Lefevere’s star cyclist Marcel Kittel won the third stage today in the Dutch city of Arnhem ahead of Team Sky’s Elia Viviani by two bike lengths. He took enough bonus seconds to overpass Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) in the general classification and take the leader’s pink jersey.
“We don’t have bad riders and I’m convinced that these guys can do the work, but I don’t understand the other teams,” Lefevere said.
“No one wants to work and they play poker, and they risked losing the stage today. For us it would’ve been enough to be second and third [for the pink jersey], but we want to win. There are many sprinters, but nobody works. And, you are not rewarded if you don’t work.”
Teams like Sky and Orica-GreenEdge are not contributing much for their sprinters Viviani and Caleb Ewan, respectively, because they came with teams for the overall classification.
“So what,” Lefevere said of those riders. “So what. Or you come with a team or you stay home.”
The race caravan travels tomorrow from the Netherlands to the south of Italy, where it will resume with the fourth stage on Tuesday. Lefevere will be at home in Belgium watching on television.
He said, “I’m going to be curious how hard the other teams will start to work for us Tuesday.”
Rod Ellingworth talks about Elia Viviani’s approach to the Giro d’Italia sprints
Kittel has around four more chances to win before he could pack his bags and leave the Giro d’Italia behind with eyes on the Tour de France.
Like Mark Cavendish did in previous years, Kittel plans to pull out before Italy’s high Alpine passes in the third week.
“Finish? No because the Tour is also important,” Lefevere said this morning. “Maybe he’ll go one week or 10 days before heading home. He will go to a high-altitude training camp and race the ZLM Tour [June 15-19] to help prepare of the Tour de France.”