Giro d’Italia 2022 : Stage 3 – Quick-Step perfection gives Cav the win on a sleepy Sunday stage

The 2022 Giro d’Italia finished its three-day trip to Hungary with a “good” old-fashioned sprint stage. Mark Cavendish of Quick-Step was the fastest of the fast men, crossing the line just ahead of Arnaud Demare (FDJ) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE). Mathieu van der Poel keeps the overall race lead, as the formative GC was neither shaken nor stirred.

Race schmace. This was a gentle Sunday stroll for the peloton. This stage went so slowly that Mark Cavendish had time to publish two books and Biniam Girmay was able to fly back to Eritrea to see his family.

What you should know …

There was a break.

It got caught.

The riders in the break, the gap and the capture are detailed in the more august race reports than this one.

I’m here to tell you that the two guys from Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli who did make the break did their sponsors proud. And, boy, they have a lot of sponsors. Have a look at how desperate they were to get away as soon as the flag dropped.

I’m here to tell you that I may have worked out the reason that Mikel Landa has all the talent but no big results. He has an extreme fear of trophies.

I’m here to tell you that Jan Tratnik got the dubious honour of being the first rider to abandon the Giro. The injuries he sustained in his first stage crash meant it was too painful for him to carry on.

I’m here to tell you that ciclamino suits Binian Girmay – Bini may have only been babysitting the jersey for MvdP, but Wanty went all out.

All this is to distract from the fact that nothing… and I mean nothing… of note happened until the race hit the final 1,500 metres. While most of the usual sprint suspects were jostling for the ideal position, Mark Cavendish was being expertly guided towards the line by the best lead-out train in the business.

He launched from a long way back (300m) and just, just, held on for the win. If the stage were just 10 metres longer, Demare and Gaviria would have had him. But he knows a thing or two about winning sprints, does Mr Cavendish, and his run in was perfection.

As always with cycling, you’re never too far from a stat, but these are pretty special stats.

Enough special stats, bring on the love!

Cav was quick to give his team the credit for the win, especially Davide Ballerini, Bert Van Lerberghe and Michael Morkov.

Hungary thoughts

I’ve enjoyed the first three days of the Giro in Hungary. The fans have been loud and enthusiastic, and the scenery stunning at times. The fans have sported more pink flares than the entire glam rock movement, and Hungarians have really grasped the “doing weird things at the roadside” vibe of bike racing.

Balloonless hot air balloon anyone? [When does it just become a giant open flame? – ed]

The stage 2 time trial in particular had me thinking about a trip to Budapest which, let’s be honest, is what it’s all about for the host nation.

My abiding memory will be the smile on Attila Valter’s face as his home fans cheered for him as he sat on the start ramp for that time trial.

Look at him!

What’s next?

You know when you sit down to watch something on TV, and before you know it, they’ve gone to an ad break? That’s this year’s Giro. Just as we’re getting a glimpse of who’s in form and who’s fast, it’s time for a rest day. While us fans are missing the racing, the teams are travelling around 2,000 kilometres to Sicily, where racing resumes on Tuesday.

The wait will be worth it as we have our first real climbing of the race up Mount Etna, check this profile out! [The Tweetmobile will be on the road for Tuesday’s stage too! – ed]

I for one, would like to wish the current leader of the mountains competition, Rick Zabel (IPT) all the very best with this one.

All the results

Stage results 

1 Mark Cavendish (QuickStep TourSelectionProblems) – 4:56:39

2 Arnaud Demare (FDJ NoMadiotVideoToday) same time

3 Fernando Gaviria (UAE NoTourSelectionProblems) s/t

4 Biniam Grimay (Wanty Fun Bus) s/t

5 Jakub Maręczko (Alpecin MushyPeaColour) s/t

GC Top 10 

1 Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 9:43:50

2 Simon PHILIP Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco) +0:11

3 Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) +0:16

4 Matteo Sobrero (BikeExchange-Jayco) +0:24

5 Wilco Kelderman (BORA-Hansgrohe) same time

6 Ben Tulett (INEOS-Grenadiers) s/t

7 Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) +0:28

8 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) same time

9 Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) +0:29

10 Mauro Schmid (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) same time

All the jerseys

Leader’s jersey : Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix)

Points jersey : Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix)

King of the Mountains: Rick Zabel (Israel-Premier Tech)

Best young rider: Matteo Sobrero (BikeExchange-Jayco)

Team : Jumbo-Visma

For full race results, go to CyclingNews

Official Giro d’Italia website is here


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