It was the first flat stage of the Giro Donne which offered up one obvious favourite: Lorena Wiebes. Wiebes has been in stellar form this season, bagging an impressive 10 wins already this season for her new team SD Worx. Would the European champion be able to add to her rapidly expanding palmares in Modena, or would the story have a surprise twist at the end? Read on to find out.
Today in review
by Peter Barnes
WORD OF THE DAY - STAGE 3
previsione (noun feminine) - expectation
This looked to be a standard sprint stage: breakaway goes up the road, peloton give them some time, peloton brings them back, favourites contest the sprint. That’s the formula.
Alice Palazzi (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo), Asia Zontone (Isolmant-Tremac-Vittoria) and Giorgia Vettorello (Bepink-Gold) were the three plucky riders who tried to forge clear, get sponsorship visibility and maybe, just maybe, get the stage win.
Doomed to failure from the beginning, when the lead out trains started with around 15km to go, as a viewer you knew it was over for the breakaway riders.
The expected happened with regards to a sprint finish, there was to be no subversion this day. However I expected a very visible SD Worx team given they have arguably the best sprinter at the moment. I rarely saw them all day and other teams did more work than them, which I consider tactically not the wisest decision.
When it mattered, with 500 metres to go, SD Worx made their presence known and Lorena Wiebes finished her leadout’s work with the expected victory. Sometimes cycling can be simple to predict but that doesn’t make it any less of a spectacle.
Speedy stage preview
A second stage in the Emilia-Romagna region, stage 4 is also classed as a flat stage, but the riders will spent most of the day heading slightly upwards on a false flat, before a trio of third category climbs break up the second half of the stage and offer opportunities for late attacks.
Depending on wind direction and team strategy, it could come down to a second bunch sprint in as many days; alternatively, there is a chance for a late breakaway to stay away. It's a stage that has Marianne Vos written all over it, but with Lorena Wiebes in such astonishing form, will the GOAT get the chance to add a 33rd stage win to her impressive palmares at the race?
Lena's Giro Antipasti
Let me give you short introduction for tomorrow‘s start location, or 'Partenza,' Fidenza.
Right in the middle of the region Emilia-Romagna, and part of the province Parma, the town has a population of 26,000 people.
The town has its origins in ancient times and claims its own patron Saint: Domninus of Fidenza, who was supposedly killed by Roman emperor Maximian after converting to Christianity (that was shortly before the Romans became cool with the religion. However under Maximian the religion was forbidden again and practitioners hunted).
Before the city was renamed under Mussolini it even bore the name of the martyr Borgo Sam Donnino.
Also dedicated to Domninus is the local cathedral which includes one of the first ever way signs (or one of the really old ones that actually survived).
And because you’re here for cycling: you can watch all this splendour if you take part in the amateur race Milano-Busseto which goes right through Fidenza every year.
Our special guest contributor, Human Powered Health's Eri Yonamine, can now be seen sporting a new jersey - that of the Japanese national champion - check it out in our updated image.
Let's find out WHAT3WORDS Eri chose to describe her day today.