Giro d’Italia 2021: Stage 3 – Taco! Taco! Taco! takes a tasty victory

Fan-favourite Taco van der Hoorn brought tears of joy and boisterous cheers of “Taco! Taco! Taco!” to the cycling world, taking a magnificent victory after attacking solo from the breakaway remnants in the finale. The victory was van der Hoorn’s first-ever grand tour stage, and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux‘s premier victory this year in their WorldTour debut season. In the bunch sprint, Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-up Nation) stole second from Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe).

The top of the general classification remains largely unchanged, with Italian Stallion Filippo Ganna holding on to his glorious maglia rosa. The only notable change is Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) tumbling down the GC after being dropped with 40km to go. His misfortune results in everyone else moving up one place, notably taking DQS’s Remco Evenepoel to 3rd place overall.

Final KM

True to his name, van der Hoorn’s entire day was a unique masterclass in the art of a breakaway defying all odds to survive against the sprinters. After spending a full day out front, it was Taco alone who charged on ahead inside the final 10km. Even though odds looked slim for his success, the Twittersphere was ablaze with excitement!

With a nasty little slugger of a climb with 6km to go and the ramping up of speed at the front of the peloton by Israel Start-Up Nation, Cofidis, and Bora, I feared that Taco’s shell would go soggy under the pressure. Boy, am I glad as I was wrong! As the kilometres ticked by, van der Hoorn continued to add toppings to his advantage, pushing his gap to as far as one minute in the closing kilometres.

As he roared closer to the finish, the gap began to tumble and fears again soared that Taco would be cruelly denied on the line, but NO AGAIN! The man kept his gap and reigned victorious over all who dared to doubt him! His silent scream as he rode to stave off the catch was followed by a roar of victory.

His words say it all:

More Than Just A Meal

Tacos are often a meal for us mere mortals. Some consider them as part of the fast-food category, which they are not (but I’ve already gotten myself into trouble on this today, so that rant is for another day). There is one thing that we can all agree on, though: our love for Taco van der Hoorn is far more unconditional than our love for toppings wrapped in a tortilla.

And what’s not to love, really? I mean, just look at this pure happiness and excitement! We all love seeing just how much a victory means to the rider.

Even more so, we get giddy when a rider defies the odds and wins against the sprinters!

Bora Does It Again

Before van der Hoorn brought excitement to our lives, the stage was a bit of a sleeper. More than a bit, really. It was boring as all get out! Bora had its eye on the stage win for Sagan, and set the pace at the helm of the peloton as they worked to shed the likes of Merlier, Ewan, and Dylan Groenewegen.

For most of the day, it looked as if it would be an easy get for Sagan. But as Julian Alaphilippe knows, the win isn’t in the bag until you cross the finish line first! Unfortunately, they totally miscalculated the day again, similar to how they did on a stage of last year’s Tour de France. Whoops…

The Final Word


Stage 3 Top 5

1 Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) 4:21:29

2 Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-up Natio) +00:04

3 Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) s.t.

4 Elia Viviani (Cofidis) s.t.

5 Patrick Bevin (Israel Start-up Nation) s.t.

GC Top 10

1 Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) 8:51:26

2 Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) +00:16

3 Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) +00:20

4 João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) +00:20

5 Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-QuickStep) +00:21

6 Gianni Moscon (Ineos Grenadiers) +00:26

7 Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) +00:27

8 Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-Nippo) +00:29

9 Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos Grenadiers) +00:30

10 Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) +00:32

All the jerseys

Leave a Reply