After two really hard days for the bunch in which crashes, wet roads and intermittent rain led for most of the day, the third stage of the Giro d’Italia U23 was no different and the whole peloton woke up to a rainy day. The profile presented a calm and flat day until the last 40 km in which two category three climbs were featured, with the last one being crested 35 km away from the line. From the Academy side, the day did not start in the best way either as in a joint-decision between Marco Frigo and the performance staff, the Italian rider did not start following stomach issues that has been chasing him since the start of the race, leaving our team down to four riders.
The race was off to another hectic start and there was a first massive crash which involved our Daan Hoole, however the current U23 Dutch Time Trial champion quickly got back on the bike and made his way to the bunch. Shortly after a 31-man group went up the road, with Harrison Wood showing our flag in the move, but they were brought back shortly after. The race was in one piece once the bunch hit the climbing section and a group of six riders went away and quickly got a gap nearby 1′. The Academy talents committed to the chase in order to deliver Jordi Meeus in the best possible position coming into the final.
However it was not possible to bring back the leaders, as five of them stayed ahead and Meeus sprinted to second in the bunch, which accounted for seventh in the day. Tomorrow the race heads to the mountains, in a very tough stage that will feature two category one climbs and the first mountain top finish.
Aike Visbeek, Academy Director and DS for the race:
“It was a really hectic stage with crashes and rain all-day long, in the first big pile up we had Daan (Hoole) but after a long chase he got to the bunch when a big split was happening. After the climbing part, three of our riders made it into the first group, but we had to chase the breakaway with two riders and we could not close the gap. It was too bad as in a day like today we really felt the missing two riders, but this is how it is, we did what we could but it was not possible to put Jordi Meeus in winning contention. We are still active in the race with four riders, so the performance of the guys is really good”.