Changes made to Giro d'Italia's third stage

Dutch officials forced to remove The Hague and Rijswijk, stage extended

Dutch officials have announced changes to the route of the 2010 Giro d'Italia's third stage from Amsterdam to Middelberg. The race will now bypass the Dutch towns of The Hague and Rijswijk, with changes also made to the finish in Middelberg.

The Hague and Rijswijk were part of the original stage route announced by Giro organiser RCS last October, however, according to regional news website Zeeuwseregio.nl Dutch officials have decided to alter the route due to high infrastructure costs that would be required to prepare the towns for the May event.

The changes will see the peloton cover an extra 15 kilometres for a stage total of 224 kilometres. It also means the stage is now the second longest of the 2010 Giro, with stage 11 from Lucera to L’Aquila in Italy to eclipse it by a further 32 kilometres (256 km total).

Organisers of the stage have also made changes to the route the peloton will follow in their approach to the finale. However, the stage will still conclude at the scheduled point on the Route Dam in central Middelberg.

The stage will set a record for the flattest stage in Giro d'Italia history, as it will drop below sea level on a number of occasions when it takes place on May 10.

The 2010 Giro begins on May 8 with a prologue in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. The second and third stages of the race will remain wholly within the Netherlands before a rest day and transfer to Italy on May 11.

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