6 May 2013

Giro d'Italia Stage 3 Sorrento - Marina di Ascea

The time time trial on the island of Ischia was dominated by Team Sky. They even in the early part of the route sat up slightly to let Danny Pate get back on their train, to reach the intermediate time check in what was the second fastest time, as only Moviestar managed to be faster at that point. In the end Sky were 9 seconds faster than Moviestar, but one of the shock results was one of the innvited teams Vini Fantani who at only 22 seconds down  beat all but four of the pro-world tour teams.

So first time Giro rider Salvator Puccio from Sky slipped on the Maglia Rosa yesterday with the Tour de France champion in 2nd, but 14 seconds ahead of Vincenzo Nibali (AST) and 25 ahead of Giro champion Ryder Hesjedal (GRS).

Today sees the first point to point road stage, without circuits as the 23 teams head south from the southern end of the Bay of Naples at Sorrento, largely hugging the coast towards Marina di Ascea. However, there are two climbs on today's route. The category two San Mauro Cilento 69km from the finish and the category three Sella di Catona 19.8km from the finish.

It is probably a good thing for the sprinters that the climbs are in that order, it means there is a chance that they might be there for the finish. When the last 5km drop 200m to get to the sea level finish on the coast it is going to be fast and furious at the finale of today. So if the sprinters can get over the two climbs with the peleton today could well be another day for them to shine. But although Puccio is the surprised Maglia Rosa don't expect to see Team Sky going out to defend it, they have bigger battles to fight further down the road in the high mountain passes. They are liable to leave the hauling back of the break away to the sprinters' teams.

With Mark Cavendish (OPQ) and Matthew Goss (OGE) the best placed of the big name sprinters both at 28 seconds, even with the 18 second time bonus for winning they can only expect to rise to 11th in the GC all other things being equal.

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