This is what got us talking on stage three of the 2016 Giro d'Italia

The Dutch know how to welcome a bike race

Dutch fans were out in droves to welcome the Giro d'Italia. Photo: Graham Watson

Dutch fans were out in droves to welcome the Giro d’Italia. Photo: Graham Watson

For anyone who visited the Netherlands for the 2015 Tour de France Grand Départ, it would have been hard for the hosts to top the welcome they gave the French race.

But now it looks as though the Dutch have at least matched the scenes of last July, thanks also to Tom Dumloulin‘s stage win and race lead (until today).

Sir Dave Brailsford led the compliments of the way the race had been organised and welcomed in Gelderland, pointing out just what a great few days it had been.

Jean-Christophe Péraud crashes out

Jean-Christophe Peraud after his crash on stage three of the 2016 Giro d'Italia. Photo: Graham Watson

Jean-Christophe Peraud after his crash on stage three of the 2016 Giro d’Italia. Photo: Graham Watson

Jean-Christophe Péraud (AG2R La Mondiale) was forced to abandon the Giro d’Italia after an early crash on stage three.

The Frenchman was able to get up but a deep cut on his face, just below the eye, required medical attention that forced the Frenchman to retire from the race.

Runner-up at the Tour de France in 2014, Péraud was making his Giro debut at the age of 38. Unfortunately, he now won’t be able to ride on the Italian roads.

This incident stands out as his teammate Domenico Pozzovivo crashed out of the 2015 Giro d’Italia, also on stage three.

Pozzovivo’s crash looked particularly bad at the time as he was left sprawled on the road. Despite how bad it looked at the time, the Italian was back on his bike after only a week or so and later said that he couldn’t recall anything about the crash.

Marcel Kittel’s Giro d’Italia record continues

Giro d'Italia - Stage 3

Marcel Kittel wins stage three of the 2016 Giro d’Italia. Photo: Graham Watson

Marcel Kittel has now won all four of the Giro d’Italia road stages he has ridden. After two wins in Northern Ireland/Ireland in 2014 and stages two and three in the Netherlands in 2016, he has never won on Italian soil.

In the leader’s pink jersey and also well ahead in the points competition, Kittel looks set to head to Italy and continue winning where the ooportunities arise.

Your hometown is a great place to say goodbye to cycling

Maarten Tjallingii leads the breakaway on stage three of the 2016 Giro d'Italia. Photo: Graham Watson

Maarten Tjallingii leads the breakaway on stage three of the 2016 Giro d’Italia. Photo: Graham Watson

Maarten Tjallingii (LottoNL-Jumbo) has been racing professionally since 2005 and has stated that the 2016 Giro d’Italia will be his last Grand Tour.

What better way to bow out from the WorldTour than a day in the break and a trip to the podium in your hometown? Although born in Leeuwarden, Tjallingii lives in Arnhem where today’s stage finished.

With his family in tow the Dutchman made his way onto the podium to pull on the mountains jersey after taking maximum points on the stage’s only classified climb.

Now it’s time for the ‘real’ racing to begin

Monday is a transfer/rest day for the riders before the race begins again in Italy’s far south. Stages four and five are rolling and could be prime territory for a breakaway to become a stayway, if the sprinters suffer too much on the lumpy parcours and the GC contenders see no threats in the breaks.

Stage six is the first summit finish of this year’s race, and if Kittel has held onto the pink jersey up until this point you can rest assured it will have a new owner once the winner crosses the line in Roccaraso.

>>> Giro d’Italia 2016 route

Here the old racing cliché will get its first outing of the race: the Giro may not be won here but for anyone on a bad day it could well be lost.

With any luck stage six will be the first ding dong battle of the climbers, before stage seven gives another chance to the sprinters.