• Rúben Silva

Giro d'Italia Stage 3 Preview

Pascal Ackermann won the first road stage of the Giro, being the fastest in the sprint against his main rivals that were all present on the top places. The stage was fast as expected, the breakaway never seemed overly dangerous but it did cause some stress in the peloton, that alongside slick and narrow roads even fractured some times but none of the main riders lost time.

Positive: Ackermann had his team making most of the chase in the final stages of the day, his first Grand Tour and he's starting it off perfectly. The main sprinters were there, no-one won time and there weren't really any surprises in the front.

Negative: De Plus' time lost wasn't coming to plan certainly, but he shouldn't be in play for the GC anyways. Nizzolo and Belletti punctured in bad timing, unable to be in the sprint, but Mareczko and Moschetti didn't survive the climbs.

Heading south for a transition stage, 220 kilometers between Vinci, the birth town of Leonardo da Vinci, and Orbetello. The stage will be much more sprinter friendly than the previous day, the finish relatively untechnical so it's set to be a clash between the leadout trains and their leaders.

The pretty straightforward shape of the route and it's exposure by the sea in the final part can make it dangerous if the wind blows strongly.

The Weather

Echelons! Tomorrow, we will see them bigtime! The riders will face 30Km/h winds all day long, with gusts up to 70Km/h, and it will be a constant tail and crosswind all day long. Needless to say, the race will break up there's no doubt, the GC men will have to be on their guard, the teams have to be ready for it and where will the sprinters fit in all this?

So where do we stand?

A sprint? Well likely, but a reduced one is to be expected, the team's will first have to survive and thrive in the harsh conditions that will be presented tomorrow.

So what can I say, Lotto Soudal and FDJ will be the teams focusing the most on their sprinters but they aren't specialist teams in such conditions. Deceuninck, Bora are specialists but also have GC riders on their squad so Viviani and Ackermann won't have their full attention. As for Gaviria he didn't look very strong today neither does he have a strong team for the conditions, he isn't as good for tomorrow.

The GC contenders will have an important saying for tomorrow's stage, not for the stage win but for how the race is ran. Miguel Angel Lopez and Ilnur Zakarin didn't look good today, them and the Movistar riders are the ones that look in most danger in the crosswinds. Teams like Deceuninck, Sunweb and Jumbo-Visma are well capable of making a move tomorrow. Mitchelton also have a very strong squad for the flats but Yates' may be a limiting factor as he is far from being a powerful rider.

Breakaway shouldn't have many chances although some riders will surely want to get in it as there's a chance to be caught with the race blown to pieces already thus having good effect, possibly for their teammates if some teams think that way.

Prediction Time

Ackermann, Viviani

Ewan, Dèmare

Jungels, Gaviria, Cimolai, Nizzolo

Not today? Then tomorrow, Deceuninck know exactly how to race in crosswinds, in Jungels I don't see a disadvantage for Viviani but an addition to his power, Jungels is a powerful rider that can majorly contribute to a move. And it's still a flat stage, if Viviani can stay with the team he clearly has what it takes to take the win.

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