Photo gallery: 2016 Giro d’Italia – stages 1 to 3
The first Grand Tour of the season is well and truly underway. Three stages of the 2016 Giro d’Italia have already been completed and all of them have been held in cycling heartland that is The Netherlands. And it’s been a good few days for Dutch fans – Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) took the first maglia rosa after winning the stage 1 individual time trial, and Maarten Tjallingii (LottoNL-Jumbo) has featured heavily in the two breakaways so far in this year’s race.
But to this point, the 2016 Giro belongs to Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep). The German was already having a strong season before the Giro began (in stark contrast to last year) and he’s only added to that impressive run with back-to-back stage wins on the race’s opening road stages.
In the gallery below you’ll find images from the first three days of racing, courtesy of Kristof Ramon, Cor Vos and RCS Sport. The race resumes on Tuesday after a rest day and a long transfer to Italy.
Tom Dumoulin was the big favourite coming into the opening-stage time trial and he duly delivered, thrilling the Dutch crowd when he took victory and the race’s first leader’s jersey. But it wasn’t an easy win – former ski jumper Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) rode a blistering time trial to spend some time in the hot seat and finish just hundredths of a second behind Dumoulin.
Another of the pre-race favourites, Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) had been battling illness in the lead-up to the race and wasn’t able to add to his list of Grand Tour opening-stage victories.
The first road stage of the 2016 Giro was about as flat as you’re likely to find. Most of the stage was raced at a largely pedestrian pace – roughly 40km/h – easing riders into the Giro proper after the previous day’s time trial.
The pace was more frenetic in the closing kilometres, however, with Etixx-QuickStep setting Marcel Kittel up for the final sprint. And Kittel didn’t just win it, he won it easily, putting several bike lengths between him and the rest of the field. It was a sign of things to come.
Sunday brought with it a fresh stage of the Giro but there were considerable similarities with the previous day’s racing. Maarten Tjallingii and Marco Coldan were again in the breakaway, the parcours was again very flat, and Marcel Kittel again won it easily.
One of the differences between stages 2 and 3 was the rider in pink by the end of proceedings. Having taken two lots of 10 bonus seconds for his stage wins, Marcel Kittel had leapfrogged his former teammate Dumoulin to lead the Giro. He will wear the maglia rosa when the race resumes in southern Italy on Tuesday.