Trek-Segafredo bus stuck in Sardinia
The Trek-Segafredo team were faced with a delay in getting back to their hotel on Sunday for the post-race recovery process of massages and dinner as the team bus became wedged on a narrow Sardinian lane.
The bus was driving from Tortoi to a hotel near Bari Sardo, but the 16km journey was complicated by the 'fastest route' proposed by satellite navigation system taking them down increasingly narrow country lanes.
As the team press officer explained in a blog, they had to stop when a herd of sheep clogged the road ahead and, when they were out of the way, it became clear the bus was stuck on the bend.
Riders started to get off the bus, thinking they'd walk the last couple of kilometres to the hotel, but in the end they all hitched lifts in team cars that had come to the rescue. Eventually the bus driver managed to free the vehicle and reversed before turning the bus around and finding another route.
This isn't the first time professional cycling buses have become stuck. Chaos ensued at the 2013 Tour de France when the Orica bus wedged itself under the finish line gantry, while the IAM bus got stuck in a dip in the road at last year's Tour de Suisse.
Pinot happy to get through 'nervous' start
The Sardinian Grande Partenza of the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia may have, on paper, provided the sprinters with a trio of opportunities, but Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) knows that any start to a Grand Tour is a time for the GC men to be on high alert, and he is content to have come through the opening three stages unscathed.
The Frenchman sits 28th overall along with the lion's share of the GC favourites. Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) may have gained 13 seconds in the crosswinds on Sunday's stage 3, but Pinot has not needlessly lost time like Rohan Dennis, Ilnur Zakarin, and Steven Kruijswijk.
"It was a true echelon stage. It was very nervous all day. Maybe it wasn't so obvious on television, but it was very nervous. It was very much like a stage of the Tour," Pinot said of Sunday in an interview with L'Equipe TV.
"It was pretty nervous through the first three days, but it's the start of a Grand Tour – we knew it would be like that."
After an early rest day for the Giro to transfer off Sardinia, the GC men will be straight out in force on Tuesday for the first summit finish of the three weeks – Mount Etna.
"Etna is coming up. It's a shame there's a rest day because they are always complicated, especially after three days, I'd have preferred to do Etna straight away. We're going to have to train well so we don't lock up."
Pinot was excited about racing in Italy, where many predicted he would be more relaxed than at the Tour de France, where the burden of home expectation has often stifled him.
"I'm starting to make a small name for myself in Italy," he said. "The people give me lots of encouragement and that makes me happy. I'm happy to be here and people pick up on that."
Kruijswijk: I'm going to race Etna with confidence
Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) may have been the first overall favourite of the 2017 Giro d'Italia to lose time, but with the Sardinian start out of the way, he insists he his full of confidence going into the first GC showdown on Mount Etna on Tuesday.
The Dutchman, who came so close to victory at the Giro last year, lost 13 seconds on the opening day after being caught up behind a late crash. He made no such mistakes on the following two stages, the latter of which was fraught with pitfalls as crosswinds battered the closing kilometres.
"We knew that echelons were possible, but I think everyone saw it. I was with the other GC riders and soon it was clear that there were no dangerous riders in the first group," Kruijswijk said on the LottoNL-Jumbo team's website. "It was windy all day and then you know it's coming to a head. My team kept me in the first 10 and I had to make sure I stayed with the favourites. It worked well today. On the first day, I was not sharp, but we did well yesterday and today, even though this does not say anything about the rest of the Giro.
"I'm going to race Mount Etna [on Tuesday] with confidence, then we are going to know a lot more about the strength of the other riders.”
Directeur sportif Sierk Jan de Haan added: "We're leaving Sardinia with a good feeling. We were getting up to speed in the first day, but a day after, it was clearly visible that there was a team."
The 'hardest five minutes' of Selig's life
Rudiger Selig couldn't have been happier or prouder after finishing second on the wind-swept third stage of the Giro d'Italia, and of his Bora-Hansgrohe team's achievements at the race. "We are on cloud nine and I am super proud of what we as a team have done here."
Selig was supposed to set things up for sprinter Matteo Pelucchi, who was on his rear wheel. "But when the echelon went and I turned around, he wasn't there any more," he told radsport-news.com.
By that time the Quick-Step group was already 100 meters away. "I was able to close the gap by myself, passing Quintana and his helpers, and was the last rider to join the group." The chase was "the hardest five minutes" of his life, he said. No sooner did he join the group than Andre Greipel touched another bike and he was involved too. "I had to sprint again to catch the rear wheel of the Quick-Step riders again."
As the finish line came into sight he was on the rear wheel of eventual winner Fernando Gaviria. "I thought for a moment that I could possibly pass him. But when he turned on the turbo, I didn't have a chance."