Rain-free Giro d'Italia, Maastricht to fete Dumoulin - News Shorts

An unusually rain-free Giro d'Italia

Several riders have pointed out that this year's Giro d'Italia was highly unusual because of the conspicuous absence of rain.

The race has been famous for its downpours that have often sparked massive crashes, but Cannondale-Drapac's Alex Howes was somewhat let down to have missed that sort of mayhem in his Giro debut.

"This was first Giro, my first pink journey. It was nice. I feel kind of cheated in a lot of ways because it never rained," Howes said. "There were no crashes. There was nothing that crazy. All that stuff you hear about the Giro? Never happened. It's certainly very challenging. Physically it's demanding. There is a lot of up and down, a lot of long days. Would I do it again? Totally."

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Maastricht to fete Dumoulin on Wednesday

Maastricht mayor Annemarie Penn-te Strake announced that there will be a celebration at 19:30 on Wednesday for Tom Dumoulin in the city's market.

The home town of the Giro d'Italia's champion is exploring what security measures need to be in place to fete the Dutch rider, who returned home with his Sunweb team on Monday.

The celebration will be free of charge.

According to nu.nl, Dumoulin said, "I have really enjoyed all the comments and congratulations over the last few days. It is a great honour that 'my' city of Maastricht wants to give me extra time in the spotlight."

Stavanger to host Hammer Series in 2018

The first Hammer Series event in Limburg has not yet begun, and the Velon-backed production has already announced its second host. The Stavanger region in Norway will shorten the Tour des Fjords to just three days, and will then hold Hammer Stavanger from 2018 right after it.

The Tour des Fjords is a UCI 2.1-ranked stage race that attracted three WorldTour teams this year - LottoNl-Jumbo, Team Sunweb and Dimension Data - but the Hammer Series guarantees that more of the sport's top teams will make the journey to Norway.

"The Hammer Series is something completely new and unique that the fans haven't seen before. It is the future of cycling and we are proud to be one of the first ones to jump aboard that train," Tour des Fjords Event Director Roy Hegreberg said.

"Velon's main idea for Hammer Series is to innovate cycling and develop experiences that connect fans to the sport. This perfectly fits the strategy we have been following and our vision of making cycling into a big event for everybody."

Two of the current Tour des Fjords major sponsors - Santander Consumer Bank Norge and Repsol Norge - have signed on to support the new Hammer Stavanger event.

Follow the Criterium du Dauphine live on Cyclingnews

With the Giro d'Italia behind us, it's time for the Tour de France contenders to come to the spotlight, and on June 4, one of the final major tests before the Grand Depart in Düsseldorf will begin - the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Cyclingnews will have daily live coverage start to finish of each of the eight stages, starting with a lumpy 170km stage around Saint-Étienne that will award the first leader's jersey of the race.

The first three stages are riddled with climbs that will test the will of the sprinters and their teams, before the stage 4 time trial that will begin to set the composition of the general classification. The sprinters get another shot on stage 5 before three mountain stages, including the penultimate finish that has a novel route to Alpe d'Huez via the Col de Sarenne, and the grand finale to Plateau de Solaison on June 11.

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