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Plenty of sun, sea and watts


Third sprint, third different sprinter. This Giro d’Italia 2024 knows no boredom and the so-called ‘transitional’ stages are turning out to be more unpredictable and entertaining than ever, full of twists and turns and tight endings.

This was the case again today, thanks above all to a route designed to perfection, spectacular from a technical point of view and fascinating in terms of scenery, with the tricky ups and downs around Naples stretching the peloton like an accordion. Monte di Procida, Bacoli, Pozzuoli, Posillipo, the surrounding sea… we can say that all those who call for a great Classic in Naples at least have a point. In the meantime, the Giro d’Italia enjoys these roads to the full, and it is no coincidence that it has returned here for the third time in three years.

After the brave two-up teammate breakaway by Mirco Maestri and Andrea Pietrobon (Team Polti Kometa), it was Julian Alaphilippe who set the race ablaze on the small Lucrino climb. From a tactical point of view, perhaps, the former world champion was not particularly shrewd, but in terms of showmanship he leads all the rankings.

His action came to an end on the last asperity of the day, that of Posillipo, when Jhonatan Narvaez (Ineos Grenadiers), the only one who has so far managed to beat Tadej Pogačar, decided to give it another try. After out-sprinting the current race leader in Turin and taking the first Maglia Rosa of this Giro, the Ecuadorian punched out a 7-second solo advantage on the climb which then extended to 12 on the descent. It looked like he had pulled off another heist as he entered the last kilometre with a 10-second lead over the peloton led by the sprinters’ teams. But then the Via Caracciolo promenade began to seem endless, and behind came His Majesty Tadej Pogačar, eager to lead out his friend Juan Sebastian Molano.

The Maglia Ciclamino Jonathan Milan sprinted first with his usual generosity, sucked in poor Narvaez 30 metres from the finish line, but was himself out-sprinted by Olav Kooij (Team Visma | Lease a Bike), who at 22 years of age already has 33 victories among the pros and has become the youngest Dutchman ever to win at the Giro. Tomorrow comes the first rest-day: Pogačar and Uijtdebroeks have already stated they will go to Naples for pizza and ice cream. Well deserved.

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