a relatively ‘easy’ first week to tempt other stars to the start line who may have been out off if first week was to hard and hilly.

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