Giro d'Italia 2022 - Stage 3 preview

Stage 3: Kaposvár to Balatonfüred

Date: May 8, 2022

Distance: 201km 

Race times: 12:25-17:15 (CEST)

Stage type: Flat

The third and final stage to take place in Hungary for this year's Giro d'Italia will almost guarantee the first opportunity for the fast finishers. Mark Cavendish (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl), Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix), Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel-Premier Tech), Elia Viviani (Ineos Grenadiers) and Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) are just some of the sprinters provisionally lining up to take on the first Grand Tour of the 2022 season. 

They will cover a distance of 201 kilometres, beginning in the stunning Hungarian tourist area of Kaposvár, in the south-west of the country. The race heads 69km due west to Nagykanizsa for the first intermediate sprint, before heading north for another 50km or so, then back east to join the road that runs along Lake Balaton. 

There’s a second intermediate sprint in the town of Badacsony before the race swings away from the lake for a short, uncategorised climb, before winding back to the coastal road. The only categorised climb of the day occurs just beyond the picturesque town of Tihany. The fourth-category test appears as barely a blip on the stage profile, and coming with 13km still to race, is unlikely to trouble any of the sprinters’ teams, who will fight to keep the peloton under control and restrain any last-minute surges for glory from hopeful breakaway riders.

The pretty lakeside resort of Balatonfüred will host the finale of not only the third stage, but of the Hungarian portion of the Giro. With a thrilling bunch sprint on the cards, the first of the Tour, stage 3 is almost guaranteed to see a third different stage winner in as many days. 

The Hungarian tourist board will surely receive a huge boost from the visit of the men’s peloton, as its many treasures are showcased on international broadcasts. As for the riders, with three quite different stages on the menu to open ‘la corsa rosa’, it’s anybody’s guess who might travel to Italy with the pink jersey on their shoulders, but the strong likelihood is, it won’t be one of the main GC contenders.

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